photo by pan xiaozhen | via Unsplash

How To Survive a Trip to Disneyland

April 8, 2021

by carol evenson, guest contributor

Few family vacation destinations are as enjoyable and exciting as a trip to Disneyland. From witnessing your kids' faces light up at the sight of their favorite movie character to hearing their squeals of delight on a dizzying, themed roller coaster, it truly is the happiest place on earth. That said, planning a trip to Disneyland requires careful planning and preparation. Otherwise, the long days of exhausting fun can lead to cranky kids and spent parents. To get the most out of your next trip to Disneyland, follow these simple steps to keep your entire family rested, enthusiastic, and excited for what's next!

Pack Accordingly

When packing for Disneyland, comfort is the name of the game. Once you've consulted your schedule and determined the best time to go to Disneyland, check the weather. Typically the park's home of Anaheim, CA, enjoys mild weather but always double-check so you remain prepared for anything.

While typically warm and sunny, several rides at Disneyland boast big splashy water attractions, resulting in potentially wet clothing. To avoid a day of soggy discomfort, pack clothing that dries quickly. Activewear with sweat-wicking properties is the best choice to remain dry and warm. Further, if rain is in the forecast, don't let it ruin your day. Pack a raincoat or poncho and make unforgettable family memories in the drizzle!

Proper shoes are crucial to a day of Disney enjoyment. Avoid flip-flops or sandals of any kind; your feet will wind up covered in dirt, and you'll risk getting stepped on and stubbed! Pack comfortable tennis shoes that can carry you from ride to ride without experiencing foot pain or soreness. Note to self: beware of bringing a brand new pair of shoes; footwear that has yet to be broken-in can result in blisters and bruises!

Take Breaks

Even the most seasoned Disneyland enthusiasts experience exhaustion and overstimulation from time to time. Therefore, it is critical to schedule regular breaks to maintain stamina and positive attitudes.

While rides and roller coasters are Disneyland's forte, there are also excellent shows available hourly for restful entertainment. Check out the production of "Aladdin" in the grand theater, or have a seat while watching the birds sing and dance in the famous Tiki Room.

When all else fails, snacks always seem to elevate the pep of any child or adult. You can purchase the best, most delicious churros in the park, and the ice cream selection and warm pretzel offerings don't disappoint either. Take a snack break, and get right back to the fun!

Sometimes kids are too young to make it through a day of Disney without a quick nap. In this case, many hotels are available adjacent to the park. If you have small kids, try to book one of these rooms for the duration of your vacation. Your park tickets allow for reentry, so feel free to take the tots to the room for an afternoon rest. You'll all feel recharged to take on the evening's events with enthusiasm and energy!

Bring Line Entertainment

Disneyland's most popular attractions are famous for a reason, and everyone knows it! That said, be prepared to wait in line for several of the park's rides and roller coasters. To keep kids entertained while lingering in the long lines, pack games or activities for them to play. Coloring and activity books are an excellent distraction, and a deck of cards is practical to keep the whole family busy.

Stay Late

Though it may be far beyond the kids' bedtimes, make sure to spend at least one late night* in the park. Nowhere in the world does fireworks better than Disneyland, and typically they aren't ignited until it's late and dark.  Festive character parades featuring singing, dancing, and lively crowd participation accompany each firework show. The nighttime production is one of Disneyland's most entertaining and captivating celebrations.

From Fantasyland to Toontown, Disneyland truly has something for everyone. With a bit of planning and careful scheduling, you and your family will be on your way to a fun time in the happiest place on earth!

*Like the rest of the world, Disney is figuring out how to safely reopen to the public, before planning your trip to Disneyland, be sure to check out their reopening information. 

Important Disneyland Reopening Info: 

Disneyland Resort Phased Reopening and Important Information

  • Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure park will reopen on April 30, 2021. View important details about park admission and tickets.
  • To enter a park, both a park reservation and valid ticket, for the same park on the same date, are required for Guests age 3 and older. Until further notice, only California residents may visit the parks, and in groups no larger than 3 households, per state guidelines.
  • Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will reopen on April 29, 2021. The Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel remain closed and will reopen at a later date. View important details about Disneyland Resort hotels.
  • The Downtown Disney District is open with select retail and dining locations.
  • A Touch of Disney, the new limited-time ticketed experience at Disney California Adventure Park, which has sold out, will go on as planned through April 19, 2021.
  • Upon reopening, certain parks, hotels, restaurants, attractions, experiences and other offerings will be modified or unavailable, will have limited capacity and will be subject to limited availability or even closure, and park admission and offerings are not guaranteed. View important details.


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