Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pathing Around The Park: Frontierland To Fantasyland

We pride ourselves around here as knowing a lot about The Parks, and especially the geography and locations of everything. The awesome thing about hanging out though, is that the more frequently you do, and the more time you spend you doing it, you begin to do things a little bit differently than the average tourist would (no knock meant on them whatsoever). We've been doing it long enough now that we have our own favorite ways to "Path Around The Park", as we like to call it.

For example, in today's offering, we're going to show you how we enjoy traveling from the main thoroughfare of Frontierland (or at least what we like to think of as the main thoroughfare) out and into Tomorrowland. We eschew the norm, so whereas many people might simply leave Frontierland and walk into Tomorrowland through "The Hub" by the Partners Statue, not so with us! We have our own way we like to do it. Over the course of the next few weeks, we'll continue our way around The Park and show you all of the attractions we like to do and the way we like to get there, too. Ready to come along with us? Let's mosey!

One of our first stops in Frontierland is always into Westward Ho Trading Co., our favorite place in The Parks to buy Vinylmation. It's your one-stop place to shop for all manner of Vinyl or Pins if you're a pin collector (when we did collect pins, this is where we went for those, too). Other than candy, Vinylmation and pins are all that you will find here. While it might be true that there are other places in The Parks to buy these items, Westward Ho nonetheless rises to the top for us because of its Land, theming, particularity and focus. And if you catch it just right, there are plenty of pin stations outside where you can trade your own pins or Vinyl with others, but it's all a little too much for us.

Next up (moving towards the Rivers of America) is the Frontierland Shooting Exposition, which we recently talked about. We enjoy stopping off here for a little target practice. 50 cents will get you roughly ten shots with the old musket, and there are plenty of western themed targets (and even a Hidden Mickey) for you to take aim at. Word of warning: this attraction can be very busy, especially during the day time and there are lot of kids playing. It can be a lot of fun standing around and watching everyone else have their shots (we've done it many times), but for what it's worth, our favorite time to play is much later in the evening after the shows and The Park has cleared out some. You can pretty much have your pick of any spot that you want and there's just something different about playing it at night that can't be beat!

You may or may not be hungry at this point, but if you are, why not make a stop off at Rancho del Zocalo for a quick bite? It's right next door to the Shooting Exposition, and is one of our favorite restaurants (casual dining and quick service) in either Park. There are plenty of great options to choose from: our favorites include the Red Chile Enchilada & Carne Asada Platter and the Sonora Burrito, but they also have tacos, salads, and a kid's or toddler's meal. Vegetarian? Not a problem as there are options for you here as well! There is plenty of seating here, the atmosphere is pretty darn cool (themed Mexican of course), and it's one of our favorite places to sit down, have a meal and kick our feet up and people watch. If you're not in the mood for food, though, feel free to hang a right at the entrance to the restaurant and we'll move on to the next spot we see in our Path.

Yes, we frequent these restrooms and fairly often. You can never have too many options at your disposal when you're in desperate need of a place to relieve yourself or the little ones. The restrooms themselves are a little on the smallish side, but we've rarely seen them unkept and that counts for a lot in our books (of course, your mileage may vary). When it comes down to it though, they're just bathrooms! They're not perfect (we've yet to find the complete restroom in The Park that is that all of the time) but we like to keep our options open and pass them on to you should you need them. And like we said, you can never have too many options where those are concerned; especially later at night when the crowds are less so of course the lines into the restrooms are less, so we like to use these a lot later in the evening. Since they're in our Path we're passing them on should the information be useful to you.

Restrooms aside, though, we do love this area here. It has the air of a covered bridge to it, and there's just something about it that we like, simple as it is.

Walking through brings us to one of our favorite places in The Parks to just sit and hang out (heck, even watch the fireworks from time to time): The Carnation Plaza Gardens. It's a huge open area with tons of places to sit, relax, snack and just enjoy the atmosphere of things around you. It offers a beautiful (if not slightly obscured) view of Sleeping Beauty Castle and there always seems to be something to enjoy back here. The stage often has bands playing (and swing dancing on the weekends) so there's usually music of some kind to listen to, and there are plenty of tables around for you to sit at, relax and have a snack or a cold beverage on a hot afternoon.

There's also plenty to stand around and look at. We love standing on the bridges which lead back to The Hub and the Partners Statue and look at the stream, gardens and ducks which populate the area. It's peaceful, tranquil and wonderful in it simplicity. When you're ready to move on, let's back up a little bit (don't go into The Hub or in front of the Castle) and let's take a left here instead of a right across the bridge to where we'll stop for this week.

In addition to proffering a peaceful view of the Castle from here, it also leads us into Fantasyland on the west end of the Castle. Exciting, isn't it? Next week we'll continue into Fantasyland for a brief stop on our way into Tomorrowland and beyond.

Hope you'll keep taking this virtual Path with us. Are there particular Paths you like to take around The Parks? Let us know; we'd love to hear!

We would just like to stress that this article (and those coming) is just for fun and nothing more. There are obviously scores of ways in which you can move around The Park, based on preference, and we are by no means implying that ours are the best in any way, shape or form, just as we're sure that others have their favorite attractions, etc. They're just meant to be an entertaining look at some of our favorite things with some information that might come in handy to you at some point in the future thrown in for good measure.


Jen Tucker said...

On the flip side, I really hate these bathrooms. However, we all know the line for the women's restroom is usually longer than the men's facilities. This one has maybe 5 stalls and I've been there when it's been terribly unclean. If I'm in that general area, I'll just make a beeline over to Adventureland and use those restrooms over by the Tiki Room.

Days In The Park said...

Thanks for chiming in Jen. I think ;)

Sorry your experience with them hasn't been as good as ours. But the article wasn't only about the bathrooms, so I hope that something else was gained from it so you were able to take SOMETHING positive away. Like we said, we think they're a good alternative when you need something in a pinch, and we do use them later in the evenings a lot when the lines at the bathrooms are much shorter just in general :)

Wendy said...

I just enjoyed seeing your pics. As an east-coast gal, I've never been to Disneyland, and I enjoyed seeing the pictures of the "real" walkways instead of the grand publicity shots I usually see online. Look forward to reading more!

Bhappylove said...

It's nice to know what someone else's path through Disneyland is. My preferred path is to either hop on the train and go straight to New Orleans Square to head to Haunted or to make my way right to have a dole whip. It usually varies when I head to the parks to meet up with other people.
I don't think I've ever used those bathrooms before but when I'm with my niece we usually go for the New Orleans bathrooms, the ones behind Plaza Inn, or the ones we call Wonderland bathrooms behind Alice.

Can't wait to see how the path in the next blog goes. :)

Days In The Park said...

Thank you for commenting, Wendy :)

Glad you enjoyed it, and I'll be looking forward to putting the articles out more knowing that you are enjoying them :)

Days In The Park said...

@Bhappylove - Thanks! Glad that you got some enjoyment out of it. :)

It's not always what we do, but we figure by the time we get the articles done in the next few weeks, people will definitely know our preferred Paths around the place.

The NOS bathrooms are pretty small and cramped (much like these) so I put them pretty much on par with each other. We're also well-versed in the Plaza Inn restrooms and we LOVE the Wonderland bathrooms behind Alice.

Good stuff! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm new to the site but I wanted to let you guys know that you do a great job! I've really enjoyed reading your various articles as they capture a lot of the details that make Disneyland special. Keep it up!

Days In The Park said...

Thank you very much! :)