Some people seem to think that you need to choose between Walt Disney World and Disneyland. To those people, we have but one word to say. REALLY?! Whose going to make that Sophies Choice. Do I make you choose between your children? Do I ask you to choose a Kardashian sister? Am I asking you to give up either tacos or pizza? No. Because I understand, that some choices, can’t be made. This, my friends, is one of those decisions. We, in recent years, have fallen in love with Walt’s original park, and while we view WDW as our ‘home park’, we try to make it out to Disneyland as often as possible. Today, we’re counting down 20 tips to help you have the best time ever at the park that started it all.
1. We don’t recommend staying on-site, unless you have a trust-fund, or are renting DVC Points through DVC Rental Store. It’s WAY more expensive than it is at WDW. We love staying at Disney Good Neighbor hotels, so we can be within walking distance, and not have to mortgage a spleen.
2. Get to the parks before they open. Did you really think we would say anything else? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN OUR BLOG?! We are the biggest proponents, for getting their early, ESPECIALLY if you only have a few days. Getting there early, and being some of the first people in, will guarantee you get the most done with your day.
3. While Disneyland still runs on paper FastPasses, they recently introduced MaxPass, which you should learn about, and be familiar with, before your trip. You can read about it here.
4. When a craving for Dole Whip hits (and it hit, several times a day), head to the line on the INSIDE of the Enchanted Tiki Room waiting area. As most people avoid this area, since the ride is so creepy, the line for Dole Whip here is significantly shorter.
5. Shop at the end of the day. Shops are open an hour after the park closes (anything to get a little more cheese for the mouse, am I right?), so don’t waste valuable ride time, for shopping. Plus, who really wants to lug that giant pillow pet around all day?
6. See the last showing of Nighttime entertainment. If there’s multiple showing of shows like World of Color, Paint The Night (seasonally), or Fantasmic, always try to catch the last one. Crowds will be SIGNIFICANTLY thinner, and you won’t get caught in a bottleneck leaving the park that will make you want to grab a stroller and use it as a battering ram.
8. If you want to eat at The Cove Bar (and you should), we recommend getting there about fifteen minutes before you open. Because waiting in line for a table for an hour is not what vacation is all about.
9. In California Adventure, the two rides that will be your priority first thing in the morning will be Radiator Springs Racers, and Mission: Breakout. We recommend doing Mission:Breakout first, then doing Radiator Springs Racers through the Single Rider Line.
10. Halloween and Christmas are our two favorite times to go to Disneyland, as the parks are heavily decorated and festive.
12. If you’re hankering for the Disneyland ‘Monte Cristo’, skip the overpriced Blue Bayou, and go to Cafe Orleans – one of Disneyland’s best restaurants. Order Pommes Frittes as well, with several dipping sauces.
14. Grab a table on the patio of The Carnation Cafe for a late brunch after you’ve hit several rides during the morning hours. Bonus – ask if Oscar is working – Disneyland’s longest employed employee!
15. Don’t skip the park if you get a rainy day. It doesn’t rain often in Southern California, but when it does, the park CLEARS OUT. We’ve been there before, on Thanksgiving Day (aka peak park attendance), when it was raining and the park was EMPTY. Grab an umbrella and have a blast.
16. Use the single rider line. Riding with your friends or family is just not worth that extra hour in line.
18. If you purchase a ticket for three+ days at the park, you’ll get a ‘magic morning’, which will allow you early entry to the parks. You can read all about how to use Magic Mornings here.
19. Bring a jacket, no matter what time of year. Especially people who are used to Disney World, aren’t used to the fact that California can get a little chilly at night, no matter what time of year it is.
20. If you forget your fuel rod, always put your phone on airplane mode, when you’re in a ride that has an underground queue – it will save your battery because your phone won’t be searching for service.
No matter if you use a few of these tips, all of these tips, or none of these tips, you’ll have a great time at Disneyland. We love the park, and we know you’ll love it too.