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Disneyland with Kids - 6 tips to maximise your time and money!

By Belinda Pignone | Jul 18, 2017 |

Disneyland is at the top of thousands of bucket lists, the dream trip for kids, family and ourselves. It can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never travelled before, so how do you make the most of this holiday of a lifetime?

After visiting both Parks in Anaheim, LA, earlier this year with my two young children, I found ways to maximise our time and money, after all a Disneyland family holiday isn’t cheap, so you need make the most of it. Here are my top tips:

1. Stay within walking distance of the parks

You will pay a premium for Disneyland Resorts located on the park,  so if you don’t mind a short walk, you’ll save money choosing a hotel within walking distance (you’ll also burn off those Disneyland calories). It means you can arrive at the park early and return to your hotel to rest  during the day, and then head  back in the afternoon for the nightly shows. If you’re a late riser, head to the park around midday after a lazy breakfast of Mickey Mouse pancakes, the park closes between 8-10pm depending on the day. Aside from the three Disneyland hotels & resorts, Disneyland Hotel, Disney Grand Californian and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, we recommend The Howard Johnson Anaheim and Courtyard Anaheim Waterpark Theme Park Entrance. Both hotels are within easy walking distance to the park entry.

2. Visit the parks for at least 3 days

To get the best Disneyland has to offer you’ll need to spend at least three full days between the two parks. Anywhere from three to five days is ideal and there is certainly enough to keep you entertained if you want to stay for even longer.

3. Purchase a Hopper Pass

A hopper pass provides access to both Disneyland California & Disneyland California Adventure Park, so you can go back and forth between the two parks. A three day Hopper pass includes 1 x Magic Morning which gives you access to the park one hour before it opens to the public. Disneyland California Adventure Park includes Toy Story, Cars, Bugs Life & Monsters Inc, just to name a few. My kids loved this park (and so did I) it was fun, exciting with lots of different rides, activities and shops to explore. It’s located opposite the Disneyland Park.

4. Make the most of your Magic Morning entry

Arrive early, as the Magic Morning entry line grows quickly. My advice would be to head straight to Fantasyland, as a FASTPASS isn’t offered here and it can get busy quickly since it’s very popular with families.

5. Make use of the Disney FASTPASS

A FASTPASS allows you to skip the queue for some of the rides at Disneyland. The pass works by allowing you to return to the ride during a designated time frame instead of waiting in line. Lines can take anywhere from 30 minutes to hours…it pays to take the time to register for a FASTPASS for particular rides. Of course you can get lucky on some rides and queue for only fifteen to twenty minutes but that’s pretty rare. Popular rides can have you waiting up to two hours. FASTPASS stations are located in various spots around the parks. Keep an eye out for them!

6. If possible, avoid holiday periods including spring break

It’s not always possible but if you can, plan your travel to Disneyland outside of peak travel times. Avoid the USA summer break, late May to September and Spring break around March or April. As usual try to avoid Thanks Giving, Christmas, Easter and the 4th July. Yes, Disneyland is busy everyday of the year but just how busy can vary depending on holidays and special events.
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