Disneyland in September

Disneyland in September is the official ending of the Diamond Celebration with extended hours and tons of top-notch entertainment, and the beginning of Halloween Time! If you’re going to Disneyland or California Adventure this month, here’s what to expect at the resort for September 2016.

Updated for 2016!

Disneyland in September, what to expect during your Disneyland vacation this month. Photo credit: HarshLight / Foter / CC BY

What’s New at Disneyland in September

September is filled with fall magic at the Disneyland Resort. After the ending of the Diamond Celebration, visitors will begin to see pumpkins, fall decor and Halloween overlays begin.

Haunted Mansion Holiday Sept. 9 through Oct. 31 at the Disneyland Resort. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)
Haunted Mansion Holiday Sept. 9 through Oct. 31 at the Disneyland Resort. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)
  • September 1-4 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend; expect heavy crowds for this event and the final days of the Diamond Celebration.
  • September 5 The last day to see Disneyland during the Diamond Celebration which wraps up today including Paint the Night, Disneyland Forever and World of Color – Celebrate!
  • September 6 World of Color (the original version) returns.
  • September 9 The Fantasy in the Sky fireworks lights up the night Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Disneyland.
  • Halloween Time at Disneyland runs September 9-31.
  • Last chance to get tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party are on sale for select dates in September and October.
  • Dates for 2016 Mickey’s Halloween Party in September are: 9/23, 9/26, 9/28, 9/30.
  • At the tail end of September, expect Thanksgiving Day dining reservations to open for various restaurants at the Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland’s new demand based ticketing prices are in effect; save off the marked prices below with discount Disneyland tickets here from our trusted partner, Park Savers.

Ticket prices for Disneyland in September. New value, regular and peak prices.
Ticket prices for Disneyland in September. New value, regular and peak prices.

Disneyland in September Hours

September hours vary now that school is back in session and value days are back! Weekday park hours are typically 10 am – 8 pm, but be sure to check the official Disneyland app for the hours during your visit.

The “Halloween Screams” fireworks spectacular lights up the skies surrounding Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park, as part of the entertainment exclusive to the annual Mickey's Halloween Party. Returning for 17 nights in 2016, beginning Friday, Sept. 23, Mickey’s Halloween Party is a time for guests to dress up for a ghoulish good time and enjoy seasonal scares such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)
The “Halloween Screams” fireworks spectacular lights up the skies during Mickey’s Halloween on select nights in September and October. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

Plus check out these Disneyland planning articles to make the most of your vacation:

Disneyland in September Closures

Disneyland in September, park hours, special events and ride closures.
Disneyland in September, park hours, special events and ride closures.
  • Haunted Mansion to reopen with Nightmare Before Christmas overlay 9/9
  • Hyperspace Mountain to reopen as Ghost Galaxy 9/9
  • Donald’s Boat (9/12-9/18)
  • Indiana Jones Adventure (9/12-9/15
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster (9/19-9/21)
  • Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
  • The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (thru 9/28)
  • Goofy’s Sky School (9/26-9/27)
  • Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes (thru 2017)

Are you headed to Disneyland or California Adventure during September, tell us about it or let us know how we can help plan your trip.

 

Build-A-Bear Workshop Downtown Disney – Disneyland Experts

Disney souvenirs abound at the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, and Build-A-Bear Downtown Disney is the perfect place to create Disney memories and keepsakes your children will treasure long after your Disneyland vacation.

This post is sponsored by Build-A-Bear Downtown Disney, read more about our disclosure policy here

Build the perfect Disneyland souvenir at Build-A-Bear Downtown Disney.
Build the perfect Disneyland souvenir at Build-A-Bear Downtown Disney.

One of the reasons we love stopping by Build-A-Bear, Downtown Disney is the huge selection of Disney, Star Wars and Marvel products they have in their workshop.

They truly know how to extend your Disneyland experience in their workshop with helpful staff and interactive exhibits for you or your little one to “Build-A-Bear.”

Build-A-Bear Downtown Disney First Visits

Our very first Build-A-Bear visit was to the Downtown Disney location. My kids worked hard and saved their allowance to get a Build-A-Bear. By the time they saved, we had a surprise Disneyland vacation waiting for them.

We actually used Build-A-Bear as a way to keep our Disneyland trip a surprise . . . we told them we were going to Build-A-Bear, but we left out the location :).

Limited edition Disney themed Build-A-Bears available at The Disneyland Resort.
Limited edition Disney themed Build-A-Bears available at The Disneyland Resort.

If this is your first time making a Build-A-Bear, here’s the basics on how it works:

  1. Choose from a variety of bears and other un-stuffed animals including limited edition Finding Dory characters, Marvel and Star Wars bears. Pick your un-stuffed favorite from the bin and get ready for a hands-on building adventure.
    Build-A-Bear Workshop Downtown Disney District. Bring home a magical souvenir worth snuggling.
    Build-A-Bear Workshop Downtown Disney District. Bring home a magical souvenir worth snuggling.
  2. Next you’ll head to the stuff station where an employee will help you fill your bear, be sure to put a heart full of love inside and an optional Disney-themed  sound.
    Build-A-Bear Workshop stuffing station. Choose a Disney, Star Wars or Marvel Build-A-Bear at Downtown Disney.
    Build-A-Bear Workshop stuffing station. Choose a Disney, Star Wars or Marvel Build-A-Bear at Downtown Disney.
  3. After your bear is stuffed and sewn, you move on to the fluff station where you comb and blow dry your new friend.
  4. Choose clothing, accessories and more for your Build-A-Bear. This is my favorite part! Look at all the Disney cuteness you can choose from!
    unnamed-8
    Snow White gown for your princess’s Build-A-Bear at The Disneyland Resort.
    unnamed-10
    Star Wars costumes for your Build-A-Bear straight from a galaxy far, far away.
    unnamed-12
    Star Wars outfits and accessories for your Build-A-Bear.
    unnamed-13
    The complete suite of Frozen outfits, accessories and wigs at the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Downtown Disney.
    unnamed-14
    Even The Avengers get in on the action with pajamas and slippers for bedtime.
  5. Mad Hatter costume for your bear at Downtown Disney's Build-A-Bear Workshop.
    Mad Hatter costume for your bear at Downtown Disney’s Build-A-Bear Workshop.
    Cruella De Vil dress up at Downtown Disney's Build-A-Bear Workshop.
    Cruella De Vil dress up at Downtown Disney’s Build-A-Bear Workshop.
  6. The last step is to name your bear on the computer kiosks, you’ll get a special box and certificate to take home along with your bear.
    Will you give your Build-A-Bear a Disney inspired name? Elsa, Charming, Luke, Nemo?
    Will you give your Build-A-Bear a Disney inspired name? Elsa, Charming, Luke, Nemo?

Build-A-Bear Downtown Disney

What’s better than Build-A-Bear by itself? Build-A-Bear at Downtown Disney! My favorite souvenirs are ones that will last and be cherished through the years. Add a special event like a Disneyland vacation, and your kids are even more likely to remember its significance.

Queen of Hearts outfit from Build-A-Bear at the Disneyland Resort.
Queen of Hearts outfit from Build-A-Bear at the Disneyland Resort.

During your Disneyland vacation, head over to Build-A-Bear Downtown Disney and let your child create a bear that resembles their favorite Disney Princess, villain or Star Wars character.

Build-A-Bear Downtown Disney More Fun

Here are some ways to make your visits to Build-A-Bear special, even if you’ve been there before.

  • Build another! Build-A-Bear comes out with new stuffed animals and licensed characters all the time. Along with the Disney, Marvel and Star Wars characters they also had Disneyland Diamond Celebration clothing and bears on our trip. These limited editions bears won’t last long!
    Diamond Celebration and Disneyland Resort outfits, complete with Mickey ears for your Build-A-Bear.
    Diamond Celebration and Disneyland Resort outfits, complete with Mickey ears for your Build-A-Bear.
  • Build-A-Bear Birthday Parties are perfect for your entire group!
  • If it’s been a while since your last visit, it’s probably time to get your Build-A-Bear a new outfit or even a pair of Mickey ears just for your bear.
  • Add a special sound like the Imperial March (sounds can be added to bears both old and new).
  • Get your bear cleaned and fluffed or even add special SCENTiments in scents like strawberry, pizza or bubblegum.
    Now playing at Build-A-Bear Workshop . . .
    Now playing at Build-A-Bear Workshop . . .

This post is sponsored by Build-A-Bear Workshop, read more about our disclosure policy here

Build-A-Bear at Downtown Disney is an experience you don’t want to miss; will you be heading to Build-A-Bear Workshop soon?

Build-A-Bear Workshop at the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, CA.
Build-A-Bear Workshop at the Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, CA.

 

 

 

Frozen — Live at the Hyperion Viewing Tips

Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, a Broadway style adaptation of Frozen opened May 27, 2016 at California Adventure. The details on this spectacular production including where to sit, when to see it and more.

Viewing tips for Frozen — Live at the Hyperion at the Disneyland Resort.
Viewing tips for Frozen — Live at the Hyperion at the Disneyland Resort.

Frozen — Live at the Hyperion

The Hyperion Theater located in Hollywood Land of California Adventure was home to Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular since 2003. Fans of Aladdin nearly lost it when they heard Frozen was coming to replace their beloved Genie-in-a-lamp. The last weeks of Aladdin’s run were performed in front of “sold out” crowds while fans petitioned to keep this California Adventure classic.

We know it’s always hard to see change at our Disney theme parks. And there were plenty of skeptics who did not want even more Frozen stuff filling the parks. I’ll admit, I wasn’t super excited about it myself. But one thing I tell myself with the Disneyland Resort is to wait and see. They always seem to do things better than I could ever imagine.

When it came to Frozen, I didn’t watch any leaked videos or behind the scenes footage. I wanted to be completely surprised. Not only was I surprised, I was blown away!

Even if you’re a little bummed about the never-ending Frozen takeover at the Disneyland Resort, the bottom line is, you want to see this show. Today we will talk about when and where to see Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, along with bonus tips for planning your day at California Adventure.

Tickets to Frozen — Live at the Hyperion

Let’s start with tickets. You do not need a separate ticket to attend a showing of Frozen – Live at the Hyperion, only valid theme park admission is required.

Don't miss Frozen — Live at the Hyperion on your next Disneyland vacation.
Don’t miss Frozen — Live at the Hyperion on your next Disneyland vacation.

While Disney could easily charge big bucks for this Broadway-worthy show, your discount Disneyland Resort ticket will get you in at no extra cost.

Currently, all you need after your park admission is a FASTPASS to enjoy this top-notch entertainment inside an air-conditioned venue with treats and drinks available for purchase inside. More on FASTPASSES below.

FASTPASS to Frozen — Live at the Hyperion

I don’t know where all the Frozen haters went, because it seems everyone is rushing to the FASTPASS line for tickets to Frozen the moment California Adventure opens.

Grab FASTPASSES to reserve your spot to Frozen — Live at the Hyperion.
Grab FASTPASSES to reserve your spot to Frozen — Live at the Hyperion.

A FASTPASS is your best option for viewing Frozen. During busy summer months and peak seasons like the holidays, be sure to make your way into Hollywood Land to get a FASTPASS well before noon.

Your FASTPASS saves you a spot for one the shows that day. You do not get to choose which time you attend. FASTPASSES are distributed for the first show first, and so on.

Your FASTPASS will also tell you your assigned seating section and what time to return to the theater. If you missed out on FASTPASSES, head toward the Hyperion Theater at least 30 minutes before the next show and ask a Cast Member for the stand-by line. There’s a chance you could still get in and get great seats too.

We arrived at rope drop, got FASTPASSES for Radiator Springs Racers, then some for Frozen which gave us seating in the first show of the day. Be sure everyone in your party enters the park first thing in the morning. You can’t let them sleep in and expect to get FASTPASSES while they slumber. Their tickets must be scanned in at the main entrance to get any FASTPASSES.

Frozen — Live at the Hyperion. (Piotr A. Redlinski/Disneyland Resort)
Frozen — Live at the Hyperion. (Piotr A. Redlinski/Disneyland Resort)

Seating Frozen — Live at the Hyperion

Your FASTPASS will tell you where you will sit inside the 2,000 seat theater which will be either Orchestra, Mezzanine or Balcony seats. Every seat offers a pretty good view and there is action at every turn, so don’t be worried! Little ones may have a hard time seeing, so consider bringing a sweatshirt or stuffed animal to boost them up. Mom and Dad’s laps work well too.

The first block of seats near the stage is the Orchestra seating. Above the walkway is Mezzanine, where we sat. Just to the left of us is the VIP seating (more on that below). And of course over our heads are balcony.

The aisle way just the front and right of this photo was often used for cast exits, so sit there if your

Frozen — Live at the Hyperion. Seating, tickets and more.
Frozen — Live at the Hyperion. Seating, tickets and more.

VIP Experience

Looking to make your Disneyland visit extra special? There’s plenty of ways to make that happen and if you have a Frozen-crazed fan in your life, this just might be the ticket! Make reservations here.

(Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort)
(Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort)

Frozen Pre-Show Package

Your VIP Frozen experience begins before the show when you enter Arendelle tucked inside Stage 17. You’ll get access to exclusive photo ops, a beverage station with both non and alcoholic drinks, along with a royal announcement inviting you to the show. You will also get access to priority seating as shown below.

Price: $49 per person, reservations are required.

VIP seating for Frozen — Live at the Hyperion. California Adventure's newest live theatrical production.
VIP seating for Frozen — Live at the Hyperion. California Adventure’s newest live theatrical production.

Carthay Circle Frozen Experience

Royalty at its finest. Choose from the Frozen lunch or dinner experience which begins with a 3 or 4 course meal at Carthay Circle and along the pre-show package above you’ll also have access to reserved seating inside the Hyperion.

Lunch Price: $99 per adult and $79 per child (ages 3 to 9), plus tax and gratuity.

Dinner Price: $299 per person, plus tax and gratuity.

Those that go with the dinner option will enjoy their meal after the show and step backstage to view incredible costumes and more behind the scenes surprises.

unnamed-10
View of the stage from the VIP seating area.

More Tips for Frozen

Meet Anna & Elsa at Disneyland Resort's California Adventure.
Meet Anna & Elsa at Disneyland Resort’s California Adventure.
  • The show runs about one hour, but plan on about an hour and thirty minutes of your day to be spent here.
  • Bathrooms are located outside the theater; make sure you stop there beforehand. You can leave to use the restroom during the show, but you won’t want to miss even a minute.
  • Food and drinks are sold both outside and inside the theater so feel free to bring in snacks as well.
  • Meet Anna & Elsa before or after the show inside Hollywood Land’s Animation Academy; check the Disneyland app for character meet and greet times and more.
  • Want more Disney Princess tips? Learn about meet and greets, plus Disney Princess makeovers.

Looking to learn more about Frozen before you see the show? Check out more reviews with the video below.

Did you see Frozen at California Adventure? Tell us what you loved and what tips we missed, we’d love to hear from you!

Best Offsite Disneyland Dining Spots

The best offsite Disneyland dining spots made our list by meeting 3 important criteria: close to the parks, favorable flavors and prices to match. See our top picks and what we eat when we’re dining offsite at Disneyland.

Best offsite Disneyland dining spots. Close enough to walk from Disneyland, good food at affordable prices.
Best offsite Disneyland dining spots. Close enough to walk from Disneyland, good food at affordable prices.

This post is brought to you in part by The Pizza Press on Harbor Blvd. All opinions are my own. Read more about our disclosure policy here

Rumor Alert: News from the Disneyland Resort came out this week about Carousel Inn being torn down in October for a new Disney parking garage and pedestrian bridge. Many took that to include Pizza Press which sits just next to Carousel Inn. The word straight from Pizza Press corporate office has confirmed Pizza Press will STAY in their current location until April 2017. We will keep you updated with news from Pizza Press as April approaches.

Disneyland Offsite Dining Spots is brought to you in part by The Pizza Press.
Offsite Disneyland Dining Spots is brought to you in part by The Pizza Press.

Nothing gets people going quite like a good meal and whether you’re dining offsite while staying in a hotel or looking for a quick getaway from theme park food, we’ve made our decision based on these three important factors below.

Offsite Disneyland Dining: Making the Cut

  1. Proximity to Disneyland. Yes, the Garden Walk boasts tons of dining options, but it’s called Garden “Walk” for a reason. If you’ve been walking all over the Disneyland Resort all day and just need a place to grab dinner, you’ll find the 30 minute walk from inside the parks is just too much. That’s why our list only mentions offsite Disneyland dining locations on Harbor Blvd. (Harbor Blvd. is kinda my fave. I love the hotels, I love the food and I love how super close it is to the main gate.) 
    Offsite Disneyland dining spots, enjoy lunch while the monorail goes by from inside The Pizza Press.
    Offsite Disneyland dining spots, enjoy lunch while the monorail goes by from inside The Pizza Press.
  2. Good Eats. Don’t eat just to get rid of your hangry (hungry and angry, anyone else or just me?) attitude, you want a meal that actually tastes good. Plus, a good meal can help you party late into the night, especially when Disneyland is open until midnight!
    Keeping it classic with a cheese pizza for the kids. Ready in minutes at The Pizza Press across from Disneyland.
    Keeping it classic with a cheese pizza for the kids. Ready in minutes at The Pizza Press across from Disneyland.
  3. Affordable Prices. I am all about Disneyland on a budget. I literally wrote the book on it. Disneyland On Any Budget is available on Amazon and has tons of ways to save for your trip! But back to food, if you’re leaving the parks to eat you definitely want it to be worth it. Our picks are cost-effective and taste good. What more can you ask for?
    Prices that won't break your budget. The Pizza Press in Anaheim, CA.
    Prices that won’t break your budget. The Pizza Press in Anaheim, CA.

Offsite Disneyland Dining: The Pizza Press

Topping our list is none other than The Pizza Press at 1534 S. Harbor Blvd. The Pizza Press has four locations in the surrounding areas and is expanding to places throughout L.A., Hollywood, San Diego and even Vegas and Texas. As they continue to expand, you won’t want to miss it, check out their locations here.

The Pizza Press on Harbor Blvd., across the street from the Disneyland Resort.
The Pizza Press on Harbor Blvd., across the street from the Disneyland Resort.

Why We Love It

I’m a pretty new fan to Pizza Press, having tried it a few years back but it quickly became a staple in our Disneyland routine. Besides the ability to “publish” your own pizza with a variety toppings, Pizza Press is fast and delicious.

Publish your own pizza near Disneyland at The Pizza Press on Harbor.
Publish your own pizza near Disneyland at The Pizza Press on Harbor.

At Pizza Press on Harbor, the staff works hard to create the same magical experience we’ve been having at Disneyland inside the restaurant. I’ve heard people and even Disneyland cast members talking about Pizza Press while out and about in Anaheim—it’s that good.

Best offsite dining locations near Disneyland.
Best offsite dining locations near Disneyland.

What to Expect

Quick service with fresh, made-to-order pizzas, fresh salads and desserts with a 10% discount for Annual Passholders. Plus a large selections of craft beer from local, Orange County breweries.

The Pizza Press
The Pizza Press

If you’re short on time you can even order Pizza Press online! Go ahead and squeeze in one more ride in Tomorrowland; you can place your order and head over to Harbor when it’s ready.

Seating is limited, but with how quickly pizzas are made and then devoured, you should be good to go.

Indoor and outdoor seating available at The Pizza Press near Disneyland.
Indoor and outdoor seating available at The Pizza Press near Disneyland.

Offsite Disneyland Dining: Delicious Chains

Harbor Blvd. is filled with familiar names, but sometimes a chain restaurant is exactly what you’re looking for with familiarity and amazing food. And if these chain eateries are new to you, they’re consistent, popular places to stop for a bite to eat.

Panera Bread 1480 S. Harbor Blvd. Panera is a quick eat, made to order items with freshly baked bread, breakfast sandwiches, soups, salads, along with paninis and sandwiches.

The Best Offsite Disneyland Dining Locations, including Panera Bread on Harbor Blvd. © 1999-2014 Panera, LLC. All rights reserved
The Best Offsite Disneyland Dining Locations, including Panera Bread on Harbor Blvd. © 1999-2014 Panera, LLC. All rights reserved
The Best Offsite Disneyland Dining Locations, including Panera Bread on Harbor Blvd. © 1999-2014 Panera, LLC. All rights reserved
The Best Offsite Disneyland Dining Locations, including Panera Bread on Harbor Blvd. © 1999-2014 Panera, LLC. All rights reserved

Prices are a bit higher than other counter service restaurants, but I feel the prices and quality reflects their clean ingredients policy, which also states that their food never has any artificial preservatives, colorings, sweetening or flavor. You can read more about their no-no list here and see our round-up of healthy(-er) food options inside Disneyland park.

Mimi’s Cafe 1400 S. Harbor Blvd. right next to one of our Top Water Park Hotels. I’ve always been a fan of Mimi’s Cafe’s breakfasts. Muffins, omelettes, and muffins. Oops! I think I already said muffins. You’ll have to forgive me, they are divine!

Photo courtesy of Mimi's Cafe
Photo courtesy of Mimi’s Cafe
The best offsite Disneyland Dining locations including Mimi's Cafe on Harbor Blvd. Photo courtesy of Mimi's Cafe.
The best offsite Disneyland Dining locations including Mimi’s Cafe on Harbor Blvd. Photo courtesy of Mimi’s Cafe.

Mimi’s is a sit-down, family friendly French-inspired restaurant with a huge menu. It’s hard to choose just one thing, there are so many options. Bring the entire family and you’re sure to find something everyone can enjoy. Prices are on point with other area sit down establishments. Plus, join their e-club before your visit and enjoy a freebie or two!

Offsite Disneyland Dining: Quick Eats

The Cove on Harbor 1540 S. Harbor Blvd. What appears to be a fancy liquor store is really much more. It’s clean, has your typical sodas, drinks, beer and wine plus basic groceries. In addition, The Cove on Harbor also has a variety of ready-made sandwiches, fresh paninis, a coffee bar, pastries and pre-assembled snack packs.

The Cove on Harbor Blvd.
The Cove on Harbor Blvd.

If you don’t have time to hit up a grocery store near Disneyland, this is the best place to grab a few essentials and a souvenir or two. Follow them on Instagram to get a better idea of what they’re cooking up.

The Cove on Harbor Blvd.
The Cove on Harbor Blvd.
unnamed
The Cove on Harbor Blvd.

McDonalds 1500 S. Harbor Blvd. Yes! There is a McDonald’s by Disneyland! Because you were wondering, weren’t you? Sometimes a Happy Meal can go a long way. Trust me, it’s why we do our “Happy Points” when we take our Disneyland road trips every year.

McDonald's is a must-stop for us on Disneyland road trips.
McDonald’s is a must-stop for us on Disneyland trips.

At McDonalds, you know exactly what to expect and you know you’re getting a good deal, quickly. McDonalds is an ideal place to stop for breakfast on your way over to Disneyland. It’s also a great choice for those on a budget to grab a few burgers or Chicken McNuggets and be on their way.

I also love to grab a large soda and take it with me into the parks in the morning.

Looking for more dining options at the Disneyland Resort? Don’t miss our 10 Meals for $10 at Disneyland and California Adventure, plus our Downtown Disney Dining Guide.

What did we miss? What restaurant or quick service place do you suggest we add to our best offsite Disneyland dining spots?

New Construction – Grand Legacy At The Park

It’s not often you see brand new hotel construction in the area immediately surrounding Disneyland, but Grand Legacy At The Park pulled it off in a grand way.

Grand Legacy At The Park is just across the street from Disneyland. Moderate to luxury rooms along with new construction.
Grand Legacy At The Park is just across the street from Disneyland. Moderate to luxury rooms along with new construction.

I was invited to stay at Grand Legacy At The Park’s new hotel tower. All opinions are my own. Read more about my disclosure policy here

Earlier in 2016 I took a tour of the hotel’s new tower while it was under construction (check out my review of their renovated rooms here) and jumped at the chance to stay there again once the new tower opened.

What’s New – Grand Legacy At The Park

Grand Legacy’s Welcome

If you’ve stayed at Grand Legacy during their renovations, you’ll immediately notice how much has changed. A covered front driveway for check-in welcomes you as you walk in to a stunning new lobby complete with a custom mural that truly encompasses the feel of Disneyland.

Grand Legacy At The Park - What's new at your favorite Disneyland area hotel.
Grand Legacy At The Park – What’s new at your favorite Disneyland area hotel.

Luxury Suites

Grand Legacy’s brand new tower puts you up front with the Disneyland magic and you can even reserve a park-facing room.

Where to stay near Disneyland. Luxury suites facing the Disneyland Resort. Photo courtesy Grand Legacy At The Park.
Where to stay near Disneyland. Luxury suites facing the Disneyland Resort. Photo courtesy Grand Legacy At The Park.

We stayed in a two room suite with 630 square feet of space and let me tell you, we made use of it all! The two room suites welcome you into a parlor area with a table for four, a couch with a pull-out bed, along with a chair and ottoman. We loved having this extra space to watch TV, relax or eat at the table.

We really appreciated how the bedroom area had ample space and storage for our family. The benches at the foot of the beds served as great place to set down backpacks and purses and store shoes underneath (just don’t leave them there when you check out like I did!).

I also loved the desk area and improved access to wireless Internet right in my room. You’ll also find a TV and mini fridge in your sleeping quarters—a huge plus when you’re bringing snacks and drinks into the parks. See what else I pack in my Disneyland bag here.

Where to stay near Disneyland. Luxury suites facing the Disneyland Resort. Photo courtesy Grand Legacy At The Park.
Where to stay near Disneyland. Luxury suites facing the Disneyland Resort. Photo courtesy Grand Legacy At The Park.

When you reserve a west-facing suite, you can even watch the Disneyland fireworks from the comfort of your own room. Since we arrived late on the night of check in, we opted to watch fireworks from our room snuggled up in pajamas. As soon as the fireworks were over we tucked our kids into bed and enjoyed a little late night TV.

Notice all the people standing right below our room on the street waiting to catch the fireworks?

Totally spoiled watching fireworks from my room at Grand Legacy At The Park.
Totally spoiled watching fireworks from my room at Grand Legacy At The Park.
unnamed-10
Totally spoiled watching fireworks from my room at Grand Legacy At The Park.

Complimentary Breakfast

Grand Legacy's free breakfast.
Grand Legacy’s free breakfast.

Breakfast has always been included in your stay at Grand Legacy, but they’ve certainly upped their game with new hot breakfast offerings and fresh fruit salads, along with breakfast staples like coffee, juice and cereal.

Grand Legacy's free breakfast.
Grand Legacy’s free breakfast. New hot options available!
Grand Legacy's free breakfast. Hotel near Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA.
Grand Legacy’s free breakfast. Hotel near Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA.
Grand Legacy's free breakfast. Hotel near Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA.
Grand Legacy’s free breakfast. Hotel near Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA.

The line at breakfast can get long rather quickly, so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the spread and then choose a place either inside the breakfast room, out on the deck or head back to your room to enjoy the first meal of the day.

Rooftop Bar & Lounge

The FIFTH is definitely one of my favorite aspects to the new tower at Grand Legacy At The Park. The FIFTH deserves an entire write-up on its own, so while I’m working on that let me give you a quick peek at why with these photos taken at The FIFTH (and these were before the sun went down!), Anaheim’s only rooftop bar and lounge.

The FIFTH rooftop bar and lounge.
The FIFTH rooftop bar and lounge.
The FIFTH rooftop bar and lounge, family area.
The FIFTH rooftop bar and lounge, family area.
The FIFTH rooftop bar and lounge.
The FIFTH rooftop bar and lounge.
The FIFTH rooftop bar and lounge.
The FIFTH rooftop bar and lounge.

Retail Shops & Eats

On the street level of Grand Legacy’s new tower guests have quick access to food, Disneyland tickets and other must-have items at Alpha Gift Mart, Pizzaterian, Creamistry, Jimboy’s Tacos and more.

New retail shopping and good eats on Harbor Blvd. near Disneyland.
New retail shopping and good eats on Harbor Blvd. near Disneyland.
unnamed-12
New retail shopping and good eats on Harbor Blvd. near Disneyland.
unnamed-13
New retail shopping and good eats on Harbor Blvd. near Disneyland.
unnamed-14
New retail shopping and good eats on Harbor Blvd. near Disneyland.

What We Love – Grand Legacy At The Park

Not everything has changed at Grand Legacy. You will still find the amazing staff taking care of quick check-ins and valet parking when needed. The excellent house keeping staff is ready to mail that cherished hand-made quilt from great-grandma back to you when realize it was left behind (yes, that was us!). Add the comforts of home reflected in every room and you’re certain to have a wonderful Disneyland vacation.

Another thing that remains at Grand Legacy is their fabulous pool, named as one of our top water park pools near Disneyland. You can see their awesome pool in action below.

Beach entry pool at Grand Legacy At The Park near Disneyland.
Beach entry pool at Grand Legacy At The Park near Disneyland.

Grand Legacy At The Park also maintains an excellent value for their incredible location and accommodations. You’ll find rooms for large groups down to couple’s getaways with a prices within your budget. Subscribe to their newsletter for frequent discount offers and more Disneyland and California vacationing advice.

Have you stayed with Grand Legacy? Tell us about your experience.

I was invited to stay at Grand Legacy At The Park’s new hotel tower. All opinions are my own. Read more about my disclosure policy here

PCH Grill Mickey & Friends Disneyland Character Dining

Meeting Disney characters has never been easier with Mickey & Friends Disneyland character dining!

I admit, I was a little skeptical of doing a Disneyland character meal because of the cost involved. But let me tell you, it was worth it!

Meet Disney characters, no Disneyland park tickets required! Mickey & Friends breakfast at PCH Grill.
Meet Disney characters, no Disneyland park tickets required! Mickey & Friends breakfast at PCH Grill.

Instead of thinking of it as a meal or breakfast with character visits, think of it as paying to see the characters, with breakfast included. It’s much easier for me to swallow the price tag when I see it that way. And truly, you are going there to experience the coveted one-on-one time with characters— otherwise you would have just dined anywhere at the Disneyland Resort.

Why Choose Disneyland Character Dining

Like I mentioned above, when you choose a Disneyland character dining option, you’re getting much more than a meal. You are getting one-on-one time with characters that you won’t get anywhere else. Characters come to your table throughout the meal so you won’t miss a thing!

Disneyland character dining with Mickey & Friends.
Disneyland character dining with Mickey & Friends.

If you’re like me and prefer to ride as many rides as possible during your Disneyland vacation, you’ll want to choose a character dining experience at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels. This way you’re not wasting any prime time inside the parks.

Get prime one-on-one time with characters at Disneyland character dining with Mickey & Friends.
Get prime one-on-one time with characters at Disneyland character dining with Mickey & Friends.

We chose Mickey & Friends at PCH Grill on the property of Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and had a fabulous time.

Disneyland character dining with Mickey & Friends.
Disneyland character dining with Mickey & Friends.

What We Love About Mickey & Friends Breakfast

We made a reservation for the last breakfast of the day at 10:50 am. It made for a great brunch and we were stuffed well into the afternoon. Plus, we could sleep in and look a little more awake in our photos.

Disneyland character dining with Mickey & Friends.
Disneyland character dining with Mickey & Friends.

Our late arrival meant we had the whole restaurant almost entirely to ourselves, characters included! The downside? It was obviously closing time and we felt a little rushed. I recommend a 10:30 am time for the perfect combination of emptiness without being rushed.

I read tons of reviews online about this particular character dining and the reviews for food were all over the board. I prepped myself for a mediocre food experience but found it to offer a large variety of delicious food.

IMG_4690 IMG_4691 IMG_4693

Bonus Tip: Park on site at the Paradise Pier Hotel and get free validation for up to 3 hours.

Who You’ll Meet at Mickey & Friend Character Dining

Most commonly seen characters are Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Stitch, Pluto and Daisy Duck. As with all character meals at Disneyland, you’re only certain to meet the character named in the title of the breakfast. In this case, Mickey Mouse.

Disneyland character breakfast at PCH Grill.
Disneyland character breakfast at PCH Grill.

Mickey & Friend Character Dining Cost

If you’re looking to save a little money at Disneyland, you’re in luck! Character dining vouchers allow you to purchase your meal in advance at a discount. We bought our Disneyland character dining vouchers here which includes gratuity and tax. Score! The only hiccup? You must turn in your paper voucher for a hard copy at the ticket stand so make sure you stop by the main gates before heading to your meal.

Bottom line, would we do this again? Absolutely! We were thrilled to experience this Disneyland character dining and surprise the kids with some Disney magic and we will definitely be trying more like these in the future.

 

Disneyland and McDonald’s – Road Trip Perfection

Our Disneyland road trip always includes a stop at McDonald’s. Check out how Disneyland and McDonald’s make the perfect combination when you’re roadtrippin’ it.

Why every Disneyland road trip should include a stop at McDonald's. Disneyland advice from The Happiest Blog on Earth.
Why every Disneyland road trip should include a stop at McDonald’s. Disneyland advice from The Happiest Blog on Earth.

We’ve teamed up with McDonald’s to help your road trip go as smooth as possible. McDonald’s provided our meals on this trip. Read our full disclosure here

We travel to Anaheim, California and the Los Angeles area at least once a year, but usually twice. It’s a 10 hour drive and I often drive it solo with my kids.

My husband flies into town later and drives home with us, but it’s a great compromise because I can soak up the California sun, hit the beach and visit Disneyland multiple days, then enjoy family time when my hubby arrives.

But, there’s some major prep work that goes into planning a Disneyland road trip when I’m driving an entire day with a car full of kids.

Disneyland & McDonald’s: Happy Points

In the week leading up to our Disneyland road trip, my kids are often antsy and excited. To keep things happy in our house we’ve implemented a “Happy Points” system, where kids can earn “Happy Points” for good behavior. Happy Points are then redeemed at McDonald’s at the half-way point on our road trip.

Getting ready for a road trip with kids? Happy points to earn a Happy Meal is an easy way to keep everyone happy.
Getting ready for a road trip with kids? Happy points to earn a Happy Meal is an easy way to keep everyone happy.

You can set up Happy Points however works for your family. Kids can earn Happy Points by being kind to siblings, helping out around the house or even meeting daily reading goals. Grab our free Happy Points Printable below.

Happy Points Printable

Disneyland & McDonald’s: Activities

McDonald’s & Disneyland Printables

Coloring pages are a must for any road trip. We like to pack Crayola colored pencils  so there’s no need to worry about melted crayons in the car.

McDonald’s Happy Meal website has coloring pages that often correspond with the current Happy Meal toy. Print some McDonald’s coloring pages and of course, some free Disney coloring pages too.

McDonald’s McPlay App

McDonald's McPlay app, download it for your Disneyland road trip.
McDonald’s McPlay app, download it for your Disneyland road trip.

We resisted tech and screens on our road trips for SO long! But now the kids get a limited amount of screen during our drive. The McDonald’s McPlay App available on iTunes and Android, has interactive games and ebooks for kids to read. I’m a big fan of books on road trips and digital versions are super fun.

Disneyland & McDonald’s: Play Place

Get the wiggles out at McDonald's Play Place!
Get the wiggles out at McDonald’s Play Place!

I’m a huge fan of McDonald’s Play Place, especially on road trips to Disneyland. My kids need some time to run around and get worn out during our long drive.

McDonald's Play Place, the perfect stop during a Disneyland road trip.
McDonald’s Play Place, the perfect stop during a Disneyland road trip.

Find a McDonald’s with a Play Place here and enter the city you’re driving through into the search bar. You’ll quickly find a list of McDonald’s with their amenities, along with a map for an easy way to identify locations near the freeway.

McDonald's
McDonald’s Play Place seating area.

Looking for a McDonald’s near Disneyland? There’s one on Harbor Blvd. that you can easily walk to from the parks. Just head toward the Toy Story lot trams and keep going until you hit Harbor Blvd. You’ll see it right across the pedestrian walkway.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 1.50.29 PM
McDonald’s Play Place finder near freeways.
McDonald's Play Place locations.
McDonald’s Play Place locations.

Disneyland & McDonald’s: Food

Last but not least is the food. It’s comfort food for the kids and fresh choices for moms that keeps me coming back to McDonald’s—oh, and the fountain Coca-Cola too :). Plus the free WiFi is a nice bonus.

McDonald's is a must-stop for us on Disneyland road trips.
McDonald’s is a must-stop for us on Disneyland road trips.

Happy Meals

My kids love getting Happy Meals, and since we reserve them for “special” outings, like our Disneyland drives, they are beyond excited!

McDonald's Happy Meals make me smile too!
McDonald’s Happy Meals make me smile too!

I love getting Happy Meals for road trips because they are the complete meal for kids with a hamburger, cheeseburger or chicken nuggets, plus side options like Cuties, Go-Gurts, fries or sliced apples. We often choose a Cutie or sliced apples because they are easy to save for later if needed. You can also choose from milk or a fountain drink.

And what’s a Happy Meal without the toy? Happy Meal toys come in so handy on our drives; it’s a brand new toy that keeps them busy until they fall asleep after getting their bellies full. 🙂 Win-win!

Salads

If the Big Mac isn’t quite your thing, you’re going to love the fresh salad options at McDonald’s. These tasty entrees will actually have you hitting the drive through even without kids in tow. Choose from Bacon Ranch Salad or Southwest Salad with either crispy or grilled chicken for as little as 330 calories.

McDonald's Southwest Salad, my favorite place to stop on our Disneyland road trips.
McDonald’s Southwest Salad, my favorite place to stop on our Disneyland road trips.

Burgers & Sandwiches

If you’re craving a burger on your Disneyland drive, McDonald’s has you covered. Plus, chicken sandwich options for under 400 calories.

Keeping it simple with a burger and fries.
Keeping it simple with a burger and fries.

All Day Breakfast

My only question is where was all day breakfast when I was rollin’ in at 3 in the morning back in the day? This is the best thing to happen to McDonald’s in a long time. Heading back from Disneyland after summer closing times? This is your stop! Grab an Egg McMuffin or Hot Cakes at the Harbor Blvd. location. Yum!

As we wrapped up our most recent Disneyland and McDonald’s road trip, me as the solo driver with four kids in the car, I am so glad we had McDonald’s Play Place and good food to eat during our break. Don’t forget to look at your receipt, a quick survey and you could score some free food at McDonald’s for the drive back home.

McDonald's food freebies!
McDonald’s food freebies!

If you’re looking for a quick stop that’s refreshing and familiar, don’t miss it on your drive or during your Disneyland vacation.

Want to see what else we like to do to keep busy on our Disneyland Road Trips? We’ve got tons of ideas plus lots more Disneyland tips where this came from. Tell us, where do you like to stop off when you head to Disneyland?

 

Why Walt Disney World Fans Need to Visit Disneyland

Walt Disney World is truly a world of its own but today we’re talking about why Walt Disney World fans need to visit Disneyland.

Why Walt Disney World Fans Need to Visit Disneyland from Ear To There Travel and The Happiest Blog on Earth.
Why Walt Disney World Fans Need to Visit Disneyland from Ear To There Travel and The Happiest Blog on Earth.

Why Walt Disney World Fans Need to Visit Disneyland

I’ve partnered up with Phil at Ear To There Travel on his popular Disney podcast, Ear To There, where we share our top reasons why Walt Disney World fans should head over to Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Join us and hear what things California locals love about “their park”, why Fantasyland is one of our faves, and how California Adventure has truly made its mark as a Disney Park powerhouse.

You can listen in on our conversation at Ear To There Disney podcast here. And if you can’t get enough of Disney, be sure to subscribe to Ear To There and tell us what you think of our tops reasons why Walt Disney World fans should visit Disneyland.

Why Walt Disney World Fans Need to Visit Disneyland: More Tips

Walt Disney World Fans- Come visit us in California at Disneyland!
Walt Disney World Fans- Come visit us in California at Disneyland!

If you listened to the podcast above (and if you didn’t, head here), you might want a deeper look into a few of the things we hit on in the podcast:

Need help planning your Disneyland vacation? Leave us a comment or contact Phil at Ear To There Travel and let us help you get your Walt Disney World-loving family over to the Disneyland Resort. See ya real soon!

Don’t Do a Surprise Disneyland Trip

Don’t do a surprise Disneyland trip; why our best intentions fail and how to do it right.

You’re SO excited for your surprise Disneyland trip, right?!? And you’re totally gonna reveal it to the kids and it’s gonna be so freaking awesome! They’re gonna flip out . . . or cry, or not really care at all.

It’s a disappointing reality and that’s why today I’m telling you, don’t do a surprise Disneyland trip.

Why we skip the surprise Disneyland trips and what you can do to make your surprise a success.
Why we skip the surprise Disneyland trips and what you can do to make your surprise a success.

I know, you think I’m crazy. You have grand plans and you’re sure the Disneyland surprise is going to be amazing. I get it. It’s SO much fun to surprise people and who wouldn’t want a surprise trip to Disneyland? I’m going to break it down for you with why our best intentions fail and how to do it right.

Surprise Disneyland Trip Fails

I’ll start off by sharing our own surprise Disneyland vacation fail. We were in the car, almost to Anaheim. The kids thought we were just going to Build-A-Bear at Downtown Disney during one of our L.A. vacations.

But, our plans started to unravel. Our kids were playing detective. Wondering why the waitress at lunch was overly excited for us (she knew our secret), why Grandpa had brought their Mickey ears to lunch (he knew our secret) . . . it was all good though, we still got to reveal the secret. . .

“Ok guys! We’re going to Build-A-Bear and then we’re going to spend the night at our friend’s house because tomorrow we’re all going to Disneyland!”

Silence.

Where was the hooting and hollering? Where were the excited screams? Not there. We just got some timid, embarrassed smiles and some, “Are we really Mom?” Sure it wasn’t a grand reveal but the reaction was a little underwhelming. Kinda like this one . . .

But at least we didn’t have tears . . .

Sometimes you get a combination of joy and sadness like this one . . .

YouTube is filled with surprise Disneyland trip fails. Kids are just very sensitive and emotional. It’s not something to mess with.

Surprise Disneyland Trip Makeover

Because you’re gonna go it anyway.

I know, you’ve read this as a sceptic. And you’re still a sceptic. You think you can pull it off. And that’s cool, we knew you were going to go through with the Disneyland surprise trip from the get-go. So we’ve put together a little surprise Disneyland trip makeover—some rules to make it as much of a success as possible.

  1. No lies! Do not create a false story to cover up your surprise Disneyland trip. We teach our kids to tell the truth, and then we lie to them. When you lie, kids have a hard time processing what is true and what isn’t. If you say you’re going on a long drive to Grandma’s, but then surprise them with a Disney trip, they will also expect to go to Grandma’s. And they’ll likely be very sad if they can’t see Grandma and go to Disneyland.
  2. Surprise them in advance. It’s still a surprise even when it’s a week or two early. Don’t wait until you get on the plane. Don’t wait until the morning of when you wake them at 5:00 am to catch a plane or drive to Disneyland. They just won’t process it the way you expect and want them to.
  3. Don’t video it. I know, I know! You were totally on board up until this point. Let me explain. Kids (adults too!) tend to get nervous when you’re videoing for what seems to be no apparent reason. They’re automatically on guard and suspicious. Kids also have a tendency to act differently when we’re recording them, be it very goofy and over-the-top, or shy and reserved. I know you’re afraid you’ll miss the golden moments like those videos above. Consider videoing them after they’ve had time to digest the surprise Disneyland trip. Get them comfortable and ask them to tell the camera about the surprise and what they’re hoping to do and see at Disneyland.
  4. Consider introducing surprise elements to your trip. A meal with Disney characters, a princess makeover in Sleeping Beauty Castle or stay at one of these amazing water park hotels.

Surprise Disneyland Trip Must-Haves

Giving clues or going on a treasure hunt is a classic way to reveal a surprise Disneyland trip. Here is some Disney treasure you don’t want to miss!

Disney tickets on the cheap! It’s true, Disney ticket discounts are hard to come by. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Park Savers, they are an authorized ticket seller and offer the lowest prices online with no fees or service charges. Grab your tickets here.

Encourage the kids to start saving for souvenirs. Some families defer allowance money to Disney money. Use a cute Mickey Mouse piggy bank to stash coins and cash.

We love our Disney lanyards for collecting and trading Disney pins. It’s a fabulous and affordable (when you trade) souvenir and gives the kids something to do and look at when they’re waiting in line. These lanyards come in a set of 3 with coin purses attached.

This Minnie Mouse travel pillow doubles as a cute stuffed animal to sleep with once you get to the hotel. Plus, it comes with an autograph book for your favorite characters to sign at the parks! Get the Mickey Mouse version here.

I personally would love a surprise trip to Disneyland. And I can guarantee a huge, excited reaction. But besides the surprise trip mentioned above, we have always included our kids in our Disneyland plans. We talk about it for months on end and plan out all the fun details like where we want to eat (check out 10 Disneyland Meals for $10), and what to ride first.

I feel it’s part of what makes our trip so magical, that we plan it together. I love hearing how excited my kids are as we pour over park maps and decide if the kids will be joining me on Tower of Terror this time or not.

Now that you’ve heard our rules for a successful Disneyland surprise, what are your thoughts? What did we miss? Are you ready to reveal your surprise Disneyland trip or will you just clue them in from the get-go?

4th of July Sale!

We first released Disneyland On Any Budget in February 2016 and now it’s time for a big-time 4th of July sale. This is the lowest price ever, so let’s get you to Disneyland!

Get the book and save on your Disneyland vacation! Disneyland on Any Budget is on sale July 1-5, 2016.
Get the book and save on your Disneyland vacation! Disneyland on Any Budget is on sale July 1-5, 2016.

4th of July Sale: Disneyland On Any Budget

The earlier you buy, the more you save on Disneyland On Any Budget. Here’s the details on our 4th of July Sale.

The countdown deal is available for the Kindle version only.

Beginning July 1st at midnight PST, the price is as low as you’ll ever see it at .99 cents! After that, Amazon increases the price at some crazy times. Get it fast so you don’t miss this low, low price.

July 1st at 7:00 pm PST, the price goes up to $1.99

July 2nd at 2:00 pm PST, $2.99

July 3rd at 9:00 am PST, $3.99

July 4th at 4:00 am PST, $4.99

Then returning to $5.99 on July 5th at midnight PST.

4th of July Sale: What People Are Saying

We’ve had some fabulous reviews on Amazon, and we just can’t keep quiet about it. Here’s some of our faves.

“I thought I knew everything there was to know about money saving tips and freebies at Disneyland. I was totally wrong!” 

“I was at a complete loss as where to even start planning our trip until I was given a copy of this book. It helps you plan things I wouldn’t have even thought about until we were already there and it would be too late to go about it the smart way.”

“I just finished reading it and want to give a huge thank you for all of the information you so generously shared in the book. I have already started using a lot of your tips for saving on our trip to Disneyland in a couple of months.” 

“Wow, she really thought of everything. Every teeny tiny little thing, and I am so using this as reference for our next Disney vacation.”

Get your copy of Disneyland On Any Budget early and save even more on your Disneyland vacation!

Disneyland on Any Budget, Amazon Countdown deal is on! Get <a href=

Disneyland and Pregnant

Disneyland and pregnant? No, this is not an announcement. And no, this is not a casting call for an MTV reality show. This is for the mamas and mamas-to-be who are heading to Disneyland with a baby bump.

What to expect when you're expecting at The Happiest Place on Earth. Your guide to doing Disneyland when pregnant.
What to expect when you’re expecting at The Happiest Place on Earth. Your guide to doing Disneyland when pregnant. Photo credit: Pretty Poo Eater via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

You’re absolutely glowing and it’s a great time to take some cute maternity pics in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle—and then what? What’s a pregnant lady to do at Disneyland?

I’ve definitely had my share of time at Disneyland with babies, but today we’ve got everything you need to know if you’re at Disneyland and pregnant.

Note: This is not medical advice, always consult your physician before riding any attractions. 

Disneyland and Pregnant: Rumors

Let’s just get this out of the way, shall we? Do not attempt to deliver your baby at Disneyland. Your child will NOT get a lifetime pass to Disneyland or even free churros on every visit. Read more about this urban legend here.

Disneyland churros mmm... planing your day at Disneyland while pregnant. Photo credit: Shoshanah via RemodelHackers / CC BY
Disneyland churros mmm… planing your day at Disneyland while pregnant. Photo credit: Shoshanah via RemodelHackers / CC BY

Another rumor that’s circulating the web is a “pregnancy pass” to skip the lines. This is a little misleading. Disneyland uses the Disability Access Pass, which pregnant women may use. Read those guidelines here then bring a doctor’s note just in case. But be warned, you will not skip waiting, you will just be given a return time and are free to do something else while you wait. This just makes it easier on your feet and body.

Disneyland and Pregnant: What to Ride

The first thing pregnant women at Disneyland want to know is, “Is it worth going? What can I ride anyway?” Yes, it’s absolutely worth going. And here’s why.

Disneyland and pregnant. What can I ride if I'm pregnant during my vacation? Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort.
Disneyland and pregnant. What can I ride if I’m pregnant during my vacation? Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland Rides that are Pregnancy Approved (remember to check with your doctor first):

  • Alice in Wonderland. Plenty of room for a growing belly with a pull down lap bar. There are two rows in each caterpillar, so you may like to take one just for yourself.
  • Astro Orbitor. Similar to Dumbo the Flying Elephant, you’ll go around and up and down in a rocket outfitted with an expandable, soft seatbelt.
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Your space cruiser offers plenty of room to slide in. Pull down bar can comfortably accommodate baby bumps.
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train. If the heat becomes too much to handle, skip this ride through Fantasyland, but if you decide to ride be sure to pick a comfortable sleigh rather than a cage car.
  • Disneyland Railroad. Currently closed due to the Star Wars themed land expansion, The Disneyland Railroad offers pregnant ladies a nice break from walking and waiting, choose from one of four stops around the park.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant. You may want to claim your own elephant to soar over Fantasyland. Choose one in blue, pink or yellow for some adorable maternity photos.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. The majority of this queue is in the sun, so try to visit this ride early or late in the day. Be aware that you will have to use a very steep stairway to explore these waters.
  • Haunted Mansion. There’s always room for more happy haunts here in New Orleans Square. Moms-to-be at Disneyland will enjoy an air conditioned ride in a comfortable doom buggy.
  • “it’s a small world”. You may get the song stuck in your head, but it’s certainly a cool, comfortable ride. Be aware that the queue is in full sun.
  • Jungle Cruise. Leave civilization behind, just be careful stepping onto this boat at the dock and be prepared for some clever jokes along the way.
  • King Arthur Carrousel. I’d only recommend the agile for this one, as you’ll have to hop on and off your graceful steed. Every horse on this carrousel gallops, so there are no stationary options.
  • Mad Tea Party. While it’s safe to take a spin in these teacups, only those with a little baby belly and a strong stomach should ride.
  •  The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. A six person beehive will take you comfortably into the Hundred-Acre Woods with plenty of room for your baby on board.
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. This wild, frenzied ride may not be for all pregnant women. You’ll be comfortably seated in a two person motorcar, but be ready for some twists and turns.
  • Peter Pan’s Flight. One of my favorites, board a pirate ship and sail over London and Never Land with lots of room to sit even in the third trimester.
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey. Don’t wait more than a few minutes for this attraction, but it’s perfectly safe for mom and baby.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean. A couple of small drops might make newly expectant mothers nervous. While it’s not on the restricted list, use caution.
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. Hail a cab and ride through Toon Town. The seating is a little narrower than others with a pull down lap bar.
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventures. A quick ride through the story of Snow White in an air conditioned building.
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats. Totally safe, but one I would skip. The balancing act of getting in and out, plus the queue and ride itself are almost entirely in the sun makes this one okay but nothing I’d wait in line for.

Disneyland and Pregnant: Don’t Ride

Next we’re talking what not to ride. The list of prohibited rides is relatively short so you can actually enjoy at Disneyland vacation even when you’re pregnant.

What not to ride when you're pregnant at Disneyland. Photo courtesy of the Disneyland Resort.
What not to ride when you’re pregnant at Disneyland. Photo courtesy of the Disneyland Resort.

Here’s what not to ride:

  • Autopia. You don’t want to ride this anyway. It’s on my permanent what not to ride list. 
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster
  • Indiana Jones. This does have a Single Rider option for the other guests in your party.
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain

We’ll be doing a follow up post on California Adventure, but for now the do not ride list over there is quite short too:

  • California Screamin’
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Disneyland and Pregnant: Cool Off

You need a place to relax and we’re here to help.

Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort

Main Street, U.S.A.

Main Street is a fabulous place to hang out when you need a cool place to relax. We recommend the Disney Gallery, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,  and Main Street Cinema along with the many places to dine and shop on Main Street.

You’ll also find the First Aid and the Baby Care Center on Main Street. Should you need any medical assistance or over the counter medication, head here. In the Baby Care Center, you can take a rest from the noise and crowds.

If your feet just need a break but your kids are still busy and ready to play at the parks, Main Street is also a stop for the Disneyland Railroad (when in service) and the Main Street Vehicles both of which will give you the break you need.

Tomorrowland

The monorail station in Tomorrowland will take you on a quick ride to Downtown Disney, but I really love the ride from Downtown Disney into Disneyland. It’s much longer and more of a tour. Take it both ways for a cool, comfortable place to unwind.

Relax in Tomorrowland Terrace, home of Jedi Training while you watch young Padawans train or sign up your Jedi hopefuls at rope drop.

If your family is riding Space Mountain, take a break in the shaded area near the entrance and exit. Bonus: quick access to bathrooms and food!

Adventureland

If you’re looking to cool down in Adventureland, head for the Enchanted Tiki Room and bring a Dole Whip in with you for the show.

Frontierland

Head to the Golden Horseshoe for some ice cream and a cool, comfortable indoor atmosphere.

Photo credit: Castles, Capes & Clones / Foter.com / CC BY-ND
Photo credit: Castles, Capes & Clones / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Fantasyland

There’s not much shade to be found in the ever crowded Fantasyland. But you can enjoy a show under some shade while watching Mickey and the Magical Map near it’s a small world or catch a show at the Royal Theatre near the castle.

What areas did I miss? True, the Hungry Bear is a nice spot but I think it will soon be an access point to the new Star Wars land, claiming our quiet retreat.

Disneyland and Pregnant: Must Haves

To really be prepared for a day at Disneyland while you’re pregnant, we have a few suggestions. If your feet just aren’t having it or that crazy sciatic nerve is acting up, consider renting an ECV rental.

I’ve also heard great things about the AZMED Maternity Belt to help support your belly and back during a long day on your feet.

A few other things you can bring to help make your day easier . . .


An umbrella can do wonders on a hot day, plus this misting spray fan will be appreciated by everyone in your group. And of course, a water bottle to keep you nice and hydrated.

While we’re on the subject, you’ll want to download the official Disneyland app for a quick restroom locater. How awesome is that?

How did your Disneyland and pregnant vacation go, what can we add to our guide to help other expecting moms?