I visited Disneyland in Anaheim California over British Columbia’s Family Day long weekend this February. It’s been a long time bucket list item of mine since we never visited when I was growing up. There’s something so magical about Disneyland! I love that there are so many things to do that people of any age or ability can enjoy it. Personally, I’m not the biggest roller coaster fan. They are too fast, too high, too upside down for my liking so I was skeptical when my boyfriend and I decided to go. With a 3 day park hopper pass costing upwards of $300 CAD, I knew I’d just have to suck it up and try as much as I could possibly handle. I think I did pretty well on most of the rides… if you don’t count me screaming bloody murder. I would hear my boyfriend laughing in between my screams, which was also quite entertaining. Well at least I tried it and I am still alive to write about it!
My tips for visitors to Disneyland:
- If you can, stay within walking distance to the park. We are pretty active people so we walked to and from the park instead of waiting for a shuttle. We stayed at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort. No complaints but would have been nice to have breakfast included in the price to make things more convenient in the early mornings.
- Utilize the crap out of fast passes!! – Fast passes are offered at popular rides that allow you to return later in the day and get on the ride right away (usually within 5-10 minutes compared to 30-45+ minutes with no fast pass). Get a map when you enter the park, it’ll show you which rides offer fast passes and which don’t. You can find the ticket vending machines by the ride you are getting the fast pass for (there are lots of signs). Note: you can only hold 1 fast pass at a time (with a few exceptions I believe – like the Buzz Lightgear ride). You will be eligible to get another fast pass once the window to your current fast pass opens. So for example, if your fast pass says to return to Hyperspace Mountain between 9:30-10:30. Go to ANOTHER ride, get that fast pass any time after 9:31, then come back and do Hyperspace Mountain. Keep cycling your fast passes this way for as long as possible by doing other rides in between which do not have fast passes. However, some rides are really popular like Radiator Springs Racers (in California Adventure) we went at 11:00 a.m. for a fast pass and our return time was 4:45-5:45!! That means so many people have gotten a fast pass that your time has been pushed so far down. In that case, they make you wait 2 hours and then go get another fast pass. California Adventure and Disneyland fast passes aren’t connected so you can hold 2 passes for different parks at the same time. We didn’t do that often since you lose time switching parks but we did for popular rides such as Radiator Springs Racers. I hope that makes sense but send me a message if you have questions!
- Bring a reusable water bottle. There are lots of water fountains all over the park so to avoid all of those bottles adding up and to save the environment, bring a bottle!
- Go 30-45 minutes before the park opens. The park is WAY less busy in the morning before noon. I’d recommend you do this especially on weekends. They start letting people in before the park actually opens and hold you at a certain place with a rope until it actually opens. You don’t want to be lining up at the same time the park has already started letting people go on rides.
- Ride popular rides in the morning. I’m sure this is pretty obvious but there are less people in the morning so do your research on popular rides and knock those off your list in the a.m.
- Bring snacks. I am the self proclaimed snack queen. Literally I can go about an hour before I’m hungry. Sometimes I say I’m hungry almost immediately after eating breakfast. I’ve learned a good trick though, start complaining about hunger before you’re hangry so you’re fed in time by your significant other :). We brought protein bars, trail mix with things like figs etc. to give us the energy to keep going a bit longer between meals.
- If a ride you really want to go on has a huge line, go elsewhere. There were lots of times we went on rides that had little to no wait times and heard others have waiting almost an hour for them. Your time is precious so anything longer than 30 minutes, we would circle back another time and usually skip that wait. Although we did wait about 50 minutes for the Buzz Light Gear ride at California Adventure but it was so fun that I’d say it was worth it!
That’s all my tips for now! If you’re planning a trip and need some advice, feel free to comment or email me!