Disney Recommendations

Must Dos at Disneyland


I have been in a huge Disney hole, particularly the theme parks, lately and with tomorrow being Disneyland’s anniversary, I figured I’d share what my must dos are when I visit!

Before We Go


I love MaxPass, which is a paid extra to get access to FastPass reservation on your phone and it comes with PhotoPass. Now I don’t know the state of MaxPass since all of the changes over the last year, but I still wanted to add it. Whatever they replace MaxPass with I will likely get because I liked it that much.


You plan on spending the full day in the parks? You better stretch. You will hate yourself if you don’t because you’ll be sore and tired. You walk a ton, stand even more, and sit very little, so get some simple stretches in. Your body will thank you.

Rope Drop

I am someone who likes to do rope drop, getting to the park early and waiting for the park’s opening ceremony top get started. They open up through Main Street and often have an actual rope they will drop to signify the park is open. It’s a fun little moment but also you can get so much more done starting at rope drop.

Attractions & Experiences

Pirates of the Caribbean

We always end up riding Pirates at least once when we go to the park. It’s such a nice ride to go on, especially when it is a hot Southern California day. And it is a classic that can’t be missed.

Haunted Mansion

My favorite attraction in the whole park is the Haunted Mansion so it is of course a must-do. Even when it is in the holiday overlay as the Nightmare Before Christmas, I must ride it.

Space Mountain

Space Mountain is one we not only must-do, we strategize doing it. It is notorious for long lines, so we either go first thing at rope drop or rely on getting a FastPass. Hopefully FastPass returns or some sort of equivalent.

Sword in the Stone

This started in 2012 and became a tradition for my brother and I to take photos of us trying to pull the sword out of the stone in Fantasyland. We try different tactics every time so they get goofier and goofier.

Food & Shopping

Ice Cream from Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

No matter where I am going, vacation = ice cream to me. I really like to get a sundae from Gibson Girl or from the Ghirardelli shop in California Adventure. The perfect sweet treat for a vacation in Disney.

Mickey Beignets

This is my brother’s pick specifically as he loves the beignets. And they are definitely are delicious. And things just taste better when Mickey shaped, right?

Chicken Dinner at Carnation Café

We’ve started to do more seated dining in the recent trips, and the chicken dinner at Carnation Café is a personal favorite. I still need to try more at the other sit down restaurants in the park, but for a go-to it will always be this.


Disneyland popcorn is the best popcorn, end of story. It is the must have snack for me and my brother when we go and is perfect to counter all the sweet stuff we have.

Pin Shopping

I first started pin collecting as a kid and picked it back up as an adult. Pins are a perfect souvenir anywhere you go, and Disney is no different! I like getting a pin that is related to the trip in some way, like a Christmas pin when visiting during the holidays or a Pixar Pier pin when it first opened.

What are your must-dos at your favorite vacation spot? Share them with a comment!


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