10 tips to get the most out of Disneyland


As I mentioned in a post earlier today I recently attended a holiday blogger event at Disneyland. I’m excited to share more from my Disneyland stay with you plus a few Disneyland tips. Whenever we plan a trip to Disneyland we always go at least two days. With the expansion to the parks there is no way we could fit everything in one day. There are way too many fun things to do. :) Disneyland Resort is a wonderful multi-day, family vacation destination with lots of fun for all ages. Today I’m going to share a few Disneyland tips to help you get the most out of your family vacation.

1. Make sure to get a 3 day hopper ticket. When you buy a multi day ticket you don’t feel the pressure to cram everything in one day. There is just no way to squeeze it all in with little kids. By staying there a few extra days it made our trip more relaxed and enjoyable. Look for special savings on 3-day park-hopper tickets and hotel packages that go on sale starting  for visits in early 2013; see www.disneyland.com/offers.


2. Download the free Mobile Magic phone app with attraction wait times to help keep you in the loop.

3. Learn how to use a FASTPASS to make sure you don’t have to wait in long lines. Look for the fast pass distribution centers by your favorite rides.  By using FASTPASS tickets, you’ll spend less time waiting in lines and have more time to watch the parades and explore the different rides in the parks.

4. Take advantage of the rider switch pass (also known as a stroller pass). I would take my son on a ride, while my husband took my daughter on Pooh (her favorite ride) and then I’d ask the nice worker for a stroller pass before going on the ride. When we came off the ride I handed the pass to my husband and he could get right on. You can also save these passes for later in the day if you want to save them. We LOVED those passes!

5. If traveling with young kids, check the height restrictions on rides before you go. The night before we headed to Disneyland I looked on their website and wrote down every ride that my son (age 3) and daughter (age 2) could go on. My son surprisingly could go on most of the rides including Splash Mountain, Soarin’, Thunder Mountain, Racers and even Space Mountain. He is quite the dare devil. He was laughing the whole time. My daughter got to enjoy most of the rides too.

6. Bring a small cooler for drinks and snacks. Disneyland food can be expensive… and if your kids are anything like mine, they snack a lot! I brought lots of water bottles and healthy snacks so that we didn’t have to spend extra money on those things and to help keep my kids happy while waiting in lines.

7. Get your fast pass for radiator springs FIRST thing in the morning. This was one of our all time favorite rides, but it always has SUPER long lines… so make sure to get your fast pass first thing. You can get the fast passes on your way to radiator springs (right next to Bugs life).

8. Arrive to the parks EARLY. If you get there right when it opens you can walk right onto the big rides. Make sure to be at the entrance gates the minute the park opens—8 A.M (on weekends). You know the saying… the early bird gets the worm… very true at Disneyland!

9. Ask cast members for help. If you’re lost and need help finding something, don’t hesitate to ask. The workers at Disneyland are SUPER nice and happy to help.

10. Stay close to the park. We stayed at the Grand and there is no place more magical than staying right on the property. With little kids I always tend to forget things, so it was nice to be able to run right back to the hotel. We also LOVED being able to get into the parks an hour early. We would hit all of our favorite rides (like Racers) and didn’t have to wait in line. It was also nice to be able to walk back to our hotel room and let the kids take a nap. It’s definitely a splurge, but the hotels location (in the park) cannot be beat! Check back often on their website for special discounts.


Also one last thing… don’t miss the fireworks and world of color. They are both fantastic!! My whole family loved the show! So there you have it 10 Disneyland tips!

HUGE thanks to Disneyland for inviting my family on this amazing trip!

Do you have any Disneyland tips? Please share in the comments…


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Jamielyn Nye

Creative director and founder of I Heart Naptime. Jamielyn aspires to reach women, get their creative juices flowing, and to genuinely inspire. When she’s not creating, Jamielyn loves to chase her three little monkeys and snuggle up on the couch with her man.

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11 comments on “10 tips to get the most out of Disneyland”

  1. eeeekkk! so super excited to see this post. my little family leaves for disneyland next week! :-) we are surprising the kids with the trip and can’t wait to tell them christmas morning. thank you so much for the tips…most i knew, which made me feel confident that i did things right. but thank you for sharing the app. i downloaded it right away.

    we are staying at the same hotel! fun!

    and thank you for the reminder about bringing drinks/snacks/small cooler. we have done that before, but i forgot so we’ll pack it up soon. thank you!!!!

  2. Great tips! I didn’t know they had a stroller pass. Thanks!

  3. As a former Disneyland “Cast Member” (I was there for 24 years) I would also add if at all possible avoid the week between Christmas & New Years and the day after Thanksgiving. This is the busiest time there & it can be extremely crowded & frustrating

  4. I agree with all of those tips. My family and I are annual pass holders and we love the Mousewait app on either IPhone or Android. It is better than Mobil magic. Enjoy!!!

  5. And … for your next Disney trip … you can get a free cup of ice water at any of their food stations. Don’t waste your money (or break your back carrying) on bottled water. Just head up to a food booth and ask for free ice water. :)

    • But, I do have to point out, if you or your children get thirsty in a ride line, you don’t want to leave to get a drink at a food station and lose your spot. Bring water bottle(s). Trust me.

  6. Heads up, if you call it a “stroller pass” or “rider switch pass”, the cast members will look at you like you’re nuts and be absolutely clueless as to your meaning. We call it “kid swap”, meaning the parents “swap” kids at the end of the ride

  7. Get into your family photos, ask a cast member to take your picture with your camera. They can’t say no. Also get a photo pass, so worth it!

  8. This website has TONS of great Disneyland tips. She even updates it every once in a while so I check back a lot. I love it! http://birdsandgypsies.blogspot.com/2011/11/disneyland-secrets.html

  9. If you live close enough to Disneyland and you go more than twice a year get a yearly pass. You get discoucounts on most food and merchandise. If you live in California you can pay with a payment plan.

  10. I recently heard from a coworker that you need a fast pass to view world of color, is this true? What time does the show start?

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