I grew up visiting Disneyland often and now I’m lucky enough to take my kids! Here is a collection of the best Disneyland tips that are somewhat random, but I promise they will help your day be more magical. Especially if visiting the park is a rare occasion for you and your family.
1. Granny on a Bench
Bring your granny (or grandpa) to Disneyland and set them up on a bench for the day, then your family has a bench for the parade and/or fireworks. I promise you No Grannies Are Harmed. In fact, my mom and her sister love to do this. Where else can you people watch all day long with pleasant music and magic in the air?
We were fortunate enough to have the two grannies on July 4th and my family had front room seats to all the festivities. It was, well, you guessed it, MAGICAL. Arrive armed with an umbrella if it’s hot for shade, and be sure to bring them food and drinks throughout the day. And make sure to give her a few breaks to shop or take a walk.
I know this tip sounds crazy, but I promise you, it’s a win-win for all involved. For the admission price of their ticket and some food, drinks and a souvenir, you have the best seats in the house without having to make your kids sit there for hours.
2. Facebook Disneyland Groups
Yes, I know it’s not rocket science people, it’s social media and Facebook has some off-the-charts Disney fan groups. Here, you’ll find new people to meet up with at the park. How fun is that? And they have the best insider tips (there are cast members in these groups sharing the latest and greatest).
My personal favorites are “Tips for Special Needs at Disney” and “Disney Dreamers.” They’re positive-minded groups where people share photos and their experiences at Disneyland. I’ve learned so much here. You can also ask specific questions that pertain to your needs and get a ton of different answers from avid Disney fans.
It’s much easier to plan out your day when you know the secret ins-n-outs of the parks. Getting a stroller, where to take sensory breaks, first aide stations…it’s all there and discussed.
3. Use the Apps!
Disney has upgraded their Magic Guide App and it’s way better now. The dining menus in each part of the park may save you if you’re with suddenly starving kiddos. The wait times listed are awesome, and you’ll see all the park hours and events. So helpful to update while waiting in line to keep your day planned and moving!
The Disney Countdown App is used BEFORE you go to the park. This is a huge motivator for kids and fun too. You enter the date you’ll arrive at the park and it counts down showing Disney pics. Want your kids to clean their room? Show them the app and see how quickly the put their toys away.
4. Single Rider and Other Passes
Don’t mind being someone else’s third wheel? Tell a cast member at the front of the line that you’ll go SINGLE RIDER. They bump you up to the front of the line to fill in an extra seat with an odd numbered group. You will not sit with your friends or family, which is the trade off for not having to wait in line. Again, it’s a great way to meet people and share the Disney magic.
If you have young kiddos that can’t go on the rides, whoever you’re with at the park can wait in line, go on the ride and when they’re exiting the ride can tell a cast member they need a STROLLER PASS. They hand you the pass and watch the little ones while you enter through the exit and ride the ride (your friend watches the kids, NOT the cast member!). I wish I had known about this with my first baby!
I’m pretty sure if you qualify for a disability pass you know it. If you’re not sure, check with the cast members at City Hall upon your arrival. If you receive a DAS Pass, you will check in at the labeled kiosks around the park and be given fast passes for the rides. Learn all about that here from Love That Max.
Utilize your Fast Passes. They are the best way to schedule a time to go on a ride with limited waiting. Take advantage of this universal perk, it does help.
5. Electric Car Parking Perk
I was thrilled to discover there is electric car parking at Disneyland. Woot Woot! Tell the parking attendant while you pay for parking and they will put a special slip under your windshield. You will be directed to the electric parking, which is right next to the handicapped parking. Charge your car while you’re at Disneyland. So awesome!
6. Shortest Line Times
Don’t care about the parades or fireworks? When everyone else in the park is sitting along the curbs, the ride lines are significantly shorter. I’ve gotten on Indiana Jones twice during fireworks by walking completely through. A few rides close during the fireworks, so make sure to go away from the crowds for the shortest lines. You can ask the closest Cast Member which rides to shoot for. They’re always helpful!
7. Tour Guide Splurge
If you’re attending the park with 10 or less family members or meeting up with a group of friends, think about splurging for a Disneyland Tour Guide. If everyone chips in, you can spread out the costs. The tour guide comes with many perks; including being walked to the front of lines, hot chocolate and seats for parades or shows, and learning amazing facts about the parks from someone who loves all things Disney.
The tours are geared specifically for your group or seasonal, such as the Holiday Tour (the best!). I’m all about not wasting money, so why the splurge on a tour guide? For me, you spend less money in total because your days are planned out and your time at Disneyland is scheduled. You’re not waiting in lines and getting hot and tired and hungry so you don’t waste money on tons of extra food. Your kids also don’t have as much time to beg for 100 products with Mickey Mouse on them.
For a truly unforgettable experience, see if this fits into your budget and removes a lot of stress from your magical day.
Want to work on your kids social skills while at Disneyland or DisneyWorld? Try our social skills tips that will post this Monday, November 16th! Or thinking of how you can incorporate some sensory processing therapy into your day. Look here!
Need some ideas for shopping for mom? Here’s almost 50 sensory items to choose from at our Best Sensory Gifts For Mom post!