Disneyland California – don’t miss these, plus new Star Wars & more!

Here is our ultimate list of things to see and do at Disneyland, California. The original Disneyland theme park in California is most famous for its magical Disney classic rides, however Disneyland is also keeping things fresh and cutting edge by continually adding new and exciting rides and entertainment!

The Walt Disney & Mickey Mouse statue in front of Disneyland castle
The Walt Disney statue & Disneyland Castle

The Original Disneyland

Disneyland Park is the original theme park created by Walt Disney in 1955. Disney fans travel from all around the world just to visit California Disneyland – and for good reason. It’s here that some very special memories are made together. As a parent, I’ll always remember seeing the look of wonder on my girls faces as we passed through the entrance gates for the very first time – and that tingling feeling I got when I caught my first glimpse of the Disneyland Castle. It’s just…magic!

The locals are very friendly at Disneyland!
The locals are very friendly at Disneyland!

The Disneyland atmosphere is one of sheer joy and excitement. Families skip through the park together, wearing group Disneyland-trip t-shirts and matching Mickey ears. Mickey Mouse, the Disney Princesses and all the other beloved Disney Characters roam the park to hug you and your kids, and pose for photographs. This is the real Disneyland, where you can even see the light that is always left on in Walt Disney’s original apartment.

Disneyland rides are fun for the whole family

Disneyland Rocky Mountain Railroad ride

Our family made it our mission to go on as many different Disneyland rides as possible during our holiday. Over the course of several days we still didn’t come close to riding them all – but we sure had a lot of fun trying!

Disneyland It’s A Small World

Disneyland It’s A Small World ride

There are so many wonderful rides and attractions at Disneyland. They range from the very gentle rides suitable for people of all ages and abilities, right up to rocket-fast thrill rides for the daring.  Each one has it’s own Disney theme, and immerses you into it’s own special world.

The classic Disneyland Tea Cup ride
The classic Disneyland Tea Cup ride

From the very charming rides such as It’s A Small World, Jungle Cruise, The Enchanted Tiki Room and Mark Twain Riverboat, to the very exciting rides like Pirates Of The Caribbean, Indianna Jones Adventure and the Matterhorn Bobsleds – the sheer scale of some of these rides is mind boggling. When you emerge at the end of each ride, all you want to do is go again, and again…but there’s so much to see – and onward to the next!

Disneyland Dumbo ride
The famous Disneyland Dumbo ride

Disneyland are continually expanding their ride world’s and technology – it’s here you’ll find some of the most advance virtual reality and thrill rides in the world! If you’ve visited Disneyland before, you’ll find there’s always another new attraction, and so another reason to revisit Disneyland and see what’s new!

Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn

Breakfast at Disneyland with Minnie and Friends
Meet all your Disney favourites at the Minnie & Friends Breakfast

If you only do one Disney-themed breakfast at Disneyland Resorts California, then Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park at the Plaza Inn should be the one! This wonderful breakfast was truly magical, with Disney character after character visiting our table to sign autographs, pose for photographs and give you a big hug – you haven’t been hugged, until you’ve been Disney-hugged! This breakfast is the Disney-est experience you could ever imagine, and just adorable. You can read all about our Minnie & Friends Disneyland breakfast here!

New at Disneyland – Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

Disneyland Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge
Disneyland Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

One of the amazing new Disneyland Park areas to explore is Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge which is incredibly themed throughout, and has its own roaming Star Wars characters to interact with. It also runs some really unique workshop experiences, such as building your own light saber or droid! Make sure you book for a spot in one of these – we couldn’t get in on the day, as they are very popular!

There are two incredible rides to experience at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge – Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run and the brand-new Star Wars ride, Rise of the Resistance.

No time to read? Watch our video of all the fun we had riding these two amazing new Disneyland Star Wars rides!

Considered the most immersive ride experiences on the planet, these new Star Wars rides will have you open-mouthed at how real they actually do feel – it’s next-level entertainment that will leave you and the kids, quite simply – dumbfounded.

Star Wars Rise Of The Resistance
Star Wars Rise Of The Resistance

Currently you can walk up for a ride on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, however you need to book a boarding pass online to experience Rise of the Resistance. It’s worth the extra planning – whatever you do, don’t miss Rise of the Resistance! It definitely lives up to all the surrounding excitement and hype!

Mickey’s Mix Magic show

Mickey’s Mix Magic Show

In the evening, Mickey’s Mix Magic show got us all toe-tapping to the fun dance music and colourful projections and fireworks. And of course fireworks over Sleeping Beauty’s castle is an essential part of any Disneyland Park visit. Prepare to look on with your heart in your mouth at the finally fireworks, wondering just how you’re ever going to top this family holiday!

Disneyland planning tips

Disneyland tickets

It’s not all fun and games – you need to do some planning before you go! To learn how and where to buy Disneyland Resort tickets in Australia, go here.

Add MaxPass to your Disneyland tickets

Disney MaxPass allows you to pre-book Fast Pass queue hopping, and it also includes an unlimited Disney Photopass to download all of your Disney ride photos taken throughout the day. At just $20 USD per ticket extra, it’s a savvy purchase to add to your Disneyland tickets.

Download the Disney Apps

In preparation for your days at Disney Resort, download the Disney Resort App and the Play Disney Parks App.

The Disneyland App

The Disney Resort App is essential to make the most of your Disney days. Us this app for virtual entry tickets, Max Pass, live navigational maps, to find out ride wait times, event information and even where Disney characters are going to appear! Your photo pass ride photos can also be loaded into your app as you make your way around the parks.

In the USA or Japan, you can also use the Disney Parks App to purchase park tickets.

Download the Disney Play App

The Disney Play App comes in very handy if you are waiting in line for a ride, as families can use it to play Disney games together! It’s a lot of fun.

Where to stay when visiting California Disneyland Resort

Anaheim Marriott Suites apartment hotel
Anaheim Marriott Suites apartment hotel

Disneyland is located around 45 minutes drive from LAX in the city of Anaheim.

As any trip to Disneyland requires several days to enjoy the full experience, it’s important to stay in Anaheim for this part of your California trip. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself spending a lot of precious holiday time commuting in LA traffic (Uber journeys from Hollywood to Disneyland cost around $80 at the time of writing this article, and can take around an hour). Therefore, it makes good sense to book your stay in an Anaheim hotel – particularly one located in the Disneyland neighbourhood.

Whilst in Anaheim we stayed in the Anaheim Marriot Suites, in Garden Grove. Located only minutes from the Disneyland Resort attractions, this elegant full-service hotel is the perfect base for any Disneyland family holiday. Find out more about the Anaheim Marriot Suites hotel here.

Disneyland ToonTown

Disneyland lives up to its reputation of The Happiest Place On Earth

Three weeks following our Disneyland days, and on the last day of our California trip, I gave my children the opportunity to choose wherever they would like to visit in the Los Angeles or Anaheim area before we returned to Australia. They chose to return to Disneyland.

Contact your travel agent to book in your magical Disneyland Resort Holiday. More information can be found at Disneyland.com

Read all about the three exciting California destinations we visited in 2020 here!

If you enjoyed reading this article, please give us a Facebook “Like” or comment below!

This article is meant to inspire travel to California once it is safe to do to. The attractions and experiences featured in this article may be temporarily unavailable due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please consult official travel resources and individual businesses to confirm future plans.

The Let’s Go Mum family partnered with Visit California and their supporting partners for this trip.  As always, all opinions are our own.

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About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at barbara@letsgomum.com.au!