Two adults, two kids, and three days to do it all. Can it be done? Yes. Can it be done better? Probably. Here are some survival tips from the trenches.
Go all over-prepared on your bag
Pretend like you’re packing a diaper bag for a long flight with an infant. We’re talking Band-Aids (those blisters will appear out of nowhere), water, mini sunscreen, hats, lip balm and a light hoodie for when the sun goes down.
Schedule some pool time
If you’re staying anywhere on, or near, the grounds, an afternoon pool break will make the difference between meltdowns before dinner or energy to get back out for round two. Pool-side smoothies for the adults, and a water slide for the kids—now that’s a happy place.
Carry water at all times, and have frequent snacks
If everyone is of the “One more ride!” mentality, things can go sideways around 3 p.m. when suddenly your whole group starts to feel light-headed. (“Wait a minute, when did we last eat?”) Plan to stop for lunch at a specific time, regardless of how short the line looks at the Matterhorn Bobsleds. After that, take regular breaks for a churro or a pretzel to avoid a low-blood-sugar crash.
Fastpass, full steam ahead
Fastpasses let you jump the line for popular rides. But there’s no need for all of you to clog up the Fastpass kiosk areas. Instead, get everyone through the park gates early, and then have one adult take the kids, while the other takes everyone’s entry tickets and collects Fastpasses for the busiest rides all over the park. Meet up, hand out the passes, and start making the rounds to your favourite rides.
Limit the number of times you cross back and forth
The Disneyland Resort has two parks, each with its own set of entrance gates: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to hop between parks for one ride, but on a busy day you can lose precious time lining up for the bag security check, the ticket check and the hand stamp. If you devote one day to each park, it really takes the pressure off.