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 still 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.

Over at Disney’s California Adventure where Marvel and Pixar are both stars, go for the thrills of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, the Incredicoaster, and Radiator Springs Racers.

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!

Favorite Eats

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)

Fun fact: Our favorite treats are Tigger Tails! Enjoy a marshmallow dipped in caramel and coated with orange-flavored chocolate. No Tiggers were harmed in the making of this delicious treat!

Behind the Scenes

If you love Disney and Disney history, Walking in Walt’s Footsteps is a great tour for first-timers as well as guests who have enjoyed Disneyland countless times.

Fun fact: on the Walking in Walt’s Footsteps tour, guests get a rare glimpse at either Walt’s private apartment above the firehouse or of the Dream Suite above Pirates of the Caribbean.

Everyone Loves a Parade – Whether you get to enjoy a special seasonal parade or Paint the Night, 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.

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist