Disney tips #1 - General Disney Anaheim Tips

You may or may not know that we are currently hanging out in LA to take a break from everyday life. 

For the first three days of our holiday we hung out at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure Parks.  After trying out Tokyo Disney and DisneySea last year I went in fairly confidently that we could manage the truly hectic nature of these parks in three days or less. We could, but we didn't cover every inch of the park! 

Because the fastpass system is slightly different and the parks a little older than Tokyo, it was harder to get a system working, so I thought sharing our experience here might be helpful to anyone else packing as much park as possible into their holidays. 



Extra Magic Hour 

If you can at all manage it, spring for a Disney Hotel while you will be at the parks, because on top of saving you time getting to the park you'll also get Extra Magic Hour. 

Extra Magic Hour means access to the Parks an hour earlier than ticket holders who aren't staying in a Disney Hotel. 

Be aware that in Anaheim Extra Magic Hour is only for one park in the morning rotating daily, at present this is

Disneyland: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

Disney California Adventure Park: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays 

Extra Magic Hour will allow you to get on rides before the line gets long, or in the case of California Adventure get in the meet and greet line for Anna and Elsa before that gets to insane proportions, and send your partner off to hunt down fastpasses that are key to getting on the most popular rides without spending hours (literally) in line. 

It is also super important to be aware that the Park Opening Hours and therefore the Extra Magic Hours change almost daily, we didn't realise this and missed most of the extra magic hour on our last day there! 

Speaking of Disney Hotels

We stayed at the Paradise Pier Hotel, which was the cheapest of the three options, and apart from the Extra Magic Hour this was just another hotel with some Disney Details.  Comparative to staying in the Miracosta at DisneySea, or the Ambassador at Disney Tokyo it was a bit of a disappointment, it just lacked the magic that Japanese Disney Hotels create. 


Stroller Hire 

Even though Eve is five and we don't normally use a stroller for her the $15 a day was again well spent, there is a ton of walking in the parks and even more when you count all the criss crossing you can end up doing getting to different lines for different rides or shows. 



I'll go in to more detail on ride and event specific fastpasses but suffice to say these are key to getting as many rides in as you can in a few days, but also crucial in order to not miss out on certain events like, Frozen Live at the Hyperion (seriously DO NOT miss this).   

If you have Extra Magic Hour you can't get a fastpass during this time, but keep an eye on the time as you near the end of the hour and find the line for the first fastpass you want to pick up as the people waiting for normal admission will be lining up and waiting. 

Fastpasses allocate you a time to come back to the ride and essentially cut (most of) the line, you can generally only have one at a time but the Fastpass ticket will tell you when you can collect another Fastpass.   

The exception to this is Fastpasses to Frozen Live at the Hyperion and World of Colour Fastpasses as you can hold both of these and still pick up Fastpasses for a ride. 



Food is highly priced, as you would expect in a theme park, but you can bring in snacks, and I would recommend this and at the very least drink bottles there are plenty of taps you can fill these up in.

But other than food and trinkets you don't need to purchase anything in the parks so this really depends on your budget and whether lugging around food works for you. 


Want more Disneyland Info, stay tuned for posts on

Disneyland Strategy (fail)

Feel the Force and do it anyway

Do you want to meet a snowman?

Chasing Princesses

General California Adventure Park Tips

Tokyo vs California pros and cons