How to Visit Disneyland

Ten Parts:General Park visitMain Street USATommorowlandFantasylandMickey's ToontownFrontierlandNew Orleans SquareCritter CountryAdventurelandOther Attractions/Events

Disneyland, located just outside Los Angeles in Anaheim, California, is often called the "happiest place on Earth." With the great wealth of attractions, including rides, shows, dining, and characters to meet, the park can seem daunting, particularly for a first-timer. This article will explain how to visit the park, so that you can live your life happily, having experienced the magic of Disneyland.

Part 1
General Park visit

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    Decide if you truly want to visit Disneyland. Discuss some of your other options if you're unsure. For example, get the same taste of Disney magic with other nearby Disney-themed areas like Disney's California Adventure, a sister theme park, and Downtown Disney, for dining and shopping. Other amusement parks within the vicinity include Universal Studios of Hollywood, Knott's Berry Farm, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. The Southern California landscape isn't without its wealth of rides.
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    Pack everything you'll need. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, wear a hat and comfortable shoes, and bring a warm layer or raincoat in case of bad weather. Bring snacks or even a sack lunch so that you can save some money throughout the day, if you want. Make sure you have enough money for your ticket, parking, food, and any souvenirs you'll want to buy, and bring a backpack or other bag that you can firmly close to carry everything without losing it to the winds while on a roller coaster.
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    Drive and park at the parking structure near the resort. Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure have their drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is that in order to visit, you'll either have to park in the "Mickey and Friends" parking structure or ride the ART (Anaheim Resort Transit) tram to the park. The address to the parking structure is 1313 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802[1]. The cost to park your car at this park will run you about $17 for cars, and even more for different types of vehicles[2].
    • Due to the cost, it's often advised to ride the ART tram/trolley to get to the park.
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    Take a tram from the parking structure to the park entrance. If you have to park in the structure rather than ride the ART trolley, take the free, park-operated tram to get to the park entrance. The tram ride is about five minutes long, and trams operate from just before the park opens to just after it closes, allowing you to spend as much time as you want in the park.
    • The tram also offers access to Downtown Disney and its wealth of shopping and dining options.
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    Purchase your tickets. Do this online before you arrive at Disneyland to avoid having to wait in a long line before even entering the park. If you haven't purchased tickets online, you can do so at the booths outside the park once you get off the tram.
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    Enter through the turnstiles. Present your ticket to the people monitoring the entrance, and present any backpacks or large bags to be briefly checked by security. You can also pick up a map or list of shows and other attractions at the entrance.
    • Make sure to retrieve your entrance ticket and keep it safe. You will need it later to obtain fast passes for various rides.
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    Try not to stop and linger at the floral arrangement that gleans near the turnstiles. This is a popular picture-taking spot, since it is the first place people see that makes people remark that "they were there" when asked by others! Walk onwards.
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    Walk underneath the archway that takes you underneath the Disneyland Railroad. This live steam railroad circles the entire park and is one of the oldest attractions at Disneyland, having been a part of the park since its conception.[3]
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    Study the map of Disneyland. This park is formed into 8 lands centered around a hub called Sleeping Beauty Castle. These lands include Critter Country, New Orleans Square, Adventureland, Main Street USA, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tommorowland, and Mickey's Toontown.[4] The map lists the main attractions in each land. Study the map to learn about your options and decide what you might want to do and see.

Part 2
Main Street USA

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    Look around here. This is the large street, lined with shops, restaurants, and theaters, that leads from the entrance to the rest of the park. Although a few rides exist in this section, these are not the main attractions. There are several stage plays and theaters that exist here, along with several food establishments that glean in on this area.
    • Walt Disney's private residential window still exists with a candle inside the building above the Firehouse on Main Street USA.[5]
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    Stop by the Great Moments with Mister Lincoln theater. You'll be delighted in the facts that Honest Abe tells you about himself in his stage show.
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    Watch a showing of the classic Steamboat Willie movie in the Main Street Cinema. If the film is playing when you walk in, you may watch it; otherwise, look for a schedule and come back alter. It is rarely ever crowded here, as not many people come in for very long. The viewing area inside isn't handicap-accessible, so people don't tend to linger around there much.
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    Take a spin around the park on the Disneyland Railroad. The train makes several stops on its tour around the park and returns to the Main Street USA station in about 30-40 minutes. (This tour is also called the Grand Circle Tour.) It has stops in New Orleans Square/Critter Country, Mickey's Toontown/Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland, and it'll take you through scenes of the Grand Canyon, Splash Mountain, and various jungle wildlife.

Part 3

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    Take the circle to the right, as you come up to the hub featuring the Sleeping Beauty Castle and enter into Tomorrowland's Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage attraction first. This ride offers a fun submarine voyage populated by all your favorite characters from Finding Nemo. The line gets crowded by mid-day, so your best bet is to come early, or on a day when your ticket allows (if these privileges are on your ticket) the "Extra Magic Hour".
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    Look around at Innoventions with the "Home of the Future" and a few of the many other exhibits. Be careful, as the introductory phase of the item is on a slowly-spinning carousel.
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    Skip Autopia, if you don't have kids in tow. Much like the driving experiences at some theme parks, this one has fairly outlived its life, and the lines tend to be much longer than the ride merits per the time you spend going around the track or area of travel.
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    Tour outer space on Space Mountain. Although this roller-coaster shoots you into space (or the way Disney looks at it), you'll soon be back at the starting gate all in one piece. This is a fast, thrilling ride through the pitch black of outer space, tons of fun for older kids and adults but potentially scary or uncomfortable for small children or those prone to motion sickness.
    • The line for Space Mountain is almost always over an hour, so think about using a fast pass to bypass the line on this popular ride.
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    Blast your way through the galaxy on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Shoot at targets within the ride with your green and purple blaster. You can challenge yourself or the person in the seat next to you.
    • The line for this ride moves quickly and is almost never more than ten minutes, so ride this several times and try to beat your own scores from each previous round.
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    Maneuver between Disneyland and Downtown Disney on the Disneyland Monorail. The ride between the two areas takes about 8 minutes, but with breezes that run through the monorail windows (since theres no air conditioning in the cars), this may still be a decent place to cool down during the day and keeps you out of the sun. Keep your ticket available if you get off at Downtown Disney, as you'll need your ticket and current handstamp (they'll stamp your hand at the exit) for reboarding at that station's entry.
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    Enjoy the fountains and the large, wet ball. Near Innoventions and the Monorail (near Space Mountain), spin the ball and run around in the fountains surrounding it. The ball will moisten and thereby cool down any person's hands in it's path.

Part 4

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    Leave Tomorrowland and walk around the hub and enter into Fantasyland to check out some of rides that Disneyland calls "dark rides". A dark ride according to Disney Park officials, just means that the ride takes place completely indoors. However, if you watch, at one point one of these "so called dark rides" actually goes outside for a few seconds but re-enters a few moments later. These are rides where you sit in a car, ship, or other vehicle and proceed through several rooms that recount a story. Great for young kids, these rides include:
    • Pinocchio's Daring Journey
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    • Snow White's Scary Adventures
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    • Alice in Wonderland
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    • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
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    • Peter Pan's Flight
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    Ride the Casey Jr Circus Train. This slow-moving ride makes its way around Fantasyland, and it's a great way to keep small kids enticed and your mind a little bit active (if you decide to ride it with them).
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    Sail your way into and through Storybook Land on the Storybook Land Canal Boats. Let the skipper take charge of the boat and learn about some of the stories Disney has shown to you in the past and you can relive this light. Hear your guide recount classic stories and witness the scenes where they take place.
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    Spin on the Mad Tea Party tea-cup ride. Turn the steering-wheel shaped center wheel fast to make the ride spin fast, or spin it less for less of a spin. But no matter what you do, be careful not to make yourself too dizzy that you can't stand up and walk straight after the ride is over!
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    Slip into the queue for the King Arthur Carousel. One of the most popular places in the park, the carousel gets busy, but the line tends to move quickly, and kids tend to love a ride on a horse, unicorn, or even lion, bird, or one of the other animals that the carousel offers.
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    Ride the Dumbo ride.This one is a classic that everyone wants to ride once they even hear the name. Fly sky-high on an elephant, and soar through the air before making a safe landing to complete the ride. Press the switch up to make the dumbo character vehicle fly high or press the switch down to make it fly lower.
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    Cap off your fill for fantasy with the It's a Small World ride. Although the ride has been dazzling riders for more than 50 years (as of 2014)[6], it can dazzle you too. Filled with scenes of people singing and dancing together, in all parts of the world, the ride represents a hope of peace and unity for all humanity. Beware, though - just one ride can keep that silly song stuck in your head for days on end.
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    Ride the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride, a roller coaster that is now available to be boarded from this area of the park(in the past, it's been boarded from Tomorrowland). Take a ride in a bobsled through the Matterhorn mountain, through caves and past yetis that make the ride that much more exhilarating.
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    Walk through Sleeping Beauty Castle. See scenes from the classic tale and relive the story before returning to Fantasyland. There is a walk through exhibit that can only be experienced when passing through the castle's center area.

Part 5
Mickey's Toontown

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    Walk into several of the whimsical houses of Mickey, Minnie, Dumbo, Goofy, Donald, and all his friends. Toontown offers clever architecture and access to all your favorite cartoon characters. If you want to wow a kid's eyes, this land is definitely the place to do it.
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    Spin on Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin. A staple attraction for Mickey's Toontown, this ride impresses everyone who rides it. Plus, this one is the only one of it's kind within the Disney Park system, so ride it if you are near it.
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    Save your breath on Gadget's Go Coaster, unless you are in the need for a relatively calm roller coaster. Whether you are willing to try a roller coaster for the first time, or you want a little thrill after woofing down that piece of pizza from a nearby dining location, this may be an intermediate compromise. It is rather tame, but can be great for small children, however it is out in the sun, so make sure to come prepared with sunscreen and plenty of water.

Part 6

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    Take the easy cruise on the Mark Twain Riverboat or the Sailing Ship Columbia. These cruise boats offer calm, leisurely cruises on the river with plenty of exciting sightseeing.
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    Ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Ride a runaway mine car through the caves and bedrock in the early days of the California Gold Rush. A small but exhilarating roller coaster, this is a hit with kids who are up to conquering thrill rides and adults alike.
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    Decide where to go next. Take the pathway to New Orleans Square and Critter Country, or head in the opposite direction towards Adventureland.

Part 7
New Orleans Square

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    Sail the seas on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Sing pirate shanties and sail through scenes from the Pirates movie, looking out for all your favorite characters.
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    Catch a ghost or two in the Haunted Mansion. With over a thousand and one happy haunts, they all hope to keep you awake and to keep you out of their mansion, though few actually are able to keep you out.
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    Walk towards Critter Country.

Part 8
Critter Country

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    Splash down the several-story drop on Splash Mountain. This classic, super-duper, mega log flume ride with its five-story drop is definitely not for the faint-of-heart, but its scenes of animals dancing and singing together make it a great ride for all ages. The potential to be drenched makes it perfect on a hot southern California afternoon, Due to it's strength of lines in the afternoon, head straight for it on a day when your ticket provides "Extra Morning Hours" privileges before the park opens to most other guests as it gets crowded after the first hour that it is open, or come back near the park's closing time for the shortest lines. If you don't or can't come during these times, pick up a FastPass if one is available. If not, be prepared to wait for over an hour for this popular ride.
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    Meet up with Winnie the Pooh while going to one of his parties at the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride. This one is a staple attraction for most children.

Part 9

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    Take in a few showings of the Enchanted Tiki Room. Try to take it in during the afternoon, right around most people's supper time, when the sun tends to scorch down on people. This show is an amusement you won't want to miss, and is definitely a retreat from the heat of summer.
    • Beware of waiting in line for this attraction on rainy days. The waiting area is out in the direct elements of weather. You can get rained on, if you aren't wise enough to sit underneath the talking tree bark near the payment desk for the Hawaiian luau foods booth.
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    Look out for the Indiana Jones Adventure. Ride a motion simulator ride through one of Indiana Jones' adventures, pulling daring moves and narrow escapes to make it out alive.
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    Ride the Jungle Cruise last. Relax in a shaded boat and enjoy the commentary (filled with puns) of your guide as you explore the joys and dangers of the river. If you ride it at night, you'll get the added benefit of a colorful array of other fantastic colors.

Part 10
Other Attractions/Events

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    Watch Mickey's Soundsational Parade. The parade travels from near the Small World ride through Fantasyland, around the hub down Main Street USA, and out through another gate only cast members use, and it happens at least twice per day.
    • Daytime parades vary. Check your guide map as you enter the park through the turnstiles, to see what parade you're likely to see and when.
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    Look out for the nightly fireworks. These take place overtop of Sleeping Beauty Castle, though they can be seen from almost anywhere in Disneyland itself.
    • Some of the fireworks can be seen at some of the Good Neighbor Hotels/Resorts nearby, though no music is heard from that far away.


  • When 4-8 year old kids get antsy in Disneyland and it seems like your day is lagging behind, give these kids some options. Even though this park has a few areas where kids can explore and run out all their excitement, this may sometimes not be enough. Find some other ways to draw out their energy, or to let them relax or nap when they get tired. Strollers can be great for this, and your kids will thank you for helping them "take a load off their feet". These youngsters tend to draw energy out and become cranky easily.
  • Food and beverage options are available throughout the park. A huge range of options are available, from fancy, reservation-only restaurants to fruit and ice cream stands scattered everywhere throughout the park.
  • Restrooms are accessible near almost every part of the park. And if you have infants, you can even change their diapers in there.
  • Plenty of souvenirs are available, from clothes to stuffed animals and other toys, so plan your shopping and spending accordingly.
  • Pin trading stations in this park are somewhat plentiful, but placed sporadically throughout the park. Collect those pins, and if you have someone else in the park who's willing to trade with you, trade some of your pins for those you deem to be more collectible.
  • Keep track of your family, especially with small children. Use "leashes" if necessary. With 30,000+ guests in the park at any time, it's very easy to lose your child. Even when your kids are in their stroller, it can take only a few seconds for the kid to get out and go missing.
    • Keep kids (under age 5) on "leashes" (arm straps) at all times. Don't allow your kids to remove them at any time. It's hard to see your kids leashed up like a pet, but with the 30,000+ guests in the park at any time, security is of utmost importance, and their leashes will help immensely. Don't even remove them, when your kids are in their stroller, as it can take only a few seconds for the kid to get out and become missing (the leashes only would allow the child to go so far as you'd allow them to go).
  • There is a compass near the Sleeping Beauty Castle that you can use to estimate the placement in the park that your ride is located at.
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  • Plan on spending at least 8-10 hours for at least two to three days in this park alone. There is a lot of park grounds to cover, so you should plan a lot of time to be spent in this part of the Disneyland park system here alone.
  • Disneyland theme park first opened on July 17, 1955.[7] and is the oldest park in the Disney Parks system.


  • Everybody's tastes are different. Skip those rides or attractions that aren't suited to you or your kids' tastes.
  • Take extreme caution if and when you start to hear any rumbles of thunder. Some rides may close down the moment a rumble of thunder is spotted on the radar and some a few minutes before.
  • Rides occasionally close and change at this park. Don't fear if your favorite ride has changed or has become defunct. Something will be there to replace it, over time. Their replacements might be just as good as the ride you once loved.
  • On those attractions that have rides, don't worry if your ride vehicle stalls with you on it. If the time is worse than a few minutes, someone will be around to collect you and your belongings. In turn, they will give you a FastPass due to the inconvenience it may have caused you.
  • Always ride with safety in mind. Use all safety devices the ride operator provides for you and your family.

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Categories: Disneyland and Disney World