Author: D’land Diva
Have you ever been to Disneyland and it was so crowded you found yourself making the same crazy face Mother Gothel is making here? That wild rage that comes along with being pushed, prodded, stepped on, and just generally IRRATABLE!
Well if you didn’t read my last article the best times and the worst times to go to Disneyland go and read it HERE and then come back. Go ahead…. I’ll wait.
Ok you’re back now? Well if you’ve decided you just HAVE to go during one of those more crowded times you’re going to need some serious survival tips. Here’s what I would suggest:
1) Get there early. Not at park opening, before park opening. If the park opens at 8 a.m., plan to get to the gates at 7:30am. Don’t be intimidated if you see long lines to enter the park. The people are quickly absorbed into the park. Go to your favorite rides and have fun. We once arrived early on a holiday and were able to complete ten different rides in two hours!
2) Avoid the parking structure. The parking structure on crowded days can take forever. You have to wait to pay, wait to park, wait to use the elevator, wait to use the tram…we have a secret that I probably should not tell you about because everyone will start to use it, but…go to the Toy Story parking lot. It is south of the park on Harbor Blvd., but it is actually quicker than the parking structure.. There are buses that take you right into the park and bring you back your car!
3) Get Fast Passes. Get them whenever you can in the morning times to use in the afternoons when the crowds are worse. There is a return time on the passes, but we have found that the cast members will let you return far, far after the return time. You can be late, but not early for your fast pass time.
4) Eat at off times. Eat your lunch before 11:30 am and your dinner before 5:30 pm. You can avoid the long food lines this way and, more importantly, have a place to sit. Eating at the off times also gives you a great excuse to get your favorite Disney snack later (Popcorn Anyone?)
5) Go on the most popular rides first. If you like thrill rides; Space Mountain or Star Tours is definitely the first place you want to go. If you like Fantasyland, go to Peter Pan first. These are the most popular rides in the park. Their lines get longer as the day goes on.
6) If you want to see a show, parade or fireworks, get to your spot early and plan to stay there about 15 minutes after it is over. It is best to let the crowds go about their business first. It is worth spending the extra time waiting so you wont get so frustrated in the massive crowd. On the Fourth of July, we ended up staying in the park for an extra two hours before heading back to our hotel because we noticed that most people were leaving after fireworks.
7) Make sure that you are really patient during the day. Go ahead and get comfortable that you will not be able to make it across the park in five minutes and please don’t use your stroller as a weapon! Remember you are at Disneyland, smile, grant a little grace and CHOOSE to enjoy the day.
The most important thing to remember about the crowds is that they are not there to ruin your magical day and with a little planning they don’t have to. Every person there has come because they hope to have a magical and fun day, so we are united in our quest for an enjoyable visit.
So go forth and conquer! But if you don’t HAVE to go during those really busy times DON’T!