One of the first things that surely springs to mind when people think about Disneyland, after Walt Disney himself, of course, and Mickey Mouse, and Sleeping Beauty Castle…um, well, after all that…is the rides! Right? Yeah, the rides! On the most part, there is almost nothing that can compete with the rides at Disneyland or any of the other Disney parks in terms of sheer detail and imagination, and we had some very specific plans in mind when we got there.
In the past, we would only really visit the few main rides we liked most, and that was all. But this time, we vowed to do things a bit differently. This time, we were going to try out as many rides as we could, including a good number of new ones (many of them were new for me; some of them were new for mom). And now you surely must know what comes next. Yes, it’s time to rank our chosen Disneyland rides from not-as-best to best! (Just know that this list does not include any fast or otherwise scary rides. Which mainly includes anything that looks like a mountain, smells or tastes like a mountain, or has “mountain” in the title.)
My mom had specifically chosen this ride because she remembered enjoying it as a kid. It’s a bit ironic, really, as neither of us typically finds the thought of driving a car to be a very exciting endeavor at all. Nevertheless, we made for Tomorrowland with gusto shortly after lunch at the Troubadour Tavern, a gusto that quickly wore off as we spent a half hour waiting in the sun with very little shade (a decent amount of the queue area is indeed covered, but in such warm weather, whilst standing on cement, there’s not nearly enough shade for my liking). The wait was longer than the sign had said because the cars kept breaking down and had to be removed from the track. By the time it was our turn, I’ll admit we weren’t in the best of moods, as I was already feeling very crispy from all that sun, and though I had originally agreed to be the one to drive some months back when the trip was first planned, I was unable to follow through on my promise due to an injured knee that simply made sitting down in our designated vehicle very difficult.
With an injured right foot (we were truly a mess that weekend), mom drove our little car around the track left-footed, though “drove” is a bit of an exaggeration. We were forced to stop every few seconds, either because the car would get stuck on the track, or because the person in front of us would repeatedly come to a screeching halt. Due to the poor condition these vehicles were in, I don’t find it prudent for Honda to repeatedly remind us during the wait that they were the ones to sponsor this ride. It doesn’t impress me and further justifies my decision to buy a Toyota, which, and this is off topic, I named Toyotoro. Moving on…
Ahem, back to Autopia, the entire ride was so blasted absurd thanks to our need to stop constantly (it almost makes me wonder if Disney is trying to get kids used to their future daily commute and the horrors of stop and go traffic at a young age), that I suddenly burst into random and uncontrollable laughter, while the two of us yelled and pleaded for the ride to please be over already, possibly within earshot of “Cast Members” who were busy removing other broken down vehicles from the tracks. After getting caught in a little traffic jam towards the end, during which we were rear-ended by the…(deep breath) person behind us, the ride was finally over, and we promptly threw away the fake driver’s licenses they had given us in line. That’ll show ‘em!
I don’t mean to sound negative. I know plenty of people enjoy Autopia. I think if the cars had worked a bit better, and if we had actually had the opportunity to, you know, drive the entire time…and if the weather wasn’t so hot, and if there was more shade…I could see it being perfectly fun. But those factors, and the arrangement of the stars in the night sky, for all we know, ensured that Autopia, at least for us, was a bit more funky than fun. I laugh now at the memories, but even so, Autopia, I wash my hands of your silliness.
11: Storybook Land Canal Boats
We tried to ride this one on Saturday, but it had already closed for the fireworks. We were, fortunately, successful in our endeavors Sunday morning, with this being our second ride of the day. You begin by riding through Monstro the whale’s mouth, and then you get a narrated tour past a bunch of adorable, miniature scenes from the various Disney movies, such as Agrabah or that castle from the Little Mermaid. A relatively new addition (I know this from pure logic alone, not from experience) is the castle from Frozen. Honestly, I mainly remembered the castles and other big buildings like that. This ride’s not exactly the most exciting out there, but if you like miniatures as much as Mother Duck and I, then this one’s worth a visit.
10: Alice in Wonderland
One ride I had never been on before was Alice in Wonderland, which we managed to ride on Sunday (after it was temporarily closed earlier in the day). Despite the fact that the movie always scared me as a duckling (I never did well with characters getting trapped in strange, other worlds, the very reason The Wizard of Oz was rather frightening for me in my youth, as well…I know, I’m weird), I still always liked the idea of Alice in Wonderland, if that makes sense, so checking out this ride was a high priority for me. Now that I’ve ridden it, I don’t really have a whole lot to say. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a ride based off the animated movie, and I did like the fact that the ride takes you outside for a short time, which is one unique thing that distinguishes it from other dark rides.
9: Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
Sunday was clearly the day of new rides, as it was Sunday evening that I paid Pinocchio my very first visit (it may or may not have been my mom’s first time on the ride, as well; she doesn’t remember either way). I had my doubts about a Pinocchio-themed ride, to be honest. I just didn’t know how interesting it would be, even if I certainly have no quarrel with the little wooden puppet himself. In actuality, my mom and I have always defended Pinocchio when people claimed he was a naughty boy, considering the poor dear was practically a newborn when he got into all these compromising situations. The absurdity of assuming a one-day-old sentient puppet should know right from wrong aside, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey was actually a pretty fun one. I liked it. My mom did, too. And that’s no lie. Just check my nose. Hasn’t grown a bit.
8: Jungle Cruise
One thing you’ll see a decent amount at Disneyland is bad puns. Of the good variety, if that makes any sense, (though, the Haunted Mansion is home to some pretty…ghastly ones if you ask me, the Cast Members themselves being responsible for a few of them). If you love a good bad pun (huh?), riding in a boat, and seeing animatronic jungle critters, the Jungle Cruise should be right up your alley. Making our visit to this ride all the more special was the fact that it was starting to get dark out (I believe we rode this one right after our first visit to the Mad Tea Party on Saturday). Seriously, considering riding all the outdoor rides at night. It’s a pretty fun experience. And the line for the Jungle Cruise was super short at this time, which helps, as well. They just need to update those puns of theirs. I’ve only been on this ride a couple times, and I can still predict much of what they’re going to say. “The backside of water”. Where have I heard that one before? Oh, yeah. Right here.
7: It’s a Small World
It’s a Small World should not be underestimated. Yeah, it’s slow. And some people might find it a bit too cutesy. And it’s home to quite possibly the most addicting song at Disneyland (or even…the world). Even so, this ride deserves our respect, darn it. Stop grinning at me like that and take this seriously. For one thing, the exterior is absolutely grand. Like an overactive cuckoo clock, the doors in the front even open every 15 minutes, and a bunch of characters make a brief appearance before returning inside. Furthermore, this ride is not simply cute as some may believe. In fact, it’s absolutely adorable! It’s also good fun just looking out for the various Disney characters, like Lilo and Stitch and Alice and the White Rabbit. Plus, a ride that tries to incorporate as many countries and cultures as it can is certainly to be admired. The simple fact that the ride’s iconic song is sung in many different languages is pretty cool.
Oh-ho, you thought this post would list all the rides we visited, did you? Well, think again! This post is merely part one, whereas the logical part two that follows is coming up next time.
Even Disneyland Can’t Make This Duck Enjoy Driving