It goes without saying that a day at the Happiest Place on Earth is unlike any other; and the chances are that you won’t have time to do everything you want. I’ve visited Disneyland on several occasions for a couple of days and still haven’t done everything; but here are a few which you really should not miss!
World of Color, Disney California Adventure
Each evening, the shores of Paradise Bay at the DCA come alive with the 27-minute phenomenon that is World of Color: Celebrate. The show, which launched as part of Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration; celebrates the Wonderful World of Walt Disney and how his legacy continues on today. Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and Mickey Mouse, this is a charming show which is presented through 1,200 colourful fountains, water-screens, animation, fire, and a spectacular musical score. For the best viewing spots, be sure to get a FASTPASS earlier in the day or enjoy a special dining or dessert package at select restaurants within the park. World of Color: Celebrate is due to conclude at the end of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration in September.
Cars Land, Disney California Adventure
Since it’s opening in June 2012; Cars Land has become one of the most popular locations within the park – yet alone the entire resort! Inspired by Disney/Pixar’s Cars and Cars 2; the 12-acres area makes you feel as though you are right in the heart of Radiator Springs… and trust me, the attention to detail is simply incredible. Radiator Springs Racers is without a doubt one of the main crowd-drawers; with FASTPASS tickets usually running out very early in the day, and stand-by wait times hitting almost the two-hour-plus mark, but it’s worth it. As night falls, Cars Land becomes even more spectacular with all the neon lighting and the Cozy Cone Motel offers some tyre-iffic treats, sorry… I couldn’t resist that pun.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Disneyland Park
After a lengthy 14-month long refurbishment a few years ago, the wildest ride in the wilderness finally returned to the original Disney theme-park and is incredibly popular. Now I’m not really a fan of roller coasters; but Big Thunder Mountain is great fun – and the updates have made it even better.
Mickey and the Magical Map, Disneyland Park
The Fantasyland Theatre is home to probably one of the best Disney-theme-park-shows I have seen in a long time. Mickey and the Magical Map is a fun, musical show where you’ll venture to different lands with the mouse himself and come across characters including King Louie, Mulan and the mighty sorcerer himself – Yensid. The technology used throughout the 23-minute show is pretty impressive, and you’ll probably be singing some of the songs all day long!
When at Disney, it’s pretty hard not resist and indulge in some of delicious treats that are on offer. From the nicely decorated Candy Apple to the world-famous Dole-Whip and a box of Chocolate-covered Pretzels; you’ll feel like you’re a kid again. Oh and the best thing of all… Disney food is made of magic; so you can forget about the calories! 😉
Mad Tea Party, Disneyland Park
Without a doubt, the Teacups are one of the most well-known attractions to be found at a Disney Park; and it goes without saying that experiencing the attraction when it’s dark adds to the fun. It also provides a great photo opportunity.
Downtown Disney District
Whenever you’re in need of a break from the parks, Downtown Disney is the perfect place to do a spot of retail therapy, grab a bite to eat, enjoy some live entertainment, or just sit back and watch the world go by. I love to walk through late at night just as the parks are about to close, and usually end up popping into Marceline’s Confectionery and grabbing a nighttime treat.
There is nothing quite like a Disney Parade. Whether it is Mickey’s Soundsational Parade at Disneyland, the Pixar Play Parade in Disney California Adventure, A Christmas Fantasy or the brand new Paint The Night Electrical Parade; they’re great fun for the entire family and showcase some of your favourite Disney characters. If it isn’t really your thing, then you may find a shorter wait-time at certain attractions!
What can be better than the merriest time of year…. how about a Disney Christmas?!? During the festive season, the entire resort goes into overdrive with holiday cheer; even some attractions get a make-over. Trust me, you won’t want to miss Haunted Mansion Holiday or It’s a Small World Celebration. The photo says it all really.
Staying in the magic!
It’s no joke; you simply cannot do everything at Disneyland in one-day… and when staying at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels you are only a short stroll away from all the fun and excitement of the parks and Downtown Disney too. Whether you opt to stay at Disney’s Paradise Pier, the Disneyland Hotel, or Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa; you’ll be able to take advantage of exclusive resort hotel benefits such as an extra magic hour, or being able to charge purchases directly to your folio.
Obviously, there are simply so many things you shouldn’t miss when at Disneyland; that it would take me hours to list them all. The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration continues until September, so don’t forget to catch the Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular and enjoy additional limited time offerings while you can.
If you have any other recommendations that you feel should be on my list, then leave a comment below and I’ll update it!