Disneyland Tips + Tricks - With Love Rochelle

Disneyland Tips + Tricks

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This year has gone by so quickly.  I'm freaking out that it's already December and feel like I was out of touch for so long due to our recent move to our new home.  It's no fun living out of boxes for almost 2 months while transitioning.  Everyone was so ready for a vacation.  We spent just about every week night and weekend packing, cleaning, organizing you know all the boring stuff.  My hubs and I talked it over and decided that we should take our annual trip to Disneyland a little early this year & that's exactly what we did!

Anytime we travel to Disneyland something just comes over me.  I'm not sure who's more excited ... me or the kids?  

Disneyland is always overwhelming or any vacation for that matter.  Over the last 11 years I've learned a few tips and tricks that I thought I could share with you to make your time less stressful, more organized, and stay on a budget but still enjoy Disneyland to the fullest.

Travel -

If you're traveling to Disney by plane I would suggest using the kids rolling cases as a way to carry snacks like the ones you'll be taking to the park, jackets because it usually gets cold on the plane, costumes and accessories you don't want to get broken, crayons, coloring books and electronics for the kids to stay busy.

If you don't need to drive to Disneyland there's no need to.  The parking lot is pretty pricey plus just about any hotel you stay at will have a fee to park your car.  You can take LYFT which saved us this past trip.  I'm always hesitant about taking the shuttles to and from the park for one they're always crowded and I don't like being on their schedule.  If you miss one you usually have to wait around for another 20-30 min.  Utilizing LYFT and the free rides I was able to easily request a LYFT on the app and within minutes they picked us up and drove us a few blocks to the hotel for $2 or less after the free ride credit.  A quick tip if you're traveling with more than 4 people you'll need 2 cars but if you request an XL on the app you can all ride in one car.  Snag $20 credit to use on your next rides (you can use just about anywhere).

In the park keep in mind that they do have a Baby Center where you can purchase formula, change diapers, microwave and private areas to nurse.  The prices are pretty on point with what you'll find at the stores.

Souvenirs -

If you're visiting the park for a special occasion ask for a pin!  Birthday's, 1st Visit, recently engaged or a special occasion in the park there's a button for it.  I just received one for Mickey's Birthday !  The best place to stop and ask is the City Hall.

For those of you who love the Jungle Cruise you can also ask for a map that has a vintage look.  

Another inexpensive souvenir are the pressed coins.  I'm a lover of just about every Disney character and it's always fun for the kids to put the coins in the machine and watch the coins come out!  I suggest grabbing a coin book to keep from loosing any.

Food + Drinks -

If there's only one thing you take away from this I highly suggest you bring your own food, drinks and snacks.  Believe me I'm all about the turkey legs, churros, fudge and endless treats you can get your hands on.  To save money I make a run to the Target store down the street to stock up on sodas, juice, fresh fruit, and anything I know the kids love.  

I don't do well standing in lines or 5 lines for that matter because one of the kids wants a turkey leg and the other wants pizza.  In the morning I recommend staying at a hotel that provides continental breakfast or a full on omelet station like Embassy Suites which I absolutely loved.  

Map out your day as best you can and enjoy one of the parades or shows in the park to set a time to snack and have the lunch you packed.  I bring in a cooler (similar to this one) and a camel pack that is full of water and can fit more drinks in it.  One suggestion is to bring your own zip locks or pick some up while your grabbing your snacks.  If you're driving up it's a lot easier to have all these prepared before hand.

Lines - 

Seriously, I never could figure out why people stand in the lines that are over 45 min long.  You can really take advantage of Disney's FASTPASS.  If you're at the park with a large group snag everyone's park tickets and have one person go grab a FASTPASS for a ride that has a long line like Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, and Haunted Mansion while the others are in line for another ride.  If the wait is more than 45 min for a ride in Disney jump over to California Adventures and snag another FASTPASS for a ride like Tower of Terror (while you can), Cars, or World of Color.  They're on 2 different FASTPASS systems you're only allowed to get a FASTPASS every 2 hours in each park.  It's like making a reservation for the ride while you ride other rides, snack or watch a parade!  Why wouldn't you?  And it's free when you purchase your park ticket!

One other trick is when you're at the park with a child who cannot ride a ride due to height restrictions one thing I've learned is about rider switch passes.  You simply go to the line attendant and ask for a rider switch pass which will allow you to get on the ride and once your done you switch and up to 3 people can hop right back onto the ride.  This one saved us so many times.

The popular rides like Peter Pan and Dumbo always seem to have long lines I would hit these up first thing when you get into the park.  Plus, it's nice because it's centrally located.

Shopping  - 

Be sure to check the bottom of your receipts at some of the eateries.  I'm all about the caffeine life and almost every time I grab a coffee at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe I usually get a 20% coupon at the bottom of my receipt that you have to use the same day before 12 p.m.

The park stays open for one hour after the park closes so if your looking to get your shopping done this would be the time.

I prefer to get my shopping done in Downtown Disney after I'm done with the park.  I always allow 1 day before going to the park to relax and prep for Disney and then a day after to do shopping and pack up.

Tickets -

AAA members get discounts as well as waived parking.  My nephew is in the Navy so we get the awesome discounts for Military.

Buy your tickets online.  It's so much easier then purchasing them there.  The lines can be long and everyone is already anxious to get in the park.  You simply print your tickets and walk straight to the entrance of the park.

Princess Costumes -

Bring your own from home, seriously.  My daughter has about 20 that I've either purchased on clearance after Halloween or she's received as gifts.  Don't overpay in the park the prices are outrageous.  The snow white dress she wore to the park had snags and a few rips after.  You can go to the toy aisle in any store or even order online at Disney prior to your vacation.

I've purchased the autograph books there at the park and don't fill them up usually so I start from where we left off and just write the date of our trip and go from there.  You can always go to the dollar store in your area and pick up a note pad and paper in Disney theme and save some money.

Keep in mind when your taking pictures the photographer will use your phone to take a snap for you.

During the Holidays which is my favorite time of the year you'll find all the Characters in Christmas Attire and you can even capture a picture with Santa.  I stopped going to the mall years ago and just get a picture with Santa while he's in Disneyland.  I use these photos for my Christmas cards every year.  

Do You have any tips or tricks to Disneyland or traveling in general ?  I'm always about learning new hacks !


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  1. Great tips and beautiful family! We are headed to Disney at Christmas!

    1. The vibe is so lovely. It's my favorite time of the year there. Have a blast!

  2. What great tips!! I agree about bringing your own food. So much easier (and cheaper!). Your kids are so adorable! Especially your daughter in her costume :)

    1. You save money and time. Thank you for the love.

  3. Fantastic tips! Disneyland is my favorite place - it's where I got engaged!!


    Christina | Fashion & Frills

  4. This looks like so much fun! Thanks for the tips! I've been to disney world a million times but never disneyland and am planning to go next year!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

  5. I love the travel suitcases. Disney is one of my places!

    Celeste / ohhelloceleste.com

  6. Aw how fun! Love your photos! xo, sharon


  7. All great tips! We went 2 years ago,best tip IS take your own snacks and drinks. Lol

    1. Sweet! So glad you love the tips. Oh yes, snacks and drinks for sure and then a dinner at the park. It's so worth it.

  8. What a gorgeous family! From your photos I can tell you had a fabulous trip to Disneyland. Your travel tips are excellent. One of your best tips is skipping the ticket counters at the park entrance by purchasing your tickets online! Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Yes, it saves time. The last time we went the lines were so long at the ticket counter.


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