In our minds, Disneyland Anaheim, always conjures up images of endless fun. Somehow, a mouse, disney-themed songs (think it’s a small world) and a castle, brings out the children in us, yes, even the oldest of us. This visit was special, because we got to visit with our parents and create special memories! Also, it was our first visit to Disneyland in the USA, to where it all begun – Anaheim. Just as Walt Disney said it himself,
“I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse”
After a Disney Cruise to Alaska, it was only fitting for us to see where it all began…
Of course, for us, it was all started by 2 bears…
Where to Stay at Disneyland Anaheim
One of the biggest question when visiting Disneyland Anaheim is simply, “Where to Stay?”. Through our intensive research (10 minutes via google maps), we found out that besides the expensive Disneyland Hotels, options just outside the park were just as good. We stayed at the Grand Legacy At the Park for only $100 per night. Inclusive of breakfast! :O
Of course, we have to clarify that we visited during off-season (ie not during school holidays) and that it was a week day.
Besides the not-too-shabby buffet breakfast (waffles, biscuit & gravy, eggs, coffee etc.), the other perk of staying here is that parking costs only $12 per day which is much cheaper than parking at Disneyland Park itself. Lastly, the walk from Grand Legacy at the Park to Disneyland Park Anaheim, was less than 10 minutes (door to door) with restaurants such as iHop, Denny’s and McDonald’s just minutes away.
What to do at Disneyland Anaheim
Downtown Disney District
After we checked in to Grand Legacy at the Park, we headed over to iHop for a quick dinner. By which time, it was already 8pm. Nonetheless, Downtown Disney District only closes at 11pm. There are shops, restaurants and even live music all along the walk. Our favourite? Disney and Lego stores where you can take pictures with figures of your favourite Disney Characters!
Experience the Vibe of Downtown Disney District
Main Street Disneyland Anaheim
After a hearty breakfast at Grand Legacy at the Park, we took a short walk over to Disneyland Park, at which time, people were already entering the park. Remember to check the opening hours on Disney’s website prior to your visit as the hours change throughout the year.
Main Street USA
Eventhough it was off-peak and a week day, there was still a crowd entering Disneyland Anaheim! Can’t imagine what it would be like during a peak period weekend. During our visit, Disney was also celebrating “Halloween Time”. Hence, there were loads of Halloween/Day of the Dead related (aka pumpkins/skeletons) additions to the park…
Also at Main Street, you’ll be able to live singing performances by the Straw Hatters, the Dapper Dans and MANY Disney Characters roaming the streets. As we were early, we were able to take some shots with Mickey (in Count Dracula costume) as well as Chip & Dale just as they were coming out of the staff area.
Straw Hatters along Main Street
2 more tips along the Main Street of Disneyland Anaheim…
Tip 1: There are a few modes of transport that brings you all the way down Main Street to the Sleeping Beauty Castle and Tomorrowland. These include an old fashioned open-air car, double decker bus and a horse-drawn carriage. As it was an off-peak period, we were able to take all 3 of these rides. But if you only have time for 1, head to the center of the waiting stops and take the horse-drawn carriage ride. Especially during the times when the Dapper Dans are performing. Dapper Dans is a barbershop singing quartet (aka A capella) that roves along Main Street. If you hop on the right ride, you’ll be listening to these amazing crooners during your journey to the castle!
Where to take the rides down Main Street
Ride down Main Street
Listening to the Dapper Dans during the Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
Tip 2: Have you ever heard of an Orchestrion? If not, check out the candy shop along Main Street and you’ll be able to see an Orchestrion that plays the tune of Winnie the Pooh. All by reading notes on a metallic roll. Cool stuff!
Disneyland Anaheim Orchestrion
It’s a Small World Disneyland Anaheim
One of our most memorable rides in Disneyland was It’s a Small World. Not only was it a happy ride (you sort of get psychoed to come out really happy after hearing the tune many times over) but also perfectly true. With all the inter-connectivity (internet, rails, planes) that we have today, the world is really a small place after all. Also, the ride is kids friendly (aka Kate-friendly) which is suitable for all ages (retired parents included ;))
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Disneyland Anaheim
As we have been on a real glass bottom boat ride in Honduras, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage really paled in comparison. Plus, there were no real fish or corals during this ride. Nonetheless, there were 2 things that stood out. Firstly, the effects generated by the sound and bubbles, really made us feel as though we were “diving” in a submarine. Secondly, it was quite cool to see scenes from Finding Nemo projected underwater. It was sort of like watching the movie all over again, summarized, underwater.
Tomorrowland Disneyland Anaheim
Tomorrowland was probably one of our most favourite zone to visit. Because of its futuristic theme, the Star Tours (Star Wars 4D ride) and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (laser shooting game) were all inside. The Astro Blasters was really fun but you’ll have to have steady hands with trigger happy fingers. Needless to say, we came out with an aching index finger due to the repetitive nature of using a laser blaster
However, you should give “Star Wars Path of the Jedi” a miss. It is really just a summary of the entire Star Wars series. Could be quite boring if you’re not in need of a recap. Try not to snore in this one…
Mickey’s Soundsational Parade Disneyland Anaheim
The biggest finale of each day has got to be Mickey’s Soundsational Parade – the daily parade of Disneyland Anaheim. It takes place at 4:30pm and 7pm daily (times subject to change – do review changes prior to visit) and its also where you’ll be able to catch all your favourite Disney Characters!
Really respect Mickey nowadays. Not only must you speak in the Mickey voice, you’ll even have to be great at drums! Check out the video for amazing Mickey drum works!
What to eat at Disneyland Anaheim
If you have no idea what to eat at Disneyland Anaheim, here are 2 items that you should try out during your visit
1. Disney Jumbo Turkey Legs (available at Edelweiss Snacks)
Although the Jumbo Turkey Legs at Disneyland Anaheim are relatively expensive (about $10 a pop), they’re tender, delicious and great for 2 to share!
2. Dole Whip (available at Tiki Juice Bar)
According to a reliable source (aka close friend who stays in California with annual pass to Disneyland), there are only 2 places in the world where you can get Dole Whip. Hawaii and Disneyland Anaheim. Dole Whip is a soft serve made of Dole’s pineapple juice. It was REALLY REALLY REALLY GOOD! We shall not do it any injustice by trying to describe it. An insider tip: head straight to the Tiki Room and queue for Dole Whip while you wait for the show to commence. The other queue on the outside is usually longer. Try it on your next visit to Disneyland Anaheim!
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We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of Disneyland Park Anaheim and have picked up a couple of tips (what to eat at Disneyland Anaheim, things to do at Disneyland Anaheim and where to stay at Disneyland Anaheim) on how to ace your next trip there!