Are you excited to finally plan your FIRST visit to the Disneyland Resort in California?! As a first-timer, even if you know Disney World like the back of your hand, there are certain things at the Disneyland Resort that are unique to this resort and are quintessential Disney magic.
Classic attractions: The Disneyland Railroad, Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean are all amazing, classic rides, and Walt had a hand in designing each of them.
Fun fact: Pirates of the Caribbean is twice as long at Disneyland as it is at Walt Disney World!
Best Attractions Unique to the Disneyland Resort: At Disneyland, Indiana Jones Adventure tops my list for favorite attractions despite the fact that it is not a newer ride, having opened in the mid- 90’s. For those seeking a calmer experience, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is an original dark ride in Fantasyland. For you Star Wars fans, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is an immersive 13-acre land that is not to be missed!
Over at Disney’s California Adventure where Marvel and Pixar are both stars, go for the thrills of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! in Avengers Campus, the Incredicoaster in Pixar Pier, and Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land.
Hidden gem: take a drawing class at the Animation Academy where you leave with a wonderful souvenir that YOU drew!
Fun fact: Wherever Disney expands, whether into a former parking lot or by removing an old attraction and building new, you can always find a piece of the past hidden. Indiana Jones (as well as all of California Adventure) was built where the original Disneyland parking lot was. If you look closely, you might spot the Eeyore parking lot sign in the Indiana Jones queue!
A visit to Disneyland would not be complete without a Dole Whip. This soft serve pineapple treat can be found just outside the Enchanted Tiki Room.
A great option for Quick Service from breakfast to dinner is the Jolly Holiday Bakery. For Table Service, Blue Bayou and Steakhouse 55, both on the pricier side, are amazing choices. (Reservations are highly recommended)
Behind the Scenes
Walking in Walt’s Footsteps is a great tour for first-timers as well as guests who have enjoyed Disneyland countless times. (This tour is currently not available)
Everyone Loves a Parade – Whether you get to enjoy a special seasonal parade or the "Magic Happens" Parade, Disneyland always knows how to put on a great show with favorite characters, beautiful floats, and amazing dancers and acrobats!
Fun fact: The float of Elliott from Pete’s Dragon was first introduced in 1977 and remains a guest favorite from the Main Street Electrical Parade.
No matter what you choose to see while visiting the Happiest Place on Earth, there is magic around every corner thanks to one man’s dream.