Editor’s note: We love going to the Disneyland Resort. In fact we go there every week to have our staff meetings! And that got us thinking…
And we hit the “duh” moment! Lots of other people go to the Disneyland Resort too, but not a lot of those people (both tourists and locals) might not go to place and enjoy it to it’s fullest extent. With that in mind, we begin a new series here at DisneyExaminer that’ll give you a breakdown of what our ideal day at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park would be.
From where and when you should go to certain attractions and more, our plans have been tested by us and approved by us. We trust that you’ll have a magical time if you follow our ideal day or get inspired to create your own!
Many websites have done “guides” to enjoying your day at Disneyland, so here’s ours! So here it is – my guide to enjoying your day at Disneyland Park! I and some of the DisneyExaminer team took to Disneyland one day and literally planned out what us, self-proclaimed seasoned experts, would do to make the most out of our day(s) here and we’re pretty sure we covered all the bases to ensure that your visit is a magical one.
Before we dive into it, there are a few things to keep in mind. We really wanted to gear this guide toward people who’ve never been to or haven’t been to Disneyland in quite some time, as well as those who want to like an organized time to get in everything should your visit be as short as a day. That probably means all of you, so we hope that this guide benefits all of you then too!
Lets get started!
Before your visit
4. Wake up and get ready as early as possible depending on when the park opens.
5. Eat some breakfast. Food in the park is expensive, so I’d suggest eating outside the park or eating at home
6. The parking situation is somewhat tricky, If you want to park in the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure in the morning, I’d suggest taking the Euclid St. exit. It’s a little bit farther, but chances are the parking structure entrance from ball road will be closed to guide people to fill up the Toy Story Parking Lot off Harbor Blvd. from around 9 a.m. until 10 a.m.
7. Now you’re parked and on the tram! It’s time to get a security check and enter through the park. To maximize security check speed, make sure all your bags are open and ready for inspection.
8. As you enter into the park head over to Space Mountain and grab a Fastpass as it is a must for any visit…meaning it’s the most popular!
9. After you acquire a Space Mountain Fastpass, head over to the other side of the park and into Adventureland.
10. Ride Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Please.
11. After Indy, go on Pirates of the Caribbean and make sure to keep an eye on your Space Mountain Fastpass time as it must be redeemed in between the printed times. No exceptions!
12. It should be around time for lunch, so go grab some! We recommend anything in the vicinity like Café Orleans and their Monte Cristo Sandwich.
13. After lunch, it should be time to redeem your Fastpass for Space Mountain, so head on over there!
14. After Space, get a Fastpass for Star Tours, another crowd favorite. (You know Disney owns the franchise now too, right?)
15. After getting the Fastpass, head on over to the Matterhorn and go bobsledding.
16. After Matterhorn head up to the Northern part of Disneyland into ToonTown (and no, it’s not just for kids!)
17. Ride Roger Rabbits Cartoon Spin and Gadgets Go Coaster and feel like a kid again (or kids – just be yourselves)
18. Pay a visit to the houses of the “Fab 5” and get a picture and autograph.
19. After all that, head over to Frontierland and ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad because that’s the wildest ride…anywhere.
20. It should be somewhere in the late afternoon now and that means the parade should be starting soon. Grab a spot and enjoy the show just off Main Street U.S.A.
21. After the parade, it should be dinner time! Since you’ll already be nearby, one of the best spots I know on Main Street is at the Plaza Inn. It’s a little pricey, but worth it for the best fried chicken in the park.
22. After dinner, there’s a little bit more time before the fireworks spectacular. If you chose a spot outside in the patio of Plaza Inn to eat for dinner, that’s already a great spot to watch the fireworks from. Another area to watch it from if you want closer to the action is in front of ‘it’s a small world’ just a short walk away.
23. If you want to do something before the fireworks though to fill in that extra time, you can fill in the time with ‘it’s a small world’ too. Did you know it’s celebration it’s 50th anniversary this year?
24. After the fireworks are over, you can still watch the 10:30 PM showing of Fantasmic! – another favorite of ours (and the world)! An easy way of going there would be to cut through Fantasyland and walk the backtrail of Frontierland. If the viewing area is already crowded, you can still watch the show on the left side of the Rivers of America right in front of Haunted Mansion, which is still an ideal spot.
25. Your almost done with your day! Since Haunted Mansion is right there, ride it and enjoy your stay with the 999 happy haunts.
26. As you might have noticed, we haven’t touched Fantasyland all day! But that’s for good reason as it’s always packed during the day. Now that night has fallen, the wait times have as well, so be sure to head there now to get on Peter Pan’s Flying Adventure, Pinocchio, and the other classic attractions.
27. After enjoying Fantasyland, the park should be near closing time. Make your way to Main Street U.S.A. and enjoy the rest of the night shopping for souvenirs and relaxing with a churro on a bench after a long fun day at Disneyland. You deserve it!
Thanks to our intern Zeila for doing all the selfies!
We’ll be back with another ideal day of Disney California Adventure Park in another post soon. Stay tuned!
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It certainly was a full day at Disneyland after going through out own plan, but we certainly did a lot in just one day! What would ideal day be at the park? Would it depend on who you were with? If you were going to take family/friends that haven’t been, would your plan be as complex as ours? Comment with your thoughts and your plans below.