Hey guys! I thought I would put together an updated quick list of 14 awesome Disneyland tips for you to get the most out of your Disney trip.
Be An Early Bird
Arrive at the park early for a couple of reasons:
1. The parking garage is packed, and there will be a long wait just to park.
(The parking garage opens 30 minutes prior to the 1st parks opening. Parking cost is now $30.00, you can get a prepaid parking voucher on Disney’s website or pay at the parking booth)
2. Parking security lines are long.
(Have you bags ready and zippers open)
3. Shuttle lines to the park lines will also be long.
(Fold up your strollers before the shuttle arrives)
4. Then you will get to the main gate and… Those lines will be long too!
(Have your passes or phones out and ready!)
For these reasons, I recommend leaving your hotel on the early side. Give yourself about an hour before the park actually opens. This will get you in a decent spot for rope drop!
Take A Midday Nap
One of our favorite things to do is to go back to the hotel midday for a nap or to let the kids take a swim. Anything to get us off of our feet for a couple hours. I know you spent a lot of money to be at Disneyland and you want to spend every moment at the parks, but your feet will thank you for the nice break. You can also snack or eat lunch back at the hotel to save some extra money.
After taking a midday break you can now head back to the parks refreshed and ready to take advantage of the rest of the night. The last couple of hours you can really get in a lot of rides because a lot of families have gone back to their hotels. Not only is the park spectacular at night, but if you missed a ride during the day because the line was too long you can hit that ride very last.
Pro Tip: If the park closes at 1:00 AM, as long as you are in line for the ride at 12:59 they will still let you ride. This is an awesome tip to take advantage of!
Purchase Parking in Advance
You can purchase parking in advance so all you have to do is hand the parking attendant your ticket and you are on your way!
Keep in mind, there is not a separate entrance to the parking garage for those that prepay. Although, I think there should be!
Again, give yourself plenty of time in the morning to get through the parking garage line, park, security, hop on the shuttle, and get in line to the entrance.
Stay Within Walking Distance
Try staying at a hotel within walking distance or with the ART shuttle. This will make it, so you do not have to wait in line at the parking garage. There are a lot of hotels within this area that are close to the park entrance, some are actually closer than Disney’s on-site resorts.
I like to hop on to Hotels.com and narrow down my search to hotels within a 1-mile walking distance, have free parking, and a continental breakfast! This usually covers all of my bases when we are traveling with the kids!
Open All Zippers and Compartments on Bags
Have your bags and strollers ready for security. They need to check the bottom of your bag and all the zipper pouches. They will ask you to open all your zippers and start pulling your items out so they can do a good search.
I usually put all of our stuff in a gallon Zip Lock bag so I can just pull it out and allow security to do their jobs. This will make for a smooth trip through security without holding up your whole group and everyone behind you.
Purchase Discount Tickets
My personal motto is, never pay full price! Even my kids will tell you this! There are several different authorized discount ticket dealers.
I have put together a full list of them for you so you can take a look and choose which agency is the best fit for you.
There are a lot of fakes out there, so please do NOT purchase from Craigs List, eBay, or anywhere else that is not on this list!
Make sure to add a poncho to your park bag for this very reason! Both Splash Mountain and Grizzly Run are extremely wet rides. I do think you have more of a chance at getting soaked on Grizzly Run over Splash Mountain.
We normally take ponchos in a large Zip Lock bag and then when we are done with them, we don’t throw them away. I just roll them up the best I can and put them back in the Zip Lock to keep them from getting everything wet.
This way we can reuse them throughout the day. We then dry them out overnight and I repack them in our park bag the next morning!
You can, of course, buy more than one poncho per person, I just like to travel as light as possible! Check out these ponchos on Amazon!
All quick-service restaurants have free water, take advantage of this to avoid heatstroke and to cut down on cost! A single bottle of water at Disney is $4.50. You may want to think about taking a collapsible water bottle to keep in your bag too.
Yes, there are a million different amazing snacks and treats throughout the parks. But guess what, you are stuck in a 45-minute standby line… Bring something for you and the kids to snack on to keep your energy up and keep all your baby Jack-Jacks from turning hangery.
Need some ideas on what to bring into the parks with you to snack on? Check out my complete list of snacks to get some great ideas!
You can also have Amazon deliver your groceries straight to your hotel. We like to have Gatorade, water bottles, soda and some snacks delivered to us. This way we can snack and hydrate on our way to the parks, at the parks and when we wind down at night.
Check out our article on how to order Amazon groceries.
Don’t Haul Around Your Souvenirs
There are a few places within the park that you can actually take your purchases to with your receipt, and they will send them to the front of the park for safekeeping until you are ready to pick them up.
This eliminates the need to keep your eye on your purchases throughout the day. And will also free up stroller space! I personally hate hauling around anything that does not fit in my mini backpack!
Bring A Battery Charger
Make sure to bring an external battery charger for your phone. There aren’t too many places where you can plug in and recharge.
Disney does have charging stations, for a hefty fee. You will be using your phone for the Disney mobile app and lots of cute photos. Please don’t miss out on all of those magical moments by not purchasing an external charger before you go!
Check out some of these chargers on Amazon!
Mickeys Mix Magic Nighttime Show
Disney now projects your favorite characters down Main Street, on Sleeping Beauties Castle, The Matterhorn, and Its A Small World. This is a fun little show with loud music, dancing, and bubbles.
Tips from a pro: I like to watch this at Its A Small World, this way we can stand back away from the crowds and dance and twirl in the bubbles.
World Of Color
Disney has a nighttime show at California Adventure that absolutely cannot be missed. If you ask me, this is better than the parades and fireworks combined!
This is a cool water show that Disney uses projections on with a lot of colorful lights, your favorite Disney characters, loud music, and bubbles! Oh my!
Yes, it’s spectacular and NO it can’t be missed. I would suggest purchasing a dining show package for premium seating.
Use The Disneyland Mobile App
There are several different things you can do from Disneylands Mobile App:
-Check wait times in both parks
-Access park tickets
-Virtual line queues
I would highly recommend downloading this app because it is truly amazing. For more information on how to use Disneylands Mobile App, check out my article.
This concludes our quick list of the best Disneyland tips! Do you have any additional must-know Disneyland tips?! Let us know!