*Get a 3 Day Park Hopper Ticket-- The trip to the park is a full trip for us. We don't live in Southern California so we try to really take advantage of the time we have. A 3 Day Park Hopper Pass allows us to not feel rushed through our day and catch most of the attractions we want to see.
*Go during the school year-- Disneyland can be busy any time of the year, but especially on school breaks. So if you can, go when most families still have kids in school. Lines will be so much shorter and your patience will go a lot further.
*And go during the middle of the week--Tuesdays and Wednesdays are awesome. You'll have a much better experience when it's not busy.
*Be realistic about how much ground you can cover-- My best days in Disneyland are the one where I have realistic expectations. I love to hit the major spots in the park in one day, but during the busy season or when I have small kids, I just have to be realistic about my day. My whole attitude is better then.
*Check the height restrictions-- If you have kids, check the height restrictions on Disney's site before you travel. We always check our kids height so we don't end up in a line where they can't ride. It's ends up being disappointing for us and them. It goes back to setting up the realistic expectations point.
*Take your tribe-- We've only gone to Disneyland once without family and that was definitely pre-kids. Traveling with family gives you the ability to split up: someone gets sick, needs to use the bathroom, needs a snack, or just isn't tall enough for the ride. Family is our biggest essentially in a Disneyland trip.
*Get there early--Arriving early gives you a chance to pick up your tickets, get through the gates and take a family photo.
*Use the Stroller/ Rider Switch Pass-- Having little ones, this is an essential. One parent can ride and then switch out with the other. It's great!
*Check out the Single Rider Pass-- My husband and I did this on our last trip. We went straight to Soarin' Over California right away, and my mom got in line with the kids. After my husband got back from a fast pass line, he stayed with the baby and I went straight on the line. I got out and my husband got right on, we were out before Grandma and the kids. There's no guarantee how long you'll wait, but most of the time, you'll get right on.
*Know how to use the Fast Pass-- Insert each family members' tickets and a Fast Pass will print out for each of you. Return at the time printed and go through the Fast Pass line which is considerably shorter than the other line. We only do this for rides that have lines over 45 min and know we will make it back to. Only bigger rides have them and only one Fast Pass is allowed per ticket at one time (with the exception of Radiator Springs and World of Color).