If you had the opportunity to stay at a Disney theme park for 24 hours, what would be on your list of things to do? Food? Shows? Characters? Attractions? The theme park would be your oyster. Even if you are not able to stay up the full 24 you will have a few extra hours to experience things you may have never made the time for. Well, you will have your opportunity to experience a 24-hour Disney theme park come Friday, May 22. To kick off Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration, guests will be able to experience The Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World theme parks for an entire 24 hours.
During this special event, guests will have the chance to experience different attractions, shows, characters, and food that they would not normally have the time to experience. Since making your Disney theme park—specifically The Disneyland Resort–trip a unique experience is my niche, I have put together a list of 24 activities (since it is a 24-hour event…get it?) to fill your time during this event. Even if you do not plan on attending a Disney theme park during this time, it is still fun to just imagine the things you would do during this exciting celebration.
*DL= Disneyland *DCA= Disney California Adventure
1. Dine at the Blue Bayou (DL) – If you have never been to the Blue Bayou before then this is the perfect time to experience one of the best restaurants in any Disney theme park. Even though there might be a long wait, that should not deter you because you will have a lot of time on your hands.
2. Catch a Ride on Sailing Ship Columbia (DL) – I know I have written and mentioned the Mark Twain River Boat many times (that is because I love it), but there is another ship that should get more love–the Sailing Ship Columbia. It’s a great attraction that delivers a different theme park experience: and there is a museum below the deck which shows what it was like for the crew in 1787. The museum is a diamond in the rough that many guests do not even know exists.
3. Rediscover Critter Country (DL) – Critter Country has recently been through a long refurbishment period, so why not go admire the new paint job during this extra time? Critter Country is home to one of my favorite under appreciated attractions, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. It is also a great place to take a picture with Pooh and his friends.
4. Pictures with Characters (DL) – I am not a fan of taking pictures with characters but since you will have some extra time on your hands, it will give you the chance to get some great pictures with your favorite Disney characters. And there might even been some rare characters walking around the park that day that you do not normally see.
5. Watch Classic Disney Cartoons (DL) – Catch-up on some classic Disney cartoons at the Main Street Cinema. It is also a great place to get a much needed AC break.
6. Pet Some Goats (DL) – Discover wildlife at Big Thunder Ranch. There are not only goats but other farm animals that you can pet and befriend.
7. Watch Mickey and the Magical Map (DL) – Mickey and the Magical Map is a great stage show that many guests tend to pass on (including myself). So make sure you take the time to catch this great Disney show.
8. Grab Some Dole Whip (DL) – I know this is a no-brainer for many, but there are people that I know that have been to Disneyland a few times and have never had dole whip before. So please make sure you take the time to grab a cup of this delicious treat at the Tiki Juice Bar in Adventureland. Even if the line is long it is totally worth the wait.
9. Take a Break at the Golden Horseshoe (DL) – I have highlighted The Golden Horseshoe in multiple posts before but there is a reason why: it is the one of the best places to take a restful break and charge your gadgets (there are wall sockets all over the place). Even though it might get busy during show times, there are more than enough seats to accommodate guests.
10. Play Around in Mickey’s Toontown (DL) – I have never been a fan of Mickey’s Toontown (even as a child), but with the extra amount of time you will have there is no excuse to not head on over. Toontown can be a fun place to walk around and discover some fun, little, quirky things.
11. Make a Wish at Snow White’s Well (DL) – One of my favorite places to have a little moment of peace is at Snow White’s Well. It is one of the few places around Disneyland that is truly tranquil.
12. Find Your Favorite Disneyland and California Adventure Bench – There are many benches throughout Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. While you are at each park it is fun to discover your favorite bench to sit on and people watch. Once you find your favorite bench, make sure to take a mental note and remember for next time.
13. Watch Disney Ducks Near Edelweiss Snacks (DL) – The pier right next to Edelweiss Snacks is another peaceful place to just relax, gather yourself, and take in some Disney ducks. I know a few people that enjoy spending their time here to draw and write. Personally, it is my favorite place to relax and truly absorb the experience I am having.
14. Take In Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular (DCA)- One of my favorite stage shows in either Disneyland or California Adventure is the Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular. Once you take a seat in this amazing theater you will feel like you are at a Broadway stage show.
15. Go Around on Mickey’s Fun Wheel (DCA) – I am not a fan of Ferris wheels, but I know many guests have fun experiencing this attraction. The best thing about being aboard Mickey’s Fun Wheel is that you get an amazing view of both theme parks and the Anaheim area. It is a perfect place to take some amazing pictures.
16. Be in Cars Land at Sunrise (DCA) – Not many people get to experience any Disney theme park during sunrise. And one of the best lands to experience a sunrise (or a sunset!) is Cars Land. The colors are astonishing and pop during this amazing time.
17. Learn to Draw at Animation Academy (DCA) – You might think that learning to draw is a frustrating experience, but at the Animation Academy it is fun and entertaining. It is yet another great place to rest your feet, get some AC, and get a free, hand-drawn souvenir to take home.
18. Eat at Carthay Circle Lounge (DCA) – My favorite place to eat–and to just hang out–is Carthay Circle Lounge. If you are looking for a fun drink, something to eat, or just a place to have a nice, pleasant conversation, then this is the destination to end up at.
20. Get a Burger at White Water Snacks (DCA-Sort of) – Even though White Water Snacks is not inside a Disney theme park, it is an easy restaurant to get to from California Adventure. The Carnitas Angus Cheeseburger is the best item on the menu. Also, there is typically little-to-no wait to order your food. Simple, easy, and delicious: some of my favorite words in life to hear.
21. Take lots of Photos (DL & DCA) – Taking pictures is one of my favorite things to do at a Disney theme park, and since you will be at The Disneyland Resort for 24-hours, you will see and experience the parks in a different light (literally). Take this time to capture unique moments and experiences that you normally would not be able to.
22. Have a Meetup (DL & DCA) – Going to Disneyland by oneself is fun but it is always better when you have someone to share your adventures with. So, why not go to or create a meetup of your own? TouringPlans’ forums is a great place to check out if there will be any meet-ups and to organize your own. Theme parks are a social place so do not be afraid to be social.
23. Search for Hidden Mickeys (DL & DCA) – I used to be really into discovering hidden Mickeys throughout Disneyland and California Adventure. It is a great way to pass the time while you are waiting in line and it is fun for both children and adults.
24. Thank Every Cast Member You See (DL & DCA) – Disney theme park Cast Members never get the love and respect from guests that they deserve. So, especially on this day, tell them that you are thankful by saying “hi” and “thank you” to everyone you see. You are bound to make someone’s day a little brighter.
I know that many of the things on this list are not the “normal” things that guests would do, but this is Disneyland’s 24-hour event. This is not a normal day at Disneyland, so make the most of the time you have. I would like you to adventure out and discover new things.
If you do not think anything on this list is interesting, fun, or just want to add to the conversation, please leave a comment below. I would love to read what you would make time for if you were going to be at a Disney 24-hour celebration. It does not just have to be about Disneyland either–share some of the things you would make time for at Walt Disney World.