How to Plan, Stay, and Play at Disneyland
Thinking about a Disneyland vacation this year? There are so many special moments to enjoy and unforgettable memories waiting to be made with family and friends. Plus 2019 has amazing experiences to enjoy with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opening in summer 2019 at Disneyland Park, and the reimagined land of Pixar Pier, at Disney California Adventure Park.
Beloved nighttime spectaculars, immersive attractions and entertainment offer countless ways for guests to make the most of their vacations at the Happiest Place on Earth. There are plenty of tips for guests as they plan to stay and play at Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, the three on-site hotels and Downtown Disney.
Official Disneyland App
The official Disneyland App offers useful information right at a guest’s fingertips, including attraction wait times, Disney FastPass return times, maps, entertainment guides and other special features. Guests may also use the app to purchase tickets with their mobile device, look for character appearances in the park, find park hours and even order food and beverage at select fast casual and quick service restaurant locations. Details about the Disneyland app are available here.
Disneyland Resort on Google Street View
Guests can now explore the Disneyland Resort like never before – right from a phone or computer – on Google Street View. Disney Parks have launched a series of 360-degree panoramas at Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and the Downtown Disney District to help guests plan their next vacation.
Disney Vacation Planning DVD
Preview the magical experiences that await your next Disneyland Resort Vacation with a library of informative videos. To order a Disney Vacation Planning DVD, go to www.DisneyPlanning.com.
Just 30 miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and just 15 miles from John Wayne Airport (SNA), Disneyland Resort offers the Disneyland Express for guests to book easy bus transfer to the resort. Disneyland Resort Express also provides convenient transportation to Anaheim area hotels.
To make the most of vacation time, guests may make dining reservations in advance at the resort’s award-winning restaurants. Special dining packages offer guests a full-course meal and reserved viewing for entertainment includng “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland. “For reservations, guests may call 714-781-DINE or email a date, time and contact information to dine@Disneyland.com. Guests may also book a table online at Disneyland.com.
Keep up with the latest updates about the Disneyland Resort at DisneyParksBlog.com, where guests may also get behind-the-scenes looks at the parks, resort hotels and Downtown Disney. For planning tips and fun facts, follow @Disneyland on Twitter. Guests may also engage with Disneyland on Facebook and Instagram.
In-Park Social Media
While at the resort, guests may follow @DisneylandToday on Twitter for information about Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney and the resort hotels with live updates and answers.
Stay in the Magic
Guests discover many special benefits when they stay at one of three Disneyland Resort hotels: the classic Disneyland Hotel and luxurious Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa – both AAA Four Diamond properties – and the sunny California beachfront-themed Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.
Extra Magic Hour – Early Admission to the Parks
Guests staying at any Disneyland Resort hotel may enjoy Extra Magic Hour entry into Disneyland or Disney California Adventure one hour before the parks open to the public. This opportunity is good for the length of a guest’s stay, with designated days for each park. To check availability, daily times and additional information, visit Disneyland.com and click on “Park Hours.” (Valid theme park admission and active hotel room key required.)
Grand Hotel Experience
In December 2017, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa completed the most extensive refurbishment since the hotel’s 2001 opening. Guest rooms have been completely redesigned with a fresh sense of luxury. Also, the pool deck has been refreshed with beautiful, new hardscapes to reinforce the Arts and Crafts style. Guests staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa enjoy an exclusive entrance to Disney California Adventure through the hotel. Nearby, guests also enjoy the Downtown Disney District, with its eclectic mix of entertainment, dining and shopping opportunities. The new, elevated experience continues to impress guests and the hotel was named one of the Top Hotels in Southern California in the 30th annual Condé Nast Traveler’s 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards.
At Disneyland Resort hotels, guests have the opportunity to share a meal and laughs with favorite Disney characters, relax by sparkling pools and enjoy a night on the town complete with dinner at one of several award-winning restaurants.
Convenience and Legendary Service
Guests who stay at Disneyland Resort Hotels are treated to exclusive conveniences throughout their stay, including a Key to the Magic card for charging meals and merchandise to the guest room. The Package Express service also delivers resort merchandise purchases right to a guest’s hotel. Hotel guests are treated to the legendary Disney guest service throughout their vacation.
Multi-generational travel and large parties
Many families enjoy traveling to the Disneyland Resort with family members of multiple generations, or with family reunions. The Hotels of the Disneyland Resort welcome multi-generational travelers and large parties. They also offer multiple suites at each hotel that sleep parties of six or eight. Some of the suites connect to adjacent suites to accommodate the larger parties.
Guests can find great value in multiple-day tickets and vacation packages at the Resort hotels, or at nearby Good Neighbor hotels, by purchasing online or by calling your Disney Travel Agent.
Disney FASTPASS Service
Disney FASTPASS allows guests to maximize their time in the park. It gives them the opportunity to reserve a specific time window to enjoy their favorite attractions. When guests return during that time, they enjoy a shorter line reserved for FASTPASS holders. Guests are encouraged to pick up Disney FASTPASS tickets early for favorite attractions such as Radiator Springs Racers.
Guests will maximize their day with the ability to reserve digital Disney FASTPASS selections right from your mobile device using the Disneyland app while in the parks. Plus, it offers the opportunity to download, save and share Disney PhotoPass photos captured during an entire day. Both services are included when purchased per ticket, per day. Guests can also purchase Disney MaxPass through the app.
Disney PhotoPass Service
PhotoPass photographers at character, dining and special locations throughout the park ensure that everyone gets in the photo. Guests may also link, view and purchase photos at Disneyland.com or directly from the Disneyland app.
Play Disney Parks Mobile App
The new Play Disney Parks mobile app allows families and guests to interact with the theme parks. It also creates unique experiences and activities that bring surrounding environments to life. Furthermore, with group play that enables everyone to join in on the fun, guests can turn wait time into play time at select attraction queues, earn, collect and share uniquely themed digital achievements, test their knowledge of Disney trivia and listen to the music and sounds of Disney parks through curated Apple Music playlists.
“A Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” Tour
Guests may also follow in the footsteps of the man whose vision and creativity brought Disneyland park to life, Walt Disney. This 3 ½-hour guided tour covers the life of Walt Disney and stories behind the magic of Disneyland. To book this, or other tours offered by Disneyland Resort, call (714) 781-TOUR (8687).
Portable Phone Charging Systems Kiosks
Guests recharge their batteries without missing any of the fun by using a convenient portable battery set that can be purchased from kiosk locations throughout the resort. When the portable battery runs out, guests may swap it for a fully charged replacement at any kiosk at no extra cost.
Parent “Rider Switch”
A theme-park “rider switch” policy gives both parents a chance to enjoy their favorite attractions without double the wait. A parent who waits with a young child while the other parent rides the attraction may board the ride with minimal wait time once the first parent exits. Guests may ask a cast member about this option.
Enjoy the Shows and Entertainment
Oftentimes, children enjoy live entertainment and stage shows for the first time at the Disneyland Resort. Families may choose from multiple shows in the daily Show Entertainment Guide (available at the main entrance gate and at Guest Relations centers). These include parades, character encounters and shows such as “Disney Junior Dance Party!” (Disney California Adventure) and “Mickey and the Magical Map” (Disneyland). Fans of Disney’s global film phenomenon, “Frozen”, will find the dazzling theatrical interpretation “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion Theater” at Disney California Adventure Park. Guests also may encounter performers and singers as they stroll through the parks. These performers include the Dapper Dans at Disneyland, and Five and Dime at Disney California Adventure.
Be Amazed by Projection Shows and Spectacular Fireworks
State-of-the-art projection shows and fireworks illuminate the sky above Disneyland park on select nights. The shows are also choreographed to timeless music and with surprise appearances by some classic Disney characters. Viewing locations are throughout Disneyland and top spots include: along Main Street, U.S.A., in front of “it’s a small world” in Fantasyland and along the Rivers of America in Frontierland.
Character dining is a great way to introduce youngsters to Disney characters. At select locations, a cast of characters will visit guests at their tables. For reservations, call 714-781-DINE. Another tip: Many Disney restaurants offer children’s menus.
Healthful Dining Options
While special treats are part of the Disney fun, families can also choose nutritious snacks such as nuts, trail mix and fresh fruit from outdoor carts. Kids meals come with fruit or vegetables on the side, along with juice, water or low-fat milk. Fries and soda are available upon request, at no additional cost. Look for the Disney Check symbol on menus, indicating the best nutritional choices for children. Additionally, for lifestyle dining options, or for requests from guests with food allergies or intolerances, there are a wide range of choices, from kosher to gluten-friendly and sugar-free.
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