Being brought up with Disney movies, clothing, stories and songs as a child, it’s not surprising that as a young adult I am still completely obsessed and love Disney. You cannot come to California as a Disney fan and not visit the famous Disneyland & California Adventure Park theme parks.
With its gates opening in 1964, Disneyland is the original of the two parks, having just celebrated its 50th birthday! The great man himself, Walt Disney, envisioned Disneyland as “a happy place, where parents and children can have fun together” and he has definitely succeeded.
So here are my 7 tips for Disneyland with everything you must see, purchase, ride, eat and photograph:-
Purchase – Mickey/Minnie Ears
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to Mickey or Minnie Mouse ear headbands and hats. Some are soft, some are sequined, some even have veils and feathers for something extra special. You can also purchase Mickey Mouse ear hats which you can pay a little extra to have your name embroided on the back for a more personal touch. When else are you going to be able to walk around for an entire day with mouse ears on and fit in with the crowds and not look crazy?
Photograph – Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
It forms the iconic Disney logo and a photo in front of this incredibly detailed and amazing castle is a must! Located at the end of Main Street, it is also the main entry point into FantasyLand. It is also the feature of the iconic nightly fireworks display, but more on that later. To capture the best photos arrive when the gates open (or even better for Magic Mornings!) and go straight there so you don’t have crowds of people walking in and out of your photos.
Ride – Space Mountain
My favourite ride and roller coaster in the entire park! Full of fast paced turns, drops and in darkness this ride is for those thrill seekers among us! You’ll find Space Mountain in TomorrowLand, make sure to get a Fast Pass or arrive before the swarms of people, as this ride is super popular!
Eat – Mickey shaped food
There are many, many options; waffles at breakfast, cookies, ice creams, ice cream sandwiches, chocolates, lollipops, pretzels and much more! No matter what you choose you simply must consume something in the shape of everyone’s favourite mouse whilst visiting Disneyland!
Watch – Main Street Parade
Changing every season, the Main Street Parade never fails to disappoint! Filled with incredible floats, music and all your favourite Disney characters, the Main Street Parade is a spectacle itself and a highlight of visiting Disneyland. Get there at least 30 minutes early to secure a prime position to view the parade as it makes its way from the ‘It’s A Small World’ ride and travels down Main Street, ending after circling in front of City Hall at the end of Main Street.
Ask for – Badges
If you’re at Disneyland for a celebration let it be known! Disneyland offer complimentary badge buttons to wear proudly if you are celebrating your first visit, engagements, wedding, birthday or graduation.
Watch – Fireworks
One of the best parts about being at Disneyland is the spectacular fireworks display they do over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. It changes every season (I’m lucky enough to have seen both Summer & Winter displays) in terms of the fireworks, music and sometimes the character featured. My biggest recommendation and tip is to set up your spot early! At least an hour before the show commences if you really want a great view. Directly in front of the castle is the best position as there aren’t any trees or obstructions (other than the people in front of you) in your view. Another good spot is just in front of the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue at the top of Main Street if you want to add an extra special dimension to your photographs.
With this being my second trip to Disneyland, I recommend having at least 2 days in the parks to ensure you go on all the rides, see the shows, eat cool food, find all your favourite characters for photos and get everything out of your visit.
Disneyland really is an escape from reality. Once you walk through those gates you are in a Disney bubble, from the detail of the park itself, the shows and parades, the characters who never break out of their role (at all!), it’s easy to see why this is considered the happiest place on earth.
There are many, many more things I would say about Disneyland so stay tuned for more posts about this incredible place!
Disneyland tickets start at $96.00 per adult for a 1 Day 1 Park Per Day ticket.
All posts are by GlobalWhispers2014 and are entirely my own opinions, views and experiences.