Get the most out of your Disneyland Park day with these great tips.
Now that you’ve planned your trip, here are more than 65 tips for having a great time while at Disneyland. Have you checked our tips on planning your trip? Do that here!
Please note all of these are suggestions, if you feel otherwise or disagree, that’s totally okay!
First, make your arrival day, a relaxing day. Take your time getting to your hotel (with traffic that’ll be taken care of for you!), check into your hotel and unpack. Maybe have some rest time or check out the pool, depending on time. Next head to Downtown Disney for more exploring and dinner. Trying to fit a park day into the day you arrive can be incredibly stressful. If you are running late, traffic, cranky kids- it just makes for a very chaotic first day.
Tips for before you enter the park
Be sure you’ve already purchased your tickets. You can do this through the Disneyland Mobile App. (Read more about why this app is a must, and download here.) Chances are you can also grab tickets at your hotel as well. It’s tempting to wait until park day to grab these, but I promise having them ahead of time will make getting into the park much easier.
On that note, download the Disneyland Mobile App. You’ll need it to use MaxPass but that’s not the only reason. Find character locations, food options, wait times, order food and more. Read all about it here.
Have someone else in your party (as long as your tickets are on the same account) download the Disneyland Mobile App. This will allow you both to log in and use MaxPass. It also helps if your phone dies. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen!
Know what time the parks open in the morning. You can check this information on the app or the Disneyland website.
So which park are you going to do first? Typically you should visit the park that is not doing early morning opening (Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour) unless of course, you are taking advantage of it.
Plan what time you want to be up in the morning. Now that you know what time the parks open, it's time to plan when to set that alarm for. Check your maps app to see how long the drive or walk will be. Know what time you need to get up in order to have enough time to get yourself ready, your family ready and out the door.
Plan to arrive 40-60 minutes before the park opens. (Summer months, holidays and long weekends may require extra time.)
Check the schedule for entertainment, characters, fireworks, and parades. Knowing ahead of time what you want to see and when will help keep you organized and avoid any last minute panicking.
Pack your bag for Disneyland. We use a backpack and I usually carry a fanny pack. (This is the one I use from Amazon and I adore it, plus its cheap!) Check here for a list of everything you should take with you into Disneyland and Disneyland California Adventure.
But remember not to overpack. Really only take what you need. You’ll regret carrying around a bunch of stuff you won’t use, that’s weighing your backpack down. Trust me!
Don’t take a bulky purse. I use a crossbody purse or a fanny pack- and yes, those are still in!
Do a quick read of the park rules here. Better to know than get there and be sorry.
If you haven’t already, find out what’s new here.
Disneyland provides services for guests with disabilities. Find more information here.
Did you do grocery delivery? If you didn’t, this is a great time to create a quick grocery order/place for next day delivery. (Or day of if you can schedule in time.) Grocery delivery is perfect for quick breakfasts, snacks, and drinks for park and ultimately is a big money saver.
Is your stroller ready? Toss some water into the bottom for a quick drink while in the park.
Tip: Drink mixer packs are perfect to use with water.
Make sure you have something on your stroller that lets you easily identify it in a crowd. Your stroller may be moved by a Cast Member if it gets in the way. Don’t panic, it should just take a couple of minutes to locate. Tip: If you do not have a stroller, you can rent one at Disneyland.
Be sure to put all you need in the stroller so it’s all ready to go.
If you have Magic Morning (Only at Disneyland, not Disneyland California Adventures), you can check for the opening time on Disneyland’s website here or your mobile app!
Plan if you have Extra Magic Hour- this is only for guests of the Disneyland Hotels. This happens in both parks, different days. Check the website or mobile app.
While I hope you never experience this, Disneyland is packed with people and losing a child is a very real possibility, that you should be prepared for. Know where to go and who to talk to if this happens. Use stickers or temporary tattoos to put contact info, should they get separated. Cast members are trained in this, but it’s best to be as prepared as possible.
Morning of Disneyland Park day
Get up early. I know you are on vacation but allowing yourself time to get up, get ready for the day, get your family ready for the day and walk to the park is essential in creating a no stress (or at least as stress-free as possible) trip. Promise.
Be sure to plan to arrive early to find parking, walk, wait in entrance lines and in the security line.
Eat breakfast before you head out in the morning or on the walk. Don’t skip breakfast, this will make for cranky, hungry kids and an earlier lunch.
Don’t forget your sunscreen before you leave the hotel! Apply to everyone and then toss in your bag for the park. We use this for adults and this for kids.
Double check you have everything you need before leaving. There is nothing worse than getting to the park and realizing you don’t have your park tickets, id or money.
Grab a light sweatshirt for everyone.
Wear walking shoes and comfortable clothes. Pay attention to the clothes you are wearing. Be sure to check the weather and plan accordingly.
Rent a stroller if needed before entering the parks. ($15/per day one stroller, $25/per day for two strollers.) You’ll find them right outside the Disneyland Park main entrance.
Get a locker if you need to. Thinking of walking back to your vehicle? While this seems like a great option (and maybe it is for you) it really does take a big chunk of time to walk there and back, go through security and entrance lines. Save yourself the headache.
Don’t let the security or entrance lines scare you. They will be long and that’s expected. At this point, you should be prepared for lines, take this time to practice your patience. Remember you are at Disneyland!
Once you are in, listen to the music about thirty minutes before the park is supposed to open. Maybe you can catch rope drop!
Don’t forget to grab your Starbucks. There’s two in Downtown Disney and one in both Disneyland Park and California Adventure park. Find the locations here or on the Disneyland Mobile app.
Remember to have your belongings and strollers ready to be checked in the security line. Take your jacket off as well.
Lastly, did you drive? Remember where you parked and be sure to put a note in your phone.
Note: Buena Vista Street (Located in Disneyland California Adventure) and Main Street (Located in Disneyland) open thirty minutes before the parks.
When it comes to meal times, eat a little earlier than you normally do at home.
Continually check the app for wait times. (We use this to decide where we will start, as well as what we’ll tackle throughout the day. We also will park hop if one park looks less busy, based on wait times.)
Midday breaks are awesome. This is something you should definitely consider. Taking a break to head back to the hotel for a nap or a swim will prove to be very beneficial.
Did you know: if your balloon pops, go to the vendor and get a new one for free.
The Baby Care Centers are lifesavers. Use the Disneyland Mobile app to locate these. You’ll find a nursing center, changing table, rocking chairs and more.
Take advantage of photo ops. Photos at Disneyland are my favorite. You can find where photographers are using the Disneyland Mobile app. See your favorite character? Ask for a picture! (Within reason of course.) Always the one taking a photo? Ask your spouse to help. Tip: photographers will always take a picture with your phone as well. Utilize this option!
Don’t rush! I know it feels like you have to do all the things, now. But just taking your time and enjoying it will feel so much better. No one wants to get all worked up and ruin the trip.
Use your Disneyland gift cards. You know all those Disneyland gift cards you saved up? Now is the time to use them.
Have a question that you’d like a quick answer on? Take advantage of those Disneyland Facebook groups you are in. Ask away!
Use the mobile app to find food options, view menu and order food. The new option for mobile ordering is great!
Wondering where the characters are at? Of course, you are! That’s one of the best parts. Check the Disneyland Mobile app- all characters for the day will be listed, as well as the hours and location. This is perfect in planning your day.
If you are heading into Disneyland and your little ones want to do the Jedi Training, head there to sign up first thing. These spots are first come, by reservation, and they fill up quickly.
Did you know if you are staying at one of the Disneyland Hotels you can have your purchases sent to your room? How cool is that?
No alcohol is served in Disneyland but it is in Disneyland California Adventure. You’re welcome!
Take the monorail in Disneyland or the Streetcar in California Adventure to save time, and just because they are cool!
What happens when a ride goes down that you have a FASTPASS for? You get a ‘Multiple Experiences’ pass- this means you can get on any ride that offers FASTPASS anytime. Please note this may be changing soon, a free pass will still be offered but within it's own group.
Make sure to pay attention, there is usually always something hidden and fun.
Remember to take time to rest. It’s okay not to rush at full speed the whole time and you shouldn’t. Find a nice spot on the grass, on a bench or stand for a couple of minutes to catch your breath. Take it all in and remember these great moments.
Check out the Animation Academy in California Adventure and get a free cartoon drawing! This is a really neat experience.
Did someone say free chocolate? That’s right! Grab your free chocolate at Ghirardelli in California Adventure. It’s bite-sized, but who can complain if it’s free.
Use the Single Rider Line. What’s this? It’s the line for those people with just one person. Not all rides offer this, check the sign out front.
Take advantage of Rider Switch- if you need someone to stay with a kiddo. It’s exactly like it sounds.
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