When you go to Disneyland, don’t just rush from one E-ticket attraction to the next.  Disneyland is full of small amusements for those who take the time to look around. Slow down and appreciate the little pieces of magic left behind with these Disneyland things for you to experience.

What to do at Disneyland and California Adventure Park in One Day

Disneyland Things to Do and Discover: 32 Fun Ideas

What to do at Disneyland and California Adventure Park in One Day

Main Street USA

Main Street USA is full of entertainment.  It’s a shame that so many people rush through it every day.  From the moment you enter Town Square, there is so much to discover.  Here are some of the enjoyable Disneyland things to do on Main Street.

Town Square

  • Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is the first attraction you will come across in Disneyland.  It’s a remarkable show with stunning animatronics and a very touching presentation. This show brings out the patriot in all of us and it is a great way to get into the mindset for taking in the rest of Main Street USA.  Besides American History, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is an important piece of Disney History. This was one of the four attractions Walt Disney produced for the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York. The fair signified an evolutionary leap for Disneyland and its Imagineers.
  • The Disney Gallery in the former bank next door to the theater is a nice place to stop in and appreciate some Disney art.  These are pretty expensive souvenirs, but they are lovely to look at and you can find some limited edition collectibles here as well.
  • Visit the firehouse below Walts in-park apartment.  At night you can see a light in the window.
  • Take a double decker or a horse-drawn trolly to be back in Town Square in time for the Flag Retreat at 4:30.  This is s really nice ceremony and you can hop the Disneyland Railroad from the Town Square station to carry on with your day.

What to do at Disneyland and California Adventure Park in One Day

Main Street

  • Did you know that you can really watch classic Mickey Mouse cartoons in the theater on Main Street?  Stop inside and watch Steamboat Willie, the cartoon that started it all.
  • Take some time as you reach the hub at the end of Main Street USA to listen to the piano player at Refreshment Corner.  Check your show schedule to get the timing right and pull up a chair and a Coke at one of the tables.
  • As you pass the emporium look at the shop window displays.  These displays are fun and impressive enough, but if you give it time, you can witness scene changes that make the displays extra magical.
  • Play with everything at the Crystal Arcade.  There is a coin operated Pinocchio, movie machines, a player piano and more!  While you are there, be sure to get your fortune from Esmeralda.
  • Listen in on a party line in Market House while you wait for your Starbucks coffee.  Take the wall telephone off the hook and listen in on everybody’s conversation.

Adventureland

  • In between rides, stop into the dining area for Bengal Barbecue to play the Indiana Jones Pinball game for only 25 cents.
  • Look for Patrick Begorra’s house while you are in the area.  The Little Man of Disneyland Patrick Begorra Allowed Mickey and friends to take down his home in an orange grove to build Disneyland.  After it was built he found a new place to make his secret home.
  • Get a prescription from Shrunken Ned while shopping in the Adventureland Bazaar.
  • Have a Dole Whip and take it with you into the Tiki Room; or try a special version of the treat at Tropical Hideaway.  Be sure to keep your eyes open for gags and tributes while you are there.

best foodie spots in Disneyland

New Orleans Square

  • Have an espresso at Cafe Orleans from the very espresso machine Walt Disney used while he was in the park.
  • Go to Fortune Red to get your fortune read at the Pieces of Eight shop.
  • This is the only Disney park where you can get Mickey Mouse shaped beignets. You do not want to miss that one (oh, and get a mint julep!) 

Disneyland Things to Do and Discover: 32 Fun Ideas

Critter Country

  • Go to Pooh’s Corner for a candy treat.  You can watch them make the confections by hand and pick your favorite sweet to enjoy on your way back to Frontierland.
  • Have lunch on the Rivers of America at The Hungry Bear.  This is one of the best places to have a full meal. You can watch the Mark Twain Rolle by and wave to the Disneyland Railroad as it passes.

Frontierland

  • As you pass through Frontierland stop to admire the petrified wood near the Rivers of America.  It has a plaque to read and it’s about as historic as Disneyland gets.
  • Catch a show from the balcony in the Golden Horseshoe.  Walt Disney had a private box to the right of the stage that is now open to visitors, so you can see the action from his favorite seat in the house.  Golden Horseshoe is also one of the oldest buildings in Disneyland.
  • Try your aim at the Shootin’ Expo before you leave.

best things to do with teens at Disneyland

Fantasyland

  • Drop a coin in the wishing well on the right side of Sleeping Beauty Castle to hear Snow White sing.
  • Touch the golden apple at the entrance to Snow White’s Scary Adventure to hear the witch cackle.
  • Try to pull the sword from the stone for an epic selfie!  Or partake in the ceremony to find the one who will pull the sword out for real.
  • Watch for the evil queen in the window up above Snow White’s Scary Adventure.  She opens the curtains to look down on Fantasyland.
  • Ride Casey Junior and the Storybook Land Canal Boats for a sweeping tour of an intricate miniature fairytale land.

Mickey’s Toontown

  • lift, pull, push and twist everything you can in downtown Toontown.  This is an interactive environment full of gags and surprises:
    • Five and Dime manhole
    • police phone
    • powerhouse door
    • crates
    • TNT detonator at the fireworks factory
    • mailboxes
    • doorbells

Tomorrowland

  • Take a picture of the Route 55 sign as you pass by it on the Autopia.
  • Ride the Monorail around Tomorrowland and take a round trip through the Disneyland resort
  • Watch the shadow of the swirling Astro Orbiter as the orbiting spheres align to form a hidden Mickey.
  • Treat yourself to Skyline Lounge for a VIP experience above Tomorrowland.
  • Take the Disneyland Railroad from the Tomorrowland Station so you can see the Dioramas of the Grand Canyon and the Primeval World.  Dinosaur animatronics from the 1964-65 World’s Fair brings the journey to a climactic end.

Planning a trip to Disneyland soon?

Here are a few articles you should read:

Going To Disneyland | Taking Teens To Disneyland + California Adventure Park

5 Secret Things I Bet You Didn’t Know About Disneyland

7 Ways To Make Disneyland More Enjoyable

Disney Park Entry Tips: What to Do When You Arrive

Experiences Worth Trying During Pixar Fest