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Hi guys, welcome to Week 2 of the series! If you are just joining us this week you can catch last weeks post here. If you are coming back for more tips you’re in luck. This week I am giving you all my best time and money-saving tips. Two things everyone wants more of. These tips are sure to help make your visit all about the magic and less about stress.
Time Saving Tips:
- Go during the off-season. Disneyland parks are busier during the holidays and summer months. Go during the off-season and you won’t have to deal with the crazy crowds.
- Buy your ticket ahead of time. Buy your ticket online or if you are staying at or near the Disneyland Resort, the night before your visit. The ticket lines get long and people are not only buying a day pass, but also annual passports which take much longer to sign up for. You don’t want to spend the first part of your day waiting in a long line to buy tickets to get into the park.
- Get to the park early, like when it opens. The parks are usually lighter in the mornings and tend to get much busier throughout the day. If you are not staying at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels, start at the park that doesn’t have the Extra Magic Hour that day. That way, you will be one of the first people in the park!
- Hit the “Up” button on the elevator! During the busier times, the parking structure gets packed and there is a long line of strollers waiting for the elevator. Instead of pushing the “Down” button, push the “Up” button. That way you can fill it up, ride it to the top and then back down. If you don’t use this little trick, each time the door opens on your level, it will be packed with people come down from the levels above yours. Don’t waste an hour just trying to get down the darn elevator!
- Walk to the main entrance. If you park in the main parking structure, the lines for the tram to get to the park’s entrance can be long. Also, if you have a stroller they require you to fold it up before getting on the tram. If you are like my family and are bringing a ton of stuff with you (extra clothes, blankets, water, etc), it is a pain to take it all out. I suggest walking to the entrance. It’s about a 5-minute walk and is so much easier than loading and unloading your kids and belongings.
- Get fast passes! Don’t wait in long lines for the more popular rides. Get fast passes and go on the rides that don’t offer fast passes in between those times. Space Mountain and Radiator Springs fast passes always go quick. They only have a certain amount per day so if you want to go on either of those rides, I suggest getting a fast past first thing! It’s also a good idea to send one person to grab the fast passes for everyone in the group.
- Use the Disneyland app! You can get the app here. We use this app every time we go to Disneyland. It tells you wait times for all rides as well as what times the different characters are going to be in certain locations. This is great if there is a specific character your family wants to see. Be sure to get to the location at least 15 mins prior to the time the character is supposed to arrive. The lines get long quick, especially during the busier seasons and they cap off the line after a certain amount of people are in it.
- Have someone get in line! If you have a stroller, have someone in your group go wait in line while you are parking the stroller and getting the kids out. That way, once you have the kids out and ready to go, you have your spot in line saved. This is especially good to do on the busy days when the lines are really long.
- Make dining reservations ahead of time. If you plan to eat at one of the restaurants at either park, it’s best to make a reservation. That way you are guaranteed a spot and can play your day around your reservation. If you just wing it, you could be waiting over an hour just to get a table.
Money Saving Tips:
Disney trips can get really expensive really fast. Here are the best ways to save money when visiting Disneyland.
- Take you kids before age 3. Kids who are 3 years old and under get into Disneyland FREE! If think they are too little and won’t get much out of it, think again! Check out my post, Why You Should Take Your Young Kids To Disneyland.
- Buy souvenirs before you visit the parks. If you know your kids are going to want souvenirs but you don’t want to buy the pricey park items, buy a couple of things before hand to pull out to surprise them with during the day. Toys R Us, Etsy and Amazon are great places to buy Disney items without breaking the bank. Go to Party City and pick up some glow necklaces and bracelets for night-time fun.
- Make your own Autograph Book. Kids love to get the characters autographs but the autograph books in the park range anywhere from $12-$30. Go to the dollar store or Target and pick up a small photo album. You can buy Disney stickers to decorate it and glue in some paper for the autographs.
- Bring your own food and drink. There is a picnic area outside the parks entranced that has large lockers. You can drop off your coolers and come back to have lunch, dinner or both. It will save you a ton of money and it’s a great way to take a break from the crowds.There are also lockers inside the parks where you can store water and snacks for the day. Just remember that no glass bottles or containers are allowed inside the parks.
- Go during the off-season. The price of Disneyland tickets vary by the time of year. During the holidays and summer months the prices are more expensive. Go during the off-season and you’ll save money on tickets and won’t have to deal with crazy crowds!
- Invest in an Annual Disneyland Passport. If you want to go to Disneyland more than once a year it’s totally worth it! You get discounts on food and merchandise throughout the parks. Plus, you don’t feel like you have to hit everything in one visit.
That wraps up this weeks series. Hope you gained some helpful tips to use on your next Disneyland visit! Stay tuned for next week when I talk about the MUST try foods and BEST eating spots at both parks.
Have a magical day!