Summer vacations are just around the corner, and for many families, that means Disneyland. If you haven’t heard, some major changes at Disneyland recently took place, and more are coming. Even if you’ve been to Disneyland during the summer before, this summer will be different, so you’ll want to read these tips.
1. Use FASTPASS and know the rules. If you’ve used the Fastpass system before, you already know that you can always have at least one Fastpass out at a time. However, if you’re there during a busy time, sometimes you can have more than one at a time. For example, if you get a Fastpass for Hyperspace Mountain in the morning, but the return time isn’t until afternoon, you will be able to get your next Fastpass two hours after you got your ticket, not your return time.
2. Make sure you get the hottest Fastpasses first – and this year there are some new ones. At Disney California Adventure Park you’ll want Radiator Springs Racers and Soarin’ Around the World, which opens June 17. At Disneyland, Hyperspace Mountain (only available during the limited time Star Wars experiences), Indiana Jones and Splash Mountain go quickly so grab those first.
3. Use early entry and know what days they’re good for. If you buy your tickets in advance and
get a 3-day or longer ticket, which you’ll definitely want during the summer, it comes with an early entry into Disneyland that can be used on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday only. Mornings are the quietest times at the park, and because it’s hard to get everyone out of bed in the morning, the earlier the magic morning is, the fewer crowds there will be. If you stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, you’ll get early entry into Disneyland Tuesday, Thursday AND Saturday, plus, you’ll get into Disney California Adventure an hour early on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Staying on-property is the only way to get into California Adventure early. Also, you should be aware that although these days are typically standard, they can change if there’s a special event. Be sure to check the calendar before you go to make sure that you don’t miss your early entry.
4. Bring glow sticks. One of the best things about summer at Disneyland is summer nights. This summer is especially fun with the Paint the Night Parade that is like the old Electric Light Parade but a million times bigger. You will want to be part of the glow fun, but you won’t want to pay Disneyland prices to do it. Grab a few glow sticks before your trip and keep them in your bag until right before the parade begins for a fun (and cheap) surprise. We like the ones HERE.
5. Bring sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. Nothing makes kids and parents more miserable during the summer than sunburned skin, and that California sun is sneaky. Apply and reapply sunscreen often. If you forget anything, you’ll be able to grab it at Disneyland, but it will be two to three times the cost. These are my go to sunglasses– stylish and amazing!
6. Stay close to the parks. If you can stay at one of the Disneyland Hotels, you’ll love the early entry each day. If you can’t stay on property, try to stay as close as possible so you don’t have to wait in shuttle lines after a day of fun at the park. Also, it’s nice to be within walking distance if you need a little nap or swim break during the heat of the day.
7. Drink lots of water. It’s easy to get distracted with so many fun things going on all around you! Don’t let distraction turn into dehydration. You can bring in water bottles to the park. We think these water bottles are awesome, and make drinking water a little more appealing. They keep drinks cold for 12 hours!!! My kids love THESE water bottles. You can fill your water bottles with ice water at Red Rockett’s Pizza Port in Tomorrowland and Rancho del Zocala Restaurante in Frontierland. You can also get a free glass of ice water at any quick service restaurant in Disneyland or California Adventure whether you eat there or not. Just ask.
8. Take advantage of the shade and see the shows. Sometimes you just want a break from the sun, and there are many places to do just that. Frozen Live at the Hyperion opened on Memorial Day weekend and is a long, Broadway style show. The theater holds around 2,000 people. Other great indoor spots to get out of the shade for a bit include the Tomorrowland Theater which is currently showing Path of the Jedi, Star Wars Launch Bay with Character meet-n- greets and Star Wars displays, the Animation Building with Turtle Talk with Crush, Character meet-n- greets and interactive exhibits, the Disney Junior – Live on Stage! show, and the “it’s tough to be a bug theater” which is currently showing extended sneak previews of Disney’s most current movies.
9. Grab tickets for World of Color – Celebrate!, the special version of World of Color for the Diamond Celebration. This is one nighttime show that requires a ticket – and it’s free with your admission. You’ll want to grab a Fastpass first thing in the morning to get your assigned area for the night’s show. Also, you should know that if you get a Fastpass for World of Color, it will NOT count as one of your Fastpass tickets, so be sure to get one for Radiator Springs Racers or Soarin’ Around the World immediately after.
10. Buy a dining package for Paint the Night. People literally start lining up along Main Street up to four hours prior to parade time. If you want to skip the crowds and have a reserved spot on Main Street U.S.A. for the parade, you can with a special Paint the Night Dining package from the Blue Bayou. It includes a three-course meal and you get to eat at the Blue Bayou! Adults are $62 per person and kids ages 3-9 are $25 per person, plus tax and gratuity. If you want a more affordable option, you can get an “on-the- go” dinner from Aladdin’s Oasis for $23 per adult and $14 per child ages 3-9 that includes a reserved viewing area on the parade route back by “it’s a small world.” No matter where you end up watching the parade, stick around afterwards for the Disneyland Forever fireworks which can be viewed from four different areas in the park, Main Street U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle, the Matterhorn and “it’s a small world.”
If you haven’t already booked your summer vacation, we highly recommend Get Away Today. They have a best price guarantee on all of their vacation packages, plus they give you all sorts of extra freebies like lanyards, backpacks for the kids, and tons of coupons. You can find all of their packages on getawaytoday.com, or you can call and talk to an agent at 855-GET- AWAY. All of their agents have been to Disneyland and tour the hotels so they can give you personalized help for your vacation.
Be sure to use our promo code: “HowDoesShe” and save an extra $10 off your discounted Disneyland vacation.
*2 night hotel stay and 2 ticket minimum package required for extra discount.
Enjoy your summer vacation! Eat a Dole Whip for me!