Visitors Guide to Disneyland


Disneyland opened July 17, 1955 and in 2019 welcomed nearly 19 million visitors, making it the second-most-visited theme park in the world, following its younger sibling, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Walt's original park is considered by many the "original" theme park, inspiring countless imitators around the world. Visitors to Walt Disney World may find Disneyland tiny in comparison, but this park is jam-packed with attractions, including the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land as well as the original Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and the world's first tubular steel roller coaster, Matterhorn Bobsleds. And if you manage to do everything here, the Disneyland Resort's second gate - Disney California Adventure theme park - lies just steps away from the park entrance.

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Our recommendations below come from our ongoing survey of Theme Park Insider readers. Locations with star ratings ranked especially highly among our readers. Vote here to submit your picks for top attractions at Disneyland and other parks around the world.

New for 2024

  • Tiana's Bayou Adventure
    Themed to "The Princess and the Frog," this replaces the Splash Mountain flume ride that closed in 2023.

  • Together Forever - A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular
    A revamped version of Disney's nighttime spectacular pays tribute to Pixar films and characters. Plays nightly on Main Street and the Small World promenade, with fireworks on select nights.

What to Do

Top 10

  1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ★ ★ ★ ★
    Trackless dark ride located in Star Wars: Galaxy Edge. Height requirement: 40 inches

  2. Indiana Jones Adventure ★ ★
    Motion-base dark ride located in Adventureland. Height requirement: 46 inches

  3. Haunted Mansion ★ ★
    Dark ride located in New Orleans Square. The "Nightmare Before Christmas"-themed Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay runs from early September through early January.

  4. Pirates of the Caribbean ★ ★
    Indoor boat ride located in New Orleans Square

  5. Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
    This trackless dark ride anchors the renovated Mickey's Toontown.

  6. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's Run
    Motion-base ride located in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Height requirement: 38 inches

  7. Space Mountain
    Indoor family roller coaster located in Tomorrowland. Height requirement: 40 inches
    Space Mountain

  8. Fantasmic!
    Nighttime spectacular on the Rivers of America in Frontierland. Returns May 24, 2024.

  9. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    Outdoor family roller coaster located in Frontierland. Height requirement: 40 inches

  10. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
    "Star Wars"-themed motion-base show located in Tomorrowland. Height requirement: 40 inches
    Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

Other Attractions

Starting on Main Street, then turning right at the hub into Tomorrowland and continuing around the park.

Main Street USA

  • Disneyland Railroad: The "Grand Circle Tour" around the park and through the Primeval World dioramas, with stops on Main Street, in New Orleans Square, Toontown, and Tomorrowland

  • Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln: Audio Animatronic show
  • Main Street Vehicles
  • Magic Happens: parade


  • Astro Orbitor: spinner
  • Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters: interactive dark ride
  • Autopia: driving cars
  • Disneyland Monorail
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: underwater boat ride


  • It's A Small World: indoor boat ride
  • Tale of the Lion King: live musical show in the Fantasyland Theater (closes January 7, 2024)
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds: Arrow Dynamics roller coaster. Height requirement: 42 inches
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats: narrated, outdoor boat ride
  • Mad Tea Party: spinner
  • Alice in Wonderland: dark ride
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant: spinner
  • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride: dark ride
  • Peter Pan's Flight: dark ride (warning: distasteful racial content)
  • King Arthur Carrousel
  • Snow White's Enchanted Wish: dark ride
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey: dark ride
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train: outdoor track ride
  • Royal Theatre: live shows

Mickey's Toontown

  • Roger Rabbit's Car-Toon Spin: dark ride
  • Chip 'n' Dale's GADGETcoaster: Vekoma junior coaster


  • Mark Twain/Sailing Ship Columbia: boat rides around the Rivers of America
  • Rafts to Pirates' Lair on Tom Sawyer Island: boat ride to a playground

Critter Country


Where to Eat


  • Plaza Inn
    Cafeteria serving fried chicken and more on Main Street USA

  • Tiana's Palace
    Themed to "The Princess and the Frog," the former French Market serves New Orleans classics such as gumbo, po'boys, muffuletta, and filled beignets.

If you want one of Disneyland's famed Dole Whips, try The Tropical Hideaway in Adventureland.

Buy Tickets

Park Map

Disneyland is located in Anaheim, California - about 25 miles south of downtown Los Angeles and 30 miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Orange County's John Wayne Airport (SNA) is just 15 miles away, but it's not as well served by nonstop flights from around the world as LAX.

Parking is at either the Mickey & Friends and Pixar Pals parking structures (they are connected) northwest of the parks or the Toy Story surface lot southeast of the parks. Plan on spending at least 30 minutes to park, go through bag checks and then get to the theme parks from either location. Shuttles are available, but you can walk as well.


Before You Go

Once you buy your tickets, you then must make advance reservations to visit Disneyland, via Disney's website. This is true for "Magic Key" annual passholders as well as daily ticket holders. Unlike at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland's hotel guests get no special preferences for admission reservations. However, Disneyland's hotel guests can get early admission to the park on select dates.

If you want to go to the Blue Bayou or Oga's Cantina, make reservations up to 60 days in advance on the Disneyland website or the official app.


On its mobile app, Disneyland offers a tool called Disney Genie that will create a custom itinerary for each day of your visit. In addition, Disney offers two ways for its theme park guests to pay to access shorter wait times for many popular attractions. You can learn more about these options in our posts:

But you do not need any of those tools or upcharges to experience pretty much everything you would like in one day at the park.

Get to the park gates at least half an hour before opening (accounting for time to park). If you are staying at one of the three on-site Disneyland Resort hotels, you can go on select attractions in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland 30 minutes before the park opens, so take advantage of that opportunity.

Many visitors will rush to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance first thing in the morning, but unless you are among those on-site hotel guests who can get to the back of the park before the bulk of the crowd, you're going to end up with a long wait for a long ride that costs you any chance at shorter queues during the park's first hour. Rise of the Resistance typically closes early - sometimes by 8pm - but wait until later in the afternoon to ride this award-winning attraction to maximize the number of other Disneyland attractions you can experience during your visit. Do the Millennium Falcon ride after Rise, as it remains open until park close.

If you are not staying on-site, instead head first at park opening to Indiana Jones, as that is often one of Disneyland's longest waits by mid-day. (If you are visiting in early September, just after the conversion to Haunted Mansion Holiday, hit that next, otherwise, save Mansion for later in the day.) Then cross the park to Mickey's Toontown to do Roger Rabbit and then Runaway Railway. Roger Rabbit's poor capacity makes it the third-longest wait in the park at mid-day, after Indy and Rise of the Resistance.

The Matterhorn Bobsleds and Space Mountain should be your next priorities in the morning. If you are a single rider (see below), you can save them for a bit later and hit Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder next. After those, hit the other attractions listed above as you wish. Parade crowds will clog the streets between It's a Small World and Main Street's Town Square starting an hour before they begin, so keep that in mind around showtimes.

Single Rider

If you are visiting alone, the following rides have single rider queues, which can save you quite a bit of waiting time:

  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (Note that you almost certainly will be assigned the Engineer role, which is considered the least desirable - by far - on this interactive, role-playing ride.)
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Space Mountain
Ask a cast member at the ride's entrance for directions to the single rider queue, if you do not see it marked.


You can find restrooms listed on the official Disneyland app. We like the ones next to the Fantasyland Theater when there's no show going on. Or the well-hidden ones behind the merchandise location next to the Autopia entrance. But try to avoid the cramped, crowded restrooms between Plaza Inn and Star Tours. If you have small children who are new to the potty, there are some private, toddler-sized porcelain toilets in the peaceful Baby Center on Main Street, across from Plaza Inn.

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