Welcome to The Disneyland® Guide for Families (Unofficial). You don't have to be part of a family to use this reference guide. By all means, anyone is welcome to use it. Just find what is useful for you and your situation.

This blog began it's life as a manuscript for a book that was never published, so there is a ton of content here. The bulk of the information that is only occasionally updated is listed under the "Chapters", and will probably be where you spend most of your time. The "home" page has additions that are more like comments on current events related to the Disneyland® Resort, or just fun things that I continue to find.

I love to hear from people who have used the information contained in this blog. Please let me know if you have found the information helpful, and if there is something else you think I should talk about, let me know!

Resources Inside the Parks of Disneyland® Resort

Your Guide to Disneyland® Park or Disney’s California Adventure® Park
Also known as a park map, this guide is very helpful and you will use it more than you think, so don’t throw it away immediately after they hand it to you. There is usually an insert that lists that day’s times for parades, fireworks, and shows. I’ve usually been in the park for about 3-4 hours before I think about needing it, so I stash it someplace where I can find it, when I remember that I want it.

City Hall and Guest Relations Lobby
City Hall is located immediately to your left as you pass under the Main Street Station railroad tracks as you enter Disneyland® (at Town Square). Guest Relations Lobby is located immediately to your left as you enter California Adventure®. City Hall and the Guest Relations Lobby are essentially guest services, and are all around help desks.
Almost any special need can be accommodated at Disneyland® Resort. If you have someone in your party with special needs, stop by City Hall in Disneyland® or Guest Relations Lobby in California Adventure® and explain your situation. They will be able to tell you what they can do to help you out. You may be surprised at the level of accommodation they can provide for you. Some of the disability aids may require a deposit however. Mental disabilities can be accommodated to a great degree as well. You may want to call the live guest information number (see “useful information”) before your trip and discuss what accommodations are available for your specific circumstance.  See this Disney parks blog post for details on services offered for guests with hearing disablities.

If it is your first time in the park or if it is your birthday or anniversary, there are free buttons available for you if you stop in and ask. They have maps of all the coin smashing machines in the park. They have detailed schedules of everything going on in the park that day, so if you want to listen to one of the performing groups, they can tell you when and where to be. Also, anyone 10 years of age or over who becomes lost is able to leave a written note for others in their party at City Hall or Guest Relations Lobby. These help desks provide services too numerous to mention. If you have a question of any kind, they will have the answer.

First Aid and Lost Child Booth & Baby Center
All of these areas are located together in both parks. Their locations will be marked on park maps.

In Disneyland:
The lost child booth (and baby center) is located to the right of the Plaza Restaurant on the Central Plaza end of Main Street USA, next to First Aid.

In California Adventure:
The lost child booth (and baby center) is located to the left of the Mission Tortilla Factory, also right next to First Aid.
The lost child booth is where lost children under the age of 10 are taken. If someone in your party over the age of 10 is lost, they are welcome to leave a message at City Hall or Guest Relations Lobby.
The baby center is a more private area for diaper changing, and nursing activities.

There are lockers for rent both inside the parks, and just outside the entrance. Inside Disneyland®, lockers are located on Main Street USA. In California Adventure® lockers are located at the main entrance and the Golden Gateway. Outside the parks lockers are located next to the Disneyland® park Newsstand, and the picnic area. The lockers can be paid for using a credit or debit card, and come in various sizes. The lockers can be accessed throughout the day for no extra charge, so it is easy to get things out or put things in as you need to. You can store all non-essential items there during the day like spare clothes, jackets, extra diapers and any purchases. The lockers outside the main Disneyland® entrance are next to a picnic area, and are perfect for storing your family’s lunch. Locker space can fill up if the park is busy, so if you really need one, get yours early.  If you are going on the Grizzly River Run lockers are located next to the 20-foot tall grizzly bear statue.  Be sure to store any electronics or items that might be damaged by water. The lockers are free for the first 2 hours and $1 for each additional half-hour.

Emergency Baby Bottle
If you lose your only bottle in the park (or do like we did once, and leave it at the hotel), you won’t find bottles for sale on the gift shop shelves. BUT, if you ask at a check out register, they usually have them under the counter. The bottle they have for sale is little and has a slow flow, but it’s a bottle, and when you need one, you need one! By the way, we found that a bottle with a drop-in liner and multiple clean nipples was the most space efficient for our trip.

Stroller and Wheelchair Rental
Strollers, electric convenience vehicles and wheelchairs are available for rent just to the right inside the main entrance to either park on a first-come-first-served basis. If your rented wheelchair goes missing while you are at the park, bring your ticket to wheelchair rental and they will provide you with another wheelchair. There are refundable deposits required for electric convenience vehicles and wheelchairs.

Bank of Main Street
The bank of Main Street provides many financial services for guests. There is an ATM, they will cash checks, and they sell Disney dollars. Foreign currency exchange takes place at City Hall.

There are many places in the parks that have official Disney PhotoPass photographers. If you like, they will take pictures of your family, and you will receive a PhotoPass card. You can have all of your photos linked to the same pass. At the end of the day, you can stop by the Main Street Photo Supply Co in Disneyland® or at Greetings from California in California Adventure®, and view your PhotoPass pictures. You can either purchase prints in the parks or after you get home, via the Internet. Photos purchased on-line will be mailed to you. Pictures can be linked to multiple PhotoPasses, so the photo of your family can be linked to both your PhotoPass and Grandma’s PhotoPass.
PhotoPass has several advantages. The most obvious is that it is a really easy way to get a picture of the whole family together, not just a picture of everyone except for Dad who’s behind the camera. It’s also nice to have a good quality photo that comes in whatever size you want it in. So if you have purchased an 8X10 frame in a gift shop, you have a good quality 8X10 photo of everyone at Disneyland® to put into it. Another bonus with PhotoPass is the little cartoon add-ons available with your prints. One year they would have guests hold out a hand and then when the picture is printed they put a little cartoon version of Tinker Bell standing on the guest’s hand.
In my experience, the PhotoPass photographers are okay photographers, and some do a better job than others. In addition sometimes, I think the print quality is a little better on the photos that you order at home, than the ones that you pick up in the park, but that just happened to us once. I liked not having to worry about packing the pictures so that they didn’t get bent in my luggage for the flight home, but my Mom likes to buy them in the park. She’s not real fond of buying anything over the Internet. So choose whichever purchase option suits you.

Kennel Facilities
There are indoor kennel facilities available during the day for cats and dogs. Vaccination certificates are required.

Package Check Service
There are shopping opportunities galore inside the parks. That doesn’t mean you have to carry everything you buy around with you or make a run to your locker to deposit purchases. You can do both of those things, but several of the gift shops offer a package check service. If you are staying at a hotel that is part of Disneyland® Resort your purchases can be sent directly to your room. Otherwise, they can be checked and you can pick them up just before you leave. Ask at the checkout counter wherever you make your purchases and they can tell you where and how to use this service.