Disneyland is a magical place for both children and grown-ups, and they don’t just call it magical for no reason. It’s where I spent hours riding Dumbo over and over again waving at my dad holding a camcorder the size of a stereo (in the 90’s). It’s where I went around collecting autographs of Disney princesses feeling like another princess myself. It’s where I shared a tea cup on Alice’s tea cup ride with my crush in high school.
Here is a list of my 15 tips for first time visitors.
Tip #1: Don’t buy your ticket at the park
There are many options to buy your ticket, but you should avoid buying them at the actual theme park. You can buy them in advance online, at Costco, or at most local supermarkets (you can find the closest market by inputting your zip code in this website). This way, you can save more time and avoid waiting in line to purchase the ticket.
Tip #2: Use your smartphone
There are so many great apps you can use to help you during your trip. Some of these are Walkee and My Disney Experience. You can find the wait time, restaurant menus, character photo areas, and so much more.
Tip #3: Bring your own stuff from home
You can bring your own autograph book from home. It’s more expensive inside the park, so you can purchase your own. Trust me, the princesses won’t deny someone just because you didn’t buy the notebook from the park. You can also carry around an empty water bottle and ask any snack shop or restaurant to fill it with ice and tap water. Stay hydrated!
Tip #4: Find the hidden Mickey while waiting in line
All over Disneyland, you’ll find hidden Mickey Mouse silhouettes. If you’re bored in line, try to look for these hidden Mickeys to occupy your time.
Tip #5: World of Color Fast Pass
World of Color at Disney California is a must see when visiting Disneyland (if you have a park hopper ticket). Disney California is a separate theme park from Disneyland, but it is filled with just as many awesome rides. Because of its popularity, there are assigned viewing areas for World of Color. To reserve your spot, make sure the very first thing you do when you get to the theme park is to get a fast pass for World of Color. The fast pass machines are located by the Little Mermaid ride in Disney California. They run out, so don’t wait.
Tip #6: Fast Pass in general
Use your ticket to get a fast pass for almost any ride, character meet, or shows. Instead of spending hours in line, you can stick your admission tickets into a fast pass machine to avoid waiting in line. Each fast pass will give you two-time slots. One for when you can use your fast pass for the ride/show and another time that lets you get another fast pass for another ride.
Tip #7: First aid kit and clinics
If something happens, don’t worry. Just find a Disney worker and let them know about your situation. They have clinics and first aid kits around the park.
Tip #8: Exclusive food available at Disneyland
Disneyland is famous for having some of the most delicious and exclusive foods available inside the park. For example, you can only get Dole Whip pineapple ice cream in two places: Hawaii and Disneyland. Check out this site for all the foods you must try during your next visit if you are a big foodie.
Tip #9: Take the train/tram instead of walking
Disneyland is a huge amusement park, and walking across from one end to another will take a long time if you did not strategically plan out your day. Lucky for you, Disneyland has trams and trains that are easily accessible. You can take the train that goes around the amusement park to get to another theme land. You can also take the tram at Tomorrowland to go directly to Downtown Disney.
Tip #10: Get a pin for your different occasions
Is it your birthday? Or maybe your first time visiting Disneyland? Tell one of the workers near City Hall and they will give you a free pin to celebrate your special day or occasion.
Tip #11: Talk to Mr. Potatohead
Mr. Potatohead at Disney California Adventures is sometimes controlled by a person, so if you talk to him, he will sometimes respond back to you.
Tip #12: Balloon replacement
If your balloon flies away or pops, don’t worry! You can go to any store and tell them what happened and they will replace your balloon for free.
Tip #13: Get a free jungle cruise map
At the end of the jungle cruise ride, you can ask the worker for a free jungle map.
Tip #14: Spend the hottest time of day at Tomorrowland
Tomorrowland has the most indoor rides in Disneyland, so if you find yourself needing a cooler place to hang out during the hottest time of day, head on over to Tomorrowland. Another option is to go to find an indoor show where you can sit and relax in an air-conditioned room.
Tip #15: Stay in line when the park closes
Although the park closes at a certain hour, if you are in line, you can still stay in line to ride your last ride before they really close the park. You get a few extra minutes in the park after most people are gone.