View Full Version : Going to Disneyland for the first time ever.

05-06-2012, 07:08 PM
Hey guys,

I've been to Disney World countless times. In just a couple days I'll be going to Disneyland for the first time ever. This is a huge dream come true for me. Is there anything in particular I should do as a first timer? I'm specifically interested in anything different from WDW and also attractions that are slightly different from those at WDW. I know I'll be going back, but I want to make my first time at Disneyland fantastic.


05-06-2012, 07:27 PM
Hi there!

My biggest tip would be to go in with an understanding that it's not WDW. You may already be prepared for this, but it is vastly different and everything is a much smaller scale. Everything.

That said, DL is a very magical place. Especially since it's the one that started it all. There is so much rich history every where you look. Take the time to soak in the sights & sounds of it all. Be sure to look up, and in just about every little nook & cranny.

Take the Main St. vehicles, the drivers love to chat it up. Meander through the Gallery and watch Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Get a Dole Whip and "listen to the birds sing words and the flowers croon". Stop & listen to the Dapper Dans, and check out Billy Hill & the Hillbillies. Look up at the entrance over Snow White's Scary Adventure, at night it's even better.

Take the time to ride IASW, Space Mountain, Mr. Toads, Peter Pan, Casey Jr., Storybookland Canal Boats, POTC and Indiana Jones.

Over at DCA you'll find the demand for Soarin' is much more manageable than it is at Epcot. Be sure to watch the Aladdin show and go into the Animation building. There's an amazing Toy Story zoetrope in the character close-up area, and the Sorcerer's Workshop is a ton of fun. If you take a ride of Mickey's Fun Wheel, it offers a great vantage point for the Carsland construction, and don't miss the Blue Sky Cellar.

I hope you have a fantastic time!! :thumbsup2

ETA: Alice! How could I forget my favorite ride in Fantasyland?!? Be sure to check it out!

05-06-2012, 07:32 PM
Hi Dustin!

You are going to have a wonderful time!!! Here are the rides that are unique to Disneyland in no particular order:

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Alice in Wonderland
Storybook Land
Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin
Casey Junior
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye
Most of California Adventure (except Soarin', Tower of Terror, & It's Tough to be a Bug)

Here are the rides that are slightly different:

Pirates of the Caribbean
Space Mountain
It's a Small World
Big Thunder Mountain
Tower of Terror
Buzz Light Year
Haunted Mansion
Jungle Cruise
Tarzan's Tree House

Hope this helps!


05-06-2012, 07:59 PM
Can't help much with the comparison since I'm just planning my first trip to WDW, but I'm a DL regular. I would recommend making reservations at the Blue Bayou as it's a unique experience and very DL. Be sure to check out the shops in New Orleans Square, ride the pirate ship if it's running and get a Tigger Tail from the sweet shop next to Winnie the Pooh's ride. And be sure to ride the Railroad a full circuit.

05-06-2012, 08:00 PM
Don't forget the Matterhorn! (although it may be under cnstruction).
California Screamin is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

05-06-2012, 08:58 PM
You should listen to the Disneyland Edition of the DIS Unplugged Podcast. :mic:


OKW Lover
05-07-2012, 07:21 AM
Hi Dustin! Nice meeting you last week.

Val & I have been to WDW too many times to count and we've been to DL twice in the past year. We really enjoyed taking in the small things. Wayne Togo had a great segment on the DL Podcast that you might listen to.


PoC is better at DL;
the Castle is smaller, but has a story at DL;
Mr Toad is alive and well at DL;
Small World is better at DL;
ToT is a bit different at CA, see who's version you like better
There is no equivalent of CA's Mickey's Fun Wheel of Death at WDW
Space Mountain is very different at DL
Tom Sawyer Island is better at DL
The Matterhorn is unique to DL
The submarines are unique to DL
Indiana Jones (do not miss) unique to DL - much better than Dinosaur at AK
Haunted Mansion is about the same at both parks
Soaring is the same, but the DL queue is better

At least those are our opinions - your's may vary.

Oh, and you'll be blown away by the theme-ing in the Grand Californian.

Cheshire Figment
05-07-2012, 07:53 AM
Space has only one side, and the seating is side-by-side

Splash has single seating instead of side-by-side

When you get on Main Street, for first reaction will be "where is the Castle?"

05-07-2012, 07:54 AM
I think the Matterhorn is down until June 15th. Dustin should make a return trip at the end of July. :rolleyes1

05-07-2012, 08:09 AM
sounds like you've gotten great advice already.. I just wanted to chime in as someone who has gone to WDW all her life and then went to DL in Oct of 2009.

I thought I would go out there once, have a good time, but not really feel like I need to go back. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Disneyland is so amazing.. the size of it gives it a more "intimate" feel and it's really fun to do things like haunted mansion and notice the small differences in the WDW version and the DL version. Make sure you take time to just slow down and notice the little details.

I had two days in the parks, one of which my friend was with me (who lives in Southern California). She was really sweet and trying to make sure I saw everything so she was running here and there getting me fast passes... but the second day when I was in the park alone (she had to work) was actually my favorite time there. I just strolled down main street, talked to cast members (make sure you do that!), and people watched. It was great.

So yes... do those attractions that are different.. see the major things like Haunted Mansion, etc... but take time to take in the magic!

Have fun!

05-07-2012, 08:31 AM
great tips guys. I just listened to Wayne's segment about the things you might blow past at DL. I can't wait to find the hidden gems. I'll make sure to let everyone know my impressions as a first timer. thanks

OKW Lover
05-07-2012, 08:40 AM
great tips guys. I just listened to Wayne's segment about the things you might blow past at DL. I can't wait to find the hidden gems. I'll make sure to let everyone know my impressions as a first timer. thanks

It may also help if you happen to be visiting with somebody who's been there a number of times before. :rolleyes1

05-07-2012, 09:40 AM
One of the best tours I've been on was at DL and that was Walking in Walt's Footsteps. You really see Walt's influence on DL and how personal it was to him. Have a great trip!

05-07-2012, 10:22 AM
Take your time on Main Street and just take it all in. Wonderful detail.

Head over to the Tiki Room, get a Dole Whip and then head in for a show.

Seek out all the great entertainment that's presented at DL. There are musical groups all over the place.

I love just spending time out in the esplanade listening to the music and watching people.

05-07-2012, 02:01 PM
more reading courtesy of hydroguy if you're interested:


05-07-2012, 02:17 PM
Have fun!

I hope to make it to Disney Land someday(or California for that matter)!

I find it slightly ironic or strange that I'll be visiting Disney Land Paris before the original Disney Land in California! In a way though it's fitting for my personality I never seem to do things in the right order. :crazy2:

From what I hear the Indiana Jones ride and the Matterhorn are must do's! Also try not to let the castle's size get you down. :p I recently saw a photograph of the view down Main Street to the Castle in Disney Land and said to myself, wow it really is small(in a cute way though).

05-08-2012, 05:02 PM
Follow Tom around.

Oh wait.... You're doing that anyway....

OKW Lover
05-11-2012, 10:14 AM
Just checking back to see how Dustin is surviving the trip and what the high points have been so far.

05-11-2012, 10:31 AM
We went to DL for our first time ever in March. I was concerned that the kids may be a little disappointed in it because we've been to WDW so any times....
We absolutely LOVED DL!!!! :cool1: in fact, my kids loved it so much that they want to move to Anaheim!! :rotfl2: