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Discount Disneyland Packages

Are you heading to the Disneyland Park soon? Are you overwhelmed with planning your vacation and don’t know where to start? Are you stressing about park tickets, a hotel room, wait times, and more? Don’t worry anymore! You are in the right place! My complete Disneyland planning guide will walk you through every part of the planning process. It doesn’t matter if this is your first trip to Disneyland or if you’ve been before; these tips will help you with your Disneyland planning.

While Disneyland offers a magical experience, proper Disneyland planning is essential to maximize your visit. Disneyland is a busy place, particularly during peak seasons and holidays. With a well-thought-out plan, you can avoid long wait times, missed opportunities, and a sense of overwhelm that can detract from the overall enjoyment.

Disneyland planning allows you to navigate the parks efficiently, experience your favorite attractions, and immerse yourself in the enchantment without feeling rushed or stressed. My Disneyland planning guide will help you quickly and easily plan your Disneyland vacation so you can get to the fun part! 

Also, Disneyland planning allows you to take advantage of special events, entertainment offerings, and exclusive experiences that may require reservations or additional planning considerations. Whether using Genie Plus for popular attractions, reserving a coveted dining experience, or snagging the best viewing spot for a spectacular nighttime show, careful planning helps you unlock the full potential of your Disneyland adventure.

I’ve compiled this complete Disneyland planning guide for you—just breathe. Everything is fine. You’re going to have the best time on your vacation! I have a list of steps to walk you through the planning process. You got this! My Disneyland planning guide will make things easy. I suggest bookmarking this Disneyland planning guide, so you can easily refer back to it as your doing your Disneyland planning.

1. Decide When To Visit Disneyland 

When to visit Disneyland

The first step in the Disneyland planning guide is deciding when to visit. One of the key aspects of planning a trip to Disneyland is choosing the ideal time to visit. The timing of your visit can significantly impact your experience, including crowd levels, weather conditions, and the availability of special events. By considering these factors, you can strategically select the best time for your Disneyland adventure. Luckily, I have a full guide to Disneyland every month of the year! You can check out Disneyland crowd calendars for each month, special events, weather, what to expect, and more! This guide will benefit you as you decide when to visit the happiest place on earth! You can find them here.

Here’s a podcast episode about the best time to visit Disneyland.

Let’s talk about some things you should consider when choosing a time to visit. Selecting your park dates is an important part of the Disneyland planning guide!

Seasons, Weather, and Crowd Levels

The seasons are crucial in determining the crowd levels and weather conditions at Disneyland. The park tends to be busiest during school holidays, summer vacations, and weekends. If you prefer a less crowded experience, consider visiting during non-peak times such as weekdays in the off-season or when schools are in session. This can help you enjoy shorter wait times for attractions and a more relaxed atmosphere throughout the park.

Additionally, the weather in Anaheim, California, is generally mild and pleasant throughout the year. However, it’s essential to know any seasonal variations or extreme weather conditions that may affect your visit. Remember that summers can be hot, and winters may bring occasional rain. Checking the weather forecast before your trip will ensure you pack appropriate clothing and plan for any weather-related changes.

Special Events and Holidays 

Disneyland hosts various special events and holidays throughout the year, which can enhance your experience and provide unique entertainment options. Some popular events include the Lunar New Year Celebration, Food and Wine Festival, Halloween Time, and the magical holiday transformation during the Christmas season. These events often come with additional entertainment offerings, themed decorations, and limited-time experiences that add an extra touch of magic to your visit.

It’s important to note that Disneyland may experience higher attendance and increased demand for certain attractions or entertainment during these special events and holidays. If you have your heart set on attending a specific event, plan your trip accordingly and be prepared for potentially larger crowds. Keep an eye on the Disneyland website or official social media channels for updates and announcements regarding special events.

2. Budgeting For Your Disneyland Vacation

The next step in the Disneyland Planning guide is making sure you’re budgeting for your Disneyland vacation. Planning a trip to Disneyland involves careful budgeting to ensure you have a memorable experience without breaking the bank. In this section of the Disneyland planning guide, we’ll explore the various aspects of budgeting, including estimating costs for tickets, accommodation, transportation, and meals.

 Estimating Costs: Tickets, Accommodation, Transportation, and Meals

When creating a budget for your Disneyland trip, you must consider all the potential expenses you may incur. Here are the main components to include:

  1. Tickets: Research the current ticket prices for Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Consider the duration of your visit and whether you plan to park hop. Please don’t pay full price for your tickets! Buy your tickets through Get Away Today to save the most money. They have great deals and even offer a free day at Disneyland! 
  2. Accommodation: Look into the cost of accommodations, both on-site and off-site. On-site hotels offer the convenience of proximity to the parks, but they may come at a higher price. Off-site hotels can provide more affordable options, although you may need to consider transportation costs. Quite a few off-site properties are within walking distance of the parks. I prefer to book my hotels through Get Away Today. They have great rates and even properties offering 3rd or 4th nights free! You can call them at 1-855- Get- AWAY and tell them Mix In Some Magic sent you for the best deals!
  3. Transportation: Factor in the cost of transportation to and from Disneyland. If you’re driving, consider parking fees and any additional costs associated with gas and tolls. If you’re flying, research flights to nearby airports and estimate ground transportation costs.
  4. Meals: Disneyland offers many dining options, from quick service to table-service restaurants. Determine your dining preferences and allocate a budget for meals in the parks. Keep in mind that bringing snacks and water bottles can help save money on in-park purchases.

By estimating these costs beforehand, you can have a realistic understanding of the financial commitment required for your Disneyland trip.

 Money-Saving Tips and Discounts

Saving money on your Disneyland trip is possible with a few savvy strategies:

  1. Plan in Advance: Booking tickets, accommodations, and transportation well in advance can often result in better deals and lower prices.
  2. Look for Package Deals: You can save the most money by booking a package deal that combines tickets and accommodations through Get Away Today. Use my code MIX10 to save an additional $10 on packages! 
  3. Consider Off-Peak Times: Visiting during non-peak seasons or weekdays can often result in lower ticket prices and reduced accommodation costs.
  4. Explore Dining Options: Quick-service restaurants generally offer more affordable meal options, and bringing your own snacks can help cut down on in-park expenses.

I have a full guide to Saving for your Disney Vacation and a Guide to Saving Money at Disneyland that will be helpful. Check them out! 

3. Are you using Disney Genie Plus?

Genie Plus At Disneyland

The next step in the Disneyland planning guide is deciding whether you will be using Genie Plus. Disney Genie Plus is the new system that replaced the old fastpass/maxpass system at Disneyland. Disney Genie Plus is an additional $25+ per person daily, allowing you to skip the standby line and enter certain attractions through the Lightning Lane. This can save you a lot of time waiting in line if you use it efficiently. I have a complete guide to Genie Plus to help you decide if it’s worth the extra cost.

You’ll want to do some research and figure out if this option is suitable for your group. You can purchase Genie Plus with your park tickets or add it separately using the Disneyland app after you’re in the park. 

If you decide to use Genie Plus(I highly recommend it!), listen to this podcast episode about tips and strategies for using it. It will help you use it effectively! I don’t want you to waste your money! 

4. Buy Park Tickets And Make Park Reservations

Next in the Disneyland planning guide is buying your park tickets. You’ve picked your dates and are ready to book your vacation to sunny southern California! But, first, you need Disney park tickets. You can’t visit Disneyland without tickets! You can purchase tickets from the Disneyland website, but you’ll pay full price if you go that route. Please don’t pay full price for your park tickets! Discount Disneyland tickets are available!

My partners at Get Away Today have the very best ticket prices around! I have been using them for 15 years and love them. I won’t buy my tickets anywhere else. They have incredible customer service, and they even have layaway plans! They care about your vacation and are the best place to buy discount Disneyland tickets. You can read about how amazing they are and everything they offer here. They also have great deals on hotels! Give them a call at 1-855-GET- AWAY and tell them Mix In Some Magic sent you for the best deals!

There are two ticket options. One park per day and the park hopper. The park hopper allows you to “hop” between Disneyland and California Adventure after 11 am. I don’t buy park hopper tickets often. I prefer to purchase one park per day ticket. There’s so much to do in each park, enough to keep you busy for a full day. So, I prefer to purchase 

Tickets AND park reservations are required to visit the Disney parks. Now that you have your tickets, you can make park reservations. After you’ve purchased your tickets from Get Away Today, you can log into the Disneyland website and make a reservation for each park you’d like to visit on your trip. Disneyland has two theme parks(Disneyland and California Adventure) and a shopping/dining district(Downtown Disney).

5. Book Lodging

Step number five in my disneyland planning guide is to book your hotel. If you purchased a package with a hotel from Get Away Today, you can skip this step in the Disneyland planning guide. Many people enjoy staying on the property when visiting Disneyland. Disneyland has three resorts to choose from. The Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier Hotel. They are all relatively expensive. You can read about the different on-site properties in my post about staying on property at Disneyland. 

You don’t have to stay on property at a Disneyland resort to have a great time. You may consider staying off-property if you have a large family(more than 4 or 5) or want a cheaper alternative. There are lots of off-site hotels that are closer than the Disneyland resort properties! Staying off-site at a more inexpensive hotel is one of the best ways to save money on your Disney vacation.

Our family prefers to stay at a hotel right across the street. I like to be able to walk to the parks in the morning! There are many affordable options. Here’s a post about my favorite hotels within walking distance of Disneyland that might help you narrow down your choices. 

One of my favorite places to stay is Howard Johnson(Hojo Anaheim. It’s right across the street from Disneyland, has excellent rates, and has a fun water park/pool area for the kids! You can get 15% off your room rates if you use this code when searching for a room: 1000022077. Enter it into the “corporate code” in the reservation form. Your discount will be automatically applied to your reservation!

You can also check with Get Away Today for some great hotel options! I have stayed at or toured more than 40 properties around Disneyland. I’ve got a bunch of Disneyland hotel reviews that will be helpful if you’re still deciding where to stay. 

6. Transportation to Disneyland

The next step in the Disneyland planning guide is figuring out your transportation. Whether you’re flying in, driving yourself, or utilizing public transportation, understanding the available options will ensure a smooth and stress-free journey.

A. Flying: Nearby Airports and Ground Transportation Options

If you’re traveling from a distance, flying to one of the nearby airports is a convenient option. Check out my guide to Airports Near Disneyland. The following airports serve as gateways to Disneyland:

  1. John Wayne Airport (SNA): Located approximately 14 miles from Disneyland, John Wayne Airport is the closest airport to the Disneyland Resort. Several airlines operate flights to and from this airport.
  2. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): As one of the busiest airports in the United States, LAX offers numerous domestic and international flights. Although located about 35 miles from Disneyland, it provides many flight options.
  3. Long Beach Airport (LGB): Situated around 18 miles from Disneyland, Long Beach Airport is another viable option for travelers. It serves various airlines and offers a more compact and convenient experience than larger airports.

Once you arrive at the airport, several ground transportation options are available to take you to Disneyland:

  • Shuttle Services: Numerous shuttle companies provide transportation between airports and Disneyland. These services often operate on fixed schedules and can be pre-booked for convenience. I love the Karmel shuttle! Karmel Shuttle offers door-to-door airport shuttle van services to and from Anaheim-area hotels, John Wayne Airport, Long Beach Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and Universal Studios Hollywood. Both shared, and private shuttle services are one flat rate. Purchase a shared shuttle if you have 1-5 passengers traveling, or choose a private shuttle that can accommodate up to 9 passengers. Karmel Shuttle is the easiest, most convenient way to travel to the Disneyland Resort! Get discount Karmel Shuttle Tickets for your vacation. 
  • Check out the EVE shuttle if you’re looking for a shuttle from the SNA airport to the Anaheim area hotels. It’s very easy and convenient! 
  • Ride-Sharing Services: Popular ride-sharing platforms such as Uber and Lyft operate in the area, offering a convenient and reliable mode of transportation. Request a ride from the designated pickup zones at the airport.
  • Rental Cars: If you prefer the freedom and flexibility of having your own vehicle, car rental services are available at all major airports. Consider the additional costs of parking at Disneyland and the availability of designated parking areas.

B. Driving: Parking, Routes, and Considerations

Driving to Disneyland allows you to have your own vehicle for your trip. Here are some considerations and tips when driving to the Disneyland Resort:

  • Parking: Disneyland offers both standard and preferred parking options. Standard parking is located further away but is more affordable, while preferred parking is closer to the parks for added convenience. Note that parking fees apply.
  • Routes: Depending on your starting point, there are various routes to reach Disneyland. Use navigation apps or GPS devices to determine the most efficient and least congested route.
  • Traffic Considerations: Southern California can experience heavy traffic, especially during peak travel times. Plan your departure time accordingly and allow extra travel time to avoid delays.

C. Public Transportation

Public transportation can be a convenient and cost-effective way to reach Disneyland. Here are some options to consider:

  • Buses: Public bus services(ART) operate in the area, providing transportation to and from Disneyland. The ART shuttles have stops near most of the hotels in the Disneyland area and will take you directly to the parks. They are a convenient and easy way to get to Disneyland and are cheaper than other options. 
  • Trains: Amtrak and Metrolink train services serve the Anaheim area. The Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) is the main train station near Disneyland, offering easy access to the resort.
  • Shuttle Services: Some hotels in the area offer complimentary or paid shuttle services to Disneyland. If you’re staying in a hotel, inquire about shuttle options during the booking process.

7. Planning Dining and Snacks

Our next step in the Disneyland planning guide is all about dining. One of the most delightful aspects of visiting Disneyland is indulging in the delicious dining options and delectable snacks throughout the parks. Some of the most popular dining experiences at Disneyland require reservations. Guests can make dining reservations 60 days in advance on the Disneyland website or the Disneyland app. Do some research and figure out what restaurants you’d like to eat at and if a reservation is needed. 

A. Dining Options: Quick-Service, Table-Service, Character Meals, and More

Disneyland offers various dining options to cater to every taste and preference. Here are the main types of dining experiences you’ll encounter:

  1. Quick-Service Restaurants: These are counter-service restaurants where you can grab a quick bite to eat. They offer a variety of options, such as burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more. Quick-service dining is perfect for those who want to maximize their time in the parks. Check out my guides to Quick Service at Disneyland and California Adventure for a free printable that will be valuable on your park days when deciding where to eat! 
  2. Table-Service Restaurants: Table-service restaurants provide a more relaxed dining experience, with waitstaff and full-service meals. These restaurants often require reservations and offer a wider selection of dishes, including themed menus and unique culinary experiences. Reservation can be made 60 days in advance. If you need help getting the reservations you want, check out Mouse Dining. You tell them where you want to eat and when, and they’ll notify you when it becomes available! 
  3. Character Meals: Character meals are a fantastic way to meet beloved Disney characters while enjoying a meal. These dining experiences typically occur in table-service restaurants, allowing you to interact with characters as they visit each table. Check out all my info on Character Dining
  4. Snack Stands and Carts: Throughout the parks, you’ll find numerous snack stands and carts offering a variety of treats. From churros and popcorn to specialty ice creams and pretzels, these snacks provide a quick and satisfying pick-me-up.

8. Make A Basic Plan For Each Day

Disneyland touring plan

The next step in my Complete Disneyland Planning Guide is making a basic daily plan. Now don’t freak out when I say “basic plan.” I’m not suggesting you have to schedule every minute of every day unless you want to! If that makes you happy, do it! I prefer a detailed plan, but a basic one is fine too.

Take some time to research the popular attractions and entertainment from each park. I have a ride guide with height requirements you might like. Which rides are your kids most excited about? Do you have any favorite characters you’d like to see? What entertainment do you want to see? Figure out what’s most important to you and your family. Decide which rides you’re going to do first thing when you arrive so you don’t waste time standing around making a plan.

Look at each park’s map to familiarize you with the layout. You can find one on the Disneyland app. Write out a general outline for your day. If you’re interested in rope dropping, you can find some helpful information about it here. Make sure you add in meal times and breaks.

 I have downloadable touring plans that include Genie Plus. These plans give you a step-by-step plan for your park days. These plans are helpful if you want a premade plan to take some of the stress out of your trip! If this is overwhelming, I’m here to help! I offer custom Disneyland plans with a personalized itinerary to help you avoid long lines and accomplish everything important to you.

Here are some strategies to optimize your time at Disneyland and reduce wait times:

  1. Arrive Early: Start your day at the parks as early as possible to take advantage of shorter lines and fewer crowds. You’ll have a chance to experience popular attractions with minimal wait times.
  2. Use Disney MaxPass: Consider adding the Disney MaxPass feature to your ticket. It allows you to make FastPass selections from your mobile device, saving time and effort.
  3. Utilize Single-Rider Lines: If you are okay with riding separately from your group, take advantage of single-rider lines, which often have shorter wait times.
  4. Mid-Day Breaks: Plan for mid-day breaks to rest, recharge, and escape the peak crowds. Enjoy a leisurely lunch or explore less crowded areas of the parks.

9. Packing Tips

Next in the Disneyland Planning Guide we need to talk about packing. Preparing for a day at Disneyland involves more than just planning your itinerary. Packing the right essentials ensures a comfortable and enjoyable experience. You’re going to want to make sure you have comfortable clothing, walking shoes and sun and rain protection. There’s a lot to think about when packing! 

I’ve made a printable packing list that includes everything you’ll need on your Disneyland vacation! I’ve even included park bag essentials that you’ll want to have in your park bag on your Disney days. I always make sure I have a fully stocked park bag before my vacation so I’m ready for any situation! Disneyland has everything you could want/need for sale in the parks, but it’s expensive! I like buying a few things on Amazon in advance to save a little money. You can find my list of what to buy on Amazon before your Disney trip here

10. Top Disneyland Tips

The last step in my Disneyland planning guide is to give you a few important tips! Before you set off on your Disneyland adventure, there are a few things that I’d like you to know. Take a look at my top Disneyland tips. These will be so helpful for you! I talk about how to rope drop, use a rider switch, and much more! These tips will walk you through all the important things you need to know for your Disneyland trip. I also have lots of tips and information on my Instagram page. Check that out for even more tips, park strategies, and helpful information. You will learn so much and show up prepared for anything and everything!

Remember, this is a vacation. You’re supposed to relax and enjoy yourself. You’ve put in a little work ahead of time planning your vacation by using this Disneyland planning guide, and it will pay off big time! Remember to go with the flow and have a good attitude. Take lots of pictures and enjoy your magical Disneyland vacation!

I hope my complete Disneyland planning guide was helpful to you. If you need more help or have any questions, ask me! I’m happy to help! Ask a cast member if you have any questions while in the parks. They are so friendly and helpful. I know you’ll have such a good time on your vacation!

I hope you have a magical and unforgettable trip to Disneyland. If you found this Disneyland planning guide helpful, please share it! Taking the stress out of Disneyland planning is something that I’m passionate about. I’d love to help as many people as possible with my Disneyland planning guide!

Remember, Disneyland is not just a destination—it’s a place where dreams come true. So, embrace the enchantment that awaits you. Enjoy every moment, savor every experience, and let the magic of Disneyland fill your heart. Safe travels, and may your Disneyland adventure be everything you hope for and more!

Make sure to check out my podcast for lots of Disney planning information! You can find it on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Just search for “Mix In Some Magic” Follow me on Instagram for lots of Disney tips and fun!