I couldn't think of a better way to express my view of where Disneyland should go, so I wrote it as a kind of Walk Through, it's long... so apologies.
I hope you enjoy this and can see where I'm coming from as I write this. Again, it's part 1, and very long.
A walk through Disneyland, 2025, Part 1
You walk into Disneyland, having come off the tram--tickets already in hand from the tram ticket vending machine positioned on the back of the seat that was in front of you. It was an easy process, and the well oiled machine of Disney's Parking staff had ensured that all four of you got on a tram with little to no wait.
Your spouse holds your daughter as you go through the entrance turnstiles and a friendly castmember takes your tickets. "Welcome to the Happiest Place on Earth!" she chimes at your son. He beams back, anxious to step into the park, as anxious as you were your first time, so long ago.
The topiary at the front entrance is as you remember it, as are the two well groomed trees providing angled shade to your left. As parents, you're not sure if it's a great idea to get the stroller offered to your right. You know there's a limited amount, but your spouse feels that there's reasons to have your daughter walk the park. Besides, your son sees the classic posters in the tunnel nearby, and he can hear Disneyland breathing on the other side of the berm.
The four of you walk through into the magic that is Disneyland. Your son tugs at the both of you to hurry up. But you stop, checking if it's safe to have your daughter walk. She's seeing so much. It's all there like you remember... Lincoln appears to be still running at the Opera House, and it's one of the first places you take the family.
In the Opera House you stand in a brief line to walk through the model of the original Disneyland that was added into a new room off of the main waiting area for Lincoln. The park has changed so much. Your grandfather used to tell you about his first time there... that was just a few years after it opened. He remembers seeing live Mermaids in the lagoon. That's not even on the model.
"Honey, it's changed so much, look at that..." "I know, remember when..." Both kids are a little exasperated, there Disneyland awaits and they have no time for the reminiscing you two are doing. So, off you go, and with little wait, as always, you go into watch Lincoln.
It's a different experience now, it's been updated again, now the 3d audio requires no headset, and Lincoln walks freely across the stage as he speaks. But the magic is there. Even though your daughter has no real idea who Lincoln is, and your son is only learning, their held in rapture by the amazing lifelike performance. You tear up during his speech.
As you leave, and return out to Main Street, you take the kids by the plaque at the base of the flag, and show them what Disney said 70 years ago about this place. Taking a few photos, your daughter starts jumping when she sees the castle. It's there at the end of the street.
As you amble down the street, at the Main Street Cinema, you ask them to stop for a moment, and you go in. The old cartoons are still cycling over and over, but the projection system has changed, there is only one screen, but, as you sit in different theater seats, you see different cartoons and again, 3d audio targets your location to provide sound for just the material you are seeing. You're a little stunned, that's certainly different than you remember.
About halfway down Main Street you notice that the location that used to hold the lockers has opened up. Liberty Ssquare is one of the newest parts to Disneyland. It was long a dream of Walt's to open this, the Dream has changed some, but it's here. You've never seen this part of Disneyland. Here, on the right, is a working Silversmith's shop, and in the middle is a replica of the Liberty Bell. And there's one of the newest darkrides...
It's called 'Paul Revere's Midnight Run' and takes a family of riders on an exciting carriage ride behind a desperate Paul Rever during the revolution.
The four of you wait in the busy line, and as you load up, you get on a carriage while a hostess for the Inn secures you, telling you Paul should be down shortly. A screen convincingly shows Paul Revere jumping on the screened horse in front of you. With a loud whisper, he says... "Quick Mary, the lights." CM Mary, the Hostess, quickly moves to shut off the lights. Outside you can here British troops marching, and as they fade, you hear Paul whisper to you, "ready...?"
Your carriage charges out into the town, busting through the stable doors. You're now behind an animatronic horse and Paul Revere. You bump along as he avoids British soldiers, and what few citizens are in the streets. The ride goes some distance and at the end you see the tower, and Paul tells a boy waiting by the door the magic number. He ducks inside and moments later you and your family watch this historic moment replayed as light appears above. Paul then takes you to a nearby barn, two animatronic, men outside close the doors behind you. In the darkness, you hear Revere thank all of you, and as a Hostess CM lights lanterns nearby, you all disembark.
Wow, that's the first time you've ridden this. It's a jaw dropping experience. Your son wants to go again, but you both tell him there's a lot more where that came from. You decide to peak into some shops while your spouse takes your son to see close up the replica of the Liberty Bell.
The shop's well done, and definitely styled for the period around the revolution. You don't want to spend too much time yet, but this is definitely almost an attraction in itself. You and your daughter rejoin the others and continue around Liberty Square.
As you walk around, you come to an odd piece of Liberty Square. Three Victorian houses are near the top of this street. The first one you go into shows life around the Revolution. The second shows life in 1955. But the new 'House of Tomorrow' is what really pulls everyones attention. This home is backed up near what you know to be the Plaza, or Red Wagon Inn. It showcases high technologies that may come to pass. Whole walls are screens inside, in fact, digital hosts explain the different areas of the house as you walk along, and each digital host is unique to each group walking through. The concepts in the design here, while not entirely possible are on the theoretical edge of what you may see on the 100th anniversary of Disneyland.
As you step out of the tour of the house, you're in the backyard, and are shown throught the 'garage' and 'greenhouse' areas. These seem even more futuristic than many parts of the home, and, as you exit from the Greenhouse, your standing right near the entrance to Tomorrowland.
The Astro Orbitor, and the ugly rocks are gone. Instead, sweeping waves of flowers and bushes all direct the eye to the entrance of Tomorrowland. Even seeing just this piece brings tears to your spouses eyes, and to your own, a little.
You watch a couple Peoplemover 2.0 pods swing overhead as you move to the entrance. It's faster than the old one, but still leisurely in comparison to the old defunct Rocket Rods. As you step in, Tomorrowland is once more the land of motion it was meant to be. In one sweeping glance from this angle you can see the new loading station for 'Peoplemover', the 'Astrojets' and it's Gantry, the 'Lofty Diner', 'City View's quick pop outside the building, and finally the almost obnoxiously rotating base of the old Carousel of Progrss building.
Before moving further, you all step into 'Star Tours', it's not a horrible line here, but it's definitely not as empty as it often was 20 years ago. The ride has had 2 further refurbs, the latest of which, you know will knock the kids back. Lucas, is working on the third trilogy, even though he's in his 70s, but that's not part of what you see here. The queue is almost the same, with some minor touch ups. New screens. R2 and C3 still cycle through the same story. The screen above the queue now shows multiple destinations.
The second room of Star Tours changes dramatically though. Here, you can pick one of seven lines. These bounce up down and around the new larger second room, and 6 lead to specific experiences, and the seventh is a 'Wild Card' ride. A Star Tours CM repeats your choice destinations. Your spouse wants to take the kids on the old original version of the ride first. You wait in line, and soon board your space vehicle.
The vehicles have changed little, but as the blast shield lowers, you can tell the entire film's been reworked. In fact, you know enough to see that it's not even film. This follows the same story, but the imagery is so much clearer now, the images really look like you're seeing ourside the front of your space vehicle. As the ride finishes, having again, destroyed the Deathstar, you're out of breath. The four of you leave. Your daughter was a little scared of the ride, so when your son clamors to go on again, your spouse offers to wait outside with her.
The two of you get back in line and take the Wild Card option. It's the fastest of the lines... You're being sent on a journey across Coruscant in this version. The instructions are a little different this time around, warning you that each journey across Coruscant is a little different. In this storyline you end up on a highspeed chase across the planet, ending in a Crash right in front of Dex's Diner. You're amazed by the ride. It's nothing like the old one, but still very much Star Wars.
You take more notice of the exit this time around. Instead of the old long ramps from before, you walk a spiral ramp towards the back of the building and take a tunnel out under the main part of the ride. Star Traders is a much smaller shop now, with hostesses on strings pulling merchandise from a tall thin store. Three levels up. If you were to guess, you'd say it now occupies what had been the overflow queue for Star Tours.
The four of you move to Buzz Lightyear: Astro Blasters. You know that this dated ride is slated for removal and want to definitely ride it one last time. Your son and daughter both love Toy Story, so they have, well, a blast. You remember seeing FastPass on the ride, but like everything except Splash Mountain, no more Fast Pass.
Next up. Peoplemover 2.0, You wait in a short line and soon board a new pod, and set off. The track starts out the same, you pass through Star Tours, then you pass through the new 'City View'. Your daughter is loving this. Then you pass slowly through one of the sets of 'City View' and watch as riders pass over a city from late last century. Then the lights on the pod go out and the pod zooms you into and through Space Mountain.
As you continue through and around you come to a brief stopover ar the 'Lofty Diner' restaurant. If you opt, on a panel at the pod, you could stop and spend some time at this themed restaurant, and take another pod at the end of your journey, but you continue on.
The Lofty Diner overlooks the upper square of Space Mountain, over what used to be the Magic Eye Theater. The really special dining area is across a short lift ride to a floating platform under a good size airship It's tethered securely, but it's quite a view. It's now a favorite dining spot often booked weeks in advance. There they serve 'futuristic' Italian Cuisine.
The pod moves on through the old Carousel of Progress building. Here you get a brief view of the vehicle simulators that now occupy the building. Called 'CoS' for short, the Carousel of Speed immediately grabs the attention of your son. He is clamoring to go on this attraction. The ride moves on and soon you're gliding high over the hydrogen powered cars of the 'Autopia', this also interests your son and daughter as they gape at the smoothly moving vehicles below. Their uncle Joe has his own hydrogen vehicle, the future is coming in part to the enthusiasm generated by rides like Autopia.
On the pod moves past the train station and over the lagoon, where the new subs now show two seperate shows in the same space. You want to go on this, you've yet to see it. On you move through a short tunnel showcasing old Tomorrowland Rides in model form and then a nice coasting movement to the home station beneath the 'Astro Jets'.
Your son and daughter quickly pull you to the line near the gantry of this old classic. Astro Jets appears much as you remember it, but now it allows flyers to swing out over the edge of the platform allowing you to 'slow down' by moving left, and 'speed up' by moving right. It's a small extra thrill, but the kids love it. Down the Gantry you go, and back at ground level, exiting the opposite side you walk out and see the line for City View.
'City View' allows riders to 'travel through time' on an hovering pod, literally, a dark ride like Peter Pan, this ride allows riders to float over 3000 years of civilization as each epoch is passed over in flight. This was the old Starcade and Star Trader portions of the building. The lines pretty quick, but the rides nearly as popular as Peter Pan. One of the most thrilling parts of the ride is when you fly out over the promenade before swinging back in the building for the last few scenes. The models are amazingly intricate and minor hologram techniques are used to give the illusion of tiny moving citizens and vehicles at various points. It ends with a glimpse of a new 'City of Tomorrow'.
'Space Mountain' is still enormously popular, at nearly 50 years old, this old lady has held up quite well. Again your daughter bows out, so to ensure you both get to ride, you decide to go twice with your son, one adult staying behind each time. It's been revamped little aside from where you wait on the outside queue. Starting alongside the City View ride. Inside, the ride hasn't changed much, other than the RockIt Mountain soundtrack having been redone. Your family selects the normal space mountain routine, and again, the targetted 3d audio surrounds you as you blast through the darkness.
Your kids are on near overload as you come out of the Space Mountain ride and wait on the new 'Journey's Through Inner-Space'. It's now entered from the front of what used to be the Magic Eye Theater. It's very similar to the old ride you've heard about. It's a similar, though updated script, and a dark ride using more advanced 'pods' than the old doom buggy design. There are simulated vertical movements, and floating as you journey through the innerspace. The effects are outstanding and really make you feel like you've entered a shrinking machine. Your daughter starts out scared, but is thrilled as you shring into a Gigantic snowflake in the lab. By the time the rides over, she wants to go again. So you all trundle back around to the line and go again.
Now you return to the mainpart of Tomorrowland. Before moving on, it's time for a quick snack... Around the Peoplemover/Astro Jets platform is your old favorite, the 'Tomorrowland Terrace'. It's been updated somewhat and you can watch as a number of robotic elements quickly prepare each meal on either side of the restaurant. You each order some good old hamburgers from a Kiosk machine, and a kind castmember quickly serves your robot readied meal.
You sit and watch a show at the venerable establishment. An animatronic act now takes the stage as often as a human one. 'Asimo and the Rocka-tiers' are a very good show, showing off free moving animatronics. It's almost life like in their movements, and you know that real robot help is just around the corner for everyone.
After eating, you and the kids go on to Innerspace's neighbor, simply called 'MOVE' this is Disney's newest coaster in Tomorrowland. You board in the old Mission to Mars, Redd Rockets Pizza Port building. But this lively journey takes you at different speed as man gets faster and faster in their travels. You start by chasing a Mastodon with a tribe of primitive humans, then flash, you're following Olympic Athletes sprinting in ancient greece.
Then, a brief few moments behind a Chariot Race in Rome, and then on to a follow charging knights in battle on the plains of France. You flash to a scene where a schooner is flying down a wide slow river, then you're alongside a train in the Ozarks, then you're rolling behind 19th century automobile races in England, then up in the air you go, on a barnstorming run, a quick hang-glide off the California coast, then back low to the ground chasing a bullet train, then back in the air soaring high over the earth with a 747.
As you descend to the ground, you're chasing a jet through the Grand Canyon, you pull up and around a rocket as it takes flight from Cape Canaveral, then blast you're arcing through Space Mountain and then banking out over and behind the Carousel of Progress Building before falling into a hole in the Autopia land. Then after some short braking maneuvers through an illusionary cloudscape you're back in station and disembark. Needless to say, everyone loves the ride, even your daughter.
It's then time to try out 'Rapid Progress' a simulation ride that is housed inside of the Carousel of Progress. After a decent wait, you move into the cool interior, your family is directed to the second of three levels housing the simulators. When it's time for you to go, you're family indicates it is a party of four. The CM asks who will be driving. Your son begs your spouse to let him. She takes you to a futuristic vehicle, that sits near several others, it looks like it could be a boat, or an aircraft, or a car, but it's very futuristic. Other nearby vehicles seem to hold a different number of people. Some small designs almost like enclosed motorcycles even hold individuals.
The CM asks briefly what thrill level you want. You're given a numeric range, and choose the family setting. The CM helps everyone into your four passenger vehicle, and, while you wait inside, you're given a brief summary of the safeties used in the vehicle. You're told how with this technology it is impossible to crash, the AI will not allow for it. Finally, the hostess on screen asks whether you'll fly, drive, or boat today. You say 'Fly'.
With a countdown proceeding, you fell as if the vehicle is being rotated within the building, then the blinds come up on your vehicle and it looks like you're inside the same room you boarded in, but the wall is opening up. All the vehicles around you launch in different directions as you explain quickly how to accelerate the vehicle to your son. He steps on the pedal and pulls the wheel as you glide up into the sky. You're flying over a virtual Disneyland. It looks incredible real, with crowds and rides moving all over the place. Soon your son has the hang of it and decides to chase one of the other flying vehicles as it glides over Fantasy Land. Through the windows, you can watch any direction and see ground vehicles racing through Disneyland, an others boating in the submarine lagoon and through other waterways in the park.
It's definitely a gentle setting... at one point, as your son flies towards Pirates, he's coaxed away on a safe flight path by the AI... after about 5 minutes, the onscreen hostess appears again, warning that it's time to go to the garage, and your vehicle pulls up, and flies quickly backwards into the garage, and the shutters close. With a simple welcome home, the Vehicle doors open, and your son goes wild. He wants to go again. Your spouse says, maybe later, there is a lot more to see. Your daughter like it to because it felt like you were all 'floating' over Disneyland.
Autopia is next on your list, both kids are crazy over it and want to drive their own vehicles. You immediately see this is different than the older autopias. It appears that the vehicles run a little more quickly than the old ones, but computers prevent them from bumping into one another now. The old putt of the engines is still there if you want it, but it's a simulated vibration and sound. These are vehicles that run on Hydrogen Fuel Cells, much of it produced here on Disney property.
You ride with your daughter and, as the two of you drive off, the added safety of the onboard computers make her drive more enjoyable for you both. Gone are the old guide rails, with computers limiting the movement and preventing crashes with others. Your daughter even tries a lane change before you enter the tunnels of the Fantasyland Mountain range that breaks the site lines between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland now. The ride soon comes to an end though, as the computer takes over and guides your car into the station.
Finally, you make it to the sub lagoon. On this Finding Nemo: Submarine ride, it's essentially the old classic ride built in the 60s with some minor updates, passengers ride around the lagoon and now follow the story of the now classic Finding Nemo story. Though, if you like, the grey subs take riders on a voyage with a different adventure store more closely related to the original ride. Your daughter practically has her face glued to the port hole the entire time.
And, for the last ride in Tomorrowland for the day, you all hop on board the new Mark 10 Monorails As you whiz out of the park, the smooth ride's even smoother than before and takes you out and along harbor, briefly, before a quick pass through the paired station near California Adventure, and a brief stop in Downtown Disney, then off back around in to Disneyland. Once in the park, the Monorail does it's traditional wandering around that corner of the park. The major difference is the mountain rage that the train now punches through several times before it makes tracks around the Matterhorn.
You slow for the station, but take a quick pause to look at all you've done so far today. This Tomorrowland is packed with things to do, and is constantly in motion everywhere. The magic of the place is as you remember it as a little kid, but amplified by time. This is a land on the move.
Your family now moves to one of your favorite film rides. It's the 'Little Mermaid'. Right alongside the lagoon, this attraction takes riders on shells in a multilevel ride through the story of the Little Mermaid. It's queue waits along the farside of the Lagoon, and has you enter a cave to board the little Mermaid attraction. At different moments, you and several riders in other shells are turned to watch a little stage productions by animatronic creatures before moving out and continuing the ride. Your daughter is crazy over this ride, and a quick second ride is in order.
Next door, at the base of the mountain range that fills the old boat lagoon is 'Beauty and the Beast'. Using a vehicle similar to the Doom Buggies this ride takes everyone on a quick trip through the story of Beauty and the Beast. Your host is of course your own talking Doom Buggy.
Then, you're at 'It's a Small World After All' The facade of the place has changed and is much larger than it was when you were a kid. It's immense, nearly the size on the Castle. It's a Small World now also houses the replacement for the Fantasyland Theater. The ride is still intact, but, hidden behind the facade is the Small World Theater. Unfortunately, no production is on while you're there, but the whole family takes a quick jaunt in to see that the inside is designed in many ways like the It's a Small World ride.
On the ride, every doll has been updated and many are very animatronic. They sing the song still, and the water ways are as popular as ever. While your son's not a big fan, your daughter falls in love with the ride.
Saving Toon Town for later, you step over to the entrance to Narnia, the Magic Kingdoms newest land, a big English Tudor manor serves as it's entrance. This is right where the old Fanatasyland Theater was. You're excited to see this childhood favorite, but decide with your spouse to finish Fantasyland first.
The rest of the afternoon is a whirlwind as you ride the Canal Boats, the Teacups, Alice, Toad, Dumbo, King Arthur's Carousel, Pinocchio, Casey Jr., and finally, after getting up the guts to do so, the long wait for Peter Pan. Still one of the most popular rides, like the other dark rides you've just ridden, all kinds of Animatronics abound. They've all received significant enhancements, and they've only become better with age.
You then wait in line for 'Sleeping Beauty', a new ride that sits next to Snow White. This dark ride is like the others. It's a little different in that it has changes in elevation as you ride through portions of Sleeping Beauty's castle. The end of the ride occurs under Fantasyland, as you take on malificent with Prince Charming and emerge at the entrance once more like other Fantasyland rides.
Returning back to Narnia, your first day is becoming dark. The evening is closing in, but the kids seem to have more energy than you yourself. Through the gigantic wardrobe you pass into Narnia by way of the Tudor Mansion.
First ride on your left is the 'Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' This traditional dark ride takes users through the story as Lucy and her family become Kings and Queens of Narnia.
Then on, past Beaver Falls, and then under the Berm, riders can then journey on to the Ruins of Prince Caspian's Cair Paravel, a giant playground with all kinds of hidden secrets for kids to explore.
There's the 'Voyage of the Dawn Treader' here riders take to the seas in a ride reminiscent of Pirates, and they splash through each of the wonders of that voyage.
On to the 'Silver Chair', where riders explore the underdark of Narnia and rescue the Prince from the clutches of an evil witch.
In the 'Horse and his Boy', riders can take an underground journey from Narnia to the Arabesque area of Adventureland.
On you go to the 'Last Battle' where your family watches Narnia come to it's end because of the evil Puzzle.
While your kids interact with Aslan, standing in the middle of Narnia, you ask a CM about the Magician's Nephew. He laughs. Apparently, most miss that you have to take a staircase just to the left before you enter the gigantic wardrobe and enter Narnia. So, on your way out, you have the family ride the 'Magician's Nephew'.
This quick little roller coaster style dark ride takes riders on a fairly intense journey through the creation of Narnia, including Diggory's flying journey after a cure for his mother. On the way out of the ride, an Animatronic mother and Diggory wave goodbye, and apple tree seen in their window.
You're all pretty tired as you return to Tomorrowland for a late dinner at the 'Lofty Diner', turns out your spouse was able to get an 8:00 dinner on the floating platform. You all have an incredible themed dinner while you watch the fantastically lit Tomorrowland below.
You can't wait for tomorrow...