It always makes me sad when I hear someone say "Disneyland is just for kids". What?! Seriously? Although I loved it as a kid, as an adult there are whole new worlds of possibilities! Sure, who doesn't love Space Mountain? But I will always have a special place in my heart for those great dark rides and I never miss them! Here are some of the best rides and attractions that are fantastic for kids . . . at heart!
- Peter Pan's Flight - This isn't just a classic for little kids. What other adventure allows you to fly over London and into Neverland? The line can get a little long, but it's a small price to pay to revisit your childhood!
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage - This often gets overlooked because the line moves slowly and the ride is not fast-paced, but it's just done so well that you can't let it go altogether. Plus, there are jokes and allusions only the adults will pick up on (particularly if you're familiar with the original Submarine Voyage)!
- The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure - The Little Mermaid will always hold a place in my heart because I grew up on that movie. It's such a classic and finally there's an attraction to honor it at DCA! It's also one of only two dark rides in the park so if you're traveling with children you can definitely use them as an excuse to get in line. Not that I ever use one . . .
- Snow White's Scary Adventures - If you felt this was scary as a kid then maybe it's time to give it a try as an adult (unless you're like my sister who screams louder than her 4 children). I also love riding Snow White because there are so many original elements from the 1955 version of the attraction so it's like stepping back in time a bit to appreciate Disneyland as it once was.
- Mater's Junkyard Jamboree - Seriously, it looks like it's for kids but adults love it, too! The tractors seem so tame until they jerk you around a corner and you're thrown into the person next to you. Tons of fun!
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters - I'm always surprised that Toy Story Midway Mania is so much more popular than Astro Blasters. The idea is the same so if you want an interactive attraction or are just really into video games, make sure this is on your list! Totally a classic, and you can sabotage those in your spaceship with you to guarantee you score higher than at least them!
- Astro Orbiter - Riding Dumbo is always such an iconic image of Disneyland, but some adults don't want to wait so long for such a small ride. If Dumbo isn't your speed, the Astro Orbiter probably is! It's the same ride, just higher and faster so you can still spin around Disneyland like a kid - just a bigger kid!
- Mr. Toad's Wild Ride - I've come to love this ride more and more as I've grown up. As a kid the ending seems a bit off-putting, but as an adult I can appreciate the humour and I never miss this ride if I can avoid it! It's also nice on chilly autumn or winter evenings to get a few seconds of fire and brimstone in your face. :)
- Enchanted Tiki Room - In my opinion, a visit to Disneyland is not complete until you've visited Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room and soaked in the classic nostalgia. It actually makes me sad when I watch adults walk out of the show before it's over because they don't understand the history and magic they're immersed in! Take the time and see it. In fact, take the time and watch the entire pre-show outside by the Dole Whip stand. It's so worth it!
- Mad Tea Party - This is probably the most quintessential thing you could do at Disneyland. Maybe it's just my love of Alice in Wonderland kicking in again, but this is one of my absolute favourites! It's a short ride, but the memories you make can last a long time. I still remember hopping aboard as a teen with my dad and sister and spinning so fast that the CM in the booth told off the other teacups for not spinning as fast as we did! Every time I ride I think of that - and try to outdo our record, of course!
Don't ever feel like it's weird to go on a Disney trip and ride the "kiddie" rides as an adult, it just means you're more in tune with your inner child than everyone else! Do you have any other favourites that shouldn't be set aside just for youngsters?