Updated 9/16/18. Disneyland can be just as magical for adults as it can be for children. You just need to be a kid at heart to enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth. Here are some rides and attractions that big kids will love in the different lands at Disneyland. We’ve also included some fun shops and restaurants that adults love. Here are our top eight areas for Disneyland for adults!
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New Orleans Square
Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean are two favorites that adults love. The Haunted Mansion sports a Doom Buggy for a frightful tour of the mansion. Here you can catch sightings of 999 unearthly specters, including the Ghost Host, Madame Leota, and Hitchhiking Ghosts. The Pirates of the Caribbean has been a beloved for over 50 years. If ye be seekin’ adventure, you float past the Blue Bayou, cruise down a waterfall, and sail into Pirates Grotto. These two attractions are top favorites for our Disneyland for adults recommendations.
New Orleans Square has some great shopping for adults. Here you can browse in shops such as Cristal d'Orleans, Pieces of Eight, and Pandora.
For dining, Blue Bayou Restaurant is one of the park’s most popular dining experiences. The Blue Bayou is an indoor, upscale restaurant with a view of Pirates of the Caribbean. Don't forget to make a reservation! Their Monte Cristo sandwich is a crowd favorite! Adults can also dine at the French Market Restaurant, which offers soups, salads and sandwiches in a lush garden setting. Swing by the Mint Julep Bar for Fresh Mickey beignets and their signature drink.
Indiana Jones™ Adventure and the Jungle Cruise are favorites among adults which makes it a top contender for our Disneyland for adults list. On this ride, you will board 12-person troop transport on a cliff-hanging journey past the Gates of Doom and through the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Fast Passes are available for this attraction; however, they tend to run out on busier days. The Jungle Cruise is a guided boat ride where you will encounter wonders of nature, including tigers, gorillas, elephants. The tour guides are quick-witted, and you will hear from funny (and corny) jokes.
Bengal Barbecue is a favorite quick-service stand where you can buy spicy or sweet beef, chicken, bacon-wrapped asparagus or fresh vegetables. They recently expanded and now offer more seating. Be sure to pop into the Tiki Juice Bar and try their signature DOLE WHIP®.
The wildest ride in the wilderness, known as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a favorite among adults. This is a fast ride on a runaway mine train that speeds through an abandoned mine shaft and the legendary gold-mining town. This ride has Fast Passes that don’t usually run out until evening time on busy days. Don't miss out on in this wild train ride when planning your Disneyland for adults itinerary.
Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante is located by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and has great Mexican food. Adults can enjoy carne asada, red chile enchiladas, and fire-grilled citrus-marinated chicken in a peaceful Spanish-style setting.
If you are looking to cool off on a warm day, Splash Mountain is the ride for you! Adults will float on hollow log through a colorful bayou and then drop down a 49-foot waterfall. In warm weather, this ride will run out of Fast Passes, so grab some early in the day. This great attraction to go on late at night before the park closes which is a perfect fit for a Disneyland for adults itenrary.
The Hungry Bear Restaurant is a popular stop that serves cookout burgers, crispy chicken sandwiches, and turkey Caesar wraps across a bridge in a quaint, rustic retreat. Harbour Galley is another quick-service stop that offers Fisherman’s Salad, shrimp salad, tuna salad sandwich or a buttery lobster roll.
Space Mountain and Star Tours are two fun attractions in this futuristic land. Space Mountain seats riders in a rocket-shaped vehicle where you fly past stars and celestial satellites. Star Tours – The Adventure Continues is a 3D, motion-simulated space flight aboard a Starspeeder 1000. Fast Passes for both rides will sell out on busy days.
Adults can relive their Star Wars nostalgia by visiting Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland. Here you can browse movie memorabilia and watch screen videos of the beloved movie series. Be sure to catch Star Wars: Path of the Jedi by Space Mountain. This Star Wars film compilation runs every 15 minutes and recaps all Star Wars eight episodes. It is definitely worth seeing!
Star Wars Trader is every fan’s dream come true. This store sells limited edition collectibles, commemorative apparel, light sabers and artwork, books and collectibles. The force is strong with this one!
If you’re hungry, Galactic Grill offers breakfast burritos, burgers, veggie wraps, as well as a late-night menu that includes a Lunar Space-adilla and crispy chicken bites.
The Matterhorn Bobsleds is fun for kids of all ages. This ride is a 6-person bobsled that climbs 80 feet high inside an icy cave, past the Abominable Snowman, and then races down the Swiss mountain. This ride offers a single-rider line and now also offers Fast Passes.
The Red Rose Taverne is a quick-service restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their menu includes open-faced Croque Madame, burgers with nutty Gruyère cheese, and grilled chicken sandwich with apple slaw. Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious! This cute tavern offers creamy Grey Stuff Gâteau for dessert.
Main Street U.S.A.
Main Street has several shops, attractions, and restaurants to fit a day of Disneyland for adults plans. Main Street Cinema plays several old time Mickey Mouse movies. The Disneyland Story includes an impressive collection of Disney artifacts and memorabilia as well as a video and pictures. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln uses Audio-Animatronics technology in a beautiful theatre to present this great President’s legacy. Additionally, there are several shops on Main Street where you can browse.
Carnation Café is a great restaurant right on Main Street that offers sandwiches and salads in a sit-down setting. Plaza Inn offers the best fried chicken I have ever tasted along with mashed potatoes and delicious biscuits. There is also a Starbucks and Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor.
Downtown Disney offers some great shopping, restaurants and attractions for adults. The Downtown Disney District offers interesting stores such as Curl Surf, the Disney Dress Shop, D-Street, Pandora Jewelry, WonderGround Gallery, and of course, World of Disney. There are several sit-down restaurants, including Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen®, Tortilla Jo's Mexican restaurant, Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria, and Catal Restaurant. There are also two Starbucks located in Downtown Disney to get some caffeine to keep you going!
A recent addition, Splitsville Luxury Lanes™ – Bowling, is a two-story restaurant with 20 bowling lanes as well as 25-plus flat-screen televisions. Splitsville puts a modern twist on an old favorite. Another new addition is Star Wars™: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID. This multi-sensory, untethered hyper-reality adventure transport you to a galaxy far, far away. Guests can move around freely while interacting with popular Star Wars characters in this cutting-edge 3-D imagery and sound environment. Downtown Disney is a must see area for a Disneyland for adults plan.
Tips on Fast Passes
Look for the Disney FASTPASS Distribution sign by the ride’s entrance and you’ll see the return time. You can also check the Disneyland mobile app for current Fastpass distribution times. If this time works for you, insert your park ticket or annual pass and you’ll receive a Fast Pass receipt. You will then scan your park ticket or annual pass when you return and head toward the shorter line. Your Fast Pass receipt will tell you when you can go get another Fast Pass. This is a fantastic way to do the fun rides without standing in long lines. There is also the option of the Disney Max Pass feature which costs $10 per day per person. This feature allows you to select Fast Passes from your phone using the Disneyland App.
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