101 Great Disneyland Tips

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Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are generally considered “locals parks,” and there are a lot of things they do that you, too, can do to save time and money, or just improve the quality of your vacation. Here are 101 random tips based upon our visits to Disneyland as Annual Passholders, and based upon lessons we’ve learned while in the parks from locals we hang out with who have been visiting for years.

Our 101 Great Walt Disney World Tips list was so popular that we’ve decided to do this one for Disneyland! Not all of these tips will be applicable to everyone (not everyone is going to need to know about a Baby Care Center…even if the adults in your party can sometimes be big babies), but there should be something for everyone here. Whether you’re a first time planner or a weathered veteran who still has nightmare-flashbacks to Light Magic, there are tips for you here!

We have a lot of tips to cover (101, to be exact) that will help you experience Disneyland and Disney California Adventure like a “pro.” Some are simple hacks to save money, some will help you save time, and others are just random oddities that will enhance the experience. Make sure to read the comments at the end where some readers have shared additional tips.

Note that this post has been updated for 2015 with some new tips, plus some old tips that are no longer relevant removed. Let’s get started with our 101 favorite Disneyland tips!

101 Disneyland Tips

  1. You can save money on your Disneyland tickets by purchasing from Disney Authorized Ticket Sellers. Just be careful, as there are a lot of Disneyland ticket scams. It can also be good to get the Park Hopper add-on as hopping between the parks is incredibly easy. We have more Disneyland ticket tips & recommendations in our ticket article, so you can determine which options are right for you.
  2. Disneyland now enforces FastPass return times, but there is a 15 minute grace period, so don’t discard your FastPasses if you’re only a bit late.
  3. Walt Disney World regulars fond of “Drinking Around the World” in Epcot can have a similar bar crawl experience at Disneyland Resort in Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney, and the Disney-owned hotels!
  4. If you are celebrating a special occasion, make sure to pin up a button reflecting the celebration at one of the Disney-owned hotels or in the parks from Guest Services (or at a restaurant if the line at Guest Services is long). You may receive special treatment if wearing the buttons. If you are not celebrating a special occasion but just want a free button, ask a Cast Member for one in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure.
  5. If planning your trip, you may encounter outdated resources suggesting that there’s little benefit to staying in on-site, Disney-owned hotels at Disneyland Resort. This changed with the opening of Cars Land, as early access to Radiator Springs Racers can be very valuable. Our on-site v. off-site hotel post reflects the current pros and cons of staying off-site and on-site.
  6. Guests may be able to ride in the Lilly Belle car on the Disneyland Railroad and the Mark Twain Riverboat Wheel House on a first-come, first-served basis. Just ask a Cast Member working either attraction or visit City Hall. If you strike out with one Cast Member or on one day, don’t be afraid to try again later.
  7. Disneyland is celebrating its 60th Anniversary beginning May 22, 2015. This celebration will include a new parade, new fireworks, new World of Color, and more. We have more details in our Disneyland 60th Anniversary Preview post.
  8. Christmas entertainment is included in the cost of daily admission–there is no separate hard ticket event. Christmas offerings include ‘it’s a small world’ holiday, Haunted Mansion Holiday, Believe… In Holiday Magic fireworks, and much more. For more in-depth info about the holidays, read our Guide to Disneyland at Christmas.
  9. If you are comfortable winging it a bit, we highly recommend using Hotel Tonight to book your hotel. The area has a huge inventory of rooms, and last minute deals are always available. Park Vue Inn, Tropicana Inn, Carousel Inn & Suites, and many other hotels within walking distance are regularly available for ~50% off, so you’re likely to get something close. Use code TBRICKER1 to save $25 on your first booking, too.
  10. FastPass should be used to avoid long lines, but if you must wait in one long line, make it Indiana Jones Adventure. The queue is an experience in itself, and you can use this decoder to translate some Mara-glyphics in the queue.
  11. It has become somewhat of a “tradition” for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure to have a 24-hour party the Friday before Memorial Day. Note that these parties are very popular with locals, but do cause increased crowds on those days. If you will take advantage of the extra hours, we highly recommend going. If not, it’s best to plan on visiting a different time of year. The party in 2015 will be especially busy because it’s the 60th Anniversary Kick-Off. Here are some tips for the party.
  12. Mad Hatter sometimes plays “musical chairs” with kids at Coke Corner on Main Street in Disneyland once daily. This usually occurs at 2:30 p.m., but the time is subject to change and is not listed in the Times Guide. Ask a Cast Member at Coke Corner for the exact time it will be occurring during your visit. Here’s a video of the game.
  13. Due to the large population of Annual Passholders and how blockout dates redistribute them, the best time to visit Disneyland isn’t as simple as when school is in session. Read about the other best times to visit Disneyland Resort in our When to Visit Disneyland post, discussing crowds, special events, weather, and more.
  14. Have kids that want to trade pins with Cast Members? Buying pins from Amazon or eBay to trade with Cast Members is the difference between spending ~$1 per pin and $8-10 per pin. This makes a cheap souvenir and fun activity on the trip. (Note: some pins on eBay and Amazon are fakes.) Likewise, pressed pennies are cheap and there are machines all around the parks, so those can make for a fun activity, too.
  15. Guests staying at the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel (and its Disney Vacation Club Villas) have access to a private viewing deck, which overlooks Paradise Pier and offers a very unique view of World of Color.
  16. Non-drinkers normally avoid bars & lounges, but everyone should visit Trader Sam’s at Disneyland Hotel. The theming is Walt Disney Imagineering at the top of its game, and you can spend hours examining all of the wonderful little details. The drink menu is unique, and there are excellent food options–you can order from the Trader Sam’s menu or the Tangaroa Terrace menu, as the two restaurants share a kitchen.
  17. The Disneyland Dining Plan is nothing like the Walt Disney World Dining Plan. Very few Disneyland guests use it because, for most people, the Disneyland Dining Plan is not worth the hassle.
  18. If you’ve never visited Disneyland Resort, you should go in with at least a rough plan of attack. Failing that, prioritize the following as the first attractions to do each morning when you arrive: Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure and Fantasyland, Indiana Jones Adventure, Space Mountain, or Star Tours: the Adventures Continue in Disneyland. Read our 1-Day Disneyland Itinerary and 1-Day Disney California Adventure Itinerary for more tips.
  19. Napa Rose, located in the Grand Californian Hotel, is Disneyland Resort’s best restaurant. Second best is Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California Adventure. Read our Disneyland Restaurant Reviews for some good (and bad!) dining options.
  20. Both parks have Baby Care Centers and First Aid Centers. Baby Care Stations are great quiet places to take your kids, and the First Aid Centers have nurses on site who can assist with minor issues (like blisters).
  21. Want to know which rides to do and which to skip in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure? Our Disneyland Ride Guide and Disney California Adventure Ride Guide have summaries of every attraction, tips, and numerical scores so you can plan your day and avoid the duds. (Lookin’ at you, Innoventions!)
  22. Jungle Cruise skippers sometimes have free maps of the ride that they’ll give out to guests if asked.
  23. If you’re visiting on a night when Disney California Adventure has 2 or 3 World of Color performances, always go to the latest one for the lowest crowds. This means strategically pulling your World of Color FastPass later in the day so you don’t get “stuck” with an earlier show. Read our other Tips for Viewing World of Color for more info.
  24. Make sure to arrive at Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room far enough in advance of a show to pick up a Dole Whip. The line inside the queue/waiting area is usually shorter than the one in the Adventureland walkway. They’re “classic” Disney snacks, and you can take them in the show with you.
  25. SuperShuttle from John Wayne Airport (SNA) to Disneyland-area hotels is about $10 each way (or less with discounts!) and given that many of these hotels are within walking distance, you may not need a rental car at Disneyland Resort. Here are some other Disneyland Transportation Tips.
  26. Did you know that there is a nightly “Sh-Boom” moment at dusk when the lights come on in Cars Land? Read our other Cars Land Tips & Tricks.
  27. On select days during the Christmas season, handmade candy canes are prepared at Candy Palace in Disneyland and Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure. Lines form for these early (before park opening) and numbers are distributed, so if you want one, don’t expect to stroll up to these candy shops in the middle of the day and just pick one up. Despite the fanfare, there really isn’t anything all that special about these candy canes. The fun is in watching Cast Members make the candy canes at the open air bakeries (which anyone can do, regardless of whether you purchase a candy cane).
  28. A great selection of CDs featuring Disney theme park music are available in the Emporium on Main Street USA, but some of the best music is available (legally) online.
  29. Although Disney California Adventure has received a massive overhaul in some areas to correct problems that plagued the park when it opened in 2001, there are still remnants of “extinct” areas. Check out the restrooms in the front of the park and in Paradise Pier for a taste of Sunshine Plaza and Route 66, respectively.
  30. Did you know that there are alien dinosaur eggs hidden in Tomorrowland? Not even kidding. Check out some other Disneyland Secrets & Hidden Details in that post.
  31. You WILL get wet on Grizzly River Run in Disney California Adventure. Store your electronics in the lockers near this attraction, which are free for the first two hours.
  32. With the exception of Splash Mountain, Critter Country is generally a less-busy land. Stop by Hungry Bear Restaurant (one of our favorite restaurants) in late afternoon and get a table by the water as the sun sets on the Rivers of America.
  33. One of the best snacks at Disneyland is the Matterhorn Macaroon at Jolly Holiday Bakery. Go first thing in the morning for a freshly made Matterhorn Macaroon!
  34. Want some other ideas of the best places to get a quick meal at Disneyland? Check out our Top 10 Disneyland Counter Service Restaurants post.
  35. Disneyland gets into the Halloween spirit with “Halloween Time at Disneyland,” which includes attraction overlays, Mickey’s Halloween Party, seasonal restaurant menus, and more. Read our Guide to Halloween Time at Disneyland for everything you need to know.
  36. Haunted Mansion Cast Members used to hand out “Death Certificates” to guests who asked. We were told in 2012 that these are no longer given out, but you can print your own from DoomBuggies.com and give it to your kids after their first ride on the Haunted Mansion!
  37. Innoventions should be avoided, but the second story balcony outside the exit offers the best view of Disneyland. To see this view without going through the attraction, walk up the exit ramp.
  38. To help plan your Disneyland trip, request a free vacation planning DVD from Disney. These are also great for helping getting kids excited about the trip.
  39. Disneyland Resort counter service restaurants will give you a free cup of water (ask for a large cup!) or a free cup of hot water.
  40. Alcohol is available in Disney California Adventure, but not in Disneyland (except the exclusive Club 33).
  41. City Hall has recipes for popular Disneyland dishes that they can provide to guests; alternatively, simply asking your server for the recipe of a dish you like might result in a visit to your table by someone from the kitchen.
  42. Don’t believe what anyone says about the best “secret” Disneyland fireworks viewing spots. The best spots are all on Main Street USA, with the very best spots being close to Sleeping Beauty Castle in the hub. Since Sleeping Beauty Castle is short, you can be closer to it and still see all of the fireworks (we still don’t recommend going much closer than the Partners statue). Check out this article for a map of the best and worst Disneyland fireworks viewing locations.
  43. Unused “no expiration” Walt Disney World tickets can be used at Disneyland. If you’re making Disneyland and Walt Disney World trips in the same year, your best bet might be the 10-day “No Expiration” Walt Disney World Parkhopper ticket.
  44. Disneyland offers a number of Guided Tours for an additional charge, most of which are fairly popular among fans. We’ve only done the Holiday Time at Disneyland Tour, which we thought was just “okay.” There are also a few FREE tours available, including the “Art of the Craft Tour” at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, which examines the hotel’s influences and theme.
  45. If you watch the window above Snow White’s Scary Adventures, you will see The Evil Queen appear and disappear.
  46. Bell Services at Disney hotels will store your luggage, meaning you can enjoy the parks if you arrive too early on check-in day or have a late flight out on check-out day.
  47. Fantasmic began a trial FastPass program late last year, and we expect this trial to be permanent. We highly recommend getting a FastPass for Fantasmic (currently distributed near Big Thunder Ranch), which will not impact your other FastPasses for normal attractions. This is now the main way of viewing the show. Read our other Fantasmic Viewing Tips & Tricks post for other recommendations (but note that post has not been updated to reflect the FastPass status).
  48. There is an “invisible” 50,000 point target in between Zurg’s breast plates in Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. Aim (roughly) for the “Z” on his chest.
  49. Although not as necessary in the temperate climate of Southern California, if you’re visiting in the height of the summer, Frogg Togg Chilly Pads are a great way to keep cool in the parks. They’re just one of the unorthodox things you should pack for Disneyland.
  50. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Radiator Springs Racers are both much better at night. In fact, many Disneyland attractions are better at night.
  51. Adults can order from the kid’s menus, which is a great way to save money while still getting a meal that will satiate smaller/moderate appetites.
  52. The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland is the best Disneyland guidebook. While it’s smaller than its Walt Disney World counterpart (known as the “Disney Bible” among fans), it’s incredibly comprehensive.
  53. A Christmas Fantasy Parade is not as impressive as its Walt Disney World cousin, but the best viewing place for the parade is in the hub facing Main Street or at the end of Main Street near the hub. The parade comes right at you, and is well-lit for photos by the lights of Main Street.
  54. Grizzly Peak Airfield (previously Condor Flats) in Disney California Adventure has an extensive backstory involving the history of aviation that is told throughout the land in some subtle ways. Make sure to keep an eye out for the details there. If you don’t, here’s a summary of the original backstory, and here’s info about some of the changes.
  55. Guests are allowed to bring their own snacks into Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, just no glass bottles or outside alcohol.
  56. PhotoPass Cast Members will take (free!) photos of you with your camera, so don’t be afraid to ask! Make sure your settings are dialed in before handing them the camera, as they will not typically adjust settings.
  57. It rains very few days per year in Southern California, so packing ponchos is probably unnecessary unless rain is in the forecast, in which case grabbing a few $.50 Wal-Mart ponchos is better than paying in-park prices.
  58. Attractions don’t close when the parks close, meaning that you can get in a 90-minute line at 10:59 p.m. when the parks close at 11 p.m. and be in the park well past closing. This is a great way to experience rides with perpetually long lines, like Radiator Springs Racers, without wasting “valuable” time.
  59. Plaza Inn in Disneyland serves the greatest fried chicken known to man. It also serves amazing yule log during the holiday season.
  60. The Haunted Mansion queue passes through one pet cemetery, but there’s actually a second that is now out of the view of guests. Ask a Cast Member to see it.
  61. If you have growing kids, a great spot for an annual photo is near the Cigar Shop Indian on Main Street USA. He’s a great measuring stick for their growth.
  62. Hidden Mickey spotting is a fun game for kids. The books/apps have different point levels for the various Mickeys. Offer prizes to add to the fun. If Hidden Mickeys aren’t your thing, bringing along the Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland and searching for interest details is a great way to increase your appreciation for the design of Disneyland.
  63. Bayside Brews in Disney California Adventure serves the best beer (Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA), Trader Sam’s in the Disneyland Hotel has the best mixed drinks, and Napa Rose in the Grand Californian has the best wines.
  64. If you’re not interested in staking out a spot and watching Disneyland’s fireworks, riding attractions from which the fireworks are visible during the fireworks can enhance the experience. The highlights of these attractions are Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Matterhorn. Best of all is Storybook Land Canal Boats, which actually stops moving when the fireworks start, giving guests a view of the fireworks from their boat!
  65. The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage has one of the dullest queues of any Disney attraction and much of it is in the sun. It’s also a low-capacity attraction, so lines move slowly. However, the line at this attraction fluctuate throughout the day and it’s pretty easy to see the entire line as you walk past, so line up for it when it’s shorter.
  66. Toontown contains a number of gags both of the interactive and sight variety. Spend a little time exploring this area–some of the gags are quite clever!
  67. If you anticipate “needing” a princess dress or pirate costume while at Disneyland, buy it from your local Disney Store or DisneyStore.com in advance during a sale. Much cheaper that way.
  68. White Water Snacks at the Grand Californian makes some excellent nachos and is easily accessible from Disney California Adventure. An even better option for nachos is the lobster nachos at Cove Bar.
  69. If you listen carefully to Snow White’s Wishing Well, you can hear her singing. This Wishing Well is also a great spot to propose.
  70. Fantasyland attractions are best experienced first thing in the morning or last thing at night to minimize waits.
  71. Shops on Main Street in Disneyland are open for an hour after the park closes. Do your shopping once you can’t do rides.
  72. There are numerous remnants of Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland in Frontierland. This attraction was replaced by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and now has a cult following. See what you can find!
  73. Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney is a great place to grab an inexpensive sandwich. Try the Holiday Sandwich, which was originally only available during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season, but became such a favorite that it is now on the permanent menu! It may not sound all that appetizing, but don’t let the description fool you.
  74. The Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough is an oft-overlooked attraction, but it’s a very well done attraction featuring “window” vignettes from Sleeping Beauty. Likewise, Tarzan’s Treehouse, another walk-through is an okay attraction, but makes up for its substantive shortcomings with great views of the park.
  75. Disneyland Resort has a couple of excellent bread bowl soups: broccoli cheddar at Pacific Wharf Cafe in Disney California Adventure and gumbo at Royal Street Veranda in Disneyland.
  76. Several attractions (more than at Walt Disney World) have single rider lines that will save you a lot of time if you don’t mind splitting up from your group. The best of these is Radiator Springs Racers, where it’s not uncommon to save an hour or more on the posted standby time.
  77. If you want to get the world famous Disneyland Monte Cristo, consider going to Cafe Orleans instead of Blue Bayou. It’s cheaper at Cafe Orleans, although you won’t have a view of Pirates of the Caribbean there.
  78. One of the less-popular bars is Al Fresco Lounge in Disney California Adventure, which is located upstairs in Wine Country Trattoria. It’s a nice, tranquil place to relax in the afternoon, and it has a great view into Cars Land.
  79. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure both have a daily flag retreat ceremony that is short, but nice to watch. It’s the patriotic thing to do.
  80. If you give a PhotoPass photographer a (discrete) heads up, they generally can help you capture photos of your proposal.
  81. If you need a place to store your luggage, there are luggage lockers at the Desert Inn & Suites across the street from Disneyland. This can be useful if you’re staying farther from Disneyland and want to maximize your time in the parks on your last day, or don’t trust the Bell Services in your own hotel. Read more about Desert Inn & Suites in our review.
  82. Instead of spending $10+ on each on-ride photo, get PhotoPass+ for UNLIMITED on-ride photos plus photos from PhotoPass photographers around the parks. Pre-purchase this to save more money.
  83. Ask a Cast Member at the station if you can ride in the front of the next monorail. It’s the only compartment that has air conditioning and the view is great!
  84. The “standard” entrance to Cars Land in Disney California Adventure is down Route 66, but the best entrance is through the bluff that connects to Pacific Wharf, which offers a great reveal of the Cadillac Mountain Range. It feels like you’re in a real National Park!
  85. Instead of photographing Sleeping Beauty Castle from the front or near the Partners statue, try photographing your family from the fence near the Wishing Well or on the opposite side (on a path to Fantasyland). You can easily get photos without other guests in them from these two spots, along with a great angle of Sleeping Beauty Castle!
  86. Peter Pan’s Flight does not have FastPass at Disneyland and is a very popular ride. Go first thing in the morning.
  87. Disneyland Resort corn dogs have iconic status. Corn Dog Castle in Disney California Adventure has a variety of options, and Little Red Wagon on Main Street in Disneyland is a long-time fan favorite. Corn dogs can be found a couple other places, but these are the clear-cut “best” spots if you ask locals.
  88. The Disney Gallery (immediately to the right when you enter the park) has a rotating exhibit focusing on an artistic component of Disneyland. Take the time to check out the art in here–you’ll gain a new appreciation for some aspect of the park!
  89. Don’t buy into Disney Vacation Club by the alluring promotions while at Disneyland Resort. Wait until you get home, do the research, and buy via the resale market if you’re going to buy at all.
  90. The Main Street Cinema is a great place to take a break, relax, and watch some classic Disney animated shorts.
  91. Be on the lookout for Jazz and Pirate bands performing in New Orleans Square. Both groups are very talented and are worth stopping to enjoy.
  92. Pay attention to Roz at the end of Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue in Disney California Adventure. She is interactive.
  93. Big Thunder Ranch BBQ is a great all-you-can-eat BBQ with excellent entertainment in Disneyland’s Frontierland. Your server will bring out some of everything, but you can specify that you only want certain meats (we recommend the ribs!) to get extra of those.
  94. The Anaheim Convention Center is located within walking distance of Disneyland and is HUGE. If a large convention is in town, nights can be very crowded even in the off-season. Make sure to consult the Anaheim Convention Center calendar when planning your trip.
  95. Paradise Pier Hotel was originally a third party hotel, but was renovated when Disney purchased it. As such, some of the theming is a bit on the light side, but the rooms are nice.
  96. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is not to be missed. It’s a divisive attraction (we love it), but even if you don’t like it, you get to relax in AC for 15-20 minutes. What’s not to like about that?
  97. There is a skeleton in Indiana Jones Adventure wearing Mickey Mouse ears as you go around the left turn when first approaching the bridge. He’s almost impossible to spot unless the ride breaks down and you’re evac’d.
  98. Walt Disney had an apartment in Disneyland above the Fire Station that is still intact to this day. A candle burns in the window of this apartment, and at Christmas, there is a tree in the window.
  99. Carnation Cafe is one of the best table service restaurants at Disneyland and is relatively inexpensive. Make sure to book reservations in advance, as it’s fairly popular, too!
  100. Even the restrooms at Disneyland Resort are themed. Restrooms in the Hollywood Land are in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Storer House, in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles. Similarly, the restrooms near the Alice in Wonderland dark ride in Disneyland are quite well done.
  101. Disneyland is known to many as the “smaller” cousin of Walt Disney World, but there’s really a ton to do at Disneyland Resort (check out our article comparing and contrasting Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort for more info). Read as much as you can when planning your trip and plan out where you want to eat, what you want to see, etc., for the best trip possible!

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For actual Disneyland trip planning tips and comprehensive advice beyond these quick and random tips, make sure to read our Disneyland Trip Planning Guide and related articles.

For updates on Disneyland and Walt Disney World, the latest news, discount information, and tips, sign up for our free monthly newsletter!

Your Thoughts…

If you have solid Disneyland or Disney California Adventure tips that aren’t mentioned here, please post them below. Your feedback is half the fun! If you have any other comments or questions, please feel free to post those, too.

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134 Responses to “101 Great Disneyland Tips”

  1. Fred says:

    Great list! We’re going to Disneyland at the beginning of June and can’t wait. I’m really looking forward to Trader Sam’s.

  2. Emily says:

    Just got back from DLR and miss it terribly! Just a couple things to add-

    1. The holiday sandwich at Earl’s is available all-year now!

    2. My mom and I rode Monsters, inc. and were the only ones in the taxi. Roz told us she was watching “the little boy in the front row.” My mom nor I look like a little boy (so we think! :0 ) so we just had to laugh.

    Great list!!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      1. I had heard rumblings of this, but couldn’t find confirmation that it actually happened. Thanks for the tip–I’ve edited the post.

      2. Eh, can’t win them all! 😉

  3. DRToohey says:

    For Finding Nemo, if the line is really long, do the “Observation Deck” instead. It’s the same show as the ride, but without a line…and without the cramped sub.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      How accurately does the Observation Deck replicate the ride? I’ve heard it’s basically just a video. Is it “more” than that?

      • DRToohey says:

        While it’s a video, I don’t think too much is lost (well…except the experience of being in the sub, but I think – especially waiting around 2-5 minutes in a cramped space to unload at the end – that’s a benefit of the deck). Considering that the thing relies heavily on projected video anyway and the peekhole of the sub does not allow for the panoramic/immersive experience of other dark rides, I think it’s a pretty decent trade off.

  4. Jennifer says:

    So glad to see this!! We are heading out to DL in January next year and I am frantically trying to get as much information about everything as I can! This helps!

  5. Amy says:

    Your timing couldn’t be more perfect. Thank you! We’re heading to DL for the first time next month for five days. Being DW vets we feel like fish out of water… but oh so excited to experience new things!

  6. Caroline says:

    If you are staying at the Grand Californian with kids, we highly recommend going to stories by the hearth. A cast member comes and tells stories in the evening. It is a nice way to end the day.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Ever heard of this one–thanks for the tip!

    • Pam says:

      Stayed at Grand Californian this January and our twin 5 year old daughters loved story time by the fire! We would get them in their jammies and head down for story time, then up to room for bed time. You don’t need to be a guest to attend. Very nice and relaxing and the stories are amazing. So nice that they are not read out of a book, but spoken aloud.

  7. Amy says:

    Question – the 10-day no expiration ticket must be used at WDW first, right? Only unused days at DL?

    • Tom Bricker says:

      We’ve only ever used tickets that we’ve used at WDW first, but I don’t see why you’d have to use some of the days first. Still, you should probably call and confirm before assuming either way.

  8. jennifer says:

    Saturday nights from 6 to 10pm in downtown Disney they have a live swing dance band and large dance floor, its great fun and very popular with some people bringing their own folding chairs just to sit back and watch and listen. Downtown Disney has live music all over every night of the week too.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Here’s hoping the swing dancing returns to Disneyland at some point. Would love to see it in Fantasy Faire.

      • Janet says:

        Swing dancing will return to Disneyland at FantasyFaire in mid June. (On selected nights – whatever that means. We’re guessing that it’s every Sat like previously, but don’t know for sure.)

      • Tom Bricker says:

        Correct! Saw it myself on the “Monstrous Summer” All-Nighter. Great to see it back!!!

  9. Parker Good says:

    Great list! We’re heading to Disneyland in the Fall will definitely bookmark this!

  10. jennifer says:

    If you are visiting during Thanksgiving or Mothers day the Disneyland hotel ballroom has a fabulous brunch, very large scale event beautifully decorated with live music, character meets and wonderful food. This has been a tradition for many,many years and is very popular with visitors and locals so you do need reservations.

  11. BigJerm says:

    if you’ve already seen world of color once and don’t want to stand around waiting for the show to start (or you failed to snag tickets), you can watch the entire show from behind. it’s still an amazing show. i like to watch it from the concession stand right across from toy story midway mania.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      We did this once, and I was not impressed with the show from back there. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I would instead recommend the bridge to Paradise Pier. Still an off-angle view, but a much better one.

  12. Daniel says:

    Great List. Trader Sams is a MUST! I love the drinks that cause things to happen in the bar.

    Have you ever done a ‘Taste of Downtown Disney’ put on my CHOC? If not, its a must. You support a great cause and get to sample drinks and food from the various restaurants in Downtown Disney.

    If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll get you tickets. Its the least I can do for the many years of entertainment your blog has brought to my life.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      We haven’t done Taste of Downtown Disney, but remember…we’re not locals. We’re Disneyland Annual Passholders living in Indiana (probably a rare breed). Thank you for the offer, though!!! :)

    • Cody says:

      Great info we fly to disney land tomorrow I can’t wait

  13. David says:

    Great list! To add to point 60, the Casey Jr. line is also low capacity and lining up outside can be unbearable! Last year what looked like a short line took about 30 minutes to get to the front, and it was so hot!

  14. Bryn says:

    As a former conductor I know that if you go to City Hall for the Lilly Belle you will be going nowhere. Only the conductors at Main Street Station are able to book reservations.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      It may be more efficient to do it via a conductor, but we’ve been able to get reservations through City Hall, so I don’t think it’s “going nowhere.”

  15. Jason says:

    While the brocolli cheddar soup at Pacific Wharf Cafe is good, it doesn’t come close to the Santa Rosa Corn Chowder. It’s amazing!!!

  16. Beth says:

    37. I went to City Hall to see if they had the recipe for the “Sweet Memories” Cake and was told they don’t do that anymore. They said to check with the restaurant, in this case the Plaza Inn. They didn’t have it either :-(

  17. mandypanda says:

    If you have your charger with you, there are plenty of outlets in Toontown (such as the jail)! Also by the door closest to Splash Mtn handicap line at Pooh’s Corner.

    There’s a whole list of outlets on the MouseWait app :)

    • Tom Bricker says:

      This is a good tip and great in a pinch, but it’s always a surprise to me to see people sitting around charging phones on vacation. An external charger costs ~$20, and is a much better option than wasting time sitting around charging your phone.

      • Marg says:

        even better: if you go to the lockers on main street, along the first wall there are a row of lockers for CHARGING! you pay for a two hour locker, plug your phone in (it has connectors) go do your rides, etc, and come back to a charged device. AWESOME! :-)

  18. Kim says:

    You mention several times about restaurants at the Disneyland Hotels…can you dine at these if you are staying outside of the park?


  19. Shawn says:

    Fastpasses are FREE. I know that Disney veterans know this, but it amazes me how often I hear people complaining how Disney is gouging people by charging for fastpasses. I hear it in lineups and I see it as a complaint on tripadvisor. The average tourist sees the fastpass machines and believes that people are inserting credit cards to get the Fastpasses. Yes they look like ATMs but they’re not. Maybe because other theme parks do charge an up-charge for line-jump service, they are assuming Disney does too.

  20. Ruth says:

    So glad I found your site at the last minute! We will be visiting Disneyland on april 29th, and I’ve learned a lot thanks to your website!
    I’ve been to Disneyland Paris & WDW, and it’s my first time at Disneyland California. Sooooo looking foward to it!! Too bad we have only one day at the park, but I’ve read that crowds should be minimal, so hope we can get a lot of things done in one day!
    Thanks again for your website!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      If you’re trying to do both parks, make sure to start at Disney California Adventure FIRST THING in the morning. It’s the only way you’ll be able to do Radiator Springs Racers without too much of a wait!

  21. Nikki V says:

    Yahooooooooo!!! My second Disneyland visit this May 10 since my first in 2011!!! I’m about to be 27 years old and I still get butterflies in my stomach thinking about our Disney trip!

    Thank you for all the tips!

    Quick question: Do you think we should go to California Adventure first? I remembered the last time we spent almost all day at Disneyland (June 2011) then just a few hours at California Adventure mainly just to see the World of Colors. Any gameplan advice that you can give? :)

  22. Kevin says:

    I was in Disneyland in 1974 when I was <1 year old and have never been back. We're thinking of heading there this summer – this list will be quite useful if we go!

  23. Marlene says:

    Great List! i’m going to Disneyland this Friday with two toddlers and this list was so interesting !

  24. Mystique says:

    This is a great starter list! We will be visiting DL for our first time in September for 10 days. This will be our first time at any Disney park. Staying at the Grand with 3 kids, 2 boys 10/11 and a girl 6. We purchased the 4 day dining plan, but was told to arrange delivery from VONS for groceries? There is so much to do and see, but we hope to not have it a crazed, exhausting time. :)

  25. Peter says:

    Dear Tom,

    Thank you so much for such a great list! I printed this out and was constantly referring to it during our day at Disneyland over the weekend. The ones that really stood out for us:

    – 7, 9, 15, 27, 36, 44, 45, 50, 54, 60, 64, 69, 82, 85, 94

    We arrived early on a Saturday and started with tomorrowland and were able to get through most of it in less than an hour. Getting in the park way key.

    Some things I would add:

    – Although the attractions open at 8am, you can get into the park at 7am even if you do not have an early arrival ticket. It’s worth getting there around 7:45 and waiting at the ropes. A lot of people wait to get the go ahead from the cast members, but once the ropes drop you can start making your way to the attraction and get a “jump” on everyone else.

    – Tip 44 regarding Fantasmic was KEY! We saw people staking out spots 3-4 hours in advance. We got there around 45 minutes before the show started and stood behind the light tower the raises and it was a great vie. I would recommend the right side if possible if you are on the left side there is a light post that is a little annoying, but does not ruin the show. Also be sure to stand next to the fence and not to the back of the walkway. We asked about that because we thought we could sit, but they clear that area during the show so people can walk.

    – Regarding #54 The fried chicken at the plaza was great! The price was a little steep, but after seeing how big the portions on another person’s place we realized 1 adult portion was enough for 2 people. So for 3 of us we ordered 1 adult chicken meal ($13.99), come with 1/2 a chicken (breast, thigh, leg) and a children’s meal ($6.99) (leg). Although the menu said the chicken in the children’s meal is baked it was the same fried chicken as the adult meal.

    – While we were at the Plaza we asked for refills on our soda which they were ok with. Also when we left I asked for a “To Go” cup. This is nice if you want to take a drink with you while you walk around the park which can be expensive.

    – Regarding #82. I bought a corndog at the Main Street cart. While I was in line they asked me what I wanted to order and I said 1 corn dog. They asked “chips” or “apples” and I said “Just the corndog” when I got closer to the sign it said in small writing under the corndog menu item “with chips or apples” I thought I had opted out on a free snack. Instead when I paid instead of the corndog being $6.19 as listed it was only $4.99. So basically they charge you an extra $1.19 for a snack you may not want. For other “combo” food items in the park it might be works asking the price of the just the single item, you will probably save money.

    – I saw a couple have a Hot Fudge sunday split into 2 cups at the Golden Horseshoe. A lot of portions are too big so a nice way to share and save money.

    – Regarding #34. I did not think Innovations was all that bad. I actually thought the Iron Man exhibit was pretty cool. It is another place nice to get out of the sun. Although parts of it are not very “Disney” related.

    – Regarding #68. We went for a sandwich at Earl of Sandwich at 1pm and the line was way too long. We did not end up getting a sandwich there but later on around 2:30 the line was not bad. Really wanted to try the Holiday Sandwich, maybe next time.

    – There are a lot of great fantasyland rides that are not that popular that have little/no lines. Snow White, Pinocchio, and Mr. Toad, but I think they are fun and quick to do. I honestly do not “get” why Peter Pan is so popular.

    – Regarding #21 The line for the Dole Whip was long all day. Not sure when is a good time to try to get one.

    – Regarding #91 We went to Mr.Lincoln earlier in the day and it was closed till 7:30 keep this in mind. I think it’s a great attraction, maybe ask when you arrive when it will open.

    Since we only went to Disneyland I wish that I would have went through this list and highlighted the ones that applied to our trip, but it was still a wonderful reference and really helped make our trip a great experience.

    Thank you so much!


    • Tom Bricker says:

      Thanks for this great comment! Glad that the tips helped you out!

      To respond to a few things in your comment:

      -I don’t get the line for Peter Pan’s Flight, either. We’ll do it first thing in the morning or last thing at night. I’d never wait more than 10 minutes for that ride.
      -This time of year, there’s always a long wait for Dole Whips. Longer than many attractions. It’s not nearly as bad in the winter.
      -You can order just an entree (instead of a combo) anywhere to save. Perhaps I should do a list of dining tips!
      -Innoventions, Lincoln, and Captain EO all close early from time to time. I’m not sure of the exact schedule.

      • Doug says:

        The line for Dole Whip is significantly shorter on the backside of the counter, which is inside the waiting area to see the Enchanted Tiki Room. But they let you take your Dole Whip into the show, and so you get to eat it in air conditioned comfort as you watch a fun 15 minute show.

    • Suzane says:

      Super tips; thanks for taking the time to post. Always great to hear tips from folks who have been to Disneyland, as well as from the expert who gave us the original 101 tips!! Thanks Peter, thanks Tom.

    • Denise says:

      Thanks for the tip about the snack with the corn dogs! I will try that when we are there in December!

  26. Paul W says:

    I went to Disneyland over Halloween last year. Here’s my tip: if you go to the extra night party, DO go to Innoventions. The great majority of the crowd sticks to the Main St. area, and once you pass New Orleans square, the trick-or-treat lines in between there and Innoventions go very fast (we got through about six lines within 10 minutes, while the lines on Main St. were very long). And an added bonus…they do additional character photos inside the building. I only had to wait 3 minutes to get a photo with Perry the Platypus, as opposed to the hour plus wait the Main St. character lines were.

    I’ll be going again during Christmas week this year (Dec 26-Jan 3). LOL yes I must be insane but I’ve never experienced it…so I hope these tips come in handy!

    • Paul W says:

      One more tip: DO take out time to check out the Art Academy in California Adventure, where even the most inept artists can learn to sketch their favorite Disney characters in easy 15-minute classes. It’s a great way to take a break between rides. I’ve talked to many Disneyland visitors and was surprised at how few people even knew about it, let alone tried it.

    • Karla says:

      I am going to the party for the first time this year. So excited! Were there other characters besides Perry? Thanks for this tip!

  27. Brianna E. says:

    Thank you for this list, I am planning out a Vacation during the Holiday season at Disneyland & I want it to be perfect and considering December is only 4 months away. The planning is really needed. Do you have a Holiday only Version list like this? If not I think it would be a great idea to do. I’m lucky enough to be able to treat my little sister (16) and Grandma. Mainly the trip was planned out because my grandmother does so much for us but never gets a break and I didn’t want her to actually have to do anything this holiday season as far as cooking and Christmas shopping. So Disneyland it is!

  28. Karla says:

    These are some great tips!

    I will have to say about tip #11 though that I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to buy pins from ebay. They are fake, fake, fake and since castmembers have to trade up to two pins with you, they get stuck with those fake pins. Then other people can end up with them. This happened to me before I could spot the fake ones.

    Also, Innoventions is not the greatest but I personally loved the Assimo presentation. I thought that was so neat and a lot of fun!

    I have a few tips to add:

    #1- All restaurants/food service places will give you a free cup of water with ice. This is definitely a good thing in this summer heat. Stay hydrated! We take bottled soda into the parks and just get cups of ice for our meals.

    #2- Most restaurants will give you hot water. I like to get it at Pizza Port, then you don’t have to wait in line to get some. We take instant coffee and hot chocolate packets and save a lot of money this way!

    #3- The parks will replace any merchandise that breaks or balloon that pops.

    #4- If you collect pins make sure you buy locking pins or tie tack pins at a craft store. I lost too many pins before I figured this out.

  29. Kristy Fife says:

    If you go to City Hall first thing, you can request a pin to wear that says: “today’s my birthday” or “Happy Birthday to…” and also a pin that says “my fist visit”. We did this for my daughter (age 5) for her first visit and birthday and she got special privileges all day. *First in line for the submarine ride, special seating etc”.

  30. Melanie A. says:

    “Turtle Talk with Crush” in the Disney Animations Building in California Adventure is a must do!
    We had been to Disneyland several times before we took the time to see this and my big kids and little kids loved it. It is interactive and it is quite entertaining. Actually this is one of our favorites buildings. My kids have learned to draw, taken a test to find out which Disney character they are most like (in the Beasts’ library) and sang with Ursula/recorded a short clip with their voices. Such a fun place and never rally too busy.

  31. Annie says:

    I’ve been to DW will be taking my first trip to DL in a week and I’m so excited! The challenge I pose to you is: my husband and I will be there for only ONE day. Your tips are super helpful and got me really excited to go but, in short, what would you prioritize for just ONE day? And would you recommend the hopper ticket for DL and Disneyland adventure? Or just a DL ticket? (Found you via Pinterest, by the way) Thanks!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I’d definitely do a Park Hopper. Start at DCA and hit Radiator Springs Racers as soon as the park opens, grab a FastPass for something on the way out, then go over to Disneyland, grab a FastPass there, and knock out the headliners. You can simultaneously hold FastPasses for both parks, and Hopping is really easy at Disneyland Resort, so that should help!

  32. Stephanie says:

    You are right, Plaza Inn DOES have the best fried chicken and the adult portion is huge, especially if you’ve bee snacking all day!

  33. Daisy says:

    This list is fabulous! I’ve been an annual pass holder for a few years now and I still feel like I’ve recieved some great tips! And although I agree that innoventions isn’t really all that great, I go there just for the Peter Pan story time in the child’s room, especially when we have little ones with us on our trips! They get so excited about how the room interacts with what the story teller is saying! Very cute and well done! Can’t wait for my trip in just over a week!!! Definitely going to use some of your great tips!

  34. Kimberly says:

    The lobby at Disney Animations Building in California Adventure has clips and line drawings from many of the best Disney classics as well as songs from each movie. We like to take our lunch in there and sit either on the provided couches or the floor and watch the screens. It is cool in there and a great way to recharge and watching all the little kids dancing to the music and playing with the lights they project on the capet is always awesome.

  35. Jenni says:

    I went to Disneyland in May 2013 for my older sister’s birthday (she turned 32). We stayed at the Grand Californian and had an amazing time, they play old Disney cartoons all night long and one of my best memories is after our second day at the park we were exhausted and just sat and watched cartoons in the lobby, and pretty soon a cast member came up to us with some popcorn and several other treats. Disneyland will always be my favorite place, they always know what you need!! Many other awesome things happened during our visit, and I am returning for my birthday in January.

  36. Kenneth says:

    Has anyone actually bought Disneyland tickets from the Vacationerr Travel site? Is it legitmate?

  37. cdgdisneyland says:

    very interesting blog

  38. Lauren says:

    OMG…I have been looking for a Disneyland tips site for months now. So glad I stumbled onto your site! Thanks for the info, we’re planning our first trip to the “Land” and have lots of questions. For example, should we get one-day, one park tickets to Disneyland and California Adventure, or would a park-hopper do the job?

  39. Elizabeth says:

    The outdoor dining area at the Plaza Hotel is a great place to watch Disneyland fireworks. Go in, get some hot cocoa, and enjoy the fireworks in a seat you didn’t have to camp out for.

  40. Jade says:

    Innoventions can suck the time away from you. But asking a staff member to tell u a story in the boys room (down stairs) is worth it for little ones. Experience automatic windows and mood lighting for the story (voice activated) and shooting a cannon from the bed is awesome.

  41. Kylie says:

    My fiancee (boyfriend at the time) asked to see my camera while we were waiting for the photographer to be done with another family. When it was our turn he said that he would “just give the camera to the lady for me”….he had her take surprise pictures of his proposal. Perfect for such a Disney lover!

  42. Fernando says:

    Hey Tom, I’m going with the family this Christmas, so this post really helps with all the planning so thank you!

    Also, I need to ask you on your opinion (as someone who clearly has been to DL for all special events)for where would be a good place to have the Christmas dinner? we are a party of 10 (9 adults and one 5 year old) And this is going to be a “the whole family united again” kind of dinner…

    Thanks again for the info!

    • Tom Bricker says:

      If it’s within your budget, I’d highly recommend Napa Rose at the Grand Californian Hotel. Great restaurant, and the hotel has great Christmas ambiance.

      In the parks, Carthay Circle Restaurant would be my pick. Again, it’s on the pricey side, though.

  43. meghan says:

    Two questions for you: Do you still get into the park free on your birthday? When we were there in 2009, my FIL did, and we’re going to be there over my husband’s bday this next year, but are buying our tickets online ahead of time and wanted to be sure we can plan on buying 1 day less for him – ?

    Also, what’s the best place to see and meet Rapunzel – my 3yo will be devastated if we don’t get to!

    • Malea says:

      When my Husband and I went in 2012 for our Honeymoon we saw Rapunzel. She has a specific spot right next to Pinocchio’s Pizza, and she’s only there at certain times, but those are posted. We went right after lunch (about 1:00) and the wait was about 15 minutes, but well worth it, because the rest of the day it was over an hour.

  44. califmom says:

    If you want to see World of Color at California Adventure and get a great view, make a reservation and have dinner at one of the restaurants: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/disney-california-adventure/world-of-color-dining/. It’s pricey but you have to eat somewhere. They’ll give you a voucher that gets you into the restricted area for the World of Color. We were able to sit on the steps and wait for about half an hour before it started. No mad dash to try to get tix, no standing around for an hour before the show.

  45. TP says:

    Court of Angels, mentioned in #27 is closed now to visitors.

  46. Angela says:

    1. Make sure you ride the Railroad all the way around the park. There are some really cool surprises.

    2. We packed Ziplock bags with pretzels, crackers and fruit so we could whip them out for the kids when we were in long lines. People kept telling us how smart we were. lol.

    3. We did a few character dining meals for breakfast (a bit pricey but well worth it) so we didn’t need to wait in lines to meet most of the characters.

  47. dia lee says:

    I have a question..
    I’m going for a day (2parks)
    should I go to disney first? or california adv. first?

  48. peep says:

    Tip # 102: Get a churro or 2. You will not have any churro as great as Disney’s churros.

    Atleast at DLR. Haven’t had one at WDW.

  49. Angel says:

    Heading to Disneyland later today and can’t wait. One great tip is to go to vons.com and order groceries to be delivered to your room. You can easily get stuff for breakfast, to pack lunches for the park, and to make dinner if you are going to have the capability to cook in your room (bringing a crockpot with you to your hotel is a great option if you don’t have a stove/microwave). We received free delivery, a free case of water, and free 6 pack of paper towels since I was a new customer. Spent less than $48 and have most of our meals covered!

  50. Mandi says:

    Last night I clicked the link to get the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, and it went right to the book. I placed my order last night, and today when I went to check on my order, it had changed to Disneyworld. Now Amazon is showing the Disneyworld one as the only option.

  51. Jenn says:

    One more tip- if you have young kids (toddler and baby in my case) and only one partent can ride at a time, ask the cast member at the entrance of the ride for a ‘parent switch/trade pass’. This allows one partent to ride with your kid(s) while the other parent waits at the exit with the other. When the ride is over you meet at the exit where the kid(s) can change parents. Near the exit should be another cast member. Get there attention and show them your pass. And guess what, no big line for you! You get to go on with your kid(s) right away. The most I ever waited was 5 minutes. This saved use so much time.
    Thanks so much for your tips. Now when we go back I can make a whole new experience for the kids.
    And your Disney World vs. Land was very helpful in helping us decide where to go. Disney Land it is again!

  52. Amy Wilson says:

    Is there a Kiss Goodnight or something comparable at Disneyland Park? I read about it in one of your blog posts before my Disney World trip last year, and watching it was one of the highlights of our trip. Magic Kingdom was open until midnight the last night of our trip, so we stayed until 12:30, watched the Kiss Goodnight and then (very sadly) walked back to the bus stop.

  53. Jiun Kim says:

    Also to add to this list, you want to make sure to ride California Soarin’ it is such an amazing ride!!! You should get a fast pass for it or try single rider line.

  54. Joann F. says:

    Another tip – bring a change of shoes. Lots and lots of walking make for very tired feet, but a change of shoes in the late afternoon helps perk them up, since you’ll walk a little differently. Make use of those lockers!

  55. Nate says:

    Love the tips going to try all of them I will be visiting DLR in July of this year for a family reunion I hate the heat but love my family so it will be worth it. I heard that there is a new ride with the dwarves for Snow White is that replacing the train ride or is it the same just adding the dwarves through out it

  56. Leslie says:

    Just a little correction. The line for Indiana Jones is no longer awesome. Regular line people wait outside to allow fast pass people to walk up and get inside. Either line you’re in, you just walk quickly past all the cool stuff.:(

  57. S Johnson says:

    Can you still take snacks & water bottles or Gatorade into DLR? Last I read on the Disneyland website was that no outside food OR drinks were permitted.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I think it’s a rule that’s not enforced, but is there in case they ever wanted to enforce it, or if someone really tried to abuse the privilege. I’ve never seen it enforced, but we’ve also never tested it. YMMV.

      • S Johnson says:

        Thank you. Guess I’ll be testing it next time I go. :) Figured I’d try to bring a Gatorade or water and a few granola bars, at least. That way, if they make me throw it out, I’m only wasting a few dollars.

  58. Ashley says:

    I saved money on both of my off-season trips by booking my hotel early (once Disneyland Hotel and once off-site at Fairfield Inn) when I was eagerly planning, and then CHECKING PRICES AGAIN closer to the trip. Both times, the hotels were running specials to fill their rooms when the date was within a month and I was able to alter my booking to get the better rate. So even though I hadn’t spent the money yet, I’d planned on spending the higher rate, and would have ended up doing so if I hadn’t checked back with the hotel for specials!

  59. Terri says:

    The Lilly Belle is no longer available to guests, it is only used for private events.

    The Court of Angels is not currently open and will be integrated into Club 33 upon it’s reopening.

  60. Sandra says:

    Going to DL for second time. 1st time with 4 year old dtr. This time dtr is 7 and son is 4. I have coloring books and crayons for long princess lines. Bought new Mickey shirts, pj’s and princess dress which I will pack in my luggage and put out as surprise daily (beats prices at park). Question? My son has peanut and egg allergies. Any tips/heads up? Soooo excited. Much better experience as a Mom then as a kid!

    • Erin Collins says:

      I have a peanut allergy, so I totally understand! Most places are super cool with taking out/adding food, if one item contains peanuts. Be careful with the ice cream shops, a lot of them have a high risk for contamination. I usually bring a few granola bars to snack on.

  61. Lainey says:

    Walt Disney World tickets can no longer be used to get into Disneyland or DCA. You’ll have to purchase a ticket at the ticket booths.

  62. Josefina Hughes says:

    Its a best blog for the information about the Disney world. Thanks for the tips for enjoying the Disney land in save way and by saving money,me and my friends often have visit there in vacations and have fun there, adventures and lots of things to do there. i like Disneyland and always will be.

  63. TonyTinSD says:

    Do you have a list of Disney approved Disney Vacation Club resellers…highly interested if there is such a thing…I’ve heard that Disney has seriously limited how vacation points purchased outside of Disney can be used with regard to the collections…

  64. minnie mouse says:

    im at disneyland right now and now im with mickey bye

  65. Erin Collins says:

    Thanks so much for all the great tips! 1 question. I’m tentatively planning a Disney trip around the holidays. Any days that wont be as crowded? or is it going to be crazy no matter what day we try? I’m wanting to go while its all decorated for Christmas, but ideally not be in lines all day. Any tips?

  66. chris says:

    My husband and I shall be visiting the park at Christmas. We are from Colorado and have no idea what the weather is usually like at that time of year, therefore know what clothes to pack for the trip. We will be limited on weight as we shall be flying.

  67. Experienced #41 for the first time last Tuesday night. The park had been closed for about 45 minutes and I was alone in front of the Carousel taking pictures when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I turned as the curtains finished opening to reveal the Evil Queen looking down at me. I wasn’t scared, but I was spooked. Unfortunately, the curtains shut before I could get a photo, so the Evil Queen has been added to my photo bucket list. Do you know if the curtains open on some sort of schedule or are they just random? Hoping for a schedule as that would make getting the photo a lot easier.
    Todd F. Burgess

    • Tom Bricker says:

      I have no clue if there’s a schedule. I thought it was a pretty regular thing…like once every few minutes, but I could be wrong.

      • No worries, just thought you might know. I can handle waiting a few minutes, just don’t want to stand their for a half hour waiting for it. Thanks for the response and for all your tips, hints & recommendations. Have a very Merry Christmas.

  68. Baby Care says:

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  69. Nat says:

    great tips! I haven’t been to disneyland yet, but I hope to plan a trip there, someday.

  70. Lacey says:

    I’d love to keep reading past #40 but I’m getting a headache with the new font and background. Hopefully I can find an easy way to view the website without getting sick.

  71. KCmike says:

    2nd pet cemetery?

  72. laura says:

    I love your tip about Court of Angels (so quaint and full of Disney mojo), but sadly I believe it is now inaccessible…unless you are willing and able to pay $10k/yr to be part of Club 33

  73. Mags says:

    Awesome post; however, needs some updates.
    for #28 – ever since the rework of Club 33, the Court of Angels is no longer open to the public and Tiana’s meet and greet has moved out in front of French Market.

    for #47 – starting at the end of 2014, Fantasmic is on a FastPass basis similar to World of Color. Fasspasses are distributed starting at opening for the earliest show and best spots. There is also the Fantasmic dining package which is being heavily pushed, but it will get you the best seats front and center. The participating restaurants include Blue Bayou and Aladdin’s Oasis. There is “technically” a standby line that you can begin to wait in an hour before show and they will “try and find you seats” but it is only in the far right area near the loading dock for the Steamboat/Columbia

    • Tom Bricker says:

      Thanks. I thought I removed the Court of Angels info from the post, but that must not have “taken” before (or I forgot to save the draft). I’ll admit to totally missing the Fantasmic update. Don’t know what I was thinking with that.

      Regardless, both have been fixed. Thanks for the heads up! :)

      • Erica says:

        Is that to say that if you do not get a fastpass or line up a full hour ahead of time you cannot get into Fantasmic? Or you just won’t get front row seats?

  74. Amber Dana says:

    These are great, thanks yet again Tom! We are going to be there in July. I’m sure it is going to be crazy crowded but we don’t get back to CA very often so we are just going to suck it up. A crowded day at Disneyland is better than not going at all! Plus we need our Disney fix since our next WDW trip isn’t until October 2016. Will be putting many of your suggestions to good use this summer!

  75. Meredith says:

    We aren’t new to Disneyland, but are trips are spaced out. I have a question about parking. We plan on staying at the Embassy Suites. We have stayed there once before and love the free full breakfast, the suite room (since we have three kids) and with this deal free parking. But last trip we used the tram to take us to and from the park. You pay for this and there is five of us and a stroller. Have you ever just parked at the park? I read mixed reviews about this. It’s actually slightly cheaper to drive ourselves but not sure if it is over all more convenient. We will be there for five days as well.

    • Tom Bricker says:

      If you park (likely in the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure), you’ll still have to take a tram, walk approximately 15 minutes from the parking structure, or walk 5 minutes and take the monorail into the park (the last is the best option, IMO).

      It’s a mixed bag, really. The shuttle from your hotel is probably the most straight-forward and fastest option.

  76. jinpak says:

    great tips and very helpful for those who planning a Disney trip in coming holidays

  77. Kelly T says:

    My husband and I are planning a trip to Disneyland for this Novemeber, and these tips (and the rest of the site!) are a huge help! I do have a weird one off question though. We’re DVC members, and we were lucky enough to nab a studio at the Grand Californian for almost our entire trip- besides the very first night in Anahiem where we’re staying at the Super 8 over by city walk. Do you think we would be able to stop by Bell Services at the Grand Californian on that Sat to drop off our big bulky bags there and have them hold them overnight until we check in and get our room there on Sunday? It would be super nice just to have to deal with a small day bag when making the hotel switch, and will likely allow us some more park time that first day too!

  78. Carey says:

    We’re going from the UK in December..
    Do you think it will be likely that there will still be some 60th events going on or will it be Christmas things only?
    PS. I used your advice for WDW last year and we had the trip of our lives

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  82. Daffystardust says:

    Hey Tom!
    I did quite a lot of reading here and elsewhere prior to our trip, but nothing could have prepared us for what we encountered during evening hours in the parks.
    Maybe it was completely because of when we were there (June 23-25) and the 60th anniversary, but we found that after about 8:30pm Disneyland became a mad house of people and half the rides were closed. All of fantasyland and Toontown and parts of Tomorrowland were closed at that time. The best thing we could have done was just to leave the park, but even that becomes difficult if you’re not aware of how the situation works.
    The night we enjoyed World of Color, the park was technically open for a while after the show, but Paradise Pier’s attractions were all closed and they only allowed the crowd to travel one direction away from that part of the park. The message appeared to be “thanks for enjoying our nighttime spectacular—now get out.”
    Our third night there we thought we’d learned our lesson and we left Disneyland prior to 8:00 and headed over to California Adventure in hopes of riding Radiator Springs Racers in the dark and having a late dinner. Well, RSR was closed. We enjoyed our sandwiches at Flo’s and did some shopping to close out our trip, but we kind of came away from Anaheim thinking that the posted park hours were kind of misleading. If you’re not fireworks or nighttime spectacular people the parks seemed to kind of close down at about 8:30.
    Were our experiences unique to the anniversary celebration? How would you recommend people who don’t care about fireworks deal with the Anaheim parks after dark?

    • Tom Bricker says:

      No, this is pretty much the standard experience, although it’s normally just Paradise Pier (in DCA) and Fantasyland (in DL) that are impacted. So long as you avoid those areas at night, you should be fine. I guess I should make these things clearer on the site, as I don’t them for granted and am not really impacted by them, but first-timers might be. Sorry about your experience.

      • Daffystardust says:

        Thanks Tom.
        We did have a great time in the Anaheim parks, so the unexpectedly limited value of the evening hours was a relatively small inconvenience overall.
        It is, however, the primary bit of info I’ll be passing on to friends who might be heading to those parks themselves.

  83. Barb says:

    Good information. However, we are going to California Adventure in August on a day that is identified for Magic Hours. We will not have that option. have currently scheduled a character breakfast for 9:10 which was the earliest available. We want to go to the Anna & Elsa greeting which requires a Fast Pass and also the Radiator Springs Racer. You probably realize the fast passes are a problem with the time limitations. What is the best one to take a “chance” on? disney hinted that Radiator Springs might be more of a problem but I don’t want 3 little princesses disappointed either.

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