Ultimate Guide to Disneyland for International Visitors 2018
Updated 9/16/18. 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.
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!
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
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. The line inside the waiting area for the Tiki Room is far shorter and goes much quicker. Even if you’re not staying for the show, you can go in that line to cut some time off your wait.
Giant 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
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!
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
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.
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. Be sure to snag your FASTPASS early as the passes go quickly and the FASTPASS wait times get later and later as the day progresses.
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. You can obtain a FASTPASS for this ride right outside of the attraction. Your guests will be wanting to “Come back, come back…” and ride it again.
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. You can find FASTPASS tickets for this attraction near the exit of Haunted Mansion. During the hot days, this ride’s wait time can get very long so be sure to get your FASTPASS early in the day.
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. Get your FASTPASS for this ride near the Matterhorn as the wait times can get pretty steep in the busier seasons.
The Disneyland Railroad
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
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. Don’t forget your FASTPASS for this main attraction.
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.
Currently showing “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular,” 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!
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. Currently showing the “Pixar Play Parade” with all of your favorite Pixar pals, the afternoon parade will bring joy to your day. 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.
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.
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
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
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.
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Purchase MaxPass for your whole crew
MaxPass will allow you to save some time trekking across the parks for your FASTPASS tickets. It costs $10 per ticket and each of the members of your group will need to purchase this in addition to their ticket for the day. It allows you to obtain FASTPASS tickets without being near the attraction and it lets you select an available time for when you want to go on that ride. In addition, it also offers the PhotoPass which saves all of the pictures taken by a Cast Member to the app and lets you download them without an additional fee. If international Disneyland visitors only have one day to spend at the park, this is well worth the additional cost.
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.
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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