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  • On Jul 1, 2022
    Melissa from OR Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    I am planning to travel to Disneyland in October for the first time. Our family has 2 adults and 2 kids (6 &9). Where do I even start for hotels, park visits, and budgeting.

    Hello, Melissa! 

    I'm THRILLED to help you plan your first Disneyland Resort adventure. It's such a fantastic experience for any family! 

    The first thing you will need to do is decide on a date. And then, you will have to do two things: book your lodging and buy theme park tickets (while reserving your dates at the same time). Since your traveling style may be different than mine, I will share your options under each category so that you can decide what's best for your family. 

    There are plenty of lodging options around the Disneyland Resort and inside it. They will range from the luxurious Disney's Grand Californian Resort & Spa to Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, which is more budget-friendly. You will also find Good Neighbor Hotels around the resort that may have more affordable prices. 

    After finding your perfect lodging option, it's time to choose your tickets, and you will have to choose between One Park Per Day or Park Hopper tickets. While the first choice grants you access to a single theme park for a whole day, the second will allow you to switch between the theme parks starting at 1:00 PM, and it's perfect for shorter trips. 

    The Disneyland Resort currently requires park reservations for all guests, and you will make them when you buy your tickets on the website. Since those can sell out, I advise you to purchase your tickets and reserve your dates as soon as possible.  

    Finally, it's time to budget for meals! I usually go to Quick Service restaurants for most of my meals and fit in two special meals at Napa Rose and Carthay Circle (these two are hot tickets, so don't forget to make reservations 60 days before your trip). 

    Regarding Quick Service options, you can browse a few menus in this link to budget according to your family's appetite and preferences.

    Once you've covered everything, it's time to get ready for your trip. You will download the Disneyland Mobile App and log in. You'll see your tickets there and show them to a Cast Member as you go through the turnstiles at the Disneyland Resort.

    We can share a few more tips about your daily itineraries at the theme parks (mostly around using Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes to maximize your time), and we can chat about that after you've settled on dates, a hotel, and tickets. How does that sound?

    We'll be waiting to help again when you're ready to discuss daily itineraries! 

    May the magic be with you, 


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Meet the Panelist: Julie, California

Hi! I am Julie, a Brazilian brand strategist, and amateur cook. I grew up in Brazil, but I currently live in California. I dreamed of visiting the Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort since I was a little girl and now I love to help others enjoy the magic as much as I do. Being an all-things-Disney nerd and Disney Vacation Club member, I'm here to help you find the perfect hotels, park events, and seasonal festivals to make your trip a memory to cherish forever! Learn More About Julie

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