Tag Archives: theme park

USA 2016 – 03 Disneyland Park – Fantasyland (2016-07-13) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 13 NOV 2017

Having now gotten over the initial incredulous feeling of “Oh wow, I’m in the actual Disneyland!” while moving through Main Street, U.S.A., I crossed over the bridge, marveled at the effective forced perspective trick, and then entered through the gates of Sleeping Beauty Castle, thereby entering the grounds of Fantasyland!

One of the original themed lands of Disneyland, Fantasyland is dedicated to the classic stories of Disney, with the initial area clothed in Renaissance and Bavarian Village motifs and sporting attractions dedicated to the likes of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, and even Dumbo of all elephants.

The first part of Fantasyland feature a lot of the older style “dark rides“, which are essentially rail cart rides that have you following a tunneled track with lots of twists and turns while a variety of lights, sounds, and puppets tell you a story.

I went on a couple of these, but of course, I’m far too old to be riding kids rides without bring any actual kids of my own along! (For those of you who missed the previous entries, I was in Anaheim for a business expo).

From there I ambled towards the leisurely Storybook Land Canal Boats ride, which as the name would suggest, takes you on a lazy little boat ride past a lot of miniature locations, many of which are plucked directly from big Disney movie locations.

So not exactly a thrilling ride then, but definitely one where the queue was short enough to make joining it a worthwhile endeavor.

It was also in this area that I got to experience the famous Disneyland Band doing their thing, a classic marching band decked in white uniforms performing some fantastic musical pieces on their assortment of brass instruments.

(Interestingly enough, given that this was during the 60th anniversary celebrations at Disneyland, the version of the marching band that I got to experience featured a lot of young, energetic faces – something which apparently caused a bit of a stir when Disney first announced it was going to be swapping out its old guard members).

The final big set piece I stumbled upon in Fantasyland was of course the classic “It’s a Small World” ride, which for those of you not familiar with it, is essentially a water-based dark ride that features over 300 singing and dancing audio-animatronic children, all in traditional costumes showcasing cultures from around the world, with the theme of global peace running strongly throughout the trip.

With that done and dusted, I next strolled over to the Royal Theatre, but sadly for me (I was hoping to take a video for Jess and Emily), there was no Frozen being performed just then.

Oh well, onward to the next magical land then!

So, in summary: Purportedly Walt Disney’s favourite land in Disneyland Park, Fantasyland is great for the smaller kids with its more gentle rides, as well as for those of you old enough to have grown up with the proper Disney classics of old.

Related Link: Disneyland Park | Wikipedia

USA 2016 – 02 Disneyland Park – Main Street, U.S.A. (2016-07-13) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 11 NOV 2017

Having arrived in Anaheim a day before the NACUFS expo was due to kick off, I did what any first time visitor to the United States of America who finds themselves in Anaheim, California does – I immediately purchased a (VERY expensive) ticket to the legendary Disneyland, the only theme park to have been designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney himself!

Disneyland, or rather Disneyland Park as it is known these days (because of all the other attractions on the Disneyland lot nowadays), is of course absurdly massive, and in fact I literally spent the entire day wandering about the theme park – so much so that I have had to split the day’s cache of photos into 10 separate blog posts!

(The fact that Disneyland is naturally split into separate themed lands also kind of facilitates this anyway).

Given that the first area you enter after passing through the gates is good old Main Street, U.S.A., it makes perfect sense then to kick off my Disneyland series here.

Patterned after a typical Midwest town of the early 20th century, Main Street, U.S.A. is reminiscent of the Victorian period of America with the train station, town square, movie theater, city hall, firehouse complete with a steam-powered pump engine, emporium, shops, arcades, double-decker bus, horse-drawn streetcar, jitneys and other bits of memorabilia.

Disneyland is of course always filled with people, but seeing as this is technically the hub of the theme park, there are a LOT more people milling about, shopping at the various specialty stores, grabbing something to eat from the themed eateries or food snack vendors, and generally just resting their feet up for a bit.

Main Street is also home to the Disney Art Gallery and the Opera House which showcases Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, not to mention the important City Hall that has all the answers for any question that you might think of.

Also, pro tip, if you are a first time visitor to Disneyland Park you really should pay a visit to City Hall and lay claim to your special 1st visit badge!

On the far end of the street is the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle as well as the famous Partners statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse holding hands. (Fun fact, this statue now appears in five different locations, namely Disneyland Park, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney Studios, and Disneyland Paris).

That’s also the location of the Hub, otherwise known as the Central Plaza, which gives you direct access to Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland.

As you can see from all the photos, this is section of Disneyland doesn’t actually feature any theme park rides, but nevertheless there is plenty for the eye to take in.

Also, and rather satisfyingly at that, because there aren’t any rides in Main Street, U.S.A. there aren’t any of those scarily long queues that you will soon encounter (and become VERY familiar with) as you enter the rest of the lands!

I did of course not stay in Main Street, U.S.A. for too long – after all, I had arrived early morning and was on a mission to take in every facet of this iconic theme park that I possibly could given that I only had one day to explore.

(That said, I did return to this area a further three times over the course of the day – the first to tuck into a delicious ice cream snack, the second to experience Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, and then later that evening to experience the Paint the Night Parade and obviously the massive Disneyland Forever fireworks display!)

Going through all these photos a year later – man I wish that I can take my kids here when they are still small enough to properly enjoy the magic of this incredible fantasyland experience!

So, if you have kids or you yourself grew up during the classic feel good period that defined Disney for the early parts of its existence, then a visit to “The Happiest Place on Earth” is definitely a must!

Related Link: Disneyland Park | Wikipedia

Things to See in South Africa: uShaka Marine World in Durban Travel Attractions 13 OCT 2016

One of Durban’s premier attractions is without a doubt the sprawling 16-hectare large uShaka Marine World theme park, home to one of the world’s largest saltwater aquariums as well as the highest water slide in the Southern Hemisphere!

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Opened in 2004 as one of the first phases of the Durban Point redevelopment project, uShaka Marine World comprises of five main sections, namely uShaka Sea World (the aquarium), uShaka Wet ‘n Wild (water slide theme park), uShaka Beach (a beach), uShaka Village Walk (a shopping and dining area), and uShaka Kids World (kids entertainment area).

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Entertainment options are almost limitless, with plenty to see and do throughout this amazing place. You can watch the penguins at the Penguin Rockery, be entertained by the dolphin show at the Dolphin Stadium, and laugh at Seals at the Seal Stadium. You can dive with the sharks, snorkel with the turtles, zip about in the Chimp & Zee rope adventure course, soak up the rays on the beach, or get wet on the multitude of water slides in the Wet ‘n Wild section.

Shopping, dining, and plenty of children’s entertainment means that this place is definitely worthy of a full day visit!

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The uShaka Sea World aquarium is very impressive the first time you visit (I think that I’ve been there twice already), and visiting it and its magnificently themed salt water tanks is reason enough to visit uShaka Marine World if you get the chance!

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So, basically, if you are a tourist in Durban, then you should definitely make the effort to spend at least one day at uShaka Marine World!

As per usual, here’s a handy map:

Related Link: uShaka Marine World | Wikipedia

Things to See in Germany: Tropical Islands Resort Travel Attractions 23 JUL 2015

The biggest uninterrupted indoor space on the planet, Tropical Islands Resort is a tropical theme park located in the former Brand-Briesen Airfield in Krausnick, in the district of Dahme-Spreewald in Brandenburg, Germany, 50 kilometres from the southern boundary of Berlin. It is housed in the former CargoLifter airship hangar (known as the Aerium), the biggest free-standing hall in the world. (The hall belonged to the company CargoLifter until its insolvency in 2002.)

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Tropical Islands was built by the Malaysian corporation Tanjong in the former airship hangar known as the Aerium. The hangar was originally designed to protect large airships from the elements. It was purchased by Tanjong on 11 June 2003 for €17.5 million, of which €10 million was a subsidy from the federal state of Brandenburg. The building permit for constructing the theme park inside the hall was granted on 2 February 2004 and Tropical Islands officially opened its doors on 19 December 2004.

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Inside the hall, the air temperature is 26 °C and air humidity is around 64%. Tropical Islands is home to the biggest indoor rainforest in the world, a beach, many tropical plants and a number of swimming pools, bars and restaurants. It is open around the clock, every day of the year.

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On entering the hall, visitors choose between different basic admission options with different prices. Inside the hall, payments are made using an electronic chip wristband. Tropical Islands is divided into two main areas, each with its own admission price: the Tropical Sauna & Spa complex, and the Tropical World. Visitors can move from one area to the other by paying an additional daily charge. Additional charges also apply for areas such as the water slide tower, crazy golf course, African Jungle Lift, evening show and internal accommodation area. The entertainment programme comprises a gala evening show, smaller shows during the day (variety acts, kids’ entertainment) and various events.

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Tropical Islands has a number of different themed areas:

  • The Tropical Village, featuring accurate copies of traditional buildings from Thailand, Borneo, Samoa and Bali.
  • The Rainforest, with around 50,000 plants and 600 different species, including some rare plants.
  • The Tropical Sea, a 140 metres pool with an area of 4,400 square metres and a depth of 1.35 metres designed to look like the waters of a coral island, a 200 metres sandy beach and 850 wooden sun-loungers; water temperature 28 °C.
  • The Bali Lagoon, with an area of 1,200 square metres and a depth of less than 1 metre in places, fountains, a current canal, whirlpools and two water slides; water temperature 32 °C.

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Tom Scott also recently featured Tropical Islands on his popular Youtube channel, giving you a bit more of how exactly this giant waterpark managed to come and be:

I guess you’ll have to travel quite far to find something else quite this out of place! :)

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Related Link: Tropical Islands | Wikipedia | Youtube