What To Pack For A Disneyland Trip: 41 Essentials To Bring

Whoohoo! So you’ve got a trip to Disneyland coming up. Get ready to feel like a kid again and experience magic everywhere you turn! And really, we mean everywhere (there’s likely magic sprinkled into the churros and turkey legs too).

If you’re wondering what to pack for your Disneyland vacation, but don’t know exactly where to start, we’ve got you covered!

Welcome to the only Disneyland packing guide you’ll need! Having visited Disneyland more than ten times now (more times than I can count, really), I know a thing or two about packing for Disneyland trips with max efficiency.

Now, this is not going to be a style guide to help you understand what trendy clothes to buy, but rather a guide to ensure you have everything you need to travel smarter, feel comfortable, and save money.

Here’s my ultimate Disneyland packing list to ensure you have everything you’ll need for a perfect time at the park. Get ready to pack like a pro!

*Please note: All of the products listed in this post are my personal tried and true recommendations and may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running. Thanks!

Still need to buy your Disneyland tickets? Undercover Tourist is the trusted name for discounted theme park tickets. Depending on how many days you visit the parks, you can save up to $161 per ticket with them!

Fashion / Style at Disneyland: What To Expect

At Disneyland, you can expect people to wear pretty casual clothing. But casual clothing doesn’t mean it has to be boring!

Often times you’ll see people wearing Disney-themed shirts paired with shorts and comfortable walking shoes. This now ranges from Star Wars to Avengers-themed clothing, and classic Disney Princess costumes to Disney Pixar outfits.

Superfans will be wearing lanyards absolutely covered in Disney collectible pins, and they’ll still be looking to add to their collection!

Couples that want to show off their love to each other will often wear matching Disney-related outfits. And more often than not, you’ll see a wide assortment of Mickey ears and headbands atop the heads of many park-goers!

What To Pack For Disneyland - TravelsWithElle

Really, anything goes at Disneyland. It’s a real judgment-free zone where everyone can feel like a kid again.

Whether you want to go with the Disney-related outfit or just stick to your own style of fashion, that’s completely up to you. The rule of thumb here is to wear what makes you feel comfortable.

Now that we’ve set the stage on what to expect at Disneyland, let’s get on to the packing details!

Consider The Weather at Disneyland Before Packing

Disneyland and California Adventure are located in Anaheim, California in sunny Southern California. The relatively dry weather in Anaheim makes it a great place to visit year-round!

Having said that, there are slight differences in weather from season to season.

Summer at Disneyland

During the summer season (June to September), it can get quite hot in Anaheim during the daytime.

It is not uncommon for you to feel the mugginess of the morning while walking to the park entrance, with daytime temperatures exceeding 90 degrees.

You’ll want to carry a lot of water with you wherever you go and pack clothes that are light and airy to prevent discomfort while walking around.

Winter at Disneyland

If you’re traveling during the winter months (December to February), you’ll be visiting during Anaheim’s ‘coldest’ season.

And by ‘cold’, we mean daytime averages of around 70°F (21°C). This is not, by any means, the definition of cold at all! The winter weather is one of the great things to love about Southern California.

You’ll still be able to get away with a t-shirt or light long sleeve in the daytime, but you’ll want to bring a jacket with you for when the sun goes down.

Spring/Fall at Disneyland

Spring (March to May) and Fall (October to November) at Disneyland means comfortably warm daily temperatures hovering in the 70s and 80s. If you are unphased by cooler nighttime temperatures, you may be able to get by without a jacket all day!

The bottom line: Pack appropriately depending on the season/month you visit. Along with your warm-weather clothing, bring something for those cooler temperatures (for when you’re indoors and establishments are blasting the air conditioner and/or for those cooler evenings). You’ll want to be prepared for it all!

Best Disneyland Souvenirs To Buy

Consider Your Disneyland Itinerary Before Packing

What activities are you going to be doing in Disneyland?

Will you be just riding rides, or also going to dine at some of the fancier restaurants? Will you be staying all day, or do you plan to head back to your hotel before it gets dark and cold?

Maybe to avoid being out in the midday heat, you choose to retire to your hotel for a few hours until the sun rays chill out a bit.

At the hotel, do you plan to use the swimming pool? And lastly, when you’re not at Disneyland, will you be hiking or doing outdoor activities in the nearby parks?

Your planned activities will influence your Disneyland packing list.

If you’re going to be at the park all day until nightfall, you’ll need to make room for some sweaters/jackets.

If you’re going to be doing outdoor/hiking activities outside of Disneyland, there’s going to be extra stuff you need to consider bringing, like activewear, hiking shoes, day packs, etc.

If lounging by the pool is another one of your main objectives, you’ll need to bring a swimsuit or two.

Packing Gear: How To Carry Your Stuff To Disneyland

Before you pack anything, it’s important to start with the skin and bones of packing. Having the right bags to put your belongings in is extremely important. The last thing you want is to toss everything for your trip into a bag with no method of organization.

Why? Because you’ll find yourself spending a lot of extra time later on packing and repacking once you’re actually on your trip. Trust me, your life will be so much easier when you actually apply a strategy to how you pack.

You’ve got two options here. Do you want to go with a wheeled case or a travel backpack/duffel?

Wheeled carry-ons are awesome in that they are pretty much weightless on your body, you just roll and go.

The other option is a backpack. Travel packs and duffel bags are so convenient when it comes to hands-free commuting. As you’ll likely have a car on your Disneyland trip  (which means no need to lug your bag around on foot), you could really go with either option.

1. Wheeled suitcase / travel duffel bag

I use my Amazon hard shell carry-on suitcase whenever I want something sturdier and can’t be bothered with having weight on my body.

It’s roomy, super sleek-looking, and will fit on the plane as a carry-on. Super convenient!

Personally, for most domestic travel, I’m a carry-on only kind of person. For carry-on travel, I love my North Face Base Camp Duffel–it’s my newly upgraded carry-on bag!

Though it doesn’t have a whole lot of built-in compartments, it fits a whole lot of stuff, especially when pair with packing cubes. More on that below.

What I also love about it is that it’s totally compressible–meaning it packs up into nothing and can be molded and shoved into the overhead compartment on a plane! It even has backpack straps so you can carry it around like a backpack–hands-free!

2. Packing cubes

You need to get these lightweight packing cubes, they are amazing at creating space in your luggage that you never thought you had. However you want to organize your clothes— by day, by outfit, by type—these will be the most useful thing you have in your packing artillery.

You’ll no longer need to dig through the entire suitcase for that one thing you’re looking for, because you’ll know exactly where it’s at.

3. Everyday bag

A mini backpack that can fit all your Disneyland needs such as a fan, water bottle, phone, camera, sunglasses and sunscreen is a great option. This will be your main bag during your daytime park exploration.

If you’re traveling in the summertime, you’re definitely going to need something big enough to carry around a water bottle. It’s really important to stay hydrated in that Southern California summer heat!

I like the Fjallraven Kanken Mini Classic Backpack for something simple and compressible, so when I’m not using it, I can flatten it and store it in my luggage. For something more sophisticated, I go with a simple leather backpack.

Want to take it up a notch? Consider bringing a Disney backpack or bag to truly complete your Disney look!

Pro Tip: If one of you carries a larger backpack, the other one can get away with carrying something smaller, like a fanny pack.

What To Pack For Disneyland - TravelsWithElle
Our casual and comfortable outfits + fanny pack!

Clothing: What To Pack For A Disneyland Trip

4. Mickey Ears

Join in on all the festiveness at Disneyland by sporting a pair of Mickey/Minnie Mouse Ears! Mickey/Minnie Ears (and the ears of other Disney characters) will usually come in either a baseball cap, hat, or headband form.

I personally own one of each! My customary Minnie Ears even have my name embroidered on the back.

If you don’t currently own a pair of ears, you can easily get them once you get to the park. There are lots of locations to purchase Mickey Mouse Ears, headbands, and other character headwear at Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, and the Downtown Disney District.

Inside Disneyland, you can check out Mad Hatter on Main Street or Mad Hatter in Fantasyland. In Disney California Adventure Park, check out Elias & Co. on Buena Vista Street.

If you buy a new set of ears, you can easily get them customized with your name or any other form of personalization. It really is the perfect personalized souvenir to bring home from the Happiest Place on Earth!

5. Tops

You’ll likely need one shirt per day you plan to spend at the park. During the summer, sweating is unavoidable. You can certainly re-wear your shirts, but you’ll likely feel more comfortable with a fresh shirt each day.

Looking for a few Star Wars, Avengers, or Disney-themed shirts to wear to the park? Here are a few of my favorites:

Looking for matching outfits or family outfits? You can find them all right here.

6. Bottoms / shorts

If you’re traveling during the warmer weather, you could easily get by with just shorts or skirts for the daytime. During cooler seasons, pants or leggings will do just fine.

For summers, in the face of humidity, go with something loose and light. Jeans can be way too hot for summer travel. Trust me, I’ve experienced my fair share of sweaty legs trapped in jeans. It’s pretty uncomfortable, to say the least.

7. Leggings

Leggings are very useful if you plan on working out, hiking, or want something to lounge in on the plane or in the car. I love leggings and can’t really go on any trip without at least 1 pair.

If you plan on heading back to your hotel sometime during the day, leggings are great to have for the nighttime portion of your Disneyland adventure.

8. Swimwear

If you’re looking to hang out by your hotel pool, any old swimsuit will do!

9. Underwear and socks

Bring 1 pair of underwear and socks for as many days as you’re going to be traveling. Most times though, I even bring a few extra for changing out of bathing suits after a visit to the pool.

These items are light enough that overpacking is not a problem.

For the ladies, don’t forget to pack the bras! Depending on your planned activities and the number of days you’ll be visiting Disneyland, 2-4 bras will do. You may need a mix of sports bras and regular t-shirt bras.

10. Comfortable Walking Shoes

You will be doing a lot of walking during your Disneyland trip. The park is huge, and if you have a park hopper ticket, you will likely be crossing over parks. That means even more walking!

You should definitely invest in a pair of comfortable shoes with good support and traction.

My all-time favorite travel shoes these days are the tried and true Ecco Soft 7 (they’re stylish, comfortable, and have been raved about for decades since they were first created)! They are perfect for instances when I want to avoid that tennis shoe look–like when I’m wearing a dress or plan on going out for some nightlife afterward.

Really, you can walk miles and miles without feeling foot pain! And the best part is that they have them for both men and women.

11. Sandals

When traveling to warm desert destinations, sandals are a must. For Disneyland, I like to bring multiple options depending on what my planned activities are.

For more casual sandals, I’ll always choose my Birkenstocks. They will allow you to walk dozens of miles without pain.

For something more waterproof, going with either flip flops or something like these Birkenstock Essentials Arizona Sandals (made with EVA foam) will allow you to hit the pool and walk with comfort as well.

12. Cardigan or light puffy jacket

For those unsuspecting chilly nights or those situations where you find that the air conditioning is blasting indoors!

A puffy jacket is always a good option because of how they can pack up into nothing! You have a lot of options here, but I personally have the North Face Thermoball, and it’s kept me warm throughout my many years of traveling!

During the winter months, be ready to dress in layers. Contrary to popular belief, Southern California does get cold in the cooler months.

13. Sleepwear / loungewear

Yoga pants or workout shorts and a baggy t-shirt are all you need. You can really save luggage space here! These items can be used as pajamas, loungewear, and airplane/road trip outfits.

Accessories: What To Pack For A Disneyland Trip

14. Sunglasses

Because it can get really bright in California during summer afternoons (and even when the skies are more overcast in the cooler months).

15. Sun Hat / Baseball Cap

Hats are so necessary for sun protection, don’t forget it! You most definitely should have one if you’re going to be spending any prolonged time outdoors.

If you forget to bring a hat, then you should buy one at the park (you’ll have lots of cute choices).

16. Disney Autograph Book / Collectable Pins

Autograph Book - Best Souvenirs From Disneyland

If you or your kids are aiming to get a few pictures with the Disney characters, you absolutely cannot forget to bring the autograph books! This one comes with alphabet stickers for personalizing. Don’t forget to bring a pen.

Alternatively, you can wait and buy an autograph book once you get to the park. These will oftentimes be more expensive though!

If you’re more into collecting pins than autographs, then consider picking up a few Disney pins before your trip! That way, you’ll arrive at the parks ready to trade with other guests and cast members.

Again, you can also wait until you enter the park to pick up pins, but they will be more expensive. There are kiosks around the park offering pin-trading, starter kits, lanyards, and even carrying cases.

Disney Pins - Best Disneyland Souvenirs

17. Rain Ponchos

If you don’t like getting wet or don’t want to even chance getting soaked on water rides like Splash Mountain or Grizzly River Run, then you ought to bring a light, disposable poncho with you!

Get a set of disposable rain ponchos that come in a multi-pack so your family can avoid the wetness if they choose to.

18. Refillable water bottle

Go with a collapsable and refillable water bottle so when it’s not filled, you can easily pack it away in your travel bag.

For something more durable that keeps your water cold for hours upon hours, Hydroflasks are my favorite for everyday use. While they are a bit heavier, I prefer these for Disneyland because of their ability to keep water ice-cold even when kept in the trunk of a hot car all day.

Pro Tips: There are several water refill stations in Disneyland including a cold filtered water option–found inside the Baby Care Center at the end of Main Street in Disneyland. You can also ask for a free cup of iced water at dining locations where you order at a window.

19. Laundry bag

Keep your worn clothes separate from your clean ones, especially when traveling to hotter climates (ahem, Disneyland in the summertime). When it’s hot, you’ll definitely be sticky and sweaty by the end of the day.

All that stickiness will transfer to your clothes. And even if you don’t get sticky/sweaty, you will inevitably have dirty socks and undies to toss in here.

I have this laundry bag set, and it’s great because it includes many size options.

20. Emergen-C packets

Emergen-C packets are a must for travel. These are a great way to support your immune system and overall health on a trip. If you’re flying to Anaheim, take one before you hop on your plane.

They are light, take up no space, and are very easy to pack!

21. Portable neck fan

For travelers who, like me, do very poorly in hot destinations, this one is for you. If you can’t stand the feeling of dry, hot, breezeless air, do not forget to pack a portable neck fan!

A constant and enjoyable breeze makes all the difference and will allow you to stay comfortable being outside in the heat for hours on end. I personally own a bladeless neck fan, but there are other more affordable fans with fan blades available too.

If you are going to Disneyland during the hot summer months and you do not do well in hot/stifling weather, I beg you, pack this in your travel bag!

22. Cooling towel

For something simpler than a neck fan, you can consider a Chill Pal cooling towel to stay cool.

Trust me, it will save your life from the summer heat and make exploring the park more bearable.

Toiletries: What To Pack For A Disneyland Trip

23. Hanging Toiletry Bag

You’re probably going to be bringing along a variety of standard toiletries, makeup products, and hairstyling items, so you’re going to want an easy and convenient way to keep all this stuff together.

If you’re traveling with a larger family, you know how bathroom space can get pretty limited.

The best way to make toiletry packing as efficiently as possible is to carry it all in a hanging toiletry bag. Because these bags can be hung, you’ll get shelf-like access to your products without having to pack and unpack every item just to get to the one you need.

I personally love the BAGSMART Toiletry Travel Bag. It’s one of the best ones out there on the market!

Pro Tip: You can even save a little compartment for all your jewelry pieces (necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, etc.)!

24. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is absolutely necessary. Even if it’s overcast or cloudy, the UV index can be very high, so be sure to apply whenever you’re outdoors. No matter where we go, we like a coral reef-safe sunscreen, as traditional sunscreens contain chemicals that damage our environment.

For the face, we are absolutely obsessed with the magical Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen.

Sunscreen - Road Trip Essentials Packing List - TravelsWithElle

25. Squeeze bottles

GoToob travel bottles are my favorite thing ever. Made of high-quality silicone, they are extremely durable, have never leaked on me, and are super easy to squeeze.

They have different TSA-approved sizes, but I found the large GoToobs to be the best because you’ll need to refill them less (so you’ll be good to go for your future trips).

26. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer gel or hand sanitizing wipes are a must any time you’re going to be in contact with surfaces many other people have touched. The railings at Disneyland are extra gross because kids love to touch, swing, and even slobber on them. (Trust me, I’ve seen many kids sticking their mouths on these rails while waiting in line–I always avoid touching them.)

Never leave your hotel room without hand sanitizer! And if you do happen to forget it, remember to wash your hands often, especially before eating or touching your face.

27. Body Wipes / Feminine Wipes

Body Wipes - Road Trip Essentials Packing List - TravelsWithElle

Feeling a bit gross after your first half of the day in the parks but don’t have the time to shower right in that instant? Just whip out one of these body wipes for a quick refresher!

The feminine wipes I like are infused with cucumber and aloe. Trust me, you will feel and smell so much better. It’s always good to have a few handy in your travel bag.

28. Shower supplies

Only required if you’re going to be at an Airbnb or vacation rental.

These are usually provided by hotels. If you run out, you can simply ask for more.

29. Dental supplies

Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash.

30. Deodorant

You’re going to be in the hot sun most of the time, so bring deodorant if you sweat or stink.

31. Makeup 

Some women have a huge collection of makeup. I also love to wear makeup, for all the cute Disney pictures!

Bring only what you need, and don’t overpack when it comes to makeup and brushes.

32. Makeup removal wipes

I don’t typically use makeup removal wipes at home, but I find them to be SO convenient while traveling. After a long and tiresome day at the park, the last thing you want to do is stand over the sink for 10 minutes applying your beauty routine to your face!

Makeup removal wipes are an ultra-quick and easy way to remove dirt and makeup from your face so you can pass right out (and worry about your beauty routine tomorrow morning).

33. Dry shampoo (Optional)

I try not to wash my hair every day, but at the same time, summers in Anaheim are hot. Your head will sweat and secrete oils you never knew it could. Dry shampoo comes in handy very frequently.

34. DIY survival kit

Carrying around a mini first aid kit with you is always a good idea. Since you’re traveling though, you may need more than what the average first aid kit provides. I’d recommend making your own DIY survival kit!

Make a little bag of the following: Tums, Pepto-Bismol, ibuprofen, allergy pills, Immodium, ciprofloxacin (or whatever your doctor prescribes for traveler’s diarrhea), bandaids, floss, hand sanitizer, eye drops, lip balm, a sharpie, tape, and extra contact lenses (if applicable).

Think about the ailments you (or the kids) typically suffer from and have to deal with on a regular basis and adjust the contents of the bag as needed!

35. Extra plastic baggies

Because you never know, but they always seem to come in handy. You can even reuse the plastic baggies you get from the supermarket.

I’ll often use these to pack my shoes in (so the dirty shoes do not come in contact with anything else) or to pack my daytime snacks!

36. Tissue/antibacterial wipes

Sometimes, your hands get dirty. Sometimes, there’s no toilet paper in the public bathrooms. Tissues and hand wipes are great for these instances.

Electronics: What To Pack For A Disneyland Trip

37. External battery

You’re probably going to be out all day, snapping away taking pictures… the last thing you want is to be stuck at Disneyland with no phone battery!

A portable power bank is a must-have, and Anker’s ultra-light, ultra-portable power bank is tried and true by so many travelers! I never embark on a day of exploration without it.

38. Phone Chargers

Bring multiple phone charging cables since they are light and easy to carry.

In case you misplace your first one or it poops out on you, you’ll have a spare charging cable handy.

Travel adapter (For International Travelers)

Necessary for many international travelers visiting California. This one here is tried and trusted. It allows for a normal plug and has two additional USB ports.

Documents: What To Pack For A Disneyland Trip

39. Travel belt or money belt

A travel belt is a smart traveler’s best friend. They are the best thief-proof tool for airplane travel, public transportation travel, walking around abroad, and just about everything else in between.

I always, always use a Flip Belt to carry around identification, important documents, and money that I want to keep safe and right by my side.

Another benefit of the Flip Belt? It’s actually supposed to be a running belt! It is the perfect treadmill or morning jog accessory. I swear, this thing doesn’t budge or jiggle at all when I run, plus it’s super comfortable!

40. Money (and pennies)

While the majority of the vendors and restaurants at Disneyland will take credit card, it’s always good to carry around a mix of local currency (USD) for emergencies.

Let’s say you’re in a long churro line and their card machine decides to poop out. With cash, you can still get your churro (and probably cut all the card-only customers) without having to wait for them to reboot their system! Oh yes, this has happened to me–on more than one occasion!

Secondly, consider getting some shiny new pennies and quarters for your Disneyland trip for the penny machines!

There are various penny machines that will stamp a bunch of different designs onto pennies. Disneyland even sells penny collector books on site so you can start your very own Disney penny collection!

Pressed Souvenir Coin - Best Disneyland Souvenirs

41. Tickets and travel documents

Disneyland park tickets, passport or driver’s license, student ID, medical card, proof of travel insurance, printed documents of your flight/hotel bookings, visas if you need them.

Where To Buy Discounted Disneyland Tickets

Still need to buy Disneyland tickets?  Sure, you can buy them at the gate, but then you’d be paying full price. We like to buy discounted Disneyland tickets from either our workplace discount portals or from Undercover Tourist.

If you don’t have a workplace discount portal offering discounted Disney tickets, then Undercover Tourist is your best bet.

Undercover Tourist is the trusted name for discounted theme park tickets. Depending on how many days you visit the parks, you can save up to $161 per ticket with them!

Traveling With Children? You May Need These Extra Things

  • Snacks
  • Strollers – it’s much cheaper to bring your own or rent one from a third party to avoid paying Disney’s exorbitant rental fees for strollers.
  • Stuffed animals, road trip games, iPad, etc.
  • Diaper bags
  • Disney costumes for the kiddos (or the adults!) – Disney dress code can be found here.
  • Matching family outfits
  • Pocket-sized travel blanket if you all plan on sitting down and securing a spot to seeing parades, fireworks, World of Color

Where To Stay For Disneyland

If you have the budget for it, staying within the park at a Disneyland hotel is a lot of fun. But I get it, this might not be for everyone because the rooms don’t come cheap!

Not to worry, because there are a lot of really great hotels located around the park. A lot of these hotels are extremely family-friendly, offering amenities like free shuttles to the park, free breakfast, huge waterparks, pools, and more!

If you don’t plan on driving to the park (parking costs $30 per day), choose a hotel that’s within walking distance from the park entrance. Strategically choosing a hotel close to the park will save you money!

We like Marriott Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance and Residence Inn at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center due to their proximity to the park entrance.

  • Extra points for the Residence Inn because they offer FREE hot breakfast, Mickey-shaped waffles included!
Residence Inn at Anaheim Resort - Disneyland Hotels With Free Breakfast
Residence Inn | Booking.com

For another awesome hotel offering free hot breakfast (yes, with Mickey-shaped waffles), go with Cambria Hotel Anaheim Resort Area. This is a relatively new hotel which is a huge plus–it’s so clean and so modern. We stayed here on our most recent trip to Anaheim and loved our stay.

  • Do note that it is located a 7-minute drive to the parks, but there are shuttles that’ll get you to the parks in a jiffy.
Cambria Hotel Anaheim Resort Area - Best Disneyland Hotels With Free Breakfast
Cambria Hotel | Booking.com

Read More: 7 Best Disneyland Hotels With Free Breakfasts (That Don’t Suck)

Essential Tips For Your Disneyland Trip

  • Still need to buy Disneyland tickets? Undercover Tourist is the best place to get discounted theme park tickets. They offer refundable Disneyland tickets, and you can even save up to $149 per ticket through them!
  • Bring a refillable water bottle to save on bottled water costs. You can easily find water refill stations scattered throughout the park.
  • Bring a bunch of snacks if you want to save money. Having said that, we still recommend trying the food at Disneyland–it’s actually quite tasty! You can’t miss the turkey legs or the churros. Absolutely magical.
  • Avoid driving to the park in order to save on costs. Theme park parking costs $30 per vehicle.
  • Stay at least three days in Disneyland during the summer. Since there are more crowds (which means longer lines), you’ll very likely need three days to see it all. With a multi-day ticket, a 3-day park hopper ticket is cheaper on a per-day basis than either a 1-day or 2-day ticket.
  • To avoid crowds, get there early and stay until closing. The first few hours of the day are light when it comes to crowds. The crowds also begin to thin out towards the last few hours of the day. Sometimes, we like to head back to the hotel during midday to rest, refuel, and escape hot weather and the crowds.
  • Save the indoor rides and shows for the hottest part of the day. Whenever we need to escape the heat, we head straight for Haunted Mansion, Pirate of the Caribbean, or the “it’s a small world” ride. We’ll even try to sneak in a mini power nap, ha!
  • Ride the most popular attractions first. It’s best to get these rides out of the way so you can avoid waiting in 2-hour long lines during the warmest times of the day! We typically beeline straight for Space Mountain and Indiana Jones Adventure in Disneyland, as well as Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! (previously Tower Of Terror) in California Adventure.
  • Use Mobile Order service. This is an absolute time-saver, especially in the summertime. You can either wait 20 minutes in the line for blue milk at Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars land) or just mobile order it and get it in a mere 5 minutes. Take your pick!
  • The coolest places to grab a drink are Oga’s Cantina in Disneyland, Carthay Circle in Disney’s California Adventure, and Lamplight Lounge At Pixar Pier. Do make reservations ahead of time though!
  • Avengers Campus, Disneyland’s newest world, is now open in Disney California Adventure Park! If you’re a Marvel fan, do not miss all the cool, interactive shows here.
  • Hit the gift shops just before you exit the park, that way you won’t have to carry your souvenirs around with you throughout your day. It’s better for keeping your bag or backpack light!
  • Traveling with more than one young child? You may want to consider bringing a double stroller with you for ease. Alternatively, Disneyland also offers rentals: $18 per day for one stroller, $36 per day for a double stroller.
  • Do not let your kids carry their own park tickets, even if they are responsible. It’s safer for an adult to keep those all in one place.

When is the best time of the year to visit Disneyland?

There is no denying that Disneyland is a year-round destination. No matter the time of year, Disneyland seems to always have a special occasion or themed event going on.

However, if we had to pick, the best time of the year to visit Disneyland is from March to May and from September to November.

While you’ll find relatively affordable accommodations and travel deals throughout the year, I recommend the spring and fall seasons because this is when the weather is most pleasant. Why? Because summers at Disneyland are hot. And really crowded.

In March, the weather will be hovering around a comfortable 70 degrees, the sun will shine 12 to 14 hours a day, and it’s unlikely to rain.

As the spring months progress, the weather only gets warmer, yet the crowds are not flocking at full force yet.

Come June, I typically avoid Disneyland at all costs due to the heat and the crowds.

In October, the weather will be closer to the low 80s. October is also great for experiencing the Halloween and pumpkin-themed decorations.

In November, Disneyland will completely transform into a holiday wonderland as all the fall decor comes down and the Christmas lights go up. If you’re looking to avoid crowds, do try to avoid Thanksgiving week as it tends to get really busy. Weekends are usually packed all month so for a calmer experience, opt to go on weekdays.

Best Time To Visit Disneyland - TravelsWithElle

Do you need a car to visit Disneyland?

While a car will give you a lot more flexibility in Anaheim, CA, it is not absolutely necessary to get to Disneyland.

If your main goal is to hit the parks, you can get by without a car. You will just need to find transportation to/from your hotel and the airport. Transportation options include the Disneyland Express bus, hotel shuttle, taxi, rideshare, etc.

Almost every chain hotel in the area is on the Anaheim Resort Transportation (ART) that goes straight from the hotel to the park entrance and vice versa. The cost of the bus is about $6 for a day pass and $4 for a one-way trip.

And if you’re staying at one of the Disneyland resorts (Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, Disneyland Hotel, or Disney’s The Grand Californian), you will be able to walk to the park in a jiffy. No need for a car whatsoever.

In order to decide whether you should rent a car or not, that will completely depend on what you plan to do with your time.

If you plan on doing a lot of activities outside of Disneyland, you’ll definitely want to bring your car or get a rental car.

We usually visit Disneyland either in our own car or with a rental car. Why? Because we love exploring the neighboring cities and eating good Asian food! Exploring the rest of Orange County is just so much easier with a car.

Since rental car prices are not cheap these days, you’re going to want to use a comparison tool such as Priceline to compare deals across car rental companies.

We personally book rental cars with Priceline almost 100% of the time due to their unbeatable free cancellation policy. No prepayment and no cancellation fees–you really can’t beat it!

So after all that, we hope you’re better prepared for what to pack for your Disneyland trip. You should now be ready for your epic, fun-filled Disneyland vacation!

Looking for more California travel resources? Read next:

175 Bucket List Things To Do In Los Angeles, California (From A Local’s Perspective)

28 Fun Things To Do In The South Bay Los Angeles, California

10 Best California Road Trips Ideas From San Francisco and Los Angeles

20+ Best Towns Between San Francisco to Los Angeles: California Coast Road Trip

30+ Fun-Filled Things To Do In San Diego, CA

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