6 Disneyland Must Do’s From an AP Holder

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The past year has seen an upwards of 10 trips to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure for myself, and it’s all thanks to this bad boy: my Annual Passport. But fortunately, my 6 Disneyland Must Do’s don’t require the expensive Annual Pass – just the standard Disney ticket. Before you head out for your next Disneyland trip, check out this list!

1. Get a FastPass for Space Mountain

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My number one tip for anyone who loves rides (but hates waiting in long lines) is to get the FastPass. It’s honestly one of the greatest concepts; it lets you skip the lines and gives you more time to enjoy the park. Most of, if not all, the popular rides issue their respective FastPass – including (Hyper)Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, California Screamin’, Tower of Terror, and Radiator Springs Racers! Noticeably missing is Matterhorn, but they do have single rider passes for those keen on getting in and out quickly.

You are limited on how many FastPass tickets you can have at a time though, so plan accordingly. If tackling Disneyland, I recommend getting a FastPass for Space Mountain first. California Adventure? Definitely Radiator Springs Racers. Though, they do have a separate line for single riders.

2. Order the Pomme Frites

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Don’t get me started on the food. One of the best parts of Disneyland, if not the best part, is the food. They have something to meet everyone’s dietary needs and wants. We’re talking turkey legs for meat-eaters, veggie burgers for vegans, and delicious snacks for even the pickiest of kids.

There’s an Instagram account completely dedicated to the food, and I suggest following @foodsofdisneyland before your trip to the Magic Kingdom. I’m craving the pomme frites at Café Orleans right now; and dream about those Disneyland pickles on the daily.

3. Enjoy drinks by the Pier

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If you’re of age, you should know that all your adult beverages will be found in California Adventure. The only alcohol in Disneyland is in Club 33 and probably with Jack Sparrow and crew on the Pirates’ ride (*disclaimer: the latter part is a joke).

Check out Cove Bar to enjoy drinks, appetizers, and the view of Paradise Pier. Funnily enough, as I write about alcoholic drinks, I elected for the non-alcoholic Cotton Candy lemonade.

4. Rub noses with Winnie 

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Some of the older guests are quick to dismiss meeting the characters as child’s play, but it really is part of the magic that Disney is known for. What better place to be a kid than at the Magic Kingdom?

I’ve seen everything from babies crying in fear to grown adults crying of happiness when meeting their favorite Disney characters. The overall sentiment, though, is always one of awe. I like to believe that Disney was one of the first places where people were able to meet characters they read in books and saw in films. My personal favorites (and where to find them) are Princess Jasmine at Aladdin’s Oasis, Peter Pan in Fantasyland, the main Mouse himself basically everywhere, and of course Pooh bear in Critter County. Bonus points for cute poses!

5. Learn how to draw Minnie Mouse

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Learn to draw your favorite classic animated characters! I took my first drawing class with Animation Academy during my last couple of months as an AP holder, and I wish I discovered it sooner. You follow step-by-step instructions from a Disney artist to draw either Mickey or one of his friends. It is a lot of fun, and as I said, I wish I had checked it out sooner. I’ve drawn Winnie the Pooh, Pluto, and Minnie (as seen above).

6. Take the Cliché Photo-Op

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The typical Disneyland picture is one with the castle. If you don’t take a picture with Sleeping Beauty’s castle, did you even go to Disneyland? Some may argue otherwise, but it’s definitely something that needs to be done. My favorite spot is off to the side of the castle; it’s in a little nook on the way to Snow White’s wishing well.

Disneyland Must Do’s 

I am heartbroken to say that my annual pass expired back in May, and I have no plans to visit the parks in the near future. But this past year as an AP holder has been one of the most fun. Should you be heading to the Anaheim parks soon, I do hope you keep these in mind! They were a MUST every visit I took.

Eating Vegan at Disneyland

Let it be noted that I am not vegan, however I do make an effort to eat a majority plant-based diet. It is a lifestyle change that I have recently become very passionate about, but I can elaborate on that at a future date. I have found that when eating out, there are more vegetarian options than there are vegan. It can get discouraging at times, especially if you’re just getting used to the lifestyle. But rest assured, the world is changing and more plant-based options, in general, are becoming available. One place where this is evident is the Happiest Place on Earth aka Disneyland!!!

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On my most recent trip to Disney, I made it my personal mission to eat all the vegan-friendly nosh I could in a day. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been eating less and less animal products, so most of these foods I’d eat anyways during each visit to Disneyland over this past year. But I did some further research to see what exactly the vegan-friendly options were, and this blogpost is the result.

Garden Vegetable Burger – Village Haus Restaurant in Fantasyland

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Order the veggie burger with no cheese at the Village Haus with a side of fries (or fruit, if you want to be extra good). Disneyland fries are definitely in my top favorites.

NOTE: The patty contains egg whites, so it is vegetarian and unfortunately not vegan. Check out the Carnation Café on Main Street USA for the true vegan burger!

Dole Whip – Tiki Juice Bar in Adventureland

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Oh, the glorious Dole Whip – my go-to sweet treat on a hot day, and colder day for that matter. I always get the pineapple soft-serve and savor every bite before it melts. My sister and I added Tajín to our Dole Whips, and it was the probably the best decision we made that entire day. Find the Tajín packets at the Tropical Import Stand by the Jungle Cruise.

Outback Vegetable Skewer – Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland

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I saw a group of people walking out of Adventureland with quite a colorful BBQ skewer and I was intent on trying one for myself. Ask them to cook yours on tin foil, as they are cooked on the same grill as the meat skewers.

Chili Sin Queso – Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land

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Order the Chili Cone Queso and ask to omit the cheese for this tasty (and portable) snack. They top it off with corn chips for the perfect crunch.

Olaf Lemonade Strawberry Bar – Ice Cream carts

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This day was particularly warm due to its humidity, so in efforts to cool down, I got this lemonade popsicle with actual frozen strawberries.

Vegetarian Gumbo – Royal Street Veranda in New Orleans Square

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Get the Vegetarian Gumbo served in a Sourdough bread boule when you want something of substance.

Other Vegan Disneyland Options

Vegan mini Mickey Waffles – Plaza Inn in Main Street USA

Vegetarian options without the cheese – Rancho del Zocalo Restaurant in Frontierland

Pickles, fruit cups, hummus – all the snack stands throughout both parks

Vegan Pasta – Carthay Circle Restaurant on Buena Vista Street

Vegetable and Tofu Skewer – Paradise Garden Grill on Paradise Pier