The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California is on almost everyone’s dream vacation list. There is something completely magical about the attention to detail, characters, and the seasons there that you just don’t get at any other theme park – every time we visit, we are totally blown away!
There’s a lot of debate online about the best time to visit the resort, and we’d like to throw our two cents in. If you’re going to visit Disneyland Resort, we absolutely love going in the autumn! The temperature is perfect, both Disneyland Park and California Adventure are themed for Halloween, and if you time your visit right, the crowds are very manageable.
We had the pleasure of visiting both parks this week and want to let you know our “must-dos” if you’re planning on visiting this Fall (or anytime in the next year!)
1. The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion is a classic ride at Disneyland Park, and for Halloween and Christmas it gets a total Nightmare Before Christmas makeover! We really love how well-done this is, and there are different little details every year. It’s still a bit scary for the very little ones, but if you have any older kids who are huge Nightmare Before Christmas fans, we definitely recommend it!
2. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
This new ride replaces the Tower of Terror in California Adventure Park, and we absolutely loved it. It follows more or less the same format as the original ride (you’re led through a variety of themed rooms to get the backstory of why you’re there, and then the ride begins!) but it is really well done and feels totally new. Keep your eyes peeled for Rocket as you make your way through the ride! Mission: BREAKOUT! itself is very thrilling and a little scary, but if your kids love Marvel or Guardians, they’ll love this, too.
3. World of Color at California Adventure Park
The Disneyland Resort has absolutely incredible parades and entertainment all day and night, but our absolute favorite evening entertainment is the World of Color at California Adventure Park. It is totally unique – images and music from Disney classics are projected on to brightly colored water jets in the lagoon in front of California Screamin’ (the big roller coaster.) While we love the evening parade and Fantasmic! at Disneyland Park (and you should see both if you’re going for more than one day!) we love that this show offers lots of great viewing spots and it’s not like anything we’ve seen anywhere else. You’ll want to get a Fastpass early on in the day so you have an extra good view of the show.
4. Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
While we didn’t get a chance to experience this ourselves, there are brand-new scenes coming to Star Tours this Fall from the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Part of the fun of Star Tours is that every ride is different – there’s a wide variety of paths the ride can take, so it’s best to try it more than once if you have time!
5. The Food!
Literally, all the food. Disneyland Resort does a great job of seasonal theme, and the food is no exception. Both parks are full of delicious sweets and savories with a Halloween theme this Fall, and you should try as much of it as you can! Our favorites were the spooky candy apples we found at California Adventure.
No matter when you visit, the Disneyland Resort is a magical experience for all ages. If you’re not sure what is going to be right for your little ones, the website is a great resource, listing potential ride pitfalls (loud, scary, dark) and detailed descriptions of each attraction. If you’re still not sure, visitors to the park have posted full “ridethroughs” of almost everything at both parks so you can check for any elements which might be a problem for your family.