children smiling on merry go round
Whether you are heading to Disneyland or Disney World, one thing you will quickly realize is that these parks can be huge, overwhelming and busy!
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Yobro10

Maximize Fun With These Disneyland and Disney World Tips

How to Do Disney Parks the Right Way

Without a doubt, one of the best family vacations out there is a trip to a Disney park — it’s simply classic, with attractions even adults and older children will enjoy. Whether you are heading to Disneyland or Disney World, one thing you will quickly realize is that these parks can be huge, overwhelming and busy!

There is so much to see and do, so to make the most of your visit you will need to plan ahead and be organized.

With the right preparation you can make sure that the entire family gets as much enjoyment out of the park as possible, without too much time spent waiting in line or too many tired toddler tantrums. Check out these Disneyland and Disney World tips for your next family vacation.

Before You Go

Take a look at a list of the attractions online and make a short list of the must-see ones that you really want to hit. That way you can prioritize rather than wandering around aimlessly. You should also check to see if there are any parades or nighttime shows happening that you want to catch, so that you can plan to be in the right part of the park at the right time.

A great Disney World or Disneyland tip is to check out the website sitpacked.com, which offers predictions on how busy it will be at the park, so you can plan ahead to visit on a less crowded day. Regardless of the prediction, though, set your alarm to get up as early as possible. The lines for the rides are shortest in the morning so you can pack more fun in if you get an early start.

When it comes to looking for accommodations, you will pay a premium if you stay somewhere within the Disney resorts or at one of their hotels. Instead, look for other local hotels within walking distance of the park for a much cheaper stay.

Did you know that if you are a military service member or an AAA member you are eligible for discounted prices on Disneyland and Disney World entrance fees? As well, if you buy your ticket in advance online you will be able to go straight through the entrance rather than waiting in line to buy tickets before you enter the park.

Lastly, one of the greatest Disney World secrets is to buy a FastPass to avoid waiting in the ride lines. You can simply get your pass stamped at a ride, go do something else and then return at the appointed time to jump to the front of the line.

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On the Day

Dress comfortably. You’ll be on your feet for several hours, so make sure that everyone in the family is wearing comfortable walking shoes. Bring a hat and sunglasses during the day and sweaters or light jackets for the evening.

Make sure you pack some small, high energy snacks in your bag, such as granola bars, dried fruit, apples or nuts. They will sustain you throughout the day and save you from buying unhealthy and expensive fast food.

If you don’t mind splitting up from your group and riding separately, the single-rider line for most attractions is usually much shorter. However, if you end up doing this, make sure that you have a designated plan for what to do and where to meet if your group gets separated from each other.

Finally, avoid prompting tears and broken hearts: if you or your little ones have your heart set on meeting a particular character, make sure that you ask when you arrive at Guest Relations to find out where in the park they will be located.

Keep these tips in mind when planning a Disney vacation and you’ll have a smoother and better Disneyland or Disney World experience. Enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth!

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