Creative, entrepreneur, mother, speaker. I thrive on learning, growing and sharing my journey in the hopes to inspire others to live independently, confidently and courageously.
Are you planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort in California soon? I’m hoping since you find yourself here, you are at least contemplating it 😉
Now I know it can be a little overwhelming when you first start looking into it. Trust me I know, and I’ve been 4 times and still learn better ways to navigate it every time!!
But I am here to make it as easy as possible for you!! In this post, I’ll guide you through the best process for booking Disneyland in 2023, from choosing the right time to go, to finding the best deals on tickets and accommodation and planning the perfect day!
The first step in planning your trip to Disneyland is to determine when you want to go. Keep in mind that some times of the year are more crowded than others, so it’s important to choose a time that suits your schedule and preferences. Consider factors like the weather, school breaks, and major holidays when deciding on the best time to visit. EG. October is Halloween and a huge time in the park, also one of the busiest.
Especially those of us travelling all the way from the east coast of Australia, you want to make sure you make the most of your time!!
I suggest looking up a crowd predictor. There are tonnes of these around on Pinterest and a simple Google will find you the info you need. I have linked a handy one below!!
Once you’ve decided on the best time to visit Disneyland, it’s time to book your tickets. You can purchase tickets directly from the Disneyland website, or through a travel agent.
Keep in mind that ticket prices may vary depending on the time of year and the type of ticket you purchase. You may also be able to find offers and discounts through third-party websites, so be sure to do your research before you buy. And also make sure it’s a reputable partnered website!!
My personal experience with Klook has been amazing! And this would be my suggested place to book. Their app is super easy to navigate and makes it really clear what you are booking, as it can be quite confusing.
Speaking of confusion, let’s chat tickets – and what is going to be best for you!!
When planning your visit to Disneyland, it’s important to understand the different types of tickets that are available. Here are the main options:
The type of ticket you choose will depend on your schedule and budget. If you’re only visiting for one day, a Park Hopper Ticket may be the best choice. If you have more time and want to see both parks, a Multi-Day Ticket may be the way to go. If you’re a frequent visitor, a Magic Key Pass may be a better investment in the long run.
Consider your options carefully and choose the ticket that’s right for you, the length of time you’re going and what your main priorities are in the park!!
It’s also important to know that Disneyland Resort in California has a park reservations system in place. To enter a theme park, each guest (aged 3 and older) is required to have both a park reservation and a valid ticket for the same date and same park, for each day of their visit. Guests must use the same admission for the park entry that was used to make the associated theme park reservation. I have popped details of the Park Reservation here which can be viewed online. Availability is limited.
When it comes to accommodation, Anaheim (where Disneyland Resort in California is located – it’s about an hour from LAX) offers a variety of options to suit any budget and preference. From budget-friendly motels to luxury hotels, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re looking for convenience, especially if you have young kids, consider staying at one of the hotels located on the Disneyland Resort property. In the past, I have stayed at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and it was great for nipping back for a nap for the girls when they were young.
This will also allow you to take advantage of early entry to the park, and easier access to other perks like character breakfasts and exclusive merchandise.
There are also great partner hotels surrounding the parking within a 1-2km radius. On this trip, I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Orange County. This hotel was huge and even had its own Starbucks. There was also a half-hourly shuttle directly to the park.
For you Aussies, there are also some great deals available through Qantas Holidays, with flight, hotel and ticket packages available. I have linked these below. This is great if you are a Qantas Frequent Flyer or just looking to make life easy with everything packaged and ready to go!
There’s so much to see and do at Disneyland that it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. To make the most of your time, consider creating a rough itinerary that outlines the attractions and shows you want to see first.
I made a huge mistake of wasting our Magic hour on rides that actually didn’t have long lines most of the day on our 2018 trip, and still regret it to this day haha
I would suggest downloading the Disneyland app well before your trip and studying the wait times of rides. Work out the ones you want to do the most and create a plan. I’ll pop some more info below on this!
My hot tips to try to get done early or with a lightening lane per park are:
You can also be strategic and go to certain rides when parades or shows are on that might draw a crowd away. Just make sure you are on the right side of the park as it’s impossible to get up and around Main St during a parade!
I also suggest making a list of rides that have smaller wait times and heading to these rides during busy times in the park. All the old-school rides around Adventureland are great for this.
And I would highly suggest, if your budget allows, getting Genie+ and using lightning lanes to avoid long wait times. More on this below.
Planning your trip will be made 100 times easier if you use the Disneyland app. Even in the last three years since I last came to the park I have found the app has improved and has so much more to offer and help plan your trip!!
Here are some of the ways the app can help you plan your perfect day:
The Disneyland app is free to download and is an absolute MUST. I would say it would be almost impossible without it. And yes, the park has wifi!! Be sure to download it before your visit and familiarize yourself with its features and start planning!!
Disneyland recently introduced a new system called Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes to help visitors streamline their experience. This replaces the old Fast Pass system. And personally, I found it MUCH better, more streamlined and easier to use!
Genie+ is a paid service that allows you to book access to select attractions throughout the day, similar to FastPass. Individual Lightning Lane, on the other hand, is a separate paid service that allows you to skip the standby line and get immediate access to select attractions. Both of these services can be booked through the Disneyland app and can help you save time and avoid long lines.
Here’s a bit of info on both, to help you pick what might suit you best.
I will mention, Lightning Lane is not included in the price of your tickets, and the cost varies depending on the attraction and the day.
While it can be a great way to save time and experience some of the most popular rides without waiting in long lines, it can also add up quickly if you plan to use it frequently throughout the day. Hence why planning your day is SO important!!
However, the 5 times I paid to skip the line on Radiator Springs Racers was 100% worth it and would do it another 600 times time LOL I absolutely HATE lines.
In my personal opinion, travelling all that way from Australia, Genie+ is well worth it to maximise the experience and a few Lightning Lanes are well worth the time saved!
Magicband+ (known internationally as ‘Disney Band’) has just been introduced to Disneyland!! I first used these at Walt Disney World in Florida, and they serve as a super hand tool for scanning into the park, rides and other cool experiences, but I believe they are a little different here at Disneyland. So here is what you need to know about Magicband+
I have actually linked here so you can see everything Magicband+ can do!
This year is also 100 years of Disney, and the Disneyland Resort in California is celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company with special offerings throughout the park.
Here are some of the experiences and events you can expect:
Honestly, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event that Disney fans won’t want to miss! If you have been planning a trip, making it this year will be very much worth it!!
I have heaps of videos on my Instagram and Tik Tok that showcase the food and other special offerings!!
Some extra little tips that might also help you plan your perfect trip
I know it might seem a little bit daunting booking for Disneyland in 2023, but with a little bit of planning, you can create an unforgettable experience – especially during this Disney100 period!!
Remember to do your research and book the best time to visit, book your tickets and accommodations well in advance so you don’t miss out, plan your activities, and maximize your experience while you’re there with some of the things I’ve mentioned above.
I highly suggest jumping on Pinterest or checking out people’s Tik Tok hashtags for some really good niche tips too!!
Doing all this, you will be well on your way to creating the most amazing memories that will last a lifetime.
As a disclosure, I would like to mention that I was invited and hosted by Disneyland Resort in California for this trip, which included my hotel, some experiences, and food vouchers. However, I assure you that all thoughts, feelings, emotions, opinions, and reviews presented in this blog post are solely my own, and I will always provide an honest and unbiased review of my experience.
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