5 Tips for Great Disney Trips

Easy ways to get the most magic out of your next Disneyland vacation.

Elevate your joy with thoughtful planning.

Courtesy Disneyland Resorts

There’s much magic to be had at Disneyland and you don’t want to miss any of it. A little preparation before your next trip will help you pack in as much fun as possible. Follow these savvy suggestions for an exceptional experience at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Stay Within Steps of the Magic

The best way to get a jump start on your Disneyland day is by booking a hotel room within walking distance of the resort. There are a number of options along Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue, but for exclusive perks, you must stay in one of Disneyland’s three on-site hotels. If you opt not to stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel and your alternate pick is too far to walk, ask about shuttle service to save time parking. 

Make the Most of Magic Mornings

Speaking of exclusive perks, only guests staying at the Grand Californian, Paradise Pier, and Disneyland Hotel get into Disney California Adventure an hour before the general public every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They also get into parts of Disneyland early the other three days a week, along with anyone purchasing a multi-day ticket with the “Magic Morning” feature.

Surrender to the Stroller

Don’t be shy about using a stroller at Disneyland even if your kids are a little old to ordinarily need one. Not only do strollers make perfect portable beds for impromptu naps, but they also do double duty schlepping essential supplies such as snacks and spare clothes. You can rent them by the day at the parks, or third parties will deliver to area hotel rooms. Just remember: strollers must be under 31" x 52", and stroller wagons (like the Keenz 7S) are verboten.

Power Up Your Smartphone

The Disneyland Resort offers free public Wi-Fi, so download and sign into the free official Disneyland app on your Apple or Android device in advance of your arrival to access your park admission online. Once you’re in the park, you can now use the app to order food at select quick-service locations, which means less time waiting to eat and more time scoping your favorite attractions. (For added convenience, create your account and enter your payment information before you arrive at the park.) You’ll also want the free Play Disney app to participate in interactive adventures around Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Bring an external battery to stay charged up, or seek out the FuelRod kiosks scattered around the parks.

Invest in Maxpass

Now that you’ve got the official Disneyland app, put it to good use by buying the MaxPass option, either when you purchase admission tickets, or upon entering the park. For $15 per guest per day, you’ll be able to secure FastPass reservations for all the top rides without running back and forth across the parks, allowing you to experience many more attractions with minimal waits. Add in unlimited free downloads of all your PhotoPass pictures, and MaxPass is a real deal.