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If you want to make the most out of your trip to Disneyland, you must plan. Seriously.
As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Taking this advice seriously will spell the difference between a wonderful experience and a mediocre one.
As you probably already know, Disneyland is a chock full of attractions and theme rides. It seems that for every movie that Disney comes up with, they create a ride or a theme park attraction. From the earliest films of Disneyland like Fantasia, all the way to Toy Story, and Beyond– there’s just so much to explore.
It is no surprise that a lot of people who go to Disneyland, either as complete newbies or tried and tested veterans, are sad about the lack of time. There’s just so much to check out. Thus, a little bit of planning can help you get the most value out of every hard-earned dollar you spend on your Disneyland trip.
To help you out, here are ten tips that can assist you in getting the best out of your upcoming trip to the Magic Kingdom.
Plan your activities
If you have specific activities that you want to do, plan it ahead of time. Information about the rides and attractions inside Disneyland parks are available online and, on the app, so it will be easy for you to strategize. It doesn’t hurt to obsess about the planning, go all out if you want, because it will prove to be beneficial for you and for everybody going on the trip, if everything is well thought-out and planned for.
Just make sure that everybody’s on board as to what these activities are. This way, nobody feels left out, and nobody gets bored. It will also help to seek ideas from the group, pool everything together and decide to reach a consensus.
Depending on the season, please understand that you must dress comfortably because it can get scorching in the summer, and it can get chilly in the winter.
While California has some of the mildest weather in the Continental United States, there can be weather extremes. Also, people have different tolerance to hotness and coldness of the weather. What may be too cold or too warm for some, may not be so for others.
So, dress in such a way that you can walk around and just have a good time without being hindered by what you’re wearing, too much, or lack of it. A great tip is to dress as casually as you can, and then bring a jacket with you or any light outerwear which you can easily put on in case the weather becomes colder. This must be something that you can also quickly take off should the temperature move in the other direction.
Weather applications today are quite accurate in predicting the climate so check them out as you plan your trip, and before you step out of your hotel going to Disneyland to know how you should dress up for the particular weather.
Remember to pace yourself
It’s not surprising for a lot of first-time visitors to Disneyland to just check out everything and anything that they lay their eyes on. Every kiosk, every vendor, every food stall, —they’re just beside themselves in excitement. I get that.
The problem is if you don’t pace yourself, you’re going to tire early in your trip. Try to reserve enough energy, physical and emotional, to last in the entirety of your Disneyland experience.
Another way to last the entire day is to take short breaks to recharge. There are several benches and places to sit at throughout the park and you can help yourself to them at any point in your journey.
Pack light as much as possible
If you’re staying at a hotel and you’re going to be spending your whole day in Disneyland, it’s very tempting to try to pack as much clothing and personal effects as possible. You want to be prepared for any eventuality, that’s normal and understandable.
The problem is you’re going to do a lot of walking around. The stuff you plan to carry with you while you do all this walking, will sap you of your energy eventually if you are lugging unnecessary things around.
As much as possible, pack light. Know the weather on the day that you are visiting and plan your wardrobe accordingly. Bring with you only the most essential things.
Refrain from using flash when you take photos
When taking photos, as much as possible, don’t use the flash function. Some people may find it rude and distracting. Although it improves the lighting in your pictures, mobile cameras today have evolved quite enough to take excellent quality photos even without the flash.
I know that you may want to take advantage of this at night but if you cannot help it, try to take pictures away from the crowd so you do not startle anyone with the flash. If you really cannot move away, though, the best thing that you can do is to warn the people around you that a flash is coming on because you are about to take pictures.
Work against the crowd. Do not conform
This is one of the best pieces of advice I could give you. You must understand that a lot of people who go to Disneyland pretty much think alike.
So, they would crowd certain attractions. There is a kind of pattern that emerges where this massive swarm of people would go from one attraction to the next.
Do yourself a big favor. Do not follow that crowd. I know it’s difficult because the natural human tendency is to jump on the bandwagon. Also, you may be thinking, that wherever the crowd goes, must be one heck of a place because everybody is just running towards it. Remember, though, that it pays to resist the urge!
Instead, work in the opposite direction. Go to where they’ve already gone to or to places that they haven’t gone to yet. Your turn will come.
Get there on time and stay if you can
If you want to get to absorb the very best that Disneyland has to offer, be there early. Every single minute counts.
When you’re late, you’re going to feel like you need to hurry or rush through your trip. It’s going to dampen your overall appreciation of the experience. You may be thinking that you are not a morning person, or your day starts after lunch. However, remember that Disneyland has operating hours and you are at the mercy of those hours whether you are a morning or an evening person.
Make an exception just for this trip. Sleep early the night before to be able to rouse early the next day. This way, you get to be one of the first to get inside the park and enjoy the first few hours without the great influx of guests that will surely come.
It’s also smart to stay as much as you can, maybe devote an entire day to Disneyland because even a whole day will not be enough to be able to try everything. You might as well try to squeeze as much as you can with the time that you have.
Time your attraction rides during the big shows
There are certain big shows that people just line up for. Like the Lion King—people just line up for that.
Understand that this happens on a set time and look for nearby rides that would be freed up when this big crowd lines up for these scheduled shows. This way, you can enjoy as many of the rides that you like without having to deal with the hassle of long lines.
Wait for the final moment shows
Many big shows are being held in Disneyland during the final hours. These tend to be less crowded because, by that time, most people are looking to leave, or have already left.
So, schedule those late-night shows into your trip and focus on nearby theme rides that are less crowded early on.
Time your rides for closing time
Do yourself a big favor. Realize that some of the best rides will always have a long line. So, make sure that you line up for them only at closing time or when most people have already gone. As I mentioned earlier, go against the tide. You will have your turn if you have the patience to wait until the end. It’s natural for people to want to get ahead, to want to be the very first. But if you think about it, everyone will get their chance eventually, if you are willing to wait.