1. “Extra Magic Hour”- If you’re staying at a Disney hotel you can get in an hour earlier and beat the crowds! We went during a really busy time so this is critical so you can get on the really busy rides before everyone else arrives.

2. Food- Pack a bunch snacks and water!! I can’t stress this enough, especially if you’re with kids. Food and drinks are not only expensive but the lines can be long.  We waited almost an hour in line for lunch, so having some goldfish crackers for my son while we waited saved us! I highly recommend making a reservation if you can to avoid long wait times. I also looked up quick food items and their location such as the in case we didn’t want to do a sit down meal and just wanted something fast and on the go.

3. Safety- Get tattoos with your phone number on it to put on your kid(s) in case you get separated. Talk to your kids beforehand about safety and what to do if they get lost. If they got lost tell them to find a Disney cast member. Make sure to take a picture of your child so you can show people what they look like and what they’re wearing should they get separated from you.  Let’s pray this doesn’t happen, but it can be super crowded and kids can easily wander off to find their favorite characters or simply just get distracted.  I saw 2 lost children in 1 day, so it does happen so it’s best to be prepared!

4. Stroller – Rent a Disneyland stroller and place something distinct on it so you can find it, or else it will blend in. Its $15 day to rent, which is far less cheaper than replacing a new stroller should yours get lost or stolen! 

5. Ride Switch- If a child does not meet the height requirement or a Guest does not wish to go on a particular ride you can use a Rider Switch Pass. With this pass, one adult can wait with the non-rider (or riders) while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction. When the other adult returns, they can supervise the non-riding Guests, and the waiting adult can board the attraction without having to wait in the line again.

6. Pins- Head to city hall and get a free pin for your celebration!  If its your birthday, first time at the park or you’re celebrating anything special! The Disney cast members will greet you and congratulate you if they see a pin! You might even get a special treat at restaurants if it’s your birthday.

7. Entertainment – You can book a character breakfast where you get to dine with your favorite characters, or make a reservation at Bibbidi Bobbidi boutique where your child will get a full princess makeover. Our son is Star Wars obsessed, so we signed up for the Jedi training and he loved it! He went through a training session with Jedi’s, learnt how to battle with the light saber and then went on stage and battled Darth Vader himself. For a list of activities available at Disneyland click here. 

8. Fastpass – Plan ahead which rides you want to go on and utilize fast passes for the rides that have them.  The Fastpass system is one of the best ways to maximize your time at Disneyland. A number of attractions in both parks allow you to insert your park ticket and get a pass that gives you a return time to the specified attraction with little to no wait.

9. Use apps! – You can buy tickets, see various wait times of each rides, and what time characters come out and where. This will save you a ton of time while your at the parks! There’s an official Disneyland app you can download here  https://disneyland.disney.go.com/guest

10. Prepare to stay up late –  Make sure to stay at night for the Electrical Parade, World of Color and Fire Works!  If your lucky, your little one will pass out in the stroller like ours usually does, and you can enjoy these awesome shows hopefully over a drink with your husband or wife and toast that you survived a day at Disneyland!