BEYOND THE RIDES: If you were to ask a hundred regular Disneyland Resort visitors about their favorite part of the parks, you'd probably get a few dozen attraction-based answers, at least twenty responses involving food, and then one really random, charming entry, like the third tombstone to the left in the Haunted Mansion's graveyard. But many people have a love for something that is everywhere in the park, all around. It's an element, though, that plays a quieter background role among the twinkly lights and thrill coasters. We're talking about the landscaping, the trees and the shrubs and, yep, the giant floral Mickey Mouse that greets visitors when they first walk in the front gate at Disneyland. That Mickey is one of the most noticeable parts of the landscaping scene, but think of all the many, many verdant things that line every attraction, and how each tree is themed to each land (fir trees around Frontier Land, ferns around Adventure Land). If this is indeed an area you adore, there's a tour for you, nature lover: Cultivating the Magic.
THREE TIMES WEEKLY: There's a tour on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday mornings -- 9 a.m. on the weekends, 10 a.m. on the weekday -- and it covers a wide swath of the park's plant scene. "Select attraction experiences" are part of the walk, and what is visited can change, so let's call this a fluid tour. No surprise there, since nature itself, the star of the walk, is ever-changing. You'll hear about the 260 acres of citrus groves that once covered the area, and how the team of crack horticulturists determines what goes where and why. There are literally millions of leaves and petals around the park, so this is a monumental job, but highly rewarding, too, we expect. Just try and picture Disneyland devoid of its trees and flowers. It completely changes, right? It's a fantasy built on outlandishness, yes, but nature is its earthy base.
The Cultivating the Magic Tour is $49. Oh, and you leave with not only a souvenir pin -- very DL -- but a seed packet as well.