As someone who grew up in Los Angeles, going to Disneyland twice a year or so became an expected and integral part of my childhood. Of course, once you grow up a bit, the theme park does not hold quite the same thrill, but still, with a bit of nostalgia, the allure of Disneyland never fades completely.

In fact, the pleasure continues to abound, especially in the months right after the holidays. The true bonus of living in Southern California, as opposed to just visiting, is being able to partake in the off-season treats.

Disneyland in March is a revelation. Instead of blazing sunshine and sweaty crowds, Disneyland and its younger sibling, Disney's California Adventure, offer cooler climes and shorter wait times.

I walked right onto Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion and Pinocchio. The longest wait hovered around 25 minutes!

Another secret: make an early reservation at the Blue Bayou for lunch. Nestled amidst the Pirates ride, the café puts you right in the action.

From April 11 through May 5, get ready for Disney’s California Food and Wine Weekends, which feature culinary demonstrations, seminars and fine meals that showcase the “diverse flavors of the Golden State.” For more information, visit