I’ve Overheard Some Wicked Good Tips From Disneyland Experts, and These Are My FAVORITES!

How often do you visit Disneyland?


As a Disneyland local and AllEars reporter, I visit the parks every week, keeping up with the latest Disneyland news and changes. Over the years, Disneylanders like myself have come up with a ton of tips and some of them could prove very useful during your next Disneyland trip!

While I could go on and on about Disneyland tips that experts and myself use, we’d never reach an end. Instead, I’m going to share with you 15 of my favorite tips that Disneyland experts abide by! Let’s take a look!

Know what you want out of your park experience before you visit

If you visit Disneyland as often as I do, you can really take your time and experience each park slowly. However, I understand that this is difficult for families on vacation. Instead, I recommend knowing what you want out of your park days before you visit.

Galaxy’s Edge in Disneyland

Do you want that classic Disney experience? Then you’ll want to focus most of your attention on Disneyland Park, as it still holds a ton of that 1955 charm.

Are you a massive Star Wars fan? Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Tomorrowland at Disneyland have all things Star Wars at the resort.

Meanwhile, if you prefer Pixar or Marvel, or maybe you’re looking for a park with alcoholic beverages aplenty, you’ll want to focus more of your time at Disney California Adventure.

Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure

Knowing the park layouts ahead of time and what they offer will only aid your plan of attack. You’ll save time and see everything at the top of your priority list. There is no downside to being informed before your next trip. To view our Disneyland Guide, CLICK HERE!

The park hopping addition is worth it

A one-day Park Hopper ticket at Disneyland will set you back an extra $65 per ticket so we can understand if you’re weary to spend more, especially since park hopping at Disney World can be challenging.

Pixar Fest

However, Disneyland’s space is not even close in size to Disney World’s, so park hopping is a completely different experience. Disneyland and California Adventure are separated by the Esplanade, an open courtyard. To get between the gates takes two to three minutes, and it can be crossed even sooner if you walk with purpose.

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are steps apart from each other!

Both parks generally have decent hours (especially during peak season), so if you’re getting a lot done at one park, you’ll likely have time to do plenty at the other. Plus a park hopper allows you to bounce back and forth to your heart’s content. I recommend taking advantage of the proximity, as this is something that can be hard to come by at other Disney Parks around the world.

Don’t be afraid of waitlists and walk-ups

When it comes to planning your Disney trip, dining reservations can be daunting. You can book your Disneyland dining reservations 60 days in advance, but sometimes mistakes happen or you simply forget.

Oga’s Cantina

All is not lost! In my experience and talking with experts, dining at Disneyland is easier than it may appear. Waitlists are frequently available and many restaurants still do walk-ups! The Disneyland app is your best friend and you can constantly check that to view availability.

Blue Bayou Restaurant

Making advanced dining reservations is still the way to go, but typically you’ll find some pretty great dining options consistently available through waitlists in the app. I’ve personally had a ton of success joining the waitlist at Blue Bayou with a small party — despite it being one of the hardest reservations to get. The moral of the story is to persevere and always check the app!

Ride E-ticket attractions during parades and fireworks

This piece of advice works at any Disney Park — ride E-ticket attractions during major shows.

Rise of the Resistance

Simply put, parades and fireworks shows draw the crowds to Main Street, U.S.A. and along parade paths. You can use this time to get shorter waits for some of the more popular rides.

Space Mountain Disneyland

Sure, you miss the parades and fireworks, but if your main goal is to ride as many rides as possible, I’ve got to quote our buddy Din Djarin from The Mandalorian — “This is the way.”

Ride Big Thunder Mountain or the Matterhorn during the fireworks

Speaking of fireworks, two rides at Disneyland will give you SPECTACULAR views during the show!

Disneyland fireworks

Both Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Matterhorn Bobsleds provide the BEST look at the fireworks each night and are excellent nighttime attractions in their own right.

Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain

Getting to the top of a lift hill on Big Thunder Mountain right when a firework explodes is life-altering and seeing the fireworks erupt right in front of you as you exit a cave in the Matterhorn is like looking directly at a gorgeous postcard. These experiences can’t be topped.

Take advantage of discounts

This is not only a Disneyland piece of advice but a general rule of thumb — it’s always a good idea to look for discounts.


Disneyland offers a ton of discounts if you know where to look. You can find savings in online sales, Magic Key discounts, military discounts, D23 discounts, Disney Visa Credit Card discounts, and more!


We’re always on the lookout for all kinds of Disneyland deals so be sure to follow us here at AllEars for all the latest updates!

Pack for warm weather

Southern California may be one of the few locations on Earth with a Mediterranean climate, but it’s still technically the desert. With that in mind, it’s best to plan for some warm weather.

Grizzly River Run

Of course you should also anticipate chilly air during the winter evenings and plan for rain when it’s in the forecast, but if you’re not from here, you’ll probably do just fine packing lighter. Ironically, a lot of what you’ll pack for Disney World works just fine at Disneyland. You’ll just likely need fewer ponchos.

Disneyland Park in 2022

I still recommend always checking the weather forecast before your trip. Southern California still gets real weather from time to time and summer heat waves can be HOT. With that said, if you come from a place with real weather, Disneyland and the surrounding area will probably feel warm and comfortable during the day for most of the year while the nights can get slightly chilly but not overpoweringly cold.

You don’t have to stay on property

Not staying on property at Disneyland is an important piece of advice if you’re on a budget. There are only three Disneyland Resort hotels and none of them could be considered cheap.


Local Good Neighbor Hotels aren’t owned by Disney but they do partner with Disney and provide many boons, such as free transportation to and from the parks. They can also be considerably cheaper depending on where you stay.

Disneyland Hotel

Additionally, the further out you stay from Disneyland, the likelihood of finding cheaper lodging goes up. If you decide to rent a car or drove yourself, the necessity to stay on property also shrinks. The Disneyland Resort offers a ton of great entertainment, shopping, and dining options, but it’s surrounded by a vibrant Orange County and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. You aren’t exactly limited if you have personal transportation.

Balance quick service and table service

Disneyland has the power to make us forget how much money we’re spending. Unfortunately, the realization typically hits once your vacation is over.

Rancho del Zocalo

One of the best pieces of advice I can give when it comes to saving money on food is finding a healthy balance between quick-service and table-service dining.

Carthay Circle Restaurant

Only eating at food carts and quick-service locations robs you of enjoying some really fantastic meals. On the other hand, only eating at table-service restaurants robs you of time and lightens your wallet. Many experts like myself will do two quick-service meals and one table-service meal each visit and that’s a good way to get a great dining experience while not completely wasting your time and money.

Dress for activity

Yes, Disneyland is much smaller than Disney World, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get your steps in.

Walking down Main Street

Dress comfortably and don’t limit your mobility. You’ll likely be getting a bit of a workout in walking all day. Remember how we said dress for warm weather? You should also prepare to work up a sweat from physical activity.

Disney California Adventure

It’s also a good idea to bring deodorant if you love your fellow man. The summer months especially are not kind and you don’t want to be the person bringing an unpleasant odor into the stretching room on Haunted Mansion.

Lightning Lanes can save you HOURS

Over at Disneyland, Indiana Jones Adventure, Space MountainStar Wars: Rise of the Resistance, and Matterhorn Bobsleds can boast incredibly long waits. At California Adventure, Soarin’, Radiator Springs Racers, and Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! can get very high wait times as well.

Radiator Springs Racers in Disney California Adventure

The workaround is purchasing Genie+ and using individual Lightning Lanes.

Disneyland’s Space Mountain

Yes, you will have to pay more money than you would’ve liked. But if you subscribe to the notion that time is money, these front-of-the-line options will not only save time, but make it possible to do everything you want to get done in ONE DAY. Even if you don’t get to everything, just one day of Genie+ and Lightning Lane usage will make the rest of your trip go a lot smoother and you can easily catch what you missed on a different day without worrying about time constraints.

It’s better to stay until close than rope drop

The results of this advice can vary, but in my experience, it has been better to stay until close rather than rope drop.


Families with smaller kids tend to show up earlier in the day and leave earlier. Then once the rope drop crowd settles, the rest of the morning crowd piles in and the park becomes pretty full around midday. However, the mass exodus usually occurs after the fireworks, a little after 9:30PM each night. However, Disneyland’s regular hours see it close around midnight, giving you over two hours of lighter crowds and more opportunity to ride some great attractions without huge waits.

Disneyland Resort

This is not a foolproof plan, and there’s a reason the crowds dip before close (if you aren’t tired you didn’t do Disneyland right), but if you have the stamina or decide to arrive at the parks a little later, staying until close can give you a good window to accomplish A LOT.

Halloween season is the most accessible holiday in Disneyland

When I say accessible, I mean the best chance to experience normal crowds. It’s no secret that the holidays draw crowds to the Disney Parks around the world, and Disneyland is no exception (especially around Christmas time). Still, Halloween is your best bet for a couple of reasons.

It’s Halloween at Disneyland!

Halloween Time at Disneyland starts in August and ends on Halloween, giving you several months to experience all of the theming and festivities. But most importantly, it takes place during the school year.

Mickey pumpkin in Disneyland

With families traveling not as much as they typically do during the winter, spring break, and summer, visiting Disneyland during Halloween Time (especially midweek) is your best bet at having your cake and eating it too.

Prioritize the quintessential Disneyland

Rides like Rise of the Resistance and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway are fantastic attractions, but they exist elsewhere. If you frequent Disney World, then you should prioritize Disneyland-exclusive attractions.

Indiana Jones Adventure

Disneyland has a ton of attractions exclusive to its parks. It also has a lot of history that you can’t experience elsewhere. As a Disneylander, I do the inverse whenever I visit Disney World and it makes my coastal park experiences feel complete. There’s a reason Carousel of Progress is a must-ride for me every time I visit Magic Kingdom — we don’t have it anymore at Disneyland!

The entrance to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Disneyland. [Chuck Schmidt]
From rides like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride to Radiator Springs Racers, Disneyland offers blasts from the past and unique attractions that consistently make it a worthwhile vacation destination.

3 days is enough time to do Disneyland

Finally, one of the biggest questions asked about Disneyland is how many days you need. The simplest answer is that it depends on what you want to do. However, if we were to strip it down and give a generic answer, I’d say three is fair.

Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure

Three days feels like the sweet spot. Two essentially gives you one day at each park and a third allows you to catch up on anything you might’ve missed.


If you get done in two days or extend your trip even longer, Southern California also offers a ton to do outside of the Disney bubble. Sporting events, beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, several museums, entertainment, and many more recreational activities exist just minutes from Disneyland. Either way, how you form your itinerary is up to you and we’re happy to help however we can!

Are any of these tips news to you? Do you follow any of them yourself? Let us know and continue to stay tuned right here at AllEars for the latest Disneyland news, tips, reviews, and more!

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What are some of your favorite personal Disneyland tips? Let us know in the comments!

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