When a friend asked, on Twitter, for some advice on his next trip to Disneyland, my first (and immediate) response was to invest in a Max Pass. I wholeheartedly agree with that, but then I began to think of other tidbits I could pass on to others.
So, here, are 7 pieces of advice I could give to you when you’re getting ready for your next trip to Disneyland (this could potentially work for any Disney theme park):
1. Invest in Max Pass: For those not familiar, Max Pass is an add-on to your park ticket. Basically, it allows you to manage your fastpass reservations right from the Disneyland app. It’s a great way to secure fastpasses, without having to trek to the different machines around the park.
By using Max Pass, I’ve been able to secure short lines for most rides, and it allows me to really manage my time better, to get most out of the park.
One other thing to remember is that max pass also includes unlimited photo downloads, whether that’s from rides or park photographers. That’s a great value, when you’re taking 65 pictures with Band Conductor Mickey (not that I know anything about that…really…*blush*)`
2. Pack Patience: Yes, going to Disneyland is expensive, but remember to pack patience. In other words: Be the magic that you want everyone else to be. Every single person there wants to build memories, have fun, and enjoy their day. Don’t be a jerk.
You will experience long lines. People willl bump into you. Kids will whiz past you. Some things may get cancelled. It’s all a part of life. Roll with those punches, and enjoy yourself.
3. Enjoy Being a Kid: For goodness sake, you’re at Disneyland to have fun, right? In the same way that you see kids’ eyes light up at characters and experiences, you should feel free to do the same thing. Learn to let yourself go, and embrace what this park is offering you.
I’ll give you an example: I’m a 42 year old man who still goes into the theatre to watch “Disney Junior Dance Party” at California Adventure. I sing the songs, I groove in my seat. I enjoy the show. The show isn’t for me. The show is for the kids, and that, too, is one of the great thing about it all. When you spot those families, and those kids, who are seeing this show for the first time, and eyes light up when characters appear, that’s one of the best things you can witness firsthand.
So go ahead. Let your inner kid out.
4. Use Mobile Order: Mobile Order has been one of the best services that Disneyland has offered in years. What it does is allow you to remotely order food from most counter service locations, using your phone. You determine when you’ll arrive, and what food you want. You then get to enjoy the park.
When you arrive at the counter service location, you can let them know you’re on the way, and the food starts cooking. After a few minutes (I’ve waited 10 minutes max) your number is called and the food is handed to you. It’s a great way to manage time.
Also, keep this in mind: You don’t have to order for everyone at the same restaurant. You can use mobile order to order from separate places, to accommodate everyone’s tastes.
5. Take a Phone Charger: If any of these phone makers want to brag about their battery life, tell me how long their phones last while being at a theme park from sun up to sun down, cuz let me tell you, phones against the parks is a battle for the ages.
Of course, you’re on your phone a lot: taking pictures, ordering food, checking wait times, scheduling fastpasses, so it’s natural that your phone may not manage the whole day. That’s ok. Take a charger. It doesn’t have to be a huge charger, just one that could give your phone maybe another 50% percent back into the phone.
You’ll find yourself wanting to charge around mid afternoon. When you sit down for lunch and/or dinner, use that time to put some juice back into the phone. Invest in that charging time, so you can livestream the fireworks to Instagram, like most everyone else in that crowd.
Bring. A. Phone. Charger.
6. Take Breaks! Allow yourself some downtime. Don’t try to go, go, go from the time you get there until the time you leave. I’m not even talking about lunch and dinner breaks. I’m talking about just taking a few minutes to sit down. Use the parades and shows to your advantage. Give yourself a chance to be off your feet.
7. Let Everyone Have Their Own Pace: Don’t be that person that tries to force people on rides. This is a message especially for parents. For the love of everything, if your kid is deathly afraid of a ride, don’t tell them to just “Man up!” and ride. Don’t come at this with the mentality of “I paid good money to be here, you’re going to do these rides!”
Let people have their own pace. If they have certain rides and shows that they are comfortable with, let them have those experiences. You can talk to them about a ride, show them a video playthrough, etc, but let them ultimately decide if they are comfortable to do the ride.
I guess I really do mostly see this from a kid’s perspective. If they’re afraid of a character, don’t drag them anyway to see the character. Chances are you’re not going to get that perfect picture that you’re aiming for.
Take time, walk full measure, and enjoy the park. Let everyone enjoy in their own way. It’ll be a better time, in the long run, for all involved.
Disneyland can be one of the most enjoyable things you can experience. There are, of course, many many tips, but these are the 7 top of mind tips that I’ve observed or experienced first hand that have helped me enjoy multiple trips to the theme park.
If you want to share other tips, or discuss these in more detail, feel free to leave a comment, or continue the conversation with me on Twitter.