Tips for a Great Disneyland Vacation!

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Disneyland is one of the Happiest Places on earth!   That is until your kids feet hurt, or the lines are too long, or it’s too hot and the list goes on.

Our family traveled this fall to California and I have put together a few tips that will help make your next Disney Vacation a hit!

  1. Download the Disneyland App.  This is a free app and allows you to look up the park hours, let you know which rides are closed for refurbishment, where the characters are, as well it gives you a live estimate of how long the wait times are which will help you plan out your day!
  2. Decide ahead of time what is most important to your family – is it the thrill seeking rides, the character visits or the shows.  This will also help plan out your days.
  3. It’s always fun to get to meet the characters and have them sign their autographs.  If you are into scrap booking then a neat tip is to pre-cut out different shapes for the characters to sign and then you can pop it into your scrapbook beside the photo with that character.  Our shape of choice was Mickey Mouse heads!  You can pick up inexpensive autograph books ahead of time by checking out a local dollar store – or even make your own!
  4. If you are looking for a specific character to meet and greet, ask a Cast member.  Sometimes there are characters not on the schedule that appear in the parks throughout the day.  We often stumbled upon a Character as we were coming off of a ride or walking through an area.
  5. Fast Pass – this is not something extra you can buy, however it is available for the major rides (you can check the app but rides like Space Mountain, Radiator Springs Racers, Screaming etc.).  You look for the Fast Pass machine (in some cases there is a line up) and put your Disney tickets in and out pops a voucher for your time to return in which the wait is usually less than 10 minutes.   EXTRA TIP – for Radiator Springs Ride (California) the Fast Pass is located just past the main roundabout on your left hand side.
  6. Bring your own bottled water.  This is probably one of the most overpriced items in the parks (well that and the ever so delicious $4 churros !). Once you are in the parks there are a ton of choices of restaurants, that are somewhat reasonably priced, but bottled water is not one of them!
  7. If you are interested in the parades, take a look at the route map and get a spot early.  We grabbed a seat on a bench for the Disney Pixar Parade about an hour ahead of time and it filled up incredibly quickly.  We had such a great view and of course it’s Disney so the parade was very entertaining.
  8. Most passes come with an Extra Magic Hour.   You can find out which park is offering this on each day on the App.   Make use of this – it will give you an hour of less crowded rides and attractions!
  9. Keep an eye out for special events as the Parks will close early and will be restricted to even pass holders only (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party as an example).
  10. Last but not least – Have some patience!  I know my husband will probably laugh when he reads this (as I am the most impatient person you might meet), but really truly remember that everyone is there for a magical experience and a little patience will make the day better.

If I can help you plan your next Disney Vacation, please do not hesitate to connect with me!


Written by,

Amanda Rauh

College of Disney Knowledge Graduate



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