Disneyland Trip Tips

This is my collective advice for Disneyland, California. I’m not saying I’m a Disney expert but in my many visits I’ve come to learn some trip tips to maximize your experience.

TERMS

  • DL – Disneyland
  • DCA- Disney California Adventure
  • QS- Quick Service
  • TS- Table Service

TIPS

  • Water can get pricey especially when you’re buying the $5 Dasani Water. You can bring an empty flask with you and fill it up at water stations around the parks or at any Quick Service locations with manual drink stations.
    • DL- Pizza Planet 
    • DCA- Pyms Test Kitchen
    • DL- Star Wars Land
    • DCA- Avengers Campus 
    • DCA- Boardwalk Pizza
    • DL/ DCA- Starbucks (Ask for Venti ice Water it’s free) 
  • Security Checkpoints – Security checks all zippers in bags, wallets, and pouches, etc. To get through the line quickly have your zippers opened before going up to the line.
    • NO selfie sticks
      • But mini tripods are accepted 
  • Snacks. You can bring your own food into the parks to save money 
  • DL – Night Time Fireworks – Best spot is on Main Street and not by the castle. Most people will go to the Castle but there are lots of trees and the VIP is located in the front so it will be roped off. Projections of the show are also shown by the Rivers of America and It’s A Small World. 
  • Parades and shows. Want a good seat? Plan about 1 – 2 hours before the show or parade starts to reserve your spot.
  • DCA – World of Color Night spectacular has limited front standing room and if you can’t snag a spot in the app the Pixar Bridge has the best viewing spot. I would recommend securing a spot 2-hours before the show starts. People will push and try to steal spots, but hold your ground. The almost 25 minute show is worth it. Note: Take turns to use the bathroom, someone holds the spots while the other uses the bathroom.
  • Best Poop bathrooms – DL: Star Wars Land (has loud background sounds and it’s AC), Bathroom on Mainstreet by Carnation Cafe, bathroom by Rancho Del Zocalo 
  • Best Poop bathrooms – DCA : Bathrooms by the Little Mermaid,  Bathrooms by Goofy Sky School, Bathroom on Buena Vista Street 
  • Lockers (DL Mainstreet & DCA Buena Vista Street- $7-$10, you can put your cold weather jackets and blankets for night time activities in during the day or to store large bags, food, or park purchases.
  • Utilized Disneyland Gift Cards – Costco, Walmart, Target sells gift cards for $25-$200. You can set a budget with gift cards on shopping, food, etc. Most stores and eateries  prefer CC or gift card transactions. 
  • Starbucks in Disneyland – Disney Parks Starbucks has their own specific plastic cups.


FREE Activities in Disneyland

  • DL – Get a Free Celebration Button in any store on Main Street
    • Honorary Citizen of Disneyland, Birthday Celebration, 1st Visit, Anniversary 
    • Tip: If you wear the Birthday button, cast members are extra nice to you. They say Happy Birthday and may give you an extra experience. 
  • DL – Free Birthday Dessert in Disneyland Restaurants 
  • DL- During Slow times, you can ask a cast member if you can ride in the exclusive  Lily Belle Train Car, and get a souvenir ticket after the ride
  • DL-  If it’s slow ask a cast member if you can help steer the Mark Twain River Boat. You’ll get a certificate at the end of ride 
  • DL- Jedi Academy Training 
  • DCA- Animation Academy Artwork
  • DCA- Free piece of Chocolate at Ghirardelli – Pacific Wharf 
  • DCA- Free piece of Boudin bread at the end of Bread Museum – Pacific Wharf 
  • DCA – Redwood Creek Trail – Ask a Cast Member for a  free sticker 
  • DL & DCA – Take a snapshot of your ride photos, if you have the photopass package use the barcode number to retrieve the images OR just crop the image and keep it as a souvenir 
  • DCA- Buena Vista Street Newspaper, theme park newspaper called – Buena Vista Street Bugle
  • DL – Free Recipes! If you like something you ate in the parks go to City Hall and ask for a copy. They will give you any and all recipes for free. Just tell them the dish and the eatery.
  • DL – Go to the Magic Shop on Main Street and if the cast member is wearing a red vest you can ask them to see a magic trick.
    • Don’t forget to look up you’ll see cards on the ceiling of past magicians 
  • DL Toontown – have fun with all the interactions in toontown. Pull some doors, open some boxes, turn knobs you’ll hear, see, and smell different things.

PAID SOUVENIRS

  • DL- Autopia license $10
  • Disney Ears $35-$600
    • There are different types of Disney ears from simple to themed to designer to limited editions.
    • Tip: If you have the Disney Credit Card you can get a 10% discount off a $50 or more purchase OR shop online at shopdisney.com, some ears online are $27.99 compared to the in park prices of $34.99.
  • Coin Press Machines
    • Penny Press Machines – $1.01
      • Throughout both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
      • The machines take cash and card transactions.
  • 100th medallion machines = 1 for $6 (cash only) or 4 for $20 (cash or card)
    • There are limited edition medallion machines throughout the Disney property for the 100 Years Celebration. Locations:
    • Main Street, U.S.A. – Disneyland Park
      • Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse
      • Donald Duck & Daisy Duck
      • Pluto & Goofy
      • Chip ‘n’ Dale
    • Tomorrowland – Disneyland Park
      • Yoda
      • Luke Skywalker & Darth Vader
      • Han Solo & Chewbacca
      • Princess Leia & R2-D2
    • New Orleans Square – Disneyland Park
      • Madame Leota
      • Hitchhiking Ghosts
      • Pirate Skull
      • Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction Scene
    • Buena Vista Street – Disney California Adventure Park
      • Steamboat Willie
      • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
      • Minnie Mouse
      • Walt Disney & Mickey Mouse
    • Avengers Campus – Disney California Adventure Park
      • Groot
      • Black Panther
      • Captain America
      • Spider-Man
    • Pixar Pier – Disney California Adventure Park
      • Buzz Lightyear & Woody
      • Bing Bong, Joy & Sadness
      • Joe Gardner & Mr. Mittens
      • Miguel & Dante
    • World of Disney – Downtown Disney District
      • Lilo & Stitch
      • Mirabel & Bruno
      • Simba, Timon & Pumbaa
      • Tinker Bell, Peter Pan & Wendy
      • Anna & Elsa
      • Jasmine & Raja
      • Mulan & Mushu
      • Snow White
    • Disneyland Hotel
      • Dumbo & Timothy
      • Pinocchio & Jiminy
      • Baloo & Mowgli
      • Fantasia Mickey
    • Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
      • Lady & Tramp
      • Bambi & Thumper
      • Cogsworth & Lumiere
      • Sven & Olaf
    • Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
      • The Incredibles
      • Nemo & Dory
      • Pixar Ball & Pixar Lamp
      • WALL·E & EVE

Fuel Rod Charger – $30

Need your electronics charged? Disney offers the Fuel Rod for your phone or devices. WORTH IT! I’ve had mine for about 5 years now. It was a one time fee and I reuse my rod every trip. I just have to remember where I keep it. You would go to the stations around the parks and hotels and put your old rod in and a new charger spits out.

  • One fully charged portable battery
  • One 3.5” USB to micro-USB cable (for most Android devices)
  • One USB C Adapter (needed for some Android Devices)
  • One 3.5″ Apple Lightning to USB cable (for iPhone generations 5+)
  • Fuel Rod Locations are

Disneyland Park

  • Main Street Locker Rental & Storage
  • Pooh Corner
  • The Star Trader
  • “it’s a small world” Toy Shop
  • Westward Ho Trading Company
  • Hungry Bear Restaurant Restrooms
  • Little Green Men Store Command

California Adventure

  • Ramone’s House of Body Art
  • Gone Hollywood
  • Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff
  • Mortimer’s Market

Disneyland Resort Area

  • Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
  • Salt & Straw
  • Disneyland Hotel

Other Locations: 

  • Airport 
  • Local Malls 

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