25 Tips for the Best Disneyland Trip Ever

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Planning a trip to Disneyland can be very overwhelming. There is so much that goes into making sure you are able to see everything you want. These are 25 of some of the best tips to make the most of your time at Disneyland and have the best trip ever!

1. Use an online crowd tracker to help you choose the best days to go! The one I use is called Is It Packed. Try to avoid the days marked Forget About It and Yup It's Packed if at all possible, but there are still tons of ways to make your trip magical if those are the only days you have available to go!

2. Save some money and stay at a good neighbor hotel! The Disneyland hotels are gorgeous but they are very pricy. There are a ton of cheaper hotel options within walking distance or a few minutes away. Several of these hotels offer free parking for hotel guests and most have low cost shuttles that drop you off right at the entrance of the parks!

3. Buy your tickets in advance! This will save you time when you get to the parks because you won't have to wait in line for the ticket booths. Be wary of buying discount park tickets - if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is! When you buy direct from Disney, you can discounts when you purchase multi-day tickets. Disney also offers discounts and special deals throughout the year.

4. Download the official Disneyland app! This app will make your Disney experience so much easier! It includes an interactive map of Disneyland, California Adventure, and Downtown Disney. You can see all of the attractions as well as wait times. You can see where all the dining options are and reserve dining through the app. You can also find characters, shopping, restrooms, and guest services!

5. Book your dining reservations up to 60 days in advance! I don't recommend booking all of your meals for your entire trip because you'll want to have some flexibility in your days. If you want to have a character dining experience or eat at a specific table service restaurant, definitely book that as soon as possible!

6. Book a dining package for one of the shows! If you plan on seeing any of the big shows, like World of Color or Fantasmic, you should consider booking one of their dining packages. You get a great dinner and a prime viewing spot! If you don't want to do this, you can still see these shows with a good view!

7. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes! Disneyland days can be long and require a lot of walking. The last thing you'll want is to be in uncomfortable clothes or shoes that aren't broken in. Make sure you also bring a sweater or jacket for chilly mornings and nights.

8. Bring a reusable water bottle! Bottled water inside Disneyland is insanely expensive and unnecessary. Bring a bottle to refill throughout the day and spend your money on food and souvenirs. You can fill your bottles at the Plaza Inn, Pizza Port, or Rancho Del Zocalo, or any place that has a drink station where you pour your own drinks. You can also ask for free cups of ice water at any dining location throughout both parks!

9. Bring a portable phone charger! You're going to be using your phone a lot throughout the day from checking the Disneyland app and taking photos. Your battery is going to drain quickly and you'll be happy to have an easy way to charge! You can also rent them from Disney but it's much more expensive that way.

10. Get Park Hopper tickets! Disneyland and California Adventure are right next door to each other and it takes less than 5 minutes to walk from one gate to the other. If one park gets too crowded or you want a change of scenery, you can head to the other park easily!

11. Get to the park entrance 20-30 minutes before it opens! This will ensure you have a prime spot in line and you'll be able to get inside the parks for rope drop!

12. If you don't have access to Magic Mornings or Extra Magic Hour, start your day in the park that didn't open early! The park that opened early to those with access will already have lines for rides. Starting at the other park will get you to the front of the line quicker for your first ride!

13. Get a FREE celebration pin! You can get a free pin at City Hall on Main Street USA in Disneyland or at Guest Services in California Adventure. They have pins for general celebrating, birthdays, graduation, just married, and anniversaries!

14. Head straight to Radiator Springs Racers! If you are starting your day in California Adventure, head straight to RSR in Cars Land. You can either get in the standby line or grab a FastPass for later. This line still gets insanely long, even when it isn't too busy in the parks.

15. Use FastPasses or the new MaxPass! FastPasses help you get onto rides without having to wait in the standby line and they are FREE to use! You can have one FastPass at a time and have to use them within the time window printed on the ticket (this is enforced now). For $10 a day per person, you can purchase MaxPass, where you can book your FastPasses in the Disneyland app without walking all over the parks!

16. Use Single Rider lines! If you don't mind sitting with strangers and being separated from your group for a ride, you can use the Single Rider lines at some attractions. These lines are usually very quick and great for saving some time if you don't need to sit together as a group!

17. Visit Fantasyland early in the morning or before park close! Fantasyland gets very busy during the later morning and afternoon and none of the rides there offer FastPasses. If you want to ride these classics without waiting in long lines, your best bet is at park open or just before the park closes.

18. Search for Hidden Mickeys while waiting in lines! There are Hidden Mickeys all over the parks. Searching for them can be a great way to stay occupied while waiting in long lines.

19. Visit Snow White's Grotto for great photos! Snow White's Grotto and Wishing Well are located on the right side of the castle. It's a gorgeous spot that tends to be fairly empty. You can take some amazing shots of the castle from here!

20. Have PhotoPass Photographers take your photo! Most people think they have to purchase photos in order to utilize these photographers but that's not true! You can have them take your photos with your phone or other camera if you just ask! You can also purchase MaxPass for the day ($10 per person) and get unlimited PhotoPass picture downloads for the day!

21. Hide out from the sun and the heat! It can be very sunny and hot at Disneyland regardless of the time of year. You'll want to take some time to cool off. The best places for this are Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Star Wars Launch Bay in Disneyland and the Animation Academy in California Adventure!

22. Watch the parades by It's a Small World! Most people try to watch the parades on Main Street USA so it can get pretty crowded and hard to find a spot to sit. If you want an easier time finding a place to sit during the parade, there's tons of space right by It's a Small World!

23. Get a free piece of chocolate at Ghiradelli in the Pacific Wharf area of California Adventure! They change out the type of chocolate seasonally!

24. Use the shorter line for Dole Whip! There is a second line inside the waiting area for the Tiki Room that is much shorter than the outside line!

25. Eat some of the secret menu items around the parks! These items include Mac and Cheese Bread Bowls and Chili Mac Bread Bowls at Pacific Wharf Cafe, Ice Cream Nachos at the Golden Horseshoe, and Neapolitan Milkshakes at Flo's V8 Cafe.

Is there anything that I missed? Leave your best tip in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. I so need to go back to Disneyland one day soon! I was about 13 the only time I went and we didn't get to visit California Adventure.