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100+ Disneyland Tips and Tricks

100+ Disneyland Tips and Tricks

Don’t use your Lightning Lanes for a major attraction if the Standby line is short and a manageable wait.

Genie +/Lightning Lanes: Get to know how it works ahead of time. It will help you complete major attractions on time.

Someone in your group needs to be very comfortable with the Disneyland app

Most of the vendors prefer mobile ordering only. Add your payment method(s) to the app ahead of time, you can also add gift cards as a payment option too.

You could start making dining reservations 60 days in advance of your trip.

Get there EARLY: Before the park officially opens at 8 am they let you through Downtown Disney, into the Disneyland park, and up to the main rotunda near the fork of Adventureland and Frontierland where it’s roped off by cast members.

If you’re staying at an offsite hotel, look at Disneyland’s site for packages at Good Neighbor Hotels.

Rent a locker early to lighten your load. It’s a game-changer for carrying essentials without the hassle. Plus, it’s the perfect spot to stash souvenirs! 

Hotel guests enjoy Early Entry perks!

Keep an eye on the Disneyland app for real-time wait updates. 

Avoid the souvenir scramble by pre-purchasing your Disney treasures online or at discount shops.The shops on Main Street, U.S.A. and Buena Vista Street are open an hour after the parks close.

Skip the lines and make the most of your time with Single Rider and Buddy Pass options

Maximize your time by scheduling a breakfast before park opening or brunch after a morning of fun

Save time and money by packing your own snacks and water for the day. 

Save precious time by dining during off-peak hours, typically from 10:30 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m

Take advantage of shorter wait times in the last couple of hours before park closing. 

Once you’re in a ride line before park closing, you’re guaranteed to ride, even if it’s past closing time. 

The lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel provides a peaceful retreat with piano music and a fireplace, easily accessible from California Adventure.

A hidden patio between the Matterhorn Bobsleds and It’s a Small World offers tranquility, as do the far decks of the Harbour Galley with river views.

If you’re on the hunt for a specific character, use the Disneyland app to help determine their whereabouts.

If you touch the apples in the queue for Snow White’s Enchanted Wish, you’ll be greeted with the witch’s cackle.

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In the Main Street Opera House, you can sit on the Griffith Park bench where Walt Disney dreamt up Disneyland.

Disney plush toys, candy, and souvenirs are extremely costly within the park. To avoid these high prices, buy it at the shopping mall, online, or at standalone Disney stores.

Any cast member at the Jungle Cruise will be happy to give you a free antique-style map if you ask nicely.

The captain on Mark Twain’s Riverboat will award you with a special certificate if you request to steer the vessel.

Establish a very specific meeting point for your group in case you split up.

Disneyland’s penny-press machines churn out the most affordable souvenirs in the entire park, with each trinket costing only $.51 to customize.

Character dining can be a great way to meet characters without using a lot of your park time waiting in lines for photos. 

Children under the age of three can eat for free in the buffets throughout the resort.

To skip the crowds, try visiting the most popular rides during your first hour at Disneyland.

If you are being dropped off at Disneyland, get dropped off at the Grand Californian Hotel.

It can be beneficial for one person in your group to have a Magic Key just for the discounts it provides you.

Tell children to locate someone with a Disneyland name tag if they are lost.

If rain doesn’t bother you, consider visiting Disneyland on a wet day. Many guests will skip the park or leave early in bad weather, which means more fun for you!

While it’s not a guaranteed perk, asking nicely about the tender seat on the Disneyland Railroad locomotive might get you invited to ride up front with the conductor. 

During summer months, Disneyland generally stays open until midnight on weekdays and weekends, giving you extra time in the park — but likely more crowds. 

Fly into SNA/John Wayne Airport as it is much closer to Disneyland than any of the other airports. 

If your party doesn’t mind riding the busy attractions separately, opting for the single-rider line will usually spare you from lengthy wait times.

Most area hotels offer a shuttle service for guests, allowing you to skip the $30 Disneyland parking fee.

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Certain Disney shows, such as Fantasmic, offer two different performance times.

Disneyland offers discounted tickets for military personnel, D23 fans, and AAA members.

Ask Guest Relations about specific characters so that they can track them down for you.

If you ask, PhotoPass photographers will snap a picture on your cell phone.

The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort will store your luggage free of charge at Bell Services.

Disneyland stores are open for an hour past closing.

Get free water from any quick-service food and beverage location.

Most Disneyland restaurants are totally OK with an adult ordering off the kids’ menu.

Using the Disneyland app, join a virtual queue whenever possible.

Bring a handheld fan.Disney does sell these in the parks, but bringing your own saves a little money.

Write your phone number on your child somewhere in case they are lost.

All Disney parks have a baby care center.They are complimentary and open during regular park hours.

Save a little money by bringing your own glow sticks to wear while waiting for the nighttime fireworks display.

Purchase Disney gift cards online and get 5% off when you have a Target Red Card.

You can purchase discount tickets and then upgrade them to Magic Keys and save big. 

Take a photo of the back of your ticket to use in case you lose your Disneyland ticket. 

Put your phone on airplane mode when waiting and riding underground rides.

For Disneyland visits, bring your own stroller instead of renting on-site. If you prefer not to carry yours, opt for rental services that deliver to your hotel.

Get free bread and chocolate from the Pacific Wharf factory tours.

Go midweek if you do not like crowds. The crowds in Disneyland pick up in the evenings and on weekends.

Ask everyone in your group what their must do attraction is and work it into your trip.

Tip for newbies: Lightning Lanes are NOT a zero minute wait, it’s closer to ten.

Bring refillable water bottles, and use the app to find water refill stations. Also get ice water from quick service restaurants!

Go to the Target that’s about 1 mile away for cheap $10-20 official Disney licensed “mom/dad/brother/sister” type t shirts and avoid paying the $50/per for same shirt inside Disneyland

The shortest waits of the day are in the first hours of a park’s opening (and the last two hours before the park closes).

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Tiki Room is a great place to take a break! No lines and amusing robotics!

Some of the off-site hotels near Disneyland are actually closer than the on-site hotels

Check out the crowds on the day of your visit before deciding to buy line-cutting passes. 

Wear shoes that are really comfortable, not fashionable. You will average around 20,000 steps a day at Disneyland. 

Buy a portable charging kit before you go. 

Park at Disneyland parking lots if you’re going to hang out at Downtown Disney for longer than six hours.

If you get there when it opens, go to the back of the park and work your way forward.

Instead of entering Disneyland through the main entrance, you can enter via the monorail entrance next to the Star Wars Trading Post in Downtown Disney.

Get there early for “rope drop,” when rides and attractions open. 

If you want to buy merch and the line is really long, you can just use mobile checkout. 

If you have young children, consider renting a stroller, especially if you plan to be there all day.

Try to “stack” your Lightning Lane reservations.You can make a new reservation every two hours.

 Do all of Fantasyland after the fireworks.

When a ride goes down for whatever reason, monitor its Lightning Lane status (if it offers one) on the app. 

Rider Switch is great for parents who like the thrill rides but have small kids or kids who don’t like the thrill rides

When ordering the famous corn dog at Disneyland, skip the chips that normally come on the side and order a la carte to save a few dollars. 

Order your food via mobile app. You can schedule the time you want to pick up your food

If you’re not hungry when your scheduled meal time approaches, you can always push meal times later, but it’s not easy to make them sooner.