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A Movie Lover’s Guide to Disneyland Resort

A Movie Lover’s Guide to Disneyland Resort

Explore the parks through the lens of movies, from the animated classics to 'Star Wars'—and everything in between

Posted 4 years ago

Whether it’s your first or 31st time visiting Disneyland Resort, there’s something about experiencing the parks' connections to decades of movies. Here are a few ways to tap into the movie magic at the Anaheim hub:

Meet-and-Greets with iconic characters

Anyone who’s heard of Disneyland knows the countless character encounters there are to be had around the resort. Guests can meet such princesses as Snow White, Cinderella, and Ariel (as well as Rapunzel, Tiana, and Moana), pose for photos with Mickey and his friends or Woody and Buzz, or join the Resistance or First Order at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Encounters are immersive, bringing characters to life like Cinderella’s stepsisters trying to marry every male guest, and Stormtroopers (lightly) policing the galaxy, keeping an eye on guests. It’s these details that keep true movie buffs returning again and again.


Explore California Adventure’s different take on Disney classics

The beauty of Disneyland Resort is that guests can spend days exploring and still encounter something new around every corner. When Disney California Adventure Park opened in 2001, that explorable area nearly doubled. The second park blends the history, culture, and geography of California with Disney’s eye for detail. Every area combines iconic Golden State landscapes with Disney classics, like the Monterey-inspired Pacific Wharf or Santa Cruz-inspired Pixar Pier, filled with rides and popular Pixar characters like the Inside Out emotions, and the superhero family from The Incredibles. Movie buffs will be right at home in Hollywood Land, which reflects a Golden Age of filmmaking, including a few out-of-this-world additions, like Spider-Man and Captain Marvel. Hollywood Land will also become home to the new Avengers Campus, set to open in 2020.

See how Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has taken flight

You don’t have to travel to a “galaxy far, far away” to meet Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Rey, and Chewbacca, now that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has opened. While the setting of Batuu has yet to appear in any of the movies, that won’t stop guests from living out their dreams of piloting the Millennium Falcon, building a droid or lightsaber, or drinking blue milk. Star Wars fans will love the details, such as ambient music composed by long-time musical lead John Williams, or how guests’ interactions might attract the attention of a bounty hunter who will track them down… 

Find the insider’s secrets and tidbits

Aside from the grand attractions and rides based on their countless titles, Disney has always gone the extra mile to cultivate lttle details for eagle-eyed guests around the park. Here are just a few of the many hundreds:

  • Julie Andrews’ very own horse. On King Arthur Carousel, Walt Disney’s preferred horse was dedicated to Julie Andrews to honor her starring role in Mary Poppins.
  • The Haunted Mansion’s original organ. The organ in the Haunted Mansion is actually from 1954’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
  • Smell some classic movie locations. Throughout the park, patented “Smellitzers” waft scents reflecting their location, from briny sea air in the Pirates of the Caribbean, to warm honey near the The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride.

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