Disneyland Secrets for the Happiest Vacation

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Before you book your Disneyland trip, research.  Here is a great list of things you might want to think twice about before you pick your vacation dates.  A few of these might seem obvious but knowing the refurbishment schedule alone can make all the difference on your vacation…

  1. Refurbishments, Before you book your flights and schedule your vacation check the Disneyland closures and refurbishment schedule. We all have our favorite rides and activities. If you need to adjust your vacation dates to accommodate a better park experience, it is best to know in advance. I have literally changed my vacation dates just to make sure I could enjoy two of my favorite rides “Splash Mountain” and “Big Thunder Railroad.” All rides in the park have regularly scheduled closures for maintenance. Check the Disneyland website for the most current up to date schedule: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/faq/parks/closures/
  1. Avoid Long Weekends If you can. One year we showed up on a long weekend. It was so busy, now we know better. For the next year the dates are as follows:
  • Columbus Day (observed) is October 12, 2015. Monday
  • Veterans’ Day is November 11, 2015. Wednesday
  • Thanksgiving Day is November 26, 2015. Thursday
  • New Year’s Day is January 1, 2016. Friday
  • Martin Luther King Day is January 18, 2016. Monday
  • Presidents Day is February 15, 2016. Monday
  • Memorial Day (observed) is May 30, 2016. Monday
  • Independence Day [July 4th] is July 4, 2016. Monday.
  • Labor Day is September 5, 2016. Monday
  • Columbus Day (observed) is October 10, 2016. Monday
  • Veterans’ Day is November 11, 2016. Friday
  • Thanksgiving is November 24, 2016. Thursday
  • Inauguration Day occurs once every four years on January 20
  1. Blackout Dates Disneyland Annual Pass holders have Select Blackout dates, when the annual pass cannot be used. This is also a good indicator of expected busy days. Plan your trip around this if you can and you will avoid some of the busier days. https://disneyland.disney.go.com/passes/blockout-dates/#
  1. Anaheim Convention Centre throughout the year the Anaheim Convention Center has some really big events going on, which can increase park attendance greatly. Take a look at the calendar of events to see if anything really big will be happening while you are there. http://www.anaheimconventioncenter.com/1871/Calendar-of-Events
  1. Buy Your Tickets Online, To save time, the ticket booth’s at the park can be very lengthy. You can print your ticket at home at go directly to the entrance turnstiles.  https://disneyland.disney.go.com/tickets/
  1. Book your Vacation during Non Peak times, Hotels will be cheaper and the wait times on the rides will be lower. Typically September to November and the first week of December as well as January, February, April and into May are slower. Excluding all long weekends and spring break.
  1. CITY PASS, If you are planning on doing a few things in California look at options like City Pass. http://www2.citypass.com/southern-california
  1. D23 savings, Subscribe to D23 the quarterly magazine, with exclusive offers to special events, as well as discounts at select hotels, restaurant’s and stores in Downtown Disney.  This even includes Super Shuttle services. The savings exceed the cost of the subscription, look into all the benefits here:   https://d23.com/about-d23/
  1. Disney Visa, Apply for a Disney Visa credit card for some super special benefits, like exclusive Character meet and greets. Discounts on purchases and dining in Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney. The Travel benefits to this card are amazing and worth it: https://disneyrewards.com
  1. Annual Pass, If you want to make a year really spectacular, purchase Annual Passes.  What a thrill to go a few times throughout the year experiencing several special occasions like Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day or someone’s Birthday. You will find that the cost of an Annual Pass is worth it if you want to go several times in the year. The Annual Pass will work out to be cheaper than several park hopper tickets. Not to mention the Annual Pass includes discounts on purchases and dining in Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney. Not sure if the Annual Pass is for you? The next time you are enjoying a visit to the park, but before your park hopper expires, you can use the cost of the ticket towards upgrading to an Annual Pass.
  1. 24 Hour Event’s, often Disneyland will have a 24 hour event, where the park is actually open for a full 24 hours.  These are really a blast! Check the Disneyland website for special upcoming events. Also watch for new attractions as they open, they will often have a grand opening or sneak peeks for select guests. We were lucky enough in previous visits to have a sneak peek at “Star Tours” the adventure continues.  We also had the opportunity to sneak peek “The Little Mermaid” ride before it opened. Theses opportunities do pop up regularly as new rides and events occur, so check back often.

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