Brought to you by Disneyland Resort in California
You won’t want to waste a second while visiting Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park and Downtown Disney District. Three days are just the start so here’s how to squeeze in as much as possible.
Day 1: Explore Disneyland Park and get up close to your favourite characters
Start the day on Main Street
Your Disney adventure begins when you walk through the iconic gates on Main Street, USA. This is the best place to get your bearings before setting out to the other lands in the park but be sure to return in the evening for a great view of the fireworks show. A staple of the park since the early days, the display is backed by timeless tunes. Grab a spot early (check the daily schedule for start times) and watch as the colours light up the night.
Immerse yourself in classics
Visit Mickey’s Toontown to explore Goofy’s Playhouse with little ones and snap a pic with Mickey. Enter Sleeping Beauty Castle en route to Fantasyland and take a spin in the jumbo teacups at the Mad Tea Party. Relax on the It’s a Small World boat tour before walking to Tomorrowland, where you can feel the Force at the latest Star Wars attractions, including Hyperspace Mountain, the Star Wars Launch Bay and Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.
Stay at Disneyland Resort
Check in to one of the three hotels in the resort (Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel or Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa) and you can enjoy Extra Magic Hour: admission to one park an hour before it opens to the public on each day of your stay.
Day 2: Make your way through the seven lands of Disney California Adventure Park
Help guard the galaxy
Superhero fans will be in their element as they help Rocket Raccoon free his friends from The Collector’s Fortress in the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! attraction, opening in the Disney California Adventure Park on May 27. The ride features randomised experiences, so you’ll never know exactly what you’re in for.
Get your adrenaline pumping
If roller-coasters are your thing, then head straight to Paradise Pier for a thrill ride on the high-speed California Screamin’ or take on the fun and zany Goofy’s Sky School track. Spend the afternoon in Disney-Pixar Cars Land, refuelling with rotisserie chicken at Flo’s V8 Café and fulfilling your need for speed on the Radiator Springs Racers. Finish the day by ducking over to Disneyland Park (a Park Hopper ticket lets you move between both parks on the same day) to try out Splash Mountain.
Day 3: See world-class shows and experience more of the Disneyland Resort
Make shows part of your itinerary
It can be tempting to spend all day exploring the parks on foot but you’ll be missing out if you don’t make time to watch one of the shows. Frozen Live at the Hyperion is for fans of the film who want to see the story done a little differently, while Mickey and the Magical Map at the Fantasyland Theatre lets you experience new worlds with Disney favourites (both are often on several times a day so check the daily schedule for up-to-the-minute start times).
Stroll through Downtown Disney
Don’t leave without spending a hour or two wandering the Downtown Disney District. Browse the boutiques, catch an IMAX movie or grab a bite to eat. Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria will keep the whole family happy (you can’t go wrong with pizza) and cupcakes from Sprinkles bakery are a sweet afternoon treat.
Experience a World of Color
This night-time show is a must-see. Held at Paradise Pier, it weaves water fountains, lights and music in an impressive ode to all things Disney. Pick up a complimentary FASTPASS (it allows you to save time in line of some of the resort’s attractions – you insert your admission ticket and receive a FASTPASS with what time to come back to enjoy the ride) earlier in the day to access the reserved viewing area then settle in with the kids and be awed by the spectacle – it’s the perfect way to end your trip.
Top image: ©Disney