The Long Weekend Guide to Disneyland
No matter what age we turn or milestone we’ve reached in our lives—one thing is always certain: Disney is one of the happiest place on earth. And while Disney World often gets the majority of the fanfare and attention, Disneyland offers just as much wonder and excitement.
So the next time, you and your friends or loved ones ask, ‘Where should we go on our next vacation?’, suggest none other than a weekend in California. You may have outgrown the baby rides and no longer need a stroller—but we’re all just kids at heart. And what’s wonderful is after 21, you’ve unlocked a whole new set of experiences Disney has to offer you. We’ve broken down a weekend at Disneyland with an action-packed two days you’re sure to love.
Before diving into the two-day itinerary, it’s important to know where you’ll be sleeping—and of course, Disneyland Resorts are the suggested accommodations for your stay. How come? They provide you with free transportation to and from the parks—this way you don’t have to worry that you’ve had more than one beer, and you save on parking cost.
The resorts also permit you to extra hours inside the park, so you’ll be able to experience the joy of walking around the park when it’s nearly empty. Try the modern, Disneyland Hotel for a weekend at Disneyland, which is just a steps from downtown Disney, meaning your night doesn’t have to end when the parks close. Speaking of parks—Disneyland Hotel is also a quick stroll away from both California Adventure Park and Disneyland. Other resorts to consider are the Paradise Pier Hotel and the Grand Californian, all dependent on your budget and preferences.
Your first 24 hours in Disney should start off with excitement, so set your sights toward Disney’s California Adventure Park. Enjoy all the thrills as you board Guardians of the Galaxy’s Mission: BREAKOUT, where you will plunge on a deep drop as you help save the universe. Next, put on your poncho and aboard the Grizzly River Run, where you will spin and dip as you race through rapid waters. Then, sit back and enjoy the ride as you paraglide over all of the Golden State’s beautiful landscapes on Soarin.
At night time, it’s time for a different excursion as you go bottoms up Wine Country Trattoria. With fresh Tuscan flavors and more than 25 refreshing wine options, there’s sure to be the perfect pairing for every guest. Or, book a dinner at Carthay’s Circle Restaurant to revisit Hollywood’s magical age with classic and elegant design and eclectic cuisine native to the state. After dinner, grab a drink—or two—at Bayside Brews. With six craft beers on tap—get a flight and pair it with a homemade pretzel.
Once you’re a bit tipsy, it’s time to watch and enjoy the World of Color evening show. After all, no weekend at Disneyland is complete without a spectacular performance of your favorite Disney characters and colorful water mists from the park’s incredible fountains!
Today is all about nostalgia as you spend the day at Disneyland Park. The first order of business is to make sure you explore all three mountains: Splash, Thunder and Space. Fastpasses for these iconic thrill-rides are a must, since these tend to be the rides at the park that have the longest line waiting times. Speaking of classic Disney rides, check off those Disney bucket list items by riding on Alice’s magical tea cups and setting sail on Pirates of the Caribbean (who knows maybe Johnny Depp may surprise you!). Some other must-see attractions include: Star Wars: Star Tours and Matterhorn Bobsleds. Happen to be celebrating a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary? Stop by one of the many Disney stores and pick up a complementary button—and while you’re at it, pick up some Mickey or Minnie ears to wear around the park.
For dinner, try out the Southern home cooking at River Belle—but make sure you come hungry. This renowned hot spot is known for their ribs—so don’t feel bad about ordering a rack (or two) for your fam. Or, for a fancier evening, make reservations at the Blue Bayou Restaurant. This New Orleans-inspired restaurant will have you feeling as though you’re strolling into the French Quarter—complete with all the spices and flavors as you enjoy authentic creole and cajun cuisine. After dinner, finish the night by stopping by the Pixar Nighttime Spectacular, where fireworks and animatronics light up Cinderella’s Castle.
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A fun-filled 48 hours of your favorite childhood characters and adventure awaits you. The next step? Booking a weekend at Disneyland by contacting a specialized Disneyland travel agent who will make sure you have the most action-packed weekend for you and your fam.