← Go back Disneyland: Your Guide to Having Fun and Saving Money!
Published on Monday, June 29, 2015 by

disneyland240So you’re thinking of travelling to the Disneyland Resort in California this summer. And the children are super-excited! Whether you’re a seasoned “Disney” expert, or if it’s your very first time at the Happiest Place on Earth, there are numerous tips to get the most out of your family vacation. Our Mommy Ambassador Melissa recently took her family to Disneyland and shares her valuable tips for parents:

Timing is Everything

Let’s face it: Disneyland is extremely popular. Approximately 40,000 people visit the park DAILY every year, which calculates to around 14 million people per year. Even though certain months are slower than others, you’ll likely be waiting in some sort of lineup at some time. However, there are some tips to making the most of when you go:

Travel during off-peak times, such as February through June (excluding Spring break) or anytime that doesn’t intercept a statutory holiday or major event. The crowds will be smaller and the lineups shorter. Unfortunately, the slow season will have more ride closures and shorter park hours, so be prepared to miss out on a few attractions.

Avoid visiting the park on July 4th or Christmas Day (unless you’ve got no choice or you’re a daredevil), which are historically the busiest days of the year at the park. In fact, there have been instances where the park has hit its capacity and visitors were turned away.

Prepare for a huge amount of walking even if you are staying right near the park or shuttled to the park entrance. Make sure the whole family has comfortable shoes and you have a stroller for your baby or toddler(s). If you prefer not to bring your own stroller to the park, you can rent one for $15USD or two for $25USD.

A great website, Touring Plans, is a cool and cost-effective way to see real data and statistics on the best months to visit the park, as well as the best time of day to go on certain rides.

Enjoying the Rides

Bear in mind that there are height requirements for certain rides. If your child is too short he or she won’t be able to experience some of the most popular ones. With some advance planning, you can ensure your younger child will still have a fun time on other rides. You can check height requirements for rides at www.disneyland.disney.go.com/attractions

Take advantage of popular rides that offer a FastPass+, such as Radiator Springs Racers in California Adventure. The Disney FastPass+ service saves your place in line for some of your favourite attractions while you enjoy the rest of the park. TIP: head to the FastPass+ booth for the Radiator Springs ride as soon as you enter the park in the morning, because it often sells out. Be sure to download their smartphone app that provides wait times for Disneyland rides.

Choosing Accommodations

There are only two hotels directly across from the park entrance – The Park Vue Inn and the Best Western Park Place. Hotels in the surrounding area require much more walking.

So, consider all hotel options, and if you select one further out, just be sure to look for one that will shuttle you directly to the park gates. The Embassy Suites offers a shuttle and free made-to-order breakfast plus other great perks.

Obtaining Park Tickets

Avoid buying your tickets at the park gates. You can save money purchasing them through alternate sources in advance of your vacation. 

  • Sign up for Ebates and purchase your park tickets through Orbitz via Not only will you get a discount, but you’ll get up to 13% cash back in the mail for shopping with them.
  • If you’re a planner and your trip isn’t for a few months, shop at participating Canadian retailers offering air miles, such as Safeway and Then cash in your air miles for park hopper tickets.

Saving Money on Food

Three meals out a day for a family of four can add up really quickly, if you’re eating in the theme parks. I received a valuable tip from a friend who suggested that I pre-order groceries from VONS. I set up an account and pre-ordered all the snacks, water, fruit and other items before our flights. The best part was that the groceries were all waiting for us when we arrived at the hotel. This was just delightful, because honestly, who wants to go grocery shopping as soon as you arrive at your destination? Having handy snacks ready as soon as you arrive keeps the whole family content!

For younger children pack a small, foldable cooler to carry formula, snacks, water and fresh fruit to store at the bottom of the stroller during your visits to the park.

Experiencing Disneyland as a family is sure to have your children smiling with delight and gives them memories that can last a lifetime. By following the tips in this article, you can make your family’s visit to the “Happiest Place on Earth” the best ever. And keep your wallet happy too!

Going to Disneyland with Baby

Baby Care Centres are fully-staffed and offer helpful amenities for parents with babies. These centres are open during regular park hours. Each full-service facility is free to use and includes:

  • Nursing room with chairs
  • Changing room with tables
  • Feeding area with highchairs
  • Kitchen with microwave and sink
  • Main room with television, table and chairs
  • On-site shop offering formula, baby food, juice, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications and pacifiers for purchase

Melissa, is resides in Cloverdale and is a coffee loving, lipgloss collecting, mommy blogging mother of two little girls. When she’s not busy cleaning up Cheerios and writing about the honest humour in parenting, she can most likely be found curled up in her hammock with a good book.

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