The most magical place in the world, the place where you don’t have to grow up. One of the best things about growing up in Southern California (besides the beach) is the closeness to Disneyland. It truly is a magical place with so much to do and see and eat! Sometimes you don’t have days to explore the park the way you want to. If you are short on time here are the tops things to do, see and eat so you don’t miss out on any of the magic.
What to do:
With so many options you can easily get overwhelmed, and with limited time you want to prioritize efficiently. The top rides for Disneyland include : Pirates of the Caribbean, Indian Jones, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Star Wars, Big Thunder Railroad and Matterhorn Bobsleds. When deciding between the top attractions, choosing to utilize fast pass can save you a lot of time. The best time savers for a fast pass would be either Space Mountain or Indian Jones. Both rides lines will stay long throughout the day, even up to closing. I would recommend first stopping at Pirates of the Caribbean to ride. It tends to have the fastest wait time and is never a disappointment. Pirates is located in New Orleans square which is at the back of the park. When you head to Pirates it would be best to pick up your first fast pass either for Indian Jones or Space Mountain. Indian Jones is a great thriller ride, with a notoriously long line. Space Mountain is an exhilarating roller coaster with a similar reputation. I personally would get a fast pass first for Indian Jones as Space Mountain is fun at night. Even though your inside its still a better experience in my opinion. Once you have your fast pass head over to ride Pirates of the Caribbean. You then will be in the same land that Haunted Mansion is located in, and if the line is under 20 minutes I would go ahead and ride that. Haunted Mansion is a great ride but not worth more than a 20 minute wait and if you time out your day correctly you can catch it under 20.
Big Thunder Railroad, Matterhorn Bobsleds and Star Wars are all amazing rides that should definitely be on your list. However Bobsleds and Star Wars if you wait until almost closing on a long day (open until midnight) you can get on these rides with minimal waits occasionally just walking right on. My last visit I saved these two for later, and after I used my fast pass on Space Mountain. Once done with Space Mountain I hit the Matterhorn Bobsleds with a 15 minute wait! All day it had been posted at an 1 1/2, once I finished I went to Star Wars which I was able to walk right on. Score! So if you have all day you can really see and do so much and get the most out of your time!
Now a trip to Disneyland would not be complete without a side stop at Disney California Adventure! California Adventure is known for catering to “big” kids, it is the only park that actually will serve alcohol. The best rides are California Screamin, Goofys Sky School, Toystory Mania, Guardians of Galaxy and Cars. Now fastpasses here are crucial. If you are going to be going between both parks be strategic with the timing of your fast passes. Also remember if you want to see the Wold of Color (more on that below) then you want to grab a fast pass for that ride FIRST. That is located near the Little Mermaid ride heading towards the back of the park. The second fast pass you want to grab for a ride is either Guardians of Galaxy or Cards. Guardians is essential what was Tower of Terror. With it being a new ride the line easily reaches 2 hours plus. I DON’T recommend wasting that much time in line, get a fast pass or skip it if you only have one day. Cars is such a fun roller coaster but it can get a very long line. If you don’t want to use a fast pass on this ride, then I would recommend going through single rider. You can cut a lot of time and save a fast pass if you choose to.
California is smaller than Disneyland but is worth seeing you can ride some great things plus there is World of Color ! If you don’t know World of Color is a night time water show that takes place of a traditional firework show. The show brings tears to my eyes every time and is one of the most moving things I have ever seen at Disney. Its a must see and I can’t recommend it more!
Where to Eat :
Now for the fun stuff where you can eat! There are so many options at Disneyland to choose from, snacks to quick service or traditional restaurant. Depending on time and budget will be a big indicator on what you choose to do. Now a go to for me always is Stagecoach, which is located in Frontierland. They have an amazing selection of food!
Always go for the corn dog its amazing and relativity cheap for amusement park food. The location has a great atmosphere and makes for a great quick lunch. You will be close enough to the main attractions but can take a little reprieve from all the walking.
Not only do you want to get savory food but also something sweet. If you are at Disneyland then a churro is a must! Sweet and cinnamon how can you resist?
Not feeling like a churro, too hot out? If you are at California Disney then you wanna stop in Paradise Pier to grab an ice cream cone!
The options for food and drinks are endless. A traditional dessert choice is also a dole whip, which is a staple for Disney lovers. If you want to try a cool restaurant look at the Blue Bayou which is a Louisianan inspired restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean. One day is not enough to try it all, but you can cover some ground.
What to see :
If you can dream it you can do it. – Walt Disney
A trip to Disneyland is not complete without a firework show or a stroll down main street. Some of the best things to do in Disnelyand is just soak in the magic. Walking down main street and checking out the cool shopping is such a treat. Catch a parade show, or go and see a character show such as Belle’s story time. At night the firework shows are spectacular and are a must see. One day will never be enough to see it all, but follow my tips and you won’t leave disappointed.
Keep a wandering spirit my friends and thanks for following along!