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If this is the first time you hear about the Magic Kingdom or the Mouse House, then prepare your mind to be blown by a HUGE magical world that you are about to explore as you visit Disneyland! That is not an overstatement, nor is it an exaggeration.
A lot of people who live in Anaheim, California, will agree with me when I say that one trip is not enough to discover the entirety of this whimsical universe. Keep in mind that these people live right where Disneyland is. They have all the time in the world, and yet, are unable to completely explore this gigantic place.
So, if this is your first chance to visit Disneyland and you don’t necessarily have the luxury of time, it’s essential to maximize your first visit to this magical world.
The first thing to do is to accept that you probably will not be able to see all the attractions. I think that the creators of this world meant for the visitors to come back repeatedly to fully benefit from the experience. Even then, it’s best to make the most out of your every visit.
In every famous place like Disneyland, it’s not a surprise to be at the mercy of the long lines in all the rides and attractions. Consequently, as you go about exploring Disneyland, you must be very strategic and methodical to get to see as much as it has to offer with the limited time that you have.
With that in mind, here are ten tips you must remember to get the best out of your trip to Disneyland.
Buy your parking tickets ahead online
As expected of any place flocked by a great number of guests, parking is always a challenge. To get this out of the way, buy your parking tickets online. Note that you don’t want to park so far away from the entrance that a lot of the time that you could have spent checking out the attractions is wasted waiting for the shuttle or walking a great distance.
So, take care of your parking tickets. Find a slot as close to the main gate as possible.
Purchase park hopper passes
Purchase park hopper tickets which will allow you to visit other parks inside Disneyland without having to pay extra. This goes without saying because you did not travel a great distance just to be able to visit one park. Also, you maximize your Disneyland tickets by being able to hop amongst the four parks and not being hindered by the extra cost.
Consider staying at a nearby accommodation
In other words, you may need to book a room in one of the Disney hotels close by. This way, you can simply walk to the park premises.
Being close will also afford you an early start to your day. In other words, you are there when the action begins, and you’re still there before the park closes. This enables you to maximize your time and take up all the sights. This will prove worthy and practical especially if you traveled halfway around the world, to visit Disneyland for the very first time. It really would be disappointing if you only get to see a few attractions because your time is spent on transport.
Please factor in that a lot of your time on park grounds will be spent walking. But this is better than having to spend too much time traveling to the park and from the park going home to your hotel.
Plan and prioritize attractions and rides you personally wish to visit
This is key. As I mentioned earlier, you really can’t see everything that Disneyland has to offer. It’s almost a logistical impossibility.
If you’re traveling with a group, which you most likely are, come into an agreement on priority rides and attractions. If you’re able to do this, everybody will have a good time.
It is crucial to get everybody on board. This is not always easy because if you have teenagers and you have older people, there’s going to be a lot of differences in opinions. Anyhow, if you are all set on having fun, I’m sure you can come up with a system to ensure that every person, however young or old, will get to enjoy their time.
Rent a stroller
If you have toddlers or babies, it’s almost an impossibility to get by without a stroller.
Remember that your toddler would love to run all over the park and then doze off after a few hours. They can wake up energized, do the same thing, and then fall asleep again.
You don’t want to carry your toddler as he or she sleeps for a large chunk of your trip to Disneyland. So, to make it easy for everybody, rent a stroller. This could be a lifesaver. It could save you a tremendous amount of muscle power as well.
Take advantage of the fast pass system
The Disneyworld fast pass system allows you to fall in a special line, instead of a regular line, to get into rides and attractions. It’s like making a reservation in restaurants. There is no extra cost as this is included in your theme park admission. However, you do have the responsibility of making your reservations to the attractions that you like.
This will prove beneficial when you realize early on that Disneyland is a world-famous tourist destination and there’s almost always a huge influx of guests all-year round. Consequently, rides and attractions, as well as live shows, will have to be experienced after you go through a really long queue. In fact, most of your time inside the park will be spent waiting in line. You may be in the line longer than in the ride itself. That’s a sad reality but something that you have to accept and deal with the smartest way you can.
This is where FastPass comes in to help. By taking advantage of it, you get to wait in line less, and you use your time in queue to reserve your place in another queue for another attraction. Smart, right?
Wear clothing that matches, for large groups
If you’re taking with you a community group, a church group, or a large extended family group, wearing themed clothing, or better yet, clothes that match to a T, is an excellent way to keep track of everybody’s whereabouts.
This may seem silly at first but will prove to be such a wonderful idea when you get to the park and realize how packed it is.
You don’t want anyone to be left behind. You don’t want any stragglers. You also don’t want to have everybody join a search party because somebody got lost. This wastes a lot of time and energy for everyone.
Plan on strict uniformity. It will save all of you a lot of real trouble.
Agree to shop only after your visit
Once your visit is over, that is the best time to shop. Apart from the priority attractions which you have agreed upon at the beginning of your trip, commit to doing your shopping altogether, at the end of the day.
The worst thing that could happen is when a small group of people from your larger group breaks away to go shopping and then others get tempted to do the same thing. Until you find yourselves spending a lot of time at the gift shop and missing out on all the other attractions that you could have visited had you not gone to go shopping.
Plan your bathroom and food stops
A little bit of organization goes a long way. Check the Disneyland map and make strategic stops to the bathrooms and food stalls. Everybody gets hungry or thirsty and the call of nature is something that you cannot really schedule but it doesn’t mean that you cannot set a bit of control over it. Our mind is a powerful machine. If you set it to a time when a bathroom is close, then you can go when you want to. Taking control of the time you eat, and drink will, of course, influence when you will need a bathroom break. Try to manage this as much as you can.
You may want to bring your water bottle and some snacks to save you trips to the food kiosks as well as a considerable amount of money.