Your Ultimate Guide to Disneyland:

Top 10 Things to Decide for an Unforgettable Visit!

Top 10 Things to Decide for an Unforgettable Visit!

As you prepare for your first adventure in the happiest place on Earth, we've got you covered with this comprehensive guide. In this blog post, we will help you navigate through the myriad of choices and make the most out of your Disneyland® experience. So, grab your Mickey ears, fasten your seatbelts, and let's dive into the top 10 things you need to decide before your visit.

And for even more helpful information, don't miss out on the So Much Magic Bootcamp, where you can gain access to a wealth of knowledge to enhance your Disney experience.

1. Choosing the Right Time to Go:

Disneyland is a popular destination year-round, but some periods are less crowded than others. Consider factors like weather, school holidays, and special events to find the best time for your trip. Plan ahead and check out a crowd calendar of The Disneyland® Resort to ensure a more enjoyable experience. Holidays are extra magical, but can be extra crowded.

2. Selecting the Perfect Park Tickets:

The Disneyland® Resort offers two incredible theme parks: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. Decide which parks you want to visit and choose the appropriate ticket options. From single-day one park tickets to multi-day park hoppers, there's a ticket that suits every visitor's needs. There is a ticket to match your budget as outlined in the So Much Magic Bootcamp to empower you with all the information to make the best decision for your family.

3. Accommodation Options:

The Disneyland® Resort offers a range of accommodations, from Disney-owned hotels to nearby area Good Neighbor Hotels. Consider factors like budget, proximity to the parks, and amenities offered. Booking in advance ensures you secure the best deals and availability.

4. Dining Reservations:

The Disneyland® Resort is home to numerous fantastic dining experiences, from character meals to themed restaurants. Make dining reservations in advance, up to 60 days before you travel especially for popular venues, to avoid disappointment. Use the Disneyland® app or website to secure your table and plan your meals accordingly.

5. Attractions:

With so much to explore, it's essential to prioritize the must-see attractions according to your family's needs. Classic rides like Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, and It's a Small World are iconic, while newer attractions like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! are must-visit experiences.

6. Entertainment and Shows:

The Disneyland® Resort offers an array of captivating entertainment, parades, and shows throughout the day. Check the schedule for beloved spectacles like Fantasmic!, World of Color, and the fireworks extravaganza. Arrive early to grab a good spot and immerse yourself in the magical performances. Check the Disneyland® app for character meet and greet locations and times. Meeting your favorite Disney® characters is a cherished memory for many visitors. Research the locations and schedules for character meet and greets, as some characters have designated areas where you can take photos and get autographs. Don't forget your autograph book and camera!

7. What to Bring inside Disneyland®:

One of the best lessons we learned during the first trip to The Disneyland® Resort with our young children was what to pack into the parks and what to leave behind. There is a temptation to load that stroller up bags and extra items, but chances are you will not actually use it all. We changed tactics by day two and narrowed the list of items down to the essentials and never looked back. Be sure to read our blog post What Should We Bring Into the Parks to learn more.

8. Disney Genie Plus:

Disney® Genie Plus is a new feature at Disneyland that allows you to access the Lightning Lane entrance for select attractions. It replaces the previous FastPass and MaxPass systems. Consider adding Disney® Genie Plus to your visit to enjoy reduced wait times and maximize your ride experiences. A few attractions offer Individual Lightning Lane's for an extra cost. Check the Disneyland® website for more information on pricing and availability.

9. Souvenirs and Shopping:

The Disneyland® Resort is a treasure trove of merchandise, including exclusive items and themed souvenirs. Decide on a budget and explore the various shops throughout the parks. From apparel to collectibles, you're sure to find the perfect memento to commemorate your visit. Be sure to check other stores like Target®, Macy's®, or Kohls® for Disney® merchandise before you arrive at the parks to save some money. Purchase ahead of the trip to give to your children at the hotel.

10. Creating a Checklist:

Before embarking on your Disneyland® adventure, create a checklist to ensure you have everything you need. Include essentials like comfortable shoes, sunscreen, park tickets, ID, and a charged camera or smartphone. Cross off items as you pack, ensuring a stress-free start to your vacation. Be sure to download the So Much Magic Ultimate Packing List for more ideas. Plan ahead and start gathering things in advance to avoid the extra costs right before the trip.


As a first-time visitor to Disneyland, you're about to embark on an enchanting journey filled with cherished memories. By following this guide and considering the top 10 things to decide, you'll be well-prepared for an unforgettable experience. Remember to plan ahead, stay flexible, and embrace the magic of Disneyland. Have a fantastic trip, and may your days be filled with laughter, joy, and pixie dust!

And if you're eager to delve deeper into all things Disneyland, consider signing up for the So Much Magic Bootcamp. With a discount on lifetime membership, you'll gain access to a treasure trove of information and updates that will make your Disneyland trips even more enchanting. Don't wait, sign up today, and let the magic begin!

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So Much Magic Bootcamp

Here at So Much Magic we know what it’s like to show up unplanned and unprepared for your families first time at the parks. We’ve taken all that noise out there and organized all the magic details, tricks, and money saving tips into an easy to follow online course.

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