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13 Things You'll Wish You Had Known Before Your Vacation to Disneyland

13 Things You'll Wish You Had Known Before Your Vacation to Disneyland

A vacation to Disneyland, how hard can it be?  You can wing a little family trip, right?  Well yes... but no. 

Before you go, give these tips a quick look and avoid any rude surprises or extra charges.

1.  Only children under 9 can wear costumes into the park.

Nothing will ruin your vacation to Disneyland like having to go all the way back to the hotel and change out of your princess dress.

Vacation to Disneyland - 13 Things You'll Wish You Knew: No princess dresses over age 9

2.  You could have skipped the ticket line at the Main Gate.

Buying online is easy, fast, and you'll bypass the line at the Main Gate.  I buy mine at FunFamilyFavorites.com.

You'll also get Magic Mornings (early entry) on certain days if you buy 3-Day Parkhoppers or longer.

Vacation to Disneyland - 13 Things You'll Wish You Knew: You could have skipped the ticket line at the Main Gate.

3.  "Adult" prices apply to anyone 10 or older.

That's right: Your 4th grader does not qualify for a child's ticket.  On the bright side, children under 3 get in free.

Vacation to Disneyland - 13 Things You'll Wish You Knew: Kids 10 and older pay adult prices

4.  Your favorite ride is closed for maintenance.

Or it might be, anyway. 

To check ahead and avoid disappointment, go to the Disneyland website, click "Parks", then click "Park Hours", go to the dates of your visit and click "View Refurbishments". Or call (714) 781-4565 and follow the prompts.

5.  You didn't need to buy that 3-Day Parkhopper. 

If you weren't positive you wanted to stay that long, you could have bought a shorter ticket and then upgraded it after you made up your mind.

For example, say you have a 2-day Park Hopper ticket and by the end of the first day, you realize that 2 days will not be enough.  Go to the Disneyland Main Gate or Guest Relations and tell them you'd like to upgrade to a 3-day ticket. You'll pay only the difference in price between the 2 and 3-day ticket, instead of paying much more for a one-day ticket. 

Don't try this at the end of your trip though; do it BEFORE the ticket expires. 

And no it doesn't work the other way around; if you bought a 5-Day ticket and find you only want 4, you cannot get a refund for 1 day.

Vacation to Disneyland - 13 Things You'll Wish You Knew: You can upgrade your ticket

6.  You will get cold.

Even though it's 85 degrees, even though it's L.A., even though you're sweating now... Southern California can get chilly after dark, plus you'll (probably) be wet from some of the rides.  So pack some light sweaters or sweatshirts for the evening. 

Vacation to Disneyland - 13 Things You'll Wish You Knew: You will get cold

7.  Goofy would have called your child personally if you had asked.

If it's your child's birthday, go to City Hall (after you enter the park, it's the first building on your left) and they can listen to a happy birthday message from Goofy.  It's a fun way to start the day.  They'll also get a sticker so characters roaming the park will give them special attention.  

Get a birthday call from Goofy

8.  You CAN bring food and drinks into the park.

As much as you want!  Just don't try and bring in a cooler or anything bigger than 24"x15"x18".  And no alcohol.

Vacation to Disneyland - 13 Things You'll Wish You Knew: You can bring food into the park

9.  Save money on your vacation to Disneyland: buy a stroller down the street for almost the same price as a 1-day rental.

If you're going to be at Disneyland more than a day, buy an umbrella stroller from the nearby Target for $20, which is $5 more than what it costs to rent one for one day at Disneyland. Then give it away at the end of your trip and make someone's day. :)

While you're in Target, pick up snacks and bottled water before entering the park (you're allowed to bring in a backpack).  If it's hot, pick up a few water misters to cool yourself off.  They sell those at Disneyland for nearly $20. 

Vacation to Disneyland - 13 Things You'll Wish You Knew: Save money by buying a stroller from Target down the street

10. The Internet is wrong sometimes.

For the most accurate answer to your questions about your vacation to Disneyland, call them directly at 714-781-7290.  You'll get a real person. 

11. Disneyland will send you a free DVD to help plan your trip and get your kids fired up.

It's got info on rides, hotels, things to do, and upcoming special events. (Only available for U.S. and Canada residents.)  Search for "free DVD" on Disneyland.com.

Vacation to Disneyland - 13 Things You'll Wish You Knew: Get a free DVD

12.  You could have saved 29% on tickets.

If you also went to SeaWorld or Universal Studios, you'd have been better off buying a CityPASS.  A "CityPASS" includes a 3-Day Park Hopper to Disneyland and California Adventure, a one-day ticket to Legoland, and a one-day ticket to SeaWorld San Diego.

Get one here and get a great deal on you vacation to Disneyland.

Vacation to Disneyland - 13 Things You'll Wish You Knew: Buy a Citypass to save 29%

13.  You could have brought your pets to Disneyland.

Well not on the rides but they can stay in the air-conditioned kennels right outside the main entrance for $20/day.  More Disneyland kennel info here.

Also see:

8 Things you should BUY
Before your vacation to Disneyland

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