Trip to Disneyland in Anaheim (How Things Have Changed)

It’s a magical place, but it’s also a complicated one and if you aren’t a versed tourist of Disney chances are you’re a bit overwhelmed by the options. This was our first visit with the grandkids since the 1990s. Let’s break down the different parks currently at Disneyland.

Disneyland opened in 1955 after Walt contracted for 160 acres of land in Anaheim. Since its opening, Disneyland quite a few changes have taken place, and the park has expanded well beyond its rather humble beginnings. That started with the addition of New Orleans Square in 1966, and then came Bear Country (renamed Critter Country) in 1972, followed by Mickey’s Toontown in 1993, and the much anticipated Star Wars Land.

Opened in 2001, Disney California Adventure Park was built on the site of Disneyland’s original parking lot.

The Lands of Disneyland

The park includes eight themed “land” across 85 acres.

Main Street, USA – the main strip as you enter the park, designed to look like the main street of any Midwest town in the early 20th century. It includes a train station, town square, movie theatre, city hall, firehouse, and of course lots of little shops.

Adventureland – Created to mimic the feeling of an exotic tropical place, a land that “would make this dream reality” said Walt Disney. This is where you’ll find attractions like Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones Adventure and the Swiss Family Treehouse.

New Orleans Square – Based off the 19th century New Orleands, this is where you’ll find Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. The famous Club 33 is also here.

Frontierland – Taking a page from the pioneer days of America’s history, this part of the park includes Big Thunder Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat and the Golden Horseshoe Saloon.

Critter Country – What started as “Bear Country” in 1972 has been renamed to “Critter Country” in 1988. This part of the park has the famous Splash Mountain, along with the Winnie the Pooh ride.

Fantasyland – This is where youngsters can dream of flying with Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, or other various fairies or running around with Alice in Wonderland.

Mickey’s Toontown – This area opened in 1993 and was inspired by the town in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Here you’ll find most of Disney’s popular characters hanging out.

Tomorrowland – Tracing its roots back to 1955, Walt wanted this area to highlight the achievements made by scientists and the Space Age. The popular Space Mountain is found here, along with the Astro Orbitor, Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, and several other fun rides.