Experiencing more at Disneyland is one of the best ways to have the most magical vacation. Many guests want to know all the best tips and trips for using your time wisely and we have our best strategies to share with you!
Discount Disneyland Tickets
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Buying tickets from Get Away Today is easy and convenient since all their tickets are sent electronically. You can take their vouchers and head straight to the gate without needing to wait in any ticket booth lines. They also offer layaway plans so you can pay off your vacation over time.
You can read my review on my personal experiences booking through Get Away Today and how much you can save here!
1. Arrive Early
More important than what date to visit Disneyland is what time to visit Disneyland. Disneyland opens at 8am most days, you should be at the gate at least 30 minutes prior to open- if not an hour early on busier days of the year. This will allow you to be at the parks for ‘rope drop' where you can be first in line at the ‘ropes' blocking off each entrance to the lands. If you are present for rope drop, you can walk right on your favorite rides.
The best way to get a lot done in Disneyland is to get there in the morning EARLY and power through as many attractions as you can. Most times you will be able to get more attractions done the first two hours of the morning than you will the rest of the day combined. You can easily ride everything popular in the mornings and spend the afternoons enjoying entertainment and dining.
That is the secret…..so follow it and check the operating hours of Disneyland on the official Disneyland website. And don't forget to follow our touring guide for Disneyland and California Adventure to hit the rides in the best order to save you the most time!
2. Enjoy Magic Morning at Disneyland
If you have a three day or more park ticket, ticket with “bonus” status, or CityPass Ticket, you also get a Magic Morning ticket that allows for you to enter Disneyland park an hour before it’s official opening.
Magic Morning is available on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.
The attractions included in Magic Morning are mostly in Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. Magic Morning is the perfect time to knock out all of Fantasyland or to ride Space Mountain or Star Tours many times. I have experienced times in the past where I have just stayed on attractions during Magic Morning more than five times in a row.
Be sure to show up to the entrance to Disneyland about an hour and fifteen minutes before the official opening time.
If you are a Disneyland Resort hotel guest then you also have access to Disney California Adventure an hour before opening on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The other secret is that if you book through a Disneyland certified travel agent you will have access to lots of special perks including Magic Morning and more… Request a quote from our recommended travel agent.
Don't forget to check out our touring plan strategy for Magic Mornings and Early Magic Hour.
3. Use FastPass and MaxPass
The Disneyland FastPass system is essentially a way to reserve access to shorter lines for Disneyland's most popular attractions. This service is free of charge and only requires your ticket. FastPass allows you to reserve a digital place in line and then gives you a return time to experience popular attractions. Attractions with FastPass have distribution machines outside the ride so you just have to grab your time at each ride and you can stack them throughout the day! There is a limit as to when you book a new FastPass- make sure to read your reminder slip to see when you can book your next one.
I have quite a few Disneyland FastPass tips that will help you to maximize your time while avoiding as many lines in the park as possible. Read our full Disneyland FastPass guide>
The real game changer is MaxPass which is a paid service that allows you to make your FastPass reservations from your Disneyland app. This is a huge time saver for a few reasons! You can book your first FastPass before the park even opens if you arrive to make rope drop, you can score cancelled FastPass reservations, and you can continue to still make reservations for the evening if you take a midday break. Read our full Disneyland MaxPass guide>
4. Use SingleRider Pass
What is SingleRider?
Single Rider is basically a way to jump the lines of the best attractions at Disneyland. Your party is split up and put into individual ride cars for the attraction. This is the only downside to using the SingleRider line.
Why was it created?
Disney created the single rider line in order to make sure that every time they sent a ride vehicle into an attraction, it would have every seat filled. Because people often go to Disneyland in large groups, the numbers don’t always match the amount of people that fit into a ride vehicle. Therefore, Disneyland would fill up the ride vehicles with extra people or single riders that have are in the single rider line.
How to Use it?
Meet the Cast Member at the front of the attraction entrance and request to use SingleRider for the attraction. They will more times than not walk you over to the exit of the attraction or gesture to the SingleRider entrance. They’ll give each person a card then you walk to be seated on the attraction.
SingleRider is offered here:
- Splash Mountain (Suggested-almost walk on)
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye (Suggested-Walk On)
Disney California Adventure
- Incredicoaster (Suggested-Sometimes the wait is long. If the wait for the attraction is under 15 minutes, just get in line.)
- Grizzly River Run (Highly Suggested On a Hot Day- The line for this attraction is very long on hot summer days.)
- Goofy’s Sky School (Regular line isn’t usually that long.)
- Radiator Springs Racers (Highly Suggested-This Line is SOOOO Long Without a Single Rider pass. Even with a Single Rider pass it can take upwards of forty minutes.)
5. Use Mobile Ordering
Disneyland offers mobile ordering for many restaurant locations in both Disneyland and California Adventure. It's amazing how much time this service can save you! I've used it often on busy days and would bypass a giant line and get my food within a few minutes. Read our full guide to mobile ordering at Disneyland to find out how to utilize this great time saver.
6. Read Disneyland Books to Make the Lines Go By Faster
While you are waiting in line at Disneyland often times people need things to do. Especially if you hit a long long line, which you undoubtedly will.
My personal favorite book is Steven Barrett's Guide to Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys. Inside of the book you will find information on the camouflaged images of the Mickey Mouse the Walt Disney Imagineers hid throughout Disneyland as they were building it. (Great read!) Purchase it here.
Also checkout Lots to Do in Line: Disneyland Edition, which provides activities for everyone to do in each specific line. The goal of the book is to keep everyone in the group interested while pointing our the specific details of the different parts of the park. Purchase the book here.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention my own book: Disneyland Secrets: A Grand Tour of Disneyland's Hidden Details. The book features stories and secrets from each land of the resort. You will learn fun facts and history that will help you appreciate the parks even more and enhance the magic. You can find the book on Amazon. Purchase the book here>
(If you are Disney fan and want more recommendations, check out my full Disney fan library book list.)
7. Download Disneyland Apps to Avoid Lines
Disneyland has their own mobile app that provides wait times, browse park maps, and locate characters in the park.
This app is now a necessary addition for planning out your day in the park. It makes it easy to check the official wait time for an attraction all the way across the park from you. This is also the most accurate source for information on where to find characters at Disneyland.
You can also purchase your tickets through the app, however they are at full price. Click here to see our Disneyland ticket discounts>
Disney also has its own app purely for Disney trivia, games, and ways to interact in lines! The Disney Parks Play App is a great way to entertain the whole family as many of the games include not just the phone user but your entire group.
8. Bring MickeyVisit.com On Your Trip
Did you know that you can access this site during your Disneyland vacation? MickeyVisit.com works on all smartphones (iPhone, Blackberry, Android…) making it easy for you to access information about events happening at the parks, dining reviews, and tips about touring the parks.
The site works wonderfully if you can access the internet on your phone. Be sure to use MickeyVisit.com in the parks.
Perhaps the easiest way to bring us on along on your trip is to add us to your phone's home screen.
9. Use Official Disneyland Social Accounts
Also be sure to checkout the official Disneyland and Disney California Adventure social accounts designed to help guests in the parks. These accounts give out information and are a direct link to Disneyland Guest Relations. Ask them a question and they will quickly respond.
These social accounts can be very useful–find more information regarding them here.
10. Splurge for the VIP Disneyland Tour
The Disneyland VIP Tour Guides are an expensive service that completely changes the Disneyland planning process for the better. It relieves all stress by employing a Disneyland Cast Member to help you plan your vacation and escort you throughout your time at the resort. If you think that you would be interested in using the Disneyland VIP Tour Guide, see our full review on what to expect and what they include.
Even if you don't plan on using the VIP Tour Guides, it is pretty fun to dream about the amazing service they provide.
More Disneyland Tips and Information
To read more about Disneyland and keep planning your vacation, subscribe to our newsletter or use the links below.
- Finding Discount Disneyland Tickets is Easy Now!
- Best Disneyland Resort Restaurants Full Reviews
- Disneyland FastPass Tips and Tricks
- Picking the Right Hotel For You at Disneyland
- Finding the Best Disneyland Souvenirs. Pins. Hats. More.