The dates have been set and the travel plans are in place. Disneyland Tips For First Timers Part Two. This round of ten tips include more ‘in the park’ tips.
Did you read Disneyland Tips For First Timers Part One? The ten tips I shared in that post were focused on planning your first Disneyland adventure. Below are my top ten tidbits of information for planning your days at Disneyland and California Adventure.
Disneyland Tips For First Timers
Arrive at Disneyland 15-30 minutes before the gates open. If your tickets include a Magic Morning be sure to take advantage of that time at the park. There are no fastpasses issued during this time but you should be able to get through at least a couple rides before the masses enter the park. (Our record is nine rides in the first hour at California Adventure.)
Take advantage of fastpasses. Anyone with a park ticket can get a fastpass. Essentially a fastpass is a ticket that gives you an hour window to return to the ride without the wait. Several rides in both Disneyland and California Adventure offer fastpasses. Most fastpass ticket distribution machines are near the entry of each ride. (Radiator Springs Racers and World of Color are not.) Check your app for the list of FP rides.
The Disneyland Parade is a MUST for first timers. Arrive at least 45 minutes before the parade starts to hold a spot along the route. Take a blanket or beach towel to sit on and to help hold your space. If you visit before June 18, 2017 you will have a chance to see the Electrical Parade; prime spots for this classic parade begin to fill up an hour and a half before the start time. California Adventure features the Pixar Play Parade. If you are a fan of Woody & Buzz you will not want to miss it. (Many mouseketeers will tell you that the fireworks above the castle are also a must.)
There are Disney photographers throughout both parks. The first time you have your picture taken you will receive a photopass card. Hang on to it. Photographers will scan your photo pass every time you have your picture taken. Follow the instructions on the app (or website) to view and purchase your memories in photograph form.
Get in line early to meet your favorite Disney characters. The app (and park map) will note the times and places. Show up before the characters to ensure you see them and to shorten the wait. Especially the popular ones like Mickey & Minnie and the superheroes at California Adventure.
Disneyland Tips For First Timers
There are plenty of shows to be seen at both Disneyland and California Adventure. Plan your day so that you enjoy a show during the hottest part of the day. The bonus to taking in the shows is the break that your feet will receive.
My personal favorite shows are Mickey’s Magical Map at Disneyland and Disney Junior – Live on Stage at California Adventure.
California Adventure’s Redwood Creek Challenge is a great place to ‘take a break’. It is the best place to expend energy after waiting in long lines. Keep an eye out for Chip ‘n Dale! They make frequent visits throughout the day. When the rides are at their longest mid-day there is plenty of shade to take advantage of along the challenge course.
Almost every time you exit a ride you will strategically exit through a gift shop. Save the souvenir shopping until the end of your visit. Not only will this give you an opportunity to see it all then buy your favorites, it will also keep you moving. (Purchase smaller Disney trinkets before you go to use as less expensive ‘surprises’ for little ones throughout the day. That will help prolong the real shopping.)
During your visit to the happiest place on earth there is sure to be an attraction or two that “goes down”. Do not cross that ride off your list just yet! Rides are often up and running within 45 minutes to two hours. Check the app or stop back by later in the day.
Most rides have Stroller Passes for riders who sit out to hang out with young children. Request the pass from the first gate attendant. Enjoy the ride then handover the pass and take your turn with the little ones. The stroller pass is good for two people so that you do not have to ride alone AND you get to use the fastpass lane.
There you have my top ten tips for your first visit to Disneyland. Be sure to stop by guest services during your time at the happiest place on earth to receive a free “1st visit” button. I hope you have the most magical time with my favorite characters!
My own Prince Charming helped me create my list of 20 (total) Disneyland Tips For First Timers. We did not add his #1 tip above because we both knew that you would already know it. A reminder from my hubs: Disneyland and California Adventure will not feel like the happiest place on earth if you are wearing brand new shoes. My hubs also has opinions on the best time of the year to visit the happiest place on earth… stay tuned for that list!