Are you traveling to Disneyland with your children for the first time? Do you want to make sure that you have the best Disney experience? Well, you’re in luck because I compiled a list of traveler tips from certified Disney lovers!
(Thank you Aja, Mariel, Elika, Hershey, Sara, Keisha, Tinuke, Celeste, Joyce, Charlaine, Chris, Tim, Ana, Pauline, Rhea, Shaina, Kelly, Ingrid, Abi, Karen, Cyrene, and Drew for sharing your photos and tips!)
BEST Disneyland Travel Tips
1. Download the official Disneyland app.
You can buy tickets, see wait times, browse maps, locate Disney characters, and much more.
2. Save a lot of money before your trip.
Be ready to spend inside the park! Don’t be that person who keeps computing the currency exchange. Just enjoy it! You can always earn money later on, but moments can pass you by. Allot money for gifts, character dining, and so forth. Food can be pricey. To save money, you can eat outside the park before going in (e.g. there are food trucks outside the Disney arc in Hong Kong). To save a bit of money on food, we get the ones with huge portions to share.
3. Buy tickets online (e.g. Klook) or via hotel for discounts.
Ideally do not go there on peak dates. Visit the park on a weekday. Fewer people more fun. If you love team “long wait and long queue” then one of the recommended days to go there is Christmas Day! Drew recommends going there during the Christmas season because it is definitely more festive… 2x the happiness guaranteed! If you are going in the summer, prepare for changing weather and crowds. If you are going in the winter, prepare for ticketed events especially in Magic Kingdom, which makes the parks close a little early.
4. Get (at least) a two-day pass.
For first-timers, buy at least a two-day pass because one day is never enough. Buy the tickets together in advance so you don’t end up paying full price for both days. Go two or even three days in a row without doing full days, so that the kiddos are not too exhausted or fussy – and the parents won’t be too tired either!
5. Book your stay at a Disney Hotel or one of the partner hotels close to the park.
Stay at a hotel closer to the park or at Disney Resort if you intend to go to the park for more than one day it will be much more convenient. Visiting a Disney Park/ Resort can be tiring so you really want to minimize travel time between the park (e.g. Tokyo Disneyland) and your accommodation, particularly if you need afternoon naps or if you want to rest before heading out for night-time adventures. BUT if you want to save money, book your hotel reservations outside Disneyworld. You get the same 5 star feel with almost half the price. $150/ night at Hyatt vs $300/ night at a Disney hotel (in Orlando).
6. Plan in advance.
For instance, there are four parks in Florida, have a plan on which to go. Disney World in Orlando, Florida consists of four parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Plan out your annual passes and set up fast passes (to avoid waiting in line) which are available in your MyDisneyExperience app. The fast passes are worth every penny! Plan your restaurant reservations early as well as they fill up fast on time slots. Plot times for shows and parades in advance, to get good viewing spots — including the fireworks! Stay for the fireworks display or the electric light parade, it is worth it.
7. Set the stage.
Show Disney videos to your children so they can be familiarized with the names of the Disney characters. It makes it more exciting for them when they meet the movie characters in real life!
8. Wear the right clothes, and bring extra ones!
Wear light clothing in the summer as it can be very hot. Bring extra clothes for when you get wet in some of the rides (e.g. Splash Mountain)!
9. Wear comfortable shoes.
There will be plenty of walking. Go to the farthest part of the park first and work your way back to the entrance to avoid the crowd.
10. Put ID tags on your children in case they get lost.
Also, teach your kids what they should do if they get lost.
11. Bring a water bottle and lots of snacks.
Guests are allowed to bring food items—such as snacks or foods that do not require heating—into Disney theme parks. Bring your own water bottles, it will save you $5 in drinks.
12. Get there early.
Arrive at least 30 minutes before gates open to avoid the crowd.
13. Hit the most popular rides first (in the morning) to avoid the long queues later in the day.
If you are in Disneyland California, ride the Yellow Submarine and the ship because you cannot find them in Hong Kong Disneyland.
14. And most of all… Have fun and enjoy! Disneyland is the happiest place on earth.
You get to make a lot of “firsts” with your little ones and experience fun adventures. No matter how many times you’ve been in these places, the memories are always happy and different.
Have you been to a Disney Park/ Resort? Share your travel tips in the comments section!