dlr destinations 04
  • On Mar 19, 2022
    Brittney from BC Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I have never been to Disneyland, bringing my kids for the first time and staying at Paradise Pier. We arrive late, do I need a park ticket to get us dinner? Do I need a car? I don’t know what need to know to make this fun and stress free! Thx for your help

    Hi Brittney!

    Oh boy! I'm so excited about your upcoming visit to Mickey's house and the Happiest Place on Earth! The good news is that you've come to the right place to ask all of your Disneyland Resort vacation planning questions. My fellow planEARs and I can tackle this and any other questions you can dream up!

    This is a great question, Brittney, one that I recently faced myself when I also landed in SoCal after dark. No, you will not need a theme park admission ticket for your arrival night just to get dinner. At Disneyland Resort, which is the total area of the two theme parks, three Disney-owned hotels, and the Downtown Disney District all within a half-mile of each other, most dining options will close by 10:00 P.M. However, you will have a handful of later options: there are two restaurants in the Downtown Disney District that close at 11:00 PM, which are Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes and the restaurant at Splitsville Luxury Lanes. (This area is like an outdoor mall featuring a variety of shops and restaurants that also serves as a corridor that connects the three hotels to the theme park entrances. While this area is free to enter, it's all owned by Disney and everyone in your party will need to go through a bag and security check.) Hearthstone Lounge at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which is located across the street from your hotel, is open until midnight. Lastly, the Paradise Pier hotel recently opened a 24/7 grab-and-go style quick-service market that has multiple refrigerators full of fresh salads, wraps, sandwiches, fruit, yogurt parfaits, and all kinds of beverages. There are also convenience goodies like individual cups of cereal, packaged pastries, and even a few frozen meals. (There are also two microwaves to heat the frozen meals as well as any of the sandwiches.)

    I sadly don't have the proper magic mirror to see inside your My Disneyland Account, Brittney, to see what time your flight lands or which airport you'll be using. In my experience, if you land after 8:00 PM at LAX or after 9:00 PM at John Wayne International, your best bets will be either the Hearthstone Lounge or the grab-and-go market at your hotel, or trying to pick something up on your way from the airport. Jack in the Box is a fast food location with a drive-through that's open 24 hours a day, and both Taco Bell and In-N-Out are usually open until midnight, if not a bit later. A secret third option would be to have some grocery items delivered to your hotel; the bell services team will even be able to keep your cold items refrigerated for you! Do note that your guestroom does not have a microwave nor does your mini-fridge have a freezer. (Feel free to use any grocery delivery service you'd like; but if you need a suggestion, Amazon seems to be the most popular.)

    Bonus Tip: If flying into LAX, look up the 'LAX It Lot', which is where all travelers needing a taxi or using an app-based ride service must go to catch their car. Depending on how late you arrive, it might be worth it to schedule a shuttle or even a town car/limo to pick you up instead.

    I hope that this helped to plan your upcoming Disney Days, Brittney! Be sure to check out the official planDisney Instagram account and our brand new Podcast for even more tips and tricks. We'll See You Real Soon!

    ~Kristen N.
thumbnail image for Kristen

Meet the Panelist: Kristen, Texas

Hi, I'm Kristen! I'm a mom to the best ride buddy and a military spouse who loves keeping up with the latest Disney Parks news. Trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World have always been fun, but now that I'm the parent AND the planner every moment is that much more treasured.  I am so honored and excited to be able to share tips I've picked up, pass on fun factoids I've learned, and help create magical moments for your vacation of a lifetime!  Learn More About Kristen

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