Disneyland has many activities and experiences, with the most widely known being the rides. And the rides are a lot of fun and full of Disney magic, but they aren’t the only thing to entertain you in the happiest place on Earth.
Walking around the park all day is tiring, but going to see a live performance will give you the chance to sit down and still experience entertainment. Currently the Fantasyland Theater is performing Tale of the Lion King which is a good afternoon choice. In the evening there is the iconic Fantasmic on the Rivers of America, but you’ll want to get there early if you actually want a place to sit. All of the times for these events can be found on Disenyland’s website and app.
Parades & cavalcade
Parades and cavalcade are an easy addition to your day as they happen periodically with numerous viewing locations. Some plan in advance for these and claim a spot early, but you can also watch it in passing as you walk by, maybe choosing to stand by as they go. Parades aren’t long so they can be a nice, quick break between rides.
Meeting characters is a go-to for many park guests, with a variety of characters out and about throughout the day. If you really love the characters, meeting them is a good way to spend your time. Lines can get long, so check the app for what times certain characters will be out.
This is a fun and creative way to spend your time. A popular scavenger hunt activity is looking for hidden Mickeys. Some are on rides, but there are many that aren’t so you can make a game of seeing how many Mickeys your can find. The same can be done with other easter eggs and tidbits from Disney’s history. There are also scavenger hunts you can buy from sites like Etsy that are made by fans.
Pin trading has been around for a while and is available across all the parks. How it works is that there are spots marked as a pin trading location where you can and swap a Disney pin of your own with a cast member. You can buy starter kits in most merchandise locations, or buy a single pin that you want to pass along as you go from spot to spot searching for something you really want. There are also pins that you can only get by trading, like cast member exclusives.
Across the park there will be performers holding short performances right on the pathways around the park. The most iconic are the Dapper Dans, which you can find singing acapella on Main Street U.S.A. These atmospheric performances are on a schedule which you can find on the app, or you can take a second and enjoy the performances while walking by.
Disney has a whole app dedicated to additional fun, called Play Disney Parks. You can play interactive games including Disney trivia, Resistance and First Order roleplays in Galaxy’s Edge, and activating fortune teller machines for a fun, little known surprise. The app is also fun if you are going to ride rides and are waiting in lines.
New magic is coming to Disney Parks all of the time, especially seasonally. We’re currently in the Halloween season which brings many fall-focused activities to the parks. There are Dias de los Muertos displays, specialty food and drinks, fireworks, and after hours parties. The winter holidays have similar offerings, Lunar New Year has special offerings in January/February, plus spring and summer fun. That is just what occurs based on seasons as different festivals also bring unique opportunities. So always checkout what is happening at your visit and you could find some unique activities that will make your trip that much more special.
Explore the castle
Did you know that you can go inside Sleeping Beauty Castle? That’s right, you can go through the castle and explore the story of Princess Aurora through visual vignettes. Unfortunately this attraction is not handicap friendly, requiring climbing stairs and moving through thin halls. I do recommend it if you have the ability because it is a fun hidden treasure to explore.
So whether you are taking a break from the rides or wanting something new to do, I hope this list inspires you to check out all of the magic Disneyland has to offer.
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I like the Pin Trading! It was fun to collect them all and find the ones I wanted.