12. Skip the Starbucks

It is very tempting to stop for an espresso drink as you pass right by the store. It’s a big attractive location and very hard to pass up on if you are a coffee lover. However, from personal experience, I recommend skipping the coffee or you may end up spending too much time looking for a bathroom. Plus, coffee is a diuretic, and you want to be drinking extra water!

13. Go on water rides mid-afternoon

The best time to go on Disneyland’s water rides is during the middle of the day. The morning and night will be too cold. Night is even worse as you have no sun to help dry you off. Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Grizzly River fun at California Adventure are the only 2 water rides. Both are okay but not the best in my opinion. If you wait too long, you will be freezing your butt off for the remainder of the night. Based on my own personal, this is a very uncomfortable experience!!

14. Sun protection is a must!

Most of the day you will be standing outside in lines with no shade. Since it is sunny almost everyday (less so during the summer season), you will want to apply sunscreen so you are not fried like a lobster the next day unable to move from your hotel room bed.

15. Concentrate on the best rides

The best rides in the park (my opinion) are Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Space Mountain, and Indiana Jones Adventure. You really want to make time for these ones. If you are severely limited on time, I would say these are the top picks. Next up for me would be Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Mad Tea Party, Jungle Cruise, Davy Crockett, and Peter Pan. Also, It’s a Small World is worth at least one go, even though the song is super annoying and sure to be stuck in your head all day (note – the ride at Disneyland is much longer & better than DisneyWorld!).

It’s a Small World is one of the most beloved rides at Disneyland and DisneyWorld. After just one ride, you will have the catchy, yet super annoying song stuck in your head all day! Anytime I see a picture of this ride, the song immediately comes to mind!

16. Skip the following rides

Some rides are just not worth the wait, especially if you intend on only purchasing a 1 day ticket. These include Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (a definite no if you are claustrophobic), Astro Orbiter, Autopia, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, and Mark Twain Riverboat.

17. Skip the sit down restaurants

Sit down restaurants take up too much of your park time. Also, scan menus on the Disneyland website in advance so you do not have to walk around the park all day searching for something you like. My favorite quick service restaurant is Galactic Grill in Tomorrowland. The line is never too long and you get your food in under 10 minutes. They have a small, yet diverse menu which includes burgers, chicken sandwiches, and even a fantastic veggie wrap. Plus, the fries here are amazing!

On a side note, if you have any food allergies, you can bring snacks into the park. Our bags were checked with food in them and we had no problems. Additionally, many of the restaurants now offer allergy-friendly menus and chefs/servers are trained on how to handle guest’s special diet requests. If you absolutely insist on a sit down restaurant, you must make reservations in advance (sometimes a few months ahead!).

18. Download the Disneyland Wait Times App

This handy free wait times app provides regularly updated info on wait times for all rides within the park. It is really convenient to have on hand as you can plan your day around the wait times and not feel like you are wasting your pricey ticket standing in line all day. From my experience, the times are pretty accurate the majority of the time. You can download the Disneyland Wait Times App for free on the iTunes website.

19. Avoid the following rides if you have motion sickness

Although almost any ride will affect those with serious motion sickness, the following rides will be especially problematic: Space Mountain, Mad Tea Party, Autopia, and Astro Orbiter. Many with motion sickness swear by ginger root pills.

20. Book an on-site Disneyland resort for special perks

The 3 Disneyland resort options are Disney’s Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Benefits of staying at a Disneyland resort which make up for the higher cost, include an hour early admission to the parks, being within walking distance of the parks, and fun extra amenities like pools and waterslides. Pricing starts from $269 to $413 per night.

21. If looking for a budget friendly alternative to the on-site hotels, still look close

Staying at a hotel as close as possible to the park means that you do not have to waste your time driving in the hideous Los Angeles traffic. Although our hotel was just 30 minutes away, it took us more than 2 hours with the traffic to get to the park! After spending an exhausting day walking around the theme park, you will not appreciate a long drive home! There are many non-Disney hotels located within walking distance or just a short shuttle ride away. Check out the list of Disneyland Good Neighbor Hotels.

22. Book a hotel with a free breakfast

A free breakfast will save you both time and money. Starting your day off with a full breakfast means that you do not have to waste the morning seeking food, meaning more time for rides and fun! Plus, the food is so expensive at Disneyland, therefore, the less stops, the better. The Embassy Suites South Hotel offers a free cooked-to-order breakfast, complimentary cocktails, and an outdoor pool and hot tub. It is located just a mile away and a shuttle to the parks is available for just a small fee. Take a look at the full list of hotels near Disneyland which offer a complimentary breakfast.

23. Check hotel websites for special offers

Most of the time, you can save money and receive a few extra bonuses by booking some type of package deal. These deals can include a variety of attractive amenities such as a free night if you book a certain number, resort credits, special spa packages, and just about anything else.

24. Book the flight and hotel in advance

For the best prices, always purchase airfare and lodging way in advance. Not only will you receive the best deal, but you will also cut down on the stress associated with last minute planning.

25. Leave the selfie stick at home

They are not allowed at Disneyland! Thank goodness as they really distract from other guests’ park experience. Bring a phone or slim, lightweight camera like the Sony Cybershot if you want to take pictures. This is my go-to camera for any type of activity where I need something lightweight, yet still want to take great photos.

26. Book a flight with Southwest

They almost always offer the best deals. Plus, you can check 2 bags for free! Sure, there is less leg room and less amenities, however, I will take it for the cheaper prices and 2 free bags! Allegiant also offers cheap flights, but only flies from a limited range of cities.

27. Have a packing check list handy

I love these Pack This organization pads as you can check out everything you would possibly need for a trip so you do not forget anything. Bringing with anything you would possibly need is smarter than paying for overpriced items at the park/resort.

28. Keep your suitcase organized for a stress free trip

Keeping everything organized and neat leads to a stress-free travel experience. I always bring with travel sized version of everything. I recommend this TSA approved Burt Bees kit – it contains all sorts of moisturizing products which is great after being in the dry air. Also, a hanging cosmetics bag works really well in hotel rooms as there are compartments to neatly store all your products plus a hook to hang it conveniently on the door. Packing cubes are also a must as they save space and keep all your clothes separated in their own compartments.

29. Wear gym shoes to the park

Although athletic gym shoes may not be the most fashionable, they are way more comfortable than sandals. By the end of the night, your sandals will be killing your feet and you will be wishing for the gym shoes. I also recommend athletic apparel as you will sweating and basically doing a workout with all your walking! I easily put in 10 miles a day – now that’s a workout!

30. Be aware of ride closures

You can check the Disneyland site for ride closures. Some like Davy Crockett seem to always be closed, while others like The Haunted Mansion close for a few weeks every August to get ready for the special Halloween themed version of the ride. Others are periodically closed for refurbishment. So check the schedule to avoid disappointment!

Disneyland Details

The address for Disneyland is: 1313 Disneyland Dr, Anaheim, CA 92802.

Purchase tickets online at Disneyland.com