Thursday, September 18, 2014

I Took a "Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps"

I arrived in CA on Wednesday for the Disneyland Half weekend.    The rest of the family wasn’t coming in until Thursday evening, so I had made plans for my solo days.
Wednesday was my travel day so by the time I got there, I was tired.  My room wasn’t ready so I walked around Downtown Disney (by walk around, I mean eat and shop!)   I returned to the hotel with several treasures, of course my favorites being the 2 new Alex and Ani bangles added to my collection.

My plan for Thursday morning was to take a tour.  After taking the “Keys to the Kingdom” tour at WDW, I decided I wanted to do something similar at DL.  30 days out, I secured my reservation to “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps”.  I received a 20% discount by using my Disney Visa.  Annual passholders also get a discount.   You also must have entry into Disneyland as this is not included in the tour. I recommend getting your reservations as soon as your date is available, as I understand this tour fills up quickly, especially in busy park times.  

The day was finally here and I was excited!  I walked over to Disneyland and arrived about 9:00 am at the meeting place right next to City Hall.   While you’re waiting for the other tour guests, you get your name tag and have to pick your lunch choice for later on in the tour.  You get quick instructions on using the headsets they supply so you can clearly hear your tour guide above the park “sounds”.   Then, you’re on your way to learning about Disneyland, Walt and his Dream.

We stopped at many points along the way listening to stories about Walt and the history of Disneyland.  It was interesting to hear about how the opening day of Disneyland didn’t go off as smoothly as planned.  Our guide’s narrative was enhanced by clips of Walt himself! 

The Matterhorn was
one of the first "E" ticket rides

Check out Walt's anniversary gift to
Lillian - the petrified tree that sits in

After visiting the VIP Corporate Lounges at the NY
World's Fair ('64-'65), Walt wanted to introduce something
similar in DL. The new entrance takes you to the newly
renovated Club 33. The old door, though no longer the
entrance, will remain.

We bypassed lines and rode Peter Pan’s Flight, the Disneyland Railroad and enjoyed Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, listening to more fun facts along the way.  (And checked out the Hidden Mickey on Big Ben in Peter Pan's Flight!)

The time went really fast as we absorbed all the familiar and new information we were receiving.   Then, the time came.   Half the tour went off to lunch and the other half, which I was part of, headed with the guide to the side of the Fire House, up the stairs and into Walt’s apartment.   What a feeling seeing the room that the Disney family spent many happy times in.   The space was very small being only around 500 square feet.   The bathroom was very indicative of the era, with the exception of the multi-jetted shower which was ahead of it’s time.    We were allowed a photo opp where our guide our picture (we were not allowed to take any photos ourselves).    

Walt and Lillian's Apartment
above the Fire House
Looks like a lot of runners
wanted to take this tour!

I could have listened to the stories here for another 3 hours.  But, alas our time was done.

We headed to The Jolly Holiday Bakery Café where lunch was waiting for us.  At this time, we got a very special pin which I fell in love with immediately.  We sat and chatted for a while and then it was time to go.  

The pin opens like a book and has a replica of a
DL placque and a quote from Walt

This was a tour that was definitely worth taking, not only for the chance to see Walt’s apartment, but to take in all the history and love that went into Disneyland.

Have you experienced a Disney tour?  Would you do it again?   This was my second tour and I definitely would opt for another.  It's a really interesting thing to do, especially for the frequent visitor looking for something different.


  1. When I was at WDW, I heard some people on the bus talking about the one there. I think that one would be more interesting than DL, just because of the engineering aspects of building on a swamp. I'm not sure how much DL trivia there is that I haven't heard over the years having lived so close.

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    2. We are such Disney nerds, I think we'd like anything they did! My mom has done both and loved both. WDW has a bunch of different tours...someday... :-)