Disneyland Travel Tips - 2019
What to bring and what to do for a great trip
By Rob Cockerham |
Like many people, if I'm going to spend the day at Disneyland, I want to make the most of it. Here is a fresh list of strategies to make the most of your time at Disneyland.
Aluminum Foil - Some sit-down Disneyland restaurants deliver a huge amount of food. It's expensive, but you get a lot. Unfortunately, if you aren't prepared, you might end up overeating or leaving a bunch of expensive leftovers for the busser to dump in the trash. The restaurant will probably have to-go plastic clamshell food containers, but those aren't suited for transport on Thunder Mountain Railroad. Bring some aluminum foil and you can stash your food in your backpack and enjoy fried chicken leftovers for dinner.
Capri Suns - These unrecyclable plastic-bag drinks are awful for the environment, but Disneyland is one place where I will make an exception. Even if there is a no cans or bottles policy, Capri Sun drinks can be your savior in the land of $5 drinks. Bring in four Capri Suns per person; super cold if possible. They can deliver a nice jolt of refreshment when you are running or standing around.
Breakfast Bars - Oatmeal breakfast bars provide a relatively clean treat that will give you some easy, cheap calories on the go and won't melt like a Snickers bar.
Arrive before they open - In the first two hours of Disneyland or California Adventure opening, there are no lines. You can zip around and get directly onto Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain.. ANYTHING. It is AMAZING! By 11am, these same rides will be surrounded by 45 minute standby lines. If you arrive by, or before they open, you can add 25% more ride enjoyment onto your day.
Buy ears in the morning - This is probably obvious to everyone but me, but I am including it here for the otherwise clueless souvenir shopper: If you want to buy ears or some other Disneyland souvenir, don't wait til the end of the day. The Ears are for wearing AT Disneyland, not at school the next day.
Eat inside a restaurant - Despite my advice to bring snacks and Capri Suns into the park, I also support eating meals at Disneyland. Sitting and resting is an essential part of your day at Disneyland. Particularly if it is hot outside, inside seating is a little calmer, cooler and quieter. Your whole day is going to be spent outside. Wait three extra minutes and snag a seat inside. UNLESS you see that $6 hot dog cart. Get that $6 hot dog! They are so good.
Frozen Burritos for the Hotel - After a day at Disneyland, where you were probably exercising more and eating less than usual, it is wise to have a cache of easy, filling food back at the hotel room. Don't add 45 minutes to your evening by finding a Carl's Jr. drive through. To enjoy burritos you'll need a room with a microwave, and you will need some paper plates.
Bring an external battery for your phone - I never use my phone more than when I am at Disneyland. I'm constantly checking wait times on the Disneyland app, booking Fastpasses, snapping pictures and looking up who Jeff Goldblum played in the movie Thor Ragnarok. Disneyland has a very small number of power outlets available to visitors, so bring a portable power pack for when you phone battery starts to wane. It is a tremendous relief to know that you will always have enough power to order that precious Lyft ride back to the hotel at the end of the day.
Max Pass - At $15 per day for each guest, a Max Pass might seem like an unneccesary indulgence, but it will make the day much more enjoyable by adding 6-10 fast pass rides to your day. Fastpasses can making you feel like a preferred customer and will save hours of time that would otherwise be spent languishing in standby lines. In my experience, if you divide the total price of admission by the number of attractions that a day can deliver, the average ride at Disneyland is worth $6. The Max Pass will likely squeeze 7 more rides into your day, making it worth about $42 per day. Max Pass also adds the ability to download ride photos and for free access to the professional park photographers.