Hey guys! Today’s post is a bit different than normal but I am so excited about it. I am writing this with a smile on my face because just thinking of Disneyland makes my soul happy. I feel so grateful to have grown up in southern CA only 30 min away from The Happiest Place on Earth! Walking into the park is like walking into a childhood memory and there’s nothing else like it. Honestly, just walking around the park is enough for me… the smells, the sights, they’re all engraved onto my heart and have been since I was a kid. But, for those of you who are visiting for the first time, I want to spell out what I think is worth doing, seeing, and eating at Disneyland. I’m sharing all of my tips for a great day in the park! And… with out further ado… let’s jump into it!
What Do I Need to Pack For a Day at Disneyland?
- Sunscreen. Especially during the warmer months. And if not for sunscreen, bring a hat! Walking around all day outside and standing in lines that can take up to an hour to get through means you’ll be getting a beating from the sun… be prepared.
- Comfortable shoes. This is a must. Again, walking around the park will be killer on your feet and you don’t want to regret your shoe choice half way through the day.
- Snacks. Snacks are a must. Disneyland food is expensive. Even if you are planning on eating a meal or two at the park, you will still want a few snacks on hand when you’re standing in line and getting hungry.
- Water. You will get thirsty and you don’t want to have to waste your time standing in line at a restaurant counter waiting for a tiny cup of water.
- Instant coffee or a tea bag. So, because I am #basic, one of my favorite things is to get a Starbucks coffee from Disneyland because of the special Disneyland cups (and Mickey shaped cookies). But, if you don’t want to spend money on coffee, having instant coffee or a tea bag is a great, and free, way to get the caffeine you’ll be craving after a long day at the park or even before starting your day. Simply ask for hot water at one of the cafés.
- Sanitizer. Disneyland is a crowded place and I probably don’t have to convince you that it’s also a dirty place. While the park is constantly being maintained and cleaned-up by the staff… germs are everywhere. It’s better to be safe than sorry and you’ll be glad you have sanitizer when you go to eat your dinner.
- A camera. Of course! This is a must. I am sure most of you have a camera on your phone, but it’s still nice to also have high quality photos for your scrapbook. I even take my camera sometimes!
- A jacket. Even on the hottest days, when the sun sets the temps can really drop. Plus, some inside rides are kept pretty cool with the air conditioning constantly running. If not a jacket, layering your clothes is always a plus. Having a layer or two that you can easily take off or put back on can really come in handy.
- Gum. I had to add this to the list because I am an avid gum chewer and, if you are anything like me, you need gum after every meal (or any other time, really). Disneyland doesn’t sell gum anywhere in the park, so be sure to have some handy!
- Bandaids, Tums, Tylenol, and other miscellaneous items. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten the worst blisters from walking all day long and have to suffer through them because I was stuck with out a bandaid. Or, I had gotten a headache or had eaten too much park food and were in need of a Tums. These are things that sometimes we don’t think of but are musts.
- A backpack. Where else would you put all of this stuff? I suggest one with little to no small pockets. A backpack with a bunch of compartments, zippers, and flaps is more of a pain to get through security. You will need to unzip every pocket and be ready to unzip any smaller bags you may have within your backpack.
Where are the Best Places to Eat Inside of the Park?
- Royal Street Veranda. I have only eaten here a handful of times, but that’s only because I usually get the clam chowder in CA Adventures because I like sitting on the pier over the water. But, this place serves the exact same clam chowder… and it is awesome! The best clam chowder I have ever tasted? No. But, a Disneyland must? Yes. The bread bowl is really what takes it over the top. The sourdough is everything. I also really love the New Orleans styled atmosphere and, if you’re lucky, you’ll even get to hear the jazz band play live while you eat.
- The Blue Bayou. I have never eaten here, but it is probably one of the most popular (if not the most popular) restaurant in the park. I hear it is pretty expensive, and isn’t really meant for drop-ins. So, if you’re crunched on time and looking for a quick pit-stop… this isn’t the place for you. But, if you are planning a trip and have time to reserve your table, I’d recommend trying The Blue Bayou out! It’s located inside of The Pirates of the Caribbean ride… just that alone makes it pretty cool if you ask me.
- Hungry Bear Restaurant. If I am not eating at The Wharf, this is where you’ll find me. I love their chicken sandwiches with their sweet potato fries… yum! Maybe I have a thing about eating outside over water (okay, I know I have a thing) but yet again, this place offers great outdoor seating right over the water on a two story deck. I live for great patio seating.
- Pretzel Carts. This isn’t really a restaurant, but I wanted to share it anyway because who doesn’t love a soft pretzel? They are one of my favorite snacks… and Disneyland actually has some pretty darn good ones. I love that it’s shaped like Mickey and the cheese dip is not far behind in rank from Wetzel Pretzel’s cheese dip (this is how I rank pretzel cheese… yes). You can find pretzel carts in multiple areas of the park.
I honestly can’t review many places to eat at Disneyland, because I am a creature of habit. But, here is a link to all of the restaurants within the park for you to check out. Also, Disneyland has a few secret menu items. I have yet to try any out… but really want to! Check the list out here.
What are the Best Rides at Disneyland?
There are really no good or bad rides at Disneyland. I mean, there are rides some people are going to love and some people are going to hate… but it all depends on your age and preference – not really on the ride itself. But, with that said, some of my…
- Peter Pan’s Flight. I honestly think this ride is everyone’s favorite because the line is always so long. It’s a short ride, but a classic. Just expect to wait a minimum of 40 min to get on.
- Anything else in Fantasyland. I love fantasyland. I love the innocence it has and the character of the buildings and rides. It’s where all of the princess/ fairytale type rides are located and they are all cart-rides (you sit in a cart and are taken through the ride). My favorites are the Peter Pan, Mr. Toad, and Alice and Wonderland rides.
- Pirates of the Caribbean. I love this ride. It’s a water ride, which are my favorite, and it’s dark, foggy and has two drops. The animatronics are pretty cool, too, they did a really good job on the “set” of the ride and the line is never really that long, but if it is it moves pretty quick.
- Indiana Jones. This has to be the most popular ride at Disneyland, and the line shows it. But, it’s totally worth the wait! I love this ride. Again, the “set” is really well done (better than Pirates) and the actual ride itself is pretty long… at least compared to other rides. You ride in a “car” and bounce around (like you’re off roading) through the adventures of Indiana Jones… so fun!
- Autopia. This ride is so much fun. I used to love it as a kid, and still do. You get to drive around gas fueled cars on a track through a small section of Disneyland… the only bad thing is the exhaust smells and can potentially give you a headache if you’re sensitive to it.
- Splash Mountain. This used to be my all time favorite ride! I love that it’s a water ride and I think it’s so much fun to be floating along up on the top of the ride. It does have a pretty large drop, but as a person who hates roller coasters, I can tell you it’s not the worst thing ever! haha!
- Jungle Cruise. This ride is a bit boring for older people. You sit on boat and are taken in a circle around “the jungle” looking at pretend animals along the way. I think children would love this ride and love seeing the animals, though.
- Space Mountain/Hyperspace Mountain. Fast, dark rides are not my thing, so I stay away from this ride. I am not a fan of fast roller coasters, so it’s not my cup of tea. But if that’s your thing… I am sure you’ll love this ride because I know it’s a lot of peoples favorites!
- Story Book Canal Boats. Again, this ride is better suited for young kids. It is similar to Jungle Cruise, because you sit in a boat and are taken in a circle, but this time it’s through all of the fairytales. Each fairytale is set up in miniature little sets and the guide tells you story about each one.
- Tea Cups. For the same reason I don’t love fast roller coasters, I don’t like spinning things, either. They just aren’t my thing. But again, I know they are a lot of people’s favorite ride!
If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland, no matter what you do in the park you will have a good time! If you’re a Disneyland regular, let me know what your favorites are in the comments below for both me and the readers of this post to enjoy! XO