Walt Disney once said, "Disneyland is going to be a place where you can't get lost or tired unless you want to." While Walt may have been a little optimistic, these practical tips can help you come as close to his ideal as you can.
No matter which park you're going to, take very good care of your tickets. Disneyland does not replace lost tickets, even if you have a copy of them. If you buy in advance, pack them in your carry-on luggage, and keep them safely tucked into a secure pocket or use a lanyard while you're in the park. A luggage tag that opens easily is also a good place to stow tickets and fast passes.
Disneyland Tips to Avoid Crowds
- 7 Ways to Stay Out of Line. Readers who have voted in our polls say they want to wait 30 minutes or less for a ride, but on a busy day, that takes some advance planning. This guide summarizes every good trick and strategy we know of.
Disneyland Tips to Stay Comfortable
Dress for less stress. Wear comfortable shoes. Bring warmer clothing for evening. Even in summer, it can get chilly after dark.
You're not a yak. Don't carry too much. You have to drag every ounce around all day. Go through your bag several times and remove all non-essentials. Put everything in your pockets if you can.
Stow it. You'll find rental lockers both outside and inside the park gates. Stow dry clothing, jackets, snacks, and so forth here so you don't have to carry them around all day.
Don't suffer Got a headache? Blister? Upset tummy? The First Aid Center can help.
- Did It Break? If we're talking about the souvenir you just bought - or if the cute balloon went pop - we hear that you can get a free replacement the same day.
Disneyland Tips to Help You Get Organized
Don't let morning clouds alarm you. In summer, overcast mornings are probably low fog that will be gone by noon, but check the weather forecast just to be sure.
In case it rains in Southern California. Umbrellas are hard to manage. Bring hooded rain gear and enjoy the park anyway. Lines will be shorter. However, a few rides may be closed.
Money matters. Most shops, restaurants and even the food carts take credit and debit cards, so you may not need much cash. You can get currency exchange services, credit card advances and wire transfers at the Thomas Cook office in Downtown Disney. ATMs are inside each park (Chase Bank).
Park smart. The parking lots take credit cards, if you want to pay that way. WRITE DOWN your parking space number or use a digital camera to take a picture of the place you parked. If you forget, ask Security and they'll help you find your vehicle.
Big rigs. If you're driving an oversized vehicle, use the main entrance of Mickey and Friends parking, just off southbound Disneyland Drive at Ball Road. The height limit there is 13 feet 10 inches.
- No butts. California smoking laws are strict, and smoking is even more restricted in the Disney park, even outdoors. Get the details about smoking areas at the Disneyland website.
Disneyland Tips For Kids
Big enough? Measure your child's height before you visit, and check the Disneyland and California Adventure ride descriptions so you'll know which rides they can go on. It could save a temper tantrum. Cast Members know all the tricks, so don't even try to fool them and please don't ask for exceptions. The height limits are there to keep your kids safe.
Little navigator: Disneyland is a great place for kids to learn how to navigate with a map. Let them find the way to the next attraction for you.
Lost and found: If you and your child get separated, ask any Cast Member for help. They're very efficient at reuniting lost kids with their parents. Prepare your kids by telling them how to identify a Cast Member by their badge, stop one and talk to them and then make sure the kids know what do to if they're lost.
- Take a break: During the busiest, hottest time of day, go back to your hotel for a swim or a nap, being sure to get your hand stamped on the way out and keeping your paper ticket. Return later when it's cooler and you're rested.
Disneyland Tips for Special Needs
For Fluffy and Fido: There is a boarding kennel near the main entrance. The kennel is for day boarding only and they charge a daily fee.
Need wheels? Wheelchairs, ECVs and strollers can be rented at the park, or bring your own. For all the details about visiting Disneyland with mobility issues, check this guide.
Habla Espanol? Parlez-vous Francais? If you need help in a language other than English, look for cast members wearing a small flag pin with your country's flag on it. They will speak your language.
- Sign Language Interpreters: Contact guest services before your visit to find out the current schedule for this service.
Disneyland Tips: Guest Relations Can Help
The Disney Guest Relations desk is near the entrance to each park. It's called City Hall in Disneyland and Chamber of Commerce in California Adventure. Consult your map or just ask a Cast Member if you can't find it. Things you need it for:
- If you're celebrating a birthday, you can get a special birthday pin - or a first-timer, just married or honorary citizen pin.
- Make restaurant reservations
- Make reservations for the special Disneyland tours at the kiosk next door to City Hall
- Get park information
- Get foreign language brochures
- Pick up a special access pass if you have mobility issues or other challenges. Or rent a closed caption or assistive listening device.
- Handle any other difficulties, including requesting a refund if you are dissatisfied