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Disneyland - First Visit Tips by Kristen

by Kristen, posted to Travel & Places

First trip to Disneyland? Here are a few tips to make it easier.

See all Top 10 lists from Travel & Places

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Top 10 Underrated Disney Attractions For Small Children

Big, loud Magic Kingdom rides favored by adults, like Splash Mountain...more

Suggested by CatK

I found this great list of attractions for smaller children. I'd rather do some of these than wait in line for the more popular things that might scare my son anyway.

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Top 12 things I learned at Disneyland

Suggested by Frisco Kids

a humorous take on Disneyland with the kids. Plus hidden tips inside.

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Disneyland Menus App

A Complete Guide to Disneyland Restaurants and Menus. ...more

Suggested by Floras Secret

•Dining menus for Disneyland and California Adventure restaurants •Detailed menus with current pricing •Search restaurant by Park, Land, or Name •No network connection required •Free app updates to get new menus and features

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Baby center in downtown disneyland

Suggested by Erin N-P

MaryPoppins herself could not have made a more perfect haven for parents of young children. High chairs, microwave, teeny tiny potty for toddlers, changing tables, a mothers room for nursing, and two lovely ladies there to lend a hand. It's a dream come true if you are traveling with kids two and under.

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The biggest merchandise store with the best selection is outside the actual park, in Downtown Disney – but don’t shop during the end of the day as it is a madhouse.

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Ride Photos

Any big rides that take photos of you in mid-ride (space mountain, etc) you can take a digital photo of the photo showing on the wall to capture the moment.

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Early Entry Tickets

If you have the early entry (with multi-day tickets) note that only two “lands” have rides open early and the lines get long really fast. You have to get there pretty early to make it worthwhile - there is a huge line just to enter the park (the other days they open main street early so you can tool around in there leading up until the real opening)

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Water and Food

Bring your own water and snacks, to save both your time and your money. You can snack in lines. Also, if you have picky eaters it's a good idea to pack in some favorites - there is nothing worse than a hungry kid, stay ahead of the hunger by throwing in a few bagels and bananas.

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Quick Moving Lines

Lines that move quickly even though they look crowded: Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, and Tower of Terror

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Disney Train

Taking the train around the perimeter and not getting off is a really cool way to see the whole park. Part of it is in dark tunnels with life-like animals.

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Scary Rides

The rides that you might think are approrpriate based on the lands they are located in, but are too scary for most kids under five are Snow White; Mr. Toad’s (both in Fantasyland) and Roger Rabbit in (Toon Town).

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Entertainment Guide

Each day there is a pamphlet with the entertainment times and where you can see all the characters in both parks. Good to grab as you enter.

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If you are going in the summer or on a weekend, check out ridemax. It is a paid system you can use to plan your day to make sure you maximize your visit with the most rides possible. if your kids are open to sticking to a 'ride schedule' versus 'going with the flow' it could be a good time saver.

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Rideshare & Fast Pass

If available, use Rideshare for rides both adults want to go on but one/both of the kids can’t. the ride attendent will give you a "ride share pass" for the 2nd rider to go straight to the front of the line once the 1st person has stood in the regular line and come back to trade ‘kid-watching’ duties. It is really a huge benefit and can be used for 2 people so if you really loved a ride they could go the 2nd time with the other parent (or even the same parent) . Another short cut with lines is the

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If you rent a stroller, which I suggest versus bringing your own as it is difficult to cart around - do so for all the days you need. They give you passes to skip the lines the following mornings and just pick one up right away.

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Button Collecting

If you enjoy button collecting, or think your kids will, get a few Disney buttons beforehand or at the park, and keep an eye out for staff members throughout the park wearing buttons on lapels or lanyards, they will trade buttons with you.

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Autograph book

Get an autograph book for the kids (they sell them at all the stores in the park) so when they meet the characters they’ll get signatures, this is another thing most kids love to collect and can take over your trip if you have that kind of kid.

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First Time Button

Upon entering Disneyland go to the City Hall on left of main square and get the kids a 1st timer button – throughout the park the characters and staff will give them extra attention.

Eden Godsoe: Genius! Thx for letting me know. The entire list is great. We plan to head to Disneyland in 2012 so it's very timely!

Whitney Moss: For some reason, this tip brought tears to my eyes. So sweet!

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Iphone Aps

Before you go - Iphone aps are great to load – try both 'Disneyland wait times' and 'Disneyland mouse wait California' they give real time wait times for rides while you are there, but also have good tips for pre-trip.

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Hidden Mickeys

Before you Go - Research “hidden mickey” online and have a few ready to point out to the kids. Hidden Mickey’s can be found throughout the park and are circles put together in such a way that it looks like a Mickey Mouse outline. Young kids LOVE looking for, and finding these.

Floras Secret: Here is a link to a Disneyland Hidden Mickey App -

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Pre-Trip Shopping

Before you go - Head over to the Disney store or Michael’s $1 bin and get a handful of Disney items – ball, notebook, pen, pajamas, etc. The kids can play with the stuff on the drive/flight and you can buy less there. To make it even more fun have the items show up magically in a shipping box “from Mickey” on the front porch before the trip (with an ‘we’re excited to see you soon!” letter)

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Before you go - Check out youtube and search for any of the ride names. People have taken really cool video from the front seats of many rides and posted it. Kids love watching them both before and after the trip.

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Disneyland Website

• Before you go - Go on the Disneyland website and check the park hours and shows for the dates you will be there. Depending on the season, some things don’t happen every day (fireworks, Aladdin show, etc) so you want to be prepared to know if there are must see things on certain days.

Erin-MommyontheSpot: LOVE this list!! Thanks for posting!

Suggested by Eden Godsoe

Good poll and results to include in your list. As I think about taking my kids to Disneyland, I do want to ensure they are the right age to truly enjoy things. I don't see us going there multiple times (but could be wrong!)

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