First trip to DL was in 1980 I think. I do not remember much of the trip, except being extremely upset that Pirates was closed. I was 4 years old, and all I wanted was to go on that ride.
I grew up in Livermore, CA. We went every other year in Dec., and it was always great! No crowds at all!
Now I live in Sacramento. Try to get down about once a year. (My pay has not kept up with the increase in prices, so it may become every other year again.) However, I always try to go when it is slow.
Been active in the online DL community since 92 or 93. I remember when Alt.Disney.Disneyland split from Rec.arts.disney.parks (Someone else here HAS to remember that!)
I have a ton of DL music on my ipod, and plenty of books. Not sure what ones, but I know I do not have a copy of 'The Nickel Tour!' I also have a shoebox full of a guide from every visit I have done to the park, starting with the first trip in 1980.
I mostly collect Haunted Mansion art now. Currently have all 4 prints of the stretch room, both of the duelers, a full size repro of the attraction poster, the 'evil' version of the knight from the hallway, one of the pre-production art work of the mansion, etc...
While I do miss some of what has left the park, from rides to gifts, I have a 6 year old nephew who is in love with the place, and I love showing him items 'from days gone by.'
My credentials aren't as extensive as some others. I like the format others have used so here goes:
First time in Disneyland: My Dad says 1966 (5 years old). While I don't remember much I do remember some key events like meeting Mickey.
How far away do you live: I lived in Whittier, CA. from 1961 to 1980 then I joined the Air Force. I live in San Antonio, TX now
Disneyland Books: I have two that are close to my heart. Disneyland - Inside Story (first printing) and The First Quarter Century (bought at the park during the celebration). I have a few other well worn paperbacks about the creation of the HM and POTC.
Disneyland Music: Only one, a 6-inch record from the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Visiting the Parks: From 1966 to 1980 I visited from 2 to 3 times a year. I wish I could find all the pictures I took. My Dad, now 85, believes he has them in storage but he lives in AZ. I have been three times since 1980; 84, 89 and 93. I miss it so much.
Piece of History: I was riding in the front of the Monorail when it hit the roof of a truck that had jammed itself under the track. The truck was entering the hotel loading area but it was too high and wedged itself. The Monorail didn't get the message to stop until a few seconds before impact. I have pictures but they are with the others.
Recent Disney Memory: I tool my niece and nephew (6 and 8) to the park, just the three of us. Giving them the run of the park and seeing their faces was like going for the first time for me. I'm still their favorite Uncle.
Other Fun Facts Over The Years: I applied to work at the park right after graduating High School but never got the call. I tried again 8 years later when I thought I might leave the AF. I went for two interviews and a tech evaluation but didn't get hired. SO I reenlisted in the AF. Three weeks after reenlisting I got a call that I was hired. DAMN! The AF wouldn't let me go. I stayed in the AF for 20 years.
This will sound weird but it's the Mine Train through Natures Wonderland. It's the memory I have from 1966. My Grandfather and I were riding at night. They stopped the train mid ride and we watched the fireworks. I still remember it.
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.
My first time at Disneyland:
July 1985. I was 10 (almost 11). Just as the 30th Anniversary celebration was kicking off. I got photos from that parade somewhere.
How far away do I live?
Currently... around 2500 miles according to Google Maps
Visiting the parks:
Last time I visited Disneyland was August 1989 for my 15th birthday. I'm a Florida resident, so WDW is my home park (I live just shy of 100 miles away). I want to go back to Disneyland real bad though. I'm actually jealous my boyfriend will be in Anaheim later this month for nearly a week, but he'll be working the NAMM trade show the whole time. Still, just knowing he'll be right across the street from Disneyland/DCA kills me!
First Disneyland visit: Early 1980's (not that I remember it, as I was an infant.)
Current distance and trips per year: about a 6 -7 hour drive from Northern California, and go 2-3 times a year. (Halloween/October the only month set in stone for when to visit).
I own many Disneyland related books (Haunted Mansion, Pirates, and mountain attractions books by Surrell, The Nickel Tour, several out-of-print ones including my personal favorite Disneyland: Inside Story by Randy Bright). I also collect vintage ephemera (pamphlets, maps, ticket books, buttons, postcards, cast member publications, handouts, etc etc) and Haunted Mansion/Adventureland type fine art pieces as I can afford them, alongside what ever odds and ends from authentic vintage parks merchandise I can find.
Music: fairly decent collection, mostly area music tracks/ambiance pieces scrounged together from all manner of sources.
Favorite park activities: nighttime cruises on the Mark Twain or Columbia when possible, walking the Big Thunder Trail right at park closing, Haunted Mansion at any time, visiting the goats (and pumpkin carvers during October) at the Big Thunder Ranch, night rides on Jungle Cruise, enjoying a dill pickle and a drink and watching the Tiki Room, talking to Cast Members just for the pure fact of doing so/thanking them for their hard work, taking the grand circle tour aboard the Disneyland railroad, searching for little bits of minutiae and obscure details/references in the nooks and crannies and set dressing of the park.
Most memorable occurrences: Dining in Club 33 to benefit the Carolwood Society, being in the park till around 2 am for a Haunted Mansion special event, getting to chat with Tony Baxter for a few minutes in the lobby of Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln, the old Submarine Voyage with the giant squid, graveyard of lost ships, deep sea fish, mermaids, silly sea serpent, and all the rest.
I sometimes come away from the park a little burned out due to crowds and less optimal conditions, but the history, detail, overall design ethic and smaller flourishes that still exist keep me coming back to enjoy them and try and discover new ones.
When I started this thread, I thought perhaps an outline of questions might work. However, I figured each person that replied should share what is important to them, and has uniquely formed their Disneyland Credentials.
Great replies, so far, and I am definitely getting a lot of insight into my fellow MiceChatters.
First time in Disneyland:
Somewhere between 1 and 2 years old. 1989-1990.
How far away do you live:
Denver, CO. About a 2.5hr flight or a 20+hr drive.
I don't have any. I am looking to buy a good one, though.
I just have Disney soundtracks and musical themes. No actual Disneyland music.
Visiting the Parks:
I am almost always with a family member, but I have been with friends and with my high school group.
Piece of History:
My mom attended the year Disneyland opened. My parents also celebrated their honeymoon and 25th anniversary at Disneyland.
Recent Disney Memory:
I experienced my first "Halloweentime" trip in October and fell in love. I don't know if I will ever go back when it isn't decorated for Halloween. I also learned when Toon Town is abandoned so I was able to walk right on Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin. Much better than a 45min wait.
Random tidbits about my years at Disneyland:
My high school music group was presented our trophies and awards at Disneyland by Mickey and Minnie when I was in 10th grade.
I saw the refurbishment for Pirates of the Caribbean the summer it opened.
I attended the grand opening of Indiana Jones the year it opened.
I remember the Country Bear Jamboree and the days when characters roamed freely around the park.
I only rode Rocket Rods once and I waited over 2 hours in line.
I did my first, and only, meet and greet with the Fantasyland princesses when I was 20-years old. I was the only person in line without a princess costume... and I believe the only one over the age of 7.
I was able to catch elecTRONica exactly one month before it was shut down.
Despite the fact that it opened in 2001 the first time I ever set foot inside California Adventure was in 2008. I didn't go back until 2012.
I have never been on California Screamin' or Tower of Terror.
I'm sure there is even more that I'm just not thinking of right now.
Disneyland books- A Musical History of Disneyland, Hidden Mickey book
Disneyland music- Pirates of the Caribbean CD (songs and vocal from ride, not movie)
Piece of History- I attended the very last day of the original Star Tours which was special because I am a huge Star Wars nerd
Recent Park Memory - Being amazed by recent Indy refurbishment.
Favorite ride- Haunted Mansion because of the creativity and various interpretations one can have on the story of the ride
Disneyland stuff- I have a Disneyland poster map from 1964 and 2005. I recently got a souvineer pop up map from Disneyland's 35 anniversary. Tom Sawyer map from the 50s. Posters of Submarine Voyage, Haunted Mansion, Captian EO, and Disneyland Railroad, Magic Kingdom Club ticket books that allow you to go on any attraction with the ticket.
Extras- Never been on Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln yet unfortunately, CBJ is one of the only Yesterland attractions I remember, I want to work at Disneyland in the future, I remembered a time when I went on Splash Mountain 2 times in a row without getting off at midnight. I used to be terrified by the drops in Pirates of the Caribbean. BTMRR was my first mountain at Disneyland.
35 years old and my first visit was probably 1984 I remember riding ATIS and being scared same with HM. Since then I have gone at least 2 times a year and of course the past 10 years I have been even more because I am a pass holder. I live 5 hours away in Northern California.
Favorite Attraction is the Haunted Mansion
Disneyland books I have read are too many for me to remember them all so I will list the latest one I bought which was Design Just for fun by Bob Gurr
Disneyland music is on my IPOD and I always like seeing peoples reaction that don't expect it because of some of the other music I listen to
My main attraction to the parks is being able to escape life and not care about anything. Sometimes I go to the park and don't even go on anything I just sit there take it all in and take pictures. I love to take photos of scenery and attractions. I also collect pins the oldest one I have is a baby herman one from when I was little.
Been reading M since 2009 been to some meetups and 3 gumball rallys.
WAIT... We all get to have a superhero origins story about how we turned into Disnerds? I'm SO in!
Technically speaking, my first trip was to Disney World when I was 1... But I don't count that seeing as how I can't remember it one bit.
Lets see... I grew up during the Disney Renaissance of the early 90's. I can't say I know the exact date my first trip to Disneyland was, but I know I was seven years old so that would make it... 1993? I can't say I remember much, but I have distinct memories of seeing Tigger, Eeyore, and Max (back when there were Disney Afternoon characters!) on Main Street. OH! And waiting with a CM at Space Mountain while my parents went on it because I wasn't big enough! Bless their hearts...
But growing up in Colorado, I wasn't able to visit the park very often. I loved my VHSs though. I was finally able to rediscover the parks in High School when my marching band traveled to So Cal for a competition, and we took a day trip to the park. Thats when it really started. I poured over websites to learn everything about the park that I could before we came, and thats where I learned about Club 33 and Hidden Mickeys. Those, I think, were the instigators to my obsession.
Do you know, the more that I think about it, I may not have been 7 when I first came... I must have been 8 or 9, because I remember being disappointed that Indiana Jones wasn't yet open. If memory serves correctly, Indy opened in '95?
Anywho, When I got to college, I was lucky enough to meet some friends who agreed to take a trip out to Disneyland for a short vacation (during the 50th!) at the end of our Freshmen year. I returned to the internet to submerge myself in it all once again! Thats when I discovered MiceAge and MiceChat. Not the same username as I was back then... But I got really into it, as did one of my friends. Anyway, we wen't to Disneyland and I felt like it was a part of me for the first time.
From there I went one more time... My parents took me to the park when i graduated, and we rode Space Mountain together. Finally! The one distinct memory I have from that trip is my Dad being somewhat grouchy. He had a good time and all that, but the stress of vacation weighed on him pretty heavily. He didn't want to stay for the fireworks, but I made him... And the poor guy had tears in his eyes at the end of the night. Thats why I love Disneyland.
Then last year I moved out to LA to pursue a career, and I made a point of buying my AP before I put down any money for my first month's rent. Thats where I stand now, and according to the DLR website, I've been to the park 32 times in the past year.
How far away do you live:
About 30 minutes east with no traffic
I have pretty much every significant book ever published about Disneyland. Disney parks book collecting is one of my passions.
My other passion. Have collected music, ride soundtracks, shows, etc. for years and my collection probably numbers in the thousands of songs now. Collection includes music from every Park around the world.
Visiting the Parks:
Almost always with my wife and daughters. I find that I rarely get as much enjoyment on my own as I do with them.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Least Favorite Attraction:
It pains me to say this because I'm a total Star Wars Nerd...Star Tours. Only because I have major motion sickness issues with simulators.
Piece of History:
Nothing significant. Lots of pieces of memorabilia here and there.
Recent Disney Memory:
Our last trip was literally our last trip for the next couple of years. It was just a very nice Christmas trip with me and my wife. Packed as much as we could in that day and knew when the day was over that we were truly ready for a long break.
Other Fun Facts Over The Years:
Have been blessed to see many phases of the resort and experience so many of the changes both at the parks and the hotels. Spent my 40th birthday at the Disneyland hotel and did the Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour which was a blast. My family and I ate at Club 33 once thanks to a friend...$400 later I can cross it off the bucket list.
I'm 56, my first time at DL was in 1979 with my soon-to-be-wife. She grew up in Whittier and had been to DL a lot. I owned an airplane at the time, and I flew me, her, and another couple from Bend Oregon to DL. The other couple had never been to DL either.
It was way too much fun!!!
Over the next several years, I probably flew to DL about fifty-hundred times. All sorts of different people, some had been before, most had not. There's something special about the look on a persons face when they go to DL for the first time. Age doesn't matter, the look of actually experiencing the magic of DL is always the same.
In 1985, the lens of one of my eyes became deformed, and I could no longer fly planes. So the next time I went to DL was about 1996 or so. Then my wife of 25 years passed away in June of 2005, leaving me and our 11 year old daughter behind. In September of 2005, I decided to take my daughter to DL. Kinda scary; I'd never planned a trip like this by myself.
If I live to be 150, that trip will be one of the highlights of my entire life!! Everything fell into place, even stuff that usually goes wrong didn't.
These days, I go once a year, me, my daughter (18 now), and a few of her friends.
I live in Fernely Nevada (close to Reno); it's about 9 hours from DL.
Other than actual experience, the vast majority of my knowledge of DL comes from MC.
On my trips to DL, I get to experience it both in a group as well as alone. Usually, the kids and I will stick together until about lunch, then they'll 'ditch dad', and go off on their own. I really enjoy DL alone. There's something magical about taking it all in.
I consider myself to be a relatively new fan of Disneyland. I grew up with now-classic Disney films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, and The Lion King. And of course, I was exposed to the earlier Disney animated works. But I never made it to Disneyland until 2007 when I was 22 years old and visiting a friend who lived in Orange County. Honestly, I didn't really know what to expect and thought it would basically be a glorified amusement park.
DCA was the first park I visited on that sunny May morning, and I enjoyed it. Then I went to Disneyland, and I really, really loved it. Even so, it wasn't until after my second visit in January 2008 that I truly fell in love with the park. When I got back to Texas (where I'm originally from and was living at the time), I began doing research on the park. My earliest interest was in Pirates of the Caribbean. I researched old photos of it online and did a lot of reading on its history. I then moved on to Sleeping Beauty Castle and began watching videos on YouTube of Disneyland's opening day and the early years of the park. My interest in the park had become intense. I was completely and fully taken with Disneyland. I was fascinated with its history, with its story, its theming, the attractions, the food, attractions come and gone... all of it. After a third visit in April 2008, I moved to Orange County. It would be fun to say I moved here because of Disneyland, but I had other reasons. On New Year's Eve 2009, I got my first annual pass. My trips to the park were fairly frequent during that time, and since then I have continued renewing my premium AP. Nowadays, my trips are far less frequent (generally about once a month) even though I live just down the road.
Disneyland is something that I am passionate about. It is something that brings me immense joy. I love different kinds of history, and Disneyland's is rich and full. From the initial days of the park to the Frito Kid, to the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train, Adventure Thru Inner Space, the opening of DCA and now... it's all golden. I tend to go thru phases where I'll be entranced with a specific part of DL's past, and I'll do a lot of research on it online. I don't do much in the way of reading Disney books (I'd love to, I just need to make the time for it), but I do listen to my 50th Anniversary box set on my iPod when I'm at work. And I get my daily dose of MiceChat most every day. I have a reputation at work for among other things, being a Disneyphile that "knows it all." I'll admit, it's a joy when co-workers, friends, and family come to me with questions about Disney and Disneyland. In fact, I mentioned it before, but thru my job, I was lucky enough to have a small hand in the re-design of the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride vehicles a couple years ago. Now that Disney is in my blood, I don't see that ever changing. Nor would I want it to.
Thank you for a unique and inspiring thread topic, Barbara.
Last edited by Princess Victoria; 01-16-2013 at 09:38 PM.
First time in Disneyland:
3 years old, in 1969. Born and raised in Orange County, so we went to Disneyland often, maybe once or twice every year or two. I remember going quite a bit in 1978 especially. I also worked on Main Street during the summer of 1990.
How far away do you live:
About 1500 miles away, in Houston, TX
I've purchased a few over the years, mostly souvenir books bought at the Park. I also spent many years borrowing biographies of Walt Disney from my school library.
I have quite a bit of Disneyland music and park audio, obtained through various means, and stored on my computer.
Visiting the Parks:
I've usually gone with family or friends, but I also sometimes went in alone, usually during the summer I worked there, since I had time either before or after a shift, or on a day off. My high school also participated in Grad Nite 1984 there.
Tie: Pirates of the Caribbean & the Haunted Mansion
Many of my other favorite attractions were in Tomorrowland, but are all gone now.
Least Favorite Attraction:
The Autopia. It was fun when I was little, but I grew out of it by the time I'd reached my teens.