It’s that time of year again!  Christmas trees on Main Street, Mickey & Minnie in their winter best, delicious treats around every corner and…CROWDS. So many people!!  The Merriest Place on Earth truly is magical during the holidays, but it can also be very busy.

So what do you do when you need a break from the rest of the candy-cane-beignet-loving people?  Well, let me tell you our favorite places to escape the crowds!

**Let’s start with a classic – Enchanted Tiki Room  One of our favorites for 2 reasons: 1) 15 minutes of air-conditioned bliss and 2) ample seating for everyone.  There’s nothing like grabbing a Dole Whip and sitting down to watch the birds who sing words when you need a break.  And, the show starts every 15 minutes so you never have to wait long to take a quick break.

**Mark Twain Riverboat  This 15 minute ride around the Rivers of America is the perfect pit stop.  Not only are there tons of things to see along the way, but there are chairs and benches scattered throughout the ship.  And, if you plan it right, you can meet Princess Tiana on board.  Just check the Disneyland app for her appearances and hop on board.

**Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island This fun escape is right around the corner from the Mark Twain.  A quick raft ride drops you on the island where it is rarely busy and the kids can explore to their hearts content.  Explore the passageways, secret caves and don’t forget to climb to the top of the fort where you’ll be treated to a bird’s eye view of New Orleans Square.  And don’t worry about getting lost. There are maps posted everywhere haha

**Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes After your pirate adventure, you are just around the corner from this fun adventure.  These are actual free-floating canoes, but the journey isn’t hard thanks to your 19 other travel companions.  Sit down and get a close up look at the backwoods of Frontier Land.  Keep in mind that little ones will be required to wear a life jacket, but there is no height requirement.  The canoes are also seasonal – they tend to operate from Spring until Thanksgiving so check the app for times.

**Storytelling at Royal Theatre This is our absolute FAVORITE show at Disneyland. Seriously, you cannot miss this. We love it so much that we even have favorite actors! The comical Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones retell the stories of Rapunzel and Belle with the help of some very special princesses.  The show is actually quite funny, everyone claps and sings along and most importantly, there is ample seating for everyone.  The little ones even get to go sit up front by the stage. There are 6 shows each day starting at 10:45am.

**The Golden Horseshoe If you’re in need of a cool place to grab a bite, stop in to the Golden Horseshoe.  It’s literally our favorite place to go when it’s hot out (which in Southern California means all year.  It really was 90 degrees on Christmas a few years back)  They have great food and delicious ice cream floats, but the real draw is the live show by the Laughing Stock Co. It’s very entertaining and if you sit on the main floor, you might even be asked to participate!

**Tarzan’s Treehouse Escape the bottle neck that is Adventureland and climb 80 feet up in the air to get fantastic views of the west side of Disneyland. Along the way, you can explore Tarzan’s jungle home.  There are lots of fun interactive stations for the kids to explore on the way up and while it does sometimes get busy, everyone is always moving so it never seems like there are a ton of people.  Don’t forget to stop at the bottom and let the kids explore the kitchen area!

**Star Wars Launch Bay Calling all Star Wars fans!  Wander around inside to see a full exhibition of actual props from The Last Jedi.  Stop and get a picture with Chewbacca, Darth Vadar and Rey.  You can even play the latest Star Wars video games or create your own cell phone case.  Tons to do in here!

**Disneyland Railroad Classic Disney here!  Walt’s passion for trains brought this iconic ride to Disneyland on opening day and it’s magic is still going strong 63 years later. We LOVE sitting back and riding the train all the way around the Park.  When Little A was little (ha) this was our favorite way to eat our lunch in the Parks.  The whole circle takes about 20 minutes with 4 stops and is the perfect way to take a break from the crowds or get to the other side of the park in the most relaxing way possible!

**Mickey and the Magical Map  This show is so cute!  Little A basically dances her way through the whole thing.  It’s in a huge outdoor auditorium so there is always plenty of seating.  Grab a snack at Troubadour Tavern and sit down and enjoy this cute show!

So, that’s where you’ll find us when Disneyland is packed. Crowds are inevitable at Disneyland during the busy seasons, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take some time to relax while you’re there!

Have a magical day!!