Quick Step by Step Planning Guide to Disneyland

Last Updated on March 29, 2022 by Happily Ever Park Hoppers

Quick Step by Step Planning Guide to Disneyland


Planning a trip to Disneyland is a little less stressful than planning a trip to Walt Disney World. However, there are still a few planning tips you may need to know. This is a quick guide on how to plan your Disneyland vacation.

Steps 1 & 2: Theme Park Tickets & Park Reservations

Gone are the days when you could walk to the ticket window, day of, purchase your theme park ticket and walk right in to Disneyland. Now, you will need to purchase your tickets (most likely well in advance) so you can make your Park Reservations. Park Reservations are required to enter either Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure.

Purchasing Disney Genie+ with your Theme Park Tickets

Disneyland Theme Park Tickets now come with the option of Disney Genie+. If you decide you want Genie+ You can either pay for Genie+ in advance or you can opt to pay for it day of, after you enter the parks.

Don’t know what Disney Genie+ is? It is an add-on package that allows you to make Lightning Lane selections so you can skip the standby line.

Since reservations are limited and can book up quickly; as I said, waiting until the day of to buy your tickets may not be an option. This is why, when you are planning a trip to Disneyland you will want to check the availability calendar. This way you will know if the dates you are looking at have any park availability or if you will have to adjust your travel dates. And keep in mind that if you aren’t able to purchase your tickets and make your park reservations when you are looking; that the availability may change when you do finally go back and make those purhcases/reservations.


Step 3: Hotel

Obviously where you stay is important. You want to stay somewhere within your budget and in close proximity to the parks. There are multiple options within short walking distance. Be sure to check out the On Property Disney Resorts and the Off Property Good Neighbor Hotels.

Again, be sure to check availability calendars for the hotels you are looking at and make sure they are available the same dates you are making your Park Reservations for. There are 3 Disney Resorts and dozens of Hotels just across the street from the parks. This should give you plenty of options but just keep in mind that for Holidays and School vacations, all those places can still book up.

Step 4: Advance Reservations

As I mentioned before in the Returning to the Happiest Place on Earth, you can make dining reservations up to 60 Days in advance. With limited seating and dining options, table service reservations can book up rather quickly. If eating at Blue Bayou or Lamplight Lounge is a must during your trip, you will surely want to make those reservations at the 60 Day mark.

When it reopens,  Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is extremely popular and reservations can also be made 60 Days in advance.

Step 5: Transportation

The last step is transportation. If you are traveling to Disneyland by airplane, you are going to need to arrange for your own transportation. Depending on where you are flying in to, there may be several shuttle options for you to choose from. So be sure to check that airport’s website for all the transportation options.

If you are driving to Disneyland or renting a car, there are 2 parking structures for theme park guests. If you are staying at a Disney Resort, there are 2 separate lots just for resort guests.

If you have any other transportation questions, Disney has a page that breaks down all the different ways to get to Disneyland.

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