The Grown Up’s Guide to Disneyland® Resort

Pluto at Disneyland in Anaheim

Many of us grew up watching classic Disney films, dressed up as the iconic characters, had Disney-themed birthday parties, and maybe even visited Disneyland® Resort a time or two. For a lot of us, the Disney magic was just a part of our life as youngsters. That magic doesn’t fade away now that we’ve grown up. In fact, there’s no better escape from “adulting” than checking out of your day to day and immersing yourself in all things Disney! We’ve put together a few tips, tricks, and insights for your next adults-only trip to Disneyland® Resort.

Disney Foodies

Enjoying all the delicious food is one of the best parts about visiting Disneyland® Resort, no matter how old you are! Sometimes a nice meal is just the ticket to a perfect vacation. One of the benefits of traveling to Disney as an adult is that you have flexibility with meal times, a more refined palate, and some additional spending money. That all opens up a whole new set of dining options for you! We recommend eating a wide variety of foods and enjoying a leisurely meal during non-peak food times. That way, you can get the full experience and take advantage of shorter wait times for attractions during the dinner rush and have fewer crowds while dining.

Here are a few of the top Disneyland® Resort restaurants that adults tend to favor.

  • Carthay Circle Restaurant. Located on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure® Park, Carthay Circle’s menu is inspired by Southern California flavors. The restaurant is designed after the Carthay Circle Theatre, which is where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in 1937. Adults, in particular, will appreciate the early Disney references and the craft cocktails.
  • Blue Bayou Restaurant. Turn up the spice with Cajun and Creole-inspired cuisine at Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square in Disneyland® Park. You can even spot Pirates of the Caribbean passenger boats as they pass through and enjoy Fantasmic! from a reserved viewing area.
  • Oga’s Cantina. Want a drink in Disneyland® Park? Then Oga’s Cantina at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is the place to go! It’s the perfect spot for jedis, bounty hunters, smugglers, and Star Wars fans of all ages to kick back and relax. It’s quickly becoming a favorite.
  • Sonoma Terrace. What’s better than craft beer or California’s world-class wine? Drinking them at Disneyland® Resort, obviously! Sonoma Terrace in Disney California Adventure® Park has some great adult beverages with perfect food pairings for a relaxing afternoon or evening. They’re also serving some specialty mixed drinks on an expanded menu for Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival this spring!
  • Lamplight Lounge. Lamplight Lounge at Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure® Park is the place to go for all Pixar fans. Enjoy a unique gastropub menu (that includes healthy and vegetarian choices) and dine among sketches, toys, and other Pixar memorabilia.
  • Coffee. Sometimes adults just need a little caffeine fix to make it through the day. Of course, Disneyland® Resort has you covered. You’ll find Starbucks, as well as a variety of cute cafes with coffee, such as Schmoozies!, Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe, and espresso carts throughout the parks.
  • Dole Whips. Dole Whips are a favorite among kids AND adults. You can’t leave Disneyland® Resort without getting one! Visit the Tiki Juice Bar to try this tasty treat!

Activities & Attractions

You may be thinking, “Am I too old to ride the attractions at Disneyland® Resort?” Absolutely not! There are plenty of things to do at Disneyland® Resort for adults! Travelers of all ages love the variety of attractions, and there’s something magical when you can just act like a kid again.

Adults traveling to Disneyland® Resort without kids should consider taking advantage of the single rider lines and shorten your wait times significantly. The single rider line places individual riders wherever there is an open space. While youngsters generally can’t be separated from their parents or guardians, adults can easily choose to split up from their group and ride attractions separately in order to make the most of their time. It’s a total perk for adults who want to get in as much excitement as possible.

Trust us when we say you’ll have a blast on any and all of the attractions. However, there are a few attractions that adults tend to favor due to faster speeds, nostalgia, or more grown-up themes. Here are some of the best attractions for adults at Disneyland® Resort:

  • Haunted Mansion (located in New Orleans Square at Disneyland® Park)
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds (located in Fantasyland at Disneyland® Park)
  • Indiana Jones Adventure (located in Adventureland at Disneyland® Park)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (located in New Orleans Square at Disneyland® Park)
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (located in Frontierland at Disneyland® Park)
  • Splash Mountain (located in Critter Country at Disneyland® Park)

Another great event for adults in the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, noted above, which happens each spring. This event features culinary demonstrations with world-renowned chefs, wine and beer tastings, mixology seminars, expanded menus, limited-time drink options, and so much more. The 2020 Food & Wine Festival runs through April 21!

Dressing Up at Disneyland® Resort as an Adult

There are some important rules regarding costumes and dressing up at the parks, particularly for adults, that we recommend all visitors read. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun!

“Disneybounding” has become more and more popular — and it’s basically a simpler, more fashion-forward way to honor your favorite characters and hint at their iconic outfits rather than wearing full costumes (which aren’t allowed for visitors in the parks). It’s a great way to express yourself and just have fun with your outfits! Here’s a great example of a Princess Jasmine Disneybound outfit…

Of course, there are plenty of great Disney-inspired shirts, dresses, and pants/shorts that are a great way to dress up and still be comfortable during your visit. When in doubt, accessories are a great way to show some Disney spirit. Customized mouse ears, or Disney-themed hats, hair accessories, and jewelry are always in style!

Slow Down & Enjoy the Magic

An adults-only trip to Disneyland® Resort means you can adjust and plan your itinerary as you see fit — without having to accommodate for a youngster’s schedule. While you’ll see kids quickly rushing from one thing to the next, grown-ups, on the other hand, can take a breather, slow down, and appreciate some of the finer Disney magic. That includes things that aren’t necessarily on the daily entertainment schedule or the park maps. For example:

  • Appreciate the amazing architecture and design around the parks. How many Hidden Mickeys can you spot?
  • Take a leisurely sightseeing tour on the Mark Twain Riverboat.
  • Do a bar crawl throughout Disneyland® Resort. Not a drinker? A snack crawl tasting all the various treats is another great option!
  • Collect and trade pins with cast members and other guests.
  • Do a fun photo scavenger hunt around the park (and turn it into a scrapbook to remember your trip).
  • Relax and just watch the boats on the Rivers of America float past.
  • Enjoy the Grand Circle Tour.
  • Shop at some of the boutique and specialty stores. There’s tons of great decor, clothing, jewelry, and more.
  • People watch. There are all sorts of unique visitors from around the world making their way to Anaheim.
  • Stay late. You don’t have a bedtime! Check out some of the Disney After Dark events.

The options for an awesome adult trip to Disneyland® Resort are endless. Whether you’re coming for a special date night, bachelor/bachelorette party, family reunion, or just a fun getaway, there’s no place quite like Disneyland® Resort.

We hope to see you soon!

If you’re headed to Anaheim and need a hotel near Disneyland® Resort, we’d love to make your vacation even more magical. Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel is a Disneyland® Resort Good Neighbor Hotel located just half a mile down the road. Our Dream Machine shuttle offers convenient transportation to and from the parks. Plus, adults love our on-site Hanagi Japanese Restaurant, relaxing outdoor pool, and beautiful gardens. It’s the perfect home base for your vacation. Check out our welcome letter and reserve your room to get started!

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PS: Here are a few more resources to help you plan an epic adventure…