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Disneyland Tips and Design Inspiration!!

My little family and I have been at Disneyland this week.

It has been a FUN vacation – our last hurrah before my kids start school and Fall begins. And can I say it’s HOT here?? Today is supposed to hit 100 degrees!!

I asked for any suggestions or insider tips from my friends on Instagram and Facebook and I got some great ones that have saved us time and money. I thought I would share them with you!!


  • jenjentrixieSo much fun at The Happiest Place On Earth with the fam :) does anyone have any insider DL tips?
  • sugaranddots Get Fastpasses for all of the big rides to avoid major lines! And wear sunscreen. :) Have fun!!  3d
  • melissa_no2pencil Have fun! If you eat in the park, we like the Pizza Port and the clam chowder bowls in New Orleans square. You can get as many free ice waters as you want from any of the dining places! Some people order 20!  3d
  • melissa_no2pencil Are you going to CA adventure? If so get a fast pass to see world of color. It is awesome! We also love Fantasmic, during the summer you need to save your viewing spot about an hour before the show starts.  3d
  • kariholt Don’t miss the Dole Whip right by the Tiki Room and I never go to DL without getting a corn dog from the cart on main street. If you have littles who can’t ride some rides make sure to ask about the rider switch passes that allow one to wait with the child and then walk right into the ride (with one other) after your party is done so the one waiting doesn’t have to stand in line again. Tuesday + Wednesday tend to be the least crowded days in the park and are always our faves. We DL so much and can’t wait to go again … my hubby took me there for 3 days to celebrate my 40th birthday before our passes expired last year – just the 2 of us!! It was a blast!!  3d
  • angieali I’m headin there next week! Haven’t been to Disney in more than 10 years :)  3d
  • craftedsparrow Fastpass immediately as soon as California adventures opens for cars land by bugs life. Then get a fastpass for world of color. Get a turkey leg!!! And a corndog from California adventures. The best bang for your buck food wise is the mexican restaurant by frontierland, it has inside seating, and a great covered patio. $10 a meal, but great portions and good good.
  • measuredbytheheart Tons of apps for wait times etc. Definitely do world of color. Great spot to see is right by aerials grotto. Second the clam chowder in bread bowls yummy. Head to toy story midway mania quick out you could wait hours and there is no fast pass. But it’s a don’t miss ride. Have tons of fun!
  • melissamatz We’re in Disneyland too! Taking a swim break at the pool. Definitely use your fast passes. Hope you’re having fun!
  • kortniovercomes Ride max is the ONLY way to do it!
  • alex_mummy Just enjoy!! Xx
  • mrsmmelton I am so jealous!!
  • mrsmmelton PS. Have a Monte Cristo sandwich at Cafe Orleans (in New Orleans Square) they give free refills on soft drinks….pretty unheard of at Disney.
  • allthingsthrifty If you ask for ice water in the red Disneyland cups they will give it to you for free. :)



Jen Ethridge Smith use the fast passes! find someone there that can explain them to you and they will save you a huge amount of time standing in line.

Jennifer Nace Don’t buy bottled water! You can get free cups at all of the restaurants :)

Keilah Smith Get the DL wait time app. Ride single on lightning McQueen racers if you didn’t get fastpasses. Have so much fun!!

David Clausi Use Fast passes! You can get fast passes for both parks. You don’t have to wait to use the one you got at Disneyland before getting one at California Adventure. Go on rides during the parades and fireworks because the lines will be a lot shorter! You got to see Fantasmic or Get a fast pass for World of Color! Some rides are single rider so you could get on them faster like the racers in Cars Land!

Lisa Mac My daughters, sister, and nephew are there this week. Fast pass is my best advice when it’s crowded. Also check out Whitewater Snacks by the pool at the Grand California Hotel. Great food and great prices.

Stacey Astle-Munn Arrive early! Do the big rides first. Unofficial guide to Disney has great touring plans that work.

Jennifer Gaines Go eat at Cafe Orleans just before they close and you can stay and watch Fantasmic!! Also at Cafe Orleans order the “appetizer salad” it’s big enough for a meal!! That and pomme frites followed by Mickey beignets (free on your birthday) are a win, win, win!

Kristyn Ritchey Merkley Oh, Jen! So jealous – love that place! Definitely get he DL wait time app. That is awesome and will let you know before getting to the ride how long it takes. Lines are definitely shorter during the fireworks and parade, but also take note that once you’re on one side of DL it’s hard to get to the other side during a parade so try and stick to whichever side until the parade is over. Definitely use the fast passes. What we do is usually get fast passes for Indiana when it first opens and then ride Splash Mountain a few times while there is no line, and then before we go on to Indiana, we check the time it says – if it says come back between 9:30 – 10:30, we go and get our next fast pass right at 9:30 (which is the next time you can get a new one) and then go ride Indiana. Does that make sense?? Also, be sure to get tickets to World of Color (by the Bear Run in Calif. Adventure) as soon as you go in, so you can have better seating color. Also, ride Toy Story Mania at California Adventure first. The line is suuuuper long and they don’t do fast passes for it, but it’s one of the best rides at Calif. Adventure. Have so much fun, and eat a churro for me!! XO

Lav Maria Ritter have a local grocery store deliver to your resort (especailly water, bottled soda, and breakfast items). gardengrocer.com

Margot Jones schedule all your rides with ridemax. just used it last week and loved it!

Christa Fox Go back to your hotel and take a nap or swim in the afternoon to refresh yourself for the evening fun!

Alma Martinez Market House in main street (right side as your walking in) only place you can get coffee with FREE refills! Just keep your receipt.
Also I’ve heard that the Plaza Inn has the best deals on food in the park. You can also get unlimited soft drink refills and ask for a to go cup!
Also the corn dog cart right outside makes the BEST corn dogs!

Marly Temple Christensen You should take a trip to Joe’s Iltalian ice. The are just south of DL on Harbor. It will be worth it!

Holly Layton If u happen to buy a balloon and lose it or pop it they will give u another one for free

tatertots & jello Thanks for all of the great tips!! You guys are the best :)

Alma Martinez Oh yeah Holly! I also heard if you drop your ice cream cone you will get it replaced. One more, my daughter had her face painted there. She smeared it a few hours later. We went back and they did free touch up to fix it!

Alma Martinez Hope you’re having a great time with your family Jennifer!!!
And I loved seeing the new Buena Vista Street at Disney California Aventure. It’s beautiful! There has been so much thought and time put into the details on the facades. It’s amazing. Here are a few examples that totally inspire me:
Do YOU have any Disney tips you can share with us?
Leave them in the comments – we would love to know!!
PS — It’s Friday!
My favorite day of the week.
It’s almost time for the Weekend Wrap Up Party – time to show of YOUR ideas!!
I love featuring YOU!!
I hope you can stop by for the fun.
Plus — we will be having a really fun giveaway too!
The party starts at 6 pm MST!!


  1. I am getting ready to go to Disney World! I wish you would ask your readers for tips on the World too! :) Hope you are having a blast!

  2. We live an hour away and go often. I finally compiled a site with all our tips. It’s not always this hot….we’re melting in San Diego……you came at a sweltering time, I’m afraid!



    xo, Casey

  3. We just went in March… as soon as you walk into the park the first day, grab a photographer, have him take your pic, and have him give you a photopass card. Then, for the rest of your visit, every time you see one of the photographer walking around (they’re everywhere), grab him, give him your card, and he’ll take your picture. When you get back home, you can look at all the photos online, and buy the ones you want. But here’s the thing– most of them will also take a pic of you using your own camera! We were able to get a bunch of fabulous pics of the whole family!

  4. I have had a Disneyland pass my ENTIRE life (going on 24 next month). I was spoiled to go at least 4 times a month, but my biggest tips are a little off the mark, but hopefully helpful:
    1. Try NOT to go during the holidays. The summer, Thanksgiving weekend & Christmas/New Years are INSANE times of the year. If you do go during a holiday, anytime AFTER Labor Day is safe and February-April are also good times to go as well.
    2. Get there RIGHT when it opens. Trust me. Wait on Main Street the half hour or so and then hit the rides you/your kids want. You can walk on Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Big Thunder Mountain, and all the other popular ones multiple times. I have hit 15 rides before 10:00 am before, all because I was there RIGHT when it opened.
    3. If it’s a hot day, cool off and enjoy “Mr Lincolns Theater”. It’s never crowded, and again a very nice A/C. :)
    4. If you don’t have little, little kids, try to avoid Fantasy land, unless you are cutting through.
    5. Speaking of short cuts, if you stay until close, they often open up the back lots of Main Street so it’s not as crowded.
    6. The parade routes either begin right off Main Street or behind Small World. You can find out where it will be starting, but the best place to watch is right in front of the train station. The floats ALWAYS stop there.
    7. A great place to watch fireworks is while eating dinner! Right off main street before the opening of Tomorrowland is a great place to eat, and you can see the firework show without standing on main street.

  5. You can bring in your own food and water/soda bottles. It will save you soooo much money to bring in at least snacks and a water bottle that you can refill throughout the day. I always bring in lunch, soda, water, and a snack and then buy dinner somewhere in the park. It easily saves just my husband and I $30 each time we go!

  6. This tip is before you even go and you’re in planning stages. Find out if the park is closing early for a premiere or event. My cousin and I went to DL when one of the Pirates of Caribbean movies was premiering at the park. The park was going to close around 6pm so you miss some of the evening parades BUT because no one wants to go to DL when they close early, the lines were EMPTY!!! We got through every single ride between 9am to 1pm. It was amazing. It works for other amusement parks like Six Flags Magic Mountain. This works if you’re planning a multiple day trip to the park.

  7. So much fun! I highlight what to eat and what to ride with a 2.5 year old here http://adaywithlilmama.blogspot.com/2012/07/disneyland-recap-days-2-3.html

  8. I’m loving this post. My family and I are Disney nuts (my husband proposed to me there and I also told him I was pregnant through a Disneyland caricature! 😉 got it on video too!;) ..we have season passes, but even with frequent visits, I love finding new tips to make a trip easier!
    Now that we have our daughter..the biggest help for me has been the baby station/mother’s room at the end of main street!! (they have one at CA.Adv. too!) I love going in there to cool off, feed my daughter, change her diaper, etc. and the little old ladies are the sweetest. You can store food/breast milk there and purchase wipes, diapers, and other items you may have forgotten. They give you cold water for free too;) as much as you want.
    Looks like you had a fun time!! Love the new Buena Vista..it’s amazing the detail they put into all the architecture!

    • P.S. did you or your kids end up riding the horrible, scary, flipping part of the ferris wheel?
      I refuse to go on it -_-

  9. I’m bookmarking this in case we ever go. I haven’t been there in like 20 years or more. (Ugh!)

    I have a question, if everyone is using the fast passes, doesn’t that kind of end up being a wash? Just curious since so many people suggested it! :-)

    • They only allow so many Fastpasses per time period, so it actually works out fine. How it works is, there is a sign that shows you the time period for the current fastpass that they are giving out. For example: The Indiana Jones fastpasses that are currently available is 1pm-2pm. So, you go to the kiosk and get your fastpass. You then go back anytime between 1pm-2pm to the Indiana Jones ride and you get a shortcut into line. When I was there a few weeks ago, the wait was about 60 minutes for this ride and with a fastpass we ended up waiting about 15-20 minutes. It saves a ton of time! If you don’t remember how the fastpass works (or if my explanation isn’t clear), just make sure to ask a Cast Member when you get there and they will be able to explain it to you. I have an annual pass, so go quite often and it’s my experience that you should get a fastpass for the more popular & newer rides. I’ve been on the new Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land already, but when I went a few weeks ago, the fastpass was “sold out” by about 10:30am! Have fun when you do go! There’s been a ton of changes in the last 20 years! :)