Disneyland Planning Guide
& Ticket Deals
Struggling to plan out your Disneyland vacation? Our guide will help you maximize your fun--and save some bucks, too!
A day at Disneyland is a special time with lots of new things to see and do. Spread out over approximately 500 acres, the Disneyland Resort complex encompasses Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure, Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Paradise Pier Hotel, and Downtown Disney District. Disneyland park sits on 85 acres, 100 acres once Star Wars Land opened in 2019, Disney California Adventure covers another 72 acres. More than 18 million visitors came to Disneyland in 2016 divided roughly between Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure equally.
See what current Disneyland ticket prices are if you're buying them at the park.
We hope you find these Disneyland tips & tricks helpful.
DOWNLOAD A DISNEYLAND WAIT TIMES APP - Waiting in line isn't how you want to spend your day at Disneyland. Planning where to go, what to ride and when is how today's mouse fans navigate the parks using any one of a variety of user posting wait times apps. Help other guests by posting current wait times, as well as see wait times posted by others. Check out our Disneyland wait times apps page. Also download the official Disneyland app.
Also, download the official Disneyland app .
Disneyland Ticket deals - Purchase your tickets before you get here. If you purchase your tickets at the gate or on Disneyland.com you'll pay retail prices. Of course, we hope you purchase your Disneyland Park Hopper tickets or single park Disneyland tickets on WelcometoSoCal.com. We offer lower pricing than gate prices and you can print your tickets at home. No waiting in long lines at will-call to pick up your tickets.
Beware of unauthorized tickets resellers. Some have offices around Disneyland. These people are buying 5-day tickets and renting them by the day. Some people are selling scalped Disneyland tickets. Disney is wise to these schemes and will deny these tickets entry. Don't get burned, only buy your Disneyland tickets from an authorized reseller like WelcometoSoCal.com or from Disneyland directly.
To see everything while getting the most bang for your mouse-dollars, we recommend checking out or discount Disneyland tickets. You can print at home or pick up at the ticket booth.
If you're visiting just one park, you will save $30 to $40 per ticket but you will only be able to visit the park you bought the ticket for.
Where to Stay - The Disneyland Resort District has dozens first-rate hotels. If you want to walk to the parks, you will need to book one the hotels on Harbor Blvd or Katella Ave. This is important if you have small children. It's nice to be able to take a short walk back to an air-conditioned hotel room when the little ones run out of gas, or you run out of gas. Once the group is rested up, you're a short walk back. For your convenience, WelcometoSoCal.com offers excellent rates on Disneyland area hotels.
Disney Hotel Properties
The Disneyland Hotel is located within walking distance of the west end of Downtown Disney. Guests only need take an enjoyable stroll through Downtown Disney to the main entrances to both parks.
Grand Californian Resort and Spa has two entrances. One public entrance into the lobby from mid-way down in Downtown Disney, and one for registered guests from the Grizzly Peak Recreation Area across from the Grizzly River Rapids entrance.
Paradise Pier Hotel is a little further away on Disneyland Drive but is easily walkable.
It's important to point out that Garden Grove, about 2 to 3 miles south of Disneyland on Harbor Blvd, has been adding new hotels for the past ten years. While these hotels are first class and well-known brands, they are to far to walk. These hotels, of course, offer shuttle service to and from the parks but you will be governed by each hotel's shuttle schedules. Lift and Uber are also options. If you have a fussy little one, or you need to return to your room quickly, shuttling to Garden Grove may be a bridge too far.
Parking - There are multiple parking lots throughout the resort area. Mickey & Friends parking is the main parking structure. You can access Mickey and Friends parking structure from Disneyland Drive then follow the signs. To park closer to escalators and elevators in the Mickey & Friends parking structure you will need to purchase Preferred Parking once inside the lot. A Cast Member will then direct you to the preferred parking spaces.
Parking rates as of this writing.
$20.00 for cars and motorcycles
$25.00 for oversized vehicles, motor homes, and tractor trucks without a trailer
$30.00 for buses and tractors with extended trailers
Get FASTPASS early The Disneyland FASTPASS gives your group the ability to move passed long lines saving tons of time. FASTPASS runs out quickly for popular rides and shows like World of Color so get them as soon as you enter the parks.
For a great photo-posting app try the Ultimate Guide to Disneyland iPhone app. Ultimate Guide gives you line wait times, GPS park maps, event times, schedules and dates and hundreds of user-posted photos from the parks. You can set up your itinerary before you go with Favorites then place them on the maps. Once you've completed or seen a Favorite you can check it off.
Sunscreen - Bring your sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Disneyland can be hot with lots of sunshine most of the year. While walking around is what Disneyland is all about, there are limited escapes to shade unless you head indoors.
Reading Glasses - If you wear reading glasses, you'll be taking them off and putting them back on dozens of times a day. Additionally, when you go indoors you'll need a convenient place to put your sunglasses. To keep from losing or breaking them, we suggest using ReadeRest. ReadeRest is a magnetic clip that holds your glasses securely to your shirt. Hang your readers on ReadeRest while at Disneyland and you'll always know where they are.
Sunglasses Reading Lenses - Trying to read the small type on a park map or your phone, a ride description or anything else with sunglasses on is impossible if you wear reading glasses. To help you read things while keeping your sunglasses on, try stick-on reading lenses for sunglasses from Grainger.com. These lenses are available in any diopter and can be cut to fit any sunglass lens. Place them in the lower part of the lens. When you look straight out you will look over the top of them. When looking down to read something you'll look through the lens. Great product!
Wear Comfy Shoes Disneyland encompasses 85 acres, 100 acres after Star Wars Land opens in 2019. California Adventure is another 72 acres. Ask yourself this, when was the last time you spent 6 to 8 hours walking around a 160 acre park on a hot day? Exactly, not lately so bring comfortable walking shoes.
Phone Charger Cord If you don't carry a battery pack extension, like the Mophie which we use, then you'll need to charge sometime during the day and overnight. This is vitally important if you need to stay connected with family members. While Disneyland doesn't have designated charging stations, there are many wall plugs scattered throughout the parks. It's worth noting plugs are located just above floor level, like in your home, so unless you find one near a seat or a bench, then plan on standing or sitting on the ground for 45 minutes while you charge up. Check our Disneyland and California Adventure Charging Locations for a complete list that also designates whether you can sit while charging as CAN SIT.
Plug Bank - Hotel rooms typically have two or three wall plugs with one or two available outlets in each. If you're traveling with multiple people who all have multiple devices, deciding who gets to charge is a decision is best left at home. Bring a plug strip instead, two if necessary. You'll be plugging in 3 to 6 devices each night, or more if you're bringing a laptop and iPads.
Anaheim Resort District Public Transportation - ART is the Anaheim Resorts public transportation service. ART buses are clean and reliable. You'll know one when you see one as they are all colorfully wrapped in a Disney, Universal Studios, Knott's and other resort venue themes. ART services all theme parks, hotels, restaurants, shopping, dining, and other destinations within the Anaheim Resort District. Cities serviced include Anaheim, Garden Grove, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, and Orange.
ART is now located at the information desk in the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC). ARTIC connects you to OCTA, Greyhound, Megabus, Amtrak, and Metrolink.
Water Bottles - Southern California is a desert hidden by roads and buildings. In other words, it's hot most of the time. Temperatures routinely hit 90+ degrees from July through October. Temps also can easily surpass 80 degrees during mid-winter months. Navigating the crowds, coupled with lots of walking and an overdose of SoCal sunshine and you will quickly dehydrate. Be sure to carry plenty of water.
Ziploc BagsAhh, didn't think of Ziplock bags? Ziplock bags will come in really handy for - leftover sandwiches, snacks for the kids, ID's and room key cards, storing your Disneyland Trading Pins, keeping your phone dry on Grizzly River Run, keeping your sunscreen, lip balm, allergy meds, sinus sprays, hand sanitizers etc in one place. Bring a bunch of these. You'll use them every day.
Hand Sanitizers - Bring one larger bottle for the room and many small ones for everyone in your group for the day. Disney keeps their parks as clean as can possibly be expected, certainly cleaner than other parks. But with thousands of people touching everything your group is touching thousands of times a day... Need I say more? Bring plenty of hand sanitizers and use those ziplock bags to carry them.
MOUSE TIME MAGAZINE
Guide to the Disneyland Resort
DISNEYLAND SUMMER SPECIAL ISSUE