Fall Break is coming, and you want to get out of town for a day or two. There isn’t any happier place to go then to the “Happiest Place on Earth” – Disneyland! There are so many things you can do at Disneyland that it could take you several days to accomplish everything. If you only have a day or two to spend there, it can be very overwhelming when you want to do and see it all. After spending two years with annual passes and fifty-six days in the park, I have learned some ins-and-outs of how to make the most of your visit. I have compiled my top ten tips of how to squeeze all the magic you can into one day.
- Research! Disneyland is not cheap, so don’t waste it by running all over the place or standing in long lines. www.mousesavers.com is an excellent place to start with many tips. You can check out all dining options, entertainment, rides, and height requirements at Disneyland’s website: www.disneyland.com. Use both of these sites to determine where, when, and what you want to do.
- Have a plan. Pick everyone’s top two or three things they want to do which might include shows, dining, and rides, and create a plan. Plan rides around show times, parades, and dining reservations. Do one area of the park at a time and, if you can, work your way clockwise, starting in Adventureland.
- Start early – rest later. I am the first to admit that I am not a morning person and neither are my boys, but this is a must. Get to the park at opening to take advantage of fewer crowds for the first couple of hours. If you are staying at a Disney hotel or have an early entry ticket, take advantage of that extra hour.
- Make sure to utilize the FASTPASS system and Parent Swap for those with small children. See the websites in #1 to research more information on this.
- Characters. The best way to see many of them in a short time is to do a character dining experience for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. If you want to see Mickey Mouse, visit ToonTown right at opening. ToonTown opens one hour after the main park opens. You can typically catch Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto there with minimal waiting when it opens.
- Princesses. Purchase dresses before you go to save time and money. Meet the princesses at the new Fantasy Faire located next to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. They now list the princesses you will meet.
- Food. Take in your own water and snacks to save money and time stopping at the vendors. Make sure to book your sit-down dining reservations early, up to sixty days in advance by calling Disney Dine at (714) 781-3463.
- Bring a backpack prepared with hats, sunscreen, your camera, and a small blanket to use to stake your spots for parades, fireworks, etc. One person can wait while the others catch a ride or two. People are usually polite and will not step on your blanket, and it helps keep you from getting crowded in.
- Souvenirs. Buy before you go, as this will save time and money in the stores! What kid doesn’t want all those toys – glow sticks, bubble blowers, stuffed characters. You can buy the glow items for a fraction of the cost on www.flashingblinkythings.com. Stop by the Disney Outlet Store for a few souvenirs, and pull them out to surprise the kids.
- Relax, enjoy the magic of Disneyland, and have fun!
Anne Price is the mother of two boys, Matthew (11), and Ryan (9), and is married to Bill Price. They have lived in Chandler for almost eight years. She works full-time at Intel as a Finance Analyst and volunteers for her boys’ school and sports activities. She is naturally very creative and organized and passionate about helping others, especially when it involves planning a trip to Disneyland or interior decorating.
This post is sponsored by:
The Brett Saks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, hopes to make our Arizona communities safer for bicyclists by teaching adults and children about road safety and mutual respect between drivers and cyclists in fun and engaging ways. We are “Shifting Gears to Saves Lives,” as more than 600 cyclists are lost each year to car-bike accidents. Learn more at gearupaz.org.