Weekly FAQ – Disneyland!

by Shannon

Hi sweet friends! I receive so many questions each week that I thought it would be nice to recap the ones asked most frequently right here! Since we just had our VERY FIRST visit to Disneyland (YAY!!), most of the questions I received this week were related to that! So let’s deep dive into some Disneyland FAQs for this week!

Does Disneyland allow you to bring in food and water bottles like Walt Disney World does?

Yes! Just like at Walt Disney World, you’re able to bring in snacks, waters, etc into the parks! We brought snacks and bottled water in with us each day without any issues.

How close are the two parks to each other?

They’re literally right across from each other! You can see the park entrance of DCA from Disneyland and vice versa. It would take you less than a minute to walk from one entrance to the other. This was SO COOL!

Which park did we like more? Disneyland or California Adventure?

This is a tough one! I felt most comfortable and really enjoyed the nostalgia at Disneyland. It reminds me of Magic Kingdom in terms of layout/ rides. However, DCA was fantastic too. I LOVED the Cars Land area as well as Pixar Pier. If I had to choose a favorite, I would choose Disneyland based on nostalgia and how special it feels.

Which hotel did we prefer? The Grand Californian or the Disneyland Hotel?

Both hotels were BEAUTIFUL! And they both offered Extra Magic Hours and were very close to the parks and Downtown Disney!

The Grand Californian is closer to the parks and you literally can exit the hotel directly into DCA or Downtown Disney! The room felt really fancy and upgraded too.

The Disneyland Hotel was just a few minutes further than the Grand Californian. I really loved the theming and how magical it felt. We saw SO MANY characters exploring the grounds!

You can’t go wrong with either! The Disneyland Hotel generally is less expensive.

I’m going to cover both hotels and rooms in detail on the blog too!

What is MaxPass?

MaxPass is Disneyland’s electronic version of Fastpasses. Disneyland has both paper fastpasses available as well as MaxPass. You have to pay an additional $15 per day per person to be able to use MaxPass but in my opinion its 100% worth it – it also includes all of your PhotoPass photos! We rode EVERYTHING! We never had any issues getting fastpasses via Maxpass and as a result walked on most rides during our trip. I’ll do an entire blogpost on MaxPass and how it works! Stay tuned!

What was our favorite ride?!

Our Daughter asked to ride the Alice in Wonderland ride over and over again, so I think that was her favorite! I loved so many rides. Maybe Big Thunder Mountain was my favorite? DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE!

Do the parks serve alcohol?

There are plenty of spots to grab a drink in DCA! The only spot with alcohol in Disneyland is inside Galaxy’s Edge.

How did we get from LAX to the Disneyland Resort?

I ended up booking a private car through Anaheim Town Car Service. I’ll deepdive into this as well but would 10/10 recommend if you’re not wanting to use a shuttle or rideshare.

How far is the drive from LAX to the Disneyland Resort?

Without traffic it took us about 40 minutes from the Disneyland Hotel to LAX. We did hit traffic going to the Grand Californian and that trip took about an 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Does the castle at Disneyland feel less magical than Cinderella castle at Walt Disney World?

Actually, quite the opposite! Sleeping Beauty castle is much smaller but it felt extra magical to me. Maybe because I see Cinderella Castle all the time? Maybe because in my mind I knew that Walt actually walked through the castle at Disneyland? I can’t quite pinpoint it but I LOVED Sleeping Beauty castle and miss it already.

How did we get into the park early?

We stayed at one of the three Disneyland Resort hotels during our trip! This gives you access to the Extra Magic Hours each morning that are available at the parks! This was a GAMECHANGER. We got so much done in that first hour each morning, the parks were practically empty and with the time change, we had no issue being up and awake to enter the parks at 7am.

Is Cars Land a place you could spend the entire day in?

Cars Land was SO GOOD! I don’t think you could spend your whole day there though (I mean, you could but you may run out of things to do). There are 3 rides in Cars Land, character interactions, shows, lots of spots for snacks, and a restaurant too. You could spend a good chunk of your day there enjoying the atmosphere but definitely would still have time available to visit Pixar Pier and other fun areas within DCA.

Did we get to do/see everything in our 4 days?

We did SO MUCH! But we also missed a lot too — mostly because I was traveling with a preschooler who couldn’t make it to the nighttime shows with the time change. We didn’t get to see Fantasmic or World of Color, or the fireworks show. I didn’t get to ride some of the “bigger” rides either. But we got to explore our two resorts, explore Downtown Disney, ride everything multiple times between the two parks, meet characters, and explore Galaxy’s Edge twice! So we did a TON! But still have more to do for next trip!

Is Disneyland more or less crowded than Walt Disney World?

This one is kind of hard to explain! The first two days we visited, crowds were very low! Most rides were 5-15 minute wait. The last two days were more crowded BUT rides still did not have super long waits. Wait times 100% were less than what they would have been at Walt Disney World. Disneyland is MUCH smaller than Magic Kingdom, for example, so at times the sidewalks at Disneyland may have felt crowded but the amount of people were definitely less than at Walt Disney World. Hopefully that makes sense!

How long should a Disneyland first-timer visit for?

I think definitely a minimum of 4 days! Two at each park is nice to have. Anything above that is a bonus! Especially if you want to enjoy a lot of what Downtown Disney and your resort has to offer!

What did we think of the rides that are at both parks? Did we prefer one over the other?

Ooh I’m going to make some people mad with this one, hahaha! I liked the rides at Disneyland BETTER than their counterpart at WDW. Big Thunder Mountain is better. Pirates is better. Small World is better. I didn’t get to ride everything so I can’t 100% compare but those ones for sure were better! I’m not sure on Splash Mountain though! I felt like Splash Mountain at Disneyland was moving at 100mph lol. I like how its a little slower at WDW — you can enjoy the details a bit more.

Any tips for adjusting to the time change?

Our Daughter did really well adjusting! The first morning she woke up at 4:30am — which would be 7:30 here in Florida. I took advantage of her being up early and got us ready for the day, moved our luggage over to the Disneyland Hotel and then we were at the front of the line for Disneyland when it opened at 7am.

She did slowly adjust to sleeping in until about 6:15am. PERFECT time to wake up and make it to the parks for 7am Extra Magic Hours each day.

We did head back to the room and nap in the middle of the day and that helped her stay up until about 8:30pm. We weren’t ever able to make it late enough for the nighttime shows but I didn’t want to push her beyond her limits.

If your kids are getting up early, take advantage of the parks in the morning when crowds are less!

How did we get groceries delivered to our hotel?

We used SHIPT! I have a whole post on this right here!

One question I got HUNDREDS of times was Disneyland vs Walt Disney World?! Which did I like better?? Which would I recommend? This is a HUGE topic, so I’ll deep dive into this one in its own blog post too!

Follow all of our adventures on Instagram @brbgoingtodisney 🙂 I share tips and tricks for families visiting Disney as well as real-time stories while we’re at the parks each week! See you there!

Don’t forget to pin this post for later!

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