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Best Things to Do in Disneyland during Disney100

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Disneyland consists of Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, and the Downtown Disney District. Within the amusement parks, you will find Classic Characters like Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, various rides, shows, entertainment, and food - making it the Happiest Place on Earth! There are plenty of fun things to do at the Disney Parks, and in this blog post, I will share the best things to do on your visit to the Disneyland Resort during their 100th Anniversary as the Walt Disney Company.

Disneyland Park


Front of Disneyland Park
Let's talk about the theme park that started it all! The nostalgia you get when walking under the Disneyland Railroad into Main Street USA is indescribable! One of the best ways to get to Sleeping Beauty Castle from Main Street USA is by riding in one of the charming turn-of-the-century vehicles! The Sleeping Beauty Castle is a perfect place for pictures as it is the icon of Disneyland Park. With that, keep in mind there might be a lot of people doing the same! This spot also puts you in the center of 5 themed lands' entrances - you can continue your journey into Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, or back to Main Street USA. Let's dive into the most popular rides, shows, and food options in each one.

Adventureland



The best rides in Adventureland are Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones Adventure! Once you get off those rides, you cannot leave Adventureland without getting a delicious Dole Whip at The Tropical Hideaway, near the exit of Jungle Cruise. You will also find Bengal Barbecue, where you can get meat and veggie skewers.

Exterior of Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square in Disneyland Park

As you exit Adventureland, you will enter New Orleans Square, home to the scrumptious Mickey Beignets (get the caramel sauce) and New Orleans Mint Julep. You would typically get these at the Mint Julep Bar; however, that is currently closed due to the renovation of Splash Mountain to Tiana's Bayou Adventure instead you can find these delicious treats at Royal Street Veranda. Ride-wise, the iconic Haunted Mansion and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride are in New Orleans Square.

Rivers of America with Tom Sawyer Island in the back left and Mark Twain's Riverboat in the back right in Disneyland Park

Right next to New Orleans Square is Critter Country. As mentioned, Splash Mountain is permanently closed to make way for Tiana's Bayou Adventure. However, you can still enjoy The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - I think this one is better than the one in Walt Disney World. You can also go on Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes in Critter Country - this ride is one of my favorite things to do at Disneyland Park as it is an unconventional ride for a Disney Park. It is a distinctive ride as it does not have a track or a motor. You and your closest 20 friends are paddling in a canoe along the Rivers of America circling Tom Sawyer Island.

Frontierland



The roller coaster in Frontierland is called Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - it is the wildest ride in the wilderness! The main spectacle of Frontierland is the Rivers of the Americas, home to Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. To get on to Tom Sawyer Island, you will embark on a floating vessel, and once you arrive, you will brave a pirate adventure through treehouses, floating bridges, and more! You can also cruise through the Rivers of America on Mark Twain's Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia. These are calmer rides great for small children!

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in Disneyland Park

The further back into Frontierland you go, you will enter a Galaxy Far, Far Away a.k.a, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge! It is a new land for Disneyland Park and is similar to the Galaxy's Edge in Hollywood Studios in Florida. The two rides in this area are Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Both rides are magnificent and worth a visit! This land is quite immersive - you will most likely find some Star Wars Characters roaming around while you are there. Try the Blue and Green milk when you are there and see what side you are on! Oga's Cantina is also in Galaxy's Edge and usually requires a reservation, but if you go early enough in the day, you may be able to be placed on the waitlist! Oga's Cantina is a great space for adults as it is a bar in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

Fantasyland


Front exterior of It's a Small World in Fantasyland in Disneyland Park

The coolest part about Sleeping Beauty Castle is that you can walk through it and learn about her fairytale! There are a ton of rides in Fantasyland - perfect for small children and children at heart. These rides include Snow White's Enchanted Wish, Peter Pan's Flight, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Mad Tea Party, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and It's a Small World, to name a few. It's a Small World is another iconic ride at Disneyland Park, and it is well-known for its infamous façade! At night there is an Encanto Projection on It's a Small World - it makes it 10 times better. It is also a great spot to watch the Magic Happens Parade!


Towards the back of Fantasyland, you will encounter the reimagined Mickey's Toontown, which reopened in mid-March 2023.


In Mickey's Toontown, you can visit and meet Mickey Mouse at his house, and you can visit Minnie Mouse's house, and she occasionally is in the backyard hosting a tea party, as seen in the slideshow below.


Donald Duck has a boat house you can tour, Goofy has a great big backyard you can play in, and throughout the day, Daisy, Donald, Goofy, and Clarabelle Cow are hanging around!


There are three rides in Toontown: Chip 'n' Dale's GADGETcoaster, Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, and Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin. Chip 'n' Dale's GADGETcoaster and Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway were so much fun! The line for Runaway Railway was everything I did not know I needed in my life, especially when I met "Ohhh, Toodles!" However, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin was a dark ride that comes off a bit scary for small children, so that was my least favorite.


For the cutest souvenir, check out Good Boy! Grocers, where you can purchase the "Perfect Picnic Basket," which includes three food items and one beverage. Nearby is Café Daisy, where you can grab mini donuts, specialty non-alcoholic beverages, hot dogs, and pizza!

Tomorrowland


View of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage in Disneyland Park

As you enter Tomorrowland, you are greeted by the Astro Orbiter. It seems like a cute little kids' ride; however, once on the ride you will probably change your thoughts about it. Space Mountain, sometimes Hyperspace Mountain when there is a Star Wars overlay, Star Tours, Autopia, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and the Disneyland Monorail are found in Tomorrowland. Great places to grab a bite to eat when in Tomorrowland are The Alien Pizza Planet restaurant housed by Space Mountain and the Galactic Grill is close to the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.

Main Street USA



Besides the Main Street Vehicles that take you to Sleeping Beauty Castle, you can check out the Disney 100 Décor at The Disney Gallery, watch The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and catch a short film at the Main Street Cinema. You will also find the main Disneyland Railroad Station in Main Street USA. This railroad will take you all around the park stopping at New Orleans Square, Mickey's Toontown, and Tomorrowland. Moreover, one of the best places to meet the Disney characters is at Main Street USA - we met Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Goofy, Chip and Dale, and Pluto on Main Street USA. They were all wearing their Disney100 outfits! It is also a great place to get food and treats. Our favorites are Plaza Inn and Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor.

Disney California Adventure Park


View of Pixar Pier and the big Mickey head Ferris Wheel from Paradise Gardens Park's viewing area for World of Color - One at Disney California Adventure Park
Across the "street" from Disneyland Park is Disney's California Adventure Park! This theme park is comprised of 8 areas, similar to Disneyland Park's themed lands. These areas include Buena Vista Street, Hollywood Land, Avengers Campus, Cars Land, Pacific Wharf, Pixar Pier, Paradise Gardens Park, and Grizzly Peak.

Buena Vista Street and Hollywood Land



As soon as you enter, you will be on Buena Vista Street. You can take the Red Car Trolley down through Hollywood Land ending on Sunset Boulevard. I recommend stopping at the Hollywood Boulevard stop and walking to Schmoozies! for their amazing Smoothies and Milkshakes. The Strawberry Banana Sensation and Mango Madness are delicious!


After your treat, check out the building across the street. Animation Academy, Turtle Talk with Crush, and the Sorcerer's Workshop are all located here and are fun, interactive experiences. At the Animation Academy, you can draw one of your favorite characters, and the best part is that every class has a different character throughout the day, so you are bound to find a time when you draw yours! Turtle Talk with Crush is similar to the one in EPCOT in Florida, but their Crush is funnier, so you do not want to miss it! Lastly, the Sorcerer's Workshop is a pretty neat place the further in you go, you will find the Beast's library!

Avengers Campus



As you move through the lands, you will get to Avengers Campus - it is an immersive experience! You feel like you are part of the Marvel Universe, hanging out around their headquarters. In your time here, you will encounter at least a few Marvel characters walking around going about their day. There is also a spectacular Spider-Man show that happens a few times a day which is awe-inspiring! The rides here are a lot of fun and very detailed especially WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure. The Pym Test Kitchen is also here and is a uniquely themed dining experience inspired by Ant-Man and The Wasp's size-defying technology!

Cars Land



After Avengers Campus is Cars Land, my favorite land in this park - you truly feel like you are into Radiator Springs! There are three rides in this area Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters, and Radiator Springs Racers. Although you cannot stay in the Cozy Cone Motel, you can eat at all 5 Cones that offer churros, ice cream cones, chili cone queso, frozen cone-coctions, and popcone! In front of the Cozy Cone you can typically meet a resident of Radiator Springs like Lightning McQueen and Mater.


You can also stop by Fillmore's Taste-In for a snack and Sarge's Surplus Hut, Radiator Springs Curios, and Ramone's for some gifts. When it's time for lunch or dinner, drive on over to Flo's V8 Café for some delicious club sandwiches, fried chicken, and milkshakes! To make this experience even better, be in the center of Flo's V8 Café and Luigi's Casa de la Tires around sunset for the ultimate surprise!

Pacific Wharf



Near Cars Land is Pacific Wharf. This area is under remodeling for San Fransokyo, a mixture of San Francisco and Tokyo inspired by the movie Baymax. Currently, this area serves as food central with The Bakery Tour at the front, Ghiradelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, Lucky Fortune Cookery, Rita's Baja Blenders, Pacific Wharf Cafe, and Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill. Across from Pacific Wharf is Wine Country, inspired by Napa Valley, where you can enjoy wine and fresh seasonal fare.

Pixar Pier



Pixar Pier is probably the more well-known component of Disney's California Adventure Park as it is the face of the park when you look it up. The infamous Ferris Wheel with the Mickey Head in the middle and the gigantic Pixar Pier sign with the Pixar Ball are staples of this theme park. The rides in this area range from low-intensity, Jessie's Critter Carousel, to high-intensity, Incredicoaster. Increditcoaster is the only roller coaster in Disneyland that loops!

If that is not for you, Toy Story Midway Mania is towards the middle of the ride and is an interactive game ride where you shoot plates, pop balloons, and toss rings - it can get competitive! There is even a ride with both a low and high intensity in itself, the Pixar Pal-A-Round a.k.a, the Ferris Wheel. You can choose to go on the regular Ferris Wheel for low intensity, or you can go on the Swinging one for high intensity. I will warn you that there are barf bags in the high-intensity part of the ride.

Paradise Gardens Park



As you exit Pixar Pier, you will merge into Paradise Gardens Park! This area has a lot of fair-type rides. If you do not have a lot of time in your day, you should leave these for the second half of the day. They tend to have shorter wait times making it easier to squish in your plans later in the day. Paradise Gardens Park has a Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta restaurant -I love their spaghetti and meatballs. Occasionally, at this restaurant's Courtyard, they have live performers come to play, which has a lovely dinner and show feel. Sticking with the fair theme in this area, they even have a Corn Dog Castle! Two other components of Paradise Gardens Park that are not fair-centered are the Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure ride and the World of Color - One Viewing area. This viewing area is more essential at night than during the day, but it is a great spot to get a picture in front of the iconic Mickey Mouse Ferris Wheel!

Grizzly Peak


Grizzly River Run at Disney California Adventure Park

The final area is Grizzly Peak, home to Disney's California Adventure's big water ride, Grizzly River Run, a family ride that will get you soaked! Also in Grizzly Peak is Redwood Creek Challenge Trail inspired by Raya the Last Dragon, which you can meet there at certain times. This Challenge Trail has a Cliff Hanger Rock Climb, Log Slides, and a Smokejumpers Training Tower.

The entrance to Disney's Grand Californian, one of the on-site hotels at Disneyland resort, is found in Grizzly Peak, offering a convenient way to get in and out of the park if you are staying there, you can also go in to take a look and come back right to the park if you are not staying there. One of the most popular attractions in this Disney Park is also in Grizzly Peak, Soarin' Around the World - similar to the one in EPCOT. Sometimes there is a Soarin' Around California overlay, but we, unfortunately, did not get that opportunity on our trips.

Downtown Disney District


Disneyland Monorail that goes from Disneyland Park to the Downtown Disney District

If you are taking a day away from the parks but still want that Disney magic, check out Downtown Disney, an entertainment, food, and shopping center right next to the Disney Parks that you can visit for free (besides parking). On certain evenings, you will find live entertainment on the Downtown Disney LIVE! Stage, this is a great way to end the night after visiting one of their magnificent restaurants on site.

In the center of Downtown Disney is Disney's Grand Californian, which also has direct access to Disney's California Adventure. Moreover, if you are in Disneyland Park, you can take the Disneyland Monorail in Tomorrowland to get to the middle of Downtown Disney, which is a short distance away from Disney's Grand Californian. You can also get to the other two on-site hotels, Disneyland Hotel and Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, from the Downtown Disney District.

Disney100



Throughout Disneyland Resort, you will encounter Disney100 decoration items sprinkled all around. There are Platinum and Purple shimmering banners, flags, medallions, and statues everywhere. Some of these decoration items even have dazzling interactions with a MagicBand+. In addition to the décor, there is a wide range of apparel merchandise available for purchase so that you can sport the Platinum and Purple yourself!

You can also buy a Platinum Mickey Sipper and the Platinum or Purple Mickey Balloon Popcorn Bucket. Moreover, there are new treats and sweets associated with Disney100 that you can purchase at certain food locations. Additionally, there are two new nighttime spectaculars for Disney100, one for each park - Wondrous Journeys for Disneyland Park and World of Color - One for Disney's California Adventure Park!

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Oh, boy! We have made it to the end of our Adventure!



I know it is a lot of information, especially if this is your first time at the Disneyland Resort, but do not worry! Download the Disneyland App, grab a map, and/or ask a Cast Member for directions and guidance. By the end of the day, you will be an expert! Another amazing feature of the Disneyland App is that you can mobile order your food at select locations, so you do not have to wait in long lines. We hope you get to enjoy all of the main attractions on your Disneyland Trip and that you get to experience the Happiest Place on Earth to its full effect!


Have you been to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California? If so, let us know in the comments below - we would love to hear your favorite memory! If you have not gone, is it on your bucket list of places to visit now? Let us know in the comments below, and share this article with the person or people you want to go with! If you have any further questions about the Disneyland Resort, please add them below so we can help answer that! Either way, SUBSCRIBE below to learn about other places you should add to your "To Visit" List! Ready? Okay, vamos. Time to have fun!


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