The Ultimate Disneyland Trip Planning Guide

Mickey, Minnie and Goofy, oh my! A trip to The Happiest Place on Earth can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the right tips and tricks. It’s time to dive into Disneyland planning with Cash Back at Rakuten on your next adventure! Here are our favorite hacks for making the most out of this magical family vacation.

Discount Disneyland Packages

Save some cash on your family vacation with Cash Back at Rakuten on discount Disneyland packages. Visit Expedia for travel deals and score extra savings with a travel promo code. Plus, discover the best prices on hotels near Disneyland at Priceline and with Rakuten Travel & Vacations to get Cash Back on qualified bookings. Be sure to explore deals at the one and only Disneyland Hotel located just a short stroll away from the park and delight in all things Disney during your stay.

Avoid the Crowds

Your summer vacation can be a convenient time for a Disneyland adventure, but it can also mean long lines and hot weather. The park is busiest when school is out of season, so try booking during less-crowded times like January or February. It’ll be the perfect time to explore everything the park has to offer, minus the long lines that summertime and holidays can bring. Come early to try to get a place in the front of the lines!

Parking Perks

Disneyland parking options are plentiful. With short-term parking options near Downtown Disney and two all-day parking lots, you’ll find an easy option for you and your family. Both of the all-day lots offer tram or bus transportation to the main gate. At the end of the night, the lines to return to parking lots can be long, so you may prefer to walk back to your car to save some time.

Get Insider Access With the Disneyland App

Download the Disneyland mobile app to make the most of your Magic Kingdom vacation. You can easily check wait times for popular Disneyland rides, buy Disneyland passes, check Fastpass return times, browse restaurant menus, see Disneyland park hours and so much more at a glance. As a bonus, the app works like a GPS for all your favorite characters! You’ll know when and where they will appear in the park so you can be first in line for an autograph.


Skip the Wait With a Disney FASTPASS or MaxPass

A Disneyland FASTPASS is the perfect way to enjoy many of your Disneyland rides while skipping the line. Simply look for the FASTPASS sign near the entrance of an attraction and check the return time displayed. If the time works with your schedule, just insert your valid Disneyland tickets into the machine to generate your FASTPASS. Come back to the attraction at the time noted on your pass and enjoy the ride with minimal wait time! Check out a Disneyland map to mark all the rides you want to hit, then see if they have a FASTPASS option to make the most of your park time.

With a Disney MaxPass, you don’t have to head to the attraction to get your speedy entry in. For just $15 per day, per ticket, a MaxPass allows you to make FASTPASS selections on your mobile device via the Disneyland app. You can also get unlimited downloads of your Disney PhotoPass photos. Some Annual Passports include the MaxPass, so check to see if you already have this awesome perk.

Go Hands-Free

Skip perusing the park with bags of souvenirs and supplies! Instead, check out Disneyland’s locker options for a simple and affordable way to store your stuff. It’s a great way to manage all your must-haves without being weighed down throughout the day. If you can’t bear to part with your things, at least make sure you have a comfortable backpack, like this Swiss Gear IBEX Backpack.

Secret Eats

Hiding in New Orleans Square (and probably not on your Disneyland map) you’ll find a simple “33” address plate that marks a high-end restaurant featuring incredible entrees and an all-you-can-eat dessert bar. How do you get a seat at this exclusive hidden eatery? Drop $25,000 for an initiation fee, plus a $10,000 annual membership fee – or, know a member willing to personally book you as a special guest.

For somewhat more accessible eating options while still enjoying an unforgettable ambiance, check out the Blue Bayou Restaurant inside the popular Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance.

BYO Food and Drinks

Pack your own food and beverages in an insulated picnic backpack from Bed Bath and Beyond to save big on family mealtime. Currently, you can enjoy your own food and drinks in an ideal setting at a complimentary picnic area located just outside the Main Entrance to Disneyland Park. With the exception of food items for guests with specific dietary needs, you can’t bring your outside treats into the park. However, a family picnic can be a fun, fast and cost-effective alternative to park eatery options.

Make Your Day Extra Special

If you’re visiting the park to celebrate your birthday, engagement or another special occasion, swing by Main Street City Hall for a free pin. It’ll make your day even more memorable!

Does this Disney talk have you eager to make your way to the happiest place on Earth? Before you head out, make sure you grab all the essentials with Rakuten so you earn Cash Back on every qualifying purchase. Refer your friends to get even more Cash Bonuses!

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