Walking Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps!

When one thinks about Disney Parks, one usually thinks about the timeless classic attractions such as: Space Mountain, the Haunted Mansion or even Flying Dumbo.  One can also think priceless moments such as meeting your favorite character for the first time, eating your first (or in our case thousandth) Mickey Ear’s Ice Cream Bar or watching your favorite firework show.  However when we think of the Disney Parks, we think of our favorite theme park; the classic Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California!  

The time.  The thought.  The imagination, and everything else that was put into this now infamous theme park is almost inconceivable to this day.  But Disneyland is also a wonderful example of a real persons dream come true.  And this person is the infamous Walter Elias Disney.  And his theme park was and is Disneyland.  It’s also the only theme park that he ever stepped foot in, unfortunately.  And while a piece of Walt Disney lives in every park through inspiration, Walt’s absolute vision is truly captured in Disneyland.  Therefore we wanted to explore Disneyland through Walt Disney eyes. 

Therefore on our last trip to Disneyland, we did exactly that!  Specifically we took the “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” guided tour.  And it was simply brilliant!  Now we don’t want to give away this tour through spoilers, however we will highlight 5 brilliant aspects of this great tour – since we seem to love the number 5!

First, if you have never been on a guided tour of Disneyland – GO!  It allows you to take in the park in a way you never would.  Even if at the very least, it allows you the opportunity to take in an aspect of the park that you normally wouldn’t by simply slowing down.  In the case of our tour we were shown little details of the park such as where Walt Disney stood in the park during his opening day speech, the amount of detail put into little aspects of Disneyland that make it the Happiest Place on Earth and why certain areas of the park are designed in the ways in which they are.

Second, you learn about the history of Disneyland.  Now while we see ourselves as amateur Disney buffs – we even learned some new things beyond what we thought we knew - which is great!  For example we learned the true meaning behind what makes a weenie in a Disney theme park, and that there are more weenies then you think… 

Third, you get to see Disneyland as from Walt Disney’s viewpoint.  Contrary to popular belief and obvious belief – Disneyland wasn’t as big today as it was on July 17, 1955; which again is obvious.  However – what we believed Disneyland to be on day one, really wasn’t even that.  And as prepared for crowds as Disneyland is today, they defiantly weren’t as prepared as we would like to have thought they were on day one – which is great to hear.  Yes great, because its nice to see that even the best of the best can be underprepared, as it shows that Walt Disney was human – and that real humans dreams can come true!  (maybe elaborate on how small the park was and is here…)

Fourth, the tour really does give you an idea of Walt Disney’s presence in the park.  Understanding the ideas, creativity and vision behind a theme park that set the precedence of the entertainment industry is remarkable.  And arguably yet to be duplicated.  As much of Walt Disney’s magic is in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and even Disney California Adventure – its, arguably, missing that bit of Walt Disney’s personal touch that can only be seen in Disneyland – such as the detail in New Orleans Square.  Just look up one day when you’re in New Orleans Square and wonder what is up there and could be up there beyond the Disney Dream Suite and Club 33  (or even below the buildings…)!

Fifth, arguably for any one person the best part of this tour is that you get to step into Walt Disney’s private apartment above Main Street U.S.A.  This was where Walt Disney lived during the construction, opening and operation of Disneyland.  He wanted to be as close as possible to his park during its opening days and during its day-to-day operation, and while he had a home in Burbank, California – even back in the 1950’s Los Angeles traffic was crazy and he felt it would be better to be in a home away from home.  There is nothing that we want to say that will give this amazing experience away to anyone who goes into this guaranteed amazing adventure, other then these two random facts…  First, your tour guide for the tour and the docents for Walt Disney’s private apartment will be two different people, which is a nice switch up!  The docents are truly brilliant people that know so very much about Walt Disney’s home away from home and are more then willing to share that information in such a professional brilliant manner!  Take advantage of their time and take in the apartment as much as possible!  Second bring your best camera possible with you into the apartment.  Why?  Because you and your group only get one picture in Walt Disney’s private apartment.  One.  Not one per camera.  One total photo.

Overall this was a great tour and we cannot recommend it enough, if only for the fact that you get to step foot into Walt Disney’s private apartment.  However on top of this you get a name tag button, a SUH-WEET pin, and a meal from the Jolly Holiday Bakery!  Who can deny this amazingness?!

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