What are some of the best Disneyland hacks?
Good news! You’ve come to the right place! I’ve been to Disneyland more times than there are days in this month and am excited to share with you some of my personal favorite hacks (and general tips) about Disneyland.
The Top 30 Disneyland Hacks from Disney Adulting
Plan to arrive before opening and take advantage of the first 3 hours of the day when the park is the least crowded.
Don’t bring a selfie stick. They are not welcome (safety hazard) at Disneyland, and you look like a giant dork carrying one around anyway.
Get a frosty adult beverage. Disneyland is dry with the exception of gaining access to Club 33. California Adventure has drinks or you can sneak out to Downtown Disney or The Grand Californian for a drink and hop back into the park.
Set your meetup point. The most common is to plan to meet at the Walt statues in each park just in case phone batteries die and you get separated from your party.
Avoid the crowd strategically. Check for days that are Annual Passport blackout days with an early opening that are not traditionally high-volume crowd days on a crowd counter.
Watch parades from the beginning of the route so that you can finish early and get a spot in a ride queue before the rest of the parade crowd has dispersed.
Unless there’s a significant gap in the left lane, always take the RIGHT queue whenever they split. Because most queues circle clockwise, the right lane is shorter.
Use MaxPass to snag all your FastPasses without running around the park. Set an alarm for when the next FastPass you want is available and avoid those long queues.
Take advantage of single rider lines at Disneyland for Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Matterhorn, and Splash Mountain.
Take advantage of single rider lines at Disney California Adventure, they’re at Goofy’s Sky School, Grizzly River Run, and Radiator Springs Racers.
Use the official Disneyland app. It’s the best Disneyland hack on the entire list.
Earn a high score on Buzz Lightyear. We reveal all the secrets in each room here.
Eat during off hours so that you can take advantage of downtime at more popular attractions during peak dining times.
Don’t want to get wet on the water rides? Buy a poncho on Amazon before you go to the parks. Not only are they expensive in-park, but they aren’t high enough quality to keep your butt dry.
Use your time in the queues wisely by planning your next move, when you would like to eat, or any shows you think you’d like to catch that day.
Get help planning a time-saving itinerary with RideMax. This online tool helps craft your day by putting in the attractions you want to see and populating the best agenda.
Never wait more than 10-15 minutes for a parade or spectacular (fireworks, Fantasmic or World of Color). As soon as the show begins you can easily find a vantage point to enjoy it from without sitting on the curb for hours beforehand. You can also take advantage of the dining packages for VIP seating.
Never, never, never, ever buy a ticket from a non-Disney source. It’s not worth the risk on this “Disneyland hack” which is really just a fake.
Ask a Cast Member to have souvenirs and merchandise sent to the front of the park for you to pick-up (or your Disney hotel room) when you leave at the end of the day.
Make a cast member’s day; they’re hard-working, committed and truly want you to have a good time. They deal with a lot of grumpy, weary travelers and it’s fun to give them a genuine smile.
As long as you bring back the remnants of a popped balloon, you can pick out a new inflatable for free.
The mailboxes throughout the parks are real; you can use them to mail postcards back home to friends and family.
If someone in your party has an Annual Pass, take advantage of the annual passholder discount by having them pay for your meals and merchandise. Just don’t forget to reimburse them for paying, because that would be a jerk move.
The Grand Californian Hotel is exit-only and you cannot re-enter there unless you’re a hotel guest or a Club 33 member.
Want the front row or back row? You can ask for seating in whatever row you want as long as you are willing to wait for it.
The stores close an hour after the parks do, put off your shopping time until the end of your day to use your time better.
Never pay for bottled water. Any restaurant with a soda fountain will give you free ice water if you ask for one.
Get a Happy Birthday pin if your trip is “close-enough” to your birthday. You’ll get smiles and Happy Birthdays, and sometimes a Cast Member will do something nice for you.
Get a mint julep soda from the back of French Market, except during the lunch rush between 11:30 am and 2:00 pm. Otherwise, it’s usually a walk-up and order window.
If you have good connections to a member: Go get buzzed at Club 33. Check out what that experience is like in our Club 33 insider review.
What is your favorite Disneyland hack?
Leave a comment below and let us know.