When it comes time to plan your next romantic getaway or adventure with friends, why not consider all of the amazing fun, delicious fare, and delightful relaxation that Disneyland has to offer?
After all, the Happiest Place On Earth is not just for kids. Walt Disney’s vision included fun for adults too!
In this post, we’ll share tips for planning the best Disneyland vacation for grown ups from our amazing travel agents who specialize in booking trips to all Disney Destinations…and beyond.
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Is A Trip To Disneyland For Adults Worth It?
In a word: absolutely!
The childlike wonder that the immersive Disney experience inspires is by design. The threads of story and attention to detail woven into every square inch of the park is nothing short of astounding.
But even if you’re not “Disney people”, the Disneyland Resort has so much to offer beyond parks, attractions, and parades. There’s exceptional dining experiences, pool days, and spa rituals to be enjoyed.
As our “childless by choice” travel agent, Jen Allen, shares…
If you are an adult who is not crazy about kids, please know that trips to Disneyland or Walt Disney World are not pointless! I have had clients tell me that they do not want to travel to a “kid infested” place. But, once you arrive, it is quickly apparent that there are tons of childless adults having lots of fun! The best part about being an adult at Disney is that you can ignore everyone else’s drama, tantrums, or demands on your time and do Disney your way!
Plus Disneyland is centrally located in north Orange County and is just a stone’s throw away from beaches, craft breweries, world-class shopping, movie studios, sporting events, and more that both Orange County and Los Angeles have to offer.
Is One Day Enough For An Adults-Only Disneyland Vacation?
Technically, yes. However, the agents here at our EarMarked Disney Travel Agency resoundingly agree that 3 or 4 days is a better fit for a more enjoyable, relaxed Disneyland experience.
There are a few options for how you can break those days up.
As Rebecca Johnson explains…
I recommend 4 days total at Disneyland Resort. Spend 2 days enjoying all that Disneyland has to offer, 1 day at California Adventure, and then 1 day to enjoy Downtown Disney and your Disneyland Resort hotel.
While that Disneyland itinerary is great if you’d like to save a little money on tickets or prefer to focus on one park at a time, a few of our other agents think that Disneyland’s smaller, more walkable size than Walt Disney World lends itself to a different approach.
In Disneyland, the Park Hopper ticket is best! The parks are side-by-side, and everything is close together, so you’re able to quickly jump from defending the Universe on Avengers Campus to a rewarding drink at Oga’s Cantina in Galaxy’s Edge. – Deidre Bumbarger
An added tip when it comes to buying tickets for your trip to Disneyland…
Park Hopper with Genie+ helps you make the very best use of your time and money. – Amy Bolt
Amanda seconds Amy’s Genie+ recommendation. She says…
Genie+ is a must and so easy to use at Disneyland. Hit up the attractions that don’t have Lightning Lanes early in the morning then start using genie plus in the afternoon. You can get most everything done.
Don’t want to have to navigate the ticket line when you arrive? We’re happy to make all your reservations for you ahead of time…for free!
Best Restaurants At Disneyland And California Adventure For Adults
When traveling to Disneyland with an adult-only party, one of the greatest delights is the ability to slow down and savor a delicious meal.
And, boy, do you have lots of great options!
The restaurants at Disneyland and California Adventure are unparalleled. In some cases, the food is literally other-worldly. (Lookin’ at you Docking Bay 7 and Pym’s Test Kitchen, an Ear To There Travel Agent favorite!)
At California Adventure, you can indulge in a lovely, relaxed meal or midday snack at Lamplight Lounge. As our agent Deidre remembers from her meal, “with a table by the water, and the sounds from the Incredicoaster in the background… it’s the best!”
Jennifer seconds this recommendation, adding: “We had the salmon poké and it was amazing. We also had drinks: Scream Canister and Over Budget. They were great!”
If you prefer to eat on the go even without little ones in tow, here’s a Disneyland option that’s equal parts fast and relaxing from Rebecca…
Enjoy a jazz tune from the live band while dining on the veranda at the French Market. Technically, this is a quick service meal, but is one of the best in both parks. They offer Creole and Cajun inspired dishes. Try anything! It’s all delicious. For dessert, hop across to the Mint Julep Bar for a Mickey Beignet.
And, for a great start to the day, why not indulge your inner child in the most Disney of fun with a Character Breakfast?
I love the breakfast spread at Storytellers Cafe in the Grand Californian, and the mischievous chipmunks taunting Pluto is an entertaining start to the morning to get you park ready. – Deidre Bumbarger
Best Disneyland Attractions for Adults
With so much to experience at Disneyland, it’s important to remember to indulge your inner child on attractions too! Whether you choose to tackle all the Mountains or prefer to dip into the classic, immersive experiences, there’s something for every adult on your Disneyland trip!
Here are our travel agents’ must-do Disneyland attractions for adults…
I would say that the Incredicoaster is a must for adults at California Adventure and Haunted Mansion is required for adults at Disneyland. Skip Winnie the Pooh as it seems all the children are in that corner. – Jen Allen
If you’re game for nostalgia, Katie also names Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland a don’t-miss attraction for adults. It’s a classic and practically next door to the Haunted Mansion.
At California Adventure, an agent favorite is Radiator Springs Racers in Carsland. If you’ve never seen it before, make sure you are in the land around sunset to watch them light the neon. The whole land glows with the happiest of retro vibes.
Also, Jennifer loves both the Incredicoaster or Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure for adults at California Adventure too!
Special Extras For Your Disneyland Trip
There are lots of special events to delight you at the Disneyland Resort.
You could plan your whole trip around included extras like the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland that typically runs from early September through early January or the Food & Wine Festival at California Adventure.
Or you could choose to upgrade your vacation any time of the year with various magical offerings. Here are a few suggestions for special experiences from our amazing travel agents…
World Of Color Dessert Party
The World of Color Dessert Party can be an awesomely romantic end to a fun couple’s day at Disney’s California Adventure. At night when it cools off a bit, you’ll likely feel like snuggling up to your honey as you enjoy the dancing water and lights! Truly the epitome of a “Nighttime Spectacular!” – Amy Bolt
The World of Color Dessert party was a fun event. We had a nice place to sit and a good view. You got a couple different desserts as well as cheese and fruit. It included unlimited drinks; alcoholic and non-alcoholic. – Amanda Biddle
Fantasmic! Dining Package
Having a Fantasmic! Dining Package is so worth it. The River Belle Terrace offers exclusive menu items for guests dining during the first Fantasmic! showing, and sitting on their outdoor patio provides a less obstructed view. – Deidre Bumbarger
Disneyland VIP Tours
Really want to plus it up? Consider going on the “Walk In Walt’s Footsteps” Tour or signing up for a private Disneyland VIP Tour. While they’re on the pricier side, you get to go so much further into the magic with your own private tour guide.
To quote our agent Andrea: “Any special event that’s extra is totally worth the cost.”
Whether you decide to indulge in a special event or not, rest assured that Disney’s cast members always go above and beyond for guests to make your vacation the most magical one yet.
Disney’s exceptional customer service is one of the (many) reasons our travel agents love planning trips to Disney Destinations so much!
Want us to help you decide where to splurge and where to save? We are happy to show you the world and help you craft your best vacation ever.
Best Disneyland Resorts For Adults
When deciding where to rest your head, our agents have a few thoughts on the matter…
The Disneyland Hotel is excellent for adults who love that Disney bubble, with magical headboards, Disney decor, monorail slides and Trader Sam’s Grotto. For a more romantic feel Disney’s Grand California is luxurious with Tenaya Spa, Napa Rose fine dining and a private entrance to California Adventure and Downtown Disney. – Rebecca Johnson
For the more budget-minded, an off-property Good Neighbor Hotel is a great option.
I would choose an off-site hotel, but one directly across the street. We stayed at Tropicana, and while it is a “motel”, it served our purpose and we walked to the security checkpoint in less than 5 minutes. – Jennifer Barletta
A Few More Insider Tips To Make Your Disneyland Vacation More Magical
In the mood for a romantic escape to Disneyland? Here’s what Jen recommends…
If you are booking a special occasion that you want to be romantic, then tell the Cast Members it is your honeymoon, anniversary, or a parent getaway! They are in charge of lots of the magic, so let them help you!
- Get matching ears (or the complimentary ears) and wear them at the park.
- Compete against each other on Astro Blasters or Midway Mania.
- Go to dinner at Napa Rose.
- Book a dessert party and enjoy fireworks together.
- Play the games on Pixar Pier.
- Sleep in, because you can!
Heading for some adults-only fun at Disneyland with friends? Here’s how Katie suggests you handle the planning…
Discuss everyone’s ‘must dos’ and preferred touring style BEFORE your trip. Be comfortable knowing that sometimes you may want to split up and that’s okay!
And, lastly, but certainly not least, when it comes to which airport to fly into, Rebecca recommends the following…
Fly into John Wayne Airport for the closest drive to Disneyland. The traffic from Los Angeles can be rough.
Whether you’re interested in exploring Walt’s original park, setting sail on one of the most eco-friendly cruise fleets in the world with the Disney Cruise Line, or traveling internationally with Adventures by Disney, we can help you plan your most magical vacation…for free.
We look forward to providing you with your no-obligation quote for our magical, fee-free vacation planning for your grown up trip to Disneyland.