My Disneyland Dos and Don'ts
If you know me (or if you've visited my Instagram profile), you know that I frequent Disneyland extremely often. I try to go at least once a month, which can get a little difficult being that I'm in the classroom Monday through Friday, but I've been making that work because I need my monthly Disney fix! As an Annual Passholder and someone whose best friend is a Disney Cast Member, there are certain things that I consider must-dos and other things that you just shouldn't do if you're wanting to make the most out of your Disney experience, no matter how long your trip may be.
- Get to the park when it opens, if possible, to get as many rides in as you can early and avoid the afternoon crowds
- FASTPASS! Take advantage of this amazing free service (that is, free unless you pay for MaxPass through the app, which I highly recommend doing... so worth it for $10 a ticket)
- Bring water to stay hydrated throughout the day, but you can also ask for a FREE water cup at any quick-service restaurant
- Use single rider for the rides that offer it! This saves time and allows you to Fastpass the rides you really want to get done
- Bring a backpack (or wear a fanny pack)! They're hands-free and keep the weight distribution even, like a purse or satchel wouldn't
- Have the Disneyland app handy on your phone so you can quickly access wait times for rides, showtimes, and restaurants/food stands close to you
- Stress over the crowds (or, at least, try not to)! It can get overwhelming, but getting there early and taking advantage of Fastpass will make a world of difference
- Forget the essentials: Ibuprofen, sunscreen, Chapstick, a portable or regular phone charger, comfy walking shoes, and ears!
- Wear something or bring something with you that you'll wish you hadn't... I promise, you'll be regretting it all day
- Wait in a line that has longer than an hour or hour and a half wait time, unless you're the type of person that just doesn't mind waiting in lines! I always recommend Fastpassing the rides that can reach super long wait times (Space Mountain, Indiana Jones; Guardians of the Galaxy, Soarin' Over the World, Radiator Springs Racers)
- Worry about what people around you may be thinking if you want to take a picture with your churro or Mickey ice cream bar, in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, or in the middle of Main Street... We've all been there, and you've gotta do what you've gotta do to get that perfect shot! (A lesson I learn time and time again)
I try to get there at park open, which is usually 8 am, and immediately grab Starbucks in Downtown Disney so I can drink it as I walk to my first ride of choice. Once I'm in the park, I'll usually Fastpass either Space Mountain or Indiana Jones and then go straight to Adventureland to ride Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Once I've done these, it'll probably be time to use my Fastpass and then get a new one. In the meantime, I might ride some rides in Fantasyland that don't have long wait times, then it'll be time to head to California Adventure (DCA). Usually, I'll get in line to eat at Cove Bar (which is going to become Lamplight Lounge soon) before 10:30, because that's a necessity. My must-dos in DCA are Soarin' Over the World (Fastpass), Radiator Springs Racers (Single Rider), and Ariel's Undersea Adventure. I recently discovered that Guardians of the Galaxy is also SO fun, but you have to do that FIRST thing, because the wait time gets to be insanely long. My afternoon is spent primarily by watching shows and parades; Mickey and the Magical Map is probably my favorite show EVER, and I love to watch any parade. By mid-late afternoon, I'm typically slumped and ready to head home, and I'll have done everything on my list because I got there early in the morning!
People ask me every time I go to the parks if I ever get bored going so often, and I honestly don't. Maybe that means I'm weird, but my one of my favorite places, and I love going even if it's just to hang out and enjoy the setting. No matter how you choose to spend your Disney days, it's so special to know that there's a place that has been created for people of all ages to embrace their childlike joy and see beauty and magic all around them!