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New Orleans Square at Disneyland California
A charming French Quarter-themed area filled with fun attractions, shops and restaurants!
In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of New Orleans Square, a beautiful themed area at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Popular New Orleans Square attractions include the must-see "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Haunted Mansion" rides; the raft ride to Pirate's Lair; a reproduction of quaint New Orleans French Quarter buildings; and the theme park's classiest restaurant, The Blue Bayou. On this page, you'll discover details about all these attractions, and more!
What fun awaits you in New Orleans Square?Step into the world of gracious charm which is New Orleans Square at Disneyland California! Here's a list of favorite features that visitors love about the New Orleans Square section of the park:
New Orleans Square "Favorites"
1.) Beautiful French Quarter-style Architecture: Stroll through alleyways adorned by beautiful, ornate iron-lace balconies...linger in romantic courtyards awash in the fragrance of headily-scented flowers...rest in a grassy, tree-shaded park.
2.) Favorite Disneyland Rides: Two of Disneyland Park's most popular rides can be found in the New Orleans Square themed area of the park: Disneyland's whimsically spooky Haunted Mansion attraction, and the swashbuckling Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
3.) Unique shopping and dining opportunities can be found in New Orleans Square. You'll find shops which sell Pirates of the Caribbean and Jack Skellington/Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise! You'll find artist who can sketch your portrait on-the-spot. And Disneyland Park's best restaurant, the Blue Bayou, is in the New Orleans Square themed area, as well.
4.) Fantasmic Show: At night, the wildly popular "Fantasmic" nighttime spectacular show is performed during much of the year.
5.) Seasonal Decorations: During the Christmas season, New Orleans Square appears in all its holiday finery. In fact, some visitors feel that the lovliest Christmas decor in all of Disneyland Park can be found in the New Orleans Square section. Plus, every October (in preparation for Halloween,) Jack Skellington and his "Nightmare Before Christmas" friends take over the Haunted Mansion with their own rendition of the ride...and this alternative to the "regular" Haunted Mansion sticks around annually until after the Christmas/New Year's holiday season ends If you'd like to see pictures of the seasonal Nightmare Before Christmas-themed Haunted Mansion, you can visit the Haunted Mansion pictures page of this website (for exterior shots) or the Haunted Mansion, pt 2 page (for photos of the inside.)
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island: Are you a Pirates of the Caribbean fan? If so, you'll want to take a raft ride over to Tom Sawyer's Island to get in on its new pirate-themed attractions. To see pictures of Pirate's Lair and discover the many diversions you'll enjoy by visiting this fun attraction, please view the Pirate's Lair Pictures page of this website.
The Haunted Mansion Ride
a favorite Disneyland Attraction in New Orleans SquareThe stately plantation-style mansion you see in New Orleans Square is a tall-pillared, tree-enveloped estate house that adds distinction and taste to this area of the park. But, BEWARE! Its regal exterior hides a dark secret---it's a portal to the unknown worlds of the nether region!
Just teasing, actually. The Haunted Mansion ride may scare the youngest members of your family, but that's all. In reality, it's a fantasy display of technology that makes you blink your eyes in disbelief and wonder "Hey, how'd they DO that?" Whispy ghosts dance and fly...and, all the while, you see right through their "bodies" to behold the room behind them. A talking face appears in a crystal ball. As you look into a mirror, a shadowy figure climbs into your ride car. Pictures hanging on the wall change their appearance before your very eyes.
There is no minimum height requirement for the Disneyland Haunted Mansion ride, but parents should ride along with young children. In addition to the "scare factor" of the ride, your kids will also face the difficulty of climbing into ride cars that never stop moving. Unless you have a disability, you must try to enter the ride cars lugging your packages and holding onto your kids...while the conveyor belt continues moving ever onward. (On the other hand, YOU may get stuck for awhile inside the dark abyss of the ride's depths...while attendants stop the conveyor belt for elderly or disabled passengers to board. Being stopped inside the dark ride building---having to gaze at "ghosts" or listen to a pounding "heartbeat"---can be disconcerting even for ADULTS! If it happens to you...well, just remember that short pauses are a normal, fairly frequent occurrence on the Haunted Mansion ride.)
Pirates of the Caribbean Ride
Another New Orleans Square Favorite Attraction!In the photo to your left, you're viewing the exterior of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
As you probably already know, the recent Disney's recent hit movie series, "Pirates of the Caribbean 1, 2 & 3" starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, & Keira Knightley, were named after this Disneyland attraction. Now, that's a new twist, isn't is---a movie being themed after a RIDE, instead of the other way around!
In Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride, you'll float through the dark, underground caverns in which the sea-looters of old hid their treasure. You'll witness a cannon-blasting boat battle, and enter a Caribbean town overrun with pesky, pyromaniac pirates.
In 2006, new characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride were unveiled!
Now when you take a voyage through the dark caverns of the Pirates ride, you'll be able to view Captain Jack Sparrow (played in the movie by Johnny Depp), Captain Barbossa (played by Geoffrey Rush) and Davy Jones. (Hey---why wasn't Will Turner, the character played by Orlando Bloom added??? Nor was Elizabath Swann added, the character played by Keira Knightly.)
Not only were the new Dead Man's Chest audioanimatronic characters added to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, but ALSO the sound system within the ride was overhauled. Music from the movie was added to the ride, and a digital sound system was introduced. In addition, the ride's special effects were beefed up, and additional props were added. (For example, a real movie prop from Pirates of the Caribbean 1: Curse of the Black Pearl," the Aztec chest of gold, is now in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
C'mon to Disneyland to visit the newly-overhauled Pirates attraction in New Orleans Square. Beware, however, that crowds wanting to enjoy the Pirates of the Caribbean's new additions have made this ride more popular than ever! Better place this attraction on your "to do" list for early in the day! You may use the following link to look at photos of the new Jack Sparrow (and other) additions to Disneyland Park's "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride on the "Jack Sparrow Additions" page of this website.
Train Depot at New Orleans SquareNew Orleans Square has its own train station at Disneyland Anaheim. As you first enter Disneyland, you can board the park-circling train at the Main Street Depot for a time-saving shortcut to New Orleans Square. Or, you can board the train at New Orleans Square for a short-cut to the Mickey's Toon Town or Tomorrowland sections of the park.
During the morning hours, boarding the Disneyland train at the New Orleans Square depot isn't too big of a problem. Guests are just arriving at the park, and visitors are moving TOWARDS New Orleans Square....rather than leaving it. However, as the morning hours end and afternoon arrives, visitors are done seeing the attractions in New Orleans Square, and want to use the train to move towards other areas of Disneyland Park. Getting back ONTO the train at the New Orleans Square depot in the afternoon can be a hassle.
The passengers who already boarded the train at the Main Street Depot don't HAVE to disembark in New Orleans Square. In fact, many visitors DON'T leave the train...they just keep on riding towards another destination. The result is that there are many more passengers wishing to BOARD from New Orleans Square than there are empty spots being created for them by riders leaving the train. Moral of the story---if you see a big crowd at the New Orleans Square station, think twice about waiting! It could be a long time before your turn to board comes around.
The "Fantasmic" night time show extravaganza!
What should you do if you don't want to wait? On busy nights during the summer and holidays, the Fantasmic spectacular is staged twice each evening...first at 9:00 pm, and then another showtime at 10:30 pm. Obviously, people CAN'T wait around hours at a time for the SECOND seating, right? That's your chance to grab a good spot without killing your afternoon waiting!
Got cash to burn? There's still another way to see Fantasmic without waiting for hours---but only the well-heeled will be able to afford it. For $65 per person, you can enjoy sitting in the "Fantasmic Premier Viewing" area. If you have reservations, you won't HAVE to arrive early for the show---but, you may WANT to! That's because your $65 fee entitles you to indulge in a luscious dessert buffet accompanied by a variety of warm-you-up drinks. For Fantasmic Premier Seating reservations, call phone number (714)781-DINE (the Disneyland dining reservation line) or telephone number (714)781-7290 (the Disneyland Resort live-voice information line) between the hours of 7 am and 6 pm Pacific time.
You may make reservations up to 30 days in advance, and it's recommended that you place your reservation as soon aw possible. Even with its hefty price tag, the Fantasmic Premier Viewing area does sell out!
Other entertainment in New Orleans SquareJust as New Orleans, Louisiana is home to Dixieland Jazz music, New Orleans Square at Disneyland California is home to street jazz musicians. In the adjacent photo, you see a trio belting out some traditional New Orleans-style jazz. Although this particular photo is 20+ years old (the little girl in the picture is my daughter, who is now age 30!), I saw a nearly IDENTICAL group performing in this IDENTICAL spot just last summer! (Another one of those nostalgic traditions at Disneyland Park that just don't change...and I'm glad!)
Would you like to take home a souvenir portrait of yourself from New Orleans Square? You can! Just as you'll always find artists positioned along the edges of Jackson Square in the REAL city of New Orleans, you'll always find artists waiting for you at Disneyland's New Orleans Square. Note: an extra fee is involved for the artwork. (If you don't want your own portrait or caricature drawn, it's also fun just to watch the artists at work!)
The Blue Bayou Restaurant
Many visitors feel The Blue Bayou is the best restaurant at Disneyland Park!
As you sit in the romantic, candle-lit Blue Bayou restaurant, you'll see this tranquil Louisiana bayou scene as you dine. Frogs croak. Crickets chirp. Fireflys flash. The atmosphere is so real, you'll wonder if you've been magically transported to the South!
The Blue Bayou Restaurant is not only the most elegant dining facility in New Orleans Square...it's the most sought-after dining location in the entire Disneyland Park. (Hint: it's a good idea to make advance reservations for the Blue Bayou restaurant, phone number 714/781-DINE.)
The Blue Bayou dining area itself resembles the courtyard dining of the New Orleans French Quarter. (Yes, this INDOOR restaurant is made to appear as if it's outdoors under the moonlit sky!) You'll dine on Cajun/Creole favorites (along with standard American fare, as well.)
Other New Orleans Square RestaurantsJust as the city of New Orleans itself is known for a multitude of dining opportunities, there are several themed-restaurants from which to choose in Disneyland's New Orleans Square. Each of these restaurants feature a festive, sidewalk-cafes, complete with decorative wrought-iron chairs and colorful patio umbrellas.
Shopping in New Orleans Square at Disneyland CaliforniaNew Orleans Square is full of interesting shops...just like Royal Street in the REAL New Orleans French Quarter. At one shop, you can buy elegant home decorations, and at 2 other ("La Boutique de Noel" and "L'Ornement Magique"), you can purchase beautiful Christmas ornaments and seasonal home decor items all year round.
In the photo to your left, you see the wares of another very unusual shop, whimsically named "Le Bat en Rouge." (A play on words for "Baton Rouge, Louisiana!) In this shop, you can browse through interesting "Nightmare Before Christmas" merchandise! Jack Skellington fans who visit are thrilled to be able to select from a variety of shirts, hats, purses, wallets, and other memorabilia bearing his image ALL YEAR LONG!
"Pirates" movie fans will find "Pirates of the Caribbean" themed souvenirs, clothing, hats, etc. in the shop next door. The merchandise is sure to please any fan of Jack Sparrow or Will Turner...and ranges from items for the smallest tykes to extra-large clothing for guys.
Nearby, you'll find the "Jewel of Orleans" shop. There, you'll find unique jewelry items...earrings, bracelets, necklaces and pins, for example. Moving down the Rue Royal, you'll find exquisite crystal at the "Cristal d'Orleans" shop...and tasty goodies at "Royal Street Sweets."
Nightmare Before Christmas Memorabilia on EBay
If you can't get to the year-round Nightmare Before Christmas store at Disneyland, you'll still be able to find very unique items bearing the image of Jack Skellington, Sally, the Mayor of HalloweenTown, and other Nightmare Before Christmas characters. Where? On the Ebay auction website!
Every day of the year, delightful "Nightmare" clothing and souvenirs go up for bid on Ebay...and the range of products is both surprising and entertaining. Below, you'll find an EBay widget which shows current Nightmare Before Christmas auctions which are going on right now. When one item sells, another one takes its place---so if you return to this page at some later time, you'll find all new items to enjoy browsing through!
Don't forget to tell your travel-loving friends about this site! (They need to plan some R & R, too!)