When planning a trip to Disneyland, you want to make your experience the best it can possibly be. I went to Disneyland this past November and from my experience, I gathered fourteen different tips and hacks to make your trip to Disneyland completely magical!
PICKING THE RIGHT SEASON
Disney is crazy busy in the summer, so an overcrowded park by visiting Disneyland at a time when children AREN’T on vacations from school. (Spring and winter breaks are also crazy, but not as crazy as summer).
This past year, I also took a trip to Disneyland for Valentine’s Day. The lines were short and there weren’t as many people, which is a definite plus. However, Disney seems to shut down a lot of rides for maintenance in the beginning of the year because of the fact that there’s less people.
My best Disney experiences have been in August, September, October (it’ll be Halloween-themed!), and November.
THE BEST DAYS TO GO
Skip the weekend, and go on a weekday instead. I cannot tell you how much shorter the lines were when I went on a Thursday rather than my trip on Friday and Saturday.
WAIT TIMES APP
If you’re going to Disney, this app is vital. It’s a free phone app that tells you the wait times for each ride. So instead of waiting 90 minutes for Indiana Jones, head over to Space Mountain if the app tells you it’s only a 25 minute wait. Chances are, you’ll see Indiana Jones at a lower wait time later in the day — just pay attention!
WORLD OF COLOR FAST PASSES
If you want to be in a good spot during the World of Color show in California Adventure, you’ll definitely want to pick up some fast passes (they’re currently located near the Grizzly River Run). We got our fast passes around noon and ended up gathering at our meet-up location around 7:50 PM (the show started at 8:15). We ended up being front and center for the show… literally as close as close can get.
If you want someone to take a picture of you and your group (c’mon, sometimes selfies aren’t ALWAYS the answer!), ask a Disney photographer! You know, those people with giant tripods who stand near the castle, and in Cars Land? After they take your picture on their camera, ask them to take a picture on your phone or personal camera, and they’ll say yes!
Everyone wants to take a picture by the castle. I mean, if you didn’t take a picture in front of the castle, did you even really go to Disney at all?
To avoid millions of people in the background of your castle picture, head over to the castle early in the morning. By 11 or 12, the castle is flooded with guests, so your best bet is around the time the park opens.
RIDES OVER SHOWS
If you aren’t interested in watching the fireworks or World of Color, some (not all!) rides remain open during this time. A while back, I got to ride Splash Mountain twice within only fifteen minutes (the wait time was literally five minutes!) during the firework show.
Alright. I love Disneyland food, no matter how unhealthy it is. But if you want something a little better, head over to the food cart near Village Haus. It’s in the same area as Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, conveniently next to the exit of Fantasyland and entrance into Frontierland. They sell a ton of fruit — their mango is the best!
OLD VS. NEW
The older rides (like Peter Pan’s Flight and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride) don’t offer fast passes. I think Disney is under the impression that since they’re old rides, no one wants to go on them, therefore they don’t need fast passes. But that is so wrong. These rides almost always have a 40 minute wait time. So, to ride these without waiting in a long line, make these rides one of your first stops at the park. A lot of people resort to these rides last (later in the afternoon) because they’ve already done everything else. So, if you go to these rides earlier in the morning, the lines will be a lot shorter!
BRING EXTRA SOCKS
Seriously, just trust me on this one. There’s always that ONE person on Splash Mountain or the Grizzly River Run who gets soaked. Just in case that person is you, you might want to consider packing an extra pair of socks. I can deal with walking around for an hour in wet jeans, but wet socks? No thanks!
GET DOLE WHIP FAST
Dole Whip is one of the most popular snacks at Disneyland, and with popularity, comes long lines.
But what you didn’t know is that the Tiki Room has TWO DIFFERENT LINES. During my most recent trip to Disney, the INSIDE of the Tiki Room had a line of about four people. The outside line had at least fifteen. So if you want Dole Whip, GO INSIDE!
SOARIN’ OVER CALIFORNIA
Try to get in the first row for Soarin’ Over California. If you’re not in the first row, you’ll be forced to look at other people’s shoes dangling above you, which isn’t really a big deal, but still an unwanted distraction from the California experience nonetheless.
Honestly, just avoid purses. Not because there’s a lot of theft at Disney, but because they’re such a pain to carry, and an even bigger pain to try and stuff into the little carrier pouches on rides.
But if you do need something to hold your belongings, opt for a backpack. They’re still a pain to carry on rides, but backpacks will hold your merchandise a lot better than a purse will (depending on how big your purse is). And by the end of the day, lugging a heavy purse on one arm will become tiring.
AVOID FLIP FLOPS
Flip flops generally don’t provide much support for your feet, and when you’re at Disney, you’re probably going to be walking a lot. Also, you don’t want to be on a ride like Soarin’ Over California or the Tower of Terror when suddenly your shoe falls off. Not fun.
Despite all these tips, just simply enjoy your Disneyland experience! After all, it is the happiest place on Earth.