Friday, August 9, 2013

Disneyland's Main Street: Ride by Ride

Ok, so there's not really any rides in Main Street (technically, but I'll get to that later), but that doesn't mean there's any reason to rush through this part of the park.  Main Street is detailed, magical, and just as absorbing as the rest of Disneyland once you take the time to soak it in.  Let's start with Main Street's popular attraction: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

I remember seeing this animatronic show when I was younger, but there's so much more to it than just Mr. Lincoln.  As you're waiting for the show, make sure you check out all the models housed in this building as well.  There's the White House, models of how the show was made, interviews with Walt Disney about his original vision, and so much more.  I would love to go back and spend time reading and learning with my kids.

Also housed in this area, is some of the original concepts for developing Disneyland.  There are also scale models of past and present attractions, as well as so many other hidden delights.  Don't miss this gem in your rush to the castle.

Main Street's Modes of Transpotation-- If you're looking to take a load off, there are four modes of transportation for getting around.   Catch a ride on Disneyland's Horse Drawn Streetcar.  This open air trolley is a great way to slow down and take in the sights and sounds of Main Street.        Take the Omnibus.  This open air two-story bus is a fun way to catch the details high up and all around as you approach Sleeping Beauty's Castle.  Main Street's Fire Engine is a replica of one the very first fire trucks.  Walt Disney is rumored to have drove this fire engine around Disneyland before it opened.  What about a Jitney?  This open air vehicle will make you feel like you're the star of a parade.  These are all available for one-way transportation between Sleeping Beauty's Castle and the front of Main Street.

Disneyland Railroad--Although the Disneyland Railroad connects to all areas of the park, the main station is located just inside Main Street.  If you're looking for an easy way to get around the park, this is a fun experience to see so many attractions that you might miss.  And there's nothing quite like hearing the conductor make the final boarding call.

Main Street Cinema--This small cinema plays original shorts, including SteamBoat Willie, on six screens with musical accompaniment.  These shorts are changed from time to time and a fun way to introduce your children to the original Disney.

Disneyland's City Hall--  City Hall is located directly on your left when you first enter Disneyland.  Make this your first stop.  Inside you can pick up a variety of commemorative buttons for those in your party, ranging from 1st Visit to Honeymoon to Here to Celebrate.    This is also a great place to pick up Disneyland information and the kids can even pick up a call from one of their favorite characters.

The Penny Arcade--My thought is skip the arcade, but definitely check out the penny pressing machines.  Although you can find penny pressing machines throughout the park, this is the biggest variety located in one area.  We love to collect these as a fun, unique souvenir.

Lowering of the Flag--Every night around 5 pm, the Dapper Dans come out to sing patriotic songs as Main Street's flag is retired for the evening.  This is one of those events that speaks to Main Street's respect for the past and a sense of Hometown, America.

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Names on the windows--A fun fact about Main Street is found in the decor.  If you look at the "shop windows", you'll find that many of the names are of those who were instrumental in Disney's developement.  This is a unique and special way that they've been honored.

Walt's apartment--Walt Disney had his own special apartment on the second floor of the Fire Station.  It is still occasionally used for special guests.

Breakfast in the park--The Blue Ribbon Bakery is a must stop when you go to Disney.  Even if you're not purchasing, you have to go in and see the incredible variety of baked goods and treats, including carmel apples in the shape of your favorite character.  But believe me, you won't be able to check out this bakery without buying something.  The smell will take you away.

My current favorite lunch--Currently my favorite place to eat in Disneyland is the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe.  This cafe is so much more than a bakery.  The menu also includes a nice selection of soup, salads and sandwiches which are very refreshing after a day of pizza and quick snacks.

What's your favorite part of Main Street?

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