When you’re a young family with kids under five planning your visit to the Disneyland Resort, you might be tempted to focus only on the rides. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: The Disneyland Resort has waaaay more to offer than just the (admittedly amazing) rides. There are plenty of top-tier family experiences with little to no wait time that deliver the Disney magic we all know and love. From exploring Avengers Campus to meeting favorite Disney characters, here are some of our favorite family-friendly activities that will make your trip to the Disneyland Resort unforgettable.
When You Want to See a Show:
Everyone knows the Disneyland Resort is home to incredible performances and shows, so you’ll want to make sure you see at least one while you’re there. At Disneyland Park, Tale of the Lion King is a must-see retelling of Simba’s journey, with live music and dance inspired by the cultural roots of the now-classic story. The Royal Theatre offers an immersive storytelling experience that brings favorite fairy tales to life in an open-air medieval-style tent — with some fun twists. At Disney California Adventure Park, check out the Disney Junior Dance Party, where your little ones can show off their latest dance moves with favorite Disney Junior pals.
When You Want to Explore:
One of the most exciting additions to the Disneyland Resort is Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park. If your family is into Super Heroes, this is an absolute must-see. The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at Disney California Adventure Park or Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island at Disneyland Park are also great options for exploring, and they offer practically infinite opportunities for adventure. Kids can climb, slide, and play to their hearts’ content while you take in the scenic views.
When You Want an Iconic Treat You Can Only Get at the Disneyland Resort:
Do not — we repeat: do not — pass by a Churro Cart without grabbing a couple wands of cinnamon-y fried dough. At Pym Test Kitchen in Avengers Campus, grab a super-sized Quantum pretzel. And trust me when I tell you to make sure you hit Corn Dog Castle in Disney California Adventure Park. Hard to explain, but all of these classic treats taste like the best childhood memories.
When You Want to Learn Something New:
At Animation Academy, you’ll get step-by-step instructions to illustrate your favorite character with that Disney flair — and take home your masterpiece as a souvenir. While you’re in the Disney Animation Building, you’ll want to check out the Sorcerer’s Workshop, where you can create your own simple animation in the Magic Mirror Realm and uncover your “inner Disney self” in The Beast’s Library!
When You Honestly Just Want to Slow Down For A Sec:
If you or your kids need a break from the excitement, head over to Adventureland in Disneyland Park and grab a bite to eat at the Tropical Hideaway, a jungle oasis with fast ‘n’ easy fare, or try a legendary Dole Whip from the Tiki Juice Bar. While you’re in the area, be sure to catch Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, a classic attraction with singing birds and colorful flowers. Swaying palms and island-inspired décor might be just the breather you need before you head out for more adventure.
When You Want to Meet Favorite Disney Pals:
Did you really visit the Disneyland Resort if you don’t have pics of beloved characters? Have your phone ready when you visit the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park so you can capture your little ones meeting some faves.
Turtle Talk with Crush at Disney California Adventure Park is another interactive experience where kids can talk with the beloved “righteous dude” turtle and his fishy friends from “Finding Nemo.” If you’re a Star Wars fan, wander the streets of Black Spire Outpost and you may run into some favorite characters from the Star Wars universe.
The word “magical” gets thrown around a lot. But the Disneyland Resort is a truly magical place where families can relax, create amazing memories, and have fun exploring together. When you start preparations for your magical trip, you’ll find a variety of tickets, price points, and vacation planning tools to make your trip more relaxing. Plan your next family vacation at the Disneyland Resort and discover the magic for yourself!
Both a theme park reservation and valid admission for the same park on the same day are required for park entry. Park reservations are limited, subject to availability and not guaranteed. Entertainment, experiences and offerings may be modified, limited in availability or unavailable, and are subject to restrictions, change or cancellation without notice. Park admission and offerings are not guaranteed.