Planning a Vacation to Disneyland Resort
Planning is the key to making the most of your time and budget, and to enjoying the theme parks, dining, shopping, entertainment, hotels, and much more. AllEars.Net wants to help you plan your trip for maximum enjoyment.
Some things you will want to consider include what time of year to visit, how many days, where to stay, what type of tickets to purchase, and where to dine.
In each section below, and in the column on the left, there are links to areas on this site that will provide you with additional information to help you make informed decisions about your vacation. And don’t forget to subscribe to AllEars®, our free weekly newsletter, which offers news and updates about Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Click HERE to subscribe to AllEars® now!
WHEN SHOULD I GO?
Ideally you’ll want to visit when the weather is good and the crowds are low. Unfortunately, with Disneyland’s location in the highly populated southern California area, there are few days of extremely low crowds. Low crowd days tend to be during times of extreme weather (rain or heat), and these are hard to predict when planning a vacation.
There are special annual events at the Disneyland Resort that can add to your vacation experience. Take a look at our Calendar of Events to see what might be happening.
Some special times of year are March-April (Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival), early September-October (Halloween Time), and early November-New Year’s (Merriest Place on Earth at Disneyland, Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure). On select evenings during Halloween Time there is a special after-hours ticketed party at Disneyland: Mickey’s Halloween Party.
WHAT TICKET SHOULD I PURCHASE?
There are a number of ticket options depending on whether you will be visiting for one day, multiple days, or throughout the year. There are single and muti-day tickets that only allow access to one park per day, but the multi-day parkhoppers are the most popular tickets for vacationers. Three day and longer parkhopper tickets offer one “Magic Morning” day. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, guests can use their “Magic Morning” feature to enter Disneyland one hour before regular park opening.
Perhaps you want to maximize your use of Fastpass and PhotoPass by purchasing the MaxPass feature for your park tickets. Guests with MaxPass can make digital Fastpass selections by using the Disneyland app on their phones – they do not need to visit the Fastpass kiosk at the attractions. MaxPass also includes unlimited PhotoPass downloads of photos taken during the day(s) that MaxPass is purchased.
Frequent visitors might want to consider an Annual Passport. All annual passports offer benefits such as dining and merchandise discounts. Several types also include parking at the Mickey & Friends parking structure or Toy Story parking lot. There are multiple types of annual passports available at different price points with varying numbers of blockout days.
WHERE SHOULD I STAY?
Many Disneyland visitors are “day” visitors who live in the greater southern California area and simply drive to the resort for the day, then drive home at night.
For those coming from out of town, there are many hotels and motels in the immediate Disneyland Resort area. A great number of the options are within walking distance of the parks – some right across the street. While there are only three Disney-owned hotels (all of the “deluxe class”), more modestly-priced accommodations are available with most major chains represented in the surrounding area. There are a number of highly rated local establishments as well.