Disneyland in August

Disneyland in August is ready to bring wrap up the Diamond Celebration with extended Disneyland hours and tons of top-notch entertainment. If you’re going to Disneyland or California Adventure this month, here’s what to expect at the resort for August 2016.

Updated for 2016!
Disneyland in August, what to expect during your Disneyland vacation. Photo credit: Jennie Park Photography / Foter / CC BY

What’s New at Disneyland in August

August is a mixed bag with a couple of value days, a handful of peak priced days but mostly regular price days. Read more about Disneyland’s  new tiered ticketing prices here.

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

And when you’re ready to get an even better deal on your tickets, grab discount Disneyland tickets from our trusted partner, Park Savers.

Plus don’t forget these attractions and events at Disneyland in August:

  • Tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party go on now on sale  for select dates in September and October.
  • Cooling down is essential during the hot summer months. You’ll want one of these water misting fans (and it’s cheaper than buying in the parks!) for your Disneyland trip.
  • Don’t miss the best seats for the Paint the Night Parade at Disneyland park.
  • Still need a hotel? See where we recommend you cool down at Disneyland’s top water park hotels. 
  • New characters from Finding Dory will join us at Turtle Talk with Crush this summer.
  • All new Frozen – Live at the Hyperion is now showing at California Adventure, be sure to get an unconnected FASTPASS for this amazing show early in the day.
  • Tickets for the 2017 D23 Expo are now on sale.

Disneyland in August Hours

August hours vary while summer and back-to-school collide. Be sure to check the official Disneyland app for more hours and events. Things may slow down a bit mid-August, but these articles will help you be prepared for any type of Disneyland crowd:

 

Disneyland in August Closures

We do our best to post accurate dates for Disneyland Resort refurbishments. If you hear differently, please let us know and we will update the post.

Mark Twain Riverboat; you can still visit this attraction but it will not sail the Rivers of America (thru 2017)

Sailing Ship Columbia; you can still visit this attraction but it will not sail the Rivers of America (thru 2017)

Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes (thru 2017)

Disneyland Railroad; you can still visit this attraction but it will not depart the train station (thru 2017)

Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island (thru 2017)

Are you heading to the Disneyland Resort? Tell us what you’re most looking forward to for your Disneyland in August visit.


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?

Top Tips for Parents from Disneyland Experts

Disneyland Experts share top tips for parents at the parks, and you’re invited to join in on our conversation!

This is everything parents need to know when taking their kids to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California straight from the pros. We’re talking all about the best age to take your kids, how many days you’ll need to explore the Disneyland Resort, coping with meltdowns, our fave souvenirs and more!

Top Tips for Parents from Disneyland Experts
So much Disneyland information for parents from Disneyland experts!

What’s the best age to take your kid to Disneyland?

We polled Disneyland experts on the best age to take your kids to Disneyland for the first time and while a majority voted for 3 years old (more about taking toddlers to Disneyland), the numbers came in across the board. That’s good news for parents because there is never a bad age to take your kids on their first Disneyland trip.

Find out the best age to take your kids on their first Disneyland trip and more from the Disneyland experts.
Find out the best age to take your kids on their first Disneyland trip and more from the Disneyland experts.

Here’s more from our experts on the best age to take your to Disneyland.

Falon from Falon Loves Life, shares her pick “. . . toddler age is probably the best for those who don’t visit on a regular basis. I know they won’t remember when they are 2-3, but they will have fun and enjoy it in the moment.”

Elaina from Enchanted Type says, “Just under 3. I took my niece at this age, and she remembers everything in great detail and talks about it all the time! Young enough to stay in a stroller, but old enough to stand in line (most of the time ;).”

Meghan from Jolly & Happy, will never forget her daughter’s first visit at 3 years old, “We ran into Belle, her favorite princess at the time. Belle bent down and hugged her and we got a photo with her. My little girl’s smile has never been so big!!”

Carolyn from Moments in Mommyland says, “I always encourage parents to take their kids before the age of four. There’s nothing quite like seeing Disney magic through the eyes of a child who truly believes. Plus, they make for the sweetest photos!”

Krista from LadyBug Blog says, “. . . between 4 to 6 years old. Many kids are tall enough to ride a wide variety of rides and are capable of lasting for much of the day with the extensive walking, waiting, etc.”

Julie from Saving Up for Disney votes on the older side of our scale, “age 6 is just perfect. Most kids are tall enough for the faster rides but still delighted by everything in Fantasyland. They are mature enough to sit through a stage show, thrilled to wave at the characters in the parades and can stay up later to watch fireworks!” 

How Many Days at Disneyland?

You’ve decided to take the plunge and bring your kids to Disneyland. What’s the ideal amount of time to spend at the Disneyland Resort? Our experts responded with 3 days as the perfect family trip to Disneyland.

Ready to buy your tickets? Get discount Disneyland tickets from our partners at Park Savers. Read more about avoiding ticket scams here.

Find out the perfect number of days to spend at the Disneyland Resort, plus get discount tickets to the parks.
Find out the perfect number of days to spend at the Disneyland Resort, plus get discount tickets to the parks.

One Disneyland Must-Have Item

Now you’re ready to start your first day at the parks, congratulations! I asked our Disneyland experts, “What’s one thing you’d never leave home without?” Check out their answers below:

Carolyn tells us her must have item, “Water! It’s so incredibly important to keep your kids hydrated!” Falon also adds, “I hate spending $4 for a bottle of water in the parks.” Forgot your water bottles in the morning rush? Elaina reminds us, “ask for free ice water from indoor counter service restaurants.” 

I like to bring cute Disney water bottles like this one to the parks, along with a couple bottles of cold Gatorade.

 

What else do our experts bring to Disneyland?

“Sunglasses. I hate squinting in the sun all day because it gives me a headache.” –Julie

“A camera!”Krista

“Ponchos! You can buy a poncho at Walmart for 98 cents or at Disney for around $15. We’ve gone quite a few times when the weather said clear skies and had it rain on us. Those ponchos have saved not only our dry clothes but our pocket book as well!” -Meghan

See what else I bring in my Disneyland bag right here. 

Disneyland Experts on Strollers & Lockers

We know you’ve got a lot of gear as a parent at Disneyland. Sometimes there’s just no way around it. Parents want to know, “Do I need a locker? Should I bring a stroller?” While our family is officially out of the stroller phase in normal life, you can read why we rent a stroller anyway and find out about renting strollers at the Disneyland Resort.

Plus, here’s what our Disneyland experts have to say about strollers and lockers at the Disneyland Resort.

100% of our Disneyland experts say to bring your own stroller, plus more tips you need to read before your Disneyland trip.
100% of our Disneyland experts say to bring your own stroller, plus more tips you need to read before your Disneyland trip.

All of our experts say bring your own stroller if possible and use your stroller for storage instead of renting a locker. The exception? If you have coats and a change of clothes you’ll need for later on (with no way to return to your hotel or home), stash those in a locker for the day.

Top Attractions for Every Age

We put our Disneyland experts to the test; they named their top attractions for every age!

Let’s first talk babies and toddlers:

  • “it’s a small world”
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train
  • Storybook Land Canal
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • Playhouse Disney
  • Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train
What to ride first in Fantasyland
The Happiest Blog on Earth

Top attractions for smaller kids:

  • Casey Jr. Circus Train
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Splash Mountain
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
  • Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

Top attractions for kids and teens tall enough to ride it all:

  • Splash Mountain
  • Space Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Star Tours
  • Mickey’s Fun Wheel (with moving baskets!)
  • Tower of Terror
  • California Screamin’
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Soarin’
The Happiest Blog on Earth
The Happiest Blog on Earth

Beat the Lines & Stay Busy When You Have to Wait

I’m a huge advocate for planning your day to avoid lines, as are many of our Disneyland experts. Number one tip? Open the Disneyland Resort with our game plan here. Plus read how we usually ride 10 Disneyland Rides in 2 Hours. Of course, there will be times when waiting in lines are unavoidable. Here’s how the Disneyland experts beat the lines and make it bearable when waiting is the only option.

Long lines Disneyland
How to beat the long lines and Disneyland and what to do when you have to wait.

Beat the Lines

“Use the FASTPASS system when possible and get to the parks EARLY! 8:00 am at Disney is a lot of fun and well worth getting up early for.”  –Carolyn

“Arrive at rope drop, grab FASTPASS for Space Mountain and then hit Fantasyland before it gets overly crowded.” –Julie

“In my experience lately, Sunday nights and Tuesdays seem the least crowded in the parks. Taking this advice is like playing the Disney lotto though, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Using the FASTPASS system is more reliable. Decide what rides are a must-do and plan your strategy accordingly. You can get one FASTPASS per park to start off with. On that FASTPASS it will give you a time that you’re eligible to get another FASTPASS.” –Meghan

“Pick your FASTPASSES wisely! Get them early for the big rides if you can. If you don’t have a FASTPASS, save the popular rides for parade and show times and enjoy the smaller rides during the peak times in the afternoon.”Falon

“Arrive before opening!! Take breaks in the afternoon when it gets busy.”Elaina

“Be at the park when it opens! Both Disneyland and California Adventure become much more crowded after 11:00 am. On the days that we are there when the park opens, we are able to ride up to 10 ‘E-ticket’ rides, including many before lunch. Then, when the crowds become too much, we take a break and relax for a bit.” Krista

Stay Busy in Line

“The beauty of Disney parks is that there is so much to look at around you. We talk about what we can see, make friends with other people in lines, and take the opportunity to have a snack. We also never make our littles wait in line for longer than 20 minutes.”Carolyn

“We usually pull out the maps and plan where we’ll go next. I also print out menus of the restaurants so we can decide in line what we’re going to eat.”Julie

“We play ‘Guess what Disney character I’m thinking of’ or ‘I spy.’ They also have games you can download on your phone to play.”Meghan

“I Spy, 20 Questions, and Heads Up seem to be popular options.”Falon

“We look at maps, talk about where to go next and talk about what just happened.”Elaina

“When we go with our grandson or niece, we play ‘I Spy’ and also look for Hidden Mickeys. We try to avoid using games on phones— we want to conserve battery life and I feel it’s important for kids to learn how to wait in line as patiently as possible.”Krista

Is Disneyland Too Scary?

When you take a little one to Disneyland, there’s a lot going on around them and it’s all new. It can be overwhelming and at times a little scary. What if your child isn’t sure about trying a new ride or bursts into tears when they finally meet Mickey Mouse?

Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort
Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

We made sure to get answers from our team of Disneyland experts for your trip to Disneyland.

“Give them time and some encouragement. I’ve had kids who initially were scared of some of the rides like Space Mountain. Every couple of visits we had them retry the ride and now they all love it! With the characters, if your little is super afraid, steer clear of the characters with “heads” for awhile and try to visit the princesses or others that look more human. It seems most are scared of Mickey and others with the costume heads.”Meghan

“If your kids are nervous to meet characters, I suggest holding them for photos and meet & greets. Sometimes having an autograph book to give to the character can help with the nerves too, as it gives the child something ‘to do’ when it’s their turn.” Carolyn

“I think it’s important to encourage them to try new things, but also know that if they are truly afraid, it’s not worth it to push them as it will probably end in a melt down. This is one of the reasons it’s good to bring toddlers, if they are used to the environment and the characters, they are less likely to be afraid in the future.”Falon

“We don’t push our grandson or niece to do anything he or she is not comfortable in doing. In September when we took our grandson (he had just turned 9) he was very afraid to try the bigger roller coasters. We recently took him again (May) and he can’t get enough of the bigger roller coasters!”Krista

“Prep your kids before the trip (another reason why I’m against “surprise” Disney trips!) so they know what to expect. Also you should never push your kids to do anything they adamantly don’t want to do. This can cause tension and they’ll be less likely to try something new if they feel pressured.”Julie

Top 5 Ways to Handle Disneyland Meltdowns

Meltdowns happen, and meltdowns at Disneyland are no exception. I have an entire article about Disneyland meltdowns here and the Disneyland experts agreed with their top 5 ways to handle Disneyland meltdowns.

Disneyland experts agree, here's our top 5 ways to avoid the Disneyland meltdown. Plus more tips fro parents at Disneyland.
Disneyland experts agree; our top 5 ways to avoid the Disneyland meltdown. Plus more tips fro parents at Disneyland.

Disneyland Quiet Spots

Now that we’ve covered Disneyland meltdowns you’re probably wondering, “where should I go to relax and calm my child down?” Our Disneyland experts weigh in below.

The Happiest Blog on Earth
The Happiest Blog on Earth

“Critter Country has a couple of spots—one at the Hungry Bear restaurant and another over by the candy shop at the exit of the Winnie the Pooh ride. New Orleans Square —the landing next to where the Columbia is docked often has some tables. Frontierland—the benches outside the Golden Nugget or inside the Golden Horseshoe (when there is NOT a show going on). At California Adventure: The back patio area of Flo’s V-8 Café and the outdoor garden seating at the far end of Paradise Pier.”Krista

“Pooh Corner, walkway between Fantasy Faire and Frontierland, Toontown, Mickey and the Magical Map, fountain next to the Haunted Mansion; Redwood Creek Trail, Paradise Garden Grill, a bug’s land.” –Elaina

“I like sitting at the Mint Julep Bar with a bag of beignets!”Julie

“The lobby of the Great Moments with Lincoln theater is a good place to decompress (and it’s air-conditioned!). At California Adventure, we love Sonoma Terrace. It is shaded, rarely crowded and they have booze!”Falon

“Chip and Dale’s Tree House in Toontown lets kids play while Mom and Dad can sit for a bit. Moments with Mr. Lincoln including the lobby gives you a show (with a seat) as well as some fun models to look at for kids who love history. We also like Cove Bar when we want a little snack. We get to eat yummy food while people watching or checking out the view of ferris wheel.”Meghan

“The Enchanted Tiki Room—a nice place to get off your feet in an air-conditioned building and a chance to sing-along with the birds and flowers.”Krista

Tips for Teens at Disneyland

Are you bringing teens with you to Disneyland? At what age do you let your teens go off on their own? How do you handle the drop off (for locals) and/or meet up locations? Here’s what some of Disneyland experts had to say.

“I’d let my teens go off on their own at 13, with specific instructions for meeting back up and a location.”Julie

“I don’t have teens of my own, but I have taken my junior high students for the past four years. They go off on their own (12 and 13 year olds) with a very strict check in time at the end of the night. They have instructions to not leave Disneyland and not be alone, and they know to go to First Aid if they have any issues at all (if you’re traveling with a group of teens, you can leave your contact info at First Aid and they will call you if there are any problems).”Falon

“I’m not to the point of letting my 13 year old off on her own and I’m not sure if there’s a magic number but more of a time when you feel like your child is mature enough to handle the responsibility of being on their own. Disney is definitely geared for younger kids so I try to enlist my older kids to help the little kids have fun. This helps them enjoys some of the younger rides because they’re seeing it through the excited smaller eyes of younger siblings. I also try to let them have some decision making power of what rides we go on next or what snacks we might want to try.”Meghan

“Give them some space and a cell phone.”Carolyn

Top Disneyland Resort Souvenirs

What do you love to take home from the Disneyland Resort? Get ideas from the Disneyland experts here, plus items to pick up before your visit for special gifts during your trip without theme park prices.

“I’ve got FIVE kids!! So I’ve got to make Disney magic happen on the cheap! I usually check out the dollar store and Target for cheap coloring packs and toys. I also try to find shirts at regular stores before we go and save them for once we’re at the park. Online “one day deal” sites usually have fun Disney stuff for cheap as well. But if you NEED to get something while you’re there, there’s tons of stuff that’s free or cheap! Pressed pennies are a family fave of ours. We also love going to Animation Academy and letting the kids learn how to draw a Disney character. They get to bring their masterpiece home. If you’re a Disney Visa card holder, you can also get a special character meet and greet in California Adventure by the Monster’s Inc. ride. You’ll also get a percentage off of your purchases over $50.”Meghan

“Embroidered Mickey ears! And autograph books are great for kids who are 5 and older to have an activity to keep track of.”Elaina

“We’re big fans of photos and themed frames for their bedrooms. They are one of the few souvenirs that won’t break!”Carolyn

“For kids: A stuffed animal and/or Mickey ears (or other type of hat). For parents: Be sure to buy some keepsakes for yourself such as the PhotoPass pictures with your kids, with the characters, and the whole family, etc. (or digital downloads) and the hand-cut silhouettes that are done on Main Street.”Krista

“I love having something that they can keep forever, like a silhouette from the shop on Main Street U.S.A.”Julie

Disneyland Mistakes (learn from us!)

Even Disneyland experts make mistakes so before you go to the parks, learn from what we have done wrong. I asked the question, “What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made while planning or visiting the Disneyland Resort?” These answers are pure gold!

“Surprising them with a trip. My kids do much better when they are prepared and have been gearing themselves up for the adventure. Spontaneous surprise Disney trips just don’t seem to go over very well!”Julie

“Not being adequately prepared for the heat during the summer. You can never have too much water on hand, and if it is a brutal summer day, bringing something to help cool down (I’m a fan of cool washcloths) is essential.”Falon

“Not looking at the calendar of scheduled events going on at the Disneyland Resort. One time we arrived late in the day of Candlelight Processional (December) to a packed Main Street! We only stayed 45 minutes and then left. Thankfully, we are Annual Passholders so this was an option, but I vowed to always check the calendar first for special events which may impact the crowds.” –Krista

“Visiting for the first time the week of Christmas. The crowds are crazy!”Elaina

“Not packing food! Don’t get me wrong. Disney food is great!! My kids, when excited however, can decide that eating one bite is enough and waste the rest. While Disney food is great, it can also be a chunk of change! I usually plan on bringing enough food for breakfast and lunch and eat dinner at the park. That way, if my kids go on food strike, I didn’t waste a ton of food and money. You can also buy Disney packaged food at the store which helps make kiddos feel like it’s still part of the Disney experience. We usually get fruit snacks, cookies, apple chips and even flavored waters with Disney characters on them.”Meghan

“Giving them too much sugar! Try to limit those treats—sugar highs are real!”Carolyn

Meet the Disneyland Experts

Meet our Disneyland expert panel. Our Disneyland Experts were hand-picked from top Disney bloggers who truly know their stuff! Be sure to click over to their websites and follow them on social media.

Disney Expert Carolyn, writer at Moments in Mommyland.
Carolyn at Moments in Mommyland.

Carolyn has been to the Disneyland Resort with kids of all ages and was a finalist for the Disney Parks Moms Panel in 2015.

 

 

 

Julie at Saving Up for Disney
Julie at Saving Up for Disney.

Julie is a mom to 4 kids and a San Diego native; she’s been visiting the parks every year since she was a year old.

 

 

 

Meghan at Jolly & Happy
Meghan at Jolly & Happy

Meghan is on a first-name-basis with her favorite Disneyland area hotel and is a self-proclaimed Disney Geek; she loves making the most of her Annual Pass.

 

 

 

Falon at Falon Loves Life
Falon at Falon Loves Life

Falon has never missed celebrating her birthday at Disneyland; as an Annual Passholder she takes her toddler 2-3 times a month.

 

 

 

Elaina at Enchanted Type
Elaina at Enchanted Type

Elaina is an Annual Passholder and visits the Disneyland Resort every few weeks to get inspiration for her stunning stationary designs.

 

 

 

Krista
Krista at LadyBug Blog

Krista is a native Californian and Annual Passholder, she’s loves the inspiration she finds while exploring her Disney Side and traveling throughout Southern California.

 

 

tigger
Jessica at The Happiest Blog on Earth

Jessica, that’s me! I’m here all the time so you can read more about me here. I literally wrote the book on Disneyland and I’d love for you to grab a copy to help you save money on your trip. I’ll be popping in with links to my best Disneyland parenting tips here and there throughout this article.

 

We hope you feel ready for Disneyland after reading our expert guide. Have more questions? Not a problem, let us know how we can help in the comments.

Father’s Day at Disneyland


Are you looking to treat your dad to a special Father’s Day at Disneyland? Keep reading to see how you can show Dad just how special he is. We’ve got some Disney love both inside and outside the parks for a complete Disney Father’s Day celebration!

Father's Day at the Disneyland Resort, how to celebrate Dad.
Father’s Day at the Disneyland Resort, how to celebrate Dad.

Father’s Day at Disneyland 2016

Father’s Day is on Sunday June 19, 2016. If you’re taking Dad to Disneyland on Father’s Day this year, here are some of our top Disneyland planning articles to help you plan a perfect Disneyland getaway:

  • The latest on what’s new at the Disneyland Resort in June, plus info on new attractions and ride closures.
  • Paint the Night Parade is still the most popular nighttime entertainment at Disneyland park; see where to save a seat so Dad can get front row viewing.
  • After Paint the Night, don’t miss Disneyland Forever Fireworks. Get an overview of each viewing location.

Something else Dad will love? How much money you saved on Disneyland tickets with our partners at Park Savers! Get Discount Disneyland Tickets here.

Father’s Day at Disneyland Dining

ESPN Zone at Downtown Disney is calling his name! No Disneyland theme park admission required; with over 120 HDTVs, he can catch all the games while he chows down on a burger and other game day eats. Make reservations for ESPN Zone here.

ESPN Zone, Disneyland Resort
ESPN Zone, Disneyland Resort

After your meal, head upstairs for some arcade style fun. My favorite? Multi-player air hockey. Get the whole family around this giant air hockey table and be ready to score when the pucks come into play.

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar is another Disneyland Dad favorite. Located at the Disneyland Hotel, you don’t need park tickets to enjoy this Jungle Cruise inspired eatery. More info on Trader Sam’s menu here.

Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar, The Disneyland Resort
Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, The Disneyland Resort

Eating inside the park? I recommend heading to the Plaza Inn for some of Dad’s favorite fried chicken. Delicious and no reservations required.

Plaza Inn at the Disneyland Resort.
Plaza Inn at the Disneyland Resort.

Father’s Day at Disneyland Gifts

Who says Dad is too big for toys? Not when it comes to Star Wars. Let Dad build a custom light saber during Season of The Force in Tomorrowland or choose one of these awesome light sabers from Amazon.

Will Dad choose the dark side or the light side? I chose the Dark Side at Disneyland because the line was shorter :).

Kylo Ren at Disneyland.
Kylo Ren at Disneyland

When we go to Disneyland, it’s pretty much the only time I can get my husband in a Disney t-shirt. I absolutely love this Incredibles t, don’t you think it’s incredible?

If your Disney Dad has a little more sophisticated taste, you can’t go wrong with these subtle Mickey Cufflinks and some sweet Disney dress socks.

Top off your Disney themed gift with this stunning Disney-inspired Father’s Day card from Enchanted Type.

Disney-inspired Father's Day cards from Enchanted Type.
Disney-inspired Father’s Day cards from Enchanted Type.

Father’s Day at Disneyland DIY

You can create Father’s Day at Disneyland even when you’re at home. Print out these Father’s Day “DadsPass” that look just like a Disneyland FASTPASS! Fill in a Goofy Father’s Day Mad Lib and create this Toy Story Alien Father’s Day Card (“oooooh!”).

Whether you’re heading to Disneyland for Father’s Day this year or planning a Father’s Day at Disneyland for next time, we hope you share with us how you’re celebrating Dad on his special day.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10

10 California Adventure Meals for $10, it’s like Genie himself showed up with a magic lamp at the Hyperion again. Eating at California Adventure is a treat in itself, but we know you don’t want to spend tons of hard-earned cash on dining in the parks.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10, what to eat at the Disneyland Resort from The Happiest Blog on Earth.
10 California Adventure Meals for $10, what to eat at the Disneyland Resort from The Happiest Blog on Earth.

I love California Adventure (read more on why here). Any time I can manage to fit in an extra trip, I’m good to go. Food can be a huge chunk of your Disneyland Resort spending, so today we’re talking 10 California Adventure meals for right around $10 so you can eat, play and have a magical trip even on a budget. Plus, don’t forget to check out our companion post, 10 Disneyland Meals for $10.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10: Award Wieners

10 California Adventure Meals for $10, Disneyland budget tips from The Happiest Blog on Earth. Photo credit Disneyland Resort.
10 California Adventure Meals for $10, Disneyland budget tips from The Happiest Blog on Earth. Photo credit Disneyland Resort.

You’ll find this winner in Hollywood Land with a shaded seating area nearby.  From chili cheese dogs to BBQ hot links and Italian sausages, everything on the menu here is priced at about $10 or less. Note that the kids meal comes with a turkey dog and my kids were not fans. While it’s still a hot dog, we stick to the all beef ones at home and my littles could taste the difference.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10: Fiddler, Fifer & Practical

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical where to eat at California Adventure for about $10. Photo credit: HarshLight via Foter.com / CC BY
Fiddler, Fifer & Practical where to eat at California Adventure for about $10. Photo credit: HarshLight via Foter.com / CC BY

Where is this place? You probably walked right past it on Buena Vista Street as you entered the park. Head back for some shopping and stop to eat a roast beef and cheddar sandwich or a turkey and swiss sandwich for just about $10. They also have breakfast wraps and sandwiches, more on Disneyland Resort breakfasts here.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10: Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta

Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort
Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort

For about $10, you can get a slice of pizza and any of their pasta offerings at Paradise Pier. Or go in as a group and grab a whole pizza for about $40 (oh my goodness, did I just say one pizza is $40? eek!). A variety of salads are also on the menu for less than $10.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10: Corndog Castle

Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort
Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort

Also located at Paradise Pier, it’s the famed Disneyland corndogs you can chow down on at California Adventure. It’s under $10 and comes with a bag of chips or sliced apples. You can also order your corn dog a la carte.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10: Cozy Cone Motel

Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort
Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort

Need a quick place to rest? Each of the Cozy Cone’s offer a different snack option and while I completely consider churros, popcorn and pretzel bites with cheese sauce a good dinner, you should consider grabbing Chili Con Queso for your under $10 meal. The beef chili is served in a bread cone and topped with cheese and corn chips to warm you up during a crisp evening in Cars Land.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10: Flo’s V8 Cafe

Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort
Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort

Get your engines running right over to Flo’s. A perfect place to rest and enjoy the scenery in Cars Land; you can get anything from their menu for around $10 including the classic roast beef and cheddar with a side of coleslaw. I’ve also tried their citrus turkey salad and found the portion to be plenty big. Need more healthy ideas for Disneyland dining? Don’t miss our Healthy Disneyland Dining Guide.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10: Cocina Cucamonga

10 California Adventure Meals for $10, Disneyland budget tips from The Happiest Blog on Earth. Photo credit Disneyland Resort.
10 California Adventure Meals for $10, Disneyland budget tips from The Happiest Blog on Earth. Photo credit Disneyland Resort.

This one is really pushing the $10 limit. For a couple more bucks you can get a really delicious meal that’s not your typical theme park food, which is why I decided to include it anyway. Soft tacos Monterrey with either beef or chicken. Enjoy your food a the water front local of Pacific Wharf.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10: Pacific Wharf Cafe

Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort
Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort

I would go to California Adventure right now just for some broccoli and cheese soup in a sourdough bread bowl. Mmmm. Three different soup varieties to choose from, plus a turkey pesto club and salads all for about $10. Plus, you can’t beat the setting overlooking the water and Mickey’s Fun Wheel.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10: Paradise Garden Grill

Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort
Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort

Another Paradise Pier Favorite, with a menu on the lighter side of things. Choose from grilled chicken or steak skewers, grilled tofu and veggies, greek salad and more. Priced a little higher at about $12 per entrée.

10 California Adventure Meals for $10: Smokejumpers Grill

Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort
Photo courtesy Disneyland Resort

Relax in this often uncrowded area of Grizzly Peak, here you’ll find the classics like burgers and nuggets, salads and sandwiches that average about $12 per plate served with fries and/or coleslaw.

Bonus Tip: Save even more money on your Disneyland vacation with discount Disneyland tickets from our partner at Park Savers.

Now that we’ve covered 10 California Adventure meals for $10, I am ready to go raid the fridge, what about you?!

Mother’s Day at Disneyland

Are you looking to treat your mom to a special Mother’s Day at Disneyland? Keep reading to  see how you can show your mom some Disney love both inside and outside the parks for a complete Disney Mother’s Day celebration!

Bonus! Need a last minute Mother’s Day gift? See what I hand selected at Target in this video for Mother’s Day.

What Mom really wants for Mother's Day. Mother's Day at Disneyland. How to plan and prep for a magical Mother's Day weekend.
What Mom really wants for Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day at Disneyland. How to plan and prep for a magical Mother’s Day weekend.

Mother’s Day at Disneyland 2016

Mother’s Day is on Sunday May 8, 2016 which also falls on the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend at Disneyland. RunDisney events fill up fast and often bring larger crowds to the parks. If you’re going to Disneyland on Mother’s Day here are a few important articles to help you enjoy your day even among the crowds:

Be Mom's Fairy Godmother, celebrate Mother's Day weekend at Disneyland.
Be Mom’s Fairy Godmother, celebrate Mother’s Day weekend at Disneyland.

Be sure to get your Mother’s Day weekend Disneyland tickets with our discount ticket partner here before the big day. 

Mother’s Day at Disneyland Dining

Everyone loves their meals and treats at Disneyland. Add a special dining experience, even outside the parks, to your Mother’s Day at Disneyland at the following locations.

Traditional english breakfast - Hilton Anaheim hosts British-themed Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch.
Traditional english breakfast – Hilton Anaheim hosts British-themed Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch.
  • Mother’s Day Brunch complete with Disney characters are available at Disney’s PCH Grill (inside Paradise Pier Hotel) or at Goofy’s Kitchen (at the Disneyland Hotel). No park tickets are required, make reservations online or call 714-781-DINE.
  • Just a short walk from Disneyland, Hilton Anaheim is hosting a British-themed Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch complete with trumpeters announcing the arrival of Queen Mum. For reservations call 714-750-4231.
  • For lunch or dinner, consider making reservations at any of the specialty restaurants inside Disneyland or California Adventure like Blue Bayou, Carnation Cafe, or Plaza Inn (for a walk up option).
  • Don’t forget about fine dining options at the Disneyland Resort hotels for Mother’s Day: Napa Rose and Steakhouse 55.
  • Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea at the Disneyland Hotel is a unique, sophisticated option your mom is sure to love.
  • More dining options can be found outside the parks at Downtown Disney. Read all about dining at Downtown Disney here.
  • And remember, Mom will need a treat to top it all off!
Mother's Day at Disneyland. Perfect Mickey shaped treats and more for your mom on Mother's Day.
Mother’s Day at Disneyland. Perfect Mickey shaped treats and more for your mom on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day at Disneyland Gifts

Even if you’re not spending a day or two at a Disney park over Mother’s Day weekend, surprise your mom with our favorite picks for Mother’s Day Disney gifts!

Disney inspired Mother’s Day cards from Enchanted Type, like this one with our favorite quote from the live action Cinderella.

 

Disney inspired Mother's Day cards from Enchanted Type.
Disney inspired Mother’s Day cards from Enchanted Type.

 

Every store on earth seems to think your mom really wants jewelry on Mother’s Day. If you buy into the hype, you really can’t go wrong with Disney jewelry. One of my fave’s is this Mickey necklace.

But if I had to choose, I’d say what Disney-loving moms really want is a purse like one of these:

And just in case my kids and hubby are reading, I’d go with the Alice in Wonderland one :). Which one would you choose?

The best Disney Mother’s Day gift? Tickets to Disneyland tucked inside one of these gorgeous Disney luggage sets.

Whether you’re heading to Disneyland for Mother’s Day this year or planning a Mother’s Day at Disneyland for next time, we hope you have a magical time celebrating Mom on her special day.