Friday, July 6, 2012

Disneyland's Frontierland & Critter Country: Ride by Ride

When I first started thinking about this section of the park, I didn't think I'd have much to say.  But the more I looked at the maps, I realized there's more than meets the eyes.  To be honest, I haven't explored this part of Disneyland very well.  I tend to go for the two larger rides and skip the rest of it.  However, like the rest of Disneyland, there's a wealth of adventure to be had.

Frontierland and Critter Country

Big Thunder Mtn. Railroad--With a min. height requirement of 40", this is one of the more popular rides in this area.  The line moves quickly, but I'd advise getting a fast pass during the busier season.  If you do wait in line, go to the left as the line splits.  This tends to be the faster side.

Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island--I think this is only accessible by the canoes.  Anyone know?  Filled with caves, treehouses, and trails, this is a fun area to explore for the whole family and a great place for the kids to run off some energy.

Mark Twain Riverboat/ Sailing Ship Columbia--Ships only run 1 at a time and Circle the Rivers of America.  This is a great opportunity to sit and rest and still feel like you're taking in Disneyland.  Ask as soon as you board the Mark Twain and you may be allowed into the wheel house to steer the ship.  First come, first served.

Davie Crockett's Explorer Canoes--Operates seasonally and only during certain parts of the day.  Ask at City Hall upon entering the park.  Great workout!

Frontierland Shootin' Exposition--A shooting gallery in Disneyland.  My kids (5 & 3 at the time) had enough of the lines and spent about a half hour here.

Splash Mtn.--Min height requirement of 4,0", this is one of the busier rides, especially in the summer.  Fast passes are available.  This ride is a great way to cool off.  However, hang on to little ones in the drop.  My daughter met the height requirement, but was so light.  We hung onto her tight.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh--Great ride for little ones.  The line isn't long and moves rather quickly.  Sneak in this one while the bigger kids ride Splash Mtn.

Extras to Keep in Mind

Fantasmic!--Show up at the end of the first show and you'll have your pick of seats.  You can also watch the fireworks from this area.  The view isn't as good as the castle, but the crowds are thinner and you'll be ready for Fantasmic!  Great show with live characters, lighting, water spray, and projection!  Some action is intense for young viewers.

Billy Hill and the Hillbillies (& More)--Check the show times schedule outside the Golden Horseshoe Saloon. Shows are very popular so arrive early for a good seat.

Rancho Zoloco--This is a great Mexican restaurant near Big Thunder Mtn. Railroad.  Portions are large enough to be split.

I've also heard good things about the Hungry Bear Restaurant by Splash Mtn.  But I waited too late in the day on our last trip.  It was closed.  If anyone tries it, let me know how the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich is.

Leave any questions or comments below and I'll answer them when I can.

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