Our Disneyland Tips And Tricks
I can’t think of a better vacation to take young children on than to Disneyland (or DisneyWorld but that is coming October 2014). There is just something magical when watching their fantasies come to life. Even though it may be an expensive vacation (EXPENSIVE) if you play it smart even your wallet will have a good time.
The best times to go are January- April (avoid spring break like the plague!), early May, September (after labor day), early October, early November, and early December. Basically anytime that is probably inconvenient for your schedule, because it is inconvenient for others too. The park will be less crowded and you will get more bang for your buck that way.
Bring snacks, drinks and food into the park- especially if you have small children or dietary restrictions. A stroller with a small child is a great excuse to bring in snacks and drinks in a small soft cooler with ice from your hotel. If you have a large hard cooler they will ask that you put it in a locker.
Free ice water at any restaurant service counter! Take advantage, especially if you do end up going in the summer months.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO BOOK A ROOM ACROSS FROM DISNEYLAND! You will find much cheaper rates or be able to use hotel points staying 15 minutes away from the park and live to tell about it. You need to weigh the cost savings in being able to walk to paying for parking (which was $15 last time we went May 2013). Only once did we stay close to Disneyland and we loved it (Howard Johnsons Anaheim- excellent waterpark), but every other time we have opted for a cheaper hotel and commuted in just fine.
Buy souvenirs outside of the park ahead of time and bring them with you. Holy crud you will save hundreds doing this.
Map out your route the night before the park so you can evaluate which rides and attractions are important to everyone and you can gather fast passes first thing. For us this time our major priority was chasing princesses so we needed to know when and where to find them.
If you have small children or babies some tools that are great- Baby Care Centers (air-conditioning, nursing, high-chairs, toddler sized bathrooms), Stroller Passes (so you can switch with the person watching the baby and the other can ride the ride with little wait), Tiki Room (great place for a kid to fall asleep in your arms), family bathrooms (there is a star wars themed one close to It’s A Small World), and ice-cream (a great incentive).
Have fun! Don’t make your trip so packed and crazy that you forget to step back and enjoy the moment with your loved ones and friends. Don’t make it about you and just savor it. Their little lives go by so quickly.