Disneyland and McDonald’s – Road Trip Perfection

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Our Disneyland road trip always includes a stop at McDonald’s. Check out how Disneyland and McDonald’s make the perfect combination when you’re roadtrippin’ it.

Why every Disneyland road trip should include a stop at McDonald's. Disneyland advice from The Happiest Blog on Earth.
Why every Disneyland road trip should include a stop at McDonald’s. Disneyland advice from The Happiest Blog on Earth.

We travel to Anaheim, California and the Los Angeles area at least once a year, but usually twice. It’s a 10 hour drive and I often drive it solo with my kids.

My husband flies into town later and drives home with us, but it’s a great compromise because I can soak up the California sun, hit the beach and visit Disneyland multiple days, then enjoy family time when my hubby arrives.

But, there’s some major prep work that goes into planning a Disneyland road trip when I’m driving an entire day with a car full of kids.

Disneyland & McDonald’s: Happy Points

In the week leading up to our Disneyland road trip, my kids are often antsy and excited. To keep things happy in our house we’ve implemented a “Happy Points” system, where kids can earn “Happy Points” for good behavior. Happy Points are then redeemed at McDonald’s at the half-way point on our road trip.

Getting ready for a road trip with kids? Happy points to earn a Happy Meal is an easy way to keep everyone happy.
Getting ready for a road trip with kids? Happy points to earn a Happy Meal is an easy way to keep everyone happy.

You can set up Happy Points however works for your family. Kids can earn Happy Points by being kind to siblings, helping out around the house or even meeting daily reading goals. Grab our free Happy Points Printable below.

Happy Points Printable

Disneyland & McDonald’s: Activities

McDonald’s & Disneyland Printables

Coloring pages are a must for any road trip. We like to pack Crayola colored pencils  so there’s no need to worry about melted crayons in the car.

McDonald’s Happy Meal website has coloring pages that often correspond with the current Happy Meal toy. Print some McDonald’s coloring pages and of course, some free Disney coloring pages too.

McDonald’s McPlay App

McDonald's McPlay app, download it for your Disneyland road trip.
McDonald’s McPlay app, download it for your Disneyland road trip.

We resisted tech and screens on our road trips for SO long! But now the kids get a limited amount of screen during our drive. The McDonald’s McPlay App available on iTunes and Android, has interactive games and ebooks for kids to read. I’m a big fan of books on road trips and digital versions are super fun.

Disneyland & McDonald’s: Play Place

Get the wiggles out at McDonald's Play Place!
Get the wiggles out at McDonald’s Play Place!

I’m a huge fan of McDonald’s Play Place, especially on road trips to Disneyland. My kids need some time to run around and get worn out during our long drive.

McDonald's Play Place, the perfect stop during a Disneyland road trip.
McDonald’s Play Place, the perfect stop during a Disneyland road trip.

Find a McDonald’s with a Play Place here and enter the city you’re driving through into the search bar. You’ll quickly find a list of McDonald’s with their amenities, along with a map for an easy way to identify locations near the freeway.

McDonald's
McDonald’s Play Place seating area.

Looking for a McDonald’s near Disneyland? There’s one on Harbor Blvd. that you can easily walk to from the parks. Just head toward the Toy Story lot trams and keep going until you hit Harbor Blvd. You’ll see it right across the pedestrian walkway.

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McDonald’s Play Place finder near freeways.
McDonald's Play Place locations.
McDonald’s Play Place locations.

Disneyland & McDonald’s: Food

Last but not least is the food. It’s comfort food for the kids and fresh choices for moms that keeps me coming back to McDonald’s—oh, and the fountain Coca-Cola too :). Plus the free WiFi is a nice bonus.

McDonald's is a must-stop for us on Disneyland road trips.
McDonald’s is a must-stop for us on Disneyland road trips.

Happy Meals

My kids love getting Happy Meals, and since we reserve them for “special” outings, like our Disneyland drives, they are beyond excited!

McDonald's Happy Meals make me smile too!
McDonald’s Happy Meals make me smile too!

I love getting Happy Meals for road trips because they are the complete meal for kids with a hamburger, cheeseburger or chicken nuggets, plus side options like Cuties, Go-Gurts, fries or sliced apples. We often choose a Cutie or sliced apples because they are easy to save for later if needed. You can also choose from milk or a fountain drink.

And what’s a Happy Meal without the toy? Happy Meal toys come in so handy on our drives; it’s a brand new toy that keeps them busy until they fall asleep after getting their bellies full. 🙂 Win-win!

Salads

If the Big Mac isn’t quite your thing, you’re going to love the fresh salad options at McDonald’s. These tasty entrees will actually have you hitting the drive through even without kids in tow. Choose from Bacon Ranch Salad or Southwest Salad with either crispy or grilled chicken for as little as 330 calories.

McDonald's Southwest Salad, my favorite place to stop on our Disneyland road trips.
McDonald’s Southwest Salad, my favorite place to stop on our Disneyland road trips.

Burgers & Sandwiches

If you’re craving a burger on your Disneyland drive, McDonald’s has you covered. Plus, chicken sandwich options for under 400 calories.

Keeping it simple with a burger and fries.
Keeping it simple with a burger and fries.

All Day Breakfast

My only question is where was all day breakfast when I was rollin’ in at 3 in the morning back in the day? This is the best thing to happen to McDonald’s in a long time. Heading back from Disneyland after summer closing times? This is your stop! Grab an Egg McMuffin or Hot Cakes at the Harbor Blvd. location. Yum!

As we wrapped up our most recent Disneyland and McDonald’s road trip, me as the solo driver with four kids in the car, I am so glad we had McDonald’s Play Place and good food to eat during our break. Don’t forget to look at your receipt, a quick survey and you could score some free food at McDonald’s for the drive back home.

McDonald's food freebies!
McDonald’s food freebies!

If you’re looking for a quick stop that’s refreshing and familiar, don’t miss it on your drive or during your Disneyland vacation.

Want to see what else we like to do to keep busy on our Disneyland Road Trips? We’ve got tons of ideas plus lots more Disneyland tips where this came from. Tell us, where do you like to stop off when you head to Disneyland?

 

Disneyland expert who also loves the beach, flip flops and pink nail polish.

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