Friday, December 28, 2007

Disneyland is closed

But probably not in the way you're thinking! For the past few days, Disneyland has either come near or actually reached its maximum capacity, which resulted in the gates being closed to any new guests. Rumor has it this occurred on Christmas Day!

For recent visitors to the park, this is becoming a common greeting. MousePlanet, 2006.

If you're planning on visiting Disneyland within the next few days, keep in mind that you might be stopped from entering. In order to ensure your admission, arrive at the park in the wee hours of the morning; around noon or so is when the crowds grow larger. Note: Although a specific number has yet to be released, the maximum capacity for Disneyland is said to be around 80,000+ people.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to Disney fans everywhere!

Though it's technically not Christmas for me for another seven hours or so, I'll go ahead and wish the rest of you lot a very Merry Christmas. I hope you're able to spend time with those you love, as I plan on doing!

Mickey is ready for Christmas, are you? Miro-Foto on, 2007.

For those of you lucky enough to be in Disneyland for the holidays, have a great time! And for the rest of us, be sure to watch the annual Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade, airing on ABC-TV at 10 AM tomorrow, December 25. You may just see some clips of Disneyland!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Walking in a Winter Disneyland

I want to apologize for the lack of updates recently, which is partly because of the lack of news going on in the park, and partly because school is winding down and I am spending most of my time studying for tests. But enough about me - after all, you came here to read about Disneyland!

I love seeing nighttime holiday photos every year. Frank Anzalone, 2007.

It's almost Christmas, and you know what that means! As I've mentioned in previous posts, Christmas at Disneyland is truly spectacular, mainly because it's actually a reasonable temperature in California!

That being said, is anyone here fortunate enough to be visiting the park this holiday season? I'd love to hear your plans and/or stories!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Happy Birthday to Walt Disney!

The Walt Disney Company

As you may know, today, December 5, is the 106th birthday of the one and only Walter Elias Disney. Without him, there'd be no Disneyland, no Mickey Mouse, no Disney. So take a moment out of your day to wish the man who started it all a happy birthday. I know I will!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"It's a small world" to become a "larger world"

The happiest cruise in the world is getting a makeover. Personal photo, 2004.

"It's a small world," the classic Fantasyland attraction, will close come January 2008 for 10 months of refurbishing, leading to rumors of an an obesity related problem. More specifically, as the average person has become larger, the boats begin to handle less and less.

However, Disney is denying these rumors, with one spokesman stating the problem "has nothing to do with weight" in an interview with the New York Times.

With this renovation, Disneyland fans are hoping the small boats will be more accommodating for any 'larger' guests who happen to ride.

What do you all think about this? Do you think the problem is construction related, or is the weight of guests really to blame?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

More winter decorations

MousePlanet recently published more pictures of the holiday decorations at Disneyland, and as you can see, they're more gorgeous than ever imagined!

Don't you want to go back to Disneyland now?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Sleeping Beauty Castle covered in a blanket of snow. Darkbeer/David Michael, 2007.

The always reliable Darkbeer/David Michael recently snapped some great pictures of the new Christmas decorations up at Disneyland for us fans, and as always they're breathtaking. This year brings new surprises and, as usual, leaves all of us wanting to visit the park. Or is that just me?

New Orleans Square all lit up and ready to go. Darkbeer/David Michael, 2007.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Disneyland feels effects of fire

You've undoubtedly heard about the recent Southern California fires, whether it's through television or the countless newspaper articles in the past week. The destroyed homes, evacuation centers, and raging flames have all had their share of press coverage, but what about our beloved Disneyland?

Well, there's no need to worry - the park is perfectly safe from the fires. However, side effects of fire, such as poor air quality, have taken over Disneyland and left guests running to their hotel rooms for safety.

The fires rage on. Associated Press, 2007.

Additionally, fireworks and some live performances in the park have been canceled. This is purely for safety reasons, and the park hours are still at normal times.

Even with the fear of a fire spreading to the park over, many guests have decided to skip the trip to Disneyland. A user on said the park was "dead" and the line for Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, typically a two hour wait, was a mere 30 minutes.

If you are heading to Disneyland within the next few days, plan on bringing plenty of water, sunscreen, sunglasses, and chapstick, along with a mask if needed. And most importantly, leave the park if you're feeling sick from the smoky air.

On a different note, the Walt Disney Company announced today that they will donate $2,000,000 to "aid towards relief efforts for victims of the wildfires sweeping the area."

Friday, October 05, 2007

Dreams really do come true

A drawing depicting the newly announced apartment. Disney, 2007.

Ever wanted to stay in Walter Disney's apartment? Well, now you've got a chance to spend a night in the closest thing to: A brand new apartment in New Orleans Square, taking up what used to be the Disney Gallery.

Back in August, the famed attraction closed suddenly, leaving fans everywhere wondering what would become of the large building. In a recent announcement, Disney has confirmed that an apartment for the 2008 Disney Dreams Giveaway will fill its place.

Described as an "elegant in-Park apartment," the Disneyland Dream Suite will open to guests starting January 31, 2008. A different winner will be selected most days until December 31, 2008, and will be allowed to invite up to five guests to spend the night with them in the undoubtedly gorgeous apartment. There will even be a private balcony where you can observe fellow guests and watch the fireworks at night.

If you're interested, a complete list of Rules & Regulations is available on Disney's official website. I know I would treasure a stay in what will surely be a piece of Disney history!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's that time of year again

Minnie herself has joined the Halloween celebrations. David Perry, 2007.
Though it may be only September, Disneyland has already geared up for Halloween, redecorating the park with pumpkins, candy corn and other ghoulish delights! More specifically, this event is called HalloweenTime, and is one of the more recent Disney traditions, debuting only last year.

MousePlanet's David Perry released a great set of pictures today documenting the changes in theme, from the ticket booths to window details. It's a nice feature for us fans who can't visit during this time of the year, no matter how much we want to!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It was all started by mouse ears

My collection of hats.

Visit Disneyland any time of the year, and chances are you'll see hundreds of them, whether in stores or lying atop someone's head. They come in every color, size, shape and form, and can be personalized with your name or anything else under 15 letters. If you ride Universal Studios Hollywood's Jurassic Park ride, you may even see one floating next to your boat.

Of course, I'm talking about the enormously popular Mickey Mouse ears, a souvenir most Disney guests opt to purchase during their visit. The hats, a simple design with mouse ears attached, are about $15 a pop and often feature the famous mouse on the front. But why are they so popular? And why do some people become obsessed with the ears, purchasing a pair in every color and edition?

I don't know, and I am one of those people. Every time I visit the park, I have to buy a new pair of ears, even if the design is nothing special. I even purchase the accessory outside of the park, like when I go to a local Disneyland Outlet store. They were only $1 each, by the way. I couldn't pass them up.

Just a few of the many Mickey Mouse ears.

The hats have an extensive and rich history, dating back to the 1950s and The Mickey Mouse Club show. Roy Williams, a Disney Studios employee, invented the ears and suggested the Mouseketeers wear them, causing a huge sensation with Disney fans.

Now sold at every Disney theme park and even on the web, Mickey Mouse ears have become a sort of icon for the Disney Company, with everyone from cast members to celebrities spotted wearing them. And for good reason, since there's a hat for every personality. In fact, you could probably find a hat for every subject and holiday, ranging from Halloween to 4th of July. My personal favorite is the gold 50th Anniversary ears, which are no longer available at Disneyland, only online.

What's your favorite Mickey Mouse ear? Do you prefer leopard print, antlers, pink, classic black, or a different variety? Or are you one of the few who dislike any form of these hats? Tell me!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

New Matterhorn Bobsleds!

A cast member on MiceChat was able to take a sneak peek at the new bobsleds for the beloved Matterhorn attraction and posted a picture for others. Apparently two sleds will be put together, making a total of six people per bobsled.

This marks the end of sitting in someone's lap, I guess!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Best time to visit Disneyland

Figuring out when to visit a park that's open every single day of the year can be overwhelming. Most people consider the obvious, the crowd conditions, but fail to recognize other factors: Events held around Anaheim, the schedules of local school districts and even events occurring in the park itself.

Summer is one of the busiest times of the year, making entering the park a challenge itself. My picture, 2007.

It is widely assumed that summer is the busiest time at Disneyland, which is only partly true. Many estimates, including the Disneyland Linkage, place the weeks surrounding Christmas and New Years at the top of the list for most crowded.

New Year's Eve is infamous for the amount of people it attracts, and it is often reported that Disneyland simply begins refusing entrance to new guests. The maximum capacity for the park is around 85,000, and if you think of how small the walkways are in "normal" conditions, imagine it with 25, 30 thousand more people!

No matter how unbelievable it sounds, there are plenty of benefits to visiting Disneyland during the peak season. In spirit of the holidays, the park is given a complete makeover during the winter season, a main factor in drawing crowds. Even if you can't sneak onto Indiana Jones Adventure or the Matterhorn Bobsleds, it's worth a visit simply to witness the "snow" fall around Sleeping Beauty Castle and warm holiday tunes playing in the background.

The castle gets all decorated for the holiday season. s0nginmyheart on, 2006.

You simply can't say the same for July and August, however. These months are also noted as some of the busiest, often ranking in at 55,000 visitors. Pair that with the beating California sun (average temperatures for the summer season range from 70-100 degrees Fahrenheit), and you've got both long lines and cranky guests surrounding you. It's also more common for groups to "cut" in front of you while waiting in summer's infamous lines: During my trip in early August, a group of around 20 managed to cut in front of my family while in the queue area for the Hollywood Tower of Terror.

Hour long waiting times and soaring temperatures are two things you have to be willing to accept if you visit in summer; they're both not going to change anytime soon. If you think past the rude people and sweat rolling down your face, you can have a pretty nice time. Just remember to ride some of the more popular rides, like Indiana Jones and Splash Mountain, in the wee hours of the morning and late at night. And don't even bother with Finding Nemo unless you've got a spare two hours on your hands.

You may be wondering about the so-called "off seasons" often mentioned with Disneyland fans. This phrase simply refers to the quieter, less crowded periods of time at the park, generally during the following: January, early and mid-February, September through October (excluding Columbus Day), November (also excluding the days around Thanksgiving, which are very busy), and the first two weeks of December.

If you visit during the off season, chances are you'll get a view similar to this. Arrowfanman on, 2007.

In short: January, February, September, October and early December are best for visiting. March, April, June, July, August, November and late December are worst when it comes to crowds. May would probably be categorized in "worst" if anything, but most of the time it's sort of a neutral month.

Take this guide with a grain of salt as there are always exceptions, such as various school holidays, events taking place around the park and sudden changes in Disneyland's schedule. For the best trip possible, always make reservations months ahead of time and pay attention to what's going on in terms of events. And of course, consult the Disneyland Expert if you've got other burning questions!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Disney Gallery

Taken by me on August 9

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Firework spectacular

Day two ended with a bang, literally! My family enjoyed the Disneyland fireworks from our hotel room balcony instead of fighting the large crowds in the park. In this picture, taken by my dad, you can see what a great view our room provided.

Breakfast this morning took place at Carnation Cafe, where I ordered Mickey Mouse waffles. Otherwise, today has mainly been a day for California Adventure, not Disneyland, though I hope to visit later on in the day. Tonight we're going to the local Medievil Times, a dinner/entertainment event.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Day two

Day two at Disneyland is halfway over, unfortunately! My mother and I woke up at about 6:50 this morning to go on the Grand Californian Hotel's fitness walk, where participants walk in an empty, closed Disney's California Adventure.

After the 30 minute walk, we had breakfast at La Brea Bakery Cafe in Downtown Disney, a fun experience once you got past the bees buzzing past your head. We practically inhaled our food in order to enter Disneyland as fast as possible!

I have to say, Disneyland is really busy in August. In fact, the infamous line for the newly opened Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage nearly reached "it's a small world" late yesterday evening!

My family ate lunch at our hotel's White Water Snacks and returned to our hotel room, where we currently are. In a few minutes we'll head out to Adventureland, where we'll use our Fastpasses to get on Indiana Jones Adventure. See you all later!

Monday, August 06, 2007

View from our hotel room

Quick update

Blogging from Disneyland! I just wanted to post a fast update telling you all my family has arrived safely at the Happiest Place on Earth. Somehow my camera's battery was drained and as a result I have to recharge it, so no photos yet. Stay tuned, however, as we're just getting started!

P.S., our room at the Grand Californian Hotel is great! We've got a fantastic view of Downtown Disney and part of Disneyland itself. I'll take photos, of course!

See you!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Updates from inside the park

Photo courtesy of Disney.

Beginning Monday, August 6 and ending Friday, August 10, I will be on vacation in Disneyland. As a way of continuing to provide readers with the latest Disney news, I will update this blog at least once a day with new photos and information. Stay tuned as I am notorious for taking plenty of pictures wherever I go!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

$1,000,000,000+ to improve Disney's California Adventure: What would you do?

disneymike on
Amidst the speculation over Disney approving over $1 billion to help improve Disney's California Adventure, I thought it'd be interesting to get some of my reader's opinions.

In his recent update on, Al Lutz let it slip that "DCA may be getting the biggest budget [between Disneyland and DCA]," while Blue Sky Disney reported on July 18 that "the budget has been approved ... it's a great deal of money." The figure has now been named as over $1 billion, all of which will go towards fixing up DCA.

After its 2001 debut, California Adventure had a mixed reaction from Disney fans. The attendance statistics don't help this fact; in 2002 Disney reported only 4.7 million guests instead of the predicted 7 million.

For a park that reportedly cost $650 million to build, $1 billion is a lot of money that could help a great deal in improving the scenery and attractions. What are your thoughts? What should Disney look to improve first? What shouldn't they improve?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy 52nd Birthday Disneyland!

My cake
52 years ago today, Disneyland Park opened for the very first time. Though it was to media only, the opening ceremony was broadcast on television across the world. Countless Disney fans tuned into the ceremony, first taking a tour of the park with Art Linkletter, then listening to Walter Disney's legendary speech.

Now, on July 17, 2007, we celebrate 52 years of happy memories, unforgettable celebrations and churros. Here's to 52 more!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mark this on your calendar

Don't forget that tomorrow, July 17, is Disneyland's 52nd birthday! I will be making a more extensive post on the actual day, but I just wanted to remind any fans that have forgotten.

Note: Some will debate that the actual birthday is July 18 (the day the park opened to everyone, not just press), but I believe the birthday is the day the park opened in general.

Image credit(s): "Partners" statue: my photo

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Disney Gallery to close

In a sad update, it has been confirmed by a number of sources that the beloved Disney Gallery is closing in the near future.

The attraction is rumored to be shutting its doors as soon as the end of July, though no specific dates have been announced. Along with the gallery, the famed Fantasmic Balcony will be closing as well.

The gallery, resting above the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, opened to the public on July 11, 1987 and allowed guests to view and purchase Disney-related artwork.

Credits and References
- Disney Gallery photo:
- Confirmation:

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage still a crowded attraction

Planning on taking a ride through the recently opened Finding Nemo attraction? Unless you're willing to spend up to 2 ½ hours of your day standing in a line, plan again.

Despite opening nearly a month ago, the submarine ride is still one of the most popular areas in Disneyland for tourists. The lines have become so extreme that Disney employees recently set up a number of large umbrellas to block the sun's exhausting heat from guests.

Fans speculate that the lines will decrease during the off-season, or the fall season, though there are few facts to support the statements.

Credits and References
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage queue photo:
- Speculation over lines: Mouse Planet's "MousePad" message forums

Monday, June 18, 2007

Talk about taking a second glance

Yes, that is the Disneyland Monorail you're looking at! Though I'm a bit late on the reporting, the Monorail had a change of color schemes for the grand opening of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Imagine taking a ride through Disneyland on that!

Credits and References
- Disneyland Monorail photo:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

No definite update yet on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opening day, but here's an interesting photo courtesy of a user on the message boards.

Credits and References
- Finding Nemo queue photo: AVP at (06/11/07)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Aerial Disneyland: Tower of Terror

With technology becoming more and more advanced, it's become easier than ever to "spy" on different spots in the world, Disneyland Resort included. I don't know about others, but I enjoy spending some of my free time looking at aerial pictures of the park and its neighbors.

I'm sure you know what I'm talking about - Google Earth, Live Search - and I wouldn't be surprised if you've looked up 'Disneyland' before, too. If not, I'd like to enlighten you of some of Disneyland's hidden treasures.

First in this feature is the Tower of Terror. From a guest's point of view - while in the park - the attraction looks innocent enough (as innocent as a Tower of Terror can be, I suppose). When glancing at the building from a "bird's eye" view, however, it takes on a whole new light.

What's going on here in the back of the building? As you can see, there's a medium-sized parking lot, along with a large section of building that is definitely not a part of the ride.

Despite being the Disneyland Expert, I can honestly say I'm not 100% sure what's going on here. I assume it's for cast members, but I still find it odd that there is a parking lot in that spot, out of all places. Also, I'd like to know what's going on in the part of the building near the lot...

Credits and References
- Aerial photo of Tower of Terror:

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Just two more days

In what has undoubtedly been one of the most talked-about Disneyland attractions for a good two years, the opening of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is just around the corner.

On June 11, the much-anticipated Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage will open to the public. The ride, which replaces the classic Submarine Voyage (1959-1998), will have a similar theme to the previous attraction but with a Finding Nemo storyline.

Workers on the ride are finishing up last-minute jobs and preparing for the opening day, which Disneyland fans predict will be extremely busy.

The queue area is complete and the construction walls are down - now all the attraction needs is you!

Credits and References
- Voyager photo: FrogMiller on (05/18/07)
- Opening date information: Disneyland Park Update, (06/4/07)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pirates of the Caribbean 3 Premiere

As you may or may not have already known, the world premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End was held yesterday in Disneyland, an event that has occurred with every Pirates movie.


In order to hold the premiere without any flaws, the park had irregular hours, opening at 6:30am and closing at 5pm. A giant red carpet was placed on Main Street and guests were allowed to set up camp around it.

Fans who went to the event called it "crazy" and "incredible", while others say the event was "much more organized" than the last premiere.

For those interested in seeing more pictures of the event, over 120 are available on this Disneyland fan's website.

Credits and References
- Premiere photo: (05/19/07)
- Fan quotes: forums (05/20/07)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Favorite spot to take photographs?

Since news relating to Disneyland is near-nonexistent these days, I decided to let my readers contribute their $.02.

What is your favorite spot in the park to have your photo taken at/take a photograph of? It can be a restaurant, an attraction—anything, so long as it's inside the Disneyland Resort.


One of the single most popular photo sites is—without a doubt—the Disneyland Train Station, which can often be blocked from view by the amount of guests standing in front of it. The main attraction of having a photo taken there is likely due to the Mickey Mouse floral mural and the train station itself, which represents the entrance of Disneyland.

My personal favorite spot to have a photograph taken is another classic: Sleeping Beauty Castle. There are endless ways to create unique photographs of the castle, and it's a great spot to pose for a family photo. Apparently I'm not the only one, either; search for 'sleeping beauty castle' on any image search engine, and chances are you'll find photos with crowds of guests surrounding the landmark.

With that being said, share your favorite spot for photographs! I'd enjoy hearing what you have to say.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A California Vacation Club?

Disneyland fans are buzzing today with news of a rumored Disney's Vacation Club property being built on land outside of the Grand Californian Hotel. According to a MousePlanet user, survey makers "dot the perimeter of the grassy field outside Disney's Grand Californian hotel."[1]


If the news turns out to be true, this would be the first Disney's Vacation Club yet in California. Stay tuned for more information!

[1] Disneyland Park Update, May 7, 2007

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Food and drink prices raised

I don't like to be the bearer of bad news, but someone's got to do it. According to several users on Mouse Planet, the prices of food and drinks at Disneyland have increased in the past week.

Though specific prices of all items have not been released, one user claimed that the price of a small container of popcorn went from $3.00 to $3.50, and that the buckets of popcorn are now $5.50—also an increase of $.50.


Along with food, alcoholic drinks will now cost you more—about +$1, to be specific.

Based on this news, it's reasonable to say that one should definitely bring along more cash on their next trip to Disneyland.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Club 33

Though often discussed by Disneyland fans, many are unaware of what Club 33 really is.

Located in New Orleans Square, Club 33 is open to members only, and is known for being the sole place in the park which sells alcoholic beverages. Becoming a member is something to celebrate on its own--the waiting list is said to be years long, and the least-expensive membership (the Gold Membership) has a member fee of $9,500, along with an annual fee of $3,175.

The entrance to Club 33 - DISNEYLANDCLUB33.COM

You may have yet to discover Club 33 for yourself, and there's a good reason for it: The club is practically hidden in its location next to the Blue Bayou restaurant. Thousands of people pass by the door each and everyday, with only a select few knowing what lies behind it.

The famous elevator in the club - MKT3000.COM / 2004

If you ever become fortunate enough to become a member, take advantage of it. Members have heaps of benefits: Renting the entire club for a special event, entering Disneyland without a ticket and being able to stay all day, and getting the chance to see a new attraction before it opens to the public, along with many other benefits.

Like I previously mentioned, however, becoming a member takes years and thousands of dollars. For now, however, you can easily take a picture-tour by means of the many Club 33 websites.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's quiet in Disneyland; too quiet

News relating to the park has been rather scarce lately, seeing as how construction on many attractions is still going strong, and nothing out of the ordinary has occurred. A user from MousePlanet reported that the Penny Arcade is currently closed due to floor replacement and that Splash Mountain is being tested (it's going under refurbishment as I'm typing this), though that's the most notable of all updates.

The Penny Arcade is closed at the moment - DARKBEER.SMUGMUG.COM / 2007

As always, I'll be sure to inform you of any breaking news in Disneyland. For now, feel free to leave any requests you may have for specially-themed posts (i.e. Disneyland Resort hotels, Tomorrowland, etc.), as I've got little else to talk about!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Disney's Best Kept Secret

Have you ever been tempted to purchase the "perfect" souvenir at Disneyland, only to find that it is more than over your budget? No need to become upset any longer--simply visit your local Disney Character Warehouse Outlet Store and get the item you want for unbelievable prices!

Please note that this post is not intended to look/sound like an advertisement--I merely wanted to inform all of you Disneyland fans of this amazing place: I visited yesterday and saved a whopping $210+!

The front of the store. Picture taken by me.
While the store is not affiliated with the Disney Company/Disneyland, they manage to have hundreds of authentic items from the park, likely purchased from a wholesale auction. Items that originally went for $30 can be purchased for $5--I have proof! Remember the gold 50th Anniversary Mickey ears that went for nearly $12 at the park? They're only $.99 here!

I spent $102 here and later calculated the items to be worth over $315. There was a section dedicated to 50th Anniversary souvenirs, which was one of my personal favorite sections!

Along with 50th Anniversary sections, the store was home to a vast amount of Disneyland pins, shirts, mouse ears, magnets, bags, plates, watches, framed prints, books, candy, stuffed toys, glasses, mugs, hats, and much more.

This limited edition 50th Anniversary plate went for well over $30 at the park and on websites--I got it for $6.99! Picture taken by me.
The store I visited, located at the Prime Outlets Burlington (WA), closes on May 15. Don't worry, however, as this is a traveling store--it will return to Washington within time!

If you don't live in Washington, you still have a chance to visit the stores. Currently, Disney Outlets are located in California, Nevada, Utah, and Oregon. Visit the official website for more information, and have fun shopping!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Fake Disneyland

Next time you plan on visiting Disneyland, make sure you're going to the real Disneyland and not a carbon-copy.

Of course I'm talking about Nara Dreamland, the infamous park in Nara, Japan. Built in 1961, the park was designed to be an exact replica of Disneyland. Rumor has it that the developers of the park sent many of their people to Disneyland after its 1955 opening to take thousands of photographs, which they later used to design their park after.

LEFT: Nara's version of Sleeping Beauty Castle. RIGHT: The original version at Disneyland.

This bizarre park is essentially a dirtier version of the Happiest Place on Earth. It's got everything: Main Street Train Station, Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Monorail, even the Matterhorn Bobsleds. Unfortunately, the filthy state of the park reminds guests that they're not in Disneyland.

LEFT: An aerial view of Nara Dreamland. RIGHT: An aerial view of Disneyland.
The park has been described as "the world's finest play ground facility" in a pamphlet for the park, although visitors beg to differ. The people over at Theme Park Review described the park as "[the] alternate universe Disneyland...most of the place looks like [an] abandoned park."


Needless to say, Nara Dreamland closed permanently on August 31, 2006. It's safe to say that this is one park that will not be missed.