A Guide To Surviving Disneyland

A Guide To Surviving Disneyland

Hey guys! It’s already been one year since I was visiting my family in Los Angeles and planning an epic birthday trip to Disneyland so you could say I’m feeling quite nostalgic about it. I just turned twenty-three (on May 3rd) and spent my birthday at work so I’m not as excited about it this year lol. So I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane and write my Disneyland Travel Guide! Or more like a guide to surviving Disneyland. I’ve been to Disneyland like a million times and it’s one of my favorite places so I’m excited to share my tips with you!

A Guide To Surviving Disneyland

Arrive Early, But Not Too Early

Disneyland opens at 9 AM. In my experience, that is when the crowd is at the largest and most stressful. Everyone is impatiently waiting in line and there are screaming kids everywhere – it’s not fun. I usually arrive around 9:30AM/10 AM and it only takes a few minutes to get through security and into the park and it’s far less stressful. You might even find it to be better if you wait until later in the day to visit – that’s entirely up to you. I, however, need a full day there because there’s so much to do and see.

Extra tip: purchase your tickets online ahead of time to avoid the line.

A Guide To Surviving Disneyland

Get A Fast Pass

Like most people, I hate waiting in line. And I especially hate when everyone around me wants to make ‘small talk’. To conveniently avoid both things, I get a Fast Pass! All you have to do is put your ticket into the Fast Pass machine near the entrance of a ride and select a return time, and it’ll print out a Fast Pass for you – for free! I will usually do this around the afternoon for some of my favorite rides when I know the lines will be quite long and it’s a lifesaver.

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(If you’re curious, my favorite rides are The Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and Indiana Jones – Indiana Jones and Space Mountains offer Fast Pass but Pirates doesn’t)

Extra tip: Only get a Fastpass if the wait time is longer than 30 minutes. If not, it’s better to just wait in line.

Disneyland Park Fastpass Attractions

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Haunted Mansion
Indiana Jones Adventure
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain
Star Tours

A Guide To Surviving Disneyland

Book Dining Reservations Online

Disneyland only just started accepting online dining reservations so last year, we book a reservation for the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square. I’ve always wanted to eat there and Pirates is my favorite ride so it was amazing. We weren’t able to sit at the edge near the water but it was still quite a magical experience nonetheless. Of course, not all dining places require a reservation but for some of the more popular places, definitely look into booking a reservation in advanced.

Related:   How To Spend A Week In Los Angeles

The Introvert's Guide To Surviving Disneyland

If You’re Celebrating A Special Occasion, Tell Them!

Since we went to Disneyland on my 22nd birthday, I went to Guest Services and got a birthday badge. I had more people tell me happy birthday than I have in my entire life! I also got serenaded by a man who was cleaning the ice cream place – that was probably my favorite part of the whole day as he was a beautiful and soulful singer. The cast members at Disneyland really know how to make a person feel special!

If you’re celebrating a recent engagement, wedding, whatever – go to Guest Services to get a free pin and you’ll feel special all day! 🙂

What are some of your favorite tips to surviving Disneyland? Let me know!

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Here is one of the best guides to surviving Disneyland! Make sure to bookmark this and read it to prepare for your next trip!
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Bri is the Harry Potter obsessed founder of Wondering & Wandering. When she's not blogging or traveling, you can usually find her in bed with a good book and a glass of wine.

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  1. May 6, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    Nice tips, I do love Disney! Never made it to California though. Single rider lines are also great for the really long lines!

    • May 7, 2017 / 11:24 am

      Ah, I forgot about single rider lines lol! Those are great!

  2. brmsimmons
    May 6, 2017 / 4:54 pm

    Great tips for Disneyland, especially the Fastpass. I always thought it was something extra you paid for.

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:00 am

      When I was a kid, my mom thought the same thing! So imagine her surprise when I told her they’re free lol

  3. May 7, 2017 / 1:05 pm

    Great tips. Surprisingly I have never been to Disneyland, I am waiting until I have kids 😛 …Will definitely bear these in mind when I eventually visit.

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:01 am

      Hahaha probably a good idea! Kids will make it much more magical 🙂

  4. May 8, 2017 / 6:26 am

    Awesome tips. I’ve only been to Disneyland Paris (many times, I grew up nearby!) and all these tips (except the dinner reservation – I don’t know about that) apply for there too!

    • May 9, 2017 / 1:18 pm

      I really want to go to Disneyland Paris when we’re in the area this August!! Do you recommend it for a 4 day trip to Paris?

  5. May 10, 2017 / 12:18 am

    Great tips on Disneyland! Growing up in Southern California, everyone goes multiple times per year so I fully support this! Now I’m thinking about that amazing pineapple Dole whip…

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:05 am

      Thank you! I saw a recipe for a Dole whip so I think I’m going to try making it at home because I’m craving one too lol

  6. May 10, 2017 / 8:35 am

    I was actually planing on going to Disneyland Paris on my 30th birthday but my plans didn’t go through unfortunately. I would still love to go though and experience the fun and the joy of of Disney, hopefully at the end of summer. Your tips are really useful! 🙂

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:08 am

      Oh man that’s a bummer! 🙁 I hope you make it there soon!!

  7. May 10, 2017 / 12:20 pm

    Interesting suggestions! The only Disneyland I have ever been to is the one in Hong Kong – It was not really my cup of tea and honestly I am unsure when I would do any of these next 🙂 But the tips you have given totally makes sense!…

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:12 am

      That’s a bummer to hear! 🙁 I hope to visit Disneyland Hong Kong within the next few years (as part of checking off my bucket list item of visiting every Disney theme park) but I’ve heard it’s not a magical as the others :/

  8. May 10, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    Love your tips! Our baby was just born not so long ago, so we need much more family attractions, and it sounds like one not to miss. We should go on a special occasion… 🙂

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:13 am

      Aww congratulations! 🙂

  9. May 10, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    I wouldn’t have thought to book dining reservations online in advance, so thanks for that tip! I would’ve thought all the dining is pretty casual and first come first serve, but the last thing I want is to be waiting in line with a bunch of screaming kids. Also great tip about getting there 30 min to one hour after opening time to avoid the initial crowds. I’ve never been to Disneyland but maybe one day! I love roller coasters – not so much the other Disney stuff. 🙂

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:22 am

      There’s definetly casual dining there but for the more popular restaurants (such as the Blue Bayou), you definetly want to book a least a couple months in advanced. I hope you make it there soon! 🙂

  10. May 10, 2017 / 1:26 pm

    Great tips! Love that last picture of the balloons <3

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:23 am

      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed! 🙂 The images were provided by unsplash.com but I wish I could take credit for that! 🙂

  11. May 10, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    Great tips! I’ve never been to Disneyland. I lived in Orlando for 6 years in college and would visit the Disney World frequently. Love the feeling of being at the parks. The music and ambiance all make it seem like you’re in a fairly tale! Wish life was like being at disney everyday! Lol

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:32 am

      I agree! I wish I could just live at Disney lol. I hope to make it to Disney World soon!!

  12. May 10, 2017 / 2:16 pm

    I’m not sure I’ll ever visit Disney (although I would like to), but these are some great tips. The firework display looks amazing!

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:33 am

      Aw, I hope you’re able to make it to a park someday! 🙁

  13. May 10, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    Super tips. I visited Disneyland Paris during the Christmas period and it was magical. My personal favourite was Space Mountain. 🙂

    • May 14, 2017 / 10:46 am

      I’m visiting Disneyland Paris in August!! 🙂

  14. May 10, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    I live in Orlando and I go to Disney pretty often. These tips would work very well here too. I have never been to the one in Los Angeles, hopefully one day 🙂

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:35 am

      And I’ve never been to Disney World either but I hope to soon! 🙂

  15. Dariel Lim
    May 11, 2017 / 10:24 am

    We were in Disneyworld and had a great time celebrating a friend’s 30th birthday with the badge and meeting the Disney characters.

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:37 am

      I’m glad to hear that!! 🙂

  16. May 20, 2017 / 11:04 am

    This is a great guide for Disneyland. I cannot agree more about fast passes and dinner reservations. I do a lot of blogging about Disney and cannot stress those enough! I hope to get to Disneyland again. It has been years!

    • May 21, 2017 / 9:59 am

      Agreed!! They are definetly something to take advantage of! 🙂

  17. Karen
    May 20, 2017 / 11:16 am

    Great tips! I also am a HUGE fan of the Fastpass although it’s also great to plan which rides you want to do ahead (so you leave enough time).

    • May 21, 2017 / 10:11 am

      Yes it is! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  18. May 20, 2017 / 11:44 am

    Great tips ! I’ve only been to Disneyland Paris (several times). I wouldn’t have thought to book dining reservations online in advance, so thanks for this tip ! Single rider lines are also great for the really long lines 🙂

    • May 21, 2017 / 10:12 am

      I’m visiting Disneyland Paris for the first time this August – I’m very excited! 🙂

  19. themormonadventurista
    May 20, 2017 / 1:04 pm

    Love this! As a former Cast Member, I agree with all of these! Most restaurants can be booked out up to 2 months prior to the date you want, so I always encourage people to book those first. It always made me sad when we’d show up for our reservation at the Blue Bayou and people would walk up and ask if there were any open tables. Have fun visiting all of the parks!

    • May 21, 2017 / 10:14 am

      You were a cast member?? That’s awesome!!

  20. Momma To Go
    May 20, 2017 / 1:52 pm

    We are going in August for my daughters 6th! Will def get her a button and will look into that restaurant!!!

    • May 21, 2017 / 10:15 am

      I hope you have fun!! She’ll love the attention! 🙂

  21. May 21, 2017 / 3:44 am

    Great tips! I love Disneyland, was there last year and now have an annual pass for Disneyland Paris. Fast passes are great!

    • May 21, 2017 / 10:15 am

      I love Fast Passes! Thanks for reading!

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