How to Make the Most of Your Day at Disneyland


It’s easy for your Disneyland trip to leave you feeling like it is definitely not the happiest place on Earth. It can be draining to spend all day running around the park attempting to do as much as you can and still be left with things on your Disney to-do list. There is so much to do at Disneyland (not counting the other park, California Adventure) that it’s impossible to fit everything into one day. However, after almost a decade of being a Disneyland Annual Passholder I’ve learned there are a few ways to maximize your trip to Disneyland.


Pack Your Own Snacks and Water


(Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash)


When it comes to Disney, everything is expensive. A great way to save some money is to prepare your own snacks before hand. Bringing your own water bottle is another way to console your crying bank account from the money you’ll inevitably spend. You can even bring your own reusable bottle and fill up at the water fountains located in the park.


Pro Tip: You can also ask any restaurant for cups of water. They’re free and you don’t need to buy anything else to get them.


Download the Disneyland App


The Disneyland App is a relatively new app within the Disneyland resort, but it has proven to be very useful. On the free app, you are able to view wait times for all the attractions in the park, check the list of showtimes, locate restaurants, snack stands, bathrooms, etc. on the map, and upload your ticket for easier access throughout your day. The two most important features of the app are the wait time and map features. At the theme park, wait times tend to fluctuate throughout the day and if you keep a close eye on it, you can save time by catching rides during their low wait time moments.


Utilize Your FastPasses

A FastPass is a slip that allows you to skip the line at select attractions in the park. You can obtain the passes by going to specified stations at the rides that offer FastPasses. FastPasses are a great way to save time because you’re able to skip the line on your favorite and the most popular attractions. FastPasses are available at select times and you’re only allowed to reserve on at a time, so you have to choose and use them wisely.


Purchase the Disney MaxPass

The Disneyland App itself is free, but if you upload your ticket to the app you can add the Disney MaxPass to your ticket. The MaxPass allows you to reserve FastPasses directly on your mobile phone instead of having to physically go to every ride to secure your FastPass. The MaxPass will also notify you when you’re eligible to reserve a new FastPass.


When the MaxPass first came out my parents and I were offered a special deal to add it to our annual passes. Before spending the extra money to add it to our passes, we decided to purchase the regular rate ($15 per ticket per day) and see whether it was worth it.


Spoiler alert: IT WAS. Within the first hour of being in the park we were able to get on a total of 11 rides, compared to our usual 5 or 6, including some of the most popular attractions such as Space Mountain, Matterhorn, and Indiana Jones. It was so much easier being able to tap a few buttons on my phone than having to race across the park to get a FastPass. For all the time we save, the MaxPass was well worth the price.


Choose Your Meal Times Carefully


During peak times, such as lunch (usually around 1:00-2:00 PM) and dinner (5:00-7:00 PM) the restaurants at the park get so crowded that it becomes nearly impossible to find a table to sit at. Try planning to eat your meals either before or after these peak hours in order to save yourself some time and the pain of searching for a seat.


Be Aware of Single Rider Entrances


Single rider lines are available for the four most popular attractions in the park (Space Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Splash Mountain, and Indiana Jones). The single rider lines are used to fill the seats that are left open. For example, Space Mountain has 6 seats in each coaster. If a group of 5 is seated in the coaster, they will pull from the single rider line to fill the last spot. You can save a lot of time by going through these lines. The downside to this trick is that you won’t get to sit with your own group, but you also won’t have to wait in the bigger line that can get up to a 2 hour (or sometimes more) wait. Single rider entrances are usually located through the exits of an attraction.


(Photo by willis henderson on Unsplash)


A trip to Disneyland can provide the most heartwarming memories, but it can also cause a few headaches throughout the day. By following these tips you can avoid them and focusing on enjoying your day to the fullest by saving time, energy, and money.