There’s nothing more fun and whimsical than spending a day (or two… or three) in the wonderful land of Disney. However, it’s extremely easy to become overwhelmed. The parks themselves are huge, and the annual number of visitors to the U.S. Disney properties is approximately 40 million (globally, the number is closer to 140 million). As anyone who’s been to a Disney park knows, the crowds are very, very real – and sometimes very frustrating.
While a Disneyland/Disneyworld vacation is a dream come true for a lot of travelers, a few missteps can wreak havoc on your wallet, cause you to waste precious time, and possibly render your trip less-than-magical. Here are a few of the novice Disneyland visitors’ most common mistakes.
Attempting to do everything as a group.
Honestly, visiting the Magic Kingdom isn’t any different from anything else in life – to get things done, sometimes you have to split up and go it alone. There’s no reason to bicker about where to go next – there is such a thing as the single-rider line for quite a few rides. These include:
Radiator Springs Racers (Disney California Adventure)
Splash Mountain (Disneyland)
California Screamin’/Incredicoaster (Disney California Adventure)
Grizzly River Run (Disney California Adventure)
Goofy’s Sky School (Disney California Adventure)
Soarin’ Over California (Disney California Adventure)
Matterhorn Bobsled (Disneyland)
Indiana Jones Adventure (Disneyland)
If you want the single rider experience, ask the cast member at the entrance for instructions. The single-rider entry procedure itself is a unique experience – you get to walk through entry and exit ways that you might not have explored previously. You also get to chat with other single riders!
Failing to get a FASTPASS.
Disney theme park lines are notoriously grim – it’s hard not to feel like a part of a herd of livestock when you spend an hour or more being shuttled along an elaborate maze. FASTPASS can shave off significant wait time by letting you schedule ride appointment slots for certain attractions. While you may have to schedule your ride appointment for several hours in the future for the most popular attractions, you can spend that wait time going on other rides, getting something to eat, shopping, etc.
Going on a weekend.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to navigate a Disney theme park on a weekend, when everyone on earth has decided to spend time at the Magic Kingdom. This can be especially dismal in the summer, when the parks are packed like sardines anyway. If you’re flying in and staying at a resort – or even an unaffiliated nearby hotel – it’s going to be more expensive, too. Schedule time off from work, get the kids’ school assignments in advance, and head out to the wonderful world of Disney on a Tuesday.