'Sup! When people ask us our favorite things to do at Disneyland park, we sometimes don’t even know where to begin. There are SO MANY great rides, shows, foods and characters ... even seasons! With so many great things to do, why choose? But we do get an extra thrill from exploring all the little details that make the park extra special year-round. Some of these experiences are simply overlooked, and others are fun things that not everybody knows about. Either way, they’ll definitely sprinkle a little extra magic on your day! Whenever we discover one of these hidden gems we toadally get excited. And the great thing about Disneyland hidden gems is that they are great experiences to turn to on a peak day when the lines are long or you just want an extra dose of magic.
Our Top 5 Disneyland Hidden Gems
Disneyland Hidden Gem #1: Find Extra Fun in in Fantasyland
In Fantasyland, be sure to pause in front of Snow White’s Enchanted Wish and look up at the window. Every so often, the Evil Queen opens the curtains and peeks out at you.
Disneyland Hidden Gem #2: Play with Characters (temporarily unavailable due to physical distancing, but you can still have a lot of fun chatting with characters)
We’ve already shared our favorite tips for meeting characters at Disneyland so that you can pose for a photo, but did you know you can play games with certain characters? This can be random, but there are two locations where you might get a chance for some whimsical character play time. Is it your unbirthday? Well, it’s my unbirthday too! Celebrate your birthday or unbirthday with Alice and the Mad Hatter at Refreshment Corner. They usually gather guests for a crazy game of musical chairs at Refreshment Corner somewhere between 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; however, they can appear a couple of times throughout the day, and the White Rabbit would not appreciate that it may not always be at an exact time. I guess they can never be late if it’s not a set date!
Peter Pan is so playful and will never grow up. He and Captain Hook are usually on the move and sometimes gather guests for play time and group photos near the raised area on the right as you approach “it’s a small world.” Sometimes they’ll get guests to act out Disney movies or engage in some games. They might collect lost boys and girls of all ages as they wait for an upcoming parade or just another random time. They are so unpredictable! But if you catch them (or they catch you) you’ll be in for a treat.
Disneyland Hidden Gem #3: Listen to the Sounds of Main Street U.S.A.
On the side of Main Street U.S.A., on the way to the lockers and next to Market House is an alleyway. Spend a little time in this alleyway. On the right side is the façade of a hotel and in the left back corner is a dental school.
You can hear all kinds of humorous sounds coming from the second-story windows. Enjoy your coffee or snacks from Market House or the fruit cart, have a seat at the tables in the middle of the alley and listen carefully. And from we have heard, you definitely do not want to make an appointment with these dentists in training!
Disneyland Hidden Gem #4: Climb Tarzan’s Treehouse
Tarzan’s Treehouse is right in the middle of Adventureland, but many people bypass it on their way from Indiana Jones to Pirates of the Caribbean. Stop and climb the tree if you are comfortable with steps.
There’s never a line, and as you finish, you’ll end up in a hands-on play area where your tadpoles can play with some instruments and explore. You might even get a chance to meet Moana near the exit.
Disneyland Hidden Gem #5: Flag Retreat Ceremony (may be around the outside of the circle during the pandemic)
If you have family members who have served in the military or are a patriotic person, then definitely hop to the flag pole in front of City Hall and join the Disneyland Band and/or the Dapper Dans in the late afternoon for an emotional salute to the flag. They will call up past and current members of the armed forces, honoring them by branch, sing some patriotic songs along with the National Anthem, lower the flag and fold it in the Flag Retreat Ceremony. You’ll need to consult the entertainment guide for the time, but it is usually in the late afternoon.
We could go on and on about the many Disneyland hidden gems, and we are always discovering new treasures that spark joy. These are just a few frogtastically fun finds that you can enjoy on any kind of day. They allow you to slow down, maybe take a break and experience something new, even if you visit quite often. We especially enjoy sharing these gems when we bring grandma and grandpa for a multi-gen trip to Disneyland. Do you have any favorite Disneyland hidden gems or special experiences you’ve discovered? Please share them in the comments section below.
Related: The Frog Family's Top 5 California Adventure Hidden Gems
Related: Toadally Cool Hidden Gems in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Disneyland