Disneyland Almost Failed!

Disneyland Almost Failed!

Disneyland Almost Failed!

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On July 17th, 1955, one of Walt Disney’s greatest dreams became a reality. Disneyland opened its gate for the first time, and the world would never be the same! But what if we told you that this dream was very close to dying before it even got off the ground? What if I told you that, without Walt Disney’s seemingly endless perseverance and dedication, Disneyland might have failed?

Some Disney fans are already aware of the fascinating and disastrous day that happened almost 65 years ago, but for those of you who aren’t familiar with the story, we hope that you leave today with greater appreciation for The Happiest Place on Earth and the extreme effort that it took to make it come to life!

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The story begins in the early days of the Disney Studios, when Walt was inspired by visits to amusement parks with his daughters in the 30’s and 40’s; reportedly, he came up with the concept while watching his daughters riding a carousel from a nearby bench. He was frustrated that there weren’t enough experiences at the park that he and his daughters could enjoy together and he made up his mind to one day build a park where kids and grown-ups could play together. Thus, Disneyland was born!

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The development for Disneyland was long and tedious, yet undeniably fascinating. We don’t have the time to cover all that history today; that’s a subject for another time. But the long and short of the ordeal was that Walt Disney’s plans continued to grow…and grow…and grow, until his ambitious dream began to worry the money-men. However, Walt was determined to see the culmination of his dream project no matter what happened. So, Walt continued to fund-raise, promote, invest his own money, and even borrow against his own life insurance to get the project up and running!

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Naysayers surrounded the project. The Disney Board argued that Amusement Parks weren’t their type of business, Roy Disney (Walt’s brother and business partner) warned Walt against the financial ruin it would cause if it failed, and even Amusement Park experts told him that nobody would be interested in a ‘family park’ that (at the time) wouldn’t sell alcohol! Most critics even went so far as to call Disneyland Walt’s worst decision ever, and a foolish idea that was doomed to fail. It seemed that most people thought that Disneyland would never work. In hindsight, we know this to be false, as Disneyland was not only a huge success, but it also reshaped the Theme Park Industry as we know it. However, during its construction it was a legitimate fear that Disneyland would not succeed. Many people were very worried.

Then came Black Sunday.

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Black Sunday was the name that Disney Executives gave Disneyland’s opening day of July 17th, 1955 due to the perceived disaster of the theme park’s debut. The park opened to the public and press with what was, at the time, considered a disaster of epic proportions. First, the opening day was meant to only be open to the media and special invited guests; instead, twice as many people as expected showed up! This was due to a vast number of counterfeit tickets sold to the public, and even a few people climbing the fence and sneaking through gates. In fact, about half of the 28,000 people in attendance that day had entered Disneyland illegally.

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The opening day festivities were broadcast worldwide on ABC, hosted by Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings, and future President Ronald Reagan! although this seems like an amazing idea, unforeseen broadcasting problems quickly mounted with so many unexpected guests. People tripped over television cables left and right, problems sprang up around technical issues and mistakes, cues were missed, responsibilities were mismanaged, and there was even an improvised ‘skit’ involving Linkletter looking for his lost microphone (he really had misplaced it but tried to hide the fact by making the search an ‘impromptu adventure through Disneyland’).

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In addition, a regional Plumbing Strike forced Disney to chose between water fountains and toilets. Of course, Walt chose the latter for sanitary purposes. However, since Pepsi sponsored the park’s opening, guests mistook the lack of working water fountains as a greedy way to force them into buying soda! Soda and food ran out very quickly due to the demand of so many guests. Parents threw their kids over the shoulders of the crowds to get them on rides faster, and people cut in line (not that the last one has changed all that much). The Mark Twain Riverboat even began to sink when guests continued to force their way on, even after Cast Members told them that the boat had reached peak capacity! There were even the problems resulting from unexpected weather, as the unusually high temperature of 101° Fahrenheit caused the newly poured asphalt to become soft. This led to things like high heels sinking into the sticky substance.

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By the time the park closed for the day, it seemed as if Disneyland had been the failure that everyone had been expecting it to be. If we were there on that day, without the benefit of hindsight, we would have probably said the same thing. To all who heard about it, the day seemed like a nightmarish disaster.

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Today, historians recognize that most of the perceived disaster was due to bad luck, and the park being unprepared for so many people. They now can objectively see that the park was a success with fans from its very first day, despite what it had looked like in the moment, and the second day attendance proved this. the park managed very well on its second try and the insanity of Black Sunday became a legendary false alarm as Disneyland quickly became one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world. Walt Disney’s vision finally became a reality, but not without a few scares along the way!

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If Walt hadn’t stuck with his dream and persevered against all odds, Disneyland might have never existed!

What do you think was the craziest thing to happen on Black Sunday?

 

The Lost Land of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The Lost Land of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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The Lost Land of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort has always been one of the most fascinating theme parks in the world. However, Animal Kingdom was originally supposed to be even more fascinating than it already is. It was supposed have three separate types of animals featured in the parks; The animals of today, the animals of days gone by, and the animals of fantasy. Obviously, two of these can be found readily enough across the park, with the acres of live-animal habitats and a whole land devoted to Dinosaurs. But what about the animals of fantasy? It turns out that Imagineers had planned plenty of fantasy in the park, but most of it never came to be. However, one of these scrapped concepts was particularly intriguing; the legendary plans for a realm called Beastly Kingdom.

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Unsurprisingly, Disney had originally planned for mythical creatures to be a larger presence in the park; intending them to be the centerpiece of Animal Kingdom’s first major expansion in the years following its opening. It certainly made sense for Disney, a company associated with myth and fantasy, to play to their strengths. So naturally, a massive amount of concept art and development was directed to the creation of a large and intricately themed land based on humanity’s greatest legends.

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Divided into two opposing sections, the concept for the land called Beastly kingdom was intended to be an immersive world surrounding the creatures of mythology. The ‘Dark Side’, located to the left of the entrance, would showcase more heart-thumping thrills, while the ‘Light Side’ on the right would focus more on family attractions.

The Dark Side opened with a twisted path leading through a dark and brooding forest that exited into a large Stonehenge-styled courtyard. There, guests would enter a medieval village that sat under the looming shadow of a crumbling castle tower. Inside the tower, the first of Beastly Kingdom’s E-Ticket attractions would reside; The Dragon’s Tower!

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Guests entered the decrepit fortress to find a roller-coaster/Dark Ride hybrid that would bring them face to face with a fire-breathing animatronic dragon. The guests would board ‘bats’ that flew on a coaster track in a mission to steal back the gold that had been hoarded by a mighty dragon deep within the bowels of the ancient castle; witnessing a supposedly immersive interior filled with grand halls, battered armor, old swords, and piles of endless gold. It was intended to end in a very close and personal encounter with the dragon itself before guests narrowly escaped certain doom. Located in a sub-section of this land, there was going to be shops and eateries surrounding the lagoon of a giant sea-serpent.

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To the right of the entrance, an entirely different path awaited the young at heart; a land of goodness and light. The ‘Light Side’ of Beastly Kingdom would stand in stark contrast to its darker neighbor, supposedly beginning with a path through peaceful woods that opened onto Olympian architecture and Greek statues of an area called ‘Fantasia Gardens’. Here, a tranquil boat ride for the whole family would take you into the mythical world of Disney’s Fantasia (1940) letting you drift past musical scenes from the film, in a visually fantasy of the Disneyland ‘Small World’ variety.

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But Fantasia Gardens, however cute, was simply meant as secondary experience to compliment Beastly Kingdom’s second E-Ticket attraction; Quest for the Unicorn. This walk-through attraction would allow the guests to go on a journey into their most beautiful dreams. Designed as a maze/interactive adventure attraction, Quest for the Unicorn would allow guests to travel through a hedge labyrinth, and past breathtaking sets designed to transport you into a child’s storybook. While there, guests would attempt to locate hidden statues which gave them clues to make it to the center of the maze. Once guests successfully navigated the steps to the center, they would be rewarded with a beautiful chamber of bubbling pools and glittering caves. And there in the center of it all, would be a beautiful animatronic unicorn.

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All in all, Beastly Kingdom was to be a feat of Imagineering that would require all of their vast skills. So, what happened to this enchanted realm of Unicorns and Dragons?

Sadly, at the time Beastly Kingdom was in development, Disney was not ready to commit to the large sum needed for its construction. Due to unforeseen complications at Disney’s overseas parks, the company was not yet willing to risk so much money on an expansion to a park that was already successful, and thus Beastly Kingdom was put on hold. However, Disney would keep delaying the project due to bad luck, and it never really had the time to take off. However, Joe Rohde, the Imagineer in charge of Beastly Kingdom, would continue to hold onto those concepts even through the tough times; eventually spinning them off into new projects like Expedition Everest.

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But finally, with Director James Cameron’s support, and the acquisition of the rights for a popular movie called Avatar, an elaborate new land would finally have the financial backing that it needed. Joe Rohde took the old ride concepts for Beastly Kingdom, and reworked them into the amazing new land called Pandora: The World of Avatar and subsequently built Avatar Flight of Passage (using concepts from Dragon’s Tower) and Na’vi River Journey (using both Fantasia Gardens and Quest of the Unicorn).

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Sadly, the legendary Beastly Kingdom will probably never be built the way it was originally intended. However, there is now a new world full of mythical creatures and immersive environments that you can visit. Even though it’s not the same as Beastly Kingdom, the spirit of adventure and escapism remains through the talented designs of Imagineers that worked on the original Beastly Kingdom. As for us, we are more than happy to have an alien world filled with floating mountains and otherworldly creatures! Believe us; The World of Avatar is worth it!

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Disney Parks Holiday Season 2017

Disney Parks Holiday Season 2017

Disney Park Holiday Season 2017

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Next week is an extremely special time for any Disney fan. We know that most of you are already aware of this fact, but for those of you who aren’t, the reason is very simple; The Disney Parks are about to start the 2017 Holiday Season!

To celebrate, we wanted to quickly break down what to expect from both Resorts this year; the beloved returning Disney traditions, as well as the exciting new experiences! We also hope to help you figure out which of the resorts is best for your family this year! However, we at the Disney Magic Fanatic believe that you must try to experience both Disneyland and Walt Disney World (WDW) during the holidays at least once in your life, if you can! They are both worth seeing and we cannot pick a favorite! We also recommend the overseas Disney Parks for the Holidays if you can afford it, but that’s a post for another day.

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The Disney Parks will undergo their transformations into magical winter wonderlands starting Nov. 9th-December 31st for WDW, and Nov. 10th– January 7th for Disneyland. The transformations will happen (literally) overnight and, in an instant, guests will be transported into enchanted worlds of gingerbread, toy soldiers, carols, Christmas Trees, ornaments, simulated snow, and thousands of twinkling lights. Indeed, both resorts are famous for their breathtaking decorations and immersion into the season! Disney fans seem to agree that there is something truly special about the Disney Parks during the Holidays; the Disney Magic seems to increase tenfold, and spirits rise with joy and laughter.

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Walt Disney World Resort starts the season first, but the festivities also end earlier. There is so much to do here during the Holidays that it is impossible to experience everything in one day. If you can only visit WDW once, we do recommend that it is during the Holiday Season, as there is something extremely special about that time of year at the resort; but it’s all up to you. If that’s what you decide to do, then you won’t have to worry about all your favorite rides changing temporarily like they do at Disneyland! A few do, but not as much as at Walt’s original park!

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WDW figures that most of its guests will only be able to experience the resort once in their lives, so most of your favorite attractions will be the same as if you went there in mid-summer! WDW is also the most immersive of the two parks; miles away from any of the ‘real world’ and cut off from any outside distractions. If you want to escape for a week, and pretend like you’re in another universe for a while, then WDW is your best bet. Just be aware, unless you live close to the East Coast, WDW will probably be more expensive as well!

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Disneyland, on the other hand, is visited mostly by locals. As a result, they have no qualms with temporarily overlaying their famous attractions with seasonal fun. We think that the temporary changes to the attractions are adorable and full of Holiday Cheer, but if you’re the type that wants to experience the normal version of the Haunted Mansion or It’s a Small World, then it may not be for you.

However, we do want to emphasize that Disneyland’s smaller size, and nostalgic roots as Walt Disney’s first Theme Park, give it a cozy and intimate feeling during the Holidays; like a quaint Christmas Village from our childhood storybooks. Also, if you live smack-dab in the middle of the two parks, like we have, the price will also be cheaper for Disneyland. Another bonus of Disneyland’s smaller size is the ability to experience everything in one or two days!

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Both Disney Parks will feature seasonal dishes and treats fit for Ol’ Saint Nick! Disneyland is particularly famous for its handmade candy canes and gingerbread (made right in front of your very eyes) along the Main Street Stretch. WDW has an especially delicious eggnog. Regardless of which you visit, try a combination of the Peppermint Mocha and warm Gingerbread; it feels like home!

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WDW has the more original Holiday shows, but comparatively lacks on the festive ride overlays. ‘Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party’, and all the parades and shows that are included in it, are the highlight of the season, although ‘Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!’ and EPCOT’s ‘International Festival of the Holidays’ are awesome too. We also hear that this year’s new Disney Hollywood Studio’s ‘Sunset Seasons Greetings’ is supposed to be unlike anything Disney Parks fans have ever seen before; with a brand-new show highlighting the breathtaking projection capabilities of the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

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Disneyland, on the other hand, transforms their Haunted Mansion into the ‘Haunted Mansion Holiday’; a Nightmare Before Christmas themed attraction. Multiple attractions in Cars Land get snowy makeovers, World of Color at DCA becomes ‘Season of Light’ (highly recommended), and It’s a Small World has the most breathtaking transformation with lights and colors that are truly magical to behold! The fireworks, parades, and shows, like DCA’s ‘¡Viva Navidad!’, are also spectacular!

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Overall, in terms of attractions, Disneyland goes the extra mile for Christmas; overlaying all their most famous rides and shows in Christmas joy. Disneyland’s festivities also last longer and saturate the entire park; providing guests with a longer and more flexible window to plan their vacations. However, Walt Disney World is by far the most diverse with its offerings; providing entirely new shows and parades for its festivities. Whichever park you chose, we hope that your Holidays are filled with Disney Magic; in the words of Bing Crosby “May your days be merry and bright…and may all your Christmases be white!”

 We want to know; what’s your favorite Disney Holiday Tradition? Have you ever had a true “White Christmas”?

Top 10 Disneyland Attractions Part 2

Top 10 Disneyland Attractions Part 2

Top 10 Disneyland Attractions Part 2

To honor Walt Disney’s original ‘Magic Kingdom’, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Disneyland Attractions in HISTORICAL ORDER. You can find Part 1 HERE! With so many attractions, some favorites are bound to be left out, but please be aware that EVERY EFFORT was made to be as inclusive as possible!

[Note: Keep in mind that this is Part 2 of 2! The Top 10 Disney California Adventure attractions have their own lists (HERE and HERE ) Be sure to check out our lists of the most UNDERRATED attractions at the Disney Resort (HEREHERE, and HERE)]

 

So, without further ado…

 

Star Tours (1987)

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An advertising  blast from the past!

Even though it has since been upgraded to the ‘Adventure Continues’, Star Tours still strikes a nostalgic chord in the hearts of millions. A breathtaking journey through the Star Wars universe via a 3D motion simulator, Star Tours takes guests on a journey they will never forget! Get ready to punch the hyperdrive with R2-D2 and feel The Force as you, and your protesting pilot C-3PO, are unwittingly caught up in a Rebel Spy’s attempt to escape the Empire! Who knows, maybe the Rebel Spy will be you! The ride is truly an ‘E-Ticket’ thrill; with a fully realized Audio-Animatronics C-3PO, gorgeous ride design, immersive queues, and the rousing John Williams score! It really does feel like you’re in the Star Wars Universe. Plus, a new randomized ride system makes the ride different every time; with over 50 possible ride experiences! As Rex the old pilot used to say; ‘Artoo…LIGHTSPEED TO ENDOR!

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The updated ride!

Splash Mountain (1989)

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What a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Da poster!

Splash Mountain is a nostalgic trip into the happy world of make-believe. Providing a mish-mash of cute characters, catchy tunes, and surprising thrills, Splash Mountain is always listed as a Disneyland favorite. The brainchild of legendary Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter (Big Thunder, Star Tours, Indiana Jones, etc.) Splash Mountain will melt your heart with its adorable and lovable atmosphere. We guarantee that one ride on this attraction will have you humming Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Da all day; whether you like it or not! This is a great ‘thrill ride’ for younger children to start with. By the end of your descent into the infamous Briar Patch, your family will be in hysterics over the faces of surprise in the photos you see at the exit; the hilarious pictures will certainly bring you to your laughing place. Just remember, you will get wet!

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Take a plunge into the Ol’ Briar Patch!

 

Fantasmic! (1992)

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Disneyland’s original masterpiece was such a success that it was quickly duplicated at WDW!

There is no other word but ‘Fantasmic!’ to describe this spectacle of nighttime wonder! ‘Fantasmic!’ (the exclamation point is part of the title) truly is one of the most phenomenal shows that you will ever see. There are simply no words to describe it. With quality and show standards that surpass most Broadway musicals, ‘Fantasmic!’ Lights up the night with a pageant of lights, water, projections, fireworks, and performers of the highest caliber. Take a dive into Mickey’s unlimited imagination and watch as he faces the fears lurking within his own mind! With the recent 2017 updates, ‘Fantasmic!’ Is more magical than ever before. Dance to ‘Pink Elephants on Parade’, sing along with the Genie and Aladdin, cheer on Jack Sparrow, and marvel at Maleficent’s forty-foot tall fully-articulated dragon form! SOME IMAGINATION, HUH!

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You think you’re so powerful Maleficent? Well, this is Mickey’s dream!

Indiana Jones Adventure (1995)

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LIVE the adventure!

The Indiana Jones Adventure is, in the words of Sallah ‘unlike anything you have experienced before; we can assure you!’ As you enter the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, seeking unimaginable treasures, everything goes horribly wrong and it’s up to the legendary Indiana Jones to get you out alive! The attraction really makes you feel as if you have stepped into the films and are following Dr. Jones on one of his amazing adventures! A true Disneyland story experience, this attraction is largely considered to be one of the greatest Disney Parks experiences ever. An ‘E-Ticket’ Disneyland exclusive in the USA, the Indiana Jones Adventure ride has not yet been built in Disney World, but we hope it will be one day! SNAKES! WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE SNAKES?

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Whatever you do, don’t look at the eyes of Mara!

Mickey and the Magical Map (2013)

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There’s only one Mickey Mouse!

Even though it’s the newest attraction on this list, Mickey and the Magical Map deserves acknowledgement. Many Disneyland fans have mentioned this show to be one of their favorite new attractions in the park, and it’s not very hard to see why! While less familiar to guests than other attractions, Mickey and the Magical Map is still worthy to be listed among the best. In this show, Mickey Mouse is back as the sorcerer’s apprentice from Fantasia; telling an adorable story about creativity and imagination. It’s a show full familiar movie moments and classic Disney songs; all done to the caliber of Broadway musicals. You’ll love the talented cast; including dancers, singers, puppeteers, acrobats, and even a TALKING Mickey Mouse! The Disney Princess medley is our favorite part! WHAT’S YOURS?

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A blast!

Enjoy This list? Like and share! Also, stay tuned for more Disney Magic every week!

 

Top 10 Disneyland Attractions Part 1

Top 10 Disneyland Attractions Part 1

Top 10 Disneyland Attractions Part 1

To honor Walt Disney’s original ‘Magic Kingdom’, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 Disneyland Attractions in HISTORICAL ORDER.  You can find Part 2 HERE! With so many attractions, some favorites are bound to be left out, but please be aware that EVERY EFFORT was made to be as inclusive as possible!

[Note: Keep in mind that this is Part 1 of 2! The Top 10 Disney California Adventure attractions have their own lists (HERE and HERE ) and they will not be included here! Be sure to check out our lists of the top UNDERRATED Attractions at the entire resort (HEREHERE, and HERE)]

 

So, without further ado…

 

Peter Pan’s Flight (Opening Day, 1955)

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The classic attraction poster

Peter Pan’s Flight is on every guest’s list of must-see attractions at Disneyland. With a sense of childlike wonder Peter Pan takes us into the timeless journey of Neverland and all its wonders. It may not be as sophisticated as Pirates of the Caribbean, but just like Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan’s flight enchants with its simplicity and fun.  Take a ride in an enchanted flying ship from a nursery in London to the land of your dreams; where Captain Hook schemes and mermaids swim beneath the sparkling seas! This ride is quintessential Fantasyland fare; especially if you have small children who have never been to Disneyland before. Just be aware that the line is always notoriously long!

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it can be enchanting!

Pirates of the Caribbean (1967)

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Vintage attraction poster

Have you ever dreamed of setting sail on a pirate ship with the promise of adventure on the seven seas? What child hasn’t imagined facing the cannons and cutlasses of the open waters, or braving the dangers of a storm; becoming a living legend of the wind and tides? Make your dreams come true with what many Disneyland fans consider to be the best attraction of the entire park…maybe the best attraction at any Disney Park! Today, Pirates of the Caribbean has enchanted the hearts of millions and inspired them towards adventure and bravery for over fifty years. With its stunning and memorable cast of Audio-Animatronic scoundrels, brilliant set designs, and a theme song which is beloved by millions, it’s no wonder why this ride has its own film franchise! Just remember the warning of the eerie caverns when you are tempted towards greed; Dead men tell no tales!

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Full of memorable moments!

The Haunted Mansion (1969)

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Vintage poster showing off the infamous ‘Hitchhiking Ghosts’.

The Haunted Mansion has gone down in history as one of the best attractions at any Disney Park ever, and there’s no wonder as to why! The mansion provides an extremely immersive environment for all its guests to enjoy…or fear! These happy haunts have invited you to join in on the fun!  With the legendary Ghost Host leading foolish mortals through the ghostly manor, you might find that the ride is not really that scary after all. The ride also offers, in our opinion, the best and most diverse display of special effects in any Disneyland ride. While too frightful for some guests, the Haunted Mansion offers an entertaining reward of visual fun and fantasy. 999 happy haunts have retired here, but there’s always room for a 1,000…ANY VOLUNTEERS?

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An iconic and stately landmark.

 

 

Space Mountain (1977)

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Space never looked so good!

This ride always seems to be on the top of every guest’s list of favorite attractions. Space Mountain is a heart-pumping adventure through the blackness of space and an excellent addition to the park’s thrill rides. Not content to just build an ordinary rollercoaster in the dark, the Imagineers really outdid themselves on this one. Completely immersing the guests into the story of an intergalactic space station, the rollercoaster takes you on a lightspeed ride through the stars. It propels you past the sparkling vistas and alien worlds of your dreams; all while adrenaline-pumping music blasts in your ears!  Ironically built at Disneyland in the same year that the original Star Wars film was released, Space Mountain is the premiere attraction of Tomorrowland; the pinnacle of its vision of the future that never was… but could be if we continue to follow our dreams. 3…2…1…WE HAVE IGNITION!

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A truly powerful icon.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (1979)

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Intricate detail!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, like Space Mountain, was another attempt to make something more than an average rollercoaster. Even in their thrill rides, the Imagineers never make anything ordinary! They always infuse every detail with a memorable story. This time the story is that you’re an unsuspecting tourist visiting Big Thunder Mountain; home to an abandoned mine that’s rumored to be haunted. Of course, the rumors turn out to be true! With a mind of its own, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad speeds off out of control; a run-away train flying headlong into danger. With twists and turns through canyon caverns plagued by bats, dinosaur bones, bubbling hot-springs, and desert critters, you’ll be begging for more! Just make sure to look at the dynamite-chewing goat as you pass his ridge…cause this here’s the WILDEST RIDE IN THE WILDERNESS!

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You never know what you might find in the wilderness!

Enjoy This list? Like and share! Also, stay tuned for more Disney Magic every week!

Top Disney California Adventure Attractions Pt. 2

Top Disney California Adventure Attractions Pt. 2

Top 10 Disney California Adventure Attractions Part 2

To honor Disneyland’s newer sibling, Disney California Adventure (DCA), we put together a list of our picks for the Top 10 DCA Attractions! This is Part 2, so make sure to read Part 1 first! Also, with so many attractions, some favorites are bound be left out. If your favorite attraction isn’t here, you might find it on our list for the Top Underrated Disney California Adventure Attractions instead! Please understand; Every effort was made to be as inclusive as possible!

[NOTE: Want to see some more Disney Parks fun? Check out our 2 lists for the Top 10 Underrated Disneyland Attractions; HERE and HERE. Also, please check out our ‘Underrated Disney’ series which inspired this post; including Underrated Sidekicks Part 1 and Part 2, and Underrated Animation!]

So, without further ado…

 

Toy Story Midway Mania

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the vintage-looking boardwalk poster is great!

 

Toy Story Midway Mania is an absolute blast! There’s interactive Toy Story fun for everyone! Now you can enter the world of your favorite toys as they invite you to come play some classic Midway games that Andy owns! Become a toy and play along with Woody, Buzz, and all their pals as you try to beat your ride buddy in head-to-head competitive gameplay. Grandparents don’t have to worry about being good at video games, the Imagineers somehow designed the ride to level the playing field for everyone! It’s cute, it’s funny, it’s creative…and as the theme song says; it’s insania!

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It truly is a blast!

Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission Breakout

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It will never live up to Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, but it’s not a bad ride either!

First things first; we at Disney Magic Fanatic really, really miss the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. There will never be any ride that can truly replace it! However, we think the new ride isn’t that bad! Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission Breakout provides a fun and irreverent journey into the heart of the Marvel Universe with a wild ride jam-packed with classic tunes, zany characters, Marvel Easter-eggs, and even new performances from the original cast! While some longtime Disneyland fans are upset about the change, and rightfully so, we understand Disney’s decision on the issue; better to change it to a Disney property now, then wait for the CBS/Disney contract to expire (CBS owns the Twilight Zone). All in all, it’s no Tower of Terror, but it’s still pretty good! Who knows, maybe DCA’s plans for a Marvel Land will be worth the change!

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WE MISS YOU TOWER OF TERROR! A TRIBUTE POST IS COMING SOON!

 

 

Radiator Springs Racers

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This cute poster purposefully mimics Disneyland’s Autopia poster.

Get your kicks on Route 66! The 2012 12-acre expansion was the largest expansion at the Disneyland Resort Ever (Star Wars-Galaxy’s Edge will only beat it by two acres), and Cars Land’s Radiator Springs Racers was set to be the cherry on top of it all. Disney promised us a very special ‘E-ticket’ Pixar thrill. We can say that it certainly delivered on its promise!  The Imagineers spared no expense to create one of the most elaborate, technically advanced, and expensive attractions at any Disney Park. Now you can ride along with all your favorite Cars characters and then race your friends and family across a gorgeously rendered desert landscape! The Cars Animatronics are truly amazing and lifelike, the scenes are completely immersive, and the attention to detail is breathtaking! Trust us, it’s worth the 60-minute waits! JUST WATCH OUT FOR FRANK!

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Radiator Springs Racers may be the best ride in the area, but all of Cars Land is great!

Soarin’ Around the World

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it was originally called Soarin’ Over California.

 

There is no experience in the world quite like Soarin’! This ride was one of the very few things about DCA’s opening day that was truly amazing. Surprisingly, Soarin’ is a DCA original; it was created at DCA first, and then transplanted to WDW and other Disney Parks later. The reason for this becomes quite clear when a guest feels themselves launch into the sky and into the adventure of a lifetime. It’s very hard to explain why Soarin’ is so amazing unless you have experienced it; it’s indescribable. Perhaps it’s the gorgeous score, the stunning vistas, the revolutionary ride vehicles, or maybe it’s the fact that you can smell the landscapes you pass? Whatever causes Soarin’ to be such an awe-inspiring journey, it truly defines the term ‘Disney Magic’. It is EPIC!

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we do miss the old California version, but the updated film is truly breathtaking!

World of Color

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Concept art for the beloved classic.

There is no question about it; the World of Color is the quintessential show at DCA. Disneyland has Fantasmic, and DCA has this equally-amazing spectacle of lights and imagination. This DCA original show is full of gorgeous scenes from dozens of Disney films projected onto walls of water that tower over your heads. The special effects are amazing, the colors are astounding, and the soundtrack will melt your heart! Loosely based on the TV-show Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, this experience is not to be missed. In fact, it has been known to bring many longtime Disney fans to tears! Get a seat right at the front if you can; from there, the show looms above you and takes on an epic scale that will make you feel like you’re inside the show! Trust us, you must see this award-winning show!

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The world is a carousel of color!

 

Enjoy our list? Like and subscribe! new posts coming weekly! Until next time, we hope you have a magical week!

 

Top 10 Disney California Adventure Attractions Pt. 1

Top 10 Disney California Adventure Attractions Pt. 1

Top 10 Disney California Adventure Attractions Part 1

Disney California Adventure (DCA) may have received some bad-press in the past, but the 2012 re-dedication has really turned that around! Now it truly feels like a Disney Park. To honor Disneyland’s newer sibling, we’ve put together a list for the Top 10 DCA Attractions! Please note that, with so many attractions, some favorites might be left out. If your favorite isn’t here, you might find it on our list for the Top 5 Underrated DCA Attractions! Please understand; Every effort was made to be as inclusive as possible!

[Note: Don’t forget, this is part 1of 2! Part 2 comes next week! want to see our list for the Top 5 Underrated Disney California Adventure Attractions? Or maybe our lists for the Top 10 Underrated Disneyland Attractions Part 1 and Part 2]

So, without further ado…

 

Red Car Trolleys

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Cute vintage poster!

The Red Car Trolleys are the cherry on top of DCA’s relatively recent updates. The Imagineers really outdid themselves trying to fix DCA’s problems and bring it the signature Disney Magic it so rightly deserved. Now a scenic ride on the famous Red Car Trolleys provides that extra detail that fully immerses guests into the world of imagination. Just like the Disneyland Railroad, the Red Car Trolleys have become DCA’s signature mode of transportation! Welcome to the Hollywood of the Golden Age; not exactly presented how it really was, but rather how we remember it in our hearts! Just like Main Street at Disneyland, DCA’s Buena Vista Street takes us on a nostalgic journey to something quintessentially American; torn straight out of our romantic dreams of old Hollywood. With these beautifully crafted replicas of the famous vehicles, we finally feel as if the illusion is completed. Now we know that DCA is a Disney park; with the magic that we have come to expect from one!

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The Red Car Trolley Newsboy Show is a real treat!

California Screamin’

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Seriously…the vintage poster theme was a GREAT IDEA!

A rip-roaring ride over Paradise Pier, California Screamin’ truly is a great experience. While not as completely immersive as other coasters at the resort like Big Thunder Mountain or Space Mountain, California Screamin’ is still one of the best attractions at DCA. Have any adrenaline junkies in your party? Then this ride is a must-see! Themed to the old beautiful wooden coasters of seaside boardwalks, Californa Screamin’ takes guests on a ride that they won’t forget. Don’t worry, the coaster only looks like one of those rickety wooden coasters. It’s really made of super-safe steel and won’t break your back with its bumps and jolts! It may simulate the clickety-clack of one of those ancient rides, but it’s much more advanced than that. Are you scared someone down on the boardwalk will hear you scream? Not to worry; the revolutionary technology of the ride has scream buffers to muffle the sound! Just trust us, it’s worth the screamin’!

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It certainly adds a lot of beauty to the pier landscape!

It’s Tough to Be a Bug

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Original Advertisement at WDW.

Ever wanted to see what the world looked like from the perspective of a bug? Ever wanted to talk to a grasshopper? Anything is possible at Disneyland Resort! In It’s Tough to Be a Bug, the Imagineers shrink you down to the size of an insect and plop you into the whimsical world of Pixar’s A Bug’s Life! Join inventor Flik for an educational show about how bugs aren’t that bad after all. The show is completely immersive and, via interactive technology hidden throughout the theater and the seats, really pulls you in! Originally created as Animal Kingdom’s premiere attraction (receiving the honor of playing inside the iconic Tree of Life), this show really is spectacular! The show includes a 3D film, live Audio-Animatronics (including a very advanced Hopper figure), water jets, real-time scents, live-action props, and even bugs that crawl under you right where you sit! Trust us, you won’t understand until you experience this attraction for yourself!

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The Hopper Animatronic is super complex!

Frozen-Live at the Hyperion

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The show is quite beautiful and elaborate.

We cannot stress enough about how good this show is! Yes, we are very sad that the phenomenal show ‘Aladdin-Live at the Hyperion’ had to go away, but the show that replaced it is just as beautiful! A little-known fact; the Aladdin show that was originally created for this theater was the main inspiration for the super-popular Broadway performance! To make way for Prince Ali to move onto Broadway, the show was replaced with one based on the ever-popular Frozen film. Now you can relive the movie again in a live performance full of high-quality sets, costumes, music, and production design. The high-caliber show will have you singing ‘Let It Go’ all day long again! With puppetry, pageantry, lights, music, and imagination, Frozen-Live at the Hyperion is a truly breathtaking show! Thaw your frozen heart with the true love and sisterhood of this Disney classic! And now that Frozen is getting its turn on Broadway, who knows might be coming next to DCA’s famous Hyperion Theater!

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The actor/singers are some of the best the resort has to offer.

Grizzly River Run

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Grizzly Peak, DCA’s original icon, adds a breathtaking vista to the park’s landscape!

An Opening Day attraction, Grizzly River Run was one of the few original things about DCA that seemed to avoid scrutiny. The ride was good enough that it avoided much of the backlash and disappointment of fans who had come to the park in the early days of its operation. We fully understand why it survived! This ride is a rollicking adventure on a careening river of mayhem and fun. Take a trip into the California wilderness and brave the rapids of DCA’s original icon, Grizzly Peak! Face the temperamental geysers, brave the plummeting falls, smell the fresh pines, and see if you can endure the growling winds of Grizzly Peak’s cave! Just remember, you will get wet! WE ARE NOT KIDDING!

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What a splash!

Enjoy our list? Like and subscribe! new posts coming weekly! Until next time, we hope you have a magical week!

X Marks the Spot; A Tribute to X Atencio

X Marks the Spot; A Tribute to X Atencio

In loving memory of Francis Xavier Atencio (1919-2017); today, we honor one of the greatest Disney Imagineers of all time.

This week, we were saddened by the news that X Atencio passed away on September 10, 2017; he was 98 years old.

Francis Xavier Atencio, fondly referred to as ‘X‘ by his friends, was a beloved animator and Imagineer at Disney. He served the company for 65 years ( he started at 19 years old) and knew Walt Disney personally. In fact, Atencio was favored by Walt as a show-writer at Imagineering (the Disney branch that oversees the creation of the Disney Parks). His credits in the company include, but are not limited to, animation in films as early as Fantasia, the script for Adventure Thru Inner Space, The Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland , and as a voice-actor in many of those same attractions. He is probably most well known to fans as the voice of the talking skull at Pirates of the Caribbean, and for penning the extremely catchy lyrics of ‘Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirates Life For Me’ and ‘Grim Grinning Ghosts’. X Atencio rightfully became a ‘Disney Legend’ in 1996 (the award is the highest honor the company can bestow).

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Walt Disney with a young X Atencio. Walt knew talent when he saw it!

There is no doubt that we will miss this Master Imagineer greatly , and his works will live on in the hearts of millions for years to come!  Because of you, we sail with theiving pirates on the Seven Seas, dance with grinning ghosts beneath the lonely trees, and sing the songs of all your symphonies! May you Rest In Peace our Pirate Captain, our Maestro of Music, and our Great Storyteller! We miss you dearly X Atencio!

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X Atencio drawing what looks to be Winnie the Pooh. We will miss you, and your creative genius, dearly!

 

Top 5 Underrated Disney California Adventure Attractions

Top 5 Underrated Disney California Adventure Attractions

Top 5 Underrated Disney California Adventure Attractions

While not as beloved as its much older sibling across the street, Disney California Adventure (DCA) is still a great theme park. And with the 2012 rededication, it now truly feels like a Disney Park. However, even with all the great changes it’s gone through, DCA still has some offerings that get pushed under the rug. Here’s our list of the Top 5 Underrated Disney California Adventure Attractions. Please note that, with so many attractions, we had to limit the list to keep it economical. Every effort was made to be as inclusive as possible!

(Note: want to see our lists for the Top Underrated Disneyland Attractions? Check out Part 1 HERE, and Part 2 HERE)

Animation Building

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Beast’s Library changes from cursed to restored before your very eyes!

 

 

 

From the exterior look of this attraction, one wouldn’t expect it to be anything more than a sideshow or passing fancy, but there is so much more to this magnificent building than meets the eye. Not only does this building host the more well-known attraction Turtle Talk with Crush, but it also features three other distinct experiences that are well worth checking out! Branching out from a gorgeous high-vaulted room which surrounds you with videos of Disney development art, as well as animations-in-progress, synchronized to classic Disney tunes, these experiences are not to be missed. Perhaps you want to learn to draw Disney style? Maybe you want to say hi to Elsa? You can! In the Sorcerer’s Workshop, you can make your own animations while listening to the real Magic Mirror. Or you could take the cute character quizzes of the Beast’s Library while the space periodically changes as the Enchanted Rose wilts before your very eyes!

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Both Sorcerer’s Workshop and Beast’s Library are stunning examples of Imagineering craftsmanship, set-dressing, and design!

Goofy’s Sky School

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This poster captures the whimsical wonder of Goofy’s lovable clumsiness.

Replacing the cheesey Mulholland Madness Attraction, Goofy’s Sky School is a very welcome addition to the post-2012 update. Loosely inspired by Goofy’s Barnstormers at Walt Disney World, this cute coaster is a great start for small kids who are just starting to get into thrill rides. The ride, based on the famous Goofy ‘How To’ shorts, takes us on a fun and mayhem filled adventure through Goofy’s lesson’s on ‘how to fly a plane’. Obviously, with Goofy being such a lovable klutz, the lessons don’t really go as planned and result in a whimsical roller coaster of cartoon mayhem!

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Goofy’s Sky School is loosely based on The Barnstormer at Walt Disney World as evidenced by this poster showing the similar concept. Even though WDW’s version is considered by most to be the best of the two, Goofy’s Sky School is still fun!

 

Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sully to the Rescue

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Seriously…this ride is adorable!

While not one the most popular attractions in DCA by a long shot, Monsters, Inc. is much better than most people say. If you compare it to most of the similar movie themed ‘dark-rides’ of Disneyland, you will realize that the production values of this ride are quite high, even if they aren’t the best. And since it thankfully replaced the unwanted Superstar Limo attraction, Monsters, Inc definitely improves the space it’s in! The characters are adorable, the sets are well crafted, especially regarding the limited space they’re built in. Also, most people don’t realize that the eerie wisecracking Roz Audio-Animatronic which interacts with guest in real time was a huge technological breakthrough at the time and paved the way for the likes of Mr. Potato Head at Toy Story Midway Mania. The Marvel Land that everyone is excited about is going to be amazing, but it’s sad that most people don’t care that this attraction might get razed to make way for those new offerings.

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It may not be the best ride, but it sure is cute!

Mickey’s Fun Wheel

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This vintage-looking poster captures the feeling of DCA’s massive 2012 remodel.

For the record, every change made in Paradise Pier has been for the better and all the rides in that refurbished land are a bit underrated. We highly recommend riding California Screamin’, The Golden Zephyr, Silly Symphony Swings, Toy Story Midway Mania, etc., and attending the jaw dropping World of Color. However, we wanted to take time to emphasize the beauty and majesty of this oft-overlooked attraction. Most people view it simply as a backdrop and show-piece for World of Color, but the ride itself is quite breathtaking. Replacing the gaudy and cheap looking Sun Wheel, Mickey’s face is a welcome addition of beauty and charm in the landscape. Taking you to a height from which you can see almost the entire park, and letting you view it at a much more leisurely pace than Guardians of The Galaxy: Mission Breakout, Mickey’s Fun Wheel will steal your breath away. It is a high-flying experience that we guarantee you will not want to miss! With its sparkling technicolor show that lights up the night like a rainbow dream, how can anyone resist this gorgeous experience?

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Mickey’s Fun Wheel at night, now a central icon for the newer DCA, is literally one of the most breathtaking things you will ever see at a Disney Park…especially during World of Color!

 

 

The Little Mermaid-Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

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This poster gives us the feels!

This adorable dark-ride was made with love for you and your little Princesses and Princes; granting your wish to join Ariel and her friends under the sea! Far more advanced than similar film ‘Dark-Rides’ at Disneyland, and yet before the advantages of Walt Disney World’s Frozen Ever After ‘projection mapping’ Audio-Animatronics faces, the ride has highly sophisticated Audio-Animatronics that literally appear as if they are the actual drawings simply transplanted into real life. Because they were forced to use ‘old-school’ mechanical Animatronics, we believe it caused them to be more artistic and creative with the character’s facial movements. Following the same events of the film, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure takes you into a nostalgia fueled trip through brilliantly crafted scenes and gorgeous visuals. Sadly, due to the more popular attractions nearby, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure rarely exceeds a 5-minute wait and is usually passed by.

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Under the Sea!

 

Enjoy our list? Like and share! Let us know your favorite DCA attractions in the comments!