It seems like everyone is off to Disneyland. How exciting! Disneyland had never even registered with me before having Emmie and then we went when she was two and it was the most incredible experience…our fifth trip is coming up this October and we honestly can’t wait. We both have the most incredible time and it’s a magical holiday for fun, love and bonding.
Here’s part one of our tips and fave things to do.
Magic Morning. If you’re staying on-site at Disneyland then make sure you get up nice and early for the Magic Mornings. They’re on every day at alternate parks - Disneyland and Californian adventure and are for Disneyland Hotel guests only. You’ll have an hour in the park before everyone else! It’s the perfect time to beeline to your favourite rides and enjoy the before the crowds arrive.
Getting to the most popular rides first. It’s best to go through the main entrance for this, although if you’re staying on Disney property you can enter through the gate in the Grand Californian, however it is definitely faster at the main gate. The two most popular rides in our experience are Cars Land’s Radiator Springs Racers and meeting Anna and Elsa. You’ll need to get to the security gate around an hour before gates open. Once you go through you’ll then need to wait at the Disneyland gates for Anna and Elsa or the Californian Adventure for Cars. When the gates open walk as fast as you can (people will run) - you’ll see where to go. In Disneyland keep to the left for Anna and Elsa, they do awesome crowd control and will walk you through Sleeping Beauty’s castle and then ticket you out with fast passes to return for your meet and greet and photos. At California Adventure they’ll walk you all through behind a rope and funnel you into the ride. You can also get fast passes for Radiator Springs Racers but sometimes the queue for fast passes is so long…I always go straight for the ride, and if you can pick up a fast pass later for another ride then awesome!
Aladdin - the musical. Go see it! A free theatre performance of such a high standard, you will love it. We have seen it six times and we still adore it.
Fantasmic. Get tickets for this, you can book 30 days ahead of your stay. Get on the phone straight away as soon as you hit 30 stays. We got the reserved seating dessert package. The show is just amazing. Please do it - and don’t be tempted to try and see without booking tickets as you have to stake your space hours before and it’s just not worth it when you can pay around AUD$25 per person (less for kids) for an On the Go dining package and reserved seating.
Character dining. We love the Disney character dining. Our fave is Mickey’s Surf’s Up breakfast. It is consistently fun, and while there have been changes over the four years we’ve been visiting, it is still packed with characters, the food is great and the kids can get up and dance with Mickey, Minnie and their pals. Great fun! We has a few concerns last visit with Goofy’s Pizza Kitchen as only a couple of characters came past (compared to may on the previous visit) and the Minnie Breakfast in the Park was so overbooked we couldn’t get near the buffet and didn’t get to see any characters (we were refunded, Disneyland staff are always very courteous and understanding). We loved the Chip and Dale and friends breakfast in the Grand Californian hotel and if it’s princesses you’re after, lunch at Ariel’s Grotto is a huge meal with many Princesses circling the room. Again, this wasn’t as good last visit as it was previously, and it is quite expensive in comparison to the others. That said, we are visiting the Bibbidi Bobbity Boutique this trip so will book in our lunch so Em can be a princess with the Princesses. Tip: Book the early sessions before the Princesses are tired from greeting the little princesses at every single table.
Bibbidi Bobbity Boutique. We’ll have our first experience of the BBB when we return to Disney in October. Em’s been too small to appreciate it, and now she will be almost six she is really excited and I expect she will really get into it. BBB is basically a princess beauty parlour where little girls are transformed into princesses - packages start at $59 and go up to $195 - which includes hair, makeup, nails, a princess gown and photographs. The little princesses then meet the real Disneyland Princesses - it will be magical!!
Fast pass. Fast passes are so handy once you get the swing of it. You use your park ticket to get fast passes for many rides throughout the parks. You simply go to the Fast Pass machine located near the ride and insert your ticket. You’ll get a pass with a return time for when you come back to the ride and join an express line. It can save heaps of time and can help you plan your rides for the day. You can get one fast pass per person an hour. For really popular rides you might want to grab a fast pass, wait in the queue and take the ride, so you have another fast pass ride waiting for you when you’ve finished.
Single rider. The single rider line operates on some rides too. Disney uses single riders to make up spare spaces on rides, like California Screaming or Splash Mountain. This line is often short, although many groups of people are now using this line to avoid queuing and get through quickly so it’s often not a fast as it used to - and with everything it’s the luck of the draw and how many people are at that particular ride at that time. This is super handy for families of three or when only one person wants to take the ride.
Rainy days. When you see the rain coming down don’t be sad – this is your opportunity to ride the rides without the crowds. We have stayed on rides five or six times around simply because no one was waiting to get on! I will say that when it’s raining Disneyland doesn’t feel as magical as usual, however it doesn’t rain that much in California so the next day will likely be super sunny and magical.
Prams. Take your pram in, or hire one at the Park, there’s pram parking everywhere. I take my valuables on rides with me, but leave everything else hanging on the pram. This trip Em is five and a half so will have to walk around the park which will be tiring for her and reduces my speed. Hahah you should see me bolting around the park with the pram! Speed!
If you have any Disney questions please ask in the comments or send me an email! We love Disneyland and always happy to help. Evie xo