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7 Disneyland Travel Tips

Visiting the world's happiest place requires some planning. With our recent trip to Disneyland, our family was able to utilize a lot of the parks features we didn't the first time around. Here are some of our tips to help you plan your magical trip.

1. Time Of Year

What time of the year plays a big factor in visiting the park. Everything from weather to the amount of people in the parks each day. Planning your vacation while it's not peak season in the park might help with the amount of people. We have done this both times we have been to Disneyland. February 2017 & October 2022. There was definitely less traffic in February. Since travel restrictions were lifted prior to our October 2022 trip, we did notice that some days were busier. With that being said, it wasn't like a busy summer day.

Enjoying a warmer climate like Southern California doesn't mean only going in the summer. Both of our trips were quite enjoyable. Often we all were in shorts and t-shirts. There was a sprinkle of rain one day for our recent trip. If you are planning to visit and don't enjoy the heat try avoid June - September. September can still have heat waves. Keep that in minf when planning. It will still be warm just not extremely hot in the months of October through til March.

2. Themes

One of the perks of going Disneyland in October is the Halloween Décor. All of the details in Disneyland and California Adventure are magical. They sure know how to set the tone for the holidays. When we went in February 2017, there were subtle décor for Valentine's Day. What I would love to see is the Christmas décor. I have seen videos of how they style the parks. Seeing it in person is so magical! Disney knows how to sprinkle their style everywhere!

One thing I was not prepared for was the amount of seasonal souvenirs they have. Loved the selection of non-holiday items just as much. If I could have a Mickey kitchen I would. Just saying.

With a little help from YouTube we were able to preview the seasonal food offerings throughout the parks.

Is this not the cutest cookie from the Starbucks?

3. Utilizing the Disneyland App

This trip was all about using our Disneyland app! Being able to see real wait times was key for planning our ride times, ordering meals ahead of time and Photos.

-The Tip Board with in the app allows you to see the wait tips and you can plan the rides you would like to go on.

My husband watched the trends of the days and we were able to go from ride to ride from 4pm-6pm with little wait times. Using the tip board helped in seeing the flow of the day.

-The Genie Pass is available for purchase and you can purchase on the day of. It is an additional $25.00 USD per person. This allows you to use the Lightening Lane on the most popular rides in the park.

-Placing your food orders while you wait in line for a ride. Saves Time & avoids hangry moments!

It does allow you to select a window to arrive and then tells you when it is prepared. This also means you don't need to stand in line to order. Those were very long lines and sometimes longer then waiting for a ride. As well, it means carrying less cash. I would say that is a win win.

-Disneyland and California Adventure Parks both have professional photographers all through out the park. Often times in the most photogenic spots of the park. One of the neatest spots we planned out was on Main Street. With the giant pumpkin Mickey. I did stand inline for approximately 40 minutes to have a que time. Well worth it. Having a photo with the all of us was souvenir for all of us.

4. Stay Hydrated & Save Money

-Stop in at Walmart or Target and stock up on water and your favorite drinks. Be sure to grab your favorite snacks

-If you plan one thing to pack, make sure it is a drawstring backpack! Especially if your kids are old enough to carry one. It is a game changer. Pack a couple water bottles and snacks.

-Otherwise fill the bottom of your stroller with water bottles.

-There are lockers to rent and that could be a safe place to store your snacks and drinks.

-Keep this in mind......The average price is $5 per drink in the park.

Save the money to go towards the Seasonal Coffee at Starbucks :)

5. Take Care Of Your Feet

What I did not except this time around, was how much our feet hurt. Both parks are big and require a lot of walking. Even with utilizing the Mono Rail to get to Tomorrow Land from Downtown Disney.....AND the train that goes around the whole park, somehow we managed to walk on average 25,000 steps per day! Just wild.

- Wear fairly new comfortable runners

-Better to be safe and wear a pair of Vessi and be prepared for Splash Mountain :)

-Foot Cream. YUP! My feet were not happy on Day 2. So, on our off day I headed to Target to get new insoles and Foot Cream. It helped so much. Well worth the $15.00.

- Change Your socks mid day

-Stretch your body from head to toe daily

6. Food Previews On YouTube

One thing we did a month prior to the trip was watch YouTube videos. It was a great way to preview what was happening in the parks. Our daughter is Autistic and this helped with seeing what food was offered in the park. As well what the buildings looked like we would be visiting.

Three channels we watched to preview all things Disney:

With all of those tips and tricks we were able to try some amazing things! Here is each of our favorite eats in Disneyland & California Adventure.

Lily's Favorite Food:

California Adventure: Cozy Cone

Bacon Mac & Cheese

Disneyland: Jolly Holiday

Grill Cheese

Jaxson's Favorite Food:

Disneyland: Alien Pizza Planet

Countdown Chicken Fusilli

California Adventure: Cozy Cone

Bacon Mac & Cheese

Brayden's Favorite Food:

Disneyland: Tiki Juice Room

Dole Whip

California Adventure: Flo's V8 Café

Burger & Fries

Mike's Favorite Food:

Downtown Disney:

Wings, Fish & Chips and Beer

California Adventure: Flo's V8 Café

Club House & Beer

Kaylyn's Favorite Food:

Disneyland: Alien Pizza Plant

Astro Antipasto Salad

Disneyland: Tiki Juice Bar

Dole Whip

California Adventure: Cozy Cone

Chili Cone

7. DAS Program

The biggest difference between this trip and the last is knowing about the DAS program.

Our first trip to Disneyland was emotional for my husband and I. While on our trip we received the news with the official diagnosis that Lily was in fact autistic. At the time, we were just coping and helping her in anyways to enjoy the vacation. We definitely didn't experience nearly as much in February 2017 as we did in October 2022.

So, if you don't know what the DAS Program is. Let me share with you. This was in fact what made our trip way more magical. Especially for Lily.

The Disability Access Service:

Disney Parks is commitment to providing a welcoming, inclusive environment and accessible experiences for their guests. Disability Access Service (DAS) is a program offered at Walt Disney World theme parks to assist guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a conventional queue environment due to a disability. This also includes guests that use wheelchairs and scooters.

It allows the person with the DAS pass to select the ride in the Disney App to get a virtual cue (essentially a Genie Pass) one ride per time. It does cut down on the amount of time waiting in lines and greatly reducing stress for the DAS pass holder.

You can complete a virtual interview prior to your trip, up to 2 days OR you can visit City Hall in either park to have a meeting. The person you are applying for does need to be with you.

Couple Things To Note:

-The DAS pass guest does have to ride the ride and the guests selected

so for us, it would be Lily and 4 four of us. You can not add in other people who are not registered under your tickets.

-DAS pass guest photo is taken and registered with the pass

-abusing the system will result in all of the pass holders of the party banned

Using the DAS program for our trip in October 2022 meant we could make more memories and less stress for Lily.

Only a few times was she over whelmed. We were able to do more rides as a family.

Thank you to Disney for creating the DAS Program. It definitely made our holiday more magical :)

If you have any questions regarding our recent trip to Disneyland, please feel free to comment on this post. I will be happy to answer any questions. Have a Magical Day :)


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