Tips for a Hassle-Free Disneyland Vacation

Planning a family adventure to Disneyland this year? Here are tips to help make the most of your visit:

1.  The most important tip for any Disneyland visit is to arrive early. You can ride more rides in the first hour than in the next three, so arrive 30-45 minutes before the park’s scheduled opening time.

2.  If you purchase a multi-day ticket in advance (highly recommended for saving time and money) you may be eligible for "Magic Morning" early admission to Disneyland Park on select days; guests at the three Disneyland Resort hotels can also enter Disney California Adventure early. Take advantage of the perk if you can.

3.  A FastPass allows you to avoid waiting in lines with reserved return times for top attractions. After years of little or no enforcement, Disney is now sticking strictly to the one-hour windows printed on FastPass tickets (with an unpublicized 15-minute grace period), so keep an eye on the time when using them.

4.  The hottest ticket in Disneyland is the Fantasyland meet and greet with Anna and Elsa from Frozen. Get there as soon as the park opens, or be prepared to wait for hours. Better yet, wave at them (without the wait) during their processional before the first afternoon parade.

5.  Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land is California Adventure's most popular ride. FastPasses run out within hours of opening. Snag one early, or ask for the single rider line, which is often under a half hour.

6.  Use single rider lines to save time at Indiana Jones Adventure, Matterhorn Bobsleds, California Screamin', Grizzly River Rapids and Goofy's Sky School. Ask an attendant how to enter (usually through the exit) and be prepared to split up your party.

7.  Don't miss classic attractions that have recently been refurbished in preparation for Disneyland's 60th anniversary. Alice in Wonderland has new animated effects, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has an explosive new finale, and the Finding Nemo ride (originally the Submarine Voyage) returns to service.

8.  If you like buying photos from in-park paparazzi and on-ride cameras, consider ordering PhotoPass+ at least two weeks in advance for substantial savings on unlimited digital images.

9.  Disneyland now takes restaurant reservations online at You can book up to 60 days in advance with a credit card. Note that there's a per-person fee if you no-show or cancel less than 24 hours in advance.

10.  Take a break at midday and ride the monorail to the Disneyland Hotel and Downtown Disney. Better yet, get an inexpensive room across the street on Harbor Blvd. An afternoon nap will help you better appreciate the park after dark.


For more tips for a hassle-free Disney vacation, pick up The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2015 and visit

Published: October 2014

  • San Diego Family's Cover Kids Search

  • San Diego Family Party Guide

  • Pick up the November Fall Issue!


  • San Diego Family Magazine

    San Diego Family Magazine

    Have you ever read something great in a magazine and then been frustrated because you can't remember where you put it? Well, so have we! That's why we think it's a fabulous idea to have the entire publication available to read online! Simply click the link below and use the arrows to turn the pages. You can search by area, event, location, or advertiser.

    Click Here to Read Online

  • Out & About

    Out & About

    All dressed up and no where to go? With Out & About, you'll never have to utter (or hear) the words "I'm bored" again!  Use this resource to find oodles of fun things to do in specific areas of San Diego County.

    Click Here to Read Online

  • Flourishing Families

    Flourishing Families

    Resources for Families with Special Needs

    Flourishing Families is the Parent Resource Guide for Children with Special Needs that contains over 950 resources in San Diego County. Read informative articles that offer help and encouragement to families with special needs. Sign up to receive our bi-monthly eNewsletter, keeping you connected to current and relevant information in the community. Ready to get out of the house? When you join our online community, you'll also discover fun family-friendly activities and events.

    Click Here to Read Online

About Us

From its humble origins as a black & white, tabloid-style newspaper, the goal has been to "provide educational articles, resources & information with a focus on family issues."

Learn more.

Find Us On...

Join other parent enthusiasts on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and other social networks!

Advertising Information

Reach out to San Diego's biggest consumer segment and help your business grow!

Learn more.

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!