Disneyland Park is one of those places that is buried in the collective psyche of people around the world. Even kids who don’t know what Disney is want to go to Disneyland. And adults who know what Disney is even more so.
It has been described as “The Happiest Place on Earth.” If you can live with the extreme lines involved in going there, that might actually be true. Going to Disneyland is truly an experience that should not be missed as long as you strategize before walking in.
The growth of Disneyland Park
As the first of two Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Disneyland Park opened its gates for the first time on July 17th, 1955. The second park, Disney California Adventure Park, was opened in 2001. It was actually built on Disneyland’s old parking lot.
Since it opened its doors, Disneyland Park has gone through some massive changes. Several expansions and upgrades have gone into place. The most recent to open was Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019. The new Marvel Avengers Campus will follow but at California Adventure.
Counting Galaxy’s Edge, Disneyland Park is home to nine distinct regions, referred to as “lands.” Each one offers its own range of rides, attractions and food options, most of which are themed to that specific area.
Strategizing your trip
Simply put, you cannot fit all of Disneyland Park in one day. If you plan on also hitting California Adventure, which is highly recommended, you definitely won’t complete your mission. It’s an issue of size but also of crowds.
Disneyland is infamous for its lines, though the company is always working on ways to mitigate this. Taking advantage of their Fast Pass setup can make a huge difference. It essentially lets visitors collect a time slot to queue up for different rides, with some limits.
Even with Fast Pass, some rides still have up to a two-hour wait. It depends on how popular they are. The first step to enjoying Disneyland Park is giving yourself enough time. This is a multiple-day adventure at the very least.
Plan out which rides and attractions are your priority. Then, organize them and get Fast Passes as required. Disneyland has a convenient app that helps you organize your trip, and keeps you posted on ride wait times as well as rides that are shut down for maintenance.
But the best advice is to not shoot for too much. Hit your priorities but trying to do too much in too little time will just lead to disappointment. You could spend a week at Disneyland Park, and still not experience everything it has to offer.
Enjoy the Magic Kingdom
Going to Disneyland Park can be a legitimately magical experience, one that the whole family can enjoy. While new areas like Galaxy’s Edge are always going to call to people, don’t overlook all of the classic spots in the park.
New Orleans Square has been open since 1966 and features some of the most interesting food and shopping options. It’s also home to the Haunted Mansion as well as the Pirates of the Caribbean, which has been renovated to remove its most questionable aspects.
Fantasyland also offers a perfectly vintage Disneyland Park experience. A redesign in the 1980s turned it into a Bavarian village, which gives it a decidedly fairy tale feel. You can enter the area by walking through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. That’s as Disney as it gets.
Ultimately, guests of Disneyland Park can create an adventure that suits them. If you’re not interested in Tomorrowland, don’t go. Spend more time in Adventureland. Whatever you choose, make sure to give yourself a chance to enjoy it.