So, you want to go to Disneyland. I don't blame you, it is absolutely magical! Especially as an adult. No meltdowns, you can do (mostly) what ever you want. No one is going to tell you no more treats. It is pretty great! All that said, there are a few tips and tricks we learned along the way that can help make your grownup Disneyland trip extra special and stress free.
1. Go on a week day. If you are able to take your vacation during the week I highly recommend it. Disneyland is always crowded, but going during "off season" and on a week day can save you countless hours standing in long lines. According to Disneyland's website, the best time to go is mid-April through mid-May (except during spring break) and mid-September through mid-November (except during Halloween time).
2. Spend the extra $15 to upgrade your ticket to a MaxPass. Not only does it gives you access to fast passes for rides, a photo pass is also included (see the next tip for more info). Because we visited the park on a Monday during off season, lines were already pretty short (15 minutes max) BUT having a MaxPass made wait times even shorter.
3. Leave the camera at home & utilize the photo pass. Unless you are traveling with your kiddos, I PROMISE you will get more than enough photos for your Instagram with the photo pass. Yes, I said it. I am a photographer and I said leave the camera home. Why? You are missing out on the magic. Put the camera down and just watch the firework show - no one wants to watch a crappy video of it. All of the "iconic" Disneyland photo spots have multiple photographers working to capture your family memories, and they keep people from stepping into your photo. The best part? Your digital photos are included in the price of your MaxPass. Simply have the photographers scan the barcode in your app and you will have access to every photo they take. Every photo in this post was taken by a Disneyland photographer!
4. Want to try every Disneyland treat? Go for it! But save space by splitting your food! Not only did we want to sample all of the classic desserts, Disneyland also had all of their Halloween themed goodies out. We were able to have a little bit of everything by sharing!
5. One word, Advil. And if you leave yours at the hotel because you think the two you popped in the morning would be enough you can stop by any first aid booth to get some.
6. Save money by staying outside the park. There are TONS of hotels within walking distance of the park that are a fraction of the Disneyland Resort price. Try to find a hotel that offers free parking & breakfast!
7. Dine in Downtown Disney! We picked up breakfast and lunch inside the park but headed out for dinner. Not only is the seating much more spacious, the options are much more grownup. We were able to eat non mouse shaped food, rest our feet, and sip adult beverages. We were getting exhausted by dinner time, but taking a break from the park and having a beer (or two) was exactly what we needed to reenergize and enjoy the rest of the evening!
8. Purchase your ears before your head to the park. Want something custom? Check out Etsy! Want something super cheap? Check out Amazon! Both have adorable ears that are WAY cheaper than they are at the park. The $7 pair I originally ordered from Amazon arrived too late. But I was able to pick up a pair outside of the park for $4! Ears inside of the park are about $20 more expensive - which isn't a ton, but if you are only going to wear them once you might as well save where you can! (And $20 is four churros!)
9. Don't forget to download the app. Not only does it have your ticket, fast pass, and photo pass - you can also skip lines by mobile ordering food, check ride wait times, and view the day's show schedule!
10. Relax and have fun! No one is too old to ride Dumbo. You are never too grown up to hug Mickey. It's okay to get excited when Cinderella walks by - you are at the happiest place on earth! Enjoy!