How to win Disneyland in December

I made the pilgrimage to Disneyland earlier this month and have confirmation that it is indeed still the happiest place on earth.

But, even the happiest place on earth can get chaotic when thousands of other people think it’s a good idea to go the same December weekend.


Here is how to survive win Disneyland:


Before your trip:

  • Look up the park schedules prior to your trip and determine which
    parades/(fireworks) shows you want to view.
  • Bring your own snacks and water bottle into the park. (If you’re really trying to cut back, pack your own lunch).
  • Arrive early (before the parks open) if you want a large locker. The main ones are located outside the park gates and you can pay with credit card.
  • Bring a sweatshirt/jacket for the evenings and store in locker if you are using one or stuff it in your bag/backpack.


While at the park(s):Go on the most popular rides first thing when the park opens. (Yes, you must arrive early to avoid crowds!)

  • For me, these include Indiana Jones and (Hyper)Space Mountain in Disneyland. And, the Cars ride and the Toy Story 3D shooters ride on the California Adventure side.
  • After you ride that coveted first ride, go get a Fast Pass for that same ride (if you want to ride it again later that day) or for another one of the popular rides.
  • While you are waiting for your Fast Pass ride’s window time to
    arrive, go get in line for one of your favorite rides that doesn’t have a Fast Pass such as Peter Pan’s flight! This one is a fan favorite because kids and adults love it, but during the day you could be waiting up to an hour because there is no Fast Pass option!
  • Look at your Fast Pass carefully and be sure to obtain another Fast Pass for another ride when the window becomes available.
  • Ride the “water rides” at night (Splash Mountain and the Grizzly River Run) since the lines are usually non-existent because people don’t want to get wet at night!
  • If you are not into stooping up on a curb and watching the parades, this is a good time to catch a lot of rides.


We spent a full Saturday, Sunday and half day Monday at the parks. I was exhausted but happy. Saturday alone I was at the park for 17 hours!

If I were to do a jam-packed Disney holiday weekend again, I would probably chill out a little bit and maybe rest during the afternoon and not stay at the park for nearly 20 hours straight!

Then again, I need to get my money’s worth right?

Until next time, Mickey.




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