Disneyland in July

Disneyland in July is ready to bring the heat and extended Disneyland hours. If you’re going to Disneyland or California Adventure this month, here’s what to expect at the resort for July 2016.
Updated for 2016!
Disneyland in July. Disneyland celebrates 61 years of magic in 2016. Updated for 2016.
Disneyland in July. Disneyland celebrates 61 years of magic in 2016. Updated for 2016.

What’s New at Disneyland in July

July marks the first month where since rolling out the new tiered ticketing prices that there are zero value days.

Instead, for most of July you will find regular a peak ticket prices. Don’t let those prices get you down, get discount Disneyland tickets from our trusted partner, Park Savers.

New ticket prices for Disneyland in July, plus ways to save money on your Disneyland tickets.
New ticket prices for Disneyland in July, plus ways to save money on your Disneyland tickets. 
  • July 17 is the official birthday of Disneyland, now celebrating 61 years of magic, expect larger crowds on that day.
  • Tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party typically go on sale to the general public during the last week of July 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 go on sale this month.

Disneyland in July, get prepped and ready for your summer visit.

Disneyland in July, get prepped and ready for your summer visit.

Disneyland in July Hours

Extended hours are in effect most weekends of the month. Download the official Disneyland app for details.

As the Diamond Celebration wraps up, you’ll have access to long park hours and the most options for shows and attractions, but don’t forget to read up on tips to avoid a Disneyland meltdown on those long, hot days.

Fantasyland fills up fast. Beat the crowds with tips from The Happiest Blog on Earth.

Fantasyland fills up fast. Beat the crowds with tips from The Happiest Blog on Earth.

Disneyland in July 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)

Fantasmic! (thru 2017)

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

 

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.

Top Water Park Hotels Near Disneyland

Top hotels near Disneyland are upping their game and the biggest trend is on site water parks. If you’re looking to relax in the California sun and enjoy a day or two at the pool during your Disneyland vacation, this article is for you!

This post contains affiliate links which cost you nothing and helps us keep our site running.

Disneyland area top water park hotels. I'll save you a seat. The Happiest Blog on Earth.
Disneyland area top water park hotels. I’ll save you a seat. The Happiest Blog on Earth.

A day at the pool is a must-do part of any Disneyland vacation. If you’re spending multiple days in the parks, a pool day can definitely serve as a laid-back, recharge for your vacation. I know a lot of families enjoy taking a mid-day break for a quick swim, like I did (in January no less!) when I stayed at Grand Legacy At The Park.

I also recommend swimming the day of check-in since most hotels give you access to the pool even if your room isn’t ready. This is the perfect chance to get the kids really worn out and then tuck them into bed early so you can arrive in time for opening Disneyland. 

Another swimming pool tip: If there’s an outdoor shower at the hotel pool, bring your travel size shampoo and let the kids lather up in their swim suits afterwards. And boom, bath time is done. My kids love showers at the pool and it makes the bed time routine move so quickly.

Top Water Park Hotels Near Disneyland: Disneyland Hotel

op Disneyland area hotel pools
Cool off at the Top Disneyland area hotel pools including the Disneyland Hotel. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

Water Park: The Disneyland Hotel features Monorail slide, E-Ticket and D-Ticket pools, Mickey and Minnie spa.

Location: On Disneyland Resort property. Access the parks by walking through Downtown Disney, via Monorail or to California Adventure through the Grand Californian.

Price: Summer rates run around $500 a night for standard rooms.

Best for: Families looking to stay at a Disney property when cost is not a concern.

Top Water Park Hotels Near Disneyland: Disney’s Grand Californian

Disneyland area hotel pools
Top Disneyland area hotel pools including the Grand Californian Resort and Spa. (Disneyland Resort)

Water Park: Disney’s Grand Californian Resort and Spa features Fountain pool, Redwood pool with 90 foot waterslide, Mickey children’s pool and Mariposa pool.

Location: On Disneyland Resort property. Access the parks by walking through Downtown Disney, via Monorail or to California Adventure through the hotel’s park entrance.

Price: Summer rates run around $550 a night for standard rooms. Want a discount? Since the Grand Californian is part of the Disney Vacation Club, you can rent points from DVC owners at David’s Vacation Club, our trusted partner for DVC rentals.

Best for: Families looking to stay at a Disney property when cost is not a concern.

Top Water Park Hotels Near Disneyland: Courtyard Anaheim

Top Disneyland area water park hotels including Courtyard Marriott, walking distance to Disneyland main gates.
Top Disneyland area water park hotels including Courtyard Marriott, walking distance to Disneyland main gates.

Water Park: Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance with Surfside Water Park features beach-style entry pools, multiple water slides, fountain features and a drench bucket.

Location: About a 10-15 minute walk to Disneyland gates on Harbor Blvd.

Price: Summer rates run around $340 a night for standard rooms. Search discount Disneyland hotels here.

Best for: Large families; every room in this hotel has bunkbeds and sleeps 6 to a room. The water park accommodates all ages.

Top Water Park Hotels Near Disneyland: HoJo Anaheim

Top Disneyland area water park hotels including Howard Johnson Anaheim, walking distance to Disneyland main gates.
Top Disneyland area water park hotels including Howard Johnson Anaheim, walking distance to Disneyland main gates.

Water Park: Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground with Castaway Cove features water slides and pirate themed fountains and water features.

Location: About a 10-15 minute walk to Disneyland gates on Harbor Blvd.

Price: Summer rates run around $200 a night for standard rooms. Search discount Disneyland hotels here.

Best for: Castaway Cove is geared for smaller children, but everyone is welcome to play. There’s another standard pool on site as well.

Top Water Park Hotels Near Disneyland: Disney’s Paradise Pier

Disneyland area hotel pools
Top Disneyland area hotel pools including Paradise Pier Hotel. (Disneyland Resort).

Water Park: Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel features California Streamin’ water slide, Paradise pool and children’s area on the 3rd floor rooftop.

Location: On Disneyland Resort property. Access the parks by walking through Downtown Disney, via Monorail or to California Adventure through the hotel’s park entrance.

Price: Summer rates run around $350 a night for standard rooms.

Best for: Families looking to stay at a Disney property when cost is not a concern.

Top Water Park Hotels Near Disneyland: Grand Legacy At The Park

Top Disneyland area water park hotels including Grand Legacy At The Park.
Top Disneyland area water park hotels including Grand Legacy At The Park.

Water Park: Grand Legacy At The Park features a laid back beach-style entry pool, heated year-round and water fountain features.

Location: About a five minute walk to Disneyland gates on Harbor Blvd.

Price: Summer rates start at $180 for a standard room. Search discount Disneyland hotels here.

Best for: Families looking to save money without skimping on amenities; the hotel went through a major renovation and added a new tower featuring 2-room suites in 2016. Regular pool for the big kids, and beach entry with fountains is perfect for littles.

Top Water Park Hotels Near Disneyland: Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Water Park: Holiday Inn Express & Suites has a heated pool with splash zone.

Location: About a 15 minute walk to Disneyland gates via Harbor Blvd.

Price: Summer rates start at $180 for a standard room. Search discount Disneyland hotels here.

Best for: Families looking to save on hotel costs and don’t mind walking to this new hotel (built in 2016) a bit away from the hub of hotels on Harbor.

Honorable Mention

Great Wolf Lodge in nearby Garden Grove is a massive indoor water park that out does all others! The reason it’s only an honorable mention? Great Wolf Lodge is a destination itself and I’m not sure I’d recommend staying there (and paying top dollar) while you’re also going to Disneyland.

Which water park hotel near Disneyland catches your eye? Let me know and I’ll save you a lounge chair.

Alice in Wonderland at Disneyland

Experience Alice in Wonderland at Disneyland. Alice and her adventures in Wonderland are Disneyland classics and she is easily one of my favorite Disney characters to find inside the parks.

Experience all things Alice in Wonderland at the Disneyland Resort from The Happiest Blog on Earth.
Experience all things Alice in Wonderland at the Disneyland Resort from The Happiest Blog on Earth.

Today we’ll talk about experiencing all things Wonderland while visiting Disneyland like where to meet Alice, attractions featuring the beloved characters, souvenirs and more. If you love Alice and her friends as much as I do, use this guide to help complete your Disneyland vacation.

Meet Alice in Wonderland Characters

Roaming Fantasyland, especially near Dumbo’s Flying Elephant and the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, you can often find Alice and the Mad Hatter. They usually don’t stop for long, but prefer to stroll around the area.

Keep your eyes open for Alice on Main Street while she makes her way to Fantasyland too.

Where to meet Alice in Wonderland characters at Disneyland. Scott Brinegar/Disneyland
Where to meet Alice in Wonderland characters at Disneyland. Scott Brinegar/Disneyland

Alice and the Mad Hatter are wonderful characters to interact with at Disneyland. If you see them, be sure to let them know it’s your unbirthday! You can also find them at Refreshment Corner (aka Coke Corner) at about 2:30 pm for a game of musical chairs.

Where to meet Alice in Wonderland characters at Disneyland and more tips from The Happiest Blog on Earth. Photo credit Castles, Capes & Clones / Foter / CC BY-ND

It’s been reported that Alice occasionally joins the Disneyland band for a bit near the front gates of Disneyland park. Have you ever seen her there?

Where to meet Alice in Wonderland characters at Disneyland and more tips from The Happiest Blog on Earth. Photo credit Castles, Capes & Clones / Foter / CC BY-ND

Looking for the Cheshire Cat? He’s as elusive as ever but you can sometimes spot him in The Mad Hatter shop in Fantasyland. Try on a hat, look in the mirrors above and watch him appear.

The white Rabbit occasionally appears in the live form, but you can also spot his statue likeness in front of the castle along with tons of other classic Disney characters.

Don't be late! Visit the white rabbit and other Alice in Wonderland at Disneyland!
Don’t be late! Visit the white rabbit and other Alice in Wonderland at Disneyland!

Alice in Wonderland Attractions

Take a journey into Wonderland with the Alice in Wonderland ride in Fantasyland. This attraction is great for guests of all ages and is unique to Disneyland park. You can also experience the thrills of Alice’s adventures while spinning in a teacup at the Mad Tea Party. I especially love this area of the park at night.

Alice in Wonderland at Disneyland. Meet and greets, character interaction, rides and more Disneyland tips. Photo credit PrincessAshley / Foter / CC BY-ND.

Alice in Wonderland Dress Up

Wether it’s for Halloween, a Disney Bound day at Disneyland or just for dress-ups sake, here are a few ways you can make Alice in Wonderland part of your Disneyland vacation.

Remember, only kids ages 13 and under can wear costumes to Disneyland. But. if you’re a bit older you can Disney Bound (dress like a character but wear everyday clothes) instead. Check out this adorable Alice and Cheshire Cat.

Alice in Wonderland dress up and Disney Bound ideas from The Happiest Blog on Earth.
Alice in Wonderland dress up and Disney Bound ideas from The Happiest Blog on Earth.

Adults can Disney Bound the Queen of Hearts with an ensemble that will make heads roll.

If you simply want the look of going mad, but don’t want a full-out costume, I love this accordion style set of Mad Hatter hats which are perfect for a family photo-op in front of the teacups!

Alice in Wonderland Souvenirs

These adorable teacups and tea sets are available in most Disneyland gift shops or online at Amazon.

Share with us what you love about Alice in Wonderland including where you find Alice in Wonderland characters and more at the Disneyland Resort.

 

What’s In My Disneyland Bag?

What’s in my Disneyland bag? You asked, I tell all. I aim to go light when I travel to Disneyland but today I’ll show you three options for Disneyland bags: those for family Disneyland bags, adults visiting without young kids and a bag for a teen, tween or solo adult to carry in Disneyland.

What’s In My Disneyland Bag?

When I travel with the family and our three kids, I tend to bring more stuff into Disneyland. I’m not a locker type of girl and I’ve even rented a stroller just to avoid it (you can read about the “stroller locker” here).

I try to pack light and bring in only what’s needed, especially items that perform double duty. Here’s a peek inside the actual bags I bring into Disneyland beginning with a the smallest Disneyland bag option and adding on to those essentials as your group gets bigger.

What’s In My Disneyland Bag? Teens & Adults

My daughter decided she wants to bring her own bag into Disneyland this time around. That’s great for me because it means I have less things to carry.

This is also a great option for adults who want to bring in very little and keep their hands free.

What's in my Disneyland bag?
What’s in my Disneyland bag? Find out exactly what you should bring into the parks!
  1. The bag itself is a super light-weight cross-body bag with multiple zippers and pockets. It’s very flat and fits only the essentials. I also love one particular zipper pouch that’s perfect for holding your Disneyland tickets and FASTPASSES without having to rummage through your entire bag. Plus, it’s very affordable.
  2. Disneyland map (always handy, even if you have the Disneyland app and/or know the park inside and out).
  3. Disneyland autograph book and pen.
  4. Disney pins and lanyard.
  5. Coin pouch (perfect for pressed pennies!) from Lake Tahoe Trading Co.
  6. Gum (you can’t buy any on Disney property) and small snack (crunchy granola bars don’t melt or break easily).
  7. Disney Lip Smackers with SPF.

What’s In My Disneyland Bag? Adults with More Stuff

I have this adorable Minnie Mouse bag that I found at Toys R Us that hold a bit more for a long day at Disneyland. I tend to bring a little more stuff than the above option, let’s see what’s inside my Disneyland bag.

DisneyBagB
What’s in my Disneyland bag? Take a peek inside a Disneyland expert’s park bag.
  1. First thing that goes in is my sarong. I’ve talked about it before, it comes in super handy for holding spots for parades like Paint The Night, a blanket when it’s cold, some shade when needed, and a shield for Splash Mountain. It’s very light weight and folds up small. You could also get a poncho, but I like a pretty sarong instead.
  2. Disneyland map.
  3. Gum and small snack.
  4. Sunscreen.
  5. Wet wipes and/or kleenex. Disney tissues are usually found at dollar stores.
  6. Portable charger for my phone.
  7.  Disney Lip Smackers with SPF, because I’m just a little obsessed with Lip Smackers.
  8. Cell phone case / clutch from Lake Tahoe Trading Co. which I absolutely cannot live without at Disneyland. It holds my phone and cash/cards in a little zippered pouch. Get one with a wrist or shoulder strap and you are good to go.
  9. Not pictured: a hair tie! A must for ladies with longer hair that goes every which way on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
  10. Not pictured: Tylenol or your favorite brand for minor aches and pains.

What’s In My Disneyland Bag? Family Backpack

What's in my Disneyland bag?
What’s in my Disneyland bag? Take a look at what a Disneyland expert brings to the parks and what you should pack in your bag!

Just as I discussed above, we’ve got the basics and added a few more things:

  1. poncho, but I like a pretty sarong instead.
  2. Disneyland map
  3. Gum and snacks like Stax or Pringles, granola bars, lollipops, Capri Sun (freeze them and drink as they defrost), Gatorade, Disney fruit snacks, water bottle.
  4. Sunscreen.
  5. Sanitizer, wet wipes and/or kleenex.
  6. Portable charger for my phone.
  7. Disney Lip Smackers with SPF.
  8. Cell phone case / clutch from Lake Tahoe Trading Co.
  9. Disneyland autograph book and pen.
  10. Glow sticks from the dollar store or Michael’s instead of buying expensive light-up things from Disney.
  11. Hair tie and maybe even a small brush.
  12. Tylenol or your favorite brand for minor aches and pains.

Want even more ideas for what to throw in your Disneyland bag? Check out my Disney must haves page which can also help you pack for your Disneyland vacation.

Now that I’ve told you what’s in my Disneyland bag, let’s hear what’s in yours!

Grocery Stores Near Disneyland

Grocery stores near Disneyland; this article covers the where and how-to for getting groceries to your Disneyland area hotel even without a car. We’ll talk about our favorite places to get groceries near Disneyland and stocking that mini-fridge for your vacation!

grocery stores near Disneyland
Grocery stores near Disneyland. Tips for getting groceries, even without a car, for your Disneyland vacation.

 

Grocery Stores Near Disneyland: Walking Distance

If you’re looking for a full-scale grocery store within walking distance of Disneyland, you may be out of luck (but keep reading on how to get to a full-scale grocery store even without a car).

There are however, several quick-mart, liquor store type places that carry the basics. Think soda, water bottles, a few microwavable meals, milk, bread, etc. Many hotels also have small convenience stores on site and there are plenty of off-property restaurants surrounding the Disneyland Resort to keep you well fed.

Walking distance stores on the map above include the following:

ABC Market Grocery Store Near Disneyland

  • 1765 S. Harbor Blvd., just south of Candy Cane Inn near the intersection of Harbor and Katella.
  • Pros: Quick walk from most Harbor Blvd. hotels.
  • Cons: Limited grocery selection.

CVS Grocery Store Near Disneyland

  • 1803 S. Harbor Blvd., near Springhill Suites on Harbor and Katella.
  • Pros: Quick walk from most Harbor Blvd. and Katella hotels, pharmacy chain with plenty of over the counter and prescription medications available.
  • Cons: Limited grocery selection.
Grocery stores near Disneyland. The ins and outs of shopping for groceries near the Disneyland Resort. Photo credit: Anthony Albright via Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Grocery stores near Disneyland. The ins and outs of shopping for groceries near the Disneyland Resort. Photo credit: Anthony Albright via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Grocery Stores Near Disneyland: 4 Miles or Less

There are plenty of grocery stores near Disneyland and your choices are only limited by how far you want to drive. For a farther drive you can find Costco, Whole Foods and other familiar names. Today we’ll discuss how to get to grocery stores within 4 miles of Disneyland. Here is some basic information for the grocery stores listed on the map above.

Food 4 Less Grocery Stores Near Disneyland

  • 1616 W. Katella Ave., in a hub of fast food options.
  • Pros: The closest by distance to Disneyland Resort, offers lower priced groceries in a warehouse-type setting. No membership needed for this bag-it-yourself grocery store.
  • Cons: No frills, may not have all the brands and selections you’re used to but a good option for a fully stocked grocery store.

Walmart Grocery Stores Near Disneyland

  • Two locations: 10912 Katella Ave. is a “Neighborhood Market” with groceries only. 440 N. Euclid St. is a “Supercenter” with groceries, clothing, souvenirs and other household items.
  • Pros: Full selection of groceries with the low prices of Walmart you’re used to.
  • Cons: Be sure you know which location you’re headed to depending on if you just want groceries or the “full Walmart experience.”

Target Grocery Stores Near Disneyland

  • 101 Euclid St., there is a second location on Harbor Blvd.  in Garden Grove as well.
  • Pros: Large selection of clothing, souvenirs and home goods. Newer than the Harbor Blvd. location.
  • Cons: Not a full grocery store, but a decent selection of groceries.

Vons Grocery Stores Near Disneyland

  • The Vons on the map is located at 12961 W. Chapman in Garden Grove, but is only about 2.5 miles from the Resort.
  • Pros: Fully stocked grocery store with delivery service available.
  • Cons: Vons is a California based grocery chain first started in Los Angeles in 1906, so you may not be as familiar with its layout or generic brands.

Amazon Prime Now Near Disneyland

  • Thanks to our reader, Marisa, for pointing out this option. Amazon Prime Now is not on the map because you shop via an app on your mobile device.
  • Pros: Free 2 hour window delivery, low fee to have it delivered in an hour.
  • Cons: Only for Amazon Prime Members.

Grocery Stores Near Disneyland without a Car

  • Rather than a Taxi, I suggest using Uber where new users can often get credit for a free ride to your favorite Disneyland area grocery store.
  • Like I mentioned above, Vons offers a delivery service. As of this posting, the first delivery is free with minimum purchase. Check with your hotel about receiving deliveries.
  • Amazon Prime Now offers free 2-hour delivery for Amazon Prime members in Orange County. Download the app and shop. Be sure to check with your hotel about receiving deliveries.
  • ART (Anaheim Resort Transportation) is an option for select locations. View routes and schedule information here.

Where do you shop when you’re at Disneyland? Which grocery stores would you like to see on this list?

50% Off Sale: Disneyland On Any Budget

50% off sale: Disneyland On Any Budget! What batter way to celebrate spring and the kick-off of summer Disneyland planning than with a 50% off sale.

Disneyland On Any Budget has been available for one month now and to celebrate, we’ve discounted the book so you can save even more on your Disneyland vacation.

Disneyland on a Budget
Disneyland on a Budget

50% Off Sale Details

  • Disneyland On Any Budget 50% off sale runs for only 5 days. April 1, 2016 (no joke!) through April 5, 2016.
  • Discounted price is $2.99, marked down from $5.99.
  • If you’re a Kindle Unlimited member you can download and read it for free.
  • Not a Kindle Unlimited member? Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial

Which ever way you can, get your hands on a copy and let’s go to Disneyland!

50% Off Sale Bonus

Readers of Disneyland On Any Budget enjoy access to free bonus material. Get your book now and you’ll get access to my favorite Anaheim hotels, coupons and discounts for Disneyland tickets, shuttles, dining and more.

50% Off Sale Sneak Peak

Here’s what others say about Disneyland On Any Budget. . .

“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.”

“. . . great tips and advice for both the seasoned veteran and the newcomer to Disneyland.”

“I loved the souvenir advice and the food advice the most. Those would be the most stressful costs to me when planning a trip, so it was great to read about tips that can help me not feel stressed.”

“Jessica knows her stuff. This was a thorough guide in helping to plan a Disney trip.”

50% Off Sale Get Your Copy

Thanks again for being part of our Disneyland planning and saving community. I hope you take the chance now to get your copy of Disneyland On Any Budget. See you real soon!