Disneyland Tips: where to stay, what to eat and tips for planning your Disneyland trip!Hi Friends! If you follow me on Instagram and Snapchat, you may have noticed our recent trips to Disneyland. Living in California makes frequent trips to the Happiest Place On Earth easier and we definitely try to go as often as possible. Last month some of my fellow blogger friends and I had a Disneyland blogger retreat and it was pretty much the greatest idea ever! Disneyland is a completely different experience without kids and when you’re with friends! Today I’d like to share some Disneyland tips and our favorite place to stay when visiting the parks.
Tip #1: Find the right hotel. My family has stayed at the Grand Legacy for years! The Grand Legacy (previously named the Ramada Maingate) is directly across the Disneyland entrance. The location makes it convenient, especially for families with small children. At the end of the night the last thing you want to do is have a long walk back to your hotel. The Grand Legacy is just a few minutes away from the entrance, right on Harbor blvd.
The new tower overlooks the parks and has a rooftop bar and lounge where you can watch the fireworks at night. They even dim the lights and sync the music to Disney’s so you get the whole fireworks experience from your hotel.
We were graciously provided with a 3-room suite for our stay and it was perfect for our group of 9 bloggers! The suite includes two rooms with two queen beds in each room and a living room area with a pull-out sofa.
The free continental breakfast makes things easy for our family. My kids really enjoy the cereal dispensers and variety of pastries available. The have everything from eggs, bagels, sausage, waffles, oatmeal and more. It makes grabbing a quick bite to eat convenient so we can get our day at Disneyland started without waiting to buy breakfast for everyone.
The best part of the hotel is the pool! During the warmer months my kids love heading back to the hotel midday for a quick swim and playtime at the splash pad.
image source: Grand Legacy Website
If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland, I highly recommend The Grand Legacy. You will really enjoy the convenience of the location and watching the fireworks from the rooftop lounge.
Tip #2: Tuesday-Thursday are the best days to visit the park. The crowds are the lowest during the week, especially during offseason. Our favorite months to visit are September, the first week of December, January, February and early May. We especially like rainy days! That sounds crazy but you can get so much done when it’s raining. The crowds tend to stay away when it’s raining and the lines will be fairly short. So bring a poncho and have some fun!
Tip #3: On the day you plan to visit California Adventure make sure Radiator Springs is your first stop or grab a fastpass as soon as you enter the park. The fastpasses for this ride go pretty quick so you always want to make sure it’s your first stop. Wait times for this ride are usually 1-2 hours, which isn’t very fun to wait in with little ones. Another ride you’ll want to visit early on is Toy Story Mania. Fastapasses aren’t available so the wait time tends to be pretty high all day long. At Disneyland you’ll want to visit or get passes for HyperSpace Mountain, Indiana Jones, Star Tours, The Haunted Mansion and Peter Pan (no fastpasses available for this ride).
Tip #4: What to Eat: Oh boy, I could write several posts on what to eat at Disneyland! To keep this short, I’ll say Cove Bar at California Adventure has some pretty incredible lobster nachos. If you need a break this a great place to grab a drink (alcoholic or nonalcoholic) and appetizers while overlooking the water and Mickey Ferris Wheel. My current favorite at Disneyland is Rancho del Zocalo. The Mexican food is great and the best bang for your buck. The portions are big so you could easily share a plate. Off the top of my head some favorite snacks: Chile Cone Queso from the Cozy Cone at California Adventure, Ocean Beach (Sea Salt Caramel Sundae) from Ghirardelli Square, and the Monte Cristo sandwich from Cafe Orleans at Disneyland.
Tip #5: Grab a schedule at the gate entrance to find times for the parades and World of Color. Fast passes for World of Color go pretty quickly but if you can grab one you will have a great view of the amazing water show. It’s absolutely magical during the holidays!We like to use the afternoon parade as a time to get some rest and eat snacks. People start finding their spots about an hour before the parade. If you’re hoping to find a front row curb seat, I suggest finding a spot at least 30 minutes before. We were able to grab a seat by the Christmas tree and had the best view of the Christmas Fantasy Parade.
And one last note: if you plan to visit this month don’t forget to ride The Tower of Terror before it closes down! We’re going to miss this ride but my kids are looking forward to see it switch to Guardians of the Galaxy.
I plan to share a post on What to Eat at Disneyland and holiday treats soon! I hope this helps give a little bit of insight into planning your Disneyland trip.
Grand Legacy provided a room for our blogger retreat but all opinions are my own. My family has loved this hotel for years and I always recommend it to family and friends.