Since Brad and I have been traveling to CA so much for work this year, we decided to get an annual passes to Disneyland. Being pretty well traveled, I can honestly say that Disneyland is my very favorite spot to vacation – and I’m glad to have married someone who feels the same way! Ha! We have turned into quite the Disneyland junkies — So I thought I’d share some tips that have made our Disneyland vacation smooth and enjoyable.
1) I’ve seen the ‘happiest place on earth’ become the most ‘stressful chaotic place on earth’ when you’re trying to jam everything in, in one day. You definitely need at least 2 days to fit in both parks. And yes, you need to go to both parks. 2) Purchase your tickets online before your trip, no one wants to stand in that ticket line, while you can be in the park! 3) Download the ‘DL Waits’ App to your phone. You can see the wait time for each ride in real time. 4) Eat early lunch and early dinner, or eat late lunch and late dinner to avoid the “food rush”. 5) If you’re planning to watch a parade, grab your lunch to go and eat it on the curb as you save your spot. 6) Get familiar with Disney’s “Fastpass” system HERE. 7) Disneyland and CA Adventure are on different Fastpass systems. So is Radiator Springs Racers and California Screamin’ in CA Adventure, so utilize that by immediately Fastpassing another ride. 7) There is a Baby Care Center on Main Street, where you can comfortably breastfeed, heat up baby food in a microwave, and change a diaper. Heck, there is even miniature potties in there! 8) Do all of your shopping at the end of your visit. The shops stay open an hour after closing! That way, you don’t have to carry around bags all day. 9) Write your cell phone number on your childs wrist, just in case they get lost. I learned this one from my awesome sister! 10) If you’re vacationing with a baby or small child, get familiar with the Rider Swap system. It’s pretty much the bomb.
RIDER SWAP SECRET:
If you use a “Rider Swap” pass when using a Fastpass, you don’t need a Fastpass for your whole party! So go and fastpass more rides at the same time. For example: If you have a party of 4 adults and 1 baby, get 2 Fastpasses to Splash Mountain, then immediately go Fastpass Indiana Jones with the other two tickets. Everyone gets to enjoy both rides, with the connivence of the Rider Swap!MUST BRING:
Stroller/Backpack, Sunscreen, Jacket/Blanket, Camera, Supportive Shoes, Snacks & Mickey Ears! I also keep all my valuables in a small bag that I can take on the rides with me. That way, when I park the stroller I can be stress free about things getting stolen.
These are rides that always have the longest wait. Don’t stand in line for these rides or it will eat up your day. If you miss the chance to get a Fastpass for these rides, consider waiting in the ‘Single Rider’ line. Except, never wait in the single rider line for Splash Mountain, I waited an hour in that line once! Disneyland: Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain Railroad & Space Mountain. CA Adventure: Radiator springs (Make sure this is the first thing you Fastpass, because they run out quick!), Tower of Terror, & California Screamin’.
“MUST RIDE” FOR SMALL CHILDREN:
Must ride: Jungle Cruise, Winnie the Pooh, Enchanted Tikki Room, Peter Pan Flight, Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, & It’s a Small World (Be prepared to go insane, but little kids LOVE it.).
Must Ride: Monsters Inc, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story Midway Mania, Maters Junkyard Jamboree, & Bugs Life Land Rides.
“MUST RIDE” FOR ADULTS:
Must Ride: Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain Rail Road, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Enchanted Tikki Room, Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan Flight, Winnie the Pooh, Haunted Mansion, & Pirates of the Caribbean.
Must Ride: Radior Springs Racers, Soarin’ Over California, Tower of Terror, California Screamin’, Grizzly Rapids, Toy Story Midway Mania, Monsters Inc, The Little Mermaid & Bug’s Life Theater.
The red corn dog food truck on Mainstreet (I’m not even into corn dogs, and I’m obsessed with these), Cheese Burgers at the Hungry Bear, Churros, Quarter Chicken at French Market (There is an awesome quartet that sings here at night!), Dole Whip (Get in the line INSIDE the gate of the Tikki Room. It goes 10x quicker than the line outside.).
Broccoli Cheese Soup in a Bread Bowl at Pacific Wharf Cafe, Ghirardelli shakes and hot chocolate (You get free chocolate samples there, too!) Breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks, Chimichangas from the food carts (Yummy meal to easily eat on the go). You also can’t go wrong eating anything at The Cozy Cone in Carsland… The Pear of Dice soda and Red’s Apple Freeze are a “must drink”!
The morning is best for Tomorrowland, and evening is best for Fantasyland (and really any of the ‘little kid’ attractions). Everywhere else is pretty busy all day long, so use your ‘DL Waits’ App to keep an eye on the best wait times between your Fastpasses. At 2pm-4pm rest, and get off of your feet! You wont miss much, because this is the busiest time of day in the parks. Take a seat in the air conditioned sorcerer’s workshop (CA adventure), Get a Dole Whip and watch the Tikki Room (Disneyland), or get a sundae at the Golden Horseshoe corral (Disneyland). If you’re staying close, take your little ones to go get a nap – they’ll need it to get through the evening with a smile.Do you have any Disneyland tips I’m missing here? Leave a comment!