There is no doubt that Disneyland is The Happiest Place On Earth. But tired kids who have sore feet are not happy, and they’re not likely to make it feel like such a happy place. I’ve made a list of 5 easy ideas parents can try to make their Disney experience even better! The first 3 deal with making the most of your time in the parks, as tickets can be pretty pricey, and you’ll want your money’s worth.
1. Get to the park before it opens!
If you have kids, waking up early to make it to the park entrance by 7:30 am when the park opens at 8:00 may sound insane. You have to trust me on this, though. The park will allow people to get in usually about 30 minutes before the park is scheduled to open that day, so you’ll have time to get through the check-stands and be ready to go as soon as they officially open the park. The first 30 minutes to an hour in the park is golden. You can practically walk on most rides as people are trickling in. This is the perfect time to head to rides with notoriously long wait-times (like my personal favorite, Peter Pan’s Flight). Within that first hour you can already have a handful of rides crossed off your list! A lot of people believe that being on vacation means sleeping in. But if you’re on a Disney vacation sleeping in means you could be missing out on some great riding time.
2. Leave during the mid-day chaos!
You know all those people I mentioned that like to sleep-in during their Disney Vacation? Well, it’s about 1 o’clock and they’ve all meandered into the park by now. The temperature for the next couple of hours is at it’s hottest, there are hoards of people everywhere and the wait times have just increased, possibly by a lot. It’s time to leave the park. Grab the kids and head back to your hotel for some napping or swimming (or both!). You can also save a lot of money by grabbing lunch outside of the park, and stocking up on water bottles. Giving your kids even an hour to cool off in the pool while you pick up your feet will make a huge difference for the rest of the day. During the mid-day madness you’re not likely to get on many rides anyways, and once you head back in you’re going to feel rejuvenated enough to hit a bunch of rides because no whining kids = more rides!
3. Stay until the park closes for the night!
Lots of people with kids tend to head out a couple hours before the park closes, usually because they’re all very tired and have sore feet. If you avoided mistake #3 though, you’re more likely to still have some energy to spare! Use that to stay until closing. Just as the first hour usually has shorter wait times, the last hour does as well. Take advantage of that to finish off the night with a few of your favorite rides, and be sure to stay for the firework show. Disney puts on an incredible show that is sure to be the perfect end to a magical day in the park.
4. Stock up on snacks to bring into the park!
Disney allows you to bring food in, so take advantage of that and bring in some fun food to save quite a bit of money. Bonus points if you bring in Disney-themed snacks! Just make sure that whatever you bring in doesn’t melt.
5. Know where to get free water!
You can go up to lots of the restaurants in the park to get a cup of ice water, and it’s totally free! It’s absolutely beats forking up lots of cash for a single water bottle. With all of the excitement of Disney, and the rush to get to all the rides, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. Just remember that hydrated kids are happy kids.
Going on a Disney Vacation can be expensive, but it’s absolutely worth it when you see just how much fun everyone has. Use these tips to maximize your Disney experience and save a few bucks.
Have fun, and be sure to say “hi” to Mickey for me!
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