Everything International Visitors Need to Know to Visit Disneyland

When family comes to visit from another country, one of the main things on their out-of-country “must dos” list is visiting the original Disneyland and seeing all it has to offer.  For international Disneyland visitors, experiencing Disney with all its magical power is a memory they will never forget.  International Disneyland visitors will love seeing Mickey Mouse on the original Main Street, U.S.A., enjoying the night sky light up with Mickey shaped fireworks, and riding Space Mountain for the first time.  There are a few definite “must dos” for international Disneyland visitors that you won’t want to miss on your extra special trip.

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International Disneyland visitors: Main street USA view from the castle

Must Eats for International Disneyland Visitors

We all know that Disneyland is famous for certain foods. Where else other than Hawaii can you get an authentic Dole Whip soft serve ice cream or float? Here are a few food items that international Disneyland visitors must try!

Original Churro

Close up of churro

You can find these churros at any of the churro carts located across Disneyland. They cost around $5 per churro and are served warm, rolled in deliciously sweet cinnamon and sugar.

Dole Whip Soft Serve or Float

Close up of a Dole Whip float with an umbrella

These can be found in Adventureland at Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at the Tiki Juice Bar. At just under $5.00 per soft serve and $6.00 per float, these will cleanse your palette with a refreshing, cool, sweet treat. Don’t forget to sit and wait for the next Tiki show. You can even bring in your food to snack on while you watch the birds and flowers delight you with their singing.  It’s a perfect afternoon treat while you cool off out of the sun and in the air conditioned Tiki Room with your Dole Whip. The Enchanted Tiki Room was one of Walt’s favorites so it’s a definite must see for international Disneyland visitors!

DISNEY TIP: The line on the outside of the Tiki Room is always very long and can seem daunting. Use mobile ordering instead to pick up your Dole Whip quicker!

Giant Turkey Leg

Close up of turkey leg

Just as it sounds, Disneyland offers a giant roasted, deliciously decadent moist turkey leg. For around $12, you will get a juicy turkey leg that is perfect to share, or finish it off by yourself.  They are located at various carts throughout the park including “Edelweiss Snacks” near the Matterhorn, “Ship to Shore Marketplace” in Adventureland near Big Thunder Mountain, and at the “Hot Foods Cart” near Central Plaza in the Hub near the Castle at the end of Main Street, U.S.A.

Corn Dog at the Little Red Wagon

Close up of corn dog in a basket with apple slices.

These hand dipped corn dogs taste better than any corn dog you’ve ever had in your life. Forget the ones you remember from county faires you’ve visited over the years or the ones you used to get at the mall as a kid.  These corn dogs are hand dipped with a sweet, juicy hot dog at the center of piping hot, thick, creamy batter.  The magic that is in these corn dogs makes the long line worth every minute of the wait.  For around $10, you will walk away feeling satisfied and ready to jump back into that long line for round two.  You can find the Little Red Wagon close to the Plaza Inn on Main Street, U.S.A. near the Babycare Center and First Aid.  Just remember that this location is very much quick service so there are only a few tables for seating located behind the wagon.  This is definitely something you can take on the go or go find a spot on Main Street to people watch while enjoying your corn dog. Every group of international Disneyland visitors must try a corn dog!

Mickey-Shaped Beignets

Close up of mickey snack

Nothing is more magical than eating something Mickey-shaped while walking around Disneyland. After all, everything tastes better when it’s in the shape of Mickey’s head.  These warm, sweet beignets can be found at the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square attached to the French Market Restaurant.  You can purchase these powdered sugar treats in a 3-pack for $5.00 or a 6-pack for $8.00.  Often times throughout the year they will offer special flavors such the Strawberry Beignets they are offering now.  The price is the same but the taste is completely different.  Pair your soft, warm beignets with a refreshing New Orleans Mint Julep for a perfect snack between meals. International Disneyland visitors must try these!

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Blue Bayou indoor restaurant with lighted lanterns and tables

Although this meal is served at the famed Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square connected to the Pirates of the Caribbean, you can also get this decadent meal at Café Orleans in New Orleans Square. Thinly sliced ham and turkey paired with swiss cheese melted to perfection on the sweetest bread then fried in a light, airy batter makes this sandwich a must eat!  The best part?  After it’s fried, the sandwich is dusted with powdered sugar and served with a berry jam that will make your taste buds scream.  The price tag of $21.00 is a little hefty so be prepared to enjoy a nice table-service meal and a break from all the walking you’re sure to be doing. If possible, don’t miss a chance to dine inside Blue Bayou – a definite Disneyland staple for all international Disneyland visitors to see!

Must Rides: Thrill-Seekers & Family Oriented

Disneyland offers rides for all types of adventurers. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for the big mountains or a little tike ready to ride the carousel over and over, Disneyland has plenty of rides.  Listed here are a few that you ride with your international Disneyland visitors.  They won’t want to miss these iconic attractions.

Space Mountain

Who doesn’t want to be jostled around a giant space dome in the dark with loud music playing behind you the whole time? All the twists and turns are sure to put a smile on their face and a scream in their voice.

Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion outside at night

Ride in Doom Buggies to visit ghosts and ghouls in this haunted mansion. See ghosts dancing together, visit a graveyard full of singing ghosts, and take part in a séance with a floating head.  Be aware that this ride is dark throughout and can be a bit scary for the younger children which is why I list it under thrill-seekers.  It’s definitely a must ride for international Disneyland visitors and shouldn’t be missed.

Splash Mountain

If you’re at the parks on a hot day and ready for some splashing fun, head over to Critter Country to ride Splash Mountain. You’ll get to see Br’er Rabbit’s home and Critter Cave as you sing along to “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” down the stream.  Be on the lookout for the 5-story drop that’s sure to get you wet.

Small World

Outside of Small World

It’s the song that everyone can recognize and sing on repeat in their heads. Even for people who have never been to Disneyland, there’s already something magical just thinking about this ride and the song.  Fill a whole boat or a couple rows with your family and enjoy finding Cinderella, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, Pinocchio, Ariel, and more amongst the Small World countries.

The Disneyland Railroad

Disneyland railroad train during the day time

Ride around the entire park or get off at one of the four stations to save some walking time on one of the authentic steam-powered trains. One full loop will take you about 20 minutes around the park in just about a mile.  You will go through the Grand Canyon and the Primeval World where you will see wildlife and dinosaurs, respectively.  You’ll pass over the Rivers of America and see behind the scenes memorabilia in the Bayou.  Stop off at one of the four stations; Main Street, U.S.A., New Orleans Square, Mickey’s ToonTown, and Tomorrowland.  If you can, try to wait for one of the front-facing trains as they have the best view of the sights. This is a cool ride for international Disneyland visitors with the variety of sights you get to see!

Pirates of the Caribbean

Inside of pirates of the Caribbean ride

Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me…is all your family will be saying after this fun ride capturing the gritty rum-filled life of a pirate. You’ll have two fun drops at the beginning of the ride to take you into the deep dark caves of the pirate’s lair.  Plenty of gold and pirates await as you travel through time looking for Jack Sparrow and watching various gun battles.

Must Sees for International Disneyland Visitors

Part of the magic at Disneyland is taking in all the sights. From the beautiful Sleeping Beauty Castle to the fireworks show that lights up the night sky, these are sights that international Disneyland visitors won’t want to miss.

Fireworks Show

Pixar Fest fireworks with Coco on the Sleeping Beauty castle

The nighttime fireworks show is sure to amaze your out-of-country guests. You can sit near the castle, in front of Small World, or by the Rivers of America for a prime seat.  You will see beautiful projections matching the memorable music.  If you’re lucky enough to snag a seat near the castle, you’ll be warmed up with the pyrotechnics throughout the show. Be prepared to snag your spot a few hours in advance to get the prime castle viewing! For some international Disneyland visitors, this is a must. Take into account at least two hours of ‘spot saving’ if that’s the case!

Afternoon Parade

Pixar Fest Parade down Main Street

Disney parades and floats delight park goers of all ages. You’ll practice your princess wave while saying hello to your favorite Disney princess or try to get Mickey’s attention as he rolls on by. It’s a perfect place to take a break, enjoy a snack, and see all of your favorite characters.

Must Gets for International Disneyland Visitors

There’s nothing better than having the Cast Members at Disneyland greet you in an extra special way. Your out-of-country family and friends will be dazzled by all of the attention they get with the special buttons you get them.

Family laughing walking down Main Street


  • Disney offers FREE, that’s right you read FREE, buttons for special occasions. You can obtain the buttons at City Hall or any of the stores, based on availability.  Guests can get “1st Visit,” “I’m Celebrating,” “Happy Birthday,” or even “Happily Ever After” buttons.  The Cast Members will personalize the buttons and your whole crew can sport these buttons throughout the day.  It’s a fun souvenir that your family and friends are sure to cherish.

Park Map

  • Although these are free to any park guest, they offer a fun souvenir for your family and friends to take back home with them. You can make notes on the map throughout the day or take one to frame later.  Not to mention, when your family comes back, it will be fun to see all the changes from their 1st visit to their next visit.

A Pressed Penny

  • You can find Pressed Penny machines all throughout Disneyland marking the special spots you have been. You can either get one at all the special spots or pick your favorite to commemorate a special event of the day.  Most of the gift shops throughout the park have pressed penny holders for sale so you can start your collection that day.

Must Dos for International Disneyland Visitors

There are a few things that make every Disney trip magical but especially when it’s your first time. You’ll regret missing these few opportunities to capture memories that will live on forever.

Take a family picture in front of the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

You won’t want to miss out on a picture with your whole party in front of the castle. You can try one on your own or you can wait in line for a Cast Member.  Be sure to take the picture multiple times to try and get everyone looking in the same direction.

Take a family picture in front of the Floral Mickey   Flower mickey in front of Disneyland

If you want a picture directly in front of the Floral Mickey, you’ll have to wait in line for a Cast Member to take the picture. However, you can take a picture off to the side and still get a great view of the Floral Mickey

Meet Mickey and/or other characters

Mickey Mouses house

If you can find time in your day to meet Mickey Mouse, it is sure to be a moment to remember. Typically, meeting Mickey at his house in ToonTown can come with a very long line.  Try to find him on the map at one of the locations on Main Street, U.S.A. for a shorter wait time.  If your out-of-country guests have a favorite character, be sure to find their location on the Disneyland App to see if you can do a meet and greet.  It will make their day even that much more magical.

Tips and Tricks for International Disneyland Visitors

Disneyland can be done well in one day if you have a few tricks up your sleeve. For international Disneyland visitors, getting the most out of the day is so important and with these little tricks, you’ll be sure to avoid some unwanted frustrations.

Purchase Your Tickets Ahead of Time

We recommend purchasing your tickets ahead of time through our travel partners – they’ve worked with Disneyland for over 28 years! We’ve negotiated the best prices so you get the best discounts. When you order through Get Away Today you can have your tickets mailed to your house in advance which is a huge advantage. You will avoid waiting in long lines to purchase tickets and can head straight to the entrance gate.  Once you hit the entrance gate, the Cast Member will scan your tickets via your printed paper ticket or your mobile device and print you out a new paper ticket that can be used throughout the day at the park.  There’s no need to wait and waste time to buy tickets at the park when you can show up with your tickets in hand.

Download the Official Disneyland App

The official Disneyland App has all of the information you will need to navigate your day at the park. The wait times are monitored by Disney so they are fairly accurate.  You can see ride closures, wait times, find restrooms, find restaurants and make reservations if needed, and even locate character meet and greets.  It’s a free app and definitely worth downloading.

Cast member holding plate of food

Use the new Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering

On the Disneyland App, you can now order food and drinks from select quick service restaurants. It will save you time in line waiting to order your food.  Send some of your group to find tables while the other part of the group picks up the food from the selected window at your chosen restaurant.  You’ll be eating quicker and on your way to hitting more rides.

Bring snacks but get water from the park

It is inevitable that someone in your group will end up hungry for a snack throughout the day. Save yourself some time in snack lines, as well as some money, by bringing your own snacks.  Pack easy things that everyone loves like crackers, fruit snacks, or even chips.  However, don’t worry about bringing enough water bottles to survive the day.  Any of the restaurants that have a soda fountain offer free ice waters.  You can go up to any cast member in a restaurant window and simply ask for ice waters.  They are more than happy to provide the cups of water for you.

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About Melissa Ploesch

By trade, Melissa is an educator with over 10 years of experience. She has a BA in Liberal Arts, a MA in Teaching with a specialization in Educational Technology, and holds a current clear multiple subject teaching credential. By heart, she is a Disney lover who always dreamed of working for Disney as a Princess or other cast member as a little kid. She has been going to the Disneyland Resort since she was born, literally. She was raised on Disney and even have family history there. Her uncle was an Imagineer many moons ago and her grandparents didn't have a piece of their house that wasn't covered in all things Mickey Mouse. As a child, her big family vacation was to the Disneyland Resort for two days every year. Her father, a hard-working teacher working three jobs at times, and her mother, a dedicated stay-at-home mom, would save all year so that the six kids could go to the resort for what were two of the most glorious days. They are some of her most cherished memories and have instilled such a love for all things Disney in her soul.

In my spare time, I am a writer. Having written many children's books, albeit unpublished books, and the beginning of a children's educational TV show, I find that writing is my true passion. I even have a Disney book series that I have started writing. I am always looking for new things to write and new ways to continue furthering my passion in writing.

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