It’s been 55 years since Walt Disney opened his Magic Kingdom in Southern California. It’s been over 30 years since I first traveled there myself as a young child. After high school, I didn’t spend too much time there but since being married and having children, I have been fortunate to visit every year for the past ten. There have been countless changes just in those last ten years. A new hotel, The Grand Californian Resort, has opened. An entirely new theme park, Disney’s California Adventure, has been built and is now undergoing a significant transformation as it redesigns several areas and expands. Downtown Disney, a separate attraction in itself with many restaurants and stores, has also opened. With all this evolution, it’s no wonder the area is now referred to as Disney’s California Resort.
On a recent trip we followed our usual modus operandi: one day Disneyland, one day California Adventure, one day back at Disneyland. In between we enjoyed good food, good shopping, and great rides and shows. Want to enjoy a 50 minute Broadway show in a theater that would rival any on Broadway? See “Aladdin” in the new California Adventure theme park. Hankering for great food and maybe some wine? While the original park still doesn’t sell alcohol, the new park does and has wonderful meals at the Wine Country Trattoria. Want to learn more about the parks and the famous Mr. Disney? Take one of several personally guided tours of the parks including the popular “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps.” Of course many of the old favorites are still at Disneyland including the recent return of one of its signature attractions, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, which Disney created for the World’s Fair in 1964.
What motivates me to travel to Disneyland year after year? Honestly, it’s the faces of my children and my wife as we spend several days with each other. It’s the small town feel of walking down Main Street USA and exploring the western rivers of Frontierland by steamboat. It’s the clean walks and pathways, the beautiful landscapes, and that fact that there is always something old and something new to see. And it’s the food – Murphy Family tradition dictates a great breakfast at the Carnation Café on Main Street, lunch at the Wine Country Trattoria, and a fantastic dinner at the Blue Bayou Restaurant, adjacent to the water of the popular ride Pirates of the Caribbean.
It’s been years since Sports Leisure visited the Magic Kingdom. Any takers?