- Friday is generally the lightest attendance day; Saturday is the heaviest. The week before Thanksgiving is said to have the lightest crowds of the year, with the week before Christmas also said to be light. Plan accordingly.
- When you make your lodging reservations, inquire about packages.
- To save money, stay in a nearby motel with shuttle service to the park. But be aware that not all shuttles are the same. Some hotels provide dedicated shuttles that service only their guests. Others subscribe to a service that stops at a series of hotels on the way to and from the park.
- Note that Disneyland keeps changing its gate location. Booking into a motel that is across the street from the entrance is only helpful if you're sure the entrance won't be moved again before you arrive.
- Arrive at the park when the gates open, go back to your hotel for a nap or a swim when the park gets hot and crowded in the afternoon, and then return to the park refreshed for dinner in the evening.
- Go on as many rides as is hum-anly possible before 11 a.m., when everything starts getting crowded.
- Plan to eat at off times, as park food lines can be ridiculous.
- Bring along bottled water. You can purchase cute souvenir straps to hold them.
- Don't miss Disneyland at night. The atmosphere is totally different than during the day. The very popular parade of Disney characters is a must for preschoolers, and there's often live band music geared to preteens and teens. The fabulous fireworks display will thrill everyone.
- Disneyland does have a lot of lines. Plan to use the waits to engage in some of that "quality time" we parents hear so much about but usually have so little actual time for. To paraphrase John Lennon, life is what happens while you're waiting in line for the ride.
- Accept that you can't possibly see and do everything in one day. You'll simply have to save something for next time.
- For a special thrill, your children won't soon forget, secretly purchase a postcard depicting their favorite Disney character. Compose a message from the character and mail it to your home before you return.
Travel Tips by Age
- Tips for Flying with a Baby
- 10 Tips for Traveling with Toddlers: Getting There
- 10 Tips for Traveling with School-Age Kids
- Tips for Traveling with Tweens
- 10 Tips for Traveling with Teens
Find cute crafts and recipes starring kids' favorite Disney characters.