Not just kid stuff: here is how adults can make the most of a trip to California’s Disneyland Resort.
Why should children have all the fun? The youngest members of the family are not the only ones in for a wild ride at Disneyland; many adults are equally enchanted by the park’s colourful attractions, from the theatrical rides to the stunning night-time spectaculars. So on your next trip, make it all about you. Leave the kids at home and spend a few days doing Disneyland your way. From blissful spa treatments to fine dining restaurants, you will have plenty of indulgent treats to choose from. Or, if you are travelling with the family in tow, add a few of these especially-for-adults entertainments to your itinerary.
Dine in style
We all know what the kids will want to eat: Mickey Mouse waffles and plenty of pizza. However, there are plenty of culinary choices that will please your tastebuds as well as theirs. Enjoy a Creole family feast at Café Orleans, or catch a live jazz performance over dinner at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. You can enjoy a sizzling steak at the upscale Steakhouse 55, or soak up the tropical ambience at Blue Bayou, located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Disneyland’s best restaurants, however, deserve to be enjoyed without the distraction of the youngest members of the family. Book yourself a table at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which puts fresh Californian produce front and centre (anyone for strawberry sage duck breast with polenta panzanella?), or Carthay Circle Restaurant, which has an old-school supper club vibe and a menu of tempting dishes such as grilled quail stuffed with prosciutto-wrapped peaches. If you are a serious food fan, consider timing your trip to coincide with Disney California Adventure’s annual Food & Wine Festival, complete with culinary demonstrations and winemaker dinners.
Make time for a massage
If you prefer reflexology to rollercoasters, we have just the thing. Inspired by the tropical tranquillity of Bali, the Mandara Spa at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa offers a very different kind of Disney experience. Whether you opt for a full body massage – perhaps preceded by a session in the sauna or steam room – or just treat your hands and feet to a bit of attention in the nail pavilion, you are in for some serious pampering. There is even a couples’ pavilion, if you and your significant other fancy some simultaneous spoiling. Give your skin a lift with an aromatherapy massage tailored to your skin type, or lie back and enjoy the bamboo massage, where your muscles are massaged with warmed bamboo shoots soaked in essential oils. For something completely different, try the Fire and Ice manicure or pedicure, where cooling therapeutic gels are alternated with a hot stone treatment. Finish your spa experience with a gentle infusion served in the elegant tea pavilion.
Indulge in some retail therapy
It’s not just Mickey Mouse ears that are on sale at Disneyland Resort. You may surprised to find some of your favourite upmarket brands have outlets within the resort. The Downtown Disney District alone is home to such enticing retail outlets such as one-stop beauty shop Sephora and Fossil, known for its stylish handbags, sunglasses, jewellery and other accessories. Also worth a visit is Sanuk, known for its huge range of super-comfortable sandals and slides for both men and women. If you are staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, you can even have your purchases delivered directly to your room. And if you are feeling a bit guilty for indulging yourself, there are plenty of places to pick up a special treat for the kids, too. Perhaps you might even treat them to the opportunity to Build-A-Bear, where they get to choose a cuddly toy, add sounds, scents and outfits, and take home their personalised furry friend, complete with a unique birth certificate.
Take a tour
Disneyland may be constantly reinventing itself, but it has nonetheless stayed remarkably true to the vision of the man who invented it. One of Disneyland’s most underrated attractions puts that vision under the microscope. The fascinating tour called “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” offers insights into Walt Disney’s life and the challenges he faced in designing the park that has now become a household name. Discover more about his dream for the park, and revisit some of the classic attractions that he was directly involved with, as well as parts of the park that are normally off-limits to visits. The experience culminates in a lunch or dinner on Main Street USA.
Go for a spin
Go on; you know you want to. What’s the point of coming to a Disney theme park without taking a turn on some of the rides? Take a kid-free spin on some of your childhood favourites, from Pirates of the Caribbean to the Mickey Mouse Fun Wheel, or try some of the new additions you wish had been around when you were young. (The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is irresistible at any age.) Then unleash your inner adrenalin junkie on thrill-a-minute rides such as Hyperspace Mountain, California Screamin’ or the Indiana Jones Adventure. Or challenge the children to a shoot-out on the exhilarating Toy Story Midway Mania! (If the kids come out on top, challenge them to a best-out-of-three showdown.)
“There is a place, like no other. Where a walk down Main Street can fill you with wonder. Where magic is spread with every touch and the spirit of imagination lives on. So make the time, to take your time because at the Disneyland Resort in California there’s Magic for Days. Contact your local Travel Agent to book your dream Disney holiday.”
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