First trip to Disneyland

Ok, I have been to Walt Disney World MANY times. We are going to Disneyland/Hawaii for our 25th Anniversary.

We are 2 adults staying offsite, still have to find hotel. We will be going in October. I have 3 full days for Disneyland. I hope to do Walking in Walts footsteps. I am so eager to feel Walt while there.

Ok so my items today:

Can someone perhaps send me 2 copies of the Disneyland and California Adventure maps. I want to make myself comfortable with where we ware going. I already have the apps, and have the unoffical guide book. I can pay for postage and trouble if needed or am happy to pay it forward.

Second I am most definitely getting Max Pass. No question. And carrying extra batteries for my phone for max pass.

Are park hoppers worth it? I am going back and forth.

I know there will be more questions. I am learning.

Any other good tips, and hidden gems like where the tree with Walts initials are, and the tree where Patrick’s house is. I love the little things.

No I am not doing the Halloween party. That is in DCA correct?

Thank you!!


Yes definitely! Unless you are very budget-conscious, I highly recommend Max Pass and Park Hopper. The two parks are so close together it is very tempting and convenient to hop, sometimes multiple times a day.

Yes, that is scheduled for DCA currently (and likely for the indefinite future).

I don’t have copies but you can view them online at this link (this one includes both DCA and Disneyland, including Galaxy’s Edge).


Thank you!


I am trying to put together a quick trip in the next few weeks, if I go, I will try and remember to send you some copies. 2 from each park?

As for hoppers, I agree with @Jeff_AZ, they are a must do for me. I might have to go for the above trip with out hopping (My AP is blocked out of DL, but I have a one day park hopper that I need to use before October) and that will be hard. I have been know to hop to one park just for dinner (Plaza and their chicken is my weakness), then hop back. If there are no lines, you can hop in less than 5 minutes from one to the other.


I would love 2 of each map. Something about being able to hold a printed map. So if you could I would love it

I know they are close do you need to go through security for each park? Or if you are in either there is a walkway to go park to park just scanning your ticket??

The Esplanade is the area between the two parks that face one another. You only need to go through security once and then can enter either park quickly. At least that was the case last June.

Google earth has some really good images by the way.

This was taken as we were in line to enter the Disney land turnstiles directly across.



This shot reminds me that I miss the “CALIFORNIA” letters on the esplanade.


It kind of reminds me f wdw Hollywood studios

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When I was at HS in May, it was erily similar to DCA, yet very different. I had a similar experience in MK vs DL. Kind of a twilight zone thing, where you know where you are at, yet you really don’t.


YES! I remember my first walk down Main St, USA at WDW my whole feeling was very much “What happened?!?! Something isn’t right about this.” And I kept telling my husband “Everything’s in the wrong place.”

I didn’t feel it as strongly in HS but I did end up loving having it as our first park because often times the first stop on a trip for us is the Hollywood pin releases at the Soda & Fountain store which is RIGHT next to the Chinese Theater so that first feeling of arriving in “Hollywood” just felt right on point.


What a fantastic trip to take for the occasion of such a milestone anniversary!! Many congratulations & happy planning to you!

As for the details:

Yes! Book 30 days in advance by calling & definitely a must-do for Disney fans. If you are a big Walt history buff you may already know a lot of the audio they will be playing but hearing it on YouTube vs. hearing it playing in your ear as you walk through his park is a big upgrade. And his apartment is just special & the plaids who give the tour of it are the cream of the crop of storytellers of Walt.

I may have been able to sneak a few away from my son’s stash that he has collected (and plays and plans with at home) to be able to send out to Liners (he has hundreds so he won’t miss 4) but let me see if they are still in the place I think they are at.

A perfect plan! The fuel rod option in the parks is also unbelievably convenient & worth the $30 price tag. You pay that price for life & can always swap an emptied charger for a full one. They provide a very short cord with it so we’ve always brought our own cords, but love how transportable it is.

I can go without MaxPass and still have a great day, making the most of the free FP system. I have a much harder time limiting myself to one park per day. They are both great and have enough to do in each for a day but I love shows & food & rides in both & it allows you so much flexibility over the 3 days & go with the flow & where the crowds aren’t. My most favorite thing about the hopper is that DCA will usually close a good 2 hrs before DL so on a DCA night if we aren’t done yet, we can hop into DL and even if it’s just for 30 min. on Main St to end the night, it’s worth it to me.

Start with the fabulous article by Casey on Unique Disneyland. She has a few other links (Free to do at Disneyland and Scavenger Hunt) at the bottom of that post that have some other great things as well.

A few other things she doesn’t include are:

  • As you enter the building for Snow White’s, hit the golden apple on the spell book, it’s fun! Also the window above the entrance if you watch it for a few minutes has a fun effect, easy to see from across the way near Peter Pan (less so right as you are walking into the building for the queue).
  • In Fantasy Faire you can turn the crank on the music box with Cloppin and other Notre Dame characters to play the music, very beautiful & quaint. And then at night, the Rapunzel tower randomly lights up & plays her song. We’ve seen it play at very off times & there doesn’t seem to be any interval & from what we can tell doesn’t seem to react to any guest interaction so we’re not entirely sure what sets it off.
  • Also at night in the water next to Pixie Hollow there is a fairy-sized water “WOC”-esque mini-show with music & mini water fountains spraying & colored lights. Also not sure of the intervals on it, but if you happen to catch it is worth stopping to admire.

I feel like there’s more but nothing that is coming to mind right at the moment, but if I do think of any, I’ll be sure to come back & add.

And lastly,

Yes in DCA and all the more reason to have a hopper so that you can enjoy a lesser crowded day in DCA & hop to DL once the party crowds begin to enter. DL will probably be pretty busy (DCA on a party night is a bit of a Christmas crazy madhouse) but DL has a lot more to absorb crowds so it may not be so bad.

Any other questions, please ask away!


What an awesome reply and list. I love the tiny details. I know so many for magic kingdom. I am grateful for disneyland and california adventure secrets

I have since discovered the tree i was looking for from the little man of disneyland is one ot the trees in the Indiana Jones sign

I have also heard about the palm tree by Jungle Cruise being very old and from the original plantation.I

And i think you were the final swing in my decision in getting hoppers. Thank you


You should ask some CMs to see if any of them know about the tree by Jungle Cruise. I know once we had a Storybook Land Canal Boats CM pointing out trees in that area & one of them that Walt had planted himself.

And as for the hoppers, anytime! I’m happy to enable…I mean um, help! :smile:


If you are interested in the history, cruise over to DLH get a beverage from trader Sam’s and walk through the lobbies of the various towers (especially the Fantasy tower). Lots of past memorabilia as well as a history of the park and the hotel. DH and I left the kids in the hotel room and went to have breakfast and the sipped coffee as we perused the exhibits. Easily one of my favorite mornings.


Jedilogray, your trip sounds a lot like our upcoming trip (Oct 10-11). We have been married 22 years and going to DL for the first time sans kids. Been to WDW many times with our boys.

If I find any amazing tips, I will share them with you!

Hope you have a great trip full of pixie dust!


So I was initially leaning away from Hoppers because we have younger kids (10,8,6) and when we went to WDW, we pretty much didn’t use them (I know it’s WAY more convenient at DLR) - the kids were pretty pooped by the time we hit dinner and after any nighttime spectacular they were DONE. We’re doing a 4 day trip over spring break with 1 rest day in the middle and we’re not food people (chicken wings and fries are about as good as anything). 3rd DLR trip in 5 years. Would you still recommend hoppers?

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I have young kids and we still hop at DLR almost every day when we are there. But if you are looking for a way to save money, you can absolutely do two days at DL and one day at DCA and still get just about everything done with proper planning. You might wish you had another half day at DCA to repeat rides, but that’s a separate issue. :slight_smile:


We’ve always gone with young kids to DLR (when we first started going had 2 kids aged 23 months and 3 months & have now expanded that to 3 that are 8,6 & 2 years). We’ve never once not hopped on a whole trip bc the parks are steps away from each other & we love entertainment, rides and snacks at both. Now bc DCA doesn’t have a whole bunch for the sub-4 yr old crowd we more often hop from DCA back to DL and even if we do spend a full day in DCA, it does tend to close 1-3 hrs before DL and there’s nothing I love more than a send-off the original DL to bed (even if it’s just 30 min. in Main St soaking in ambiance) but bc there is a lot more in DL both for younger kids & that I (as the planner) love we do tend to spend full days in DL with nary a hop to DCA.

That being said, it is absolutely doable to save the dollars and not hop (especially since hoppers for a family do add up, I get it!).


Third trip in five years tells me you are approaching pro-level. If you can do this without hoppers save the money for MaxPass!

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We’re definitely doing MaxPass. Our last trip to DLR was in spring 2017 and we did 3 days without hoppers: 1 at DCA and 1.75 at DL. We missed Cali’ Screamin’ but felt like we got everything else at DCA done (ToT was closed for the GotG transition). We probably could have used hoppers more effectively for such a short trip.

Our current plan is 2 full days at each park, maybe 2.5 at DLR (since we can add tickets for the parks for $15 the morning of our travel home day).

We probably planning at least one more trip to DLR in about 3 years (will probably try to hit WDW for the 50th between then). I think I’m back to leaning away from hoppers.