By D’land Diva
Confession time: writing this article was very difficult. I had a REALLY hard time narrowing it down to just 10 things not to miss at Disneyland. There are so many fun and exciting things to do- and not just rides! So this is really just my top 10 list of things not to miss at the park, but be sure to take a good look around Main Street U.S.A as you walk (or sprint walk) to the attractions on this list. Main Street is simply magical.
1) Indiana Jones Adventure- Indiana Jones opened in 1995 and has been a hit with Disneyland guests since. The adventure begins in the queue as guests enter the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Guests load onto jeeps for an exciting adventure. Each journey you take is unique thanks to the Enhanced Motion Vehicle system and there twists and turns every step of the way. Note that this ride is sometimes hard on those who are prone to motion sickness.
2) Haunted Mansion- Hop inside a doom buggy and go on a tour of an old mansion haunted by 999 happy haunts. This enjoyable rides moves on an omni-mover system so it is not terribly fast. Despite the fact that there are “ghosts” on this ride, it is not terribly frightening (though little guests may not like the dark or sounds on the ride). This classic ride is one of the most popular in the park, and during the Fall/Winter season it is transformed into Haunted Mansion Holiday and Jack Skellington and his friends take over the usual ride. Diva Tip: There are fastpasses available for Haunted Mansion Holiday and guests will want to take advantage of them as the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay is quite popular and wait times often reach over an hour.
3) Pirates of the Caribbean- Yo Ho! This fun ride takes guests into the world of pirates and in the past few years has an updated story to include Captain Jack Sparrow (look for Johnny Depp’s character several times throughout the ride). You will enjoy this boat ride as its glides through the world of pirates. Be aware, you may get wet! Diva Tip: Don’t be intimidated by the mile long line out front, the boats load quickly with lots of guests so the line moves fast.
4) Mint Julep and Beignets- Since you are in New Orleans Square checking out Haunted Mansion and Pirates, be sure to stop by the Mint Julep Bar at the French Market. Oh, you will not be disappointed! Order up a refreshing mint julep (they are alcohol free) and some beignets (delicious donut like puffs sprinkled with powdered sugar). Take in the smooth jazz on stage and relax for a bit.
5) Splash Mountain- This ride is one of my favorite because of the many things it has going on- there’s a story, lively music, a ride with dips and turns and well, lots of splashing on hot Southern California days. The height of the ride (no pun intended) is the huge drop your log makes into the briar patch. There’s a lot of fun to be had on Splash Mountain, and in my opinion, it is one of the best rides in the park.
6) Mickey’s Soundsational Parade- The D’land Diva family loves this parade because it incorporates so many of the songs and characters from our favorite Disney movies. Watch excitedly as floats lined with your favorite Disney characters move down Main Street to an upbeat energetic song. It really is soundsational! Diva Tip: The start of the parade has a Frozen float which is a big hit with many young fans.
7) The Newly Updated Alice in Wonderland- It seemed like Alice in Wonderland was closed forever, but when they reopened this past July, the improvements made on the ride were amazing! There are a great deal more digital additions to the ride and the outside portion of the ride has been re-designed for safety purposes. D’land Diva son did not like the old ride but enjoys the new version of the ride so that may tell you the significance of the changes made.
8) Matterhorn Mountain- This majestic ride takes guests up, down and around a replica of the real Matterhorn mountain. Be on the lookout for a Yeti (or two!) Please be aware that this is fast moving ride and guests who are sensitive to motion may want to sit this one out. We have two very different reviews of this ride on our website here and here.
9) The Royal Theatre- After building the new addition to Fantasyland, this re-designed open air space became a theater where a Rapunzel show and a Beauty and the Beast show are shown throughout the day. These shows are simply delightful, full of humor and audience participation (huzzah!), the shows are fun for the entire family. Diva Tip: Once the show begins the theater is closed, so use the restroom before you take your seat. Also, the littles can sit up front near the stage for prime viewing!
10) Dole Whip and the Enchanted Tiki Room- When it is one hundred degrees outside and you are pretty sure you beginning to melt, there is simply nothing better than sitting in the Enchanted “air conditioned” Tiki Room on a soft cushy seat eating a Dole Whip. The show itself is pretty entertaining with songs you will want to clap along to, but it is probably the Dole Whip that steals the show. This creamy concoction of pineapple is vegan (good news for us who can’t handle dairy) and it very refreshing. Diva Tip: Seriously, just this past week I waited for a Dole Whip inside the Tiki Room area and there were three people in line ahead of me. On the outside of the Tiki Room the line was fifty people long. Go to the line inside the turn style folks.
So there you have it, my suggestions of things not to miss at Disneyland!