From tickets to hotels, a lot goes into planning a trip to Disneyland. With all of the packing and preparing, it’s easy to forget to plan an enjoyable itinerary for your trip. Disneyland is a huge place, and if you don’t budget your time and energy well, you could end up missing out on a lot of potential fun.
1. Get Tickets Online
Disneyland is a busy place. Purchasing your tickets online in advance will not only help you avoid the long lines at the gate, but it also may alert you to special deals that can only be found on the Internet.
2. Pack all of the Necessities
You’ll be at the park for hours, so it’s a good idea to bring anything you might need. This includes sunscreen, pain relievers, feminine products, ties or clips for messy hair, tissue, hand sanitizer, and a small first-aid kit. Most of these things are available at stores in the park, but you’ll save money by bringing them yourself.
3. Discuss Everyone’s Goals
If you have a big family, there will likely be some arguing over what to ride next. You can avoid this by having everyone discuss their goals for the day. If certain family members are more interested in the thrill rides and others feel squeamish at the thought, it makes sense to split into two groups and meet back up later in the day.
4. Get an Early Start
Try to arrive at the park as early as possible. The lines for attractions get progressively longer throughout the day, so your best bet is to start with the most popular rides and go from there.
5. Plan a Perfect Family Photo
You’ll take many snapshots as you enjoy your time in the park. However, if you want to end up with the perfect family photo, you should take it during the first part of your day. The kids will still be energetic, and your hair won’t be a mess from the rides. The classic spot for a family photo is in front of the castle, but there are many other beautiful areas of the park that would work.
6. Use Fast Passes
If you’ll be visiting the park during the peak tourist season, Fast Passes are a good idea. They allow you to show up for a ride at a certain time instead of having to wait in line, which often results in a more leisurely visit.
7. Meet Your Favorite Characters
Meeting and taking pictures with the costumed characters is a fun part of visiting Disneyland, especially if you have small kids. You’ll run into many characters as you explore, but if you want to get a few nice pictures early in the day, it’s best to seek them out. The “Toontown” area of the park is a great place to find some of your favorite friends.
8. Get an Early Spot for the Parade and Fireworks
Disneyland puts on a number of different parades and firework shows throughout the season, so you will need to check the park schedule to see what will be going on during your visit. If you’d like to see one of these shows, arrive early to ensure you have a good spot to sit.
9. Shop at the End of the Day
Buying souvenirs is a fun part of every vacation, but the last thing you want is to have to carry these items around with you as you explore the park. Saving your souvenir shopping for the end of the day will allow more time for rides as well.
10. Get out Ahead of the Crowd
Most of the guests leave the park following the big parade at the end of the evening. You can avoid the slow exit lines by either leaving early or lingering as late as possible. If you aren’t interested in the parade, this might be a good time to squeeze in a few extra rides, but keep in mind that some attractions close earlier than others.