Visiting Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California can be a magical family experience! After all, Disneyland Park, which opened in 1955, is the original Disney park, and it was designed and built directly under Walt Disney’s supervision. The resort itself has since been expanded to include Disney’s California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney as well as three on-property resorts: Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and Disney’s Paradise Pier. We here at Disney Addicts want to help you and your family get the most out of your Disneyland Resort vacation with these family must-do experiences.
1. Visit Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park – Upon entering Disneyland Park, your family will be swept up in the magic that is Main Street, U.S.A. We encourage you to meander through this charming, turn-of-the-20th-century, small town street that embodies all things Americana. Main Street, U.S.A., which was inspired by Walt Disney’s hometown of Marceline, Missouri, offers many gems for families to explore. Notice several tributes to Walt’s family members featured in some of the windows above the Main Street shops. Stop into the delicious bakeries to stock up on sweet treats. Finally, as you start your adventure in Disneyland Park, stop by The Mad Hatter shop to pick up your Mickey Mouse ears, or even have your Mickey Mouse ear hats embroidered!
2. Visit Mickey’s Toontown – Your kids will love to discover the home of Disney’s beloved characters, including Mickey Mouse himself! You’ll notice fun architecture and silly sculptures that are straight out of your favorite Disney cartoons. This is also the perfect place to meet the characters you love, including Mickey and Minnie. Toontown also features fun attractions like Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, Gadget’s Go Coaster, and the Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse. Your little ones will love to explore everything this eclectic town has to offer!
3. Take a Ride on the Disneyland Railroad – This scenic ride around the perimeter of Disneyland Park also serves as transportation to New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toontown, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. While on your trip, you’ll pass through the “Grand Canyon Diorama,” a replica of the Canyon’s south rim, which includes the wildlife you might see there, as well as “Primeval World,” where you’ll step back into time and come face-to-face with some Audio-Animatronic dinosaurs. Currently under refurbishment until summer 2017, the Disneyland Railroad is sure to excite your family with the many sights, sounds, and experiences offered at Disneyland Park.
4. Watch Disney Junior – Live on Stage! – If your family is traveling with toddlers, then you’ll love experiencing Disney Junior – Live on Stage! Head over to Hollywood Land in California Adventure Park where your kids will love dancing and singing along with their favorite Disney Junior characters, including Sofia the First, Doc MCStuffins, Jake and the Neverland Pirates and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters. This 20-minute show offers lots of opportunity for audience participation, and we guarantee your whole family will leave in a good mood!
5. Experience the Jedi Training Academy – Located in Disneyland Park, your little Star Wars fans might be chosen to participate in the Jedi Training Academy, where recruits will don brown robes and learn the art of the lightsaber before coming face-to-face with Darth Vader and the Seventh Sister Inquisitor! Disney Addicts recommends arriving 20-30 minutes early for the best chance of being selected for the training. Be sure to have your phones or cameras at the ready as this experience is filled with photo-ops!
6. Venture Into a Bug’s Land – Check out the insect-sized fun at A Bug’s Land in California Adventure Park. Your family will experience firsthand what it feels like to be the size of a bug as you encounter things from their point of view. Beyond all of the fun details included here, there are also several attractions, some of which your children can experience on their own, like Flik’s Fun Fair, a children’s park where little ones can check out tunnel-size garden hoses and a water play area featuring mammoth garden sprinklers. As a family, be sure to check out It’s Tough to be a Bug!, a 3-D film about the challenges that come with being such a tiny creature.
7. Check Out Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! – You won’t want to miss one of California Adventure’s newest attractions. You’ll be thrust into the Guardian’s world as you help Rocket save his friends from the Collector’s Fortress. Your family will board a gantry lift as you embark on a whirlwind experience alongside Rocket. Visit the Disney Parks Blog for the most up-to-date information on this new experience.
8. Board the Disneyland Monorail to Downtown Disney – Hop on the monorail in Tomorrowland, and head to Downtown Disney to check out a multitude of shops, fun entertainment, and delicious dining options. There’s something for every member of the family, including the ESPN Zone Sports Arena, where your sports enthusiasts can enjoy action-packed games, interactive arcade entertainment, and high-tech X-treme sports fun. You’ll also want to browse the more than 30 shops featured here, particularly Build-A-Bear Workshop, where your little ones can bring a new furry friend to life. Don’t forget to fill up at the many Downtown Disney dining destinations; you’ll probably want to grab some dessert at Sprinkles, where your whole family can enjoy many tasty varieties of gourmet cupcakes!
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