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How to Plan a Disneyland Vacation

Updated on November 29, 2012


First, Disneyland can cost you a lot of money just to get into the resort, so you really need to plan ahead to get the most value for your earned vacation. Staying at the resort is the best in terms of time and convenience but some of the nearby hotels are within walking distance or offer a free shuttle to the park. Consider staying outside of the resort for the best value.

  • Ramada Maingate at the Park
  • Best Western Plus Anaheim Inn
  • Best Western Plus Park Place Inn – Mini Suites
  • Fairfield Inn – Anaheim
  • Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Anaheim Resort

Staying at the resort provides some additional benefits to the guests. My favorite resort hotel is the California Grand where you are treated with first class service followed by the Disneyland Hotel. Both are basically inside the park so it’s just a matter of walking to the gate entrance. Both are excellent places to stay but are two to times the price red to other local lodging. The Paradise Pier Hotel is the least expensive of the three and is just as nice.

As a hotel guest, you can enter the park early and avoid the main entrance by entering at the Monorail station in Downtown Disney to get into Disneyland or through the Grand Hotel entrance into California Adventure. Disneyland opens the gate an hour early on some days, so you need to check the park hours if you’re a hotel guest.


If you’re a Southern California resident, it can take about an hour or two depending on traffic conditions to get to the resort. So you need to leave early to avoid the rush. This Hub tells you how to get to Disneyland. It provides all the information required if you visit is not within driving distance.



Buying your tickets online is the best way to go. After you purchase the tickets, Disney will send you a PDF of the ticket that you print out. Simply hand the printed ticket to the Cast Member when you enter the gate. They will replace it with a normal ticket that you use inside the park for the remainder of your time there. Sometimes you can find bargains on auction sites for unused tickets, but be careful of using rental tickets since Disney is now printing your name on the ticket and checking identification.

You may want to check out this hub for advice on alternative ways to buy tickets. It will give you some ideas which are useful when deciding the type of ticket to buy.

Best time To Attend the Resort

If you can avoid the summer and holidays, the best time that I found is during workdays in October, November and April. The weather is very pleasant and attendance is low. This means that you will get to go on more rides and enjoy your stay a lot more. The rainy season in the area starts in December and ends in March so the park may be closed during those days.


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