Plan Your Trip

How to Get Ready for a Disneyland Vacation Like a Pro

Disneyland Vacation Planning - Minnie Mouse Halloween costume

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I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready to get ready for a Disneyland vacation!  And for me, one of the best parts of going to Disneyland is the planning.  I love the preparation, the packing – YES, I know I’m weird – and the excitement.  There is something so magical about getting ready for a Disney trip, and I want to share my magic with you!  So, come along as I take you step-by-step through how I prepare for the Happiest Place on Earth!


Phase 1 – Planning

This might be the most exciting step in the whole process – the planning!  Choosing your dates, looking at flights if necessary, and finding a place to stay.   You can use our Trip Planning Checklist to help ensure a smooth and easy trip by not forgetting any key details!  Just fill out the form below and it will be sent straight to your inbox!



Make sure that when you are selecting dates, you look at factors such as holidays, park events, and peak seasons.  Summertime is great for kids because they are out of school, but it is historically one of the busiest seasons. Pick times that work for you and your interests and start the planning from there.

If you are like me, it’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to fly to Disneyland than it is to drive.  Trust me, we’ve mapped it out and it would take us 26 hours of driving to get to Anaheim from our hometown.  That’s a lot of driving!

I try to pick the cheapest flight possible, as the destination is more important than the journey in this case.  Picking early flight times and mid-week departures is a good way to usually ensure a good price.  I personally ALWAYS use Expedia for my flights to Disneyland.  Expedia always gives great prices and I have never had any issues!

When finding a place to stay in Disneyland, there are countless options for every price range! Think about what is important for your stay while looking at your options. Do you want your hotel to have breakfast for you daily?  Do you want to stay right in the heart of the magic?  Are you willing to stay a little farther away for a great price? 

No matter what you are looking for, you will be able to find it.  Using my trusty friend Expedia, together with this list of great hotel options, is a great way to see what hotels offer upfront and compare prices!

And remember, unless this is a surprise for someone, get input from all the travellers!  When it comes to our family, we usually end up having about 4-5 trip meetings before going on our trip.  Although, we usually get nothing done and use it as an excuse to eat snacks together!



Phase 2 – Booking

The absolute, most crucial step in preparing for your trip starts with putting the plan into action.  That’s right – booking your trip!  Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to start thinking about the finer details.  

It’s so important, now more than ever before, to first look at the current restrictions of anywhere that you are planning to go!  For instance, as of November 2021, Disneyland has a mandatory mask rule in effect for any indoor areas or closed attractions, and you must reserve a park slot for the days you wish to enter!  Make sure to stay updated around the time of your trip for more info!

At our trip meetings, we like to discuss things such as if we need to make dining reservations or if we have any activities that need to be booked in advance.  It’s important to look at all the details that make up the bigger picture when planning your trip to ensure a magical time!  If you do wish to visit other theme parks, check out CityPass!  They offer great rates for multiple attractions and amazing fun!


Phase 3 – Packing

When you reach the final stretch of your wait, it’s time for the packing fun!



Make sure to start out a packing list at least 2 weeks in advance so that you can check out what you already have at home (chances are that you already have a toothbrush) and see what you still need to purchase (if it’s winter in Canada, you may need sunscreen)!  Here are some things I like to use to get myself Disney ready:

These travel beauties are a great way to keep your clothes organized into sections in your suitcase!  I love how well they compact all of my clothes (I tend to overpack) so that I still have PLENTY of room! 

Having a good backpack with you is a total game-changer. I like to have one that can fit my electronics, my small purse, my planner, and a book!  I personally use this one and it has NEVER done me wrong!

And be sure to check out our essentials for Disneyland here so you will be fully prepared!

Sometimes, I swear it really is the planning process that excites me more (sorry Mom)!  Immersing yourself in the magic weeks or even months beforehand is an amazing feeling, and I hope I shared some of that magic with you!  It has taken me a few years, but with our help, you’ll soon be able to get ready for a Disneyland vacation like a pro too!


Want to remember this?  Save “How to Get Ready for a Disneyland Vacation Like a Pro” to your favourite Pinterest boards!


Plan the Best Disneyland Vacation - Lamplight Lounge coasters in the shape of a Mickey head


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