Tips For Your First Trip to Disneyland

admin

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Staff member
Apr 3, 2016
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#1
Is it your first time planning a Disneyland vacation? Although you might feel overwhelmed, there is no need to fret! Below I've listed my top 5 tips on how to make your first trip to Disneyland the best one yet.
  1. Take Your Time - Since this is your first time visiting the resort, make sure to take time to enjoy everything. One of our favorite ways to not feel rushed is to purchase 4-day or longer tickets. This way, you don't have to worry about trying to get everything done in just a couple of days. If you're looking for discount Disneyland tickets, click here.
  2. Use FastPass - FastPass should be your best friend when visiting the Disneyland Resort. If you're not sure what FastPass is, you can read more about it here. Plus if you want to have the ultimate experience, make sure to take advantage of one of Disney's newest features, MaxPass. For more information on MaxPass, click here.
  3. Character Dining - Character Dining is a great way to get the most out of your first visit to Disneyland. Not only do you get to enjoy a delicious buffet meal, but you'll also be able to meet some of your favorite Disney characters! If you're looking for more information on what each character dining experience offers, click here.
  4. Mobile Ordering - Speaking of delicious food, did you know that Disneyland just recently unveiled a new feature on their app? With Mobile Ordering, you'll be able to order your food from select restaurants directly on your phone. This will save you SO much time, so you'll be able to enjoy all of the attractions and entertainment that the resort has to offer!
  5. Have FUN! - Last, but certainly not least, have SO much fun. The memories you make will last a lifetime!
For even more tips, tricks and Disneyland secrets, be sure to check out our 25 Disneyland Secrets for your Next Vacation article.

Do you have any tips for first timers headed to Disneyland? Or do you have fun memories from your first trip? We'd love to know!
 
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Disney Mom

Administrator
Staff member
May 23, 2016
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These 5 tips are SPOT ON. The other tine I would recommend is for sure downloading the app beforehand and studying maps and the calendar, just so you can be as familiar with the resort as possible. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions while you're there! Both Cast Members and other guests love to share their tips. Oh, there's nothing quite as magical as a first Disneyland vacation!
 
Aug 15, 2018
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Fast pass is a must when you visiting Disney Parks. When I travel with family, we send one person to gather all the fast passes at once. This is highly helpful with large groups.
 
Aug 14, 2018
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#4
Great tips! I agree that taking your time is important. 4 day+ tickets are the best way to go - especially for your first time!
 

Jazzy

Well-Known Member
Apr 5, 2016
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These are great tips! Another thought (that I've done as well) is to print off a map of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park so you know where everything is located beforehand. I like to map out where I'm going to go each day before I get there and be able to see the distance between rides, where certain restaurants are located, which ride is at which park and which rides have the FastPass option! I have found this SUPER helpful when trying to plan an effective itinerary for my trip and feel it would especially be helpful first-timers on theirs. This way you are able to get to everything you're hoping to get to and make great use of your time there, since there really is SO much to see and do! :)
 
May 23, 2016
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Make a plan for each day. You will get so much more out of your time if you have a basic plan in place, and know where you want to be and when. Plan ahead for shows like Frozen, the parades, street entertainment and the fireworks. Use the FastPass system to save time in line! Get up early and beat the crowds - take advantage of any Early Morning Entry's or Extra Magic Hour that is available to you. Soak up every magical minute. :)
 

Moana

Jordan Allen
Jun 18, 2018
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You can also get fastpasses ahead of time by using the Disney app! My family is headed to DisneyWorld at the end of the week and we already have our fastmasses for each day we are in a park!
 

Rachel

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2016
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My favorite thing for first trips is to do something a little extra to make it even more special! We went last year for my friend's first time and we wore matching shirts every day! It was so fun to have cute Disney shirts each day and even the cast members talked about how cute we looked! Anything to heighten your trip is such a fun thing, matching shirts, Character Dining, anything to make it memorable!
 
Aug 15, 2018
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Another great recommendation for first visit guests is to visit City Hall. Go there and let them know it is your first visit button. You never know what will happen. When my wife had her first visit button at Disneyland, the Genie Meet and Greet was memorable. He noticed her button and gave her a royal escort around the Meet and Greet Area.
 
Aug 15, 2018
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I love the matching shirts! There are all kinds of fun shirts out and about.
 
C

Cindy Bednarz

Guest
#11
Jan 2019 We just got back from an amazing trip to Disneyland/California Adventure. We did a three day pass and wish we did four days. Even with reading/researching before our vacation, we learned some things as we went along that will help others.

1. You will need three full days once Star Wars attraction opens Sept 2019 to adequately see the whole Disneyland park and ride some of your favorites more than once. Two days were not enough in Disneyland and one day is not enough in California Adventure.
2. We struggled through our 3 days in a row, lots of walking 50,000 steps and 22 miles in 3 days. I would suggest 2 days in a row and then a rest day (pool day/beach day).
3. Must see the new Mickey Mix Magic Dance Party/firework show. Suggest being at the rope 45 minutes early either in front of Small World or the Castle. It was amazing. But you should be able to see a lot from anywhere around the circle.
4. Must see the musical Frozen in California Adventure. It was probably our #1 attraction of the entire visit. It was truly amazing.
5. Don't let rain days slow you down, it is not busy at all on those days. Just take a poncho in your backpack to put on and take off as needed. There are websites that say no umbrellas, but you can take a small umbrella.
6. If you are wondering if the Max Pass is worth it IT IS! Without it you have to run around from one place to another getting fast passes, but you can do that too.
7. Always have a Fast Pass in hand while riding other rides that do not take fast passes. Best use of time. You can also do single riders to get through lines faster. We did that on Incredicoaster since the kids were too little.
8. Learn your Disneyland App before going to the park. That was one thing we didn't do well enough. You can use the app to locate where the professional photographers are located in each area of the park and take advantage of that. The app also shows the wait times for the rides. Also do all your Fast Passes right from the app instead of all the extra walking around the park.
9. You can buy one Max Pass for $15 and attach it to one ticket to take advantage of the professional photo ops if you don't want to do the Max passes for your entire group. Ask the photographers to include special Magic Shots, and they will add some cool features to your pictures. You also can get the pictures like Splash Mountain (etc) included if you get the code from the screen immediately after the ride (take a picture). They disappear fast, so be ready.
10. Make sure your kids are 40" tall before going to Disneyland so they can enjoy almost every ride. Only 2-3 they would not be able to ride. The Cars Radiator Springs Racers ride is 40", and it's amazing.
11. Bring your own drinks or empty water bottles. Beverages are expensive. We found that if you have a bag of food in your backpack (meat/cheese sticks/protein bars/candy) to snack on while in line saves on the amount food costs. We bought food in the park one time, and it was $53 for three hamburgers and drinks.
12. You can take your backpacks with you on every ride, so tote around what you need. We had jackets, ponchos and food.
13. Study a map of the park before you go, so you have an idea of the layout. We would suggest making a list in your phone of each attraction in each section of park so you don't miss out on anything. It is hard to read the map while you are walking around. There are also different meet & greet locations inside each "land" like the princesses in Fantasyland, etc. Not to mention you will just run in to them throughout the park. Nice to have the Max Pass for those too.
14. Bring a couple battery chargers for your cell phones.
15. We stayed at the Holiday Inn & Suites on Walnut St. It is on the #11 ART bus route so we caught the shuttle right at the hotel and it took us right to the front gate. No extra walking at the end of the night to the hotels across the street (which is quite a ways) just out the gate, covered bus stop #11 is the closest bus stop and right to the hotel again. This was a great tip from a friend before we went and it saved us alot of walking. It was a very quiet hotel and the beds were amazing. Pool, hot tub and small water park included at the hotel. The restaurant in the hotel was decent but there were no other restaurants around (fyi).
16. Soak your feet at the end of each day. LOL

HAVE FUN!
 
C

Cindy Bednarz

Guest
#12
Oh and have a Dole Whip while you are watching the Tiki show. Yummy!