DISNEY WORLD...The one place you must see!
Navigating Disneyland can be daunting: The park is often overcrowded, and the enormity of the place can be overwhelming. This sie give you a game plan that makes the most of what the park has to offer. Following these tips will save time and money. To target your activities to those best suited to the ages of your children and to discover must-see activities, and you’ll leave Disneyland understanding why this theme park is a must see attraction for most people around the world.
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- Line up at least 30 minutes before the posted park hours. The gates usually open earlier than advertised (although not every ride operates early; check the park schedule for specifics on attractions).
- Eat meals during off hours (lunch before 11:00 or after 2:00; dinner before 4:00 or after 8:00) to avoid long lines at restaurants. Or consider skipping formal meals altogether. Kids are perfectly happy to graze every few hours, and snacks are available throughout the park. In addition to standard fast food, you’ll even find a couple of healthy alternatives. The “Tiki Juice Bar” in Adventureland offers fresh tropical fruit and frosty pineapple whips, and the “River Belle Terrace” in Frontierland sells Mickey-shaped PB&J sandwiches to go.
- Cut to the front of the line using the Disney FASTPASS, a priority ticket available for a dozen or so of the most popular attractions. Insert your park pass into a machine near the attraction entrance, and you’ll receive a pass that will allow you to return during a given 60-minute window, at which point you’ll enter the attraction via a much shorter line. Note that there are a limited number of FASTPASS tickets available and you cannot acquire a subsequent FASTPASS until the time frame of the previous one expires.
- Seek out lesser-known attractions during crowded times. Good choices include the “Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island,” where you can explore caves and hunt for pirate treasure; “Tarzan’s Treehouse” (formerly the site of the “Swiss Family Treehouse”), which generally has no wait to enter; and “Main Street Cinema,” where you can giggle over black and white cartoon shorts starring Mickey and friends. (Steamboat Willie is everyone’s favorite.)
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- Save up to $10 a day on multi-day Park Hopper passes by buying and printing your tickets online before you arrive.
- Ask about discounts for residents (if you’re a local)—which will save you a few dollars on daily admission as well as significant discounts on select annual passes.
- Look for special offers on the Disneyland Web site; you’ll generally find package deals for tickets and hotels (regardless of your state of residency).
- Bring along a picnic instead of purchasing pricey Disney meals and snacks. Although you cannot bring food into the park, there is a shaded picnic area near the entrance where you can enjoy treats from home; just be sure to get your hand stamped so that you can come and go from the park.
- Tote a water bottle to soothe your thirst; soft drinks in Disneyland can fetch upwards of $4, and water fountains allow you to fill up plastic bottles and carry your refreshments with you. My daughter doesn’t like the taste of tap water, so I always bring along several packets of lemonade or iced tea mix designed to be mixed in with the water.