Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Five Tips for Your Next Disneyland Vacation

To continue Disney week, today I present you with my top five tips for thoroughly enjoying your next trip to Disneyland. Over the past few years I've rediscovered for all things Disney and living only four hours away I try to make it to the park at least once a year. Tried and tested over my last few trips, these tips showcase the top things I wish I knew (or had been reminded of) before heading into the park.

1. Take time to slow down.
A little over two years ago I sustained a back injury that means that I actually have to pay attention to ride warnings now. The first time I went to the park post-injury I was so bummed that I wouldn't have fun, but instead I enjoyed what was my favorite trip to Disneyland up to that point. The difference? Now that I wasn't rushing from ride to ride I was able to notice the little details that I had missed. I made it a point to try different restaurants. I leisurely strolled through the shops. I caught all of the parades. Now I look forward to Disneyland even more than ever! It can be a little more difficult when you have friends and family in tow, but taking the time to slow down means less stress, less time spent waiting in lines, and not being completely exhausted at the end of the day.

2. Make time for the parade.
Somehow as an adult I stopped taking the time to queue up for the parades, but this year I made it a priority and I couldn't have been happier with that decision. People start vying for a spot up to two hours ahead of time, but if you time it right you can slip in with a half hour to spare. Check out the parade route to plan your spot, some areas fill up more quickly than others. The parades are the perfect way to get in the Disney spirit and see all of your favorite characters.

3. Scope out the shops in each area before making any final purchases.
Something I learned just recently, each of the shops sell some unique items that can't be found throughout the park (or even online). If shopping is a priority for you, take the time to scope out each area of interest before making your final purchases. If you want to beat the crowds, be sure to check out Downtown Disneyland too. The World of Disney store carries most of the park's general merchandise and the bakery boasts a wide selection of treats.

4. Follow @DisneylandToday on twitter and assess your app options.
@DisneylandToday is a total lifesaver for a day at the park. They tweet the park hours (including any changes throughout the day), merchandise highlights, and special events. They even answer questions if you tweet them. For interactive maps and wait times, check out the Disney line of apps including Disneyland Wait Times (Free) and Disneyland Maps (Free). They have some paid app options as well, but after trying several different options these two were the most accurate and easy to navigate overall.

5. Fantasy Faire!
Tied into my first tip, Fantasy Faire is one of my favorite ways to take a break while still enjoying a show and I am always surprised how many people haven't heard of it. To the left of the Castle, Fantasy Faire includes the Royal Theater and Maurice's Treats. The Royal Theater houses clever renditions of Tangled and Beauty and the Beast that last around 20 minutes. Little ones will enjoying seeing some of their favorite princesses on stage while teens and adults will enjoy the humor and creativity. While you're waiting for the play to begin, pick up a Boysen Apple Freeze and a Cheddar Garlic Bagel Twist (my favorite treats in the park).

What are your favorite tips for enjoying Disneyland (or Disney World!)? Wrapping up Disney week, check back on Friday for a gift guide for the Disney fans in your life.


  1. Awesome tips! One that I have from my visit (way back in 2010): have a midday nap! My boyfriend and I got up real early and liked to stay till the end of the day so we went back for a small nap everyday to keep our energy up. We were 18 and such old people but it meant we could use our afternoons effectively.

    1. Thank you! Yes, the midday nap is so wonderful! That is such an important tip especially if you're staying until closing. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I've been to Disney World, but not Disneyland and I've always wanted to go! This makes me want to pack a bag right now! Fantasy Faire sounds awesome!
    Sincerely, Sara

    1. I hope you get a chance to visit Disneyland soon! Anaheim and the surrounding area is a lot of fun in general.

  3. Great post! Slowing down is a great tip. People want to do the whole park in a day and it's totally not possible (well, disney world for sure isn't. IT'S HUGE!) i miss disney so much! hope i get to go back soon!


    1. Thank you! I used to try to fit everything in and all it left me with was stress, I can't even imagine trying to fit everything at Disney World in. I hope you get to go back soon!