First, let me say Disneyland is freaking amazing! It’s very clean, easy to navigate and like being in another world! BUT.....there are a few things we learned from our first visit, that will make our return visit (oh yes, we are going again), way more enjoyable!
1. Plan to be super overwhelmed that first day. There is literally so much to see, that you walk around in sheer amazement most of the day. From the detail on every building, to how clean the entire park is, to the insane lines of people. Plan to just wander, observe and take it all in.
2. MaxPass. Buy it. This is seriously your easiest way to get fast pass tickets to rides and capture photos from all the professional photographers around the park. For $10 per person....seriously just buy it. We didn’t when we bought our tickets, so we ended up buying them each day. It’s super easy on the Disneyland app!
3. Eat at the park!!! The food at Disneyland is really, really good! The corn dogs.....a must!! For $6 plus tax (that’s with no chips and apples), some might think it’s pricey. BUT......they are awesome!! And for the love of anything holy, eat a Dole Whip a day!! Located in Adventure Land.....so, so, so good! We carried granola bars and water bottles with us, because water is VERY expensive. But other than that, we ate at Disneyland! (Find the Mickey benigets)!!
4. Jump on the train and tour Disneyland! It’s free, and gives a great way to rest your weary legs. There are some great surprises on the ride also!
5. Comfy shoes!! Let me repeat. COMFY SHOES!! Now is not the time to look cute. So leave the flip flops and 4 inch heels at home (oh trust me, there are people wearing them), and wear those broken in sneakers!! You will be walking miles each day!!
6. Get a Dole Whip!!
7. The Guardians of the Galaxy ride is no joke! Our 9 year old cried, and once was enough for me. If you like the feeling of free falling than jump on board. However, if you don’t like falling in the dark....well my suggestion, stay away from that ride!!
8. The Cars Ride at California Adventure is super fun!! Get a FASTPASS or stand in line, but don’t miss this one!!
9. Everyone has to do Pirates of the Caribbean. The line moves quick! Grab a dole whip and jump in line! It’s a great ride for all ages!!
10. Eat the corn dog.
11. Eat the Dole Whips.
12. If your going with young kids, like stroller age. All I can say is, good luck to you. It’s stroller central for sure. Me, not a chance in hell I would have taken kids under 5 there. It was way more enjoyable with teenagers. Our youngest was 9, and did really well. I saw all these people with babies and toddlers and felt bad for them. If this will be you, all I can say is hope you have fun!
13. Disney souvenirs are expensive. That’s all I can say about that. Either fight with your kids, lay down rules or bust out the plastic !
14. Pin Trading!!! Yes, it is a thing!! My 16 year old got really into it. There are people who show up to trade pins! My suggestion....buy a starter pack w/lanyard. Then buy a pin set, like a pack of 7 for $25. These are the pins you will trade staff members. Go into a store and ask to see their pin trading board. You can trade one of yours for one off their board! There are sets you can collect and more! Research pin trading before you go! It’s actually a really fun thing to do!
15. Ask PhotoPass photographers about magic photos! You will get a cool little surprise on your photo!! Trust me....they have magic in those cameras!
16. Go in the off season. It’s busy then, it will be way busier in prime season. I will NEVER go during the summer months!! Yes, they will close a ride or two during the off season for maintenance. But seriously, the lines are bad in January (off season), I have no desire to see them during summer or Christmas!!
17. Disneyland and California Adventure Land are wonderful! We had an amazing time and can’t wait to get back! It really is a trip to make. If you have any questions, please let me know! I’ll be glad to give you my two cents on the matter!!
Thanks for reading!
Sina is the owner/creative master mind of Crab Terror Island! She is a lifelong Alaskan and enjoys being creative, reading and watching her three boys taking on the world!