Hello friends! Today’s blog post is all about Disneyland! I’m sharing all of my tips and tricks! Having only been once I’m not an expert or anything, but in 3 days we did almost everything, and I definitely learned a lot! Okay, without further ado, let’s get started!
make your dining reservations 60 days out
Unlike Walt Disney World, you can only make dining reservations at Disneyland 60 days from the first day of your trip! It makes planning a little harder, but it’s also nice not to have a ton of plans. It definitely helped us to go with the flow more, which isn’t what we are used to! But, I made sure to make dining reservations as soon as I could, because the popular restaurants do book up.
You can’t make fastpasses in advance
Disneyland and Disney Califonia Adventure both still use paper Fastpasses with the exception of MaxPass, which I will get to in a minute! This also makes planning harder. So it’s something to know, and you do have to run around a little bit to get a hold of them! But again, it helps you to go with the flow more in the park.
get Fantasmic fastpass early in the day
Fastpasses for Fantasmic are seperate from MaxPass, and from any other Fastpasses you get. Normally you can only have one FastPass at a time (or once the window for another one opens up you could have more than one), but Fantasmic is separate. Even if you have MaxPass you have to get a physical FastPass for Fantasmic! Also make sure to get it early in the day, because they so sell out! There are two showing sometimes, so if you get there really early and want the later show you may have to come back. You can grab FastPasses on the right side of Rivers of America when looking at Tom Sawyer Island, by the food carts.
get the app
Get the Disneyland app! It’s really helpful with anything from wait times, to see where the nearest washroom is, to look at restaurant menus, and for purchasing and using MaxPass. There is wifi in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, but it can be spotty!
get maxpass if you can
If you can, definitely purchase MaxPass! It’s $10 person/day, but I think it’s worth it! I will be doing a whole post about MaxPass soon, but just know that you should get it if you can! Basically it allows you to make FastPasses on your phone, so you don’t have to run around the parks like you would with paper FastPasses. Time saver for sure!
be there for park opening
If you can be there when the parks open, it’s a great way to get a lot done with minimal lines! We were at the park before opening both days, and it really helped us get a good start to the day. We also purchased MaxPass both days, and because we got it right at the beginning of the day we could grab the earliest time slots available.
magic morning for disneyland
If you purchase a 3 or more day ticket for Disneyland, it comes with Magic Morning. On specific days (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for Disneyland and Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays for Disney California Adventure- for Disneyland Resort hotel guests only) you can enter the park 1 hour earlier. We did on the Thursday of our trip, and even in that vlog we shared our thoughts. Not everything was open, so we did Space Mountain, the walkthrough of Sleeping Beauty castle, then got breakfast and waited for Fronteirland to open. If you have kids, I think it would definitely be worth it for Fantasyland rides because there will be minimal waits. But the lines will grow quickly, and if we would have gotten in line during our hour, we would have still waited a bit by the time we got there.
order food through the app
One thing that I wanted to try but didn’t get the opportunity to was ordering food through the Disneyland app! This can help save time for sure, and I know I will try it on my next Disney trip! You can order a Dole Whip through mobile, so don’t wait in line!
Use single rider for popular rides
If you can, definitely take advantage of the Single Rider lines! For Radiator Springs Racers we used a FastPass every time, but we did take note of how quickly single riders were getting on. I’d suggest using FastPass or the Stand By Line once, to experience it with your party, but for additional rides use single rider! We saw people pretty much walk on. With there being 3 seats per row, a lot of times the third seat is empty, so they fill it with a single rider.
Get a Park Hopper. Especially if you are using MaxPass! The parks are so close together we hopped multiple times per day. It’s definitely worth it. and with MaxPass you can make FastPasses in both parks, so you can hop a lot!
so many food options!
I don’t know if it’s because the parks are smaller, but Ethan and I noticed that there are SO MANY food options in Disneyland and DCA! We only ate at Carthay Circle in Disneyland, but we ate at Blue Bayou, Cafe Orleans, Carnation Cafe, quite a few places! Definitely make time to eat in Disneyland and DCA!
Being in Walt’s original park is special. So one thing I really wanted to make sure we did was just walk around and take that in! We spent time on Main Street listening to the Dapper Dans, in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle listening to the Main Street Band, and time relaxing by the Rivers of America. Taking in the ambiance of the parks is one of my favourite things to do!
Karmel shuttle from LAX
We used Karmel Shuttle to get from LAX to our hotel, and it was so easy! I would definitely recommend them. I confirmed everything through my phone, and were given very clear instructions on how to get picked up from the airport. We landed at 10:30 and were in Disneyland by 12 (after checking into our hotel), so it was FAST!
Stay somewhere close if you can
One of the major differences between Disneyland and Walt Disney World is the distance to the parks. We stayed at the Best Western Plus Park Place Inn, and it was right across the street from Disneyland! It took maybe 10 minutes to walk from our room to the gates of Disneyland. Rooms can be a little expensive because of the proximity, but it is totally worth it in my opinion!
If you’d like to hear more about my tips for Disneyland, check out the video below!
If you’ve been to Disneyland and have any tips, please share them in the comments below!
Thank you so much for joining me today!