Here’s where you want to be when you peak.
If you do Disneyland right, it can be the ultimate high. If you do it wrong, it might be a real bad trip. Here’s a KIND guide to getting high, staying high, and coming down, the right way, at the absolute Happiest Place on Earth.
Where to Get High
The Disneyland Resort is full of cameras, secret police, and a lot of irate parents who love to complain about anything they might find offensive to their kids. So, if you want to have a good trip, consume your drugs in the safety of your own car on the way in—not in the parking lot.
Do note, there are plenty of dark corners and designated cigarette areas. These little smoking sections are segregated and off the beaten path. Tons of parents and teens are sucking down e-cigs and vapes anyway; so you could easily blend in there. You might get away with vaping. But be advised, if you get caught smoking weed in the park, you’ll get kicked out and worse. You might get fined, and taken to Disney Jail (yep, it’s real) or to the real Anaheim PD. Also, you’ll probably be asked to never return to the Happiest Place on Earth. Some day, when you’re a fat old dad, you will regret getting caught at Disneyland.
It’s a lot easier to blend in and feel chill when the lights go down.
Disneyland is at her best at night—lots of lights, fireworks, and often the best weather happens in the darkness. It’s a lot easier to blend in and feel chill when the lights go down. Plan your trip knowing this. Trek back to your car to get high after you’ve done your sober touristing (if you must) in the late afternoon. You can even walk the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel: Practically a quiet oasis with booze, it’s a nice, slight detour from the massive, hectic parking lot and the roar and crowds of daytime Disney parks.
Last, if you’re planning on tripping at Disneyland, go on a weekday. The crowds get really messy on the weekends, even Sundays as most annual passes are allowed in on that day, and it might harsh your achievable mellow. A weekday, like a Tuesday or Wednesday is generally a little slower and happier. Remember that summer is packed, and it’s hot in bumfuck Anaheim, and nearly every night in late May through July is Grad Night—literally busloads of L.A. schools ship in kids who run freely, making out, and getting caught smoking weed and ecstasy petting in the late hours.
Make a plan with your group, about where you’ll go first, and where you want to end up. It’s so much less stressful to have a vague idea of which direction you’ll wander. It will take away the big-decisions stress that might end up ruining your day.
Where to Come On
You might want to get in at least one, fast, exhilarating ride while you’re waiting for your high to kick in. Try hitting up Indiana Jones first. It will instantly make you happy you paid a shitload of money to come to a crowded theme park. Not only is Indy one of the best adventure rides in the world, but the whole experience (even the line) is themed. It will take you to another world. This fast and sometimes scary ride will have you singing the theme song from Indiana Jones all day. You’ll be ready to embrace all things Disney as you move through the park. If you’re really up for a thrill ride, hit up Space Mountain. It’s a speedy and daring rollercoaster that will get your adrenaline going and prepare you for a great day ahead.
If you try to pass armies of strollers and wheelchairs, screaming kids, or really fat and slow families, you’ll lose.
As you cruise through the park remember: THIS IS NOT THE FREEWAY. Take your time and give into the idea that you are in no hurry. If you try to pass armies of strollers and wheelchairs, screaming kids, or really fat and slow families, you’ll lose. Disneyland is filled with so many details. If you take the time to literally wander around, looking up and around and whatever you can, you’ll have a much better time.
Adventureland and Frontierland are perfect places to start your day. Get on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean and the Jungle Cruise. I highly recommend the unsung hero of these lands—the Enchanted Tiki Room. Grab a Dole Whip (people fucking looooooove these pineapple ice cream things) and head into a beautiful, tropical theater that is perfectly and insanely cool and comfortable with the perfect amount of AC and enjoy animatronic birds who sing and dance. It’s a great time, and it happens to be one of Walt Disney’s favorite attractions at his park. It’s a real feel-good time, especially with that pineapple ice cream in your hand.
Where to Peak
Plan to be on Splash Mountain when you peak. You’ll definitely get wet, but not so much that it will ruin your day, and this water ride tells a trippy story. The ride is themed after that 1946 racist Disney movie Song of the South and features wacky animals singing songs, wallowing in sorrow, laughing hysterically, and hiding out in darkness. It’s full of color and awesome songs, and there’s a 50-foot drop at the end. Just being in a floating log itself is reason enough.
Pop into nearby Haunted Mansion if you really want to indulge your senses. It’s dark, it’s scary, it’s quirky, and it’s got lots of ghosts (who sing). There’s a ton to look at, and the slow-moving ride is full of reasons to giggle your brains out. When you get off the ride, be sure to traipse around the intricate cobblestone streets of surrounding New Orleans Square, where there’s often live New Orleans jazz bands.
The Winnie the Pooh ride nearby was basically made by people on LSD; so check that out too, if you can.
If you’re really into future things, and perhaps Star Wars is totally your jam, peak hard on the Star Tours ride in Tomorrowland. The line too is kind of a trip (there’s a talking C3P0 and R2D2 in the queue). The simulator ride itself will take you deep into the world of Star Wars. Hit up Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (yep, the real name) right across the way. It’s a wacky and spinning fire laser shooting gallery packed with what seems to be the most neon paint in the world.
Where to Plateau
Spend your time in Fantasyland. Walk through Sleeping Beauty’s castle and take your time exploring the classic (and very slow-moving) rides of this history buff’s paradise. Everyone will be in line for Peter Pan’s Flight (and you should do it too really late at night if there’s no line), but be sure to check out the little-to-no-line classics like Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Snow White’s Scary Adventures and, of course, the darkest Disney ride of all time: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, which seems to be about flames in hell. Avoid Dumbo and the Mad Tea Party if you’re not into spinning. But be sure, by all means, to get to the Casey Jr. Circus Train, Storybook Land Canal Boats (the boat that goes through the whale’s mouth!) and ride in a caterpillar in Alice and Wonderland.
Also, remember, this is a major kid zone. You might want to adopt that “hey, it’s fine that I’m moving slow” plan again. There’s a lot of hidden treasures in Fantasyland—like a heraldry shop, a medieval weapons shop (well some are at least on display), and a kind of hidden wishing well where Snow White and her Dwarves sing. if you’re not into all the kids, don’t go on or near the carousel, seriously. It’s full of those people who bring newborns (?!?!) to Disneyland. There’s lots of crying.
Where to Come Down
Great Moments with Mr Lincoln is the greatest chill spot in all of the lands. Best of all, it’s never crowded, and it’s always air conditioned. Get there early and walk around the literally chill art gallery and admire some really cool paintings and collectables from the historical Disney collection. Then, make your way into the theater. You’ll relax in plush seats and watch the coolest animatronic Abe Lincoln. He’ll look right at you.
The parades at Disneyland are not just for kids. They are, in fact, spectacular shows with amazing dancers, floats, and costumes. Yeah, you have to grab a curbside seat kind of early, but sitting around and waiting for the parades are a good time to chill and make fun of people passing by. The nighttime parades are by far the best (full of twinkling lights!), and they are worth the wait. It’s a good break and a very good reason to rest your bones. Have someone in your group grab snacks while you wait, or fresh-made candy from Main Street.
If you need a quiet, long ride that is still stimulating as fuck, take a seat on Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s one of the longest rides. Not only is it a Disney classic, it’s peaceful and dark. You could even catch a snooze or at least have time to gather your thoughts and relax. It’s a good place to avoid talking to people for a while.
Where to Eat
Over the past decade, Disneyland has stepped up her food game. Now there’s plenty of non-burger options that are scrumptious. If you’re into meat, get a corn dog from the Red Trolley on Main Street (ps. they sell the exact same ones at the Stage Door but they seem to taste better with the potato chips from Main Street). These corn dogs are notoriously big and delicious. If you want something salty and hot, get a fried chimichanga next to the Matterhorn. They are real good and will warm you up on a cool day. If you’re into frozen drinks, get a frozen apple juice from various stands around the park. It’s way better than a frozen lemonade and will relieve the driest of mouths. If you need something sweet, there’s freshly made candy and fudge in Main Street’s Candy Palace, and you can but a bag of delicious beignets at a window in New Orleans Square. If you need something salty, gnaw on a big pickle (sold in Adventureland and on Main Street). If you need an adult drink, get a DELICIOUS mai tai at Trader Sam’s bar at the Disneyland Hotel—basically the most perfect tropical hideaway.
Where to Pee
There are bathrooms throughout Disneyland. If you’re really in need of alone time, you might consider a few of the least crowded bathrooms. There’s one by Autopia in Tomorrowland, and another good one near Splash Mountain in Critter Country that has a nice lake view right outside in case you need to relax some more. If you really want to avoid people, head over to the Disneyland Hotel. The bathrooms there are private and glorious.
And, always avoid that clusterfuck bathroom in Adventureland, okay?