Going to Disneyland? New Tips for the Best Trip!

Disneyland 2024

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Learn how we travel to Disneyland, where we stay and the latest tips to maximize your time at Disneyland!

Going to Disneyland? New Tips for the Best Trip!

Visiting Disneyland has got to be one of our favorite family vacations and I am thrilled we got to sneak one more in before our eldest daughter enters a new chapter of life: college! We visited in May which is a great time to visit Disneyland for good weather. In this blog post you will learn:

  • where we stay in Anaheim
  • the BEST way to maximize Genie+ (will be called Multiple Lightning Lanes)
  • ideal length of time to stay at parks and whether or not Park Hopper passes are worth it
  • how to skip using your Canadian phone plan when in the US! (game changer!)

Where We Stay in Anaheim

I’ve mentioned it a bunch of times over on Instagram how much we love staying at the Howard Johnson Hotel & Waterpark! It’s 8 minutes away (walking) from the parks which makes visiting Disneyland early for rope drop a breeze! We’ve been staying here for every Disney trip since 2009 and I don’t think we have any plans on changing it up!

Why We Love it:

  • super close to Disneyland
  • rooms have a fridge and microwave (perfect for storing breakfast & premade lunches)
  • swimming pool AND water park to cool off
  • Disney themed bedrooms!

I am really proud to be an ambassador of this hotel considering how many years we’ve been staying here. You can get a discount with my code by entering: 1000022077 in the corporate code field when searching for dates to make a reservation!

The BEST Way to Maximize Genie+ at the Disneyland Resort

In case you missed the most recent announcement from Disneyland, Genie+ will be changing to Multiple Lightning Lanes and Single Lightning Lane (foremerly Individual Lightning Lane) on July 24, 2024. What does this mean exactly? For Disneyland Resort nothing changes in its functionality, just the name, so don’t stress out that you have to learn a new system!

How to maximize the usage:

  • take advantage of rope drop (park opens at 7:30 and you gather at a particular land- Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland)
  • HOT TIP: rope drop Tomorrowland so you can ride all the big ticket rides by around 10am!
  • Ride Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Big Thunder, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion THEN Rise of the Resistance (by this point the line ups for ROTR will be reasonable)

Whenever we purchase Genie+ we always consider the timing of the next available return window vs the current wait times. You don’t want to use your Genie+ when wait times are 45 mins or less. Crowds tend to get busier after lunch so we start using our Genie+ around then. If you follow my tip on rope drop, you’ll be able to ride a LOT of the attractions multiple times before you even start using Genie+. If you are travelling during a peak time (spring break & summer), these tips may not apply.

Have you read my last Disney blog post? Find it here!

How Many Days at Disneyland Resort & Is a Park Hopper Worth it?

If you ask me, I think 4 days at the parks is perfect and if you’re on a budget, I’d go 3 days. For 4 days, I’d spend 3 days at Disneyland and 1 at California Adventure and for 3 days, I’d spend 2 at Disneyland and 1 at California Adventure. That’s just me, but I find that you get more value out of your day being at Disneyland multiple days rather than California Adventure. There aren’t as many attractions so I always feel satisfied only spending 1 day at California Adventure.

For this last trip we were hosted by Disneyland to experience 1 Park Hopper day. Park Hopper passes are handy to use when Disneyland is having an After Dark event. Because Star Wars Nite was happening that day and we didn’t want our night to end early, we were able to pop over to California Adventure to enjoy more Disney fun! I think this would be the only time I would consider using a Park Hopper pass as the cons is you can only switch parks at a certain time in the afternoon and as we all know, parks get busier by then which means wait times for rides are longer. Nevertheless we were super grateful that the timing worked out and that Disneyland graciously gifted us a day at the parks!

How to Skip the Outrageous Data Plan Costs

Friends, I’m here to tell you that I’ve been hiding under a rock by not doing this one thing when we travel to the US. It’s getting an e-sim!! By pre-purchasing an e-sim with the amount of data you’d like for your stay (I got 2GB for a 1 week stay) it eliminates you paying a daily rate to use your own data plan and avoids dropping in and out of the free wifi at the parks. It is a GAMECHANGER and also reduces battery drainage on your phone since it’s not constantly looking for service. We got ours with Airalo and it was very easy to install and very affordable!

I hope you enjoyed this updated Disneyland post. Be sure to let me know in the comments or send me a message over on Instagram!

Jzabela, xo

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