Thursday, July 1, 2021

What to Do at Disneyland: My Top 6 Post-Reopening Tips and Tricks (With Pics)!

Jamie Allison Sanders wearing fluffy red Minnie ears and a heart-shaped backpack, with her hands up in glee facing Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.
Is there any better news than the fact that Disneyland is open again? Honestly, I really don't think so. After being closed for over 400 days, it finally reopened on April 30th! I waited to go until June (at which point I went twice!), and I'm here with some tips and tricks now that things are up and running again. Read on for all the info — and, of course, pics of my time at the happiest place on earth!

Tip 1: Book Your Ticket and Your Reservation!

Holding two tickets for Disneyland and California Adventure.
I'm glad I made my friend Gerold take this photo of our tickets!
The biggest difference between the before times and now is that you need to book not just a park ticket, but a reservation for a specific day. You can't have one without the other, and you won't be able to get into the park without both! To do this, you will buy your ticket at The process is actually much smoother than when I bought my tickets — previously, you had to first buy the ticket and then book the reservation separately. Now, you do both at the same time!

Ticket prices vary and are available in five different pricing tiers. The prices vary based on when you are going to the park — for example, weekends are more expensive and are typically a Tier 5, which will put you at $209 for a Park Hopper ticket. Weekdays tend to be cheaper — the Tuesday that I went was a Tier 3, so the Park Hopper was $179. Single park tickets will be less expensive than Park Hopper.

Once you have booked your ticket, you will receive an email with the QR code. DO NOT LOSE THIS EMAIL! You may or may not be asked for the QR code when you enter the park (I was asked for it on one visit, not on another). You will also be sent an email with your tickets, which you can add to the app.

If you already have the Disneyland app, your tickets will appear there as soon as you purchase them, since it is linked to your email address. 

Tip 2: Download the Disneyland App.

If you haven't already downloaded the app, DO IT. You will need it multiple times throughout the day. Be sure to link the tickets for everyone in your party to make the day even more seamless.


All of the restaurants that used to be walk-up or grab-and-go are now mobile order. You might be able to find some that allow you to walk up and order food, especially as things continue to reopen, but on both of my visits, all food was mobile order only. 

To that end, make sure you place your orders EARLY, especially for the more popular restaurants (like Pym Test Kitchen in Avengers Campus). Times book VERY fast and you might not get one if you don't snag it early, especially on more high traffic days.

It takes a bit more planning than in the past, since you might have to figure out what you want to eat for the entire day by about 10am. But the good news is, you can always cancel your mobile order and you won't be charged! So if you decide you don't want that Dole Whip after all, just cancel in the app. 


Boarding group for Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure at Avengers Campus in California Adventure.
This was definitely new to me, and is the most stressful part of the entire day! There are boarding groups at 7am and 12pm. Depending on your starting park, you'll be able to try for a boarding group at 7am for either Rise of the Resistance (starting in Disneyland) or Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure (starting in California Adventure). 

This is where having everyone's tickets linked together in the app comes in handy. You'll go to the area on the app homepage that says "Request access with Virtual Queue" and click JOIN BOARDING GROUP. Around 6:58am, you need to start swiping for the one in your starting park. Swipe continuously until the boarding groups open — and when they do, IMMEDIATELY click join. Every person in your party can do this simultaneously — when one person gets it, the rest will see that they can't continue trying. 

If you don't get the 7am boarding group, or if you want to try for the one in the other park, there's a second chance at 12pm. It's the same system, just for the other ride/park. 

The wait times are estimates. The one you see here was actually WAY quicker than we expected! We ended up getting into the park around 8:30am (they're letting people in before rope drop) and our group was called at 8:45! We were on the ride by 8:53am!

One thing to note: If your initial boarding group hasn't been called yet at noon, you won't be able to try for the other ride. I have a friend who missed out on Rise because his Web Slingers group hadn't been called yet.


Even though the Passholder program doesn't exist anymore, you can still get your discount on food and merchandise! To be more hands-free, the park isn't taking the physical card anymore — but there is a digital version with a barcode in your app that cashiers will scan. Your card should be linked in the app, but if not, be sure to reach out to customer service.

Tip 3: Visit Avengers Campus.

Jamie Allison Sanders standing in the middle of Avengers Campus in a blue romper and sequined blue Minnie ears.
I'm sure I don't actually have to tell you that, since it's the newest and most popular part of California Adventure! But yes, you need to do it. As much as I love Marvel and The Avengers, the land itself is honestly not the most stunning to me, but it is still worth seeing! Here's what I recommend.


The new Spider-Man ride is definitely worth riding! I'm not going to give any spoilers, partially because I don't want to ruin it for anyone and partially because I'm sure you can see them from other people if you REALLY want to know. But all I will say is this — warm up your arms first!

Waiting in line for Web Slingers: Spider-Man Adventure ride at Avengers Campus in California Adventure.
Waiting (im)patiently with my friend Andrew to ride Web Slingers — and ready for action with our 3D glasses!

Plus, Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! is located there now, so of course you have to go just to ride that! 


The food at Disneyland is always the most important thing, right? (Right!) Pym Test Kitchen and Pym Tasting Lab each have some specialties you should check out if you're lucky enough to get a mobile order time! Here's what I recommend.

Jamie Allison Sanders smiling with the Quantum Pretzel from Pym Test Kitchen at Avengers Campus in California Adventure.
The Quantum Pretzel from Pym Test Kitchen at Avengers Campus in California Adventure.

Yes, it's really that big — and really that delicious! This was the #1 item on my must-try list and I am SO glad I got it. It comes with sharp cheddar cheese-beer sauce, which I skipped because I hate melted cheese (don't come at me!). But the pretzel itself was doughy, just the right amount of salty and basically melts in your mouth. If you don't get it, there's no helping you.

The Impossible Breakfast from Pym Test Kitchen in Avengers Campus at Disneyland.


My friend and I got a breakfast time, which we were originally disappointed about because we wanted to try the Not-So-Little Chicken Sandwich. But we actually ended up being really impressed with this breakfast! It comes with a plant-based folded omelet with Impossible™ breakfast sausage, crispy potato bites and focaccia toast. Everything was delicious and we were full for a LONG time (okay, the pretzel might have helped).

The X-Periment Cocktail from Pym Tasting Lab at Avengers Campus in California Adventure.

This drink definitely looked and sounded the most delicious to us, and we both really enjoyed it. We split one, which was the right move because it's on the sweeter side. Plus, it was 10am. 😂 It comes with Patrón Silver tequila, mango and habanero syrups, and mango flavor-filled boba. And you get to keep the beaker!


Spider-Man hanging upside down during the show at Avengers Campus in California Adventure.
Some of the shows are better than others, and I actually didn't even see the Doctor Strange one. I enjoyed the Dora Milaje show, an interactive show where you learn how to be a Wakandan warrior. And it is SO worth it to see Spider-Man flying over Avengers Campus! You won't be disappointed by that at all. 


This should go without saying, but you should obviously capture some moments here! There are tons of great photo opps and spots in the land. My favorite is the optical illusion floor in the Doctor Strange area!

Jamie Allison Sanders falling forward at the Doctor Strange Virtual Reality floor in Avengers Campus at California Adventure.
This is just the absolute coolest part of Avengers Campus in my opinion. I can't believe the ground looks like this!
Jamie Allison Sanders and Gerold Schroeder at wearing masks and sunglasses at Avengers Campus in California Adventure.
With my friend Gerold!

A jeep at Avengers Campus in California Adventure.
I loved seeing this Avengers jeep with Guardians in the background!

Jamie Allison Sanders laughing and doing the Spider-Man pose in front of a printed wall at Avengers Campus in California Adventure.
Okay, my Spider-Man web pose may need a little work. But I love this wall!

Tip 4: Eat the Food.

Part of what makes going to Disneyland so much fun is trying all the different treats! I didn't capture photos of EV-ERY-THING I ate on both my trips (I missed capturing the fried chicken at Plaza Inn — for shame, I know), but these are a few standouts in addition to what I ate at Avengers Campus.

The corn dog in Downtown Disney at Disneyland.


How did I not know how amazing the corn dogs were before this year?! I got one on each visit and WOW, are they delicious. I'm definitely going to be getting one on every trip now!

Holding the raspberry and pineapple swirl Dole Whip at Tropical Hideaway in Disneyland.


I mean, duh, right? Have you even gone to Disneyland if you haven't gotten Dole Whip? The best way to do it is at Tropical Hideaway, where you can get a swirl with different flavors. My friend and I got the raspberry and pineapple swirl, and, yep, it was tasty!

Holding the Milk and Cookies churro in front of the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land at California Adventure.


But I'm not just talking any churro. I'm talking the Milk and Cookies Churro from the Cozy Cone Motel! It comes with a cookies and cream dipping sauce and IT. IS. SO. WORTH. IT. My friend and I may have each gotten one for breakfast. We don't regret it.

Holding the Mickey Beignet at New Orleans Square at Disneyland while wearing Essie Short Shorts and Deborah Lippmann A Wink And A Smile nail polishes.


I'm not kidding you when I say I get the Mickey beignets and a mint julep every single time I go to Disneyland. I actually refuse to be there and not stop at the Mint Julep Bar, it's tradition! I truly missed these little treats and I'm so happy I got them again!

Holding the Mickey Pride Rice Krispie Treat from Disneyland.


The Rice Krispie treats at Disneyland are underrated. But every time I get one, I'm just so happy! And how could I say no to this one celebrating Pride?! (The answer was, I couldn't!)

Tip 5: Be Prepared to Walk. A Lot.

I have never, EVER walked as much at Disneyland as I did on my two trips. I walked THIRTEEN MILES the first time I went, and 9.5 miles the second. If you park in the Mickey and Friends parking structure, there is currently no tram, so you will be walking about half a mile each way to the front gates. And because you want to maximize your time, you will be moving all over the parks a LOT. Just be okay with taking some breaks!

Tip 6: Have FUN.

Really, that's the most important tip of all, isn't it? No matter what your day at Disneyland holds, it should bring you joy. Yes, there is more planning to be done right now (and probably more walking!), but after that, you can enjoy the day with your friends or family! Here are just a few of the pictures I took on my visits that express the joy I was feeling to be back!

Jamie Allison Sanders wearing Mickey Glove ears, Femme de Bloom D earrings and black sunglasses and smiling at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland.
Waiting in line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase my ShopDisney Mickey Glove ears and Femme de Bloom Disneyland D earrings!

Friends smiling and hugging while wearing masks and Minnie ears at Avengers Campus in Disneyland.
I got to meet my friend Kayla during my first trip! We happened to both book for the same day. We became friends through Disney bounding and finally got to meet IRL!

The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
There is no trip to Disneyland that's complete without a ride (or two!) on the Haunted Mansion. Oh, how I missed you!

Jamie Allison Sanders smiling and holding out her striped dress in front of Ariel's Undersea Adventure at California Adventure.
While I typically don't do a full Disney bound at the parks, just because I don't want to do it when my friends don't, I went for an Ariel-inspired look here! Pitusa Lea dress. ShopDisney Ariel Minnie ears. Castle Crystals sunglasses. Femme de Bloom seahorse earrings.

Jamie Allison Sanders sitting and smiling in front of the Sherman Brothers door at Main Street in Disneyland.
No matter how many times I go to Disneyland, I always discover something new. This time, it was the Sherman Brothers door on Main Street! Click here to read more about it!

Jamie Allison Sanders wearing a mask, romper and Minnie ears and jumping in front of the Mickey Fun Wheel at California Adventure in Disneyland.
Can you tell how excited and happy I was to be back at Disneyland, even with my whole face hidden by my mask and sunnies?

Friends wearing masks and smiling in front of Mickey Fun Wheel at California Adventure.
My friend Gerold and I had the BEST day! We loved every single second of our time at both parks!

Friends smiling in front of the Millennium Falcon at Star Wars Land in Disneyland.
With my friend Andrew in Star Wars Land. This was his first trip to Disneyland! We're smiling so big because we had just ridden Rise of the Resistance!

Friends wearing masks and smiling in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.
Gerold and I had to take a selfie in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, of course! Lucy's Grotto fluffy Minnie ears. The Enchanted Castle Mickey Gloves face mask. Femme de Bloom Disneyland D earrings.

A view of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland at night.
I always love seeing the castle at night! It is just truly magical.
Now that you've made it to the end of this long post (and thank you, if you did!), do you have any questions? Drop them in the comments!

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