The Disneyland Half Marathon Medals have been revealed! And there was much rejoicing! After all, this is why we run the races. Right? For the bling. So, runDisney racers…what do you think of this year’s medals? Surprisingly, they’ve mad e a slight alteration to the Disneyland Half Marathon medal this year. They’ve added the ring around the Disneyland “D.” I’ve heard that the Disneyland Half Marathon only changes their medals after anniversary years. So, I’m pretty excited about the slightly different medal. The Dumbo Double Dare medal looks largely the same as last year (only without the “Inaugural” and the change from 2013 to 2014). The theme for the 10K, 5K, and Kids Races this year is Lilo and Stitch. I must admit that I’m lovin’ the 5K medallion a little more than the 10K medal. However, both are pretty cool.
While I’m excited about seeing the new medals, I want to also continue this series of virtual trips to the Disneyland Resort on Fridays. Today, we’ll head off to Tomorrowland. I had to start off with this video because it’s kind of fun and gives you some interesting tid bits about Tomorrowland. I didn’t know about the echo spot before. I’m not sure if those plants are still there. However, let’s go explore Tomorrowland. Shall we?
Since this is the week the Star Wars Half Marathon Races went on sale and sold out, let’s start off with Star Tours. Also, it’s a good place to start because it’s the very first attraction to your right that you come to when entering Tomorrowland. Walt Disney World is blessed with space to make big awesome queue lines. Disneyland doesn’t have that blessing. So, the façade at Disneyland is no match for the awesomeness that Disney’s Hollywood Studios has in their queue line. No At-At’s here. However, once you’re inside the building itself, both Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios have essentially the same thing going on. Much like its counterpart at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Star Tours 2.0 has a combination of experiences in the film that’s shown. So, while I forget how many combinations exist, it’s possible you could ride this attraction many different times and have each time put up a unique set of clips. Each time you ride, there are essentially 3 different clips that are put together to make your attraction experience. However, I think there are multiple possible clips that can be used. So, the clips are random in their selection. If fastpasses are not sold out, I highly recommend getting fastpasses for this attraction. The fastpass distribution is across the way at Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.
Speaking of which, the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters are the first attraction on your left side once you enter Tomorrowland. For me, this is one of the few attractions where both the Disneyland and Disney World versions have a queue line that are equally as good as the other. In other words, this is a rare circumstance where the Magic Kingdom’s version of an attraction does not have the superior queue line. Personally, I think the Disneyland version of this attraction is superior. Why? Because you can lift the guns out of their holster. At the Magic Kingdom, the gun stays in the control panel. For me, the freedom of holding the gun make it superior. Also….
at Disneyland, the photo that’s taken on the ride is FREE. That’s right…FREE! Let that sink in a little. Something for free at Disneyland. When you exit the attraction, you’ll see screens that have the photo that was taken. You’ll have to wait for a little bit. However, once you get to the screen, you scroll through the photos to find yours. Then, you select your photo and can email that photo to yourself and you’ll have a free souvenir! You can download the photo for free from your email. By the way, the photo is taken once you get into the last area of the ride where Buzz is hanging and aiming at a larger than life Zurg. Once you get to this room, pose however you want to pose and wait for the flash to go off. My wife and I have this completely figured out.
Of course, in the center as you enter Tomorrowland is the Astro Orbiter. I don’t do rides that spin around. However, this attraction is one that you can’t miss seeing as you enter Tomorrowland. So, I’ve included it. There really isn’t much to this attraction. In my humble opinion, if I had to skip an attraction at Disneyland, this would be the one I’d skip.
Both Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters will exit you into gift shops. I love both of these gift shops! The Star Wars part of Star Trader is awesome for this Star Wars lover. Once you exit the Star Trader, go across the way and you’ll come to the Tomorrowland Terrace. This is a place that, at one time, used to sell more burgers than any restaurant in the entire world, except for the McDonald’s in Moscow. However, over the years, they’ve changed their menu a bit. So, I’m pretty confident that statistic is no longer true. By the way…NEVER get a burger from the Tomorrowland Terrace. They are awful. However, the Tomorrowland Terrace does have a stage where they host the Jedi Training Academy in the daytime and concerts at night.
The bands the perform will vary. So, you’ll have to check the schedule out the day you’re there to see when the concerts happen and who is playing.
The other attraction you’ll have to secure fastpasses to in Tomorrowland is Space Mountain. If you love Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom, you’ll love it more at Disneyland. I know I’m not alone in saying this. For the Halloween Time at Disneyland, they have a special “Ghost Galaxy” overlay to change things up.
Right next to Space Mountain is the Red Rocket Pizza Port. This is a counter service restaurant that serves pizza and pasta. If you’re going to eat anywhere in Tomorrowland, this is where I recommend you eat. The food is reasonably (for Disney) priced and actually pretty good. When I was at the Magic Kingdom after the Walt Disney World Marathon, I wished their Tomorrowland had this place because it’s great for a quick meal.
Innoventions at Disneyland has sort of become a Marvel Meet-n-Greet area. Here you can suit up with Tony Stark.
You can be transported through the Bifrost to Asgard to meet Thor.
And you can meet Captain America. There are also various interactive exhibits on the top floor.
The bottom floor is the House of Tomorrow exhibit. This can be a fun place to explore some of the new technologies that Disney thinks will become apart of your house in the future. If you’ve been to the Innoventions at EPCOT, you will note how different Innoventions is here at Disneyland. This is also the only place in any North America Disney theme park where you see the Marvel characters. Why?
Universal Studios Florida owns the rights to the Marvel characters in Florida theme parks. So, there isn’t much Disney can do to incorporate the Marvel characters in Florida. However, Universal Hollywood doesn’t have the same rights. So, if you want to see the Avengers at a Disney theme park, you’ll have to come out to Disneyland to see them…or had over to Universal Orlando.
One of the original attractions to open at Disneyland was the Autopia. This attraction has gone through many revisions over the years. This is an attraction that I probably would not do unless I had a child with me. After all, as long as they can reach the pedal, they can drive a car! For adults, the driving is rather clunky and the mechanics of the cars is not like the cars we are used to driving. So, I usually skip this attraction. Every once in a while I’ll go back. However, the wait times are usually pretty long and it’s hard on my legs.
At Walt Disney World, the Monorail is a transportation vehicle. At Disneyland is serves more of an attraction. You will need to have a park admission in order to ride. The Disneyland monorail has two stops…Tomorrowland Station and Downtown Disney Station. So, this could be used as transportation to Downtown Disney if you so choose. Or, you could choose to take the monorail from Downtown Disney into Disneyland. It’s a different way of entering the park. They do have ticket takers like they do at the main entrance to Disneyland. So, you could choose to bypass the crowds at the entrance to Disneyland. Likewise, if you’re staying at the Grand Californian or Disneyland Hotel, you could choose to ride the monorail at the end of the night to save some steps back to your hotel. As a local, I’ve usually ridden the monorail as a ride and taken it round trip from Tomorrowland and back.
The last attraction in Tomorrowland is the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. This attraction is currently down for repairs and will likely not be open for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend. There are a lot of similarities of this attraction to The Seas with Nemo and Friends at EPCOT. Obviously, this attraction is in the water and the one at EPCOT is not. Also, being in a submarine is different from the vehicle used at EPCOT. If you’re a fan of the attraction at EPCOT, you’ll notice the similarities. The wait times for this attraction can grow to over an hour and a half due to its slow load time. It’s simply not worth that kind of wait. When I was at Disneyland a few weeks ago, I saw this sign….
So, it may be open for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend.
One attraction that you might still see signs for during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend is Captain EO. However, the show will likely not be playing as Disney is still deciding what will replace this show. I loved this show as a kid and was thrilled when they brought it back. With dwindling attendance, there is a need to replace it. I’ve read that they will have a special preview of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy showing in this theater soon. So, that might still be going during the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.
Since we’re visiting Disneyland virtually, can I go back in time? Yes? Good! When I was a kid, I loved going on the Peoplemover. My favorite part was the Tron scene. They removed the Peoplemover in the 1990’s when Disney decided to redo Tomorrowland. They replaced the Peoplemover with the doomed Rocket Rods that never seemed to work. After a year or more of the Rocket Rods, they removed them and have not replaced them. So, the Peoplemover track remains unused.
Another extinct attraction from Tomorrowland that I loved was America Sings. Innoventions moved into this space. However, this show was so much fun! At Disneyland, America Sings replaced the Carousel of Progress (which is still around at the Magic Kingdom).
Well, that’s all for today. I hope you had fun in Tomorrowland! Have a magical weekend!