Nowhere on the planet can rightly call itself “The Happiest Place on Earth” quite like Disneyland in California. Ever since opening on July 17, 1955, it has been the standard-bearer for the modern theme park. With its diverse and ever-growing collection of rides coupled with painstaking attention to detail, it’s little wonder the park continues to be a popular vacation spot. Almost 16 million people visited last year, second worldwide only to its larger and younger sister park, Walt Disney World.
With 58 separate attractions stretched across an 85-acre site, some estimate it would take between three and five days to see everything – but you probably don’t have that much time! What should you Must See during your trip? Though rides are closed from time to time for repairs, here are six you’ll be talking about for years to come:
- Main Street, USAThe central part of the park is where most visitors enter and get their first taste of Disney magic. Though there are dozens of sights along this replica of an early-1900s small town, the time to be there is during the evening. Grab a spot for the Soundsational Parade, which begins at 6:30, then hang around the area for a great view of the nightly fireworks spectacular that erupts from behind Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
- Mad Tea PartyLocated in Fantasyland, this spinning ride is popular among children and adults alike. Up to five people at a time can whirl around in the brightly-painted tea cups and enjoy the Mad Hatter’s “unbirthday” party.
- Haunted MansionThe title may give you a scare, but this is an attraction that was ahead of its time. First debuted in 1966, you and your family will be amazed by the special effects which produce this ghoulish ride. There are 999 ghosts to entertain you throughout the Haunted Mansion, will you become their 1,000th gloom-mate?
- Pirates of the CaribbeanNear the Mansion, you’ll find one of the best-loved rides in the whole park: Pirates of the Caribbean. You’ll climb into a bateau boat and float along from Blue Bayou Restaurant through Dead Man’s Grotto and into the middle of a battle against the Spanish! You’ll be joined along the way by the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow as he searches for the riches of the pirate curse. Maybe he’ll share the spoils with you!
- The Jungle Cruise:One of the opening day attractions from 1955, the Jungle Cruise is among the first rides constructed on the park’s grounds. With constant updates, it has stood the test of time to include more animals as the lush foliage has grown. You’ll see some of the wildest animals in the jungle and experience a piranha attack – be sure to keep your arms inside the boat at all times!
- Space MountainIf you’re in the mood for a thrill, then Space Mountain is the place to be. As long as you meet Mission Control’s height requirements, you’ll blast through the airlock and into a roller coaster ride completely in the dark! You’ll sweep up and down, right and left accompanied by a futuristic soundtrack due to an onboard speaker system that was the first of it’s kind.