“When you wish upon a star…”
Disneyland. The Happiest Place on Earth is always a place filled with magic but during Christmastime, it is really something extra special. The lights and the parades and the stylized baked goods make everything feel more magical than usual. The past few years my family has been making a trip out of Disneyland at Christmas. So if you are up to sharing the park with an excess of people you have to visit during Christmas Time. Just make sure you have a plan when you go. Read on to see some of my favorite things to make a Disney trip great.
My family likes to get to the park right when it opens to maximize our time in the park. When you get there earlier the parks are also less crowded which means wait times will not be as crazy as they will be later into the day. This also gives you a chance to head to rides that hold the longest wait times throughout the day. We like to do Star Tours (probably our favorite ride in the entire park) or Space Mountain first as those do tend to get more crowded . Especially Space Mountain which is known for it’s up to three hour wait times.
Another thing we do to maximize what we are able to do throughout the day is to get fast passes for our ‘must ride’ attractions. Fast passes are probably the best way to utilize your time well. With a fast pass, your wait time can go from the would be an hour(s) to around 15 minutes. Just remember you can only hold one fast pass at a time until you use it, or until the time at the bottom of the pass has passed. Be warned that fast pass times for popular rides go fast.
Rides that I deem ‘must do’ every time I go into the park would be. Star Tours, which I said if one of my ultimate favorites. My family and I are HUGE Star Wars
fans nerds. I even named my car C3PO. We usually ride this at least twice during our day. Once standing in line and the rest tend to be with a fast pass. I also love Space Mountain which has been a favorite of mine since I was little. I have never been too big on roller coasters but Space Mountain is really the exception. Pirates of the Caribbean is a ride that is just soothing. Especially when you have been standing in lines and walking around the park for hours. There is a lot to look at and even though it is slow there is still two drops to add a small ‘thrill factor.’ Be sure to note that there is somehow a chance that you can get wet on this ride.
Rides that I love to go on but refuse to wait more than 30 minutes for include but are not limited too: Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo, and The Matterhorn. Peter Pan’s Flight is such a nice ride. The nostalgic music, the flight aspect, and the scenery all make this ride worthwhile and are the reasons it is a favorite among Disney goers. The only problem is this ride is always ( and I mean ALWAYS) a 40+ minute line. I love it but I don’t have the energy to wait in a line that long for a ride that is so short. I try to hit this ride at the very end of my stay in the park because that is when the line is the shortest. It is also a great way to end the night. Dumbo is iconic in its own right. When you think Disneyland you think this ride. It is shown in every commercial for the park and has been around since the beginning. The Matterhorn, in my opinion, has gotten much better as a ride since the upgrades. While I will always have a love for the original incarnation with the very Bumble from Rudolph-esque Abominable Snowman the upgrades make this ride a bit more high scale. Especially in the dark. Man, that yeti gets me every time. The best part of the upgrade though is that change to the seating arrangement. No longer do you have to sit in the laps on your fellow riders. You know have a seat to your own bottom. (Warning: If you have extremely long legs sit in the front for less chance of leg crampedness.)
Aside from the rides in the park, there is so much beauty to be found in other places. Like Toontown which while is small is just cute and has a special place in my heart though I am a bit big for it now. New Orleans Square is a great place to people watch. Whether those people are waiting in line or can be seen attempting to canoe in the Mark Twain river you will never be bored. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, as well as Main Street, are gorgeous sights that only get better at this time of the year when they are decked out in lights. Stay until dark to be a part of the lighting ceremonies.
Don’t forget the Disney food goodies. Your day at Disney is never complete without a Mickey Pretzel or Churro. Another great option is a Mickey ice cream during the hot months and a peppermint hot cocoa during the cold. But the best treat year round has to be the Dole ™ Whip. The original stand for your pineapple whip needs can be found in front of the Enchanted TikHutut, but now there is a newly created service area next to the Jungle Cruise featuring two new flavors to accompany the original. Gluten-free and delicious, a Dole ™ Whip is a Disney staple. The parks have become very accommodating to people with food allergies by incorporating meals for gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free etc. If you don’t see these options on the menu just ask, some of them have yet to be updated.
There is so much more to the parks than meets the eye so don’t think the fun stops once you grow up. What is your favorite thing to do at Disneyland?
“I hope we never lose sight of one thing—that it was all started by a mouse.”