To many, the idea of going to Disneyland without children doesn’t make sense, but there is a freedom to be had making your own schedule, not riding Dumbo 10 times and eating something tastier than cardboard crust pizza. See how to enjoy the resort for an adults-only weekend visit.
1) Stay on-site. There are three company-owned hotels on-site at the Disneyland Resort. Although all are fine, for ambiance and location none can beat the gorgeous Arts and Crafts design of the Grand Californian. The hotel is literally in Disney California Adventure and boasts its own entrance into that park. Guests at the on-site hotels also enjoy the privilege of daily early entry. My favorite view to book at the Grand Californian is the Downtown Disney View, where sparkling lights and live musicians enchant.
2) Eat at the Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure. This 1920’s design eatery is a replica of the theater that hosted the premiere of Walt Disney’s Snow White. The restaurant has a changing menu depending on the season and is upscale price-wise. There is also a lounge with drinks and appetizers and a relaxing ambiance. (Alcohol is served at Disney California Adventure, but not at Disneyland.) With your meal try the Cheddar Jalapeno biscuits. An option at Carthay is a Prix fix meal that allows you entrance to a reserved World of the Color viewing area.
3) Don’t miss World of Color, a nighttime water show held at Disney California Adventure. Amazing effects of projections, fountains, and fire with a rousing soundtrack must be seen to be appreciated. Don’t miss.
4) Speaking of must-see entertainment splurge for Fantasmic! Dessert seating. You get a box of desserts, cheeses and fruit to enjoy, and servers to bring you drinks, but the real selling point is you get a chair. At the end of a day plodding through theme parks, a chair is what you really want. Fantasmic! is a live-action show that takes place on the Rivers of America and features a large cast and rousing effects.
5) Achy? How about a couple’s day at a spa? The Grand Californian is home to the Mandara Spa which offers skin treatments, massages, skin wraps and more.
6) Make a reservation to eat at the Blue Bayou in Disneyland, an upscale restaurant that is actually located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The ambiance is classy, food is good and the location is unique.
7) Watch a Broadway-style show to break up the day. The Aladdin show at the Hyperion Theater in Disney California Adventure is a condensed version of the movie including a wise-cracking genie, singing, dancing, and surprises.
8) Take an ice cream break. You can get hand scooped treats from Clarabelle’s or Ghirardelli’s at Disney California Adventure or at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor in Disneyland. Having chocolate dipped waffle cone people watching or waiting for a parade is a classic Disney pastime.
9) Don’t want the evening to end? After walking through Downtown Disney back to your hotel, enjoying the musicians and the lights, head to the Hearthstone Lounge at the Grand Californian for a drink and snacks from the full bar and reminisce about your day in front of the fireplace.
10) For an economical souvenir to remember your stay, have a couple’s silhouette made on Main Street in Disneyland. The talented snippers will have your silhouette done in minutes and it’s a nice keepsake.
So, you’ve had a fun, exciting and relaxing adult weekend at a theme park many associates only with children. I haven’t mentioned any rides, but feel free to ride some if you wish!
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