The Disneyland Hotel Koi Fish's New Home.

Friday, July 9, 2010

If you have ever visited the waterfalls over at the Disneyland Hotel, then you may have seen the hundreds of beautiful koi fish swimming around. Sadly, the waterfalls are being ripped out to make way for a new grass lawn near Never Land pool, which is being renovated with retro water slides for summer 2011. The waterfalls hold many memories for me throughout my child and adult life, so I am personally saddened over this news, especially since it's being replaced with grass. There is one good thing to come of this sad news though, Disney donated all of the koi fish to the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. If you've never been, you must plan a day to go out there. 

The other day I decided it would be nice to go visit the koi fish and play around in the Children's garden.  One thing you must know about the Huntington Library is that it's on 207 acres of land, and 120 of those acres are dedicated to different themed gardens.  There are the Australian, Camellia, Children's, Chinese, Conservatory, Desert, Herb, Japanese, Jungle, Lily Pads, Palm, Rose, Shakespeare, and Subtropical gardens to explore, not to mention the European and American art on display. To say there is a lot to see is an understatement. I have been a member for over three years, and I still haven't made it all around the grounds yet, so do yourself a favor… get there early. You will need a full day to explore, or you can become a member and go back as many times as you like. 

 My son and I arrived and right away I asked where I could find the koi fish. I was delighted to hear that they are actually spread throughout all of the ponds. I decided we would head out to the Japanese gardens that day. One of the easiest ways to find the Japanese garden is to head towards the Rose gardens. Trust me, you will want to look at these too. You'll have 3 1/2 acres of roses to smell and enjoy their beauty, while walking along a faux tree trunk path with Wisteria growing overhead. When you find the end of the rose garden, you will see the entrance to the Japanese garden. 

Right away you will be greeted by two Japanese lion statues. Once you walk past them you will find 9 acres of breathtaking beauty in front of you. You can't help but noticed the large arched bridge in the main pond.  Lots of Weeping Willow trees, Junipers, Pines, fruit trees including Peach, Cherry, and Apricot surround the ponds. There are lots of little walk ways and stair paths with different Japanese statues placed all over. If you are a stroller wheeling parent, you will have access to most of the garden, so don't let the stairs stop you from getting up close with everything.

We made our way down to the arched bridge, where we noticed several koi fish right away. There are a couple little bridges you can observe the fish and gardens from, but the arched bridge is just for looks.  We saw quite a few people sitting in a shady spot on the grass, enjoying the atmosphere. It was really neat seeing the Disneyland fish in their new peaceful home, if they can't be at "The Happiest Place", then this is the next best thing!

Next we moved on to the Children's garden. If you have any children of walking age, this is a must stop for them located on the other side of the Conservatory.  There are benches and umbrellas set up on the outside of the garden, and a restroom located to the side too. Strollers must be left behind in this area. 

The first thing you will encounter in the Children's garden is a little white wood door on a black wrought iron house completely covered in a green vine. I think of Alice in Wonderland every time I walk through (you can also walk around).  Once through the door you will find little pots of water (some containing cement koi fish) for the little ones to splash in. Every few seconds a little splash of water will pop up, which may cause little giggles from your tiny one.  

There is also an area that has several cement pedestals of flowing water. May I suggest bringing an extra pair of clothes for your children, because they will get wet. Sandals are also a good choice of shoes for this area because there are little "rivers" of water flowing with larger grey pebble rocks for them to step over.  We could just spend time only with these fountains, and my son would be happy. He squeals with excitement every time he plays here. 

Of course there is more than just the fountains. There are two different tunnels for little ones to walk through. One has vines growing overhead, with a little path on the side for adults. And another, the Prism tunnel, is quite large and completely enclosed with little rainbows from prisms bouncing off the walls inside. 

You will also find a topiary volcano that erupts at the top. 

Each section of the garden represents Earth, Fire, Water, and Air. Your little ones will have so much fun playing, that they won't realize that they are actually learning something too. 

So as you can see with just three of the gardens covered, there is a lot to see and do. 
If you get hungry they have a nice cafe with delicious sandwiches, fruit trays, salads, cookies, scones, and more. There is also a tea room, but it is better to have reservations for this. Children are allowed, and they accommodate strollers inside, as well as offer high chairs. 

My tips:

Wear sunblock 
Be prepared for lots of walking
Strollers are okay
Bring a change of clothes for the kids, if you plan on letting them play in the water
And have fun

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is located at:
1151 Oxford Road 
San Marino, Ca 91108

Summer hours open Daily except Tuesdays 10:30-4:30

Visit: for more info. 


Anne Elizabeth said...

My kids would love the childrens garden. Every time I read your post on here it makes me want to plan a trip to CA!

ME said...

that place looks like a lot of fun!! I can see my girl getting wet already...

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