Day Trip Tips for Disneyland

Yesterday I wrote about how much fun you can have at Disneyland with a Toddler. Today I’m sharing tips on how to make your trip to Disneyland more fun and affordable. With as many times as we have been to Disneyland we ought to know at least one or two tips.

There are two options to get to Disneyland depending on if you park at the Mickey and Friends Parking Shuttle or at a local hotel. Walk or take a shuttle. Make sure if you walk you have a general idea where you are going, there are often signs, but it can get confusing. Most days we take walk, it is about a .75-mile walk from the parking structure to the park, and with the easy of not having to fold up the stroller and unpack everything it is the easiest choice for us.

Tip 1: If it isn’t crowded or you are willing to wait a little extra you can put your stroller unfolded in the handicap car of the shuttle. Handicap people take priority, but with low crowd levels it is a great way to get to the park.


Once you arrive at the shuttle drop off point you will go through security. They are looking for weapons, glass, or other dangerous objects. They are not worried if you have water or food. Tip 2: Bring water and snacks. Water in the park is expensive, and although they will provide free water often times you will receive a small cup that will not be enough to quench your thirst.

I have heard the best Fast Pass to get when you arrive is for either World of Color (CA Adventure) Fantasmic (Disneyland) or a really popular ride (Space Mountain, Cars, Indiana Jones). We have never actually stayed the entire day with kids so I’m no expert in this.


Another good tip that we just recently learned is if you take the Monorail (Tomorrowland) to the Downtown Disney entrance you will be dropped off by a few good restaurants and if you walk back toward the park you can see all of the options available in Downtown Disney without having to walk both directions.

A good place to relax in Disneyland is to take the monorail or the Mark Twain River boat (currently closed for the construction of Star Wars Land). Both places provide containment and a place to sit. If you plan on eating dinner in Downtown Disney you can take the monorail from Tomorrowland to the end of Downtown Disney. This way you can walk back toward Disneyland as you look for something to eat or grab something at that end of Downtown Disney and then take the monorail back. My favorite place to eat is Earl of Sandwich, Rainforest Cafe is another good option both of these are located close to the monorail stop.


My favorite lunch and sometime dinner is to get a chimichanga from the cart at the end of Main Street, Disneyland. They also sell turkey legs, drinks and popcorn. I’m also a big fan of Disneyland’s corndog, the corndog shop is located right outside the Plaza Inn, near the Baby Care Center. They are so yummy and the price of less than $8 for a full meal in Disneyland is pretty awesome. Stands are located at various places throughout the park, but this is the one I go to most often since it is centrally located.

A good place to eat dinner is one of the many restaurants in Downtown Disney or one of the sit down restaurants on Main Street or in California Adventure. When we go for dinner we often eat in California Adventure at the Boudin Bakery, they also have a location at the end of Downtown Disney right near the security checkpoint, I love their clam chowder in a bread bowl.

Ask me anything you want to know about Disneyland if I don’t know the answer I can probably find it out.

Tomorrow I will be sharing about Breakfast with the Characters at Plaza Inn.

14 comments on “Day Trip Tips for Disneyland

  1. Thanks for sharing your tips for Disneyland…I am sure they would also be useful for Disney World in Florida!! I went – for the first time – in 2003 for my oldest grandson’s 4th birthday (and he will be 16 in November!!)! When my kids were growing up, we were a blended family of sorts, with two working adults; but my husband is NOT a fan of theme parks; so our vacations would be parks and nature and that sort of thing – which was great; but not always the best for kids…I am still hoping to get to Disney World again – maybe with some of my girl friends or with the rest of the grandkids!!

  2. Maybe. I haven’t been to Disney World, but I’m sure at least a few of these tips would transfer over to that park as well. I hope to go to Disney World again soon. My husband loves roller coasters so he loves theme parks, but we also like the outdoors so I guess I get a good mix of both.

  3. This is GREAT.. Believe it or not, someday I really want to go even though my kids are all teens and my oldest is 22 … I am going to print this one up – just in case I have the chance to go someday 🙂 thank you for sharing this 🙂 lovely blog ….

    • I believe it. It is something fun for all ages. And no one does it quite like Disney. I hope you get the chance to go with your family soon. And as an added bonus everyone will be tall enough to do all the rides. 🙂

  4. This is such a great and useful post! I have never been to Disneyland… my girlie went there as a senior in highschool when she went to Nationals in her DECA club and she now insists that we go back as a family – even though she is all grown up! I will refer back to this post if/when we make actual plans!

    • It is a place for families of all ages. I hope you get the chance to go. I’m glad you got some good info. My husband and I actually went there on our honeymoon. And it is a common honeymoon destination. 🙂

    • There are different levels of passes. Premium Passes, give you free parking (which is awesome, $17) and there are no black out dates. Also if you live in Southern California you can pay through out the year instead of all at once. If you go once a month you will get your moneys worth. Actually less than that, but it is a good way to put it in perspective. The lower priced options include black out dates (at least one day each weekend and holiday season, I think there are four different options for park passes) and parking isn’t free. Kids under 3 are free so that is nice too. There isn’t really a way to get discounts. The military discount is what we used, but it was actually less of a discount than what you get if you resign up at the end of the year. We can talk more about it tomorrow or Thursday. 🙂

  5. I love Disney–and the fast passes are amazing. If you have older kids, take a deck of UNO cards or something so that you can play games in the long lines if you happen to miss out on the fast pass!

  6. The thing I have seen most people play is Heads Up. The game Ellen created and has on her show. We have actually started playing with random strangers in line one time to pass the time. It is really fun and easy to play while moving through the line. I almost didn’t want the waiting to end. lol

  7. When are the slow times when the park is not crowded. Some say before or after thanksgiving is the best time to travel.

    • I think in the past holidays used to be down times, but in the past few years holidays are the busiest time to be at the park. I think the best time to go is January – March, before Spring break starts. The park has shorter hours than the summer, but the fireworks are earlier because it darks sooner and there are less crowds and the weather is generally cooler so you can have a better day. We spent a few days from opening to closing this past winter with two kids and it was always a great day. 🙂

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