1.) Purchase a park hopper pass which allows you to go back and forth between the parks in the course of the same day (hence the “hop” part of the name). While park hopper passes do cost more than the passes which only allow you to visit one park per day, they are definitely worth it. It is possible to experience “burn out” from one park, so it’s nice to know a park hopper pass allows you the option of heading to another park for the rest of the day. Also, in case there’s a restaurant at one park you want to eat at for dinner but you don’t necessarily want to spend the whole day at that park, you can still do both. On our first full day there, we started the day at Disneyland and then by afternoon headed over to California Adventure. For reference, a four day park hopper with one magic morning costs $275 for adults and $255 for children ages 3-9, whereas four day one park per day pass, costs $245 for adults and $225 for children.
And then end here at California Adventure:
2.) For the more popular rides such as Splash Mountain and Indiana Jones at Disneyland and Tower with wait times averaging about 60 minutes, and on hot days, nothing is worse than standing in never ending lines. The fast pass system is designed to help alleviate congestion in the lines. People insert their park pass into a machine and out comes a fast pass for the ride that says to return at a time in the future. Fast passes are good for an hour and once the hour of your fast pass has started, you are allowed to get another fast pass even if you haven’t used the one you already have. (It is not designed for people to get multiple fast passes all at once.) The other caveat is that there is only a certain number of fast passes available in the course of the day so once they’re gone, they’re gone. I can say that there is nothing better than walking straight to the start of a line and breezing past hundreds of people on the other side in the standby queue.
3.) A Disney theme park vacation is extremely expensive-passes, food, souvenirs-there’s no denying it. Therefore one shouldn’t go to a Disney park scrimping pennies simply because it takes away from what a vacation is supposed to be-fun and relaxed and a break from everyday living. However, one way to help cut down on costs is by staying at a hotel outside of the park. Not only are these hotels going to be infinitely cheaper than Disneyland’s three outside properties, but it’s silly not to stay at one of them considering how little time one actually spends in their hotel room during a Disney vacation (sleeping and bathing was about it for D and me). The money we saved on accommodations was put to much better use in the shops and restaurants.
4.) While not a fast and exciting ride per se, the Disneyland Railroad is not only a great way to be transported around the park but also offers guests of all ages a chance to sit down and relax. On our final day at Disneyland, the temperatures were hotter than they had been our first couple of days, not to mention we were extremely fatigued, so we hopped on the train at the Fantasyland stop and rode it for about 20 minutes. While the line can be long, wait time is no more than five minutes since there are always people getting off at the various stops and the trains run pretty continuously.
5.) Especially on hot days, take advantage of the attractions that not only allow you to sit down but also to relax in air conditioning. At California Adventure there is the Muppets 3D movie which, although I hadn’t seen it in more than a decade, was still as funny as ever, as well as a much abridged theatrical version of Aladdin. And in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland there is Captain Eo 3D, a science fiction film starring Michael Jackson (this was brought back after his death in 2009), and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, a somewhat snoozable attraction but still offers seating in coolness and comfort.