I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got to enjoy some yummy Super bowl food, ohhh and I guess watch Tom Brady, haha! As promised here are my tips for Disneyland! After going last year and having a not so very magical time, we decided to give it another shot! This time, we planned everything out using tips from friends, family, and you guys! This time was beyond magical, it was the funnest vacation with our kids so far! Josh and I could feel all the magic and love watching our kids enjoy every second! I’ve had a few readers tell me their first time was similar to ours, but they want to try it again, which I highly recommend!
- Go to Disneyland during their OFF SEASON – Seriously the best decision ever! The first time we went was in the April, and it was a packed to the gills. This time around, we went the last week of January. It was still busy, but not SO BAD you couldn’t get on rides. The longest we waited for a ride was maybe 30 minutes….maybe… and that was for rides that didn’t have the fast passes (more to come on those).
- Get to the Park EARLY – I cannot stress this enough! We were one of the first ones in line everyday. It makes going through security less of a hassle and getting through the gates faster. Plus, once you’re in the park, you can be first in line get on your favorite ride(s). – HOLLA!
- Fast Passes = GAME CHANGER! Schedule your fast passes through out the day and ride other rides in between. We set an alarm for every time we could book another fast pass (using the Disneyland app). Book the most popular rides first. We noticed by 5pm or 6pm all the fast passes would run out and their wouldn’t be any available for the remainder of the night.
- Disneyland App – Plan and map out your entire day through the app. The Disneyland app allows you to pay for ($15 per ticket), then view and book fast passes. The app has a map of both parks, which includes ride locations and current wait times, dining locations, restrooms, events and tours, etc. I’d recommend taking a portable phone charger because the constant usage will drain your battery.
- Multiple Day Pass – Book a minimum of a 3-day park pass (they get cheaper the more days you add). There’s going to be lines, no avoiding that. During our first trip we felt overwhelmed trying to fit everything into one day… not possible… This time around, knowing we had 3 days, we were much more relaxed because we had plenty of time to take in the parks (side note, I wish we would have done at least 4 days). We started each day in our most desired area first, taking our time to make sure we rode all the rides and visited the characters before moving on.
- Hotel – Stay in a nearby hotel. This will allow you to go to and from quickly and easily. We stayed at HOJO Anaheim, and loved the 5-10 minute walk to the parks. We were also able to take to kids back to the hotel for naps in the afternoon.
- Stroller – take a good stroller if you have littles. I took THIS one with the Piggy Board and everyone stopped us asking what stroller we had and thought it was genius! Having something for Jack to ride along was a game changer! HERE is another option you could do too, I saw them all over the place at Disneyland this year! I would buy if I didn’t bring a stroller.
- Snacks – Pack lots of snacks. Having snacks will help ease the wait while standing in line for rides.
- Rest Day – Take a break after the first two days in the parks. We spent our 3rd and 5th days at the hotel (HOJO Anaheim) playing in the pool and splash pad. This was a great way to refuel before taking on the park and crowd again.
- Positive Attitude – Maybe the most important tip. Lets be honest, you can do all these things to improve your experience, but you can’t change the fact that it’s going to be crowded, exhausting, and expensive. Don’t sweat the things you have no control over. Rather, shift your focus to the magic and joy in your child’s eyes. Take in all the details and beauty of the parks. Take time to sit down and relax, eat a churro, have some ice cream, and enjoy the experience.
I hope these tips help you have a magical experience like they did us! We had an absolute BLAST! Let me know if you have any other questions!
Here are some pictures from the trip below!