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Disney’s California Adventure for Adults: The Complete Guide

90’s babies have grown up and the challenge to market to our interests has surfaced for a lot of companies. I don’t want to speak for everyone in my age…

90’s babies have grown up and the challenge to market to our interests has surfaced for a lot of companies. I don’t want to speak for everyone in my age group, but one way to strike a chord with us is to tap into our childhood nostalgia. If we visited as kids, we want to revisit the memories of vacations and if we didn’t, we probably still watched Disney movies. In response to “grown-ups” gaining an interest in the parks, I’ve written a series on what to do at Disneyland as an adult.

This park was a little easier to write about than Disneyland proper. First off, California Adventure is not a “dry park” like Disneyland. Meaning, alcohol is sold in this park and there’s a lot of it. If you don’t like to drink there are plenty of thrill rides and entertainment to peak your interest. Now that Cars Land has been added and the transformation of Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier is complete, this park is becoming a rival to Disneyland.

This article is focused on California Adventure so be sure to check out my previous adult guides to Disney:


Most of the festivals at California Adventure appeal to an older demographic because they tend to be food & beverage-centric. We love posting pictures of beautiful cocktails and dishes on Instagram so why not make it easy for us? It’s basically free advertising for Disney anyway.

Food & Wine Festival: This is the baby version of Epcot’s Food & Wine in Disney World. Instead of featuring snacks and cocktails from around the world, this festival puts a spotlight on California-inspired food and beverages. I paired their version of the “frushi roll” with a wine slushie and all my Disney dreams came true.

Warm Bourbon Cider with a Homemade Marshmallow from Festival of Holidays in Disneyland's California Adventure

Festival of Holidays: This is my favorite festival at the parks. The food and entertainment si inspired by holidays from around the world like Hannukah, Christmas, Diwali, and Kwanzaa. Last year they featured bands like Mostly Kosher (Hannukah tunes), an all-female mariachi band, and an a cappella group that sang both Kwanzaa and Christmas songs. It was a ton of fun and I’m hoping to go back next year!

Pixar Fest (2018): I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney kept some of the elements of Pixar Fest for next year and beyond. The festival featuring Pixar-inspired beverages, food, and entertainment has been a hit. You can check out my full guides to Snacking at Pixar Fest and Entertainment for a full review.

Lunar New Year (2018): This year they rang in the Year of the Dog with food, entertainment, and character meets inspired by the holiday and culture that surrounds it. Obviously, Pluto was the star of the show. I’ll keep everyone updated if they decide to bring this one back next year!


Soon California Adventure will feature a land devoted entirely to the Marvel canon. They’ve already transformed Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy and they’re getting ready to close down Bug’s Land to make way for more action-packed attractions.

Radiator Springs Racers in Car's Land at Disneyland's California Adventure

Attractions with Single Riders: If your travel group doesn’t mind being separated, use the Single Riders Line. This will cut down your wait time considerably.

  • California Adventure: Radiator Springs, Grizzly River Run, Goofy’s Sky School (strange, but true)
  • Disneyland: Matterhorn, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones, Space Mountain

Incredicoaster: The Incredibles hype made it possible for Disney to transform California Screamin’ into an incredible roller coaster. Overall, the ride is the same as it once was with some elements added to fit the Pixar Pier environment. It’s the only large coaster on property with an upside loop.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Listen, I’m a Tower of Terror purist. When I heard they were transforming it into Guardians of the Galaxy, I was not amused. However, the Imagineers did a great job with the re-imagining of this attraction. The technology is fantastic, the ride is smooth, and I’d say it’s more thrilling than Tower of Terror. I approve of this reinvention, but if they change it in Disney World, I will protest.

Guardians of Galaxy Mission Breakout Ride at Disneyland's California Adventure

Radiator Springs Racers: This ride is like Epcot’s Test Track on steroids and an absolute must-do. The architecture and rock work alone is magnificent and the attraction features animatronic cars that look almost lifelike.

Pixar Pal-Around: Formerly called Mickey’s Fun Wheel, now with Pixar themed gondolas. If you seek a bit of thrill, try the swinging cars that rock in and out while you rotate. Even some grown-ups find this Ferris wheel a little too intense.


Soarin’ Around the World: There are plenty of attractions that will help you wind down after a morning of coasters and high-speed rides. Soarin’ is a spectacular ride for all ages, but adults seem to appreciate the technology. The ride is relaxing and gorgeous.

Animation Courtyard: I appreciate this hidden gem so much I wrote an entire post highlighting why it’s the best attraction at Disneyland (in my honest opinion). With large projection screens featuring clips of Disney movies and sweeping orchestrations, it’s the perfect place to catch your breath before heading back out into the sweltering sun.

Scene from Up Projected in Animation Courtyard at Disneyland's California Adventure


Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge: “Hollywood, 1939. Amid the glitz and the glitter of a bustling, young movie town at the height of its golden age.” This restaurant is inspired by the real Carthay Circle and yes, it’s quite romantic. If you’re looking for a cocktail, the first floor has a lounge that does not require a reservation. Up the stairs is the main dining room which splits off to secluded dining areas and private dining nooks reserved for large groups. This place shares the same Chef from the Grand Californian’s Napa Rose, Andrew Sutton, so you know the food is perfection.

Carthay Circle Restaurant Dining Room at Disneyland's California Adventure

Wine Country Trattoria: The atmosphere is inspired by wine countries in Italy complete with an extensive wine list. I love the outdoor seating, covered in winding vines. I suggest the Spaghetti Aglio Olio. Delish!

Alfresco Tasting Terrace: Before you enter Wine Country Trattoria, take the stairs on your right. The rooftop lounge feels secluded and removed from the park hustle. You will have access to the same wine and appetizer menu from Wine Country plus a great view!

Sonoma Terrace: If you’re not in the mood for a lounge setting, near Wine Country Trattoria is a quick-service bar with outdoor seating. They serve some snacks like cheese plates and Bavarian pretzels along with wine and beer.

Lamplight Lounge (Formerly Cove Bar): As we say goodbye to Cove Bar, we greet Lamplight Lounge with open arms. The re-conceptualized lounge is stunning and features unique cocktails, sushi, and the old Cove Bar favorite: Lobster Nachos. There’s even a secret door that leads to a private dining area. I’d give this place a 5 star rating if they didn’t charge $20 a dish. Yikes!

Lobster Nachos from Cove Bar and Lamplight Lounge at Disneyland's California Adventure

World of Color/Paint the Night Dining or Reception Party: The World of Color package is temporarily unavailable until the show is done with refurbishment. Hopefully, it will be back soon! Much like the Tomorrowland Lounge, for an additional cost, you can indulge in specialty cocktails and snacks then watch the Paint the Night parade from a private viewing area. The dining packages are a great deal if you already plan on eating at either Wine Country Trattoria or Carthay Circle. Great way to beat the crowds and have a unique experience!


I feel like I can never write a post without mentioning my one true love, coffee. There are three great places to find coffee at California Adventure I’ve listed below and if you want more ideas for coffee take a look at my full guide to good coffee at Disneyland.

  • Starbucks (Pseudonym: Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe): Located towards the entrance of the park and shares a building with Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream (also delicious).
  • Schmoozie’s: Best iced coffee available at California Adventure, in my humble opinion. You can also indulge in one of their frozen blended mochas.
  • Gourmet Coffee Cart: Located at the Pixar Pier entrance. This will have always have a shorter line than Starbucks and they also have some breakfast pastries and other goodies.

Iced Latte in front of Schmoozie's at Disneyland's California Adventure

More Libations

There are a lot more places that serve alcohol in this park, so I made a short-list of every place you can find it. You can do a “Drink Around California” excursion akin to the “Drink Around The World” at Epcot. Best of all, you can get your drinks to-go and carry it around the park. Just like Vegas! Here’s evidence of me carrying around an Island Sunset from the (now deceased) Cove Bar.

Karl Strauss Beer Cart from Pacific Wharf at Disneyland's California Adventure

Pacific Wharf Cafe: Grab an infamous soup in a bread bowl and either a “hazy” unfiltered IPA or a blood orange blonde beer.

Rita’s Baja Blenders: Frozen or on the rocks? These margaritas go well with some tamales from Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill.

Mendocino Terrace: I’ll take a cheese plate and sparkling white wine!

Bayside Brews: A Mickey pretzel and beer kiosk. Perf!

Karl Strauss Beer Truck: Need I say more?

Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta: Pizza and beer, or, pizza and sangria. The choice is yours.

Lucky Fortune Cookery: Tofu and the Japanese beer: Sapporo

Paradise Garden Grill: Two kinds of Dos Equis and red sangria!

Smokejumpers Grill: Waffle fries and beers!

Flo’s V8 Café: The 50’s style diner serves wine and beer, but I’d opt for a milkshake here.

Carthay Circle Restaurant Ceiling Mural at Disneyland's California Adventure

Carthay Circle Restaurant

Maybe you think I’ve drunk the Disney Kool-Aid, but I think the parks have a lot to offer to both young and old! Whether you seek thrills, a relaxing day out, or frozen margaritas, you have a ton of options. Make it a honeymoon, a trip with friends, or go rogue and do a solo Disney trip. All you need is a touch of magic,  a shot of tequila and a sprinkling of pixie dust to make the perfect Disney vacation for grown-ups!

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Downtown Disney for Adults: The Complete Guide

Downtown Disney is my favorite place to visit the minute I land in Anaheim. There’s no cost of admission and there are plenty of options for food, drink, shopping. It’s…

Downtown Disney is my favorite place to visit the minute I land in Anaheim. There’s no cost of admission and there are plenty of options for food, drink, shopping. It’s basically a big party and bustling with street performers. It’s the perfect way to get you excited about your vacation. If you have some time before checking into your hotel room drop your bags off at the front desk and visit for dinner and drinks! Even though it’s not quite as expansive as Disney Springs in Florida, Downtown Disney has a lot to offer. It is also designed with an older demographic in mind.

This is only one part of my Disneyland for Adults Series. Be sure to check out the rest of the guide here:


Splitsville: This is a brand-new bowling alley restaurant and lounge recently replaced House of Blues this year. The retro concept is gorgeous and it’s open until midnight for all you night owls. With crazy cocktails and bar food, this is a great place for a night out with friends or a friendly date night! And don’t worry, House of Blues just moved down the street if you miss the old concert and restaurant venue.

Splitsville Bowling Alley in Downtown Disney - A Guide to Disneyland for Adults

Star Wars Hyper-Reality Experience: This experience is for Star Wars fanatics over the age of 10. This is a “fully immersive” experience where you’re sent on a mission for the rebellion. You get to see, touch, and interact with the Star Wars environment along the way. Your travel group can go as a unit or join another party if you’re traveling solo is sent undercover on a mission for the rebellion.  You can find tickets for the experience here.

A Capella Groups and Street Performers: Every few steps you’ll run into either a singing group, a band, and entertainers. The performers heighten the energy which gives Downtown Disney a party atmosphere.

A Cappella Group Singing at Downtown Disney - Nightlife at Disneyland


The Disney Dress Shop: They added this new shop to Disney World and Disneyland and I’m absolutely in love. Finally, an adult version of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique! (Without all the Fairy Godmother’s, of course.) The dresses, mostly designed by Her Universe, are inspired by the retro/Dapper Day aesthetic with a Disney twist. Some of the dresses and accessories are sold throughout the parks as well. If you like vintage, you’ll love this.

Orange Bird Purse from the Disney Dress Shop at Downtown Disney in Disneyland

WonderGround Gallery: Gorgeous Disney-inspired art pieces like custom Vinylmations, giclées, mugs, and more. Also, if you fall in love with a giant painting, Disney can ship it to your home so you don’t have to worry about bringing it on a plane.

Sephora: There’s nothing too different about this Sephora, except perhaps, that it’s placed on Disney property. So it’s somehow more magical, eh?

Disney Home: More Mickey mugs for me! This store has taken all of the Disney themed home goods from around the parks and placed them in one centralized store. The products change throughout the year to fit the seasons.

Disneyland Home Good Store at Downtown Disney

Pandora Jewelry: If you’re a charm junkie you can get all the Disney park-exclusive charms here. I was never too big on charms, but it’s the coolest idea if you’re looking for something to collect every time you visit the parks. Even though they’re spendy, it’s good quality jewelry.


The most important meal of the day! I’m gutted that my favorite place to get coffee, Haagen-Dazs, is now closed but I’m delighted that they’re replacing it with Salt & Straw. The next place I suggest is either the Starbucks next to World of Disney or La Brea Bakery where you can pick up fresh pastries and breakfast sandwiches! For great coffee choices in the rest of the parks check out my full guide to good coffee at Disneyland!

Sandwich, Salad, and Iced Coffee from La Brea Bakery in Downtown Disney at Disneyland


Salt & Straw: Opening late 2018! This specialty ice cream shop started near my hometown in Portland, Oregon and will surely be a great late-night treat after a day at the parks! I have a feeling that Disney acquired Salt & Straw because Universal opened Voodoo Doughnuts, another Portland favorite albeit less family-friendly, at both of their locations.

Ballast Point: Opening late 2018! Disneyland is opening their first brewery and outdoor beer garden. This brewery is popular among Californians and based out of San Diego. The menu will also be inspired by SoCal cuisine.

Black Tap Burgers & Beer: Opening late 2018! This is a great option if you’re traveling with a mixed group of drinkers and non-drinkers. Black Tap is another local chain that will add to the new Downtown Disney vibe. The diner themed restaurant will have tons of burgers, including a vegan option, and their signature “CrazyShakes” topped with piles of cotton candy and candies.

Uva Bar: This is my favorite place in Downtown Disney. It’s an outdoor bar located right in the middle of the walkway, between Catal and Build-A-Bear. It’s a great place to take in the atmosphere, listen to the street musicians, and people watch. However, if you’re looking for a quiet dinner, this might not be a great choice.

Bustling Uva Bar at Catal Restaurant in Downtown Disney - Nightlife at Disneyland

Catal Restaurant: With menu items like assorted paellas and filet mignon, Catal is slightly more upscale than Tortilla Joe’s. Outdoor seating at Catal is located on the 2nd floor and a prime spot for taking in the sights and sounds of Downtown Disney. Some say they’ve caught the Disneyland fireworks from upstairs.

Naples: Due to lukewarm reviews, Naples is getting a lot of renovations. Reopening Fall 2018, Naples will have a new outside bar and patio and also 3 new wood-burning pizza ovens. This means that the food is also getting an upgrade. I can’t wait to have a glass of wine and gorge myself on a freshly made pizza under the Southern California stars.

Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria at Downtown Disney - The Complete Guide to Downtown Disney for Adults

Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen: This is an optimal venue for a date night. There is nightly jazz and gumbo, all set under an open-air atrium design. If you’re in a hurry, they have an express window that serves yummy cajun fried goods and their popular beignets.

Tortilla Joe’s: For a lively night out this place is an old standby. Fresh guacamole is made tableside and there’s a dedicated tequila bar where you can get margaritas made frozen or on the rocks. On Saturdays, an all-female mariachi band wanders the restaurant. Loads of fun!

Coming in the next few years, Downtown Disney will have a brand new hotel in place of Rainforest Cafe and ESPN Zone (both have already closed down). Once the hotel opens, this area will hardly be recognizable and I honestly can’t wait. They’re slowly transforming it to what Disney Springs has become in Disney World: a shopping and food mecca for young adults. I can’t wait to watch this place transform over the years!

What’s your favorite adult-friendly thing to do at Disney? Comment below!

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10 Disneyland Hotel Activities for Adults

Long gone is the assumption that Disneyland is just for kids. You know who has to bring those kids into the parks? Parents! And it’s not just for parents either….

Long gone is the assumption that Disneyland is just for kids. You know who has to bring those kids into the parks? Parents! And it’s not just for parents either. Disney is for young honeymooners, groups of friends visiting SoCal, retired folks coming back for their annual visit, or solo travelers looking for an escape from reality. As someone who doesn’t have children and often travels alone, I’ve found tons of things to do in the parks that keep me coming back. So, I compiled a series of posts about what to do as a grown-up at Disneyland.

Now, I’m finally getting to my favorite part of the series! Disneyland Resort Hotels. Disneyland has three official hotels with a fourth hotel coming in 2021. All three are a little bit pricey, but even if a Disneyland Hotel is outside of your budget, there are a ton of activities, food, and drink to be explored at the resorts. Most of them completely suitable, if not made for, adults.

Check out our other three Guides to Disneyland for Adults here!

Paradise Pier

Paradise Pier is severely lacking in dining and entertainment and really doesn’t hold a bar to Grand Californian or The Disneyland Hotel. If you’re looking to stay at a Disney hotel, I would say due to the high prices, you’ll get a lower value compared to the other two. There other nearby hotels like Four Points Sheraton that would be a better choice. I will also say that it still has the Disney touch and it’s close to Downtown Disney, so it’s not a bad choice, just not the best one. There are two

Paradise Pier Hotel Entrance with Palm Trees - Disneyland Resort Activities

1) View the Fireworks from the Rooftop Pool: The firework viewing is the best thing about this resort. In true Disney fashion, they also pipe in the soundtrack while you watch. Arrive about 20-30 minutes early if you want a seat and there is plenty of standing room if you come late. This is technically for resort guests only, but I somehow found myself on the rooftop one night and I wasn’t turned away. I don’t know if everyone will be that lucky, however, so visit at your own risk!

2) Surfside Lounge: If you’re looking to a Disney bar crawl and hit up every lounge in the area, this will be the place to start off. However, if you’re looking for a good Disney cocktail, I suggest heading across the street to another resort or Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Hotel

Walt’s flagship hotel has fantastic park views and located just steps away from the monorail. The hotel is defiantly Disney in a way that’s neither cheesy or oversaturated. The rooms are filled with “magical” elements like the light-up headboards and Hidden Mickeys. If you’re a grown-up Disney fan you’ll love the theming and the historical elements scattered throughout the hotel. Last I visited, they were having a special showing of Disneyland’s opening day documentary in one of their conference rooms. It was extremely nerdy and awesome.

3D Map of Disneyland's Frontierland at The Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland Frontierland 3D Map

3) Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar: You’ll find the best mixed drinks at Trader Sam’s. On the patio, you’re treated to a live band and tiki torches. The indoor bar is very tiny so you will most likely have to wait in a line to be admitted. Even then, you’re not guaranteed a seat and you might have to cozy up to the bar. Once you’ve made it inside, you’re transported to an immersive tropical hideaway with really great food. Try the Chinese Long Beans or just get the sampler Pu Pu Platter. Also, I don’t want to give away too much, but if you order a Krakatoa Punch, you’re in for a surprise!

Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar and Lounge Entrance and Sign - Activities for Adults at Disneyland

4) Rum Dole Whip – The Coffee House: This the one place on property that serves the classic Dole Whip with a shot of rum. Extremely dangerous! They also have coffee (duh) and specialty pastries and treats throughout the day.

5) Fancy Dining – Steakhouse 55: What’s more adult than a fancy steakhouse? The specialty is the 24 layer chocolate cake (YAS). If you want to be extra fancy, try the Afternoon Tea where you can indulge in a spread of scones and tea sandwiches. I have a preference to Napa Rose for fancy feasts, but I know plenty of others who enjoy this place.

6) Explore the Wedding Pavillions: Spread out among the finely tamed lawn are small wedding gazebos, usually abandoned, and ready for you take some Instagram pics in a picturesque setting. Sure, they may not be as grandiose as Grand Floridian’s wedding pavilions, but they’re still pretty cute. I’ve had the opportunity to run into a couple wedding ceremonies. I creepily watched from the bushes while the bride and groom made their happily ever after come true!

The Grand Californian

Napa Rose Restaurant Outside Patio and Fire Pits - Disneyland Hotel Activities for Adults

Napa Rose Terrace at Grand Californian

The most adult-centric resort is the Grand Californian and if you have the budget, this place is worth every penny. There’s poolside service, a gorgeous lobby to rest your feet, and a private entrance to California Adventure. If it’s not in your budget, you can still enjoy some of the things the resort has to offer.

7) Napa Rose: This is my favorite restaurant in Disneyland and the best place you can go for a quiet evening out. Everything is delicious and the service is excellent. On a slow night, I took my champagne to the firepits on the outside terrace. Right on the other side winding grape vines is California Adventure and you can hear the ambient music and chatter from the parks. Pure Disney bliss. If you don’t want to splurge on a full meal visit the lounge for cocktails and appetizers. I can’t suggest a single meal because the menu changes often and also because everything I’ve tried is so darn good.

Napa Rose Lounge and Restaurant at the Grand Californian - Disneyland Activities for Adults

8) Get Up and Go Power Walk: This is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done at Disneyland. If you happen to stay at any of the resorts you have the ability to see the parks before anyone else that day. I mean, you still have to work for it, but it’s still pretty cool.  Every morning, a Cast Member leads a group of hotel guests through the special entrance of California Adventure and on a guided power walk. The Cast Member who lead my group worked in the corporate office and told us fun facts and stories about his life at Disney. I promise you it’s not that difficult of a workout either. As long as you can keep up with a quickened step for about 20 minutes, you should be good. I am definitely not an athletic person and I did just fine. To sign up, visit the Concierge at your hotel when you arrive and they’ll let you know if they have open spots.

9) Hearthstone Lounge: In the morning, grab a coffee or pastry and in the afternoon, grab a drink! The lounge is located inside of the lobby with decor that matches the rest of the resort. It’s a great place to escape to when you’re about halfway through your day and in need of a good, solid cocktail. Best cocktails to try: Pina CoLava or the Bourbon Flight!

Rum Swizzle Cocktail at Hearthstone Lounge at The Grand Californian - Disneyland Activities for Adults

10) Mandara Spa: On my last two visits I booked a massage at Mandara and I’m officially hooked on this spa. Get a massage with your partner or a pedi with your best friend then relax in their steam room and sauna. It’s a great way to experience the luxury of the Grand Californian without completely emptying your bank account. Also, be sure to check out Groupon before booking here! I’ve found a few discounted packages in the past.

Mandara Spa Sign at the Grand Californian Hotel -Disneyland Hotel Activities for Adults

Whether you’re drinking at a resort or taking in a spa day, there are plenty of things to do at any of the hotels. And most of them don’t require the price of admission or even a one-night stay! Take the day off and do some shopping at Downtown Disney, grab some lunch at Napa Rose, take a walk around The Disneyland Hotel, and cap off your night at Trader Sam’s! Also, if you’re traveling with kids they can join you for most of these endeavors, so there’s no need to find a babysitter on date night. 😉

Pin it for later!You don't have to splurge on a stay at The Grand Californian to enjoy the tasty cocktails or full-service spa. All three Disneyland hotels have a ton to offer couples, friends, and even solo adventurers!
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Disneyland for Adults: The Complete Guide

Walt’s inspiration for Disneyland sparked when he was sitting on a bench watching his kids ride a carousel. He decided at that moment that his calling was to create a…

Walt’s inspiration for Disneyland sparked when he was sitting on a bench watching his kids ride a carousel. He decided at that moment that his calling was to create a park that everyone could enjoy, both kids and adults, together. Over the years, this idea has adapted with the times. We’re seeing more adults enjoying Disneyland, whether they have children or not. In doing so, Disney has responded by adding food and entertainment to keep the attendance high and their new and modern audience engaged. As a frequent guest, I can attest there are plenty of things to do at Disneyland as an adult with or without kids! I’ve highlighted food, events, trends, and entertainment that makes Disneyland great for couples, groups of friends, or solo trips.

I intended to write one post including an Ultimate Guide to Disneyland as an Adult, but it was enormous, so I’ve broken it up into four parts. Be sure to check out the other three!

Haunted Mansion Side View of Entrance at Disneyland


Single Riders Lines: First and foremost! You can turn a 90 minute standby line into a 20 minute wait using the single rider queue. If your group doesn’t mind being separated that is. Occasionally, you’ll get lucky and board together or at least in the same car.

Rides with a Single Riders Line:

  • Matterhorn
  • Splash Mountain
  • Indiana Jones
  • Space Mountain
  • California Adventure: Radiator Springs, Grizzly River Run, Goofy’s Sky School (strange, but true)


The Mountain Rides – Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Matterhorn: The Mountain Rides are the best thrills Disneyland has to offer. Space Mountain tends to be the most popular with the longest wait. Unless it’s the middle of summer then Splash Mountain will also be crowded. Pro Tip: If you can, try to time your ride on the Matterhorn during the fireworks. You get a view of the castle and fireworks up close and it’s a pretty cool experience. I’ve somehow managed to do this twice.

Matterhorn Mountain and Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage Lagoon

Indiana Jones Adventure: The perfect ride for 80’s/90’s babies. It has a bit of a thrill factor and throwback to some of our favorite Harrison Ford moments. The vehicle throws you around quite a bit so if you have any chronic back pain or motion sickness, I might avoid it.

Star Tours-The Adventure Continues: Disney has been updating this ride since the new movies came out and it now features some of our favorite new lands and characters. This attraction will satisfy your Star Wars needs until the new Star Wars land, Galaxy’s Edge, opens in 2019.

Haunted Mansion: This one is somewhere between thrill and chill. It has the “spooky” factor, but it’s no Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal. It’s still an all-time favorite for most. The technology was very innovative at the time it was built and proves to be impressive today. I’m also a big fan of the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay that happens every Christmas.


About halfway through the day, I start to feel overwhelmed with crowds and heat so I seek out calming dark rides, the railroad, and log ride attractions. You gotta pace yourself a bit if you want to last until closing!

Tom Sawyer Island: This is easily one of the most beautiful and underrated areas in Disneyland. The island is hardly ever crowded and features activities or hideaways that you can explore. I like it because it’s a great place to relax. Buy a chimichanga at a nearby food cart and venture to the island for a quiet picnic!

Tom Sawyer Island and Pirate Lair surrounded by the Rivers of America at Disneyland

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln: This attraction was Walt’s pride and joy. Abraham Lincoln was one of the first Audio-Animatronics and I can only imagine the reaction it got the first time guests saw a robot stand up by itself. This show is filled with so much American and Disney history you could just burst.

The Enchanted Tiki Room: If you’re already standing in line for a Dole Whip, you might as well stick around for the Tiki Room. Another classic that has been open since day one at Disneyland. The air conditioning is welcoming and there’s never a long wait to see the show.


The most important meal of the day! Many of us, whether we have kids or not, depend on coffee to make our day a little more magical. If you’re looking for an excellent cup of joe in the parks check out my guide to good coffee at Disneyland.


Disneyland may never accept alcohol into this park because every time they mention the concept, people lose their minds. This is due to the idea that Disney once intended Disneyland to be a “dry park.” That was a long time ago and they certainly allow alcohol at Club 33, so we may see a change in the future. Never fear! You can still walk 50 yards across the Esplanade and grab a cocktail at California Adventure if you so desire.

Insta-Snacks: It seems like every week Disney is cooking up another trendy dish for people to snatch up and post on Instagram. Many will scoff at those who #doitforthegram but I say bring it on! I love looking at pictures of food, especially when it’s Mickey shaped. Lately, the hype has been the Dole Whip donut and Disney World’s Millenial Pink Champagne and both are limited-time treats (I believe the donut is no longer available). Keep your eyes peeled for Insta-worthy snacks around Disneyland. The most common place to find beautiful treats are Jolly Holiday Bakery and the cappuccino cart.

The Dole Whip Donut - Disneyland for Adults: The Complete Guide #vacation

Blue Bayou: The coolest thing about this restaurant is that it’s located inside Pirates of the Caribbean. The “nighttime” environment is dark, moody, and incredibly romantic. However, much like Rainforest Cafe, you’re paying for the atmosphere, not the food. Unless, of course, you’re talking about the Monte Cristo. It’s the only thing worth shelling a pretty penny for.

Cafe Orleans: What this place lacks in atmosphere, it gains in food quality. The menu is absolutely incredible and catered to an adult appetite. They serve the same famous Monte Cristo as the Blue Bayou and also the infamous Mickey beignets. If you can’t get a reservation at Blue Bayou, try this one! (I like their entrees better here anyway!)

Stack of Mickey Shaped Beignets with Powdered Sugar at Carnation Cafe in Disneyland

Mickey Beignet | Cafe Orleans

Carnation Cafe: This restaurant has been around since the park’s opening in 1955. It’s lead by Chef Oscar Martinez, the longest-tenured Cast Member who just celebrated 60 years with Disneyland. If you’re a Disney nut like me, you’ll love the sentimental values of this restaurant. If you’re a foodie (also like me) you’ll love the food here. They serve comfort foods like fried pickles, baked potato soup, and Walt’s favorite meatloaf.

Fantasmic! Dining Package: If you plan on having dinner at either Blue Bayou, River Belle Terrace, or Cafe Orleans, you might as well book it with the Fantasmic! Dining Package. The package includes a 3-course meal and a reserved spot in the preferred viewing area. Unless you want to camp out for an hour, it’s difficult to find a clear viewing spot for the show so the dining package is the way to go.

Blue and Green Pirates of the Caribbean Ship at Disneyland's Fantasmic Night Show

Fantasmic! Pirates of the Caribbean Ship

Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Experience: For an extra price, you can indulge in some Disney snacks and watch the fireworks from a private viewing area in Tomorrowland. The reservation allows you to come and go as you please, from 8:00-10:00 at night. Great option for a group of friends!

Events & Entertainment

Disneyland After Dark: This year Disneyland launched a special-ticket event series where they keep the park open late to host a themed night-out. The first theme was Throwback Nite where guests were encouraged to wear their Dapper Day best and the second was Star Wars Nite. Each event hosts themed entertainment and photo ops. You can check out the official website here for any updates regarding upcoming events.

Late-Night Shopping: The shops on Main Street usually remain open after close for about an hour, so don’t rush out after the fireworks! It’s the perfect time to peruse the stores and collect your souvenirs. It’s also the best time to get your castle pictures since the crowds will have died down.

VIP Tours: This is a fantastic idea for big Disney fans or frequent visitors who are looking for something unique to do. The most popular tour is Walk In Walt’s Foot Steps, which takes you on a guided tour through the history of Disneyland. I hope to someday take The Grand Circle Tour which explores Walt’s love for trains and also where you’ll get to ride in the special parlor train aboard the Lily Belle.

Golden Horseshoe Review: If you’re looking for a fun date night this campy dinner show might be a good option. If your party is full of introverts you might want to try Blue Bayou though! The show involves a little bit of audience interaction, so don’t be surprised if they call you out!

Photo Shoot: I’m a big fan of perusing Disney Instagram’s before dozing off. Now that everyone has semi-pro phone cameras, a lot of Disney fans have gotten creative with their photography. There are dedicated walls and popular spots to take selfies and portraits around the parks and it’s a fun way to pass the time. For inspiration, Disney Style explored some fantastic places to take your Disneyland photos.

My generation was born in the height of Disney’s second golden era with classics like Beauty & the Beast, Toy Story, Lion King, and so on. It makes our heart melt when we hear the sweeping orchestration I Can Go the Distance or watch Ariel and Prince Eric dance together in Fantasmic. More grown-ups are visiting without children and those with children are enjoying the parks more than ever. Disney seems to have taken advantage of this and as time progresses, so will the parks. I’m interested to see what they will add to spark the interest of future generations!

Also, if you’re looking for tips for visiting Disney World in Florida as an adult, head over to Lissy Through the Looking Glass for Disney for Adults -7 Things to Try if Thrill Rides Aren’t Your Thing.

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Disneyland for Adults: The Complete Guide

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Snack Guide: 13 Popular Treats at Pixar Fest in Disneyland

If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff. -Remy  Pixar Fest is easily one of the best Disney Festivals I’ve yet to experience. I…

If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff. -Remy 

Pixar Fest is easily one of the best Disney Festivals I’ve yet to experience. I don’t say this lightly. Dear Lawd, the food was good. Disney, in general, has really stepped up their game on the food quality and it seems like every month they’re coming up with new creations. To get the most out of Pixar Fest, head to the Paradise Garden Grill, which is to the right of the Goofy’s Sky School in California Adventure. This is where they feature a lot of the unique food, a special character spot, and a Pixar themed band. There’s a picture of the full menu below as well.

After the first week of the festival, I wrote a little guide to entertainment and shows available during the festival, which you can read here. But now, I’m ready to cover the really serious stuff. Let’s talk sweets. My title says top 13 snacks, but there are loads more than I mentioned here.  Pixar Fest runs now through September 2018.

Lots-O-Straw-Bear-Y Funnel Cake (Hungry Bear Restaurant-Disneyland): Layers of strawberries, blueberries, strawberry butter and pink sugary crumbles. This was really good, but honestly, the best part was the fried dough (duh!). I could only get through half of it, so try to share! They have another version called Jessie’s Berry Jubilee Funnel Cake served at the Stagedoor Cafe next to Hoop-de-Doo review. That one has oreo crumbles and creme anglaise, dusted with gold sugars.

Lots-O Strawberry & Blueberry Funnel Cake with a Disneyland/Pixar Fest Park Map

Tres Leches Parfait (Paradise Garden Grill-California Adventure): If you’re one for rich desserts, this is the one to try! I had already eaten breakfast, so I didn’t think I’d get through all of it, but oh man, this is an amazing treat. It’s vanilla cake layered with a caramel cream and dark rum. Basically a caramel tiramisu. I will never stop dreaming about this treat.

Tres Leches Coco Parfait Dessert at Disneyland's Pixar Fest

Spicy Corn Dog (Corn Dog Castle-California Adventure): Let me try to paint a picture for you: This was a spicy hot link sausage, with a layer of pepper jack cheese, and then a cajun chicken sausage, dipped in housemade batter and fried to perfection. You start off eating a corndog, eat a fried cheese stick, then another corndog. It comes with a blackberry-serrano chile dipping sauce that is the right amount of spice and sweet. It’s a euphoric experience.

Three-Flavored Spicy Corn Dog with Blackberry Serrano Dipping Sauce in front of Pixar Pals Sign at Disneyland

Agua de Jamaica (Paradise Garden Grill-California Adventure): It was too hot for the Mexican hot cocoa, so I opted for the hibiscus tea slush. In essence, it was a fruit slushy. This was nice and refreshing in the hot Cali sun, but doesn’t compare to the other treats I indulged in.

Agua de Jamaica Slushy Drink Pixar Fest at Disneyland

Cheeseburger Pizza and Alien Macarons (Pizza Planet – Overlay at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Disneyland): I’m gonna get a little critical here because I had such high hopes for the Pizza Planet overlay. We all thought we were getting the Pizza Planet we deserve, but alas, all we got was a sign and some decals on the walls. The Alien Macarons seemed to have a weird, gooey blackberry filling and the pizza was their regular pizza with hamburger meat and pickles. Neither appealed to me, so I didn’t want to wait in the long line. The macarons looked super cute though! “Pizza Planet” was, unfortunately, one of those things where Disney builds a lot of hype and gives you minimal effort with low-quality results. Yikes. Maybe someday, Pizza Planet!

Pizza Planet Overlay at Redd Rocket's Pizza Port in Disneyland for Pixar Fest

Confectionary Treats: Pixar Cake Pops and Candy Apples! The Pixar Ball cake pops are the treat that you’ve now seen in 1000 Instagram pics. Both treats are adorbs and worthy of a photo, so that’s all that really matters anyway, right? The Pixar themed treats can be found in most confectionaries around the park.

Finding Nemo and Luxo Pixar Cake Pops in a Display Case at Disneyland's Pixar Fest

Mexican Hot Cocoa (Coco Inspired): The cutest Pixar Fest souvenir is the Coco jarrita ceramic mug which comes filled with delish Mexican hot cocoa. Imagine snuggling up with this Coco while enjoying the Paint the Night parade with your loved ones. Pure Disney-hygge bliss. These are sold at Paradise Garden Grill and you can see the whole menu here:

Paradise Garden Grill Special Menu at Disneyland's Pixar Fest

Other Food-Related Souvenirs:  Throughout the parks, they are selling things like a Mike Wazowski Souvenir Sipper, the connecting Mike & Sulley Popcorn Buckets, and a reusable Pixar Luxo Lamp Straw that people are going crazy over. You can find these at places like Schmoozie’s, popcorn carts, and the Disneyland cappuccino cart (left of the castle) or California Adventure cappuccino cart (entrance to Pixar Pier). There are plenty of other Pixar exclusive souvenirs sold as well, which I cover in my entertainment post.

Souvenir Coco Refillable Plastic Cups for Disneyland's Pixar Fest

Honorable Mentions:

  • Various Churros: Chocolate with Chocolate Dipping Sauce (Frontierland Cart), Strawberry (Tomorrowland), Lemon Dusted with Fruity Pebbles (Main Street-Near Mr. Lincoln), Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Dipping Sauce (Liberty Square), “Specialty” Churro with Frosting and Cocoa Pebbles, and OMG the Pineapple with Marshmallow Dipping Sauce (Sleeping Beauty’s Castle)
  • Mike Wazowski Whoopie Pie (Schmoozie’s)
  • Mint Chip Shake (Schmoozie’s)
  • Pixar Layered Lemon & Raspberry Cake (Paradise Garden Grill, Plaza Inn, Pacific Wharf Cafe)

Some of the festival dishes I highly recommend due to their deliciousness. Other items just come with some extra toppings that are yummy, but not quite as unique. As always, don’t get discouraged if you can’t hit every single thing they have to offer! There will always be new Disney food trends, whether it’s the dole whip donut, millennial pink champagne, or the rainbow-unicorn churro. That last one doesn’t exist, but I wish. As mentioned before, the main hub for Pixar Fest celebrations and festival food is at the Paradise Garden Grill. They had a lot to offer back there! Also, be sure to read the rest of my guide to Pixar Fest here so you don’t miss anything awesome!

For a full list of the Pixar Fest foods, Disney Food Blog is always on top of things with their guides and reviews of Disney food. You’ll even see a picture of my funnel cake on there! 🙂

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The Biggest Mistakes You’ll Make on Your Disney Vacation and How to Avoid Them

“YOU RUINED MY VACATION!” Ask any Cast Member, past or present, and they’ll most likely say they’ve heard this phrase before. Either said directly to them or in their vicinity….

“YOU RUINED MY VACATION!” Ask any Cast Member, past or present, and they’ll most likely say they’ve heard this phrase before. Either said directly to them or in their vicinity. And look, I get it, it’s sweltering, crowded, expensive, and you’re staying in a cramped hotel room with your whole family and no way to escape. I understand why people break down when their vacation isn’t perfect. But, here’s something else to consider: Disneyland isn’t a perfect, beautiful place.

Blasphemy, you say! No, it’s true. The only reason people believe it’s perfect and beautiful is due to the memories they’ve connected to it. Nostalgia takes us over and like being in love for the first time, we see no flaws. Much like a romantic comedy, when visiting this magical land, you must manage your expectations of reality. Colin Firth won’t always be waiting in the snow with a chunky sweater ready to sweep you off your feet. It may be some version of that, but it will never be exactly what you had in mind, which can feel frustrating.

So, how do you stop yourself from feeling like your vacation has been ruined and take it out on the nearest, innocent Cast Member? Some of these tips feel like no-brainers, but don’t take them for granted. I guarantee you’ll start feeling better if you apply most of these to your vacation.

Huge Bouquet of Disneyland Balloons in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Dusk

Drink Electrolytes: Most of my “tips for Disney” include drinking water because this is vital for enjoying your vacation. If you find yourself fading and exhausted, more than often than not, you’re dehydrated and lacking electrolytes. Buy a pack of the to-go Propel electrolyte packets and pop them into your water bottle once in a while. I guarantee you’ll feel better.

Avoid Disney FOMO: Disney FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is the most toxic thing that can happen to your vacation. If you miss a parade or can’t get a FastPass to a certain ride, don’t fret. There are 100 other things to do that will be just as lovely. You won’t be able to see and do everything in the park so enjoy whatever you can. Shake it off and buy another Dole Whip, friend!

Matterhorn Mountain Toboggan Ride Seats

Non-Park Day: If you can, plan for a day in the middle of your vacation to not enter the parks. Or, try to go in halfway through the day. Sleep in, spend time at the pool, eat at Disney Springs or book a massage at one of the Resort spas! Your body will thank you for the extra rest and you’ll enjoy the rest of your week much more.

Fewer Pictures, More Memories: I’m a blogger so I have to take a lot of pictures, but it sometimes detracts from the experience if you’re too busy seeing your vacation through a lens. Try to capture moments of the people you’re with, rather than just shows and rides. There are thousands of videos and pictures of Disney online that you can peruse later if you’re feeling the Disney blues.

Mad Tea Party - 8 Ways to Alleviate Stress on Your Disney Vacation and Start Making More Magic

Take Lots of Breaks Within the Day: On average, you will walk about 8-10 miles a day at Disney. This is a huge influx of activity for a lot of us. Find a place to nest for a bit in-between rides and meals. Here are a few of my favorite places to rest:

  • Hub Grass in front of Cinderella Castle (Magic Kingdom): Grab some Corn Dog Nuggets and take in the castle view.
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch (Animal Kingdom): Take a relaxing train ride to the remote Conservation Station and enjoy the a/c and chill atmosphere.
  • Mexic0 Pavilion (Epcot): Dark, indoor pavilion with a gentle Three Caballero boat ride that usually doesn’t have a wait time.
  • Walt Disney Presents (Formerly One Man’s Dream – Hollywood Studios): A historical self-guided exhibit tour of old Disney artifacts and whatnot. At the end of the tour, there’s a 20 minute documentary about Walt Disney’s life you can cool off at.
  • Tom Sawyer Island (Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, CA): Lots of shade and places to sit. Pack a picnic and take a raft over!
  • Animation Courtyard (California Adventure -Disneyland, CA): Indoor air conditioning, dark lighting, and Disney music.
  • Your Resort Pool: Pop back to your hotel for a pool cocktail and a cool dip!

Pirate Lair on Tom Sawyer Island Surrounded by Rivers of America in Disneyland

Plan Ahead: If there are shows and attractions you really want to experience you have to plan ahead to have a better chance of seeing them. That means, booking your FastPasses in advance (60 days for onsite guests and 30 days for offsite guests), making dinner reservations, and drawing out a general timeline for each park day. If you need help with resources, check out my planning guide here.

Stay Flexible: Even if you’re the most organized person in the world, not everything is going to go according to plan. If you miss your FastPass, or a roller coaster is down due to rain, don’t sweat it! There are a ton of other things you can and will do on your vacation. Enjoy yourself and take things as they come.

Be Kind to Cast Members:  Circling back to my first point…Cast Members are just people. Do not blame them if you have to pay $20 for corn dog nuggets. You don’t want to expel your happy Disney energy taking it out on someone else. Also, if you’re kind to a Cast Member they may end up making some magic for you too!

Jambalaya Jazz Band playing in New Orleans Square at Disneyland

Use a Travel Agent: I know it sounds like I’m advertising since I’m a Travel Agent myself, but I’m actually quite honest about this one. There are a lot of factors that go into planning a Disney vacation and they can be overwhelming. Having an Agent might put you at ease. You can feel free to contact me if you’re interested, or, find another trusted source that can help you.

Breathe and Smile: You’re at Disney. Take a breath and hug your kid, or partner, or friend, or nearest Cast Member (just kidding, don’t do that), and enjoy the memories you’re making in this beautiful environment.

Last month I visited Disneyland on my first solo Disney trip and had an absolutely miserable time. I consider myself a Disney expert and know all the tricks and tips to make a Disney vacation go perfectly, but somehow I was unhappy in the happiest place on Earth. And why? Because I wanted it to be perfect and I wanted to do it all at once. Truth is, there’s so much happening at the parks, you really can’t do it all. You shouldn’t try to do it all, so take a deep breath and use these tips to start making some magical memories!

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The Biggest Mistakes You'll Make on Your Disneyland Vacation and How to Avoid Them


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Entertainment and Merchandise Guide to Disneyland’s Pixar Fest

I’m not a big fan of overlays or the over-saturation of seasonal festivals. I give exception to the holiday overlays like it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion, or Epcot’s…

I’m not a big fan of overlays or the over-saturation of seasonal festivals. I give exception to the holiday overlays like it’s a small world and Haunted Mansion, or Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival,  but other than that I think they’re kinda cheap and lazy. I probably wouldn’t feel this strongly if Disney didn’t raise the ticket prices every year and CEO Bob Iger didn’t have the potential to earn 423 million dollars in bonuses while his employees go hungry. End rant.

But I digress, because here’s the thing, despite all the politics that Disney has been haphazardly battling, I absolutely fell in love with Pixar Fest last week. How do you keep pulling us in, Disney? How do you continually win us over with your spirit and tenderness and make us spend thousands on park tickets and food? Obviously, I was skeptical going in because I expected it to be a couple of banners and regurgitated old parades. And yes, it was basically that as far as the atmospheric elements.

But, I think it’s a good time merely for the fact that the festival is Pixar themed. The movies and the music from those movies captured our hearts, so naturally, if we see a Bing Bong themed parade float or hear a Dapper Dan rendition of You’ve Got a Friend in Me, you’ve won us over. Due to this alone, the festival had just the right amount of heart, charm, fun, and nostalgia. Watching the crowd light up when Owl City’s When Can I See You Again began as Tinker Bell lead Paint the Night preview was incredible. I’ve never seen so many Disney fanatics lose their mind over a parade. It was magical and we were all crying over our churros. The festival runs now through September 3rd, 2018, so take a look below at our guide to get yourself better prepared!

Pixar Fest Sign at Disneyland's California Adventure Entrance


There are some hidden touches here and there adding to the Festival, but not enough that will hinder your experience if it’s your first time. I know people who have only ever ridden the Haunted Mansion with the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay because it’s the only time they’ve ever visited. There are some decorations and of course, the giant Pixar Fest sign hanging above the entrances. My favorite touch is that the Esplanade (the large walking area connecting the two park entrances), which plays a fresh new background soundtrack featuring Pixar soundtracks as opposed to their normal backtracking. It’s a subtle and super sweet detail. And of course, there are the Pixar monorail makeovers. Other than that, there are themed banners hanging about and the new Pixar Pier sign has been branded on the future Incredicoaster.

Incredibles Monorail at Disneyland's Pixar Fest


Initially, I thought bringing back two former parades is a bit of a cop out, but they did add a couple of new floats and characters that are quite adorable.

Luxo Lamp Float for the Pixar Play Parade at Pixar Fest in Disneyland

Luxo Lamp Float for Pixar Play Parade

Pixar Pals Character Spot (Paradise Garden Grill at California Adventure): Throughout the day, this new spot features characters like Woody, Mike & Sulley, and Russel from Up. It’s a good chance to meet some friends that are more difficult to find.

PhotoPass Spot (Cars Land): The cars parked at PhotoPass spot at the “Welcome to Cars Land” entrance are dressed up and looking adorable!

Buzz and Woody Cars Land PhotoPass Entrance Dressed Up for Disneyland's Pixar Fest

Dapper Dans and Disneyland Band: The regular Disney musicians will perform some Pixar soundtracks and songs in their daily performances. A very cute touch.

Pixarmonic Orchestra (Paradise Garden Bandstand at California Adventure): This was the best discovery for me. The most adorable ragtime band that plays their renditions of Pixar songs and jokes in short, 30-minute sets. They were hilarious, ridiculous, and super talented artists. Here’s a short video I got of their performance last week.

Pixar Play Parade (Disneyland Day Parade): This is another old parade that they spruced up a bit. It was cute and all, but it was no Paint the Night, of course. They added a couple new floats and characters including Inside Out and Up. And also, you guys, the moment I saw Russell riding Kevin, I flipped the heck out. It’s so cute.

Joy and Sadness from Inside Out Pixar Play Parade Float at Pixar Fest in Disneyland

Pixar Play Parade

Paint the Night Parade: If anything, I think the whole festival is worth it if you can catch this parade. Fans were furious when they prematurely removed this gorgeous and technologically advanced parade a few years ago. But now it’s back! Imagine grabbing a cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate in your Coco souvenir mug and settling up for that 10:30 showing on a warm summer night. *sigh* Pure Disney comforts.

Mike Wazowski on a Paint the Night Parade Float for Pixar Fest in Disneyland's California Adventure

Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular: The special fireworks that feature all the beloved Pixar movies is full of heart. So much heart that the person standing next to me was sobbing through the entire show. I definitely teared up a bit myself, don’t get me wrong. It has that extra special Disney touch where they combined touching images, well-timed fireworks, and just the right amount of sweeping orchestrations to pull at your heartstrings and say  “Ok Disney, take all my money, you’re worth it.” The best part is that the same projections that are displayed on Main Street and the castle are also projected on the front of it’s a small world, the water features used in Fantasmic on the Rivers of America and The Matterhorn. So it’s easier to get a nice view of the show.

Reason being, Disneyland’s castle is much smaller than Disney World’s so the projecting mapping technology doesn’t work quite as well for big crowds. Disney had to figure out how to bring the same experiences of Disney World’s firework displays to Disneyland. Their solution is brilliant, which is to apply the projections to other areas of the park, not just the castle. If you want the castle experience, I had a great time watching from the middle of Main Street. I could see all the projections, have a bit of the castle experience, and didn’t have to wait 3 hours to see it. Also, there’s an awesome surprise during the Coco segment on Main  Street!

Green Aliens Projected on Main Street for Together Forever Fireworks at Pixar Fest in Disneyland

Green Alien Projection on Main Street during Together Forever Fireworks

Pixar Shorts (Sunset Showcase Theatre – previously Muppet Theatre- at California Adventure): I never quite got over the fact that they turned the Muppet Vision 3D Theatre into a regular movie theatre to show previews (i.e. advertisements) for upcoming Disney movies. It seemed so unnecessary to me. I did really enjoy watching the Pixar Shorts in this venue, however. Throughout this summer, they are having a special showing of 3 Pixar shorts which are For the Birds, Lava, and Piper. This is actually quite cute because they made the show 3D and use other special effects like wind and wall televisions to add to the presentation. Best way to experience this? Grab an iced coffee from Schmoozie’s and settle in for an air-conditioned 20-minute break.

Pixar Shorts Entrance at the Sunset Showcase Theatre in Disneyland's California Adventure

Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar: This little cozy cove tucked away next to the Wine Country Trattoria is only open when the parks are previewing new attractions. The last time it was open was in 2013 they were displaying the new Starbucks that were moving into the parks. They’ve reopened the walk-through attraction to preview all the concept art and concept models for Pixar Pier and also play a short movie depicting the Imagineering process. It’s a cute display and also offers some escape from the heat for a short bit.

Pixar Pier Concept Model for Pixar Fest at Disneyland's California Adventure

Pixar Pier Concept Model at Blue Sky Cellar


In honor of Pixar Fest, California Adventure has opened their new souvenir shop, Knick Knacks, located on Pixar Pier (formerly known as Paradise Pier). They added some new merch to the shop and a kiosk where you can print some Pixar art and take it home with you. For more details on the special merchandise, you can visit Disneyland News.

Character Wallpaper at Knick's Knacks Pixar Pier Merchandise Store at Disneyland's California Adventure

Wallpaper at the New Knick Knack’s Pixar Pier Merchandise Store

Pro Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Experience

  • No need to stand in line! If there’s a line for that Sulley Popcorn Bucket or the Paradise Garden Grill, come back later. Throughout the day, the line will come and go. Especially if it’s a bit later in the summer.
  • When To Go: Pixar Pier in California Adventure along with the renovated Incredicoaster and Lamplight Lounge (formerly Cove Bar/Ariel’s Grotto) will open on June 23rd. The parks are likely to be a madhouse the first week of opening so if you do visit during that time, I highly advise purchasing the MaxPass to help with the lines. If you have the chance, go later in the summer. Pixar Fest lasts until September 3rd and the crowds will go down closer to fall. And it will be slightly (slightly!) cooler.
  • Check out for parade and show times throughout the summer and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for future updates! (See how I snuck that in there?)

This festival won my heart and I have a feeling it will for you too! Hopefully, they can pull some more events like this in the future and it will only get better once Pixar Pier is open!

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The can't-miss guide to food, drink, and entertainment at Disneyland and California Adventure's Pixar Fest this year! #disneyland #vacation #food

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Top 9 Disney Guidebooks and E-Books To Help Plan Your Vacation

Go to any Disney Facebook group and ask the question “What’s the best hotel on Disney property?” You’ll most likely get about 30 different answers and become completely overwhelmed by…

Go to any Disney Facebook group and ask the question “What’s the best hotel on Disney property?” You’ll most likely get about 30 different answers and become completely overwhelmed by competing opinions. If you’d rather not use a Travel Agent and consider yourself a vacation DIYer, you might look to guides for help. There a quite a few blogs that offer their insight (like myself), but the most comprehensive and unbiased information you can find is from a guidebook. So, here’s a list of awesome Disney Guidebooks (and a couple eBooks) that helped me plan in the past and will hopefully help you too! Don’t worry about choosing the “right” one. Each suggested resource is just as beneficial as the next. You can click on my links below to find the books on Amazon!

P.S. I’ve only listed links for Disney World books, but most of these publishers write books for Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line as well. 

Guide Books

Stack of Disney Travel Guide Books with a To Do List and Magic Band

1) The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World

This guidebook is referred to as the “Disney Bible” and is written by the same people who own and operate the reputable Every year, they come out with an updated version of their unofficial guides and every year they get better and more detailed. I started buying these books in 2012 and have purchased every new version since. The size of the book can be intimidating, but I treat it as an encyclopedia, rather than something I need to study cover-to-cover. 

Book Features:

  • 5-Star Ratings: Every attraction, show, restaurant, and resort is graded by a 5-star system. Restaurants are also divided by Quick-Service and Table Service, then described in detail and ranked by quality. Resorts, both on and off property, are treated the same and contact information is provided for all of them.
  • Packing tips and “bare necessities” like suggested credit cards to souvenir shopping, to where to find a gas station, it’s all there.
  • Advice for a spectrum of travel groups like Disney for seniors, Disney for toddlers, and how to entertain your teenager. 

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2019

Bonus: If you’re a true Disnerd, also read Unofficial Guide’s: The Disneyland Story. The story of Walt’s first conception of the park and how it evolved to the current form. I prefer listening to it on audible, but I also have the physical book for novelty reasons. 

2) Birnbaum’s 2018 Walt Disney World: The Official Guide

This is the only guidebook with Disney’s official stamp of approval. It’s also the most compact guide of all the books I suggest so, if you plan on packing it in your suitcase it won’t be quite as heavy.  This may sound juvenile, but I love this book because it has high-quality, colored photographs. It’s a fun guide to look through if you have kids, or if you’re a kid-at-heart, like me. And a great book to get you excited about your vacation! 

Birnbaum's Guide to Walt Disney World 2019

3) Frommer’s EasyGuide to Disney World 

Frommer’s is a trusted destination publisher that covers more than just Disney books. Their overviews are not quite as detailed as the Unofficial Guide and not quite as colorful as Birnbaum’s, but still very as useful. At this point, I would say buy it if you are partial to the Frommer’s brand.

Frommer's Guide to Disney World 2018

4) 102 Ways to Save Money For and At Walt Disney World

Lou Mongello is among the elite Disney experts out there. He creates Disney guidebooks, podcasts, and videos dealing with tips and history to enhance your vacation. Always well-researched and entertaining, his tips for budgeting for your vacation will help you immensely. It’s mostly targeted at first-time visitors, but I found a few tips to be helpful as well. 102 Things To Do at Walt Disney World At Least Once is also a joy to read.

102 Ways to Save Money For and at Disney World by Lou Mongello

5) Walt Disney World Dining Guide 2018

Making a dining reservation at Disney World has become one of the most difficult things to do when planning your vacation. Also, the restaurants on property are constantly being updated, replaced, or closed down completely. This can be both exciting and aggravating. The Dining Guide can be a really helpful resource when deciding where you’d like to eat and how to get those reservations. It’s also updated every year to keep up with Disney’s ever-changing restaurant venues.

Walt Disney World Dining Guide by Andrea Keech

6) Passporter’s Guide Walt Disney World 

Passporter’s has more general tips and guidance for the planning process, so if you’re looking for a categorical overview, it would be a good choice. Also, the structure of their planning binder actually makes planning fun! With the Trip Diary and pockets placed inside the book, you can keep all of your printables and resources in one place. 

7) The Hidden Mickey’s of Walt Disney World

If you’re not familiar with a Hidden Mickey, it’s the image of Mickey’s head hidden subtly by Imagineers around Disney property (and movies).  A sort of inside joke from Imagineers throughout the years. The book helps you seek out the Mickey’s hidden around the parks. This will help you pass the time while you’re waiting in line or taking a break!

Hidden Mickey's of Walt Disney World Book


I know I said to be wary of blogs, but there are two websites that I trust wholeheartedly. That’s Disney Food Blog and Disney Tourist Blog. Both of these offer eBooks that can be helpful as well.

8) Disney Food Blog Guides (eBook) 

Pretty much any restaurant and food item on property is reviewed on Disney Food Blog. Their eBook is beautifully done with photographs, four planning worksheets, updates on closures and refurbs and fun tips like the “trendiest bar” or “best hot dogs.” The other advantage of an eBook is that they have the ability to embed hyperlinks into the text. Not sure what a Mickey’s Premium Bar is? Click on the links inside the ebook and it will send you to a description. Pretty nifty. And if you’re already an expert, it’s fun to peruse for the sake of Disney daydreaming.  

9) Disney Tourist Blog (Website and eBooks) 

Money Saving Tips for Walt Disney World and Disney Tourist Blog Christmas 

Disney Tourist Blog is the first the Disney blog that I followed and they are constantly inspiring me to create a more beneficial blog for my readers. If you can’t find everything you’re looking for in a guidebook and prefer to book your own vacations, then you’ll find this website and their eBooks very helpful.

Bonus: Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation

I couldn’t resist promoting this book! It won’t help you plan your vacation, but if you’re a Disney buff, it’s a fascinating read. It will give you a profound respect for the Female Animators who reigned during Walt’s time. It is very large and heavy though, so I don’t think it will be a good book to read on your flight! 

Ink and Paint the Women of Walt Disney's Animation

These are the books and resources that shaped me into the Disney expert I am today. Since I’ve discovered them, I can plan a mean Disney itinerary like nobody’s business. Also, let me reiterate: you don’t have to read them all, so don’t be overwhelmed. Just find your favorite, make yourself a cup of tea, and start planning!

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A Guide to Disney World E-Books and Guide Books


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Everything New Coming to Disneyland This Year

There’s a lot of exciting things happening in both California Adventure and Disneyland Park in 2018. Most renovations are happening in California Adventure as they slowly transform the park from…

There’s a lot of exciting things happening in both California Adventure and Disneyland Park in 2018. Most renovations are happening in California Adventure as they slowly transform the park from an ode to California to basically a hard copy of Hollywood Studios. Due to low attendance when it first opened, this park has undergone so many transformations that it hardly resembles the park they originally intended. That being said, I was skeptical when I heard they were transforming Tower of Terror to fit their new Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, but, after experiencing the new technology and updated drops, I’m quite fond of it. I still think it’s Tower of Terror with a paint job, but it’s a pretty cool paint job! I’m personally excited for what the new 2018 adaptations will bring.

This post has been updated to feature everything new that will open and has already opened this year. Last Updated: 6/12/18

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! at Disneyland's California Adventure

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout!

Pixar Pier Makeover: Now open! To generate some interest throughout the sometimes desolate Paradise Pier, this area has been transformed into Pixar Pier. The area now features four different neighborhoods including The Incredibles, Toy Story, Inside Out, and the rest of the Pixar family (represented on Mickey’s Fun Wheel). Where the Maliboomer once was, there will be a new Inside Out spinner attraction. You can see the rendering in the concept art below.

Concept Art for Inside Out Ride: Emotional Whirlwind at Disneyland's California Adventure

Incredicoaster: Now open! Anticipating Incredibles 2, California Screamin’ got a facelift. The coaster has a new Incredibles theme, characters, special effects, and mid-century modern queue. Guests zoom alongside this incredible family to help catch the ever-adventurous Jack-Jack.

Incredicoaster Concept Art at California Adventure

Incredicoaster | Disney•Pixar

Pixar Fest: Continuing now through September 3rd, 2018 To commemorate the opening of Pixar Pier and the Incredicoaster, Disneyland and California Adventure will feature Pixar-themed entertainment, food, and parades. Read my full guides on Must-Do Pixar Fest Snacks and Pixar Fest Entertainment to make sure you don’t miss anything!

Jack Jack - Incredibles Float at the Pixar Play Parade in Disneyland

Brief Overview of Festival Entertainment:

  • Pixar Play Parade (Daytime Parade – Disneyland)
  • Paint the Night Parade (Nighttime Parade – California Adventure)
  • Together Forever–A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular (Fireworks – Disneyland)

Toy Story Green Aliens Projected onto Main Street Disneyland for the Together Forever Fireworks

Lamplight Lounge: Now open! Replacing the crowd-favorite Cove Bar and Ariel’s Grotto is a new modernized outdoor bar and lounge. Fans are raving over lost “secret menu” items like the rainbow Fun Wheel cocktail. But, never fear! Disney announced the famed Lobster Nachos are here to stay. It’s unfortunate we will be losing the only Princess character dining, but I am excited about the update. You can take a look at Disney Food Blog to see some menu samplings.

Pirates of the Caribbean Update: Now Reopened Redd the pirate has made her appearance in the newly refurbished auction scene and it looks pretty awesome. For a limited time starting now, Redd will do live meet n’ greets in New Orleans! Disneyland meet n’ greets can be random times throughout the day, so keep your eyes peeled or ask a Cast Member about her!

Redd the Pirate in New Orleans Square in Disneyland

C: Disney

Tropical Hideaway: End of 2018 Welcome to my tropical hideaway, you lucky people you! Some of you may be familiar with the awkward corner between the Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise. The section called “Aladdin’s Oasis,” which looks like an inviting attraction, but is actually the restroom…Coming this year, a new place to relax and snack with a view of the Cruise! No opening date has been announced, but construction is already well on its way. I predict it will be open by the end of summer at least.

Tropical Hideaway Concept Art for Disneyland

Artist Concept | Disney

Disneyland After Dark: This is a new, special-ticketed event series happening throughout the year. Hopefully, they will make it a yearly tradition to have nights like these. They’ve already had two this year and it sounds like they plan on doing more. Be sure to check back for updates! You can look at the official website here and I’ll post any updates/rumors to come. To give you an idea of what to expect, here are the events that have already happened this year.

Throwback Nite: (January 18th, 2018) The first event was inspired by the 50’s and 60’s retro era. There was a special viewing of the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks, first displayed in 1958. Retro-themed attire was encouraged and there was be oversized retro attraction posters for photo ops.

Star Wars Nite: (May 3rd, 2018) Once opened to the general public, this event sold out the same day tickets were released. Pre-sale tickets for Annual Passholder’s sold out quickly as well. At this event, there was a special meet n’ greet with Rey, unique photo ops, special merchandise, and other entertainment.

Disneyland After Dark Special Event at Disneyland and California Adventure - Disney Parks Blog

Disneyland After Dark | Disney Parks Blog

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney will also get a nice update in the upcoming years, including a brand new hotel in 2021. Rainforest Cafe, ESPN Zone, the movie theatre, and Earl of Sandwich will all be removed to make way for this hotel.  Although I really appreciate another onsite hotel, why must you take Earl of Sandwich away from us, Disney? Why?? As for this year, Downtown Disney is already getting quite a few updates.

World of Disney: Throughout this year, the beloved Disney gift shop will be going through some major renovations. They’re reimagining the Disney Store franchise altogether, so I’m curious to see what the stores end up looking like. The last concept I saw looked a little lackluster and reminded me of just another department store. We’ll see what the come up with!

Ballast Point: Opening Late 2018 It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for…Disneyland is getting an outdoor Beer Garden. (But what would Walt say??) This brewery is based out of San Diego and apparently very popular among Californians. The menu will feature SoCal inspired food and the venue will have an onsite brewery, tasting room. Construction is rumored to start soon so I imagine they’ll have it up and running by late fall.

Ballast Point Brewery at Downtown Disney Concept Art

Ballast Point: Concept Art | Disney

Star Wars Hyper-Reality Experience: Now Open Produced by The VOID, this “hyper-reality” experience allows guests to journey through a choice of 4 themed lands. Here, your team will be sent undercover to achieve a mission for the rebellion where you’ll interact with sets and experience sensory and immersive technology. Watch The VOID’s video below and you can find tickets for the experience here.

Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria Renovation: Fall 2018 Due to their lukewarm reviews, I honestly don’t remember the last time I ate at Naples. I’m so glad they’re finally taking some time to update the restaurant. Disney will be adding a new outside patio and bar and installing three new wood-burning ovens. Which means, there will better food! Hurrah!

Disney Home: Now Open D-Street, the place for all your Marvel and Star Wars merchandise has been replaced by a Disney home good store. But never fear action hero fans, you will find plenty of D-Street products throughout the parks. Especially once the Star Wars land, Galaxy’s Edgeopens in 2019.

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer: Opening Late 2018 Downtown Disney is in desperate need of a new casual dining experience and I’m glad to see that they’re adding this franchise to the mix. This classic diner-esque burger joint will serve a large assortment of burgers like the All-American classic and even a Vegan burger! Their signature “CrazyShakes” look like they will be the worth the visit too. Move over, Earl of Sandwich! (Not really. I’ll always love you, Earl of Sandwich) An opening date hasn’t been announced yet.

CrazyShakes at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer in Downtown Disney | Disney Parks Blog

CrazyShakes at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer | Disney Parks Blog

Splitsville Luxury Lanes: Now Open House of Blues has moved out of Downtown Disney and down the street. This space is now be occupied by the bowling alley, Splitsville. This bowling alley chain offers a full bar, music, outdoor seating, and late-night eats until midnight every night. And the retro concept is a fantastic aesthetic!

Splitsville Bowling Alley in Downtown Disney

Crowd-Favorites Returning this Year

Of course, some of our favorites are returning this year as well. Here are a few popular events that will return to 2018!

Food & Wine Festival: More food festivals! More, I say! Back by popular demand, the festival featuring “California inspired” food and drink will return March 2-April 12. And of course, that means more entertainment, music, and even appearances from celebrity chefs like Robert Irvine.

Festival of Holidays: To make up for Disneyland’s Christmas festivities, California Adventure will once again uphold the holiday standards with it’s Festival of Holidays. With food and music celebrating holidays from all over the world, this year’s festival was widely popular. Take a look at some of the food and that’s still being served at the holiday kiosks until January 7th. My favorite was the warm bourbon cider with bourbon infused marshmallow. So good!

Warm Bourbon Cider with Bourbon Infused Marshmallow at Festival of Holidays in Disneyland

Warm Bourbon Cider with Bourbon Infused Marshmallow

Hot Fried Turkey with White Bread | Festival of Holidays in Disneyland

Hot Fried Turkey with White Bread | Festival of Holidays

Beef Corn Tamale from Festival of Holidays in California Advneture

Beef Corn Tamale – Festival of Holidays

Mickey’s Halloween Party: This special-ticket event is a little less epic than the Halloween Party in Disney World but definitely less crowded! Check out the Halloween parade, go trick-or-treating, and dress up as your favorite characters! And don’t forget to stop by California Adventure to see Cars Land dressed up for Halloween too.

Christmas at Disneyland: A Christmas Fantasy Parade, It’s a Small World Holiday, and the Haunted Mansion with the Nightmare Before Christmas makeover. What more you could want? Disneyland is extra special during the holidays. If you want to enjoy the special fireworks and experience the Christmas magic, I advise visiting either the first or second week of December. The closer you get to Christmas, the crazier crowds get.

Plan for Next Year

As events come and go this year, I’ll keep this portion updated with things we can hopefully look forward to next year!

Lunar New Year: This year California Adventure hosted an event celebrating the Lunar New Year. In honor of the Year of the Dog, the park provided culturally inspired shows, music, decorations, and yes, lots of food! (I’m loving Disney’s obsession with food festivals these days.) The World of Color water and light technology also showed a new installment called “Journey of Little Lantern.” This followed Little Lantern’s journey to reunite with their family, set to the score created for the opening ceremony of Shanghai Disney Resort. This is event ran near the Chinese New Year from January 18th-February 18th, 2018. With this and the beginning of the new Festival of Holidays, I really appreciate California Adventure’s inclusive atmosphere lately.

Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession | Paul Hiffmeyer | Disneyland

Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession | Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

As we head into summer, I have a feeling we’ll get more confirmations regarding the parks and attractions. Be sure to check back and I’ll keep this page current for news and updates. Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below!

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Everything New Coming to Disneyland and California Adventure in 2018 and 2019!

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9 Ways to Spend Less Time Waiting in Line at Disney

About ten years ago, simply visiting the parks during non-peak season (September through the first two weeks of December) would be enough to avoid crowds and long lines. Every year…

About ten years ago, simply visiting the parks during non-peak season (September through the first two weeks of December) would be enough to avoid crowds and long lines. Every year Disney adds another festival at Epcot or another room promotion to keep resorts full and the money flowing. On top of it all, in 2019, both Disneyland and Disney World will open Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This will pull in a whole different crowd of park guests. I’m not trying to scare you! The parks are still very accessible during certain times of the year and there are a few tips I can give to make the most out of your Disney experience.

FastPass: If you’re staying onsite at one of the Disney hotels, you can schedule your FastPasses 60 days in advance. If you’re staying offsite, you can book 30 days in advance. I highly recommend using this to your advantage. Especially if you want to try the new Pandora rides at Animal Kingdom. Plan which rides you’d like to schedule for each of your days and get up early on your 60-day mark. If the reservations are all snatched up, try again later. A lot of people luck out the week before their vacations due to people changing their reservations. Disneyland has a similar system available on the app called the MaxPass, which costs $10 per person, per day. The free version will require you to physically go to the FastPass kiosk and print out a ticket.

Single Riders Line: If you don’t mind splitting up your party, you can head to the single rider queue and cut most of the line. The Single Rider Line is meant to fill in the empty seats in a ride vehicle due to an odd number of riders. You may get lucky and be seated with one of your party members, but you will most likely be with other guests. You can find most Single Rider Lines located right next to the regular standby line.

Extra Magic Hours and Rope Drops: Another perk of staying onsite is the fact that you have access to the Extra Magic Hours or Magic Mornings. This is when you can enter a park one hour or early or stay an hour late. If the park is not offering an early morning, getting there right when the park opens also helps. Bolt for the rides that usually have the longest lines like Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom and Seven Dwarfs Mine at Magic Kingdom.

Mickey's Toon Town Fire Truck in DisneylandDining Reservations: Try your best to make reservations for table service restaurants at Disney World. It can be challenging making same-day reservations at popular restaurants. For onsite guests, reservations become available 190 days before your first vacation day. For offsite, 180 days in advance. If you can’t get your desired restaurants at the 180-day mark when reservations are open, try at 60 days when people start to schedule their FastPasses. If you can’t get your reservation, check 1-2 weeks before your vacation begins. Since there is a cancellation fee of $10 per person, guests have more of an incentive to remove their dining reservations if they don’t plan on attending. It’s a much different scene at Disneyland, I was able to make a same-day reservation at Napa Rose, the nicest restaurant the park has to offer. That said, I still suggest making an Advance Dining Reservation if there is a restaurant you don’t want to miss. ADR’s are available 60 days in advance for onsite guests only.

Mobile Meal Orders: The My Disney Experience app contains all of your dining, FastPass, and resort reservations, and now allows you to pre-order from many locations around Disney World. Pre-ordering your meal will lessen your wait time considerably. Order during the lunch rush and grab a table.  See all of the restaurants offering mobile ordering at Disney World here and Disneyland here.BBQ Crunch Hot Dog with crispy onions from Award Wieners in Disneyland's California Adventure Character Breakfasts: Meet n’ Greet lines for characters can be up to an hour long, especially at Disney World. If you’re interested in meeting some characters, booking a character dining experience is the best way to go. For some restaurants, it can also create a more intimate experience. As a former friend of some of the characters, I’ve experienced some extremely slow mornings at Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studios where the characters spent a lot of time with each family. Crystal Palace, however, is fast-paced and you’ll likely only a get quick shot and autograph. The characters only have about an hour to see each table, so please be patient with them. They’re doing their best!

Rides After the Last Firework Show: Once the first shows are over, a good chunk of the crowd will leave the parks. Families tend to rush out of the park after the last firework show, creating massive lines at the bus stations and trams. If you’re a night owl, plan on getting their late in the day so you have the energy to stay late, ride more rides, and have an easier time getting home.Disneyland Fireworks behind Sleeping Beauty CastleRide Attractions Right at Closing Time: If you’re in line before the park closes, they will not kick you out of line. Meaning, if a ride like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has a 20-minute wait and the park closes at midnight, you can get in the queue at that time and stay in line past close.

Avoid the Summer: During the summer, the lines are much longer and the heat is oppressive. My favorite time to go is September through the beginning of October and the first two weeks of November. Most kids are in school and the weather is still nice.Mad Tea Party Attraction and Storybook Canal at Disneyland Bonus: Use a Minnie Van or Ride Share: The new Minnie Van taxi service powered by Lyft picks you up at your resort and takes you anywhere on property for $20. Seeing as parking costs $20, I’d say this is an ok deal. It drops you off at the front of the Magic Kingdom, so you don’t have to wait for the monorail or ferry. It also provides two car seats for families. If you’re not staying on property, you can order a regular Lyft. Here’s a link to the app for $5 off your first ride!

The big tip here is to try and plan ahead of time. This will help you feel organized. On the other hand, don’t get stressed if everything doesn’t go precisely to plan. Take the day as it comes. There might be a time when you can’t make it to your next FastPass due to Disney transportation or ride breakdowns, but don’t stress about it. Remember to breathe through these mishaps and remind yourself that you’re on an awesome Disney vacation with your loved ones. You can read my other post about how to Alleviate Stress at Disney for more tips on how to improve the quality of your vacation.

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9 Ways to Spend Less Time in Line at Disney Parks

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