In honor of Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary! We took a trip this last spring to Disneyland for Mason’s birthday and spring break. There was a few things I learned so I’ve compiled a list to maybe help some of you have the best trip you could have! (Also, in the future when we visit again I won’t have to do all my research again ’cause I have the worst memory ;) So, read below for my huge list of Disneyland Tips!!
BEFORE YOU EVEN STEP INTO THE PARK:
1. If you’ve got the time and money purchase multiple day passes to the parks; it will save you from the feeling of being rushed and exhausted. You will definitely appreciate not feeling like you need to see/do everything and will have time to actually enjoy yourself, be able to do your favorite rides more than once and take a break mid day if need be.
3. To save money on food we headed to a local grocery store to stock up on breakfast, snacks, drinks. Eat breakfast before you go into the parks, you’ll be nice and fueled and save some money.
4. Where to stay? I highly suggest staying close to the parks, if you don’t want to stay for the fireworks show you can see it outside your hotel(we even were able to lay in our beds and watch them), save a little money and walk. If money isn’t a problem check out the Disneyland hotels you get early morning access and more. But if your looking to save the extra money which is what we did, we went for a neighbor hotel it is walking distance and a lot cheaper. Check out our non-sponsored review of the Sheraton Park Hotel.
5. Let’s discuss walking though; if you’re staying off site and plan on walking to save money please keep your kids in mind. The 1.5 mile walk for us only took 20 min in the morning but when we were done for the day the walk back took almost an hour. If I did it again, I’d either stay right across the street from the entrance or take the shuttle.
6. If you’re flying in and only doing Disneyland/California Adventure, save money on car rental and just take the shuttle from the airport.
7. My biggest suggestion is arrive at the park(s) about 30 minutes before opening, from opening to about noon had the lowest crowds of the whole day. And immediately after you enter the park hit up the “popular” rides and get those fast passes. Between 12pm-5pm seem to be the busiest time, if you can’t stand the crowds and need a break head back to your hotel.
8. Popular Rides/Attractions – Take advantage of the fastpasses, they are wonderful! Have younger kids not able to ride? Take advantage of the Rider Switch Service.
Disneyland; Get in line to ride Peter Pan, then Dumbo, both are popular rides without fastpasses. Pick up fastpass for Indiana Jones en route to Peter Pan and if watching the Fantasmic Show pick up fastpass.
California Adventure; en route to ride the Toy Story Mania pick up fastpass for Radiator Springs outside the It’s Tough to be a Bug. After riding the Toy Story Mania go pick up fastpass for the World of Color show if you plan on watching it. If you have older kids and want to ride Radiator Springs without the long line, hop in the single rider line.
9. Kids under 3 don’t need a ticket.
10. Find the best time of the year to go and best days of the week, check out the list here from Disney Tourist Blog. Traveling off season doesn’t just mean less crowds but better deals, save money on places to stay. THINK KIDS OUT OF SCHOOL, EQUALS BUSY.
11. If you have kids that will fit in a stroller and you forgot yours, I highly suggest renting one. Not bad price, you will cover more ground, and on the go nap station if need be ;)
12. Ask one of the photo cast members to take your picture with your camera, or you can get one of the photo cards and later purchase. I found that a little pricey though.
13. Disney lets you bring in water and snacks, except glass containers and if bringing a cooler, you will need to rent a locker at the gates. So, bring that water, it will be hot and don’t forget those snacks, they are the perfect thing for waiting in those lines and when you need a sugar kick from all the walking.
14. Main Street City Hall(Disneyland) or Guest Services(California Adventure) gives free special occasion pins, think free souvenir :) First visit to the park, newly engaged, celebrating a birthday? And a bonus while you wear the birthday pin, cast members wish you a Happy Birthday!
15. Sunblock, apply before you enter the park and bring a bottle, saves you money so you don’t have to buy inside.
16. Eating at restaurants inside Disneyland. We found that it actually cost a little less to eat inside the park then the restaurants outside. And we found very healthy options for the meals; good pieces of meat, the children’s meals came with veggies, juice boxes, milk. So, don’t be afraid to eat inside, wasn’t your typical theme park foods!
17. Character meals. We only did this because it came with our Costco package and I was very surprised how much Mason liked it. It’s a bit on the pricey side so don’t be afraid to skip it if it’s not in your price range or no one’s interested. But the Goofy’s Kitchen was very good fresh tasting foods for adults and kids alike.
18. Must have eats at Disneyland! Try the hand dipped corn dogs, Mickey beignets at Mint Julep, Dole Whip!!!
19. Should one of your souvenirs break while your visiting, bring it back to the shop and they will replace it if you purchased inside Disneyland.
20. Baby care center. They have a wonderful area for babies/toddlers, with feeding area(highchairs included), changing area, quiet nursing area, even a kitchen with microwave and sink. Talk about “kid friendly”!!
21. If you’re a blogger or PR go check into getting a media pass to save some money.
22. And lastly go check out MouseSavers.com for the best Disneyland Resort discounts and deals.