Going to Disneyland is always a blast. But, it’s even better when you know what you are doing.   So here are a few things I have learned over the years that, for me at least, help make a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth as good as possible.

Hopefully, these can help you on your next trip to Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure:

1) Make Dining Reservations

Blue Bayou at Disneyland (Disneyland.com)
Blue Bayou at Disneyland (Disneyland.com)

The worst feeling in the world is waiting to eat at Disneyland. Think of all the time on attractions you are losing out on because your stomach is growling and there is a 45 minute wait at the Carnation Cafe!

You can avoid this by making restaurant reservations in advance. You can make them at spots all over both parks and the reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance.

2) Use the Monorail to move between parks

(Disneyland.com)
(Disneyland.com)

The Monorail is not the most exciting “ride,” but it gives you a cool alternative to walking from Disneyland to California Adventure. If you are inside Disneyland, hop on the Monorail near Autopia and ride it to Downtown Disney.

There is an entrance to California Adventure that can be found by walking through The Grand Californian Hotel.

3) Stay Off Property

(Yelp)
(Yelp)

If you are spending a couple days in Anaheim and would rather not take out a second mortgage to stay at one of the Disneyland properties, stay at one of the many around the park.

There are plenty of places to stay within walking distance (some even have shuttles) that go for far less than the official Disneyland hotels.

4) Park Hopping? Do Disneyland in the morning and California  Adventure in the afternoon.

disney-california-adventure-gallery00
(Disneyland.com)

Lines and crowds are almost always shorter in the morning at Disneyland than they are in the afternoon and into the night.

California Adventure has a little more space and, usually, a little less in the way of visitors all day. Get the most out of your Park Hopper pass by doing Disneyland early, then California Adventure, then back to Disneyland if you want to see the parade and fireworks – or you want in on the shorter lines for the rides while everyone else watches.

5) Get your Space Mountain Fast Pass when you get there

Space Mountain

This one always has long lines.  If you want to make sure you get your ride on one of the most popular rides in the park, get your Fast Pass as soon as possible.

6) Go When it Rains

(Reddit)
(Reddit)

Sure, you have to wear a parka and some rides shutdown, but Disneyland can turn into a virtual ghost town when it rains.  If you can handle getting a little wet, you will benefit by not having to wait in long lines.

7) Get a Locker

There are lockers inside both parks as well as outside the parks
There are lockers inside both parks as well as outside the parks

Speaking of weather, conditions can change quick in Anaheim. It might be hot during the day, only to cool down quite a bit at night. Because of this, you will probably want to bring extra clothes. Don’t lug them around with you all day, get a locker.

You can also put your sunscreen, purse, and the things you buy in there – yes, you are going to buy things – rather than worrying about leaving them on a ride the rest of the day.

8) Wear comfortable shoes

(Disneyland.com)
(Disneyland.com)

This is common sense to most – but not everyone.  If you are going with a group, demand everyone wear good walking shoes.  One group member’s blisters will end up affecting everyone’s day, so forget about being fashionable and go 100% for comfort.

9) Download The Disneyland App

Or you could just run back and forth to this sign all day
Or you could just run back and forth to this sign all day

There is no need to guess how long the wait for a ride is as Disneyland’s app can give you that info no matter where you are in the park. You can also locate bathrooms, food, shops, and more.

10) Don’t Go When it’s Busy

That seems a tad bit crowded
That seems a tad bit crowded

This seems like a no brainer for SoCal residents – but, if you are not sure and want to check on a certain day, this website does a great job of predicting crowd size.

11) External Charger

(Amazon)
(Amazon)

You know you are going to be doing a ton of Instagramming, catching Pokemon, and, should you go on a Sunday, checking the NFL scores while you are there, so bring an external battery charger (like this one) with you.

There’s no need to look for a plug or pay to put your phone in a charger locker when the battery runs down – you can charge it up no matter where you are – even in line for Star Tours.

12) Get beer at Sonoma Terrace

sonoma-terrace
(MiceChat)

Gone are the days of the Disney campus being dry – thank God – and Disney’s California Adventure has quite a few places to grab a drink, wine, or a craft brew.

None have better choices for beer than Sonoma Terrace, located next the the Wine Country Trattoria, which also usually has pretty small lines and plenty of shade to spend a few minutes chillin’ out and sippin’ your brew.

Now these are just a few tips. Of course there are many, many more.  You probably have some of your own awesome Disneyland advice.  We would love to hear it!  So leave them in the comments.

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