First trip to Disneyland, Suggestions please

posted 3 years ago in Travel
Post # 2
2041 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Are you doing the Park Hopper passes? There is a beautiful and quiet spot to eat in the middle of California adventure that serves delicious wine and healthy California-style meals.

We always do the first day at Disneyland. We hit all of our favourite rides and usually stay for the fireworks. Get there early for opening since it’s going to be busy. Use a backpack and bring your own snacks and water bottles. Wear comfy clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet! My favourite rides are Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Indiana Jones. But you need to do the classic ones: Splash Mountain, Matterhorn, Dumbo, the tea cups, and the Haunted Mansion. I’m probably missing some… hit up the big ones and then if you have energy and time, do the smaller ones (Peter Pan’s flight, jungle cruise, Winnie the Pooh, etc.).

Then we do California Adventure the second day. It always feels more relaxed in that park to me and is a good way to keep from being overwhelmed by the whole experience. Usually we can get through everything we want to see in one day at California Adventure. You definitely need to go on Soarin’, the rollercoaster, and the Grizzly River Run. When you are at the Grizzly River Run, get your tickets to the World of Colour show (you should see the signs). It really can’t be beat!!

For your third day, pick your favourite rides and try to go on all of them, and see the things you might have missed on the first two days! We often end up at both parks on the third day and will “park hop” from one to the other. You might be “Disney’d out” by this point, so it’s a good night to leave a bit early and spend time walking through Downtown Disney. You can stop at one of the restaurants and grab a drink and a late night snack.

You’ll quickly get a feel for what works best for you!! Have an amazing time. I’m jealous!

One last tip! Use the single rider line for the Cars ride in California Adventure. Often you’ll end up in the same car and you can go on five or six times in the time you would spend waiting in line! A few other rides are like this too, so if you’re short on time and have a lot you want to see, do this!

Also, in Disneyland, the Enchanted Tiki Room is a great place to unwind and take a break. They have a Dole station where you can get some cool, fresh treats, and inside the attraction it’s air conditioned and you’re sitting down. It’s our favourite way to relax in the afternoon after a long Disney day.

And get yourself a pair of ears! My favourite place to find unique ears is at the trading post across from the jungle cruise. I have the cutest giraffe-patterned ears from there 🙂

Post # 3
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Look into how the fast passes work. When Fiance and I went we didn’t realize it wasn’t something you had to pay extra for. We ended up waiting hours in lineups (we went around xmas because of circumstances). Also, have a game like heads up handy so you can interact while waiting in lines. 

Post # 5
452 posts
Helper bee

Yes, definitely take advantage of the Fastpass system! I would suggest getting it for Space Mountain the minute you walk in the park and if you’re hitting up California Adventure, try to get one for the Cars Land ride, too, if you can – I haven’t been in a few years, but every time we went the Car Land ride fastpasses were already gone for the day before the park even opened from all the people with early access lol. I haven’t tried the single rider line for that as a PP mentioned, but it sounds like a system that could work well and I would 100% agree that waiting in line for 3 hours for that ride to be in the same car is not worth it if you can do the single rider line instead. Soarin’ in California Adventure and Grizzly River Run are also great rides to get Fastpasses for, as their lines are obnoxious and boring. Personally, I kind of like waiting in line for Indiana Jones just because it’s so cool inside – they made it like a little adventure to get through and I always enjoy it.

I love the gumbo by Pirates of the Carribean and I feel like it doesn’t get enough love.

Also Fantasyland closes for a few hours in the evening for the fireworks so I would suggest going there relatively early in the day, especially for the Peter Pan ride. You would think the lines would be better in the late evening after all the little ‘uns have gone home but the lines just get worse.

As for San Diego, I would suggest Balboa Park and walking along the bay to Seaport Village. The zoo is also great if that’s your thing and Sea World is always an option. Little Italy’s fun to walk around in and it’s hard to go wrong there picking a place to eat. Same with the Gaslamp Quarter. And I don’t know where you live normally, but San Diego has by far the best Mexican food out of the entire country, imo, so I would go for that.

Post # 6
1300 posts
Bumble bee

Check out they are a great resource for hours, menus and all kinds of info.

The top three things I loved eating at Disneyland:

1. Corn dog from the corn dog wagon on Main Street USA

2. Monte Cristo at Blue Bayou

3. The fried green tomato sandwich and pomme frites at Cafe Orleans as well as the beignets

I am dying to go back to Disneyland. Enjoy!


Post # 7
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Seconding the gumbo by Pirates of the Carribean! It’s really good. And I’m surprised they haven’t converted it to be princess and the frog theme yet!

Post # 8
411 posts
Helper bee

Dole whips, all of the dole whips, go back and get more dole whips, repeat for 3 days. I have a problem. But for real, do not miss it.

The best part of Land over World is that it isn’t overrun by rascal scooters! World is just a never ending cycle of having a rascal slam into the back of your ankles and then drive away without apologie. It’s honestly much more pleasant than Florida.

Post # 9
7431 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

Download the mousewait app that has wait times for rides. I always eat at the jazz kitchen in downtown disney because I can get free soda refills there.

Post # 10
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

the lobster nacho’s at Cove Bar Restaurant in California Adventure land! Seriously, we were there for 5 days and went back every single day hahaha 🙂

Definitely head to california adventure land and get a fast pass to the Cars ride as soon as the park opens! It’s a seriously fun ride and the fast passes for the day do run out quite quickly (we were there during christmas holiday so maybe it won’t be as busy when you’re there)

Also, be sure to try the Buzz Lightyear Astro blasters! It was so much fun!!! I’m horrible at it but my fiance and I had a blast! The first time we went through, we didn’t realize they took your picture at one point and the photo is hilarious!

We went in December 2013 (my first time) and I’m itching to get back! It was such a fun trip and we didn’t even put a dent in the place 🙂

If you have time for it, head out do a dinner at Medieval Times!

Also, if you’re going without kids… avoid toontown at all costs unless you want a picture with Mickey and Minnie. It smelled like pee, yuck. We got out of there as soon as we possibly could

Post # 11
994 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

The bar at Carthay Circle in Cal Adventure usually doesn’t have too long of a wait time and they have some great cocktails! Def a good place for a rest if you are into that kind of thing.

Also I would say go to Town Hall when you get there and get a special occasion button, or wear something signifying your special occasion!! You never know what cast member is going to feel generous on a particular day… For my bachelorette party, I was wearing white and bridal Minnie ears, and one of the CMs let us cut go in the fast pass line at Tower of Terror (RIP cry) and also gave us line passes for 2 other rides.

Blue Bayou is bomb, the only downside is no booze in Disneyland….but if you’re going for lunch it’s not a big miss 🙂

Going to also echo the single rider line for Cars. It’s such a quick ride and often (no guarantee, but happens a lot), your car will end up racing the car with your friend/spouse/etc in it if you stood on single-rider line together.

Post # 12
2295 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Be ready for it to feel eerily similar but totally different than DisneyWorld!  DL is smaller, but packs more rides into the parks where WDW is spread out. 

Definitely get fast passes!  You can get one every 2 hours or whenever your current fast pass time comes up.  Very worth it.

Get to the park right when it opens and hit the Peter Pan ride first thing.  It will be an hour wait for the rest of the day, and while I adore the ride it just isn’t worth that kind of wait.

Food:  Corn Dog Cart is awesome, as is the Bengal BBQ across from Indiana Jones.  Great for some quicker food!  Also try the Matterhorn Macaroons from the Jolly Holiday Cafe off Main St.  Let’s see, what else…definitely a churro!!  And beignets in New Orleans Square. 

California Adventure can often be less busy than DL, especially in the morning, so it’s a nice break.  I’d definitely recommend the World of Color show, and if you want to splurge they doing a World of Color dessert party where you get special seating, a small plate of desserts and cheeses, and a glass (or 2) of sparkling wine.  It’s fun to do once!

Have a blast!  I love Disneyland….

Post # 14
9528 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Perfect choice on Blue Bayou. It is lovely, a great escape from the heat in the middle of summer. You can do a package deal there. Prix fix dinner with front row seats at the light parade later on. Saves money and time. Want to know more about Disneyland, read Mouse Tales;A Behind the Ears Look at Disneyland. I grew up in Disneyland and at the Burbank studio. It is so interesting! Not a fan of California Adventure. Soarin is awesome. Other than that it really is not worth the pass.

Post # 15
644 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: A restaurant on the beach

The last time I visited Disney we planned out our day the night before, mapped it out, and got fast passes for the most popular rides first thing in the morning. We found that its best to get fast passes for everything close to the entrance then u can begin ur day at end of the park or further inside. The lines at the back of the park will be non-existant early in the morning because most people start in the front and work their way back. Also, its cheesy but get pictures with all of the characters, its  fun lol. 

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