My family and I were brave enough to go to Disneyland during the week of Spring Break. It's no cake walk battling crowds and standing in long lines with little kids; however, with a little bit of planning ahead, you can have your magical Disney experience during the busiest of times too! I learned a lot about planning my Disney visit during my six hour car journey from the Bay Area to Disneyland, some of which I wish I had known earlier.
So here are some useful trips to plan your Disneyland visit! Keep in mind that my kids are 9 years (girl) and 4 years (boy).
CHECK THE CALENDAR
First and foremost, before you pick your dates to visit Disneyland, do check some of the sites that offer insight to anticipated crowds so you can plan your visit accordingly. Here are two that we used:
BUY THE BOOK
My friend, Julie, gave me this book before we left on our trip and it was immensely helpful so I highly recommend it.
The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland
available on Amazon.
STAY AT DISNEYLAND
I am not a huge fan of the Disney hotels but they are very convenient. We stayed at the Grand Californian
which has the best location as it is directly connected to the California Adventure Park. One of the perks of staying at the hotel is early admission to the parks.
DEVELOP A STRATEGY
If you must visit Disneyland when it’s busy (as is the case for many with kids in school), it’s important to have a good plan of attack when you visit the parks. Most importantly, arrive at the park before it opens and get as much done as you can in the first few hours of operation when lines are much
shorter than they will be later in the day. Here are a few other things to keep in mind -
- Spend at least two days if not more. (one day at Disneyland and one day at California Adventure Park).
- Buy the Park Hopper tickets as it gives flexibility of going back and forth between the two parks.
- Prioritize which attractions/rides you absolutely want to experience.
- Plan on doing at least one Character meal - it's fun for the kids! For a complete list of options, click here.
- Plan on watching at least one night show. We absolutely loved the World of Color at California Adventure Park.
- If possible and schedule allows, avoid being in the parks during noon to 4 pm as it's just crazy busy. Your time is better spend poolside at the hotel. Come back early evening and stay late. Disneyland is almost magical at night with all the lights.
- Use the crowd app to determine wait times for each ride while at the parks. The two that we liked at are updated real time are
California Adventure Park has alcohol!!!! So if you need a break from the lines . Grab a a frozen margarita at Paradise Pier.
Hire a VIP guide - Especially if you are a group of 8-10 people. While they can't help you get to the front of a line, they help make your experience as pleasant as possible.
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Haunted Mansion
- Buzz Light Year
- Peter Pan
- It's a small world
- Thunder Mountain
California Adventure Park
- Radiator Springs
- Soarin’ Over California
- Monsters, Inc
- Grizzly Rapids
- California Screaming
- Tower of Terror
- Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
Radiator Spring Racers
Do you have other useful trip to plan your Disneyland Visit? If so, we would love to hear!