Top Tips for Planning a Trip To Disneyland from Australia (2023)

Planning a trip to Disneyland from Australia is exciting and scary at the same time. There are flights, accommodation, visas, park tickets, travel insurance, and an itinerary to plan. Here is my step-by-step guide to helping you plan your next Disneyland adventure from Australia!

Firstly, you will want to join Disney Mums and Dads Australia Facebook group to help you plan everything and get advice from other travellers!

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When Is The Best Time To Travel To California From Australia?

This is a tricky one to pick, but my personal favourite time of the year to travel is between September to November. We have been there in October 3 times now, so we have had the chance to experience Halloween in America and will attempt to travel at that time of the year each time we go. The weather is warm but not too hot, and the crowd levels are low. Check out my crowd calendar post to help you plan the best time with low crowds.


Flight prices are all over the place right now, so I recommend watching and waiting for a sale to pop up! Qantas has had a few sales recently and has had the best pricing. United will also be flying directly from Brisbane by the end of the year, so I'm hoping flight prices will drop when that happens. I like using flight websites like Expedia to find the cheapest price and airline to book. We recently paid $1300 return from Brisbane to LAX.


Make sure you book your flights first! Sometimes, booking directly with the resort/hotel is cheaper, but not always! Look at pricing on booking direct and then on websites like or Expedia. I prefer to use as every ten nights you book, and you get one free. You can also refine the search results to book the best-rated hotels, so you know when you're booking that it is highly rated and can read over reviews. Make sure you book a hotel that is close enough to walk or has a free shuttle. I always stay within a 15-minute walking distance as the last thing you want to do is have to catch an Uber or drive to the parks. The convenience of walking to and from the parks on a long day is worth spending a little extra to stay close by. I also recommend you book a hotel that offers complimentary breakfast as this will save you a bit of money, and it's a great way to kick off a long day at Disneyland and California Adventure Park. I'm working on a post to include the top 10 hotels booked by Australians at Disneyland and will upload it soon.

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When travelling to the USA, you must apply for an ESTA from the official Department of Homeland Security. Other websites are set up that charge triple the price, so you want to use the official website, which will cost you USD 21.00.

To be eligible to apply for a visa waiver :

  • You are a citizen or eligible national of aVisa Waiver Programcountry.
  • You are currently not in possession of a visitor's visa.
  • Your travel is for 90 days or less.
  • You plan to travel to the United States for business or pleasure.
  • You want to apply for a new authorization for one person or a group of applications for two or more persons.

You may also be required to provide the following details:

  • Valid passport(s) from a Visa Waiver Program country.
    List of Visa Waiver Countries
  • Traveller's valid email address.
  • Traveller's home address and phone number.
  • Traveller's emergency point of contact phone and email.
  • Payment method:
    The fee for the application is USD 21.00.
    Valid payment methods include MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover (JCB or Diners Club only), and PayPal.

Park Tickets

The best place to buy park tickets is via KLOOK, and they are also the cheapest with regular sales and discounts, which I will update in my Disney Mums and Dads Facebook Group. You can buy tickets directly from Disney, travel agents, and other travel websites.

Types of tickets:

  • Single-Day Tickets - These tickets grant you admission to either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park for one single day. You can choose between a one-park-per-day ticket or a park hopper ticket, which allows you to visit both parks on the same day.
  • Multi-Day Tickets - Multi-day tickets provide admission to either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park for multiple days. You can select the number of days you wish to visit, usually ranging from two to five days. Like single-day tickets, you have the choice between one-park-per-day tickets or park hopper tickets.
  • Park Hopper Tickets - Park hopper tickets allow you to visit both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park on the same day. With a park hopper ticket, you can quickly move between the parks and experience the attractions, shows, and entertainment in each.

Genie +

Genie+ is a paid service starting at 25 USD per day that provides access to Lightning Lane entrances for select attractions. When you purchase Genie+, you can make reservations for Lightning Lane entrances throughout the day in the Disneyland app. It allows you to skip the regular stand-by lines for participating attractions, saving time and reducing wait times. Genie+ also offers additional features like augmented reality experiences, audio stories, and photo features to enhance your overall park experience. You can read all about the Genie + service in detail in my post over here!

Individual Lightning Lane

Individual Lightning Lane access allows you to purchase access to specific highly popular or high-demand attractions at Disneyland without purchasing the Genie+ service. Not all attractions have this option, and availability may vary. Check the official Disneyland website or app to see which attractions offer individual Lightning Lane access. Remember, individual Lightning Lane access is separate from the Genie+ service and requires a separate purchase for each attraction. Availability and pricing for individual Lightning Lane access may vary, so it's best to check the official Disneyland website or app for the most up-to-date information.

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Travel Insurance

Health care in America is expensive, so I don't recommend travelling without travel insurance. Some discount codes are floating about if you google them (I recently used groupon20 for 20% off). I have personally booked with Insure&Go the last few trips as it had the best pricing and reviews in travel groups, but I have thankfully never had to claim with them, so I can't speak on that process.

Things to make sure your travel insurance covers:

  • Trip Cancellation or Interruption Coverage
  • Medical Expense Coverage (including Covid 19)
  • Baggage and Personal Belongings Coverage
  • Travel Delay or Missed Connection Coverage
  • Don't forget to include pre-existing conditions.


When travelling to the USA, prepaid travel money cards or credit cards are the way to go. You will need some cash for tipping, but you will find it's easier to pay with bank cards. When selecting a bank, credit, or prepaid travel card, look at the fees. You will want to choose a card with no overseas transaction fees and a reasonable exchange rate.

The most popular credit cards:

  • 28 Degrees Card
  • Macquarie Bank
  • Bankwest

The most popular prepaid debit cards:

  • Wise
  • Westpac
  • Commonwealth Bank


You will need at least 3 days to explore Disneyland and California Adventure Park. This is the best part of planning any trip! If you're travelling all the way to the USA, I recommend you stay at least 2-3 weeks if possible.

Some places you will want to visit!

  • San Diego - Legoland, San Diego Zoo, USS Midway Museum, SeaWorld, Balboa Park, Belmont Park and the new Children's Museum.
  • Palm Springs - Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (there was snow up there on our last visit), Joshua Tree National Park, Desert Hot Springs, the main street of downtown Palm Springs and the Cabazon Dinosaurs.
  • San Francisco - Exploratorium, California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park and Bridge, Cable Car Ride, Alcatraz Island, Children's Creativity Museum, Full Houses homes, Mrs Doubtfire House and The Walt Disney Family Museum.
  • Road trip to San Francisco via Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) - stopping at Big Sur, Pismo Beach (we rode 4-wheelers on the beach here, and it was a highlight of our entire trip), Santa Barbara, Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea (stay overnight here) and the San Jose (Winchester mansion tour).
  • Las Vegas - Circus Circus, Discovery Children's Museum, walk the strip, Las Vegas offers family-friendly shows, Wildlife Habitat at the Flamingo, Coca-Cola Store and the M&M's World store.
  • Los Angeles - Universal Studios ( a MUST), Knotts Berry Farm, Griffith Park, California Science Center, Santa Monica Pier and the La Brea Tar Pits.

I hope this post helps you plan your next trip to Disneyland, Anaheim, California! If you have any questions, let me know.

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