Friday, May 1, 2009

A Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour

Today we participated in a private guided tour through Disneyland with 3 other couples. A Walk in Walt's Footsteps is full of facts and trivia about the creation of Disneyland, including recordings of Walt's comments about the building of the park. We were given a peek into the lobby of the exclusive members-only Club 33 (where Gerri and I had dinner during the ALA conference last June), lunch, and a collectible pin. We visited several attractions, among them, the Jungle Cruise and the Tiki Room, and heard about several others, like it's a small world and the Matterhorn. Did you know that then-vice president Richard Nixon participated in the opening of that ride?

The tour began before the park was open, so we had Adventureland and Frontierland to ourselves before anyone else was allowed in. These areas were deserted except for a few cast members.

Having grown up hearing Walt Disney talk about his plans for Disneyland on his TV program every Sunday night, I was a little nostalgic learning how the dreams of this talented and creative man came to fruition.

After our tour and lunch with the rest of our group, we walked over to California Adventure to see Aladdin. This 45-minute show, in its own theatre built especially for this production, is full of costumes, puppets, amazing special effects, great singing and dancing, and lots of humor, most notably from the genie. We went on a couple of other rides in DCA before leaving the park for a break. Later, we returned to Disneyland to see the new parade, Celebrate! A Street Party, followed by a few more rides until the park closed.

We had planned to have something to eat at the bar in the Disneyland hotel, but after walking over there, we found out it was closing time, so we returned to the Grand Californian's Hearthstone Lounge where we had some good pub grub.

We're going to take it slow and easy tomorrow because the time difference between the two coasts has caught up with us.

Don't forget to check out all our photos on Flickr.

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