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Disneyland traditions....

Seattle, Washington
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Disneyland traditions....

We have a couple. We always get our hands stamped on the way out of our last visit before we have to go home because it means we will be coming back again......my MIL started that when my husband and his brothers were young.

And, we always start with the train and ride it all the way around and then ride it back to where we want to start in the park.

What are some of yours?

California
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1. Re: Disneyland traditions....

When I was a kid, we'd always go clockwise from the gate, starting with Adventure Land. I still do.

We'd do the shops on Main Street last -- along with everybody else!

Lunch at the Blue Bayou was preferred, but we weren't always that lucky.

OK, and my almost favorite thing was looking at all the license plates from the other states in the D-Land parking lot on the way into the park.

Yucaipa, California
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2. Re: Disneyland traditions....

Atm, you come up with the coolest questions! Okay, warning, this post is going to be looong!

I read a post by someone once that as this person's family enters DL they always stop at the bridge to the left of the Mickey flower bed. There is a plaque there that reads something like, "Here leave behind the concerns of today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy." (Hope I didn't mess that up too much.) His family stops and reads that aloud together each time they enter DL. I thought that was such a cool idea that I started doing it. It really reminds you of the reason why you have come to DL and gives you perspective.

BLBL made me remember how when I was a kid (and a young teen) our family would drive down Harbor from the 91 freeway and couldn't wait to see the top of the Matterhorn! As we would get closer to DL one of us kids would shout, "I see it, I see the Matterhorn!" We would know that we were about to enter DL and we would get super excited. At that time all you would need to do to enter DL parking when going south on Harbor Blvd, was stay in the right lane. That would take you right to the parking toll booths. We knew the next thing we were going to see would be the big sign at the parking entrance that read Disneyland! It was also a marquee that had the hours of operation and sometimes some special events listed.

"Yay, Disneyland is open until 12 midnight!! Can we stay until then?!" We would get so excited. My parents always seemed to just say, "We'll see." And we would end up staying there really late anyway, even though I think they didn't want to.

There used to be a park announcement in the late evening, "Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, Disneyland will remain open tonight until 12 a.m.!" So, then we would get excited all over again and we had a second chance to ask to stay til closing.

My first BF at the age of 17 (in 1972) told me his family would always go to DL from opening til closing, so that's what we did when we would go for a date. That has been my tradition since then - to go to DL from opening to closing when operating hours are long.

Some of my current traditions date back decades and some are more recent. They include:

Stopping at the Fire Station on Main Street and looking up at the window of Walt's apartment in remembrance. Saying thanks at the end of the night, telling Walt I'll be back, and offering a little prayer for him.

Looking in the displays in the Main Street Emporium windows.

Getting a fortune from Esmeralda in the Penny Arcade.

Watching the Disneyland Marching Band.

First ride of the day - Horse Drawn Trolley and petting the horse when I get out. I'm starting to find out that the Dapper Dans (barbershop quarter) ride along at selected times and sing during the ride and I have done that twice. It's really wonderful and may become new part of my tradition.

Lunch at The French Market in NOS. I call DL first to see if there is a jazz band playing there and what time - sometimes I get surprised by one being there because the CM didn't have info to pass on. I've been eating lunch there since the 70's. The first band I saw play there was Teddy Buckner and the Jazz All Stars. They appeared in the movie Lady Sings the Blues after that. I have been eating the jambayla at The French Market since the first time I went there! And I have introduced friends and BFs to the jambayla there too. Now I like their fetticine with tasso ham a bit better, though, since I learned how to make jambayla myself. My sister and I also used to get mint juleps and fritters and sit and listen to the band. Sometimes we would talk to the musicians when they went on break.

As I mentioned before, riding the HM at closing used to be a tradition for my sister and me. Spooky!

I ride the Mark Twain Steamboat each time I go to DL. I take bread that I have cut into little pieces to throw down to the ducks that are near the Hungry Bear Restaurant. I share the bread with any little kids next to me. Before Fantasmic I used to like to ride at night and once we went on the fireworks run, where they stopped the boat on the backside of the River and guests view the fireworks from the topdeck. It was so beautiful. Everything around was so still and suddenly there were fireworks! I was a great view too. But, sadly that is not available anymore.

Enchanted Tiki Room in the heat of the day. I buy a Dole Pineapple Whip each time.

Big Band / Swing Bands - again something I have been doing since the 70's. Now they are local bands, but extremely talently with good backgrounds, and there only on select weekends (and every weekend in the summer). But, "back in the day" I saw (and danced to) bands headed by Count Basie, Harry James, Woody Herman, Buddy Rich. We almost went to see Duke Ellington, but put off that DL trip and then he passed away soon afterwards.

Hanging out in Main Street prior to closing and after closing. Main Street is usually open an hour after the park closes. I like to go to the Coke Corner and listen to the ragtime piano player, if he's there. Just sit and relax and take my shoes off and enjoy the view. Or, if the line is not too long, go to the Gibson Girl and get an ice cream, then just walk around, looking in windows and enjoying the view of the Partners statue with the Castle in the background, the lights from King Arthur's Carousel shining through. On this summer's visit I discovered that a good place to sit and relax and take it all it is a bench in front of the Main Street DL RR station. Beautiful view! And when there aren't that many people left, you almost feel like it is all yours!

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Disneyland traditions....

Oh I loved that, especially the part about thank walt and saying a little prayer for him. I also love that you read the plaque! I think I am going to have to add that to our routine.

Sigh.....I love mainstreet after closing, and we love to ride Pirates late at night too! Spooky! One time we had some weird guy sitting in the seat behind us in the boat, nobody else was riding with us and the boats in front of us and behind us were empty. Anyway, he kept talking to himself. It was a little scary!

San Antonio, Texas
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4. Re: Disneyland traditions....

Pirates, always our first and last ride....unless we're on early entry.

Billy Hill and the Hillbillies with chili in a bread bowl

PINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yucaipa, California
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5. Re: Disneyland traditions....

Pirates is a good first ride if you drive a ways to get to DL because it is so dark in there and it's quite a difference from being in control of a car or watching the traffic go by. I've done it a few times (after doing the Trolley) and, as an adult, it feels like you are being totally taken into a situation were you have no control. It really enhances the ride.

I usually do Big Thunder as the first big ride, but last time I did the Matterhorn. That line was so short that I couldn't pass it up!

Quote:

"One time we had some weird guy sitting in the seat behind us in the boat, nobody else was riding with us and the boats in front of us and behind us were empty. Anyway, he kept talking to himself. It was a little scary!"

That is freaky! Are you sure he was wasn't a ghost? I just read that there have been ghost sightings in Pirates.

On my last trip I had extra time at the end of the night because there was no piano player at the Coke Corner. It was around 11 pm and I decided to go up to It's a Small World. (I'm going through this phase where I want to do all the classic rides again. They used to bore me.) Well, I had a whole boat to myself! That is just the perfect place to relax at the end of a long day. No one else in the boat to get on my nerves, either! He, he. I started singing!

I am used to doing solo trips, so when I do decide to go with someone it has to be someone easy going who can kind of just go along while suggesting things! I'm spoiled!

California
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6. Re: Disneyland traditions....

Telling tales ... Years ago, I had the unusual opportunity to greet a high-ranking federal official at LAX and escort her via limo to a conference at the Hilton. I showed her up to her room and opened the curtains ... in true hostess fashion ... and said "Look! You can see the Matterhorn!." Well, she rushed right over the the window, did a double-take and make some disgusting noise in her throat. Did she REALLY think he could see Switzerland from Anaheim?

Sydney
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7. Re: Disneyland traditions....

I love hearing peoples traditions and favourite times in Disneyland so Thank You for posting this topic!

I have only been twice before (once when I was little) so don't actually have any yet but I am going again in January so this thread is great for me. I will be looking for the plaque in the garden and Walt's appartment etc

Thank You for sharing your great memories and traditions. I hope to make some myself in January... can't wait!!!

Cooma, Australia
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8. Re: Disneyland traditions....

g'dayusa when in Jan are you going. We arrive 14 Jan and leave 24 Jan. It will only be our 2nd time as well so don't have any traditions yet. This is a lovely post to inspire those of us with ages to go!!!

We will have to start our own traditions.

Oakland, California
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9. Re: Disneyland traditions....

Our first ride is always Peter Pan. Even as my daughters have grown up, they still don't feel like they are at DLand until they've ridden Peter Pan. The fact that my youngest played Peter Pan in the musical once has only added to the tradition! Usually ride # 2 is Alice, although now hubby often heads over to Space Mountain to get the fast passes for later while we ride it.

We learned a long time ago that if you want to ride any of the Fantasyland rides, you've got to do it first thing, as they are the slowest loading in the park and there are no fast passes!

Another tradition started by accident: when our girls were little, we would try to eat lunch early, then blow off some steam at Tom Sawyer Island before heading back to the hotel for a nap. The restaurant that was the least crowded was Gepetto's in Fantasyland, so we went there. There's a cute little alcove where we sat and took a picture. Next time we went, we ate and sat at the same place, took another picture. Now, we always take a picture there (whether we eat there or not!) This June, one daughter graduated HS and the other college, so I made them an album that included a composite of all those "gepetto" pictures as they were growing up!

Yucaipa, California
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10. Re: Disneyland traditions....

For anyone who is interested........

Here is a picture of the plaque that I spoke about:

…wikipedia.org/wiki/…Disneyland_plaque.jpg

Here is a visual/audio tour of Walt Disney’s apartment. The Orange County Register (newspaper) was invited on a tour to do this presentation. It’s really good:

ocregister.com/multimedia/disneyapartment/

Here is an article written by a fan who won a night’s stay in the apartment:

http://www.rainbo.net/apt.htm