This list begins before you enter the park. For those of you travelling for the day or live nearby, you will know that the Mickey and Friends gets full quickly. The Toy Story Parking Lot just south of Katella is ALWAYS empty and shuttles come about every 2-5 minutes. If you still want to park at Mickey and Friends, do NOT pay an additional $18 for 'Preferred' Parking. It gets you at MOST 5 feet closer to the elevator/escalator. With the regular parking fee, we were able to park right by the elevator.
*Upon entering the park, hit the mountains (Splash, Space, Thunder, Matterhorn) or any other rides which usually have long queues later in the day. [You can also use this tip late at night].
*For those of you who are used to Universal Studios, FASTPASSES ARE FREE! Yes, just go to a kiosk, insert your park ticket and out comes a paper ticket. This ticket is simply a reminder. Scan you park ticket or annual pass at the entrance of the ride and skip most or all of the line!
*Did you know you could get FREE filtered water in the park?
YES! There are filtered water stations at Rancho Del Zocalo, Galactic Grill, and the Mint Julep Bar (Home to the Mickey-Shaped Beignets). Or you could ask for a cup of water at any restaurant [Free, but this is just tap water].
*Disneyland's corn dogs are a work of magic. You can get corn dogs at the red wagon on Main Street, but if you go to the Stagedoor Cafe and get one a la carte, you save $2.75!
*We all have to get the delicious Dole Whip at the Tiki Bar, but the long line is horrendous. If you go inside the Enchanted Tiki Room loading area however, you can get in line on that side of the bar and maybe be first or second in line.
*Peter Pan's Flight never gets under a 40 minute wait, but if you wait in the pre-line by the Tea Cup Model next to the Mad Hatter Shop during the fireworks, you will be first in line to ride Peter Pan since it closes during fireworks!
*This one is a little less of a hack per se, but it is a truly magical experience! Get in line for Big Thunder five minutes before the fireworks (Around this time, the queue is usually under 10 minutes) and watch the fireworks explode from an amazing view.
Disney's California Adventure (DCA)
*You may be intimidated by the 1-2 hour wait at Radiator Springs Racers, but if your party doesn't mind splitting up, you can hop in the Single Rider Queue and board in 20 minutes. (SR queues are available at Matterhorn Bobsleds, Radiator Springs Racers, California Screamin', Soarin' Around the World, Indiana Jones Adventure, Splash Mountain and Grizzly River Run). Don't forget to use Rider Switch passes so you can go on again with no wait! If a member is too short to ride, ask a Cast Member at the entrance for a Rider Switch! You can use this trick at any ride with a height requirement (DCA and Disneyland Park)
*If you're looking for soft serve ice cream, the only places to get them are in DCA (at the Cozy Cone Motel, and at Ghirardelli in Pacific Wharf). However, the Cozy Cone often has a shorter line!
*If you've built up an appetite and don't want to spend an hour at a table service restaurant, try the Carthay Circle Lounge! The service is amazing, and you can get several appetizers to share tapas-style and be out of there in 30-45 minutes.
*Toy Story Midway Mania is usually a 40+ minute queue, but there is a way around this! Hop on the attraction 10 minutes before the park closes, and there will be almost no wait (if you don't mind skipping World of Color).
*You can get FREE refills at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta! Just put your drink up to the fountain and show the nearest CM your reciept!
*Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! just opened this May and if you want to ride it without enduring the 3 hour line, you have two options:
1. Try to get a fastpass (You will have to get there pretty early, they're usually out around 10:00am on crowded days. Also keep in mind that this particular fastpass isn't that fast - Usually still a 45 minute wait).
2. Get to the park 15 minutes prior to opening and get into the pre-line on Buena Vista Street (It may look long but don't let that deceive you, it's only about 20 minutes).