Last week my kids had the week off from school and we decided to head to Disneyland for a super fun vacation. My son who is at SDSU and his girlfriend at UCSB met us for a couple of days also. It was an awesome trip and I wish we had even more time at the parks. I felt like we didn’t get to do everything. We got City Passes which include a 3 day hopper pass, a Universal Studios pass and a Seaworld pass. We used everything but Seaworld. We also bought tickets to the Halloween Party which was our first time doing that. If I could live in Disneyland I would, maybe without the crowds 🙂 Here are my top 10 tricks and treats.


1. Disneyland Silhouette Studio – Every time we go we get silhouettes (real cut paper silhouettes) done from the silhouette shop on Main Street. They are inexpensive ($10) and a great souvenir. Bonnie has been cutting the silhouettes at Disneyland for the last 40 years!!
2. Download the Disneyland Wait Time app. This saved us a lot of time running around.
3. Long lines? Choose the single rider line. The Cars ride which is amazing never had less than a 60 minute wait but the single rider line was always around 10-15 minutes. We often got into the same car or at least raced against each other. This may not work if you have little kids though.
4. Get in line for Peter Pan as soon as the park opens. In general try to do Fantasyland first. These rides do not have fast passes so wait time can be long even when the park is not busy. And Peter Pan is a must. It has been open since the park opened in 1955. Think about what a genius Walt was when you are on that ride!
5. Hot day? Head to Pirate’s or single ride Splash Mountain or Grizzly Rapids to cool off.
6. Food – the food inside the park averages around $10-14 per person. Ice water is free and you can also order a child’s meal if not too hungry and it is pretty filling. Try the beignets near the Haunted Mansion, yummy! Bring in snacks for in between. Eating outside the park is not much cheaper unless you head to McDonalds. Food Allergies? No problem. At every single restaurant just ask to speak to the chef, not only will they gladly make you whatever you need they go overboard to make sure you are happy. Disneyland is the easiest place for my daughter to eat in the world 🙂
7. Wait until the park closes for souvenirs. All of the shops stay open an extra hour for shopping. No worries about carrying bags around all day.
8. Visit the park at night also. The park and rides are spectacular all lit up and you won’t want to miss that. Cars Land is especially beautiful at night. And don’t forget Tower of Terror, what a view.
9. Short trip? Stay as close to the park as possible. The Best Western and Fairfield Marriott are both across the street and offer good values. We did not get free breakfast at the Fairfield but the convenience was worth it.
10. There are so many wonderful things to do at Disneyland but make sure you also go to the shows. Even if your kids are grumbling I promise after seeing It’s Tough to be a Bug! at Disney’s California Adventure you won’t have to beg anymore. See every show, parade, fireworks, 3-d movie, etc. at least once. You won’t be disappointed.

I can probably think of a million more suggestions but I hope this helps get you started! If you want to know more about the Halloween party shoot me a comment.