As a longtime Disney lover, I’ve done pretty much everything there is to do in the parks. I’ve enjoyed many Mickey-shaped treats, been on every ride you can imagine, and snapped selfies with Mickey and all of his friends. I’ve basically done it all, however, doing Disneyland from open to close is the last big challenge I had yet to do. That was, of course, until this past weekend.
As a night owl, I’ve definitely closed out Disneyland park before, and spending several hours in the park is nothing new to me. The thing that was brand new was getting there before the park officially opens, and not stopping until midnight. It may sound like a long day — and it was — but ultimately, it was one of the most magical Disneyland experiences I’ve ever had. Not only did I get to ride, see, and eat everything my heart desired, but there were some surprise moments that occurred that I would have never experienced had I not had the extra time.
It definitely helps that I’ve done Disneyland before, so I know how to handle the crowds and where to take a break. So if this is your first time exploring the park from open to close, I have eight tips that will help you have the best time ever.
1. Wear Layers
California may be known for its sunny weather, but that doesn’t mean it’s always warm. When you arrive in the morning, it may be chilly. In the afternoon, it will get warm. Once the sun goes down, it’ll cool down again.
That’s why it’s so important to wear layers. I like to bring a jacket that I can tie around my waist when the sun comes out. Then, I can just put it back on at night.
2. Bring Your Own Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is key, but you likely don’t want to dish out money for a water bottle every time you get thirsty. The easiest solution is to bring your own bottle. There are plenty of water fountains and bottle filling stations for you to utilize throughout the day.
3. Portable Chargers Are Necessary
Having a portable charger on hand is key to giving your phone an extra boost when it needs it, but for an especially long day, you may need more than one. I carry around three portable chargers that I shuffle throughout the day.
4. Download The Disneyland App Before You Go
The Disneyland App will be your new best friend on your Disney day. On the app you can check wait times, book FASTPASS through MaxPass, and even mobile order food so you don’t have to wait in long lines. Download it before you even get to the park so you have it ready to go.
5. Be Strategic With Your Park Hopping
Park hopping between Disneyland and California Adventure gives you more options of things to do. However, it can be exhausting and time-consuming going from one park to another. That’s why you need to be strategic with what you do in each park. For example, don’t head over to Disneyland when you know you have a FASTPASS coming up in California Adventure soon.
6. Save Any Big Purchases For The End Of The Day
If you know you want to buy some cool merch, save it for the end of the day. You don’t want to be lugging around a giant bag all day long. It’ll only tire you out.
7. Take Little Breaks Throughout The Day
As much as you want to go from ride to ride and check all the things off your bucket list, it’s important to take little breaks in between the fun. Head to Starbucks for a coffee pick-me-up or ride the train full circle around the park to rest your feet.
8. Wear Comfortable Shoes
It’s incredibly important your feet are comfortable throughout the day. A great pair of sneakers — that also look cute in your Insta pics — is the move.
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