After the exhausting and stressful year we have had, families have begun to freshen up with some holidays and adventures after things getting back to normal. And for people living in California, what’s better than heading off to Disneyland.
With the iconic attractions, exciting shows, thrilling rides, and classic characters, Disneyland has got to be the first destination to cross your kids’ minds. I remember we sat down as a family to decide where to go, and both my sons screamed Disneyland so hard I had to cover my ears. While we have been there before as well, I don’t think you can ever get enough of the place.
And if you live in the fallacy of the place being a fit for kids only, you probably need to loosen up a bit and let your inner child out because it’s got a kick for all ages. Have a look at all the things not to miss out in Disneyland when travelling with family.
1. The iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle
A visit to Disneyland is never complete without a picture in front of the iconic castle. It’s just so incredibly stunning; you can’t let its beauty slip out of your sight, which is why it’s so famous all over the world. So, this time, I picked some Minnie Mouse ears not just for myself but for my little Sophie as well.
Walk into the castle and relive the epic tale through 3d display. The final climatic scene where maleficent transforms into the fire-breathing dragon is not to be missed out on. The special effects, animations and moving figures make it a thousand times better.
Tip: The castle closes for the firework performances at the end of the day.
2. Explore the Galaxy’s Edge
If your sons are as big a fan of Star Wars as mine, then this attraction is going to be an experience full of excitement. Even if you haven’t watched a single movie, you’d still fall in love with the unique land that unfolds in front of you. I watched the entire set of series after my first visit here, and it’s incredible.
Whether it’s boarding the Millennium Falcon, meeting your favourite characters, enjoy the refreshing drinks or the tasty foods, it all gives you an unforgettable experience. The best part is that every single activity has a hint of Star Wars Galaxy, and every time you find yourself saying, “this could only come from Star Wars,”. The galaxy isn’t all about the heroes but the villains as well.
Tip: You’re bound to get lost in the immersive ordeal, but make sure to capture lots of pictures here because you will definitely want to commemorate. If you are looking for more places, here are my 6 favourite US destinations to travel with family.
3. World of colour
One of the most striking exhibitions of water is projected here at the California Adventure. There have been three versions of the spectacular night show:
- The original World of Color
- World of Color-Winter Dreams
- World of Color-Celebrate
Your visit to Disneyland is incomplete without the wonderous sight of the soaring fountains, thrilling music, and towering screens. This is one of the top things not to miss out in Disneyland that is guaranteed to leave your kids’ jaw dropped. In addition, the classic Disney animation with all the laser light is got to be one of the best shows put up ever.
Tip: while it is one of the fun places to travel with family, make sure to get a World of Color Dining Package reservation to get a good view of the projection.
4. The toon town
Young kids love to roam around and play in the toon town. I remember my son Ethan was at his highest energy when he met Mickey Mouse at his movie barn and played at the Goofy’s house. Then, of course, you can meet Minnie Mouse at her house and visit Donald’s boat at well.
If you have seen the show, you’ll find it a replica of the cartoon, making it super fun. Speaking with experience, if you are travelling with children, they are going to love playing in the Goofy’s garden, especially.
Tip: The toon town closes early as compared to the rest of the theme park, so make sure to visit there earlier.
5. A bug’s land
If your kids are of age 10 or below, this would be a nice visit for them as the attraction is geared towards younger kids. Two things not to be missed out on here are:
- Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train
- Princess Dot’s Puddle Park
While the former is for kids only, the latter can be an amazing cool-off experience for the entire family. The 4d show in the park can be a major attraction as well that goes by the name “it’s tough to be a bug!”
Tip: Beware that the show is a mix of darkness, loud sounds and eccentric smells which can scare your little ones.
6. Spin at the Mad Tea Party
Another thing that the adventure park is super popular for is the Mad Tea Party, and you wouldn’t want to leave without being a part of it. If you’re travelling with kids, a spin on this ride is a must. I used to be super elated about it when I was a kid, and my children seem to enjoy it just as much; I am especially proud to have passed on my delight for the ride to my little Sophie as I enjoyed her giggles.
Tip: Try to take this ride at night as the fun double and the lights to become super dazzling.
7. Walt Disney’s footsteps
I wasn’t particularly interested in this, but Nathan is a huge fan of Walt Disney, and so we got dragged into walking in the footsteps of Walt Disney. While it seemed abysmally interesting in the beginning, it started to grow on me.
Getting to know the history of the man who created Disneyland and hearing it in detail from my son was fun and made me feel proud. You also get a limited-edition pin as a memento.
Tip: For this tour, you need an admission ticket and a reservation which you’ll have to pay for separately.
When it comes to taking rides, this has to be on your top list; after all, it’s one of the most renowned things about the world of Disneyland. The 3-minute ride in the Pixar Pier’s Incredibles’ Park is filled with tunnels, special effects, scenes and musical scores from the Incredibles 2 and is super fun-filled. This has to be one of the most exhilarating rides in the park.
Tip: If you have a little one with you that you can’t take on the ride, drop them off at the childcare, and their safety will be ensured while you enjoy some amusement.
9. Pixar Pier
This is a gripping expansion that is inspired by all the movies of Pixar. Whether it’s the Toy Story or the Inside Out, you will see lots of similar faces in the area that is going to bring out some energy from you. The land is filled with multiple Pixar stories that will deliver a family-friendly experience, and this is where the incredicaoster also charges you with adrenaline.
The dining and shopping experience is also as whimsical as the fictional.
Tip: Let your children test their games skills at the Pixar Pier, which is inspired by the bug’s life and wall-E.
10. Meet your favourite characters
Every kid starts looking for their favourite characters as soon as they walk into Disneyland. A lot of people are thrilled about the greetings, but they are unable to make the most of it. Put in a little more effort into the meeting, and you’ll get a lot more out of the encounter.
Whether you are meeting the princesses such as Elsa and Anna, Cinderella, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty or the superheroes like spiderman, Guardians of the Galaxy or of course, Mickey Mouse, the interaction can be super memorable.
Tip: Remember that there’s a human inside the costume, so do something creative. Ask the Donald duck his age or get the princess a rose. If you have a request, just ask, and they’ll fulfil it.
11. Dole Whip and Enchanted Tiki Room
They put up an interesting show that keeps you engaged and gets you to sign along with the flowers and birds. The best part about this is to be able to sit in an air-conditioned room and relax with a soft pineapple serve. My kids love the Dole whip, and so it comes as a refreshment.
Tip: The line for the dole whips is must shorter inside the Tiki room area, so get in there and save yourself some time and the trouble.
12. Ride to the attractions
When travelling with family, everyone has their own list of attractions that they want to visit, and with them being so many, it gets difficult to decide on where to start or who’s to choose. In this case, the ideal tip is to avoid all the queues and get yourself seated on the most popular rides.
- Splash mountain
- Space mountain
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- It’s a small world
- The Haunted Mansion
Tip: Do not miss out on the Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission: BREAKOUT! It’s got some stomach-twisting drops, but the immersive theme is just so worth it!
13. Don’t miss out on the shows
There are some stunning shows that you must end your day at Disneyland with. The Fantasmic is a must-see that is guaranteed to curve a smile on your face and get you immersed into the wonderful dreams of Mickey Mouse. The fountains, special effects, and music all play their part to put up a spectacular night show.
14. The scrumptious food
While the place is all about rides and attractions, it is equally famous for its amazing food. We all have our favourites, and I make sure we get them throughout the day. After all, travelling is never complete without good food, so here are some of my top picks:
- Original Hot Link Corn Dog from the Corn Dog Castle
- Pomme Frites from Café Orleans
- Tiger Tails from Pooh’s Corner Bakery
- Chili Cone Queso from California Adventure
- Plaza Chicken from Plaza Inn
- The Fun Wheel from Cove Bar
15. End your day with fireworks
And end your day with the most magical set of fireworks you’ll ever see. Their mesmerizing colours, the engrossing pyrotechnics and the terrific special effects are everything you need to feel the happiest being on Earth. My kids were jumping with excitement, my husband’s eyes sparkled, while I had my eyes frozen to the sky with a jaw dropped open. That’s what amazement feels like!
Travelling with the family has to be full of joy and excitement, and that’s what Disneyland gives us. Every time we come back home with new memories to cherish for life. If you are travelling there, I have mentioned all the things not to miss out on Disneyland for your family to have just as remarkable an ordeal as ours.