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Mermaids and Starships: Summer at the Disneyland® Resort

There was a time when Anaheim had more in common with John Steinbeck than Walt Disney, but with the orange groves (mostly) gone and two tremendous Disney theme parks in their place, this once-little city has grown into one of California’s most popular family vacation destinations.

If your last visit to Disneyland® Park involved a screening of Captain EO, you’ll find that a lot has changed over the years–and that’s largely thanks to enterprising Disney Imagineers like Kevin Rafferty. Imagineers are the creative force driving all of the theme parks, attractions, cruise ships, and other fun pieces that make up the Disney brand, including those small innovations that make Disney experiences so smooth. Ever skipped an attraction line using Disney’s FASTPASS® Service? Thank an Imagineer.

Today, the Disney® Resort encompasses much more than a single theme park. Drive in to Anaheim, and you’ll find everything from carefully-planned Disney® Resort Hotels to the Vegas-bright shopping and entertainment of the Downtown Disney® District. This summer also brings a few new attractions to the resort’s two theme parks, the Disneyland® Park and Disney’s California Adventure® Park.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
The original Star Tours ride opened in 1987, terrified the heck out of five year-old me in 1989, then won me over back over as an adrenaline starved pre-teen in the mid 90s. To this day, it remains one of the most memorable theme park rides I’ve ever been on, and now that it has reopened as Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, I’m looking forward to experiencing the ride’s expanded roster of destinations. Kashyyyk, Tattooine, Naboo, Coruscant, Hoth, and the Death Star are all on the interstellar itinerary as of June 3, 2011.

Ariel and Eric.

The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
Also open as of June 3, 2011, The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure lets you kick back in a cozy clam shell as you drift through colorful, moving scenes and hear music from the famous Disney film, The Little Mermaid. While this ride is located in Disney’s California Adventure® park, you can also stop by the neighboring Disneyland® Park to catch a real-life Ariel in Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.

Want to experience the Disneyland® Resort for yourself? Head over to Visit California and enter for the chance to win a trip.


Photo Credit: “Mickey’s Fun Wheel” by Loren Javier; “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure” by Loren Javier.


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My name: Kate Beall

How I earn my keep: Writing for Travelocity.

Best meal I've ever had: There are three: the mofongo at Jimmy'z Kitchen in South Beach, the lomito completo at Fuente Alemana in Santiago, and (for the sheer novelty factor) the cuy chactado in Arequipa, Peru.

First thing I do in a new place: Hit the shower. Anything more than an hour in transit gets me fantasizing about soap.

View that took my breath away: Seeing the endless stretch of the Sierras as I flew in to Reno/Tahoe for the first time. In the winter, it's an aching field of white all the way to the horizon, like a world wiped clean. Looking out at it gives you this unmatched feeling of eternity.

Most challenging travel moment: Sharing a pull-out couch in a cramped New York apartment. The heat wave of 2010 was in full, humid swing and the air conditioning was D.O.A. There was nothing to do but soak your clothes in the sink and hope to pass out before they dried. ...then wake up in an hour and do it all again.

Favorite way to get around: On foot. I'm still working on the motorcycle license.

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