Disneyland in a Day: Experience the Park in one Visit

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May 20, 2015

Disneyland Park, a.k.a. Disneyland, is a must-do for any family visiting Southern California. With its eight themed “lands” on 85 acres, there are so many things to see and do in this iconic theme park it can be difficult to make a plan for a one-day visit. Here’s a guide to all the quintessential must-dos, all of which can be squeezed into a single day visit to Disneyland Park.

Start your day with a stroll down Main Street, U.S.A.

As you enter the park, enjoy the stroll down Main Street, U.S.A., which replicates a typical small town with its train station, penny movie theater, city hall, and firehouse. Stop to take a picture at the end of Main Street, where Sleeping Beautiful Castle stands majestically.

Set off on a Jungle Cruise in Adventureland.

You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into the tropics in Adventureland. Set off on a steam-powered riverboat Jungle Cruise, which will take you on a hilarious jaunt down the big rivers of Asia, Africa and South America. Beware of bathing elephants and charging rhinos. Afterwards, explore Tarzan’s Treehouse, a giant tree that once housed the Swiss Family Robinson and is now inhabited by the eponymous jungle boy.

Take a ride on a runaway train in Frontierland.

You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to the great pioneer days of American history in Frontierland. Set off on a rough and tumble ride through the wild west mountains on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and be sure to catch a glimpse of the Mark Twain Riverboat as it sails along the Rivers of America.

Meet the ghouls and set sail with the pirates of the Caribbean.

New Orleans Square takes you back to 19th-century New Orleans. Start your visit here with a doom-buggy ride through the Haunted Mansion then set sail with the Pirates of the Caribbean. Enjoy lunch at Blue Bayou Restaurant, which replicates a Louisiana bayou at twilight – you can even watch as the pirate ships set sail as you enjoy Creole specialties. Make a reservation in advance to save even more time.

Head to Critter Country.

Young and old will want to take a whirl through the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Ride the log flume down Splash Mountain to cool off a bit before tackling an afternoon of Fantasyland fun.

Relive the Disney classics in Fantasyland.

Fantasyland is the home of all the iconic Disneyland attractions that you need to experience. Take a swirl on the King Arthur Carousel then try to pull the sword from the stone. Race in the snowcapped mountains of the Matterhorn Bobsleds, get dizzy on the Mad Tea Party twirling teacups, take an around the world cruise on “It’s a Small World”.

Meet Mickey and his pals.

No visit to Disneyland would be complete without a visit with Mickey and Minnie. Mickey’s Toontown is where all the favorite Disney cartoon characters live, so pay a visit to the cozy homes of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy, and then climb aboard Donald Duck’s houseboat. Gadget’s Go Coaster and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin are perfect rides for the preschoolers in your family. Grab a snack in Toontown before heading to the future in Tomorrowland.

Skip ahead into the future.

Tomorrowland explores the incredible world of the future. Blast into outer space on Space Mountain, fight aliens on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, and visit the faraway planets of Star Wars on Star Tours. Enjoy dinner at Tomorrowland Terrace.

Cap off your evening with the grand fireworks display.

Grab some ice cream from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street then settle in to a good spot in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle so you can enjoy the spectacular fireworks dancing in the sky to the tune of favorite Disney songs. Times vary, so check the fireworks calendar in the days before your visit.

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