Top Tips For Disneyland With Kids: Week 1

Top Tips for Disneyland with Kids

This post, as with any KnowMom! post, may contain affiliate links. (Don’t worry, I’ll spend the money on something important, like a giant Elsa doll for my girls.) 

Hi guys! I am beyond excited to bring you a 4-week series, Top Tips for Disneyland with Kids! In this series you will get tips that will make your visits to both Disneyland and California Adventure one to remember!

Growing up in Southern California, Disneyland has always been a BIG part of my life. I have wonderful childhood memories of going with my family during the holidays, being taken out of school for surprise day trips and celebrating birthdays there. As an adult with a family of my own, going to Disneyland has become one of our favorite past times. I guess you could say that I’m a bit of a Disney geek. Each time we visit the park, we are met with new experiences and left with wonderful memories. We have been annual pass holders for years and have nailed down a list of must do attractions as well as money and time saving tips.

Each week I am going to let you in on some of the best tips for Disneyland and California Adventure. Here is what you can expect from each week:

Week 1: Before you go – Hotels, Packing Tips and more
Week 2: Money Saving and Time Saving Tips
Week 3: Must Try Foods and Best Eating Spots at both parks
Week 4: Must do Attractions for All Age Groups

It’s going to be a fun 4 weeks, packed full of lots of info! If you are planning a trip to Disneyland, you won’t want to miss this!

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Are you ready to unlock the magic? Here we go:

This week I am going to lay out, everything you need to do to prepare for your visit. From which hotels are the best to what you really need to pack. As well as a few tips to set you up for the best trip possible.


If you are looking for the full Disney experience, I recommend staying at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels. The Grand Californian Hotel and the Disneyland Hotel are my favorites. Both will give you a great Disney experience but have some major differences. Here are the highlights for each hotel:

           Grand Californian Hotel:

  • This hotel sits right outside Disney’s California Adventure.
  • There is a special theme park entrance from the hotel.
  • Easy access to Downtown Disney.
  • 3 pools to choose from, one has a water slide.
  • Early admission to the parks – each day they switch between the two parks.
  • If you get a room with a view of the park, you get an awesome view of California Adventure
Top Tips for Disneyland with Kids
Our AMAZING view from our room at the Grand Californian Hotel!


                Disneyland Hotel:

  • You can take the monorail from the hotel right into Disneyland
  • 2 pools to choose from, one has a water slide.
  • Goofy’s Kitchen – What I feel is the best character dining experience at the Disneyland Resort.
  • Early admission to the parks – each day they switch between the two parks.
  • You can get a room with a view of Downtown Disney
Top Tips for Disneyland with Kids
Our favorite dining experience at the Disneyland Hotel, Goofy’s Kitchen!


If you are looking to spend a night or two while visiting Disneyland but don’t want to break the bank on your hotel, there are a couple good choices right across the street. The rooms aren’t high-end but you can’t beat waking up and walking across the street to Disneyland. How much time do you really plan on spending in your room on your Disney trip anyway?

           Carousel Inn and Suites:

  • Directly across the street from Disneyland.
  • The nicest of the cheaper hotels.
  • Pool on a rooftop deck.
  • View of Disneyland fireworks show.
  • Great price for the location

           Desert Inn & Suites:

  • Directly across the street from Disneyland
  • Great rooms for large families
  • Rooftop deck
  • View of Disneyland fireworks show.
  • Great price for the location

Tips to help prepare for the trip:

  • Be sure to check park hours. Park hours vary throughout the year. Different days of the week can also have different hours.
  • Check to see if there are any events going on during the time you want to go. Disneyland Resort hosts a lot of events throughout the year. Annual Passholder Days, Half Marathons and the Food and Wine festival are just some of the events they host. During these times, as well as around any holiday, the parks tend to be much busier. It’s always better to be prepared for crowds than be shocked to see how busy it can get.
  • Plan out your day. You don’t have to plan every detail but you can go online or use the Disneyland app to find out show, parade and firework times. I will expand more on this next week.
  • Clothes to Pack. Plan to bring clothing for both day and night. You can either take a break and head back to your hotel to change into warmer clothes for the evening or buy a locker at either park.
  • Pack an extra pair of clothes that you don’t mind getting wet. There are water rides at both Disneyland and CA Adventure. If it’s not a super-hot day where you’ll dry off quick, you might want to consider bringing an extra change of clothes. Put your dry clothes in a locker and then switch them out with the wet ones after the ride.
  • Stroller Fans for hot days. If you have young kids and plan on going during the summer months, stroller fans are a must! Here is my favorite stroller fan.
  • Check Hotels for Refrigerator and Microwaves. If you hotel has a refrigerator and microwave you can pack food for breakfast, snacks, lunch/dinners. (I will go more into detail next week.)
  • Hotel Parking. If you stay at one of the hotels across the street from Disneyland, they are very limited on parking. Most of the hotels only allow 1-2 cars per room, even if you get a suite. Call ahead of time and find out how many cars can park per room and what the cost is.
  • Write out a list of everything you want to bring. There is nothing worse than being on vacation and realizing that you forgot something!

That’s a wrap for week one. Hope you learned something new. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or message me. Be on the look out for Week 2 in the series where I’ll tell you my best Money and Time Saving Tips!

Disneyland Castel

Have a magical day!


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