Planning for Disneyland in 2021

Next year is the perfect time for a Disney trip! If you’re planning for Disneyland in 2021, there’s so much to look forward to. The second phase of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge will finally open on January 17 – the new attraction, Rise of the Resistance is going to be an epic ride!

In addition to making time for Galaxy’s Edge, here’s a Disneyland 2021 guide to help you plan your next vacation correctly.

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Park Guide

Disneyland has two entrances. Besides the main entrance, you can get in from Downtown Disney via the monorail, which will have you entering the park at Tomorrowland. Since Disneyland has a hub and spoke layout, it’s easy to get to any side of the park through the Main Street Plaza.

There are also pathways around the park that you can use to avoid doubling back on previously visited territory (you want to see it all, of course). Although it used to be that you had to turn around at Critter Country and walk back, you can now continue into Resistance Forest in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and come out on the other end. That layout loops Frontierland/Fantasyland with Critter Country.

The Train, which has stations at Tomorrowland, Main Street USA, New Orleans Square and Mickey’s Toontown is another means of traveling the park. Don’t miss the leg from Tomorrowland to Main Street for dioramas of the Grand Canyon and Primeval World.

Hotel Stay

The hotel rooms you can choose between when visiting the Disneyland Resort don’t have to be extraordinarily expensive. Although the three official Disney hotels are costly every night, there are plenty of good neighbor hotels that partner with Disney.

These hotels are family-friendly and most are within walking distance from the resort (some even right across the entrance street!). When you look for a hotel that isn’t Disney, be sure to get the location and route to Disneyland park.

Hotels located on Harbor Blvd. between Katella and Disney Way are the best. Another option is renting a house – this one we stayed in nearby was incredible, even had a lazy river!

Our Disneyland Rental House / by Busy Mom's Helper

Dining

There are some excellent places to dine in the parks, hotels, and Downtown Disney. In Disneyland park, The Blue Bayou is the best table service restaurant (we always try to eat here), followed by Cafe Orleans, which features an old Espresso machine (for you coffee drinkers) used by Walt Disney himself.

Carthay Circle Theater in Disney’s California Adventure is a luxurious restaurant and lounge themed to Walt Disney’s early days as a Hollywood producer with a focus on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel, Napa Rose at the Grand Californian and Naples in Downtown Disney are all excellent restaurants to make reservations for.

When it comes to dining, you want to structure your day around a reservation or choose your quick service restaurant based on your location and navigation.

If you want lunch on the Rivers of America, plan to be near Critter Country in the middle of the day and stop at the Hungry Bear Restaurant – that way you don’t waste valuable time walking from one end of the park to the other. There’s excellent themed dining in all areas of the park, but if there’s one land to be avoided for food, it’s Tomorrowland (in my opinion).

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Characters

If you’re visiting Disneyland for the characters, there are some key places to go and some other characters you might find along the way. Town Square typically has some classic characters running around, as does Toontown, which uses more fixed photo locations.

Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore can be found in the back of Critter Country. Star Wars Characters, such as Vader and Chewie, still entertain at Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland. In the Main Street Plaza, on the westside of Sleeping Beauty Castle is where you’ll meet with Disney princesses.

Character Dining is available at each of the Disney hotels and at the Plaza Inn. These restaurants include buffet service and character interaction for breakfast only. The exception is Goofy’s Kitchen, which is also open for dinner service – this one is our absolute must-visit every time!

Top Disney Attractions 2021

Although Galaxy’s Edge will be completed in January of 2021, the new Marvel Land in Disney’s California Adventure will be just beginning it’s phase one.

That means much of the land will be open, just as Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge was back in May. The major attractions to look forward to in 2021 are Rise of the Resistance in Disneyland and the Spider-Man ride in Disney’s California Adventure.

What are you most excited about for Disneyland 2021?

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Kelly Dedeaux

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