I grew up going to Disneyland twice a year. It has always held a special place in my heart and my fondest childhood memories are from our family trips to Disneyland. With Run Disney’s Coast to Coast Challenge, many runners venture out to California for the first time to visit Disneyland and run.
While Disneyland has grown immensely over the years and includes so many updated rides and shows, I think there are classic Disneyland “must-do” experiences for anybody who is new to the park. These are the rides or attractions that are exclusive to Disneyland, or an original ride, and can’t be found anywhere else.
So take a trip down memory lane with me as I share my personal list of can’t miss attractions for first time Disneyland visitors. Feel like the list is missing something? Comment below and tell us your favorite at Disneyland!
Can’t Miss Attractions for Your 1st Disneyland Visit
Unfortunately, some of my favorite classics, like the Disneyland Railroad, are closed as the park expands for future park additions.
- New Orleans Square
Exclusive to Disneyland, New Orleans Square is a romantic area of Disneyland that has the same architectural designs of the real southern city. Listen to jazz music, ride Pirates of the Caribbean or sip on a mint julep drink. You’ll feel like you’re in the Old South. A family favorite of ours is the Blue Bayou restaurant for cajun cuisine.
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
An original to Fantasyland when the park opened in 1955, this is a fun twisty ride through the English countryside. Remember reading the Wind in the Willows in high school? Mr. Toad is the main character of the ride, featured from the classic novel.
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
Race through a bobsled as you dive and turn, just missing the abominable snowman. It was the first roller coaster style ride at Disneyland and my first memory riding a roller coaster. I love the twists, turns and dives you take while in the bobsled.
- Indiana Jones Adventure
I’m still bummed that they never opened this ride on the East coast. It’s one of my favorite thrill rides at Disneyland and features scenes from the classic Indiana Jones movies. Even the queue is well designed and you immediately feel immersed in the movies.
- Minnie and Mickey’s House
Take a walk through Toontown and visit Mickey and Minnie’s house. Something you can no longer do at Disney World, you’ll experience their charming homes in a walk-through tour. It’s adorable and worth checking out, especially if you have little ones.
If you are looking for more Disneyland vacation planning information, I must recommend the expert I use: Casey from DLR Prep School. She visits Disneyland Resort almost weekly and is full of insightful DLR knowledge!