Tips and Tricks for visiting Disneyland

People who know me always know my favorite place to be on the face of this planet is Disneyland. Even if a zombie apocalypse happened, I'd go there. I've been watching too much Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, but you get the point! See my tips and tricks for a fun Disneyland adventure.
Book the hotel no later than 1 month prior to your visit: I've done last minute trips before, and usually the prices for hotels are going to be more expensive  the longer you wait. Also check hotel prices during the week and maybe throughout the day. I've done so on Hotels.com and Priceline.com and just like airline tickets, the time you look at hotels can reflect different pricing.

Great hotels and more affordable then the resort: Best Western Park Place Inn, Carousel Inn, Camelot Inn, Tropicana Inn and Best Western Plus Inn. All of these hotels listed are right across the street on S Harbor Blvd and are walking distance.

Purchase tickets or annual pass: Think about it - if your going to Disneyland more than once a year with a minimum stay of 2 days or more, I'd highly suggest purchasing an annual pass. You will end up saving more money and they have monthly payment options for those who live in California. They also offer different pass types - some with block out dates, some with none. 

Bring your own water: Usually before a trip, we purchase a pack of water bottles to take down with us so we don't have to spend almost $5 for the water they sell in the parks.

Wear comfy shoes: You are seriously going to walk probably more than you do on a daily basis, and standing in lines can add a toll to your feet. Wear running/walking shoes. For those who wear vans or converse, make sure to pack some band aids to put on the back of your heel - I always get blisters.

Download the Disneyland App or Mousewait: Mousewait is a community app that offers wait times for rides and restaurants. They also have live feeds for crowd index (how packed the park is) and if any special event is happening that day. The Disneyland app is the official app of Disneyland that offers almost the same thing, just minus the social network part.

Make reservations for restaurants & World of Color dining package: If you think you can make a reservation the day your in the park, or even sitting down right away at Blue Bayou or Carthay Circle, think again.  Make a reservation at least 3 weeks prior to your visit to avoid disappointment. The World of Color dining package is pricey, and your limited to certain foods on the menu, but the view was to die for! We got to stand front row! On a windy night though, you may get soaked, but try it out! I literally couldn't stop smiling.

Pack snacks: Disneyland is getting more tough with security, but you are allowed to bring in your own food. There's even a picnic area just outside the parks. Just remember to avoid bringing any glass bottles or containers.

Avoid selfie sticks: Just last year it was announced that selfie sticks are banned from the parks. They don't want to be liable for you using one on a ride and your device dropping. Also be careful with tripods, GoPro handles and stabilizers. They will ask you if it extends and some cast members have confiscated stabilizers thinking it'd become a "selfie stick". 

Decide what time of the year you will visit: I find myself a pro in this category as I've been visiting the parks from birth and have been a pass holder for over 2 years now. My tip to you is to look at the park hours on Disneyland.com for the dates you will be going. If you see the normal park hours (8 am to 12 pm) know it's going to be extremely busy as longer hours usually equal larger crowds. 3 day weekends, spring break, summer vacation, Thanksgiving break, and winter vacation ARE THE MOST BUSIEST TIMES OF THE YEAR. If your not into hot weather and long lines (more than an hour wait) avoid Memorial Day Weekend and summer vacation (June through August). Also note that 4th of July is always PACKED to where the park always reaches it's crowd capacity. Prime hours for low crowds are 10 am to 6 or 7 pm. You'll walk onto every ride and have room to actually walk around.

Utilize fastpasses: If your visiting during peak season, try to get your favorite rides fastpass as soon as you enter the park. Hyperspace mountain and Radiator Spring Racers usually run out of passes the fastest. I'd get your Radiator Racers passes first - and make sure everyone in your party is in the park, otherwise their ticket will not print a fast pass.

Walk the park clockwise: Again during peak season, usually everyone walking in starts the day by visiting Tomorrowland, then working their way counter clockwise around the park, leaving the shops the last place to stop (this was Disney's strategy). By walking clockwise, you are less likely to wait in long lines early in the morning and avoid larger crowds in the lands.

Enjoy the delicious food spots: During my stay, I always have to eat at the Plaza Inn for dinner. That fried chicken is WORTH IT. You can even get it grilled if you want to avoid the fried part. Also another tip - it usually comes with a thigh and a leg. I always ask for two legs as the thigh is MASSIVE and I find myself not being able to eat the rest of my meal. If your not an fan of green beans, you can also swap that for another scoop of mashed potatoes or another biscuit. I also have to enjoy some popcorn, a candy apple (the candy store on main street is the best) beignets, loaded baked potato (near Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain) and Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes! Other great places to eat are the ESPN Zone and Trader Sams, which offer even more amazing and strong drinks. So many people didn't know where it was until we showed them, but it's on the Disneyland Hotel property right by the pool. Make sure you walk around to where the sign says "Trader Sams".

Take a break: If your staying around the parks and are planning on being there till closing, go and take a 1 or 2 hour break. It's nice to unwind and maybe even grab some warmer clothes for the night. 

Bring a portable charger: My phones battery life goes by extremely fast while I'm visiting the parks because I'm constantly looking at wait times or taking pictures for Instagram. Portable chargers are a life saver and are affordable if you find them on eBay or Amazon.

Pack your patience: It's easy to get irritated and you'll even be surprised how many unhappy people are actually in the parks. Know it's going to be a long day and that you want to always have fun no matter what you do. Good attitude does get noticed by cast members and they may give you a special pin...!

Hopefully these will help you on your next trip! Remember to take lots of pictures and even videos and have fun! You can always ask me more questions down in the comments below as I have a ton more tips.

Enjoy!