13 Tips for Making the Most of Your Time at Disneyland® Resort

Grab your Mickey Mouse ears and prepare for a magical vacation at Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim, California


It’s no shocker that there’s a lot to do, see, and experience at Disneyland® Resort. However, there’s only so much time, funds, and energy to go around.  As a Disneyland® Good Neighbor Hotel, we want to help you make the most of your trip. We get a lot of questions from guests about how to save money, save time, and maximize their Disneyland® Park experience. We’re always happy to share our local insights and knowledge. If you’re planning an epic Disneyland® Resort vacation, check out some of our best tips and tricks to help make the most of your time here in Anaheim.

1. Buy tickets online or through a reputable seller. This will help you avoid starting your day waiting in lines. As a Disneyland® Good Neighbor Hotel, you can buy tickets right through our hotel to start your magical vacation.Download our Disneyland Packing Checklist Now

2. Go during non-peak times for smaller crowds. While any time is a good time to go to Disneyland® Resort, it’s no shock that some times are going to be busier than others. If you’re looking to avoid crowds and lines, you should expect holidays, spring break times, weekends, and summers to be a little busier.

3. Stay at a hotel near Disneyland® Resort. You’ve only got so much time — why waste it driving and parking? Plus, after a long day, you’re going to be tired and not want to deal with traffic. Staying at an offsite, but conveniently located hotel nearby allows you to make the most of every moment. Not to toot our own horn, but Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel is just up the road from Disneyland® Park and we provide a free shuttle, our Dream Machine Shuttle, back and forth to Disneyland® Park and Disney’s California Adventure® Park — easy, convenient, and free!

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4. Know rules ahead of time. Take some time to review rules and FAQs before heading to Disneyland® Resort, especially if you’re a first-time vacationer. The last thing you want is to get stopped by security or not know what to do in an emergency situation. Knowing exactly what you can and can’t bring into the park and other important information will help make your trip go smoothly from beginning to end.

5. Have a plan. While it’s good to go with the flow, you don’t want to go into a place like Disneyland® Resort without at least somewhat of a game plan. There’s a new reservation system in place and all Guests ages 3 and up will need both a theme park reservation and a valid admission ticket, for the same park on the same date. Do some research ahead of time to pick your must-see attractions, characters, and dining options. That way, you won’t miss out on anything during your trip. Our Disney Desk is a great resource for advice and insider tips when trying to plan out your day.

6. Use Disney Genie and Disney Genie+ services. There’s a new planning tool in town, and it’s a great way to make the most of your Disneyland® Resort vacation! Learn more about the complimentary Disney Genie service or pay for the Disney Genie+ service to enjoy Lightning Lane entry arrival windows for a different set of select attractions all day long!

7. Take advantage of single rider lines. If you’re cool with splitting up your group, single rider lines can save you time at multiple attractions at Disneyland® Resort. They’ll split you up to fill empty seats on attractions. It’s not uncommon to save an hour or more on the posted standby time.

8. Buy souvenirs online or outside of the park. Sure, you may want something fun to remember your vacation, but there’s plenty of great merchandise online and outside of the park. By not buying your mementos at the parks, you’ll avoid lines and likely pay less for your purchase, so it’s a win-win. Buying ahead of time is also a great way to get your group pumped for the trip, buying after your vacation is an awesome way to relive the best memories and keep the magic going once you’re home!

9. Pack snacks. Lines for food can get long, which can take a toll on the time you have for other Disney fun. Pick a few of your “must-visit” dining options and save time and money by packing a few go-to snacks in your bag for the rest of the time. High-protein foods and things that are easy to eat on the go or while waiting in line are ideal, like beef jerky, nuts, and crackers are all great options.

10. Search for Hidden Mickeys. Disney artists and creatives are known for hiding Mickeys — generally represented as a silhouette of his face and round ears — in and around the Disney properties. You may find them on signs, floors, in the landscaping, and more. Make your Disney adventure even more fun by searching for Hidden Mickeys while you’re exploring the area. You may even want to turn it into a competition and see who can find the most by the end of your vacation.

11. Eat at non-peak times. As noted above, food lines can get long, especially at peak lunch and dinner times. Avoid the rush by planning your vacation meal schedule during less busy times. You can also grab meals on the go, such as an Angry Dog, and keep on walking or wait in line while you eat.

12. Plan games for waiting in line. Wait times are part of the package when you’re planning your vacation to Disneyland® Park, so why not make them as fun as possible? Games can help to pass the time. We recommend one of the numerous fun Disney-themed games and apps for your smartphone that can help keep that magical feeling going. Otherwise, cards and small toys are great for keeping kids occupied in between attractions.

13. Consider using the Disney PhotoPass. Of course, you’re going to want great photos to document your trip to “The Happiest Place on Earth.” However, big cameras can get heavy and are at risk of getting damaged in the crowds. With that in mind, we recommend springing for the Disney PhotoPass. Photographers are all over the park, including the rides and attractions, and they can take pictures for you. All the pictures are in one place and everyone can be in the pictures together. It’s a win-win!

The magic begins here!

We hope these tips help you make the most of your magical Disneyland® Resort vacation. We’d love to help you keep the magic going after a long day of Disney fun! At Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel, our guests have access to:

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