Disneyland discount tickets, where to eat, and what to pack are just a few of your Disneyland tips we have for you today from a family who visits often!
If you are planning a trip to Disneyland let us share a few useful Disneyland tips that has made our day as a family even more magical there. If you’ve never been to this California amusement park you may need a bit more help than a regular goer and we have lots of tips and tricks on our site to help you! Special thanks goes out to Disneyland Theme Park for sponsoring our visit there so we could share our ideas with you. 😉 (referral links present, originally published 5/16)
I’m a mother to 3 girls and I’ve lived in Southern California almost my whole life. I remember trips I took to Disneyland as a child, and boy how it’s changed since then!
While the park has expanded into California Adventure and offering newer rides some things remain the same.
You will most likely see smiles on everyone’s faces and people watching is one of my favorite things to do. Yes you will encounter lines but over the years and our many Disneyland trips we have it down pat now as to what we bring. There is a reason for every single item.
Let us share a few of our most helpful Disneyland tips for families with you so your day will be even more magical!!
- Buy Disneyland tickets at a discount – If you are planning WAY in advance you can follow my tips and tricks on how to get into Disneyland for free but that does take a little bit of time.
- Either way do NOT pay full price at the ticket booth, there’s just no reason for that!
- Fuel yourself and your children before entering the park – Nobody is in a good mood and ready for hours and hours of walking if your body isn’t fueled up.
- If you’re driving in pack some sandwiches and drinks so that after you park and JUST before you enter the magical gates your tummies are full and you’re hydrated.
- You really can eat for free at Disneyland which we’ve done time and time again. 😉
- Give your child a map – When you enter the park there are maps of the park as well as an event schedule. They’ll tell you the time and location of the parades, fireworks and more.
Take a Disneyland map for yourself. Let them have one to carry around too so they can see what’s around them and where they might like to go next. If nothing else it’s a free piece of entertainment while they’re waiting in line.
Have them carry their own backpack – Yes you need one with the majority of items in it but even if they’re little. Beyond 6 or so it’s nice for them to have a bag with their own water bottle, map and maybe a snack inside.
- It helps you so you aren’t getting their water out and putting it in 10 times a day and giving them a bit of control makes them happier.
- Bring sunglasses and a hat for everyone – Even on overcast days everyone is more comfortable with their own pair of sunglasses. We found these at the dollar store and bought a few pair so I didn’t care if they got lost or broken. A hat that shades their face is a must too.
- Wear sunscreen – Make sure you lather up before entering the park and get under those short sleeves so you don’t miss any little areas (like where the top of their sock hits their ankle).
- There is nothing worse than a really bad sunburn the next day (don’t forget on top of your ears especially if you’re wearing hats).
- Hang one of these small containers off their backpack so everyone has some and they can reapply throughout the day.
- Bring a notebook & pen or buy an autograph book – It is nice to have an activity to do outside of riding rides all day long. When you need a bit of a break go looking for Disney characters.
During our last visit my kids took pictures and got autographs from 6 different characters. There was never longer than a 5 min. line to do so. This is a free activity at Disneyland too so you can’t beat that!
- You can buy them beforehand here which is cheaper than in the park and you won’t have to stand in line or try to find one either!
Visit during off peak times – If you have some flexibility plan your trip to Disneyland during off peak days. Typically the summer is much more crowded, and the weekends are as well.
- If you have the ability to visit on a Tuesday or Wednesday during the traditional school year, and not around a holiday it is best time to visit!! That is when we plan our trips and like this one here we rode ride after ride and the longest wait was around 35 minutes or so.
- Bring entertainment – There are some rides that are more popular than most but a trip to Disneyland just isn’t complete unless you ride them. They are worth the wait in line.
- For us Peter Pan and Space Mountain are two of those. Always with the longest wait times when we visited you need things to do.
- Bringing a small hand held device like an iTouch or phone helps during those longer wait times in line.
This is an old phone we have with a cracked screen that doesn’t have phone service anymore. They can play on APPs on it though which keeps them entertained. Perfect for times like this.
- Play Disney I SPY throughout the day – Disney I SPY game is fun to play They will be kept busy throughout the day as they try to find all the items on the page!
- It is free to do and if they don’t have a pen to mark each one off just have them stick their finger thru the paper! This is one of the Disneyland tips my kids really love.
- Buy larger snacks and meals – There are TONS of snacks, treats, and meals you can buy at Disneyland and California Adventure.
- Keeping them fed and hydrated will keep them happier (and you), and usually they aren’t thinking about food until you get into line and stop for a minute.
- We buy larger snacks like this so everyone can share. It’s the best bang for your buck like this bag of caramel corn.
- Use a hair tie to secure the top when you’re done. Put it in your backpack, and you are ready when the “I’m kinda’ hungry” times come calling.
We also eat at the restaurants that offer bread bowls (filled with soup or chili). It’s big enough for 2, thus spending a bit less. They’re very filling to keep you going for the whole day too!
Have fun – Disneyland is not just a place for kids to make memories and act silly it is a time for you too!! Let loose, laugh, and take lots of pictures!!
When I look back at our last visit where we share how to save money at Disneyland I can’t believe how much my kids have grown. You forget how quickly times flies unless you have the pictures to look back on.
- Make sure you take video too, I surely will look back on this one and remember just how small she was when she wore these ears. 😉
- If you’re from out of town here are some other places to go in Southern California you might want to check out too.
- WAtch our Disneyland video here to see how fun our visit was.