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40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland

by Leap on December 1, 2023 260 Los Angeles   Video

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - PinterestAs long-time Disney frog-natics, Disney is practically our home, second to our humble lily pad. Disneyland trips are almost as routine as visiting the grocery store. We use our extensive experience to give tips and tricks so that you can get the most out of your Disneyland visit. A lot has changed over the last year or so, but things and finally back to normal. We always plan to make the very most of our Disneyland day. And we want the same for you — you've taken a frogtastic step in planning a Disneyland trip! Knowing that the Happiest Place on Earth can be also one of the busiest places on Earth, it's important to have some strategies when going to the parks. Well, frogs, that's why we're here! Here's a list of Disneyland tips that will help you maximize your time.

The Disney Genie service is available in the Disneyland app. Disney Genie+ is a paid service that replaced MaxPass (and FASTPASS). As the Genie+ gurus, we're sharing what we know about this tool, as well as how to maximize your time at Disneyland.

Also, you'll see Fantasmic! and World of Color mentioned a few times in this post. Fantasmic! is on refurbishment and returns May 24, 2024. World of Color refurbishment takes place Jan. 8 through Feb. 29, returning on March 1, 2024.

40 Disneyland Tips to Maximize Your Time

1. Buy Tickets Online

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Park Ticket and MapWe always advise purchasing tickets online, but now you'll need both a valid park ticket AND a park reservation before you arrive. Did you know you can purchase your discount Disneyland tickets through Undercover Tourist and save some green? We even sell tickets pre-loaded with Genie+ at the lowest prices! BTW, we toadally recommend purchasing Genie+ tickets for two reasons: 1) You can lock in the lowest price, and 2) You'll be covered if Genie+ sells out that day.

As soon as you receive your ticket order, book your Disneyland Park reservations to secure your dates. You'll need to pick the park you want to visit when you make your reservations. If park hopping, you'll choose the park you want to visit first. You can now park hop as early as 11 a.m.!

Don't purchase tickets at the ticket booth because if there aren't any reservations left that day, you will not get in. Also, when you buy tickets in advance, you'll save a lot of time (in addition to money) by going straight to the entrance. You won't have to spend any time in ticket booth lines. This can save you an hour on a busy day! For now, you'll want to purchase well in advance (up to 180 days). Buy them as soon as you can to lock in the lowest rate. Keep an eye out for our ticket sales and promos! There are some great child ticket rates for early 2024 and California resident promo tickets that can save you hundreds of dollars!

2. Pick the Best Times to Visit

While it's always a good time to visit Disneyland, there are times during the year that are better than others. Holidays, school schedules and local visitors have a big impact on Disneyland's schedule. Use this guide to determine the best time to visit Disneyland. Our Disneyland events guide can also fill you in on fun festivals and entertainment so you can plan your trip to experience them.

Here are two additional links you may find hopful when planning your visit:

  • Disneyland Park Availability Calendar — This calendar allows you to make sure the park you want to visit is available on the day you want to visit (before you buy or start to reserve).
  • Disneyland 1-Day Ticket Tier Calendar — Disneyland 1-Day tickets vary in price by day (from $104 to $194)! There are seven price tiers. Popular days such as weekends and holiday periods are higher tiers and cost more than, say, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at a non-peak time. This calendar shows you the price per day. If you purchase multi-day tickets, you don't need to worry about this calendar.

3. Stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Stay at Disney's Grand Californian

For the most immersive Disneyland experience, stay on the property. The three on-site hotels — Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel  (Pixar Place Hotel as of Jan 30, 2024) — are creatively themed with great Disney touches (plus you can save money by booking your stay through us!).

If you want to be the first one at the park gates, staying on-site is a nice perk. Resort guests at the Grand Californian can use the dedicated resort entrance to Disney California Adventure from Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which is a nice perk to staying there. (Here are even more benefits to staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel.) You'll want to choose that park as your first park of the day if park hopping. Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel also has a dedicated entrance into Disney California Adventure. Any on-site hotel guest with a room key can use it.

A huge perk to staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel is Early Entry. Only hotel guests with room keys or reservations in the app may access select rides, restaurants and shops in either theme park (with ticket and reservation) 30 minutes before everyone else.

4. Can't Stay on Property? Stay Close by

Some of the off-site hotels near Disneyland are actually closer than the on-site hotels and less than a five-minute walk to the Esplanade that connects the entrances of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. If you stay close by, you won't have to pay to park at Disneyland and you won't lose any time in the parking garage or waiting for transportation. There are other benefits of staying at hotels near Disneyland, too! Some hotels are a short walk to the free parking lot shuttles at the Toy Story Lot. (Ribbit! We can save you $$$ if you book your hotel through Undercover Tourist!) People start to line up at Harbor Boulevard security before 7 a.m., but once the security line starts moving (about 45 minutes before the park opens), it goes quickly.

5. Ease Your Way Through the Security Line

The best way to get through the security line quickly is to be prepared. Only bring the items you will need for the day. Bring bags with the fewest zippers and compartments possible. Make sure all of your bags are out and open for the cast members to peek into. Have keys, cell phones, coins and any metal devices in your pockets in bags or ready to be placed on the table at the security scanners. Have something that you know will buzz, such as a belt? Take it off and shove it into a bag for a moment. At times, some security entrances have an expedited screening for people with no bags. If you have no bags to check, you may save yourself a long line there!

Remove all banned items from your bags before you visit such as selfie sticks, loose ice, whistles, pocket knives, balls or zip ties or restraining devices. It's a bummer to have to go all the way back to return an item you frogot was in your bag (or dispose of it). Make sure your stroller fits the guidelines so you don't get turned away. Read more in our post on using a stroller at Disneyland.

6. Get to the Parks Before They Open

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Rope DropWe say this a lot, and here it is again: The shortest waits of the day are in the first hours of a park's opening (and the last two hours before the park closes). When you arrive at the park before it opens, you will be one of the very first people inside.

The park turnstiles generally open 30 minutes earlier than posted. If you're early, you can usually enter up to the ropes and when the park officially opens, you will hear an announcement and the cast members will pull back the ropes. This is called "rope drop." Once the rope drops, you can enter the rest of the park and go straight to the rides. For the most popular ride, such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you'll head through Frontierland.

One of the best ways to maximize your time at Disneyland and get the most out of your day is to be one of the first people in the park.

On-site hotel guests have access to Early Entry to select attractions 30 minutes before park opening. To take advantage of this be at security an hour and 15 minutes before park opening.

7. Snag a Locker

Lockers can be a lifesaver (and a back saver). It's smart to travel light in the parks, but you want to bring sweatshirts, jackets and cameras. Make renting a locker your first priority of the day. This eliminates the need to haul all of your gear around, yet isn't out of the way for a quick stop for more sunscreen, layers and such. Plus you can safely store your souvenirs there.

8. Download the Disneyland Mobile App and Get Familiar With Its Features (Including Disney Genie)

Life. Save. Er. Download the Disneyland mobile app before you arrive. It has wait times, show listings, character locations, park maps, restaurant menus and so much more. You can show your barcode at the gate for admission when you first arrive at the park! Having the Disneyland mobile app is necessary for using Mobile Order for food. Order meals ahead of time so you don't get caught hungry, but be sure to cancel or modify if the pickup time doesn't work.

You can also use the app to access the virtual queue for World of Color (it opens at noon each day for guests who have entered a theme park).

Virtual queues are not in use for any rides at this time, but that could change. If the virtual queue is used for more than one ride in one day, you will need to enter these queues one at a time. However, you can enter a virtual queue for a ride and an entertainment experience (such as the World of Color — One) at the same time.

Since the attractions using virtual queues are subject to change in the future, check the Disneyland app just before your visit — and again before 7 a.m. on the day of your visit — to see which experiences will require a virtual queue.

Disney Genie is a new feature in the Disneyland app. It helps you plan and customize your day and itinerary based on your interests.

You can use the Disneyland app before you arrive. Set up your account ahead of time. You can link your park tickets so you will be ready to make your park reservations. You can link MagicBand+ ahead of time too.

Look ahead at restaurant menus to see what's available and plan dining (60 days in advance about 6 a.m.) and even make dining reservations through the app. If you miss getting dining reservations, you can use the app to join a walk-up waitlist in the park when available.

9. Follow These Tips for the Shortest Wait Times

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Pirates of the Caribbean with a short morning lineFollow these tips to find the shortest lines:

  • Arrive early before park opening.
  • At Disneyland, focus on Indiana Jones Adventure, Haunted Mansion and Pirates just after park opening or at the end of the night.
  • Watch the Rise of the Resistance standby line wait times. Its line closes early, usually at 9 or 10 p.m., but it can vary. Parade time is a great time to ride.
  • At Disney California Adventure, focus on rides without Genie+ at park opening.
  • Follow a park plan.
  • Check the Disneyland app for wait times.
  • Focus on characters and shorter lines midday.
  • Stay late to take advantage of shorter evening lines.
  • Hop in a line before park closing.
  • Keep in mind that wait times may be faster than posted times.
  • Consider paying for Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane to use the Lightning Lane and skip the standby line.
  • Use Single Rider lines when available (if your party can split up).
  • Hotel guests should take advantage of Early Entry. Hotel guests can enter either theme park 30 minutes before park opening for select attractions, shopping and dining.

10. Use Genie+ to Schedule Ride Return Times and Use PhotoPass

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - A person buys Genie before hopping on the Monorail

Disney Genie+ is a paid option that allows you to skip the standby line to use a quicker Lightning Lane to shorten your wait for select attractions. PhotoPass downloads are included in Disney Genie+. Hop over to our PhotoPass post for the deets.

As for Disney Genie+, the ultimate way to maximize your time at Disneyland comes with a price tag. Disney Genie+ is an optional add-on service that starts at $30 per day, per person. The price can vary per day if you purchase in the park. You can only use the Lightning Lane one time per ride, per day.

Disneyland Park Disney Genie+ Attractions

You can start making Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations once you have entered the park for the day. Here are the attractions that are available on Disney Genie+:

  • Autopia
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Haunted Mansion / Haunted Mansion Holiday
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • "it's a small world" / “it’s a small world” Holiday
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Star Tours — The Adventures Continue

Disney California Adventure Disney Genie+ Attractions

  • Goofy's Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy — Misson: BREAKOUT! / Monsters After Dark
  • Incredicoaster
  • Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Soarin' Around the World
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure

There are some limitations to Disney Genie+. Many of the rides in the park are not on it. Certain high-demand attractions are not included, but you can pay to skip the lines for those rides through individual Lightning Lane selections. You may choose up to two of these attractions per day and may not book the same ride twice. Pricing varies per date, attraction and park. Hop over to our guide that outlines the ins and outs of Disney Genie at Disneyland. Standby lines remain available for free.

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Entrance to Radiator Springs Racers

The following popular attractions are available for individual Lightning Lane selections:

  • Radiator Springs Racers (standby line and Single Rider line remain open for no additional charge)
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (standby line remains open for no additional charge)

The price can vary per ride and day (generally between $15 and $30 per person, per ride for front-of-the-line access). You may only purchase each ride once and a maximum of two different individual Lightning Lane selections per day. You may make these selections once you enter the park for the day.

11. Take Advantage of Early Entry for Disneyland Resort Hotel Guests

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Early Entry Sign

Disneyland Resort hotel guests with park tickets and a reservation can enter either theme park 30 minutes before it opens. People with Early Entry can access select rides, restaurants and stores during that time.

12. Consider a Show Dining Package

You can save time and score a great viewing area for the parade, Fantasmic! and World of Color with dining packages. After all, you need to eat, so this solves two problems — where to eat and where to watch the show. Plus, people camp out for over two hours for some shows, so you'll save some time there. If you cannot get a dining reservation, try to join the Walk-Up List in the Disneyland app for table-service dining locations and ask to upgrade to the dining package.

13. Do Not Head to the Most Popular Rides First

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Radiator Springs Racers

If you're set on riding Radiator Springs Racers first thing, for example, you won't be alone. You can hit this ride first after rope drop if you want to. However, many other people have the same idea and the line can be long right after park opening. Instead, head to Guardians of the Galaxy or WEB SLINGERS and then hit the other Cars Land rides with short waits before committing to Radiator Springs Racers. Use the Single Rider line in the morning to practically walk right on! The Pixar Pier area is the least crowded in the morning. You can also accomplish a lot by starting there before heading to Radiator Springs Racers.

Radiator Springs Racers' line moves fastest in the first hour of park opening because there are fewer Lightning Lane users slowing down the standby line. Or, save more time and hop in the Single Rider line (all single riders must be 7 and up).

14. Use Rider Switch if Needed

Rider Switch is available to families with small children — yay! If you have tadpoles who aren't tall enough to ride (or don’t want to ride), go to the entrance of the ride with the entire party and get a digital Rider Switch return window added to the supervising parent’s park ticket (along with one other person). One parent can supervise the tadpole(s) while the rest of the party rides; then, once the riders return, the supervising parent can have a turn to ride while skipping the line. A member of the first party can also be part of the second party and ride with the first supervising parent when they take their turn, but they have to scan their tickets in advance before their first ride because they can’t change their mind later. Hop over to our Disneyland height requirements and Rider Switch post to see how your tadpoles measure up.

15. Appoint One Genie+ Wizard

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Man uses Genie+ on phone

If you opt to pay for Disney Genie+, have one person make selections and keep track of everything that is happening in the park and set an itinerary. When the hard work of planning pays off, let the rest of the party think it all just magically worked out. It's easier to make ride selections for the whole party to ensure that you all get the same ride windows so you can ride together. You may find it easier to select rides for the entire party rather than individually.

16. Park Hop

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Disney California Adventure Entrance

To hop or not to hop? It's much easier to hop at Disneyland than it is at Disney World. Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park are just a short hop, skip and jump away from each other. With the entrances maybe a one-minute walk apart, park hopping can be an effective way to maximize your time at Disneyland. At this time, you may hop after 11 a.m. and can hop back and forth between parks after that. Hopping is subject to park capacity, but it has not been a problem yet.

Double-check the calendar, but Disney California Adventure usually closes earlier than Disneyland. When Disney California Adventure Park closes, you can head to Disneyland for a final ride or two. We like to end our night with Gibson Girl ice cream (order ahead via Mobile Order). We recommend starting in Disney California Adventure and then hopping over to Disneyland. You can usually get through all the major rides in California Adventure before hop time, especially if you use Genie+ and Single Rider.

Allow at least 30 minutes from entering one park before entering the other park or you might get delayed at the gate for hopping too quickly. Here are more Disneyland tips on choosing the best ticket.

We do have some money-saving advice for park hopping. You'll pay $65 to add park hopping to a 1-Day or 2-Day ticket; $70 for a 3-Day or 4-Day ticket and $75 to add park hopping to a 5-Day ticket. So the more days on your ticket, the cheaper the price you'll be paying per day of park hopping. Fun! (Psst ...  you can save even more when you buy a park hopper through your favorite froggy friends.)

17. Have a Plan and Prioritize Attractions

You want to visit the attractions with the longest waits when they have the lowest waits at park opening and closing. If you've got one day for each of the parks, follow our 1-Day Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure park plans.

18. Use MagicBand+

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Woman scans MagicBand at Park Entrance

MagicBands have made their way to Disneyland. While all the capabilities of this magical bracelet are still in development at Disneyland, you can use it to save some time and get your head out of your phone. You can link the MagicBand+ to your park ticket or Magic Key pass. Use it to enter the theme park, redeem a Lightning Lane, quickly capture images from a PhotoPass photographer and so much more. It streamlines your day.

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - MagicBand at World of Color

Besides helping you save time (and your phone battery), it's also fun. MagicBand+ interacts with nighttime entertainment, shows in Avengers Campus and attractions, and can be used to hunt bounty in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Learn more in our MagicBand at Disneyland post.

19. Buy Your Souvenirs Ahead of Time

Yes, who doesn't want a Disneyland hat, spirit jersey, set of ears, plush, pin, framed artwork and all the other tempting Disney trinkets? We all want a little something special from the parks, but we prefer to buy souvenirs online and at discount shops to give to Tad and Lily ahead of the trip. This saves us time spent in the shops and also money. Plus, if you arrive with your souvenir Disney clothes, you can wear them in the park! They look great in photos.

You can either stash items in a locker or you can have them held at select shops on the day of purchase with a receipt for free. Hotel guests can have items sent to their hotel gift shop for next-day pick-up.

20. Wait Until the End of the Evening to Shop

If you must shop, wait until the park closes. The shops on Main Street, U.S.A. and Buena Vista Street are open an hour after the parks close. Also, World of Disney in Downtown Disney is open after Disneyland closes.

21. Save the Shows or Sit-down Experiences for Later in the Day

The parks are the least busy during the first few hours of the day. You don't want to find yourself in a 30-minute show when Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Alice in Wonderland will see their lowest waits of the day! When lines peak in the afternoon, it’s showtime (and a good time to rest those legs).

Save certain sit-down experiences for the afternoon such as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room or the Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland Park, or Turtle Talk with Crush or Mickey's PhilharMagic at Disney California Adventure. They give your flippers a little break. And in the case of the Disneyland Railroad, it also serves as transportation. Longer rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean and "it's a small world" make for nice air-conditioned breaks.

22. Make Use of the Single Rider Line or Buddy Pass

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Single Rider Lines at Radiator Springs Racers

Single Rider is a great way to maximize your time at Disneyland. Ride operators use single riders to fill empty seats.

If you don't mind splitting your group up on the actual ride, you can experience the following attractions at super low waits on select attractions (Single Rider availability may vary per ride per day at this time):

Disneyland Single Rider Attractions

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Space Mountain

Disney California Adventure Single Rider Attractions

  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Incredicoaster
  • Goofy's Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
  • Soarin'

Buddy Pass is a similar option to reduce the wait for small parties. Monsters Inc. may offer Buddy Passes to parties of one or two (as well as up to two adults and a small child) at certain times. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh offers a Roo Pass. Buddy Pass and Roo Pass holders enter a separate line (usually the exit) and fill in empty rows as they come up. Buddy Pass is subject to availability.

23. Know When and Where to Find Your Favorite Characters

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Pooh is in Critter CountryWhile a handful of Disney characters have their own dedicated meet-and-greet stations, many of them roam freely at Disneyland. You can catch several characters at Town Square at Disneyland or near the Carthay Circle Fountain at California Adventure. You can talk to princesses in the Royal Hall at Fantasy Faire, or chat up Captain Jack Sparrow or Redd at New Orleans Square. Mickey's Toontown has characters outside their houses and wandering around the land the whole day. Avengers Campus, in California Adventure, also has many characters around to meet.

You'll also see characters playing in new locations. Look to the raised area across from "it's a small world." Pooh and friends are in Critter Country. Anna and Elsa in the Animation Building. Some characters wander freely in their lands.

The Disneyland mobile app offers some character locations. Keep your eyes open and look for them in unusual spots. Also, character-helping cast members — usually in red vests and hanging out with the characters — will let you know if and when you can catch your favorite.

Character cavalcades travel through Disneyland Park in the afternoons. You can catch them on the parade route in Disneyland. Check the Disneyland app for cavalcade times.

Check out our tips on meeting your favorite Disneyland characters! We've added some new tips for finding characters now that meet and greets have returned.

24. Cozy Up to Your Favorite Characters at Breakfast

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Girl and Minnie at Brunch

A character meal is a great way to see a bunch of your favorite characters all at once. To really maximize your time at Disneyland, schedule a breakfast before the park opens or stop for brunch after a morning in the park. It's so nice to have the characters come to you while you dine. Talk about maximizing time! Hop over to our character dining post to choose the best one for you!

25. Have a Plan for a Lost Child

It's easy to get distracted in a theme park, for kids and adults as well. There are lots of people and lots to see. On more than one occasion, we stopped to shoot off a quick text message, looked up, and couldn't see the tadpoles among the sea of guests. Make sure you have a plan in place in case someone gets separated from your group. Here are the top 10 don'ts for getting lost in the theme park (this post is focused on Disney World but our tips remain the same elsewhere!).

26. Pack Your Own Snacks and Water (or Lunch)

This is always good advice. You'll save time, money and meltdowns by packing your own snacks and water (just no glass bottles). Fill stations and drinking fountains are open, plus you can usually ask for free ice water from a restaurant. Avoid the lines with instant snacks when the tadpoles start to crash.

If you really want to save time and money, bring your own lunch. Think picnic items such as sandwiches, raw veggies and fresh fruits. You may even bring a full picnic and store it in a locker outside of the park near the Picnic Area. No glass containers, loose ice or dry ice are allowed through security.

27. Make Dining Reservations or Check the Walk-up Availability

Knowing when and where you're going to eat can be a timesaver. By eliminating the time it takes to consider your options, hopping right to your restaurant really speeds up your day. Visit the Disneyland website or the Disneyland mobile app to see your options and reserve. Our three favorite spots are the Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square, Carthay Circle Restaurant on Buena Vista Street and Lamplight Lounge at Pixar Pier. Café Orleans has fun food too (such as the Monte Cristo and Pommes Frites). Disneyland dining reservations open 60 days in advance at 6 a.m. PT but keep checking back if you don't see any dining times that work for you.

Restaurant availability and menus still vary. If you don't get reservations, you can check the Disneyland app. When you're near the restaurant, open the restaurant page and tap Join Walk-Up List. You might get lucky with this new feature and score a table.

28. Eat During Off-peak Hours or Dine on the Move

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Disneyland Yeti Popcorn

If you can't secure a reservation or would rather dine at a quick-service location, you'll save time waiting in line and finding a place to sit if you dine during the off-peak hours. This is from 10:30 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Here are some of our Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure quick-service favorites. Enjoy outdoor tables set up in new places around that park so you can enjoy the beautiful views.

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Fried Cheese on a Stick

You can save some time by dining on Disneyland eats that can be enjoyed on the move. Turkey legs, chimichangas, corn dogs, meat skewers and chili cone queso (in Cars Land) are all compact enough to be munched on while you're moving. Hop over for help in finding the best on-the-go Disneyland foods for when you need a light meal.

29. Plan Your Visit to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Disneyland Park's newest land takes a little planning if certain experiences are important to you. You can make advance reservations to build a lightsaber at Savi's Workshop, visit Oga's Cantina or build a droid at Droid Depot. Learn more about how to make the most of your time in Batuu from our galactic guide to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. You can maximize your time in the park by saving your visit to the land for later in the day when the lines may be shorter and the land will be less sunny or hot. If Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a priority for you, hop over to our post for tips for riding Rise of Resistance.

30. Use the Mobile Order Service

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Dole Whip Float

The days of long food and Dole Whip lines are gone! With Disneyland's Mobile Order service, you can order food from anywhere. Make a food order while you're in line for a ride, at the back of the long restaurant line or even in your hotel room. Just stop by the Mobile Order window and pick up your food. Many restaurants inside Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa currently offer Mobile Order.

With more people using Mobile Order, even the mobile waits are bound to get long, especially for popular spots at mealtimes or near the parade route (such as Jolly Holiday Café). If you know where you want to eat and approximately when, order early. You can choose an order window that is several hours away. You can always cancel or change it to later if you can't make it until you tap "I'm here, Prepare my order." But it's smart to plan ahead. We know you're supposed to wait until you arrive to say you're there, but it takes time to prepare the food, so we always tap ahead of time while we walk over. Order ahead for popular spots. You can now mobile order treats from the candy shops too!

Our new time-saving move at breakfast is to mobile order breakfast at Galactic Grill while we ride the monorail into the park. When we arrive in Tomorrowland, breakfast is served!

31. Plan an Extra Day for Holidays or Festivals

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Lunar New Year Procession

If you are visiting for the Disney 100, Lunar New Year, Food and Wine Festival, Halloween Time or Holiday Time, add an extra day to your visit. Disneyland has so much extra must-see entertainment during festivals and celebrations that you do not want to feel stressed to do and see it all. The daily projection shows usually only have fireworks added Friday through Sunday, except in summer and Holiday Time, when fireworks are nightly. You'll want to be sure to reserve a weekend night to see the full show.

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Moana Float

Parades and nighttime shows take some time to get in place and watch, so allow time in your schedule to catch this amazing entertainment. And did we mention the food? All the festivals and celebrations offer many new foods and beverages to try.

32. Pack the Essentials

Don't froget sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, cell phone cords, chargers, battery packs and band-aids. Using the Disneyland app on your phone can drain your battery. It doesn't rain very much in Southern California, but if you don't want to get wet on the water rides or plan on being in the front row at World of Color, you should bring your own poncho. You'll save time and money when you need them. Speaking of getting wet at Disneyland, we have a post with eight essential rainy-day tips!

We also have a Disneyland weather post. It takes you month-by-month on what you need to pack to be prepared.

33. Know When the Different Park Areas Close

Mickey's Toontown — where you'll find Mickey, Minnie, other characters and more family rides — closes earlier than the rest of the park on nights with fireworks but reopens later on. The land will typically close from 8-10 p.m. for fireworks shows.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance usually closes early, so check the hours. We like to hop in line right before it closes for a short wait.

At Disney California Adventure, Pixar Pal-A-Round and some food and merchandise locations close before World of Color performances. Keep in mind that Toy Story Midway Mania remains open during World of Color and has the shortest line of the night at that time!

If you want to ride the Incredicoaster at night (our favorite time to ride!), you can ride it during World of Color for a limited time! The park often closes just before or after the last World of Color show.

34. Plan Meals Around Parade Times, Showtimes or Restaurant Hours

Choosing a great spot for parades, Fantasmic!, World of Color or the fireworks is a rite of passage in our Frog Family. We make the most of this time waiting for the show to start by making it "dinner time," or "snack time" as well. We find our ideal viewing location, and then one family member sets out for burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, fried chicken from Plaza Inn or other grab-and-go type foods for the rest of the family. While we wait for the show to start, we eat sitting down!

Check restaurant operating hours and plan ahead so you don't go hungry. Mobile Order in advance so you don't miss out!

35. See the Second Show

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - World of Color Viewing - Pixar Pal-A-Round

During the busiest times of the year, there are often two showings of the parades, World of Color and Fantasmic! The later you stay, the less time you need to stake out a viewing location for these shows. When there is a later World of Color show, the crowds tend to be much thinner for the second show, especially since it may take place after the park is officially closed. Even the virtual queue viewing areas are much less crowded, as people leave before the show. For Fantasmic! jump in place after the fireworks or the first show ends.

36. Plan for World of Color in Advance

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - World of Color Dining Section

World of Color uses a virtual queue for the main viewing areas. Although it's free, spaces go quickly. You can join the virtual queue at noon each day. Follow our World of Color post for tips on viewing this amazing show with colorful fountains, projection, music and special effects. There are dining packages and a dessert party that also provides a reserved area to stand. Wear your MagicBand+ and watch it light up with the show!

37. Save Attractions with Long Waits Until the End of the Night

Wait times drop off in the last couple of hours of park operation, which makes this a perfect time to hop in line at Indiana Jones Adventure, Peter Pan's Flight or Space Mountain. If you're already in line when the parks close, you can stay in line and ride. We enjoy riding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance right before that ride closes. Check the ride's hours in the app since it closes early.

38. Ride During Showtimes

The wait times drop significantly for rides in New Orleans Square and Critter Country during Fantasmic!, making showtime the best time to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain. You may also find shorter lines in Disneyland during fireworks and at available rides at Disney California Adventure during World of Color if the park is still open. Nobody seems to know that Toy Story Midway Mania! is open during the 9 p.m. World of Color showtime. You can often walk right on!

39. Make Sure You're in a Ride Line when the Park Closes

Once you're in a line, you will get to ride, even if it's already past the park's closing time. Just hop in line before the park closes. Keep in mind that some rides close early, such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. The only risk is if that ride breaks down you'll be out of luck.

40. Catch the Flag Retreat

In Town Square, the patriotic flag retreat is still hoppening each day. It's slightly modified, but it occurs at 4:30 p.m. daily. Grab a bench and enjoy!

We hope you've enjoyed our tips to maximize your time at Disneyland. Do you already follow any of these tips? Have a tip we haven't listed? Share in the comments below! If you're looking for Disneyland tickets, you can save on multi-day tickets through Undercover Tourist.

Related: Best Time to Visit Disneyland

Related: The Ins and Outs of Disneyland Dining Reservations

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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101–127 of 127 comments
May 11, 2016 at 4:23 p.m. Robbin Says...

I want to take my 2 year old to DL for his B-day before he turns 3. What offerings does DL have for kids B-days?

Lastly is Memorial Day and extra busy day (I didn't see it mentioned above)?

May 20, 2016 at 10:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Robbin,

Memorial Day crowds can vary from year to year, but we do know that many of the annual passes, except for the lowest pass, are not blocked out that day. Most holidays bring crowds. If you are celebrating a birthday, be sure to get a free birthday button from the information booth, and you can order cakes through the online reservations system.

Keep hopping!


Apr 29, 2016 at 6:01 a.m. Nori Says...

I'm going with my two daughters ages 7 and 10 on May 28-31. It's Memorial Day long weekend. I know this is going to be super busy. Is there a park that would be less busy during this time and do you think I should do both parks or is Disneyland enough?

May 20, 2016 at 10:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nori,

We happen to like California Adventure for one of the days. With Cars Land, The Little Mermaid Ride, Soarin', Toy Story Midway Mania, and several thrill rides and more, it has a lot of offer that age group. Generally, it will be busy in both parks, but we like to avoid the park that offers an early entry because that park stays busy throughout the day. Arrive early for the shortest morning lines.

Keep hopping!


Apr 20, 2016 at 2:59 p.m. Rebecca Says...

Hi! These tips have made me EVEN MORE excited for our trip we are planning July 6th. Seeing that it's after the July 4th holiday, is it normally starting to calm down a little or is it pretty busy that whole week because of the holiday? One more question, if you had to choose 1 absolute must see, what would it be. My kids are 11, 7, and 4 and none of them have ever been. I can't wait to go as I haven't been there since 1996 (grad party) and I don't remember much at all about it. This article has been amazing to read but I did notice it was posted in 2014. Has a lot changed since then? Anyhow, thanks again for all the tips. Have a great day. -Rebecca

Apr 26, 2016 at 8:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rebecca,

Any days near a holiday tend to be more crowded than usual, but you should be able to accomplish a lot if you arrive early and use FastPasses for the most crowded lines. Your kids are different ages, so it is hard to say what is a can't miss. At California Adventure, there will be a new Soarin' Around the World ride that will be worth doing—get a FastPass for that—and Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land is the Must-Do ride with the longest lines. FastPasses for Radiator Springs move quickly, so either get a FastPass first thing in the morning (near the entrance to Bug's Land) or go ride it first.

In Disneyland Park, the older kids will love Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Thunder Mountain or Star Tours (especially if you have Star Wars fans) or they like fast rides. Your youngest may enjoy Star Tours and Thunder Mountain too, depending on how brave he or she is. Pirates of the Caribbean is a great must-do for the whole family. Splash Mountain is also great for a hot day. Be sure to catch the Paint the Night parade and The Disneyland Forever Fireworks.

Keep hopping!


Apr 18, 2016 at 7:26 p.m. Amanda Campos Says...


I am purchasing the 3 day hopper tickets through my husbands work. How do I know if it includes a magic morning?

Apr 25, 2016 at 2:11 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amanda,

I would reach out to your husband's company directly to confirm.

Keep hopping!


Mar 15, 2016 at 1:31 p.m. Zareen Says...


Thnx for ur tips really very helpful. V r coming in summer break with our kids 7 n 2 yrs n my mother in law also she is severe arthritis patient n on wheel chair I want to ask for

her will she enjoy there ? Like any kind of activity for her? n wat abt DACS is still available there ?? Or how can v buy this card ?

N plz help me for my kids also my boys love cars n dinosaurs can u tell me rides according to their ages


Mar 17, 2016 at 8:41 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Zareen,

Most of the rides at Disney World are wheelchair accessible, so she can enjoy anything she chooses to! DAS is available, but it’s reserved for those who cannot wait in a conventional queue due to a disability. You don’t have to buy it; you just stop by Guest Relations and see if you qualify for it. This post might help you figure out what attractions are suitable for your kids’ ages!

Keep hopping!


Mar 3, 2016 at 9:33 p.m. Aimee Says...

Hi - What's the best restaurant to sit at for the World of Color show and where is the best location to be in Disneyland to watch the fireworks.

Mar 11, 2016 at 9:35 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Aimee,

You can't really see World of Color from any of the restaurants. You can see a side view from some parts of the Cove Bar and Ariel's Grotto (which often closes before the show), but they stop serving for the show and you would have to be in place pretty early to get a spot. Even with the expansion, there is always a long wait to get into the Cove Bar. It's not a great view of the animation/video. Of course you can see some color and water, but the animation on the water and on the Micky Fun Wheel and the loop of the roller coaster are best viewed straight on. There is a new dessert reservation you can make where you get to sit and have dessert for the show, but it is pretty pricey. I recommend getting a FASTPASS early in the day over by the Grizzly River Run. There are dining programs that allow you to eat in a restaurant with a prix fixe menu and they give you vouchers for an area to watch the show later. None offer dining while watching packages. They are expensive. Our favorite of these restaurants is Carthay Circle. But we would seriously opt for the free FastPasses. If there are two shows, the second show is very uncrowded and very easy to get a great spot to watch it.

As for the fireworks, we have a post that outlines the best places to view them. The very best view if you are willing to wait in place for hours before the show is right in front of the castle. We prefer, though, to hop in place about 20 minutes before the show on Main Street in front of the Penny Arcade and Gibson Girl ice cream in the middle of the street. You can see the fireworks very well over the castle with that iconic view, and the projection is all around you with some other surprises too. It is also easy to get a good spot in front of the fence in front of It's a Small World (which also offers some surprises too). You can see the projection there very well (even better than the castle, we think), and the fireworks are very close (over Toon Town and to the left of it's a small world). That is the best and least crowded view of projection, however, you lack that iconic view of the castle and can't see Tinker Belle fly. It all depends on what is most important to you. We don't like to wait for hours, so the Main Street and Small World locations work best for us. If you are watching near the castle, watch out for trees--they block views. Some areas are designated walkways, so ask a cast member before committing to a spot, so you don't get moved and lose your spot just before showtime.

Keep hopping!


Mar 3, 2016 at 5:22 a.m. Christine Says...

We are going to Disneyland the week of June 6th-10th. Is this a busy week?

Feb 25, 2016 at 3:25 p.m. Cat Says...

Hi! How are the crowds at the end of September/beginning of October? Two, possibly three of us will be attending Gay Days weekend at the parks. Would a Park Hopper ticket be a good choice for us?

Feb 19, 2016 at 3:57 a.m. Carrie Says...


Just wondered about Dis raising prices for tickets?

Should I buy now for April trip or wait?


Feb 24, 2016 at 6:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carrie,

I would purchase soon for the greatest savings.

Keep hopping!


Feb 19, 2016 at 12:58 a.m. Stefanie Says...

You share that we should bring food and picnic type lunch. I read on the website that you cannot bring food inside. Did you find different information? We were going to do this to keep our cost down. Thanks for sharing!

Feb 29, 2016 at 5:10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stefanie,

You can definitely bring a backpack with water and snacks into the park. They check all bags before you enter, but they are not worried about food. Coolers must be smaller than 24X15X18 inches or 61x38x46 centimeters.

Keep hopping!


Feb 13, 2016 at 1:20 p.m. Jen Says...

We have one day in Disneyland with a 6 and 2 year old. I booked a character breakfast at 10 and an early dinner at 5 both are in Disneyland...with that time frame and one day only should I also get the park hopper...not sure if that will be too much for one day. Thanks for all

Of the great tips.

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen,

You could still hop, but I think it would be better not to in this case, and spend the day at Disneyland with the more iconic rides geared for their age group.

Keep hopping!


Feb 8, 2016 at 11:40 p.m. Heather Says...

Great tips! I know most as I read up on this all the time! But one I particularly never thought of, is going to the park without magic morning hour first if you aren't staying on property. Definitely a good idea!

Feb 4, 2016 at 5:17 a.m. Linda Says...

Hello, I'm taking my family (husband and 4 kids ) end of March during our spring break. We plan on staying at a good neighbor hotel, from the packages that I've seen, they offer transportation at a fee or do you suggest driving in? Also is it best to get a hopper pass or one park a day. We are getting a 3 day pass. Thank you.

Feb 10, 2016 at 12:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Linda,

I think it would be easier to opt for transportation to the parks since you are visit during Spring Break and parking will likely take extra time, but definitely weigh the costs. Some Good Neighbor Hotels are walking distance—that would be idea.

As far as the hopper vs. non-hopper, that is your call, but hopping between parks is pretty easy to do and doesn't cost too much more. You will have more flexibility with this, but also keep in mind that during very busy days (such as Easter), it's going to take longer to get into the parks and if one reaches capacity, you won't be allowed in until people leave.

Keep hopping!


Jan 31, 2016 at 3:40 a.m. 1st trip ! Says...

I have read different stories about brining food into the park. We planned on backpacks with water and a few snacks. Will this be allowed ? Also this trip will be one week before my sons 6th birthday ( planned based on time off from school) do you think any of the places will do something special for him? Thanks and I can't wait for our 1st trip to DL!!

Feb 26, 2016 at 11:01 a.m. FrogBlog Says...


What a great way to celebrate a birthday! You can get custom cakes delivered to any table service restaurant or character dining locations. There are also mini cakes and pirate treasure chest containers. Order at least three days in advance. You can make reservations for birthday dining experiences.

You can definitely bring a backpack with water and snacks into the park. They check all bags before you enter, but they are not worried about food.

Be sure to get a free birthday button and a 1st visit button at the information booths in the parks!

Keep hopping!


Jan 28, 2016 at 7:48 p.m. ParisFamily Says...

We are planning a 3 day trip to both parks in April. I have 4 kids and then my husbands parents and sister will be joining us. Our twins will be almost 11 months old so of course this is there first experience. We are so very excited. But I had a few questions. We are planning for the first weekend that month and was wondering what the crowd is like around that time. I know it's a very busy place but I also know it's sometimes slower at certain times. I'm just trying to be aware of what to prepare for. I have been researching a ton. Trying to organize it the best I can since they are so young and my other two are a little older. I have only ever taken my older two but was so unorganized. So I feel we missed out on a lot. Any advice for this exciting trip is greatly appreciated.

Feb 8, 2016 at 11:36 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

You may find this post helpful:

Early April is expected to be quite busy.

Keep hopping!


Jan 27, 2016 at 4:51 a.m. Donna Says...

Is Super Bowl Sunday as busy as I am reading it is? That Sunday in California Adventure is early entry, can anyone enter Or do you have to be staying at one of the Disney hotels?

Jan 27, 2016 at 9:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Donna,

There was for a time a myth that Disneyland was dead on Super Bowl Sunday, and that's not true. It can be busy, but it won't be as busy as the holidays. For early entry, you would have to be staying on-site to get in during that time.

Keep hopping!


Jan 4, 2016 at 5:03 a.m. Mrs. Frogriguez Says...

My husband Hopity, (a huge Disneyland and frog enthusiast) has not been to the park since 2006 (before first wife passed). Though I enjoy it (2004 my last visit) I would prefer to start some fresh memories. We've both never been to CA Adventure so we'll go there, but what's new at the Mouse House?

Jan 5, 2016 at 8:41 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mrs. Frogriguez,

Love your name and enthusiam for frogs ;) There is Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, which you should not miss! Radiator Springs Racers is my very favorite ride of all time.

We hope you will consider hopping over to Disneyland Park, they have made some exciting changes to many classic rides.

You'll notice some significant (but temporary) changes in Tomorrowland, where they are undergoing the Season of the Force. Space Mountain has been transformed into Hyperspace Mountain with Star Wars music, sounds, and visual changes. It seems faster and darker too. Star Tours has a new adventure and some new characters added in. You can meet Darth Vader and Chewbacca in Launch Bay or meet Thor or Spider-Man upstairs in Super Hero HQ (as well as virtually try on IronMan's suit). You can sometimes catch Stormtroopers stalking around Tomorrowland.

They have added some classic Disney characters into the appropriate lands in "it's a small world," so have fun trying to spot them.

In Pirates of the Caribbean look out for Captain Jack Sparrow in three scenes.

The hatbox ghost has reappeared in the Haunted Mansion (you'l see him just after you leave the attic).

Thunder Mountain added a new explosion in the mine shaft.

Peter Pan has a new nursery and updated visual effects in the ride.

The Yeti in the Matterhorn is more lifelike and scary. They have added some new elements to the ride.

Alice in Wonderland has some new digital scenes that are worth checking out.

Finding Nemo might be a new attraction for you in the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea submarines.

To the left of the castle be sure to walk though Fantasy Faire where you can meet classic princesses, as well as some new modern ones like Rapunzel or Merida. You can watch a live show of Frozen in the theatre there as well.

Most importantly, be sure to catch the Paint the Night Electrical Parade and the Disneyland Forever Fireworks. Watch the fireworks in a spot where you can see the new projection that is an important and magical part of the new show. We recommend getting close to the castle, standing on Main street in front of Gipson Girl, or seeing it in front of Small World. Small world has the easiest projection and is actually closer to the fireworks but Main Street and the Castle will give you the iconic view, complete with flying Tinkerbelle. We have several posts on getting the best view of Paint the Night and Disneyland Forever. We are sure that all of these new experiences will help you make new "hoppy" memories that will also make you nostalgic for the Disneyland of your youth together.

Keep hopping!


Jul 20, 2017 at 8:27 p.m. Sally Says...

Isn't Frozen show in California Adventures?

Jul 21, 2017 at 10:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sally,

Yes, Frozen – Live at the Hyperion is at Disney California Adventure Park.

Keep hopping!


Dec 11, 2015 at 10:01 a.m. Kate M Says...


Love all the great ideas!

I have not been back to DL since I was 8 now it is my time to bring my children. We are there between Jan 29 and the 4 of feb. Any idea on how busy it might be and how to find out when Magical mornings are and how to plan breakfast with a character? Keeping in mind we have six kids age ranging 4-16

Any suggestions would be much appriciated

Nov 23, 2015 at 2:53 p.m. Anthony G. Says...

I am taking my family for Christmas, Do you have a 3 day planner for easy use> To plan my trip?

Nov 24, 2015 at 7:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anthony,

We do not have a 3 day touring plan at this time, but will keep this in mind as we expand on the ones we have! We do offer plans for both of the Disneyland parks that you could use to prioritize rides.

Keep hopping!


Oct 28, 2015 at 6:47 p.m. Dave Says...

1. Do they have lockers to put jackets or small lunch in?

2. Want to take wife to see Christmas decoration what is the best day between Nov,16th thru Nov 20th?

3. My wife is limited on long walks do they have electric carts or? for rent, Cost?

4. What's the best day with less crowds, we will be there early.

My wife has never seen Disneyland decorated for Christmas, and we haven't been back in 15 years. I really want to make the best of it due to my wife's Cancer remission. Any suggestion will be appreciated. Thank you

Sep 4, 2017 at 9:41 p.m. Andrea Says...

Dave, If you plan on park hopping during your trip, you'll want to rent a ECV from one of the local medical supply stores, the prices are less than Disney and you can take it wherever you go. At DL you can't take the strollers/wheelchairs/ECV out of the park. The local medical supply stores will deliver the ECV to your hotel or rental home or you can pick them up if you like. If you choose to park in the Mickey and Friends parking structure, be sure to ask for Chip and Dale parking. It's designated as Disability parking but if you don't have a tag and let them know you have an ECV then they'll let you park there if there is room.

Nov 16, 2015 at 12:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dave,

They do have lockers in both parks and in the area between both parks.

That is a great week to visit. All of the Christmas Decorations will be up. Nov 16 is the opening of the Star Wars Season of Force in Tomorrowland so there could be larger than usual crowds that day in Disneyland. I think November 18th and the 20th are the best days to visit Disneyland (the 18th being the least crowded) and the 17th and 19th are the best days to visit Ca Adventure. Whatever park does not have an early morning admission (extra magic hour or magic morning) tends to be the least crowded park that day. If you are staying at a hotel that has that benefit, you might want to take advantage of it, but if you visit on the non-magic morning when the park opens it will probably be just as magical and uncrowded as it is for those people who visit on a magic morning. Space Mountain will be Star Wars themed as Hyperspace Mountain beginning that week (and last during the season of the force) so if you plan to ride that I would arrive early or try to get a FastPass as new changes are always the most popular, which means have the longest lines.

They rent wheelchairs and electric vehicles. Wheelchairs are $12 per day plus a refundable $20 deposit. Electric convenience vehicles are $50 per day plus a refundable $20 deposit if you return the vehicle and key

If you are using a chair in Disneyland, you go to a special loading area for rides and they may give you a time to come back later if there is a long wait. Most rides at Ca Adventure were built to accommodate a wheelchair in the regular line.

Keep hopping!


Sep 30, 2015 at 9:26 p.m. Cass Says...

Do we need a fastpass for World of Color? We arrive on Mon and will miss getting the fastpass in the morning. Is it first come first serve once the passes are gone?

Oct 1, 2015 at 9:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cass,

We recommend you get a FASTPASS for World of Color, the earlier, the better, but you should get one no matter when you arrive. These FASTPASS are not tied to the others, so it won't affect your ability to get other FASTPASSes.

Keep hopping!


Sep 15, 2015 at 5:20 p.m. Debbie Noboa Says...

I actually have a question - one of the tips is to "bring your own lunch" but the Disneyland Resort website says that no outside food or beverage may be brought into the parks. Has that policy changed lately? Thanks

Feb 28, 2016 at 5:16 a.m. Crystal Says...

Hi I have been to the park about 50 times. I normally either pack a lunch and place it in a small cooler in a locker just outside the entrance or I freeze waterbittles then go yo subway and wrap it all in a towel in the bottom of my bag. Works every time. Hope this helps

Dec 16, 2015 at 8 p.m. Bethany Says...

Hi Debbie,

In reply to "bring lunch". We just completed our 4 day (12/12/15-12/15/15) to the park from out of town. We cooler back packed in frozen H2O bottles (with quick tear bottle flavor adds), preferred soda (Only Coke product in park & water is pricey), tortilla wraps in foil, fresh apples & oranges, mixed nuts, granola bars, etc.. The small cooler back pack worked great since our kids are too big for strollers. (freedom from stroller, but we miss the storage.) Because of the population of people with food allergies & dietary needs, they typically won't contest food brought in. No hard coolers, no alcohol. There are lockers, but the cost cancels out the savings of packing it in. At that point, you're just as well to eat from the many options they have there.

Sep 15, 2015 at 2:08 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Debbie,

Disney has a fairly lenient enforcement on bringing food in, but there is the chance that it might not be allowed.

Keep hopping!


Oct 5, 2016 at 9:21 p.m. Mary Says...

We stayed at the Disneyland resort in the fairytale suite. On the club level we received sodas, beer, and all sorts of food and snacks. We were told we could take anything from the club room into the park. So I believe their restrictions are just a deterrent. Enjoy your trip!!

Mar 16, 2016 at 3:49 a.m. Wendy Says...

We always picnic outside the gate during a 'hop' walk from one park to the other. :) No issues then.

Dec 14, 2016 at 2:14 a.m. Marina Says...

Right, Leap! Stash your food in the lockers to the Left of the main gate, and carry your food into the picnic area. There are tables and benches.

Mar 25, 2015 at 1:30 a.m. Sakyroh Says...

I am planning to go to California Adventures in April since the first time we went to Carsland, Radiator Springs Racers kept breaking down. Would you suggest going straight there to get a FastPass first and then to get a Fast Pass for World of Color, or vice versa? We want to make sure we can go on both the ride and get a spot for the showing at night.

Mar 25, 2015 at 9:31 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

Most definitely get the FastPass for Radiator Springs Racers first. The FastPass for World of Color is disconnected, so it will not interfere with getting others.

Keep hopping!


Mar 16, 2015 at 7:03 p.m. SRGIO Says...

planing to go on march 30 its a monday but still spring break any ideas how the lines might be??? just hate waiting for 3 hrs on a line ....TNX

Feb 24, 2015 at 9:43 p.m. Ryan Says...

The Matterhorn added a single rider line in 2012, I believe, after a top-to-bottom refurbishment. (Tip 19). We use it almost every time. If standby is a 30-40 minute wait, single rider will cut the wait down to under 10 minutes. Because each bobsled has 6 individual seats, odd-numbered parties often leave empty slots for single riders to fill.

Sep 25, 2015 at 4:27 p.m. Mary Says...

Don't you have to strattle sit on that ride :-/

Feb 3, 2016 at 9:48 p.m. Claire Says...

Not anymore. They refurbished the ride and cars so each seat is an individual seat.

Mar 2, 2015 at 8:20 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Thanks for sharing, Ryan!

Keep hopping!


Oct 22, 2014 at 7:07 p.m. akajako Says...

With regard to eating in Disneyland, I would suggest knowing where to eat. I find the Golden Horseshoe to be under utilized (even during the performance), and if you don't mind the limited menu, you can get in and out pretty quick (for not that much) and catch a good show.

Oct 22, 2014 at 5:55 p.m. Hal Says...

To expand on two of your tips and add one more...

14A. The best time to hit the Fantasyland rides is first thing before the crowd builds. Most of these rides are short and are situated very close together, meaning on a good day you can knock out all the "dark rides" in the first hour the park is open, especially if you can do it during the Magic Mornings hour. Later in the day the lines will build for these, and none have FASTPASS. Your DLR Touring Plan seems to do this but doesn't appear to share the reason.

17A. In addition to their being a Dole Whip line in the Tiki Room waiting area, you are also allowed to bring your treat in the show.

The other thing I would mention is not to skip a ride because you've done it at WDW. Most of the rides are different enough to be worthwhile. The down side is that after you've experienced DLR Space Mountain and Pirates the WDW versions will be a bit of a disappointment.

Aug 24, 2017 at 7:03 p.m. Disney fanatic Says...

We use single rider on ride like splashmountain and grizzly river run. Sometimes we get split but we at least get on the ride much much faster

Dec 31, 2016 at 3:26 a.m. SandiS Says...

Thanks for the additional tips! It's ben 8 years since we visited and we needed a refresher. I remember the fast passes being new and really maximizing that wonderful addition. Looking forward to extra magic hours this time!

Oct 22, 2014 at 1:40 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Great tips, Hal! Thanks for sharing.


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