I love Disneyland! It was my go-to pick for almost every birthday growing up and it’s so much fun to go any time. I haven’t been back in a few years though, so I was really excited to make it happen in 2018! In this travel diary, I’ll share our trip to Disneyland in January, and where we stayed.
DISNEYLAND IN JANUARY | TRAVEL DIARY
I have been wanting to go back to Disneyland basically since my last trip, but it just wasn’t happening. This year, we are making experiences a priority and choosing to do the things we had been putting off. Last time I was in Disneyland was during Christmas a few years ago and there were tons of people there. I remember posting up for the fireworks and then looking back at the massive crowd that had formed behind us. It was kind of crazy; I had never seen so many people there.
I wanted to go to Disneyland in January to avoid those holiday crowds I had experienced before. I read that crowds were low in January, but I was concerned about it raining the entire time, or that all my favorite rides would be down for refurbishment.
As we got closer to the dates we chose to travel, I could check the weather for rain, and use the Disneyland app to see what attractions would be closed. Disneyland does a lot of its repairs and refurbishments during the slower season.
WHERE WE STAYED
We drove in and stayed at the Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel which was about a mile walk to the park. The hotel was so cute and looked like a castle and they offered a complimentary shuttle to/from Disneyland. The shuttle was actually amazing because after we walked back from the park one night, we definitely preferred the shuttle/bus. It runs pretty accurate to the time listed and it was filled up on almost every ride we had, so make sure you arrive to the pick/up drop off locations early if you stay here.
The weather was beautiful for our trip which I was super happy about since January can potentially have rain. The crowds were pretty light too and we were able to get on most rides with little wait.
There were some refurbishments going on during our trip — it’s a small world, and California Screamin’ were two attractions I was sad were closed while we were there. They are also completely revamping the Paradise Pier area of California Adventure, so there wasn’t much we could do in that area.
They were also doing some repair work on Main Street so there were walls built up to detour people around the area. This actually turned out kind of nice because helped to keep the castle area clear of tons of people and we got a lot of great pictures there.
I used my phone a lot during the trip because the Disneyland app was so great to see how long the waits were for the different rides, where the food was, and to book different Fast Passes. I felt like my cute glitter case fit right in at the most magical place on earth! Use my link for $10 off your own glitter case — you can customize it to say your name or whatever you want.
MAX PASS TICKETS
Disneyland now offers MaxPass tickets to supplement your park tickets or Annual Pass. The MaxPass feature lets you use the Disneyland app to digitally make FastPass selections and to save/download all your Disneyland Park photos.
If you don’t know, certain attractions have little kiosks where you can scan your ticket and get a FastPass. With the FastPass, you can return to that ride between the specified time and get to be in the shorter/faster line. FastPass is great because you are kind of reserving your place in line while you enjoy other attractions in the park. The FastPasses are free, but they aren’t unlimited; you can’t get a second FastPass until the “return time” on your current FastPass.
With the MaxPass, you can select FastPasses right from your phone and it’s awesome. You don’t have to go to the kiosk/distribution areas, and you can select multiple FastPasses once after a certain time or you redeem a FastPass — whichever comes first. We saved a lot of time reserving our FastPasses while exploring the park or in line for other rides.
We also were able to download and save any photos from the rides or that the Cast Members took for us right through the app. We got some great photos while we were there.
The MaxPass is an extra $10/day for each ticket (or $75 as an annual add-on for AP), but I definitely recommend it if you want to save some time with the FastPasses and if you would otherwise buy a photo package.
Having the Disneyland app open all the time to select new FastPasses and key in the photo codes/scanning did put a drain on my phone battery. I was able to make it through the day, but I had to use my external charger here and there. If you are planning a trip, I suggest getting a slim external charger to keep your phone going.
MULTIPLE EXPERIENCES MAXPASS
We had made our FastPass selection, but the ride went down and they converted the FastPass to be a “Multiple Experiences” pass which was good for any of the FastPass attractions in that park. Kind of a bummer that the ride went down, but it was temporary and we could use that Multiple Experiences FastPass at any time during the rest of that day — there was no specific return time.
WORLD OF COLOR + HURRY HOME//LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION
We were able to watch the World of Color show in California Adventure and it was so fun. We were standing in the Yellow section and had a pretty good view. Right before World of Color, they played a short little show for the Lunar New Year. It’s the year of the dog and the Hurry Home show was really great. I was glad to get to see those shows since I’d never seen any of the World of Colors.
DISNEYLAND IN JANUARY
We had the best trip to Disneyland in January. Even though some of the rides were closed, the crowds were light and the weather was perfect.
I already am looking forward to my next trip back!