I never thought I would become the Disneyland fanatic people came to for Disneyland tips. It just sort of happened. I probably visited Disneyland over a dozen times as a child but once my husband and I moved to Orange County with young kids in tow, suddenly my Disneyland visitation skyrocketed. Instead of getting sick of Disneyland like I expected to happen once I bought my first annual pass (so I could go with friends who were visiting from out of town), I began to love the resort more and more. I have become a Disneyland expert and I am constantly asked to share my Disneyland tips so I decided to put them down all in one place. I hope this guide will help thousands of Trekaroo families get the most out of every Disneyland vacation.
Thank you to Red Lion Hotels for sponsoring this guide for Disney Lovin’ families. Red Lion Hotel offers affordable family-friendly accommodations steps from Disneyland.
Share your two cents and explore the tips and recommendations of many other Trekaroo parents in the Disneyland Resorts Review Guide
Planing a Walt Disney World trip instead? Here’s our Walt Disney World Tips for First Timers
Let’s get started with tips on deciding when to go.
DISNEYLAND TIPS FOR BEFORE YOU GO
Decide When To Go
The best time to visit Disneyland is mid-week during the off-season. If your kids can take a couple days off from school, it is certainly worth the effort. Make every effort to avoid peak travel times. Your family will spend much less time fighting crowds and standing in long lines. Short lines mean more time to explore and enjoy the parks! Here are my four favorite times of year to visit the Disneyland Resort:
1. The week after Labor Day in September through the first two weeks in October: Kids are back in school so the parks are not crowded. Both parks are decked out for Halloween the entire month of October.
Good to know: September is typically one of the warmest months in Orange County so be sure to make time for a beach day or some pool time back at the hotel.
2. January and February: While most of the country is freezing, Orange County is typically enjoying daytime temperatures between 55 and 75. If you have to choose a 3 day weekend, crowds are more manageable on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend than President’s Day.
3. The first two weeks in May: Spring Break crowds are gone, the weather is nice, and kids are still in school.
4. The first two weeks in December: This is probably my favorite time to visit because all of the holiday decorations are up but most of the holiday visitors are still doing their Christmas shopping. Park attendance is low but the wow factor is high.
Avoid: Mid-March through Mid- April due to Spring Break, Thanksgiving week, the weeks before and after Christmas, most of June and August, and all of July. If you do have to go during the summer months, try to visit either the first week in June (when most Southern California schools are still in session) or the last week in August (when most schools outside of Southern California are back in session). If you do have to go on a busy day, be sure to read this post on surviving Disneyland on a crowded day.
Click next for tips on making reservations.