How to Plan Your First Disneyland Vacation

How to Plan Your First Disneyland Vacation #beverlyhills #beverlyhillsmagazine #disneylandvacation #planningfordisneylandvacation #disneypark #dreamvacation #familyvacation
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Disneyland is one of the most popular theme parks and a dream destination for many people around the world. From a magical parade to a re-themed Adventure and Treehouse and major celebrations, Disneyland offers a magical experience for young and old alike. However, unlike other family vacations you can plan spontaneously, planning a Disneyland vacation can be extremely overwhelming.

From making theme park reservations and a park plan to determining which area hotels will work best for your family, there are many things to know about a Disney trip. And without proper planning, you’ll be headed straight for disappointment and missed opportunities. Before your first Disneyland vacation, you need to plan accordingly and take a look at the Disneyland map to get an idea of the location and be familiar with the theme park layout.

Here are some of the top things to consider when planning your first Disneyland vacation to help you make the most of your trip:

1. Choose a Date

The first step to planning your first Disneyland vacation is deciding the best time to visit the theme park. This is crucial since Disneyland is often more crowded during the peak seasons than visiting in the off-season. For instance, Disneyland tends to be busier and more crowded over the weekends, during the holidays, and when children are on school breaks. So, if you’re not ready to deal with large crowds, consider scheduling your vacation during the off-season.

Additionally, you may want to consider what Disneyland seasonal events are happening when choosing a vacation date. Disneyland has many great seasonal events year-round that you may want to consider when scheduling your vacation date. These special events include the Oogie Boogie Bash, Food and Wine Festival, and the Disneyland Halloween Party.

You may also want to consider other factors, like the weather, when deciding the best time to visit Disneyland. For instance, visiting during the summer can allow you to enjoy great weather, newly introduced entertainment, and longer operating hours. On the other hand, visiting Disneyland during the spring can be a great option if you’re on a strict budget and want to save on airfare and accommodation.

2. Decide How Long You Want to Stay

Another important factor to consider when planning your first Disneyland vacation is the length of your stay. How long you want to stay in Disneyland will depend on factors such as how much you want to see and do. For instance, you should consider planning for a longer vacation if you’re planning on visiting Disneyland and other sites or parks in southern California. The number of days you want to visit the park will also depend on how much time you’re out of work or school if you’re visiting with your children. 

However, if you homeschool your kids, extending your stay won’t be much of a factor as it would for most families. Consider your budget when determining the length of your vacation to Disneyland. Be sure to determine how much you want to spend beforehand since the longer you stay at Disneyland, the more costly it’ll be. Determining how long your vacation will be is important, since it will help you when making park and hotel reservations and bookings.

3. Book Your Airline Tickets

It’s also advisable to book your airline tickets before even making park reservations or other travel arrangements. That’s mostly because the prices of airline tickets often tend to fluctuate, depending on the date and airline you use. You can take advantage of this and book your airline ticket on a date that will allow you to save money on your vacation. However, you may not be able to book your airline ticket too far in advance, especially if you use an airline that doesn’t release their flight tickets to purchase over six months in advance.

4. Make Hotel Reservations

Once you’ve booked your airline tickets, you need to determine what hotel to stay in during your Disneyland vacation. During your vacation, you can stay in one of Disney’s on-property hotels or at a Disney-approved third-party hotel. Staying at an on-property hotel can be more beneficial since it makes it easier to access Disneyland by walking, allowing you plenty of time to enjoy and explore the theme park and all Downtown Disney offers.

The three Disney-owned hotels include Paradise Pier Hotel, the Disneyland Hotel, and the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Most of the on-property hotels are usually within walking distance from the parks and even offer bus transportation to the parks. However, the on-property hotels vary greatly in amenities, design, and pricing. So, check each hotel’s specific services and amenities before booking.

Alternatively, you may consider staying in one of the off-site hotels near Disneyland. Staying in an off-site hotel can be a great option, especially if you want a wide range of dining options or looking to save money. And since Disneyland is located at the heart of Anaheim City, some off-site hotels are only a few steps from the park’s entrance gates. This means you don’t incur any travel costs to the park daily.

5. Make Theme Park Reservations

After you’ve found the right hotel for your Disneyland vacation and made reservations, next is to make theme park reservations. Disneyland offers you several reservation options you can make. This includes a regular park ticket that allows you to access one park a day. You can also make a park hopper reservation, which is a perfect option if you want to switch between parks or spend at least half a day in every park.

There is also the new Disney Genie+ option that gives you access to shorter lines, helping ease the long line waits. This option is usually purchased on top of your park ticket, eliminating the standby queues on various attractions for a daily fee. You can make reservations for different park attractions, including classic attractions like Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

6. Book Your Ground Transportation

Another crucial part of planning your Disneyland vacation is booking your in-town transportation. You need to book transportation from the airport to your Disney hotel, whether ride-sharing or a shuttle service. You might even want to rent a car during your vacation, especially if you plan to visit other parks besides the Disney parks. However, be sure to confirm what your hotel’s parking rates are.

Find out from your hotel what transportation to the Disney parks is available. Check your hotel’s official website for more details on the schedules, fares, and routes. Alternatively, consider utilizing the Anaheim Resort Transportation system, which provides transportation from the hotels to Disney parks.


While planning your first Disneyland vacation can be extremely overwhelming, breaking it down into the steps above will help make it easier and faster. Taking the time to adequately plan your Disneyland vacation will help you make the most of your trip and make magical memories.

Martin Maina
Martin Maina is a professional writer and blogger who uses his expertise, skills, and personal experience in digital marketing to craft content that resonates with audiences. Deep down, he believes that if you cannot do great things, then you can do small things in a great way. To learn more, you can connect with him online.
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