by Practically Perfect Diva
Visiting a Disney Resort with children is so much fun! I’ll never forget my child’s smiling face when she first saw Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland or when she got picked to talk to Crush at Disney’s California Adventure. It was truly magical! As a parent to two young girls, I also know that waiting in lines at the Disneyland Resort can be downright stressful. Waiting in long lines can feel like a lifetime for some children (especially for my oldest daughter who has ADHD), so to help make your vacation be as less stressful as possible, here are some great Diva Tips for waiting in long lines with children:
FASTPASS: One way to beat the long lines at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure is to utilize their free FASTPASS service. A FASTPASS is a ticket that allows you to bypass a lot of the line when you return to the attraction at a later time. FASTPASSes are available for mostly all of the major attractions, such as Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain Railroad, California Screamin’, and Soarin’ Over California. Simply look for the FASTPASS distribution sign, which is located near the entrance of an attraction. Insert your ticket or annual pass into the machine and your FASTPASS ticket will print out with your return time. Then go to the attraction’s FASTPASS return entrance at the time the ticket says. (Diva Tip: A FASTPASS can work in conjunction with a Rider Switch Pass, so your child who is big enough to ride gets to go through the FASTPASS line twice. There is no time constraint on a Rider Switch Pass, but it must be used that day.)
Timing: For the attractions that don’t offer a FASTPASS, particularly the ones in Fantasyland, try timing your visit to the magical land around noon and early afternoon. Those are the times many children’s attractions are less crowded since it is lunchtime and then naptime for most young children.
Toys: Bring small toys that can easily fit into your purse or a small backpack for your child to play with while they are waiting in line. (Diva Tip: Don’t bring anything expensive or irreplaceable just in case it gets lost.) I usually bring small figurines, a small water rings handheld game, and bubbles – the bubbles are my children’s favorite and it keeps other kids in line entertained by popping bubbles as well. It’s a great way for your kids to make friends too!
Games: Fun games like 20 Questions and I Spy are great games to play while waiting in line that make time go by faster for children. One of my six year old’s favorite games to play is “Guess The Disney Character”. We take turns thinking of a character and the other person has to guess who it is by asking questions, like “Are you a princess” and “Do you have a pet?” Before you know it, it will be your turn to ride!
Snacks: When all else fails, keep your child’s little hands and mouth busy by giving them snacks to munch on while waiting in line. I usually carry fruit snacks or little containers of cereal or fish crackers in my purse. (Diva Tip: Don’t put food in baggies. They will get squished.)