Our family recently visited Disneyland and California Adventure over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing with you some of my favorite Disney tips. I am in no way a Disney expert; it has been a couple of years since our last visit. I will gladly refer you to my favorite Disney bloggers and Disney Instagramers for all the most up to date Disney information. My friend Janel who is local here in Sacramento shares great Disney information and photos on her blog http://www.janelberchielli.com/ and on her Instagram account @janelberchielli.
My other favorite Disney blogger is Casey at DisneylandDaily. I have used her website to research in the past about FastPass and this time about using MaxPass. Every time we go we use her order of ride suggestions to make the best use of our day in the parks and it works out great for us.
I love following these Disney Instagramers for tips on Disney Merchandise, where to eat and all things Disney. They are Annual Pass holders who are frequently in the parks so they know the most up to date information and they are a lot of fun to follow if you need some Disney joy @thedisneybae, @thedisneyduoo, @apdisneymomma, @today.we.disney.
My first tip if you are Disneybound is to RESEARCH!!!! Every time I go I am amazed at how many people have no idea about the Disney App, FastPass, the rider switch program and other Disney perks that are available to everyone. When we were on the shuttle on our way into the parks I was able to tell the lady next to me about the Disney App, she was so grateful. I find myself wanting to go up and down the lines and ask people if they know about FastPass or Mobile ordering when I see them standing in line for lunch and those famous Disney Pineapple Dole Whips.
The internet is such a great tool for travel, my favorite site for researching before a trip is Pinterest, you can find tips for just about anything on Pinterest. I also love reading reviews via Yelp or Google. You can also find helpful tips and information on social media. I love to look for groups on Facebook a helpful group I joined is Disneyland With Kids.
I am not going to explain in depth FastPass or MaxPass, because Casey does a great job at it here with her FastPass Guide. I will say this using the FREE FastPass system is a MUST why wait 45-60 minutes for a ride when you can wait 10 minutes. We saw this all day long at Disneyland and California Adventure; the lines for Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Star Tours, and even the Buzz Light Year ride were 45 minutes to 60 minutes. The lines for the new Guardians of the Galaxy and the Incredicoaster were a minimum of 60+ minutes. Using our FastPasses we never had to wait more than 20 minutes, most of the time it was a 5-10 minute wait. The new digital MaxPass is even easier than the regular FastPass system. You don’t have to go to a FastPass machine with the new MaxPass system, it is all right on your Disneyland App, there is a $10 fee per ticketed person, it is well worth it in my opinion. In purchasing MaxPass you also receive Disney PhotoPass access. With Disney PhotoPass you receive digital downloads of all your ride pictures, any other pictures taken by a Disney Photographer, and those Character meet and greets.
Here is the link for PhotoPass information. I love PhotoPass because it enables everyone in your group to be in the picture, also their camera and photographers take great quality pictures. They can also add what they call ‘Disney Magic’ to photos which are fun. On this trip we didn’t ask for any Disney Magic but here are some of our Disney PhotoPass pictures and one of our Disney magic pictures from our visit a couple of years ago with a visitor from Mary Poppins.
Download the Disney App before you go, familiarize yourself with the App before you are in the parks. With the Disneyland App, you can find Park hours, this is important to keep watch because on this trip we just took, in checking the park hours right before our trip, we noticed the day we had planned to go to California Adventure, the park was closing early for a private event. If we had not checked the hours days before our trip we would not have known that California Adventure was closing at 5 pm. We were able to plan ahead to switch our days around. So we started off at California Adventure on a Tuesday and made Thursday our Disneyland day.
On the Disneyland App you will also find the day’s showtimes for Parades and Shows, if you click on the Parade Name it will also tell you top viewing locations. When you click Today’s Showtimes you will also see a list of any attractions that are closed for refurbishment. This is helpful in planning when we visited two years ago, we also ended up switching the parks we planned on visiting around because one of our favorite rides was closed on one of the days but open on the other day.
New to me this time around was the Mobile Food Ordering option, AMAZING!!!! If you click on Order Food you will find specific locations where you can order your food ahead of time on the App. You select an arrival time window and place your order. It is super easy to use and such a time saver. We used Mobile Food Ordering to order the famous Pineapple Dole Whips, we literally finished riding Thunder Mountain, walked towards the Tiki Juice Bar and typed in our order for our Dole Whips while we walked, by the time we walked over our order was ready for pick up. You should have seen the line, it was crazy long. We also used the Mobile Food ordering app for lunch one day at the Hungry Bear Restaurant. We like eating at Hungry Bear because they have great kid’s meals. I should have taken pictures of our meals but we were hungry. My boys ordered chicken nuggets, fries, apple slices, and an apple juice. My husband ate a wrap and I had a chicken sandwich that was huge and had the most delicious honey mustard sauce. We placed our order on the App as we finished riding Splash Mountain, which is nearby, headed towards Hungry Bear Restaurant and we only had to wait about 10 minutes for our food, which is partly our fault because we accidentally checked the allergy button, which prepares your chicken in nut-free oil, you should have seen the regular line to order. So much easier to walk up to the Mobile Order sign and pick up your food. There is also a nice shady area to sit and enjoy your Dole Whips right at this corner.
You can use Mobile Food Ordering at the following locations in Disneyland:
Bengal Barbecue, Galactic Grill, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, Harbour Galley, Hungry Bear Restaurant, Jolly Holiday Bakery Café, Red Rose Taverne, and at the Tiki Juice Bar.
You can use Mobile Food Ordering at the following locations in California Adventure:
Award Weiners, Bayside Brews, Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream, Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, Corn Dog Castle, Flo’s V8 Café, Lucky Fortune Cookery, Pacific Wharf Café, Paradise Garden Grill, and at Smokejumpers Grill.
I hope you find these tips helpful in your Disneyland vacation planning. You can find more pictures and videos of our trip on my Instagram story over @blogaboutitall.
Here are some older posts I've shared in regards to Disneyland.
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