I'm celebrating adventureland day at disneyland.

AdventureLand Day & more at Disneyland

AdventureLand Day & more at Disneyland

I’ve been a Disneyland annual passholder for many years. Since COVID-19, however, when I visit Disneyland (and the adjacent Disney California Adventure) has changed significantly. That is because reservations are now required, and Disney limits their number.

Now I must plan all of my visits in advance (INSIDER’S TIP: Try going online to make a reservation close to midnight the night before you want to go. Passholders get penalized if they are no-shows too many times, so they must cancel no later than midnight the day before their reservation is for to not incur the penalty. That is often when new reservation opportunities become available. I sometimes make my reservations well in advance, when reservations are more plentiful — especially if there are special events coming up that I do not want to miss.

Disneyland at night - disneyland at night - disneyland at night - disneyland at night.

I belong to an online Meetup group of like-minded Disneyland fans. It is called the Disneyland Fan Club (https://www.meetup.com/DisneylandFanClub/). It mostly attracts people from Southern California, but that is not a requirement. Beginning during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us started meeting there online to Chat and view worldwide Disney Parks-related YouTube videos. However, since COVID-19 became manageable, many of us have resumed meeting in-person at the Southern California Disney Parks (as well as Knotts Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood).

Our online participation has continued too. We meet online most Saturdays from 5:30-7:00pm (Pacific Standard Time). The schedule is on our Meetup page. Anyone may attend, no matter where they live. All they need is an internet connection.

A group of pelicans in front of a colorful projection.

One reservation that I booked well in advance was for the annual, unofficial “AdventureLand Day” at Disneyland (March 3, 2024).

I'm celebrating adventureland day at disneyland.
A poster with a picture of a man and a truck.
Harry potter and the goblet of fire harry potter and the goblet of fire harry potter and.

It is an exciting day of widespread Indiana Jones cosplay throughout the Park.

A group of people dressed in indiana jones hats posing for a picture.
A group of people in hats and hats talking to each other.

It includes a fun treasure hunt, for which the prize that everyone can win is a cool pin. The organizers post information and clues online, and then we walk around the Park trying to solve them (HINT: what has always worked best for me is to team up with a few people who are much better at solving these clues than I am).

Disneyland park disneyland park disneyland park disneyland park disneyland park disneyland park.
A horse pulling a trolley on a street in disneyland.
Disneyland paris disneyland paris disneyland paris disneyland paris disneyland paris.
Disneyland disneyland disneyland disneyland disneyland disneyland disneyland disn.
A man holding a stuffed animal.

We also had a Meetup of our Disneyland Fan Club Meetup group that same day, so we went on a bunch of rides together.

A group of people riding a train at disneyland.

One ride was particularly memorable. We were meandering through the river on the Jungle Cruise when our boat stopped. At first we thought that it was just part of the entertainment, since our boat captain was doing a good job of entertaining us, so when she asked us if we could hear the motor running — and we could not — we assumed that she was kidding. Well, it turned out that she was not kidding. Soon another boat arrived and towed us back through the river to the dock, where we disembarked. That was actually pretty cool! I recorded a video of the experience, from which I’ve extracted a few still photos for you to see.

A group of people on a train talking to one another.
A group of people on a boat in a jungle.
A person typing on a phone while sitting on a train.
Order of the crocodile badge.
A large crocodile is swimming in the water.
A group of people on a boat in a waterway.
A group of people on a boat.

I have already booked a reservation with a friend to celebrate Disneyland’s “Season of the Force.’ To quote Disneyland: “Touch down in a galaxy far, far away filled with epic encounters, thrilling attractions, exciting flavor adventures and favorite characters from Star Wars!”  This event runs from April 5 to June 2, 2024. We have reserved May 4th — a date which is a popular play on words. It brings to mind the famous Star Wars line: “May the Force be with you!”

I spent the late afternoon and evening exploring on my own.

A plate with a burrito and rice on it.

After having a hearty and reasonably priced dinner at the Rancho del Zocalo Mexican restaurant, I headed over to “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,” where I rode “Rise of the Resistance.”

A group of people are talking to a group of stormtroopers.
“Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge”
A star wars character sits in the cockpit of a spaceship.
Star wars the force awakens at hollywood studios.
A group of people in a space ship.
Disneyland's star wars: the force awakens.
A star wars at - walker is standing in a hallway.
Star wars the force awakens at disneyland.
A star wars ship is seen through a window.
Star wars the force awakens screenshot.

Then I walked over to Main Street USA where I staked out a great spot to watch (and record video of) “Mickey’s Mix Magic” fireworks show and projections on Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Mickey's disneyland castle lit up with fireworks.
Mickey’s Mix Magic fireworks & projections
Disneyland's cinderella castle lit up with fireworks.
Disneyland las vegas fireworks.
Disney's cinderella's castle lit up with fireworks.
Disneyland castle lit up with fireworks in the night sky.

Next, I rushed over to Disney California Adventure, where I rode on “Soarin’ Over California.”

A sign that says yours to enjoy at night.
The entrance to saarin's over california in disneyland.
Back for a limited time only
A long line of seats in a room with blue lights.
Yosemite falls, yosemite national park, california.
A view of a vineyard from the top of a plane.
A sign that says thanks for scarin with us.

Then I watched the World of Color “ONE” water show spectacular.

A large group of people standing in front of a colorful water fountain.
Disneyland's mickey's happiest place in the world.
Disneyland at night with a light show in front of the ferris wheel.
Disneyland's mickey's firework show at night.
A large stage with the word one on it.

Finally, I visited the Disneyana shop, where I could not resist buying a couple of keepsakes (memo to self: do not tempt yourself when you are getting tired!).

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle lit up at night.

To explore a wide variety of content dating back to 2002, with the most photos and the latest text, visit “AutoMatters & More” at https://automatters.net. Search by title or topic in the Search Bar in the middle of the Home Page, or click on the blue ‘years’ boxes and browse.

Copyright © 2024 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #830

Jan Wagner


  1. David Sperry on March 12, 2024 at 9:56 pm

    Jan, an assistant would be wonderful, but you would have to pay a nominal salary and cover any expenses. Sounds dicy. The other direction is start a podcast, develop a viewership and live off donations, ads and subscriptions. It’s totally different from what you do now… not everyone’s cup of tea. David.

    • Jan Wagner on March 12, 2024 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks David,
      At first I could not see any of this post’s comments. Then I remembered that GoDaddy told me that I have to keep refreshing each page to see the most current content. When I did that, all of the comments appeared.
      Why do people not have to refresh each already visited page of major websites to see the latest content there? For example, I see updates in real time on the AutoWeek website. I wonder if it is because this is a WordPress website?

  2. David Sperry on March 12, 2024 at 6:07 pm

    Jan, I don’t know how you do all this, week after week. And with all that heavy camera gear no less! You are the most active person I know of ANY age. Keep up the good work. David.

    • Jan Wagner on March 12, 2024 at 6:22 pm

      David, I don’t know how much longer I will be physically able to do this. For the past few weeks (since my last outing with heavy camera gear) I’ve had what I think is a mild case of tendonitis in my right forearm, tennis elbow (right arm) and recurring lower back pain. I do not want to slow down but I may have no choice. My next scheduled shoot with two heavy cameras will be the NHRA Winternationals drag racing in a couple of weeks, followed by WonderCon (with one heavy camera) the weekend after that (three days). I was up all of Sunday night editing many of the Disney pictures that I posted yesterday.
      I am way behind in posting a whole bunch of columns that I’ve written, but are waiting for me to edit more of my photos for them.
      I could really use some help with the photo editing so that I can just concentrate on covering events and writing the text of the columns.
      It would also be great to have an assistant on photo shoots to carry some of my heavy gear. While I’m dreaming, I also wish that I had a sponsor or an employer.
      I’ve been doing this on my own for over 20 years, and have written 830 columns to date, most of which have my original professional photography. My mind is willing but I am getting physically tired.

  3. Jack Sparks on March 11, 2024 at 1:49 pm

    Fantastic pictures, Jan! You really have a good eye. Some of the best of the park that I’ve seen.

    • Jan Wagner on March 11, 2024 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Jack. Thank you very much for the compliment. Browse around the website if you’d like to see others. There are additional photos from Disney Parks, and a whole lot more. Please feel free to comment on other columns. I like comments and always reply to them.

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