Why do you need to save time at Disneyland? Simply answered; Time is money. The less time you spend at Disneyland, the less you have to spend on park tickets, hotels, and food.
Here’s some tips for optimizing your time at Disneyland
Travel Off Peak
Travel during the off-peak season. This is a must if you want to save a lot of time and money! Traveling off-peak means you stand in line about half as much.
Use apps like Touring Plans to see crowd calendars and decide when the best time to visit Disneyland would be. It is SO worth it to use this app.
If you can be organized before you get to Disneyland, you can really optimize your time (or use an app to do it – like RideMax). You can save a whole day at the park, your feet, and lots of money ($500 or more). I have tried it and it works. Our family uses RideMax and Touring Plan’s Lines and we hardly ever wait more than 10 minutes in line for the Disneyland rides. In most cases, we get right on as long as we are traveling in the off-peak season.
Use Magic Morning!
Magic Morning allows your family to enter the park 1 hour early on all days of your stay.
If you stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, Magic Morning is included on each day of your stay there. If you are really looking for how to save time at Disneyland, Magic Morning is for you!
If you are staying at an off-resort hotel, you will get Magic Morning on one day of your tickets (with a 3 day or longer park hopper). This will save time at Disneyland as well as help you to stand in line less.
Many people don’t like to use Magic Morning because it’s too early and it’s not “worth it”. Don’t be one of those people! It is 100% worth it. For one hour you can basically walk on select rides. It’s wonderful and helps you get through your rides quicker in the day.
You will want to get in line to use Magic Morning about 30-45 minutes before your scheduled time.
Utilize Special Passes
Disneyland has special passes that not everyone knows about AND they are really great! They have Fast Passes, Single Rider Passes, Child Swap Tickets. Not all rides use these passes/tickets. For a list of rides that do use them, or for specific information on these passes, click here.
Skip the Character Lines
We have been to Disneyland so many times. The last couple times we went, we told our kids we weren’t going to stand in the character lines anymore. Previously, we would sometimes stand in line for an hour or more to see princesses and other characters! I thought they would be disappointed but they weren’t. I think Character Dining at Disneyland, is much more enjoyable (and worth the cost!). For discounts on Character Dining, click here. Skipping the characters helps you to save time at Disneyland as well as your sanity!
Pray for Rain
I know it’s not ideal to be sloshing around in the rain at Disneyland, but no one else likes it either, so no one goes on the days it rains. It’s pure magic in my opinion. When the ride Toy Story Mania first opened it had an hour wait. One day we were there when it rained and we went on it 6 times in a row and never waited once!
Make sure to pack some good rain shoes, ponchos from the dollar store (.50 cents each), and a couple umbrellas just in case. If you forget these things, you can buy ponchos and umbrellas in the park for under $10.
For Disney deals, see our page here.