If you’ve ever been to a Disney park before than you know how easily a day can go downhill when things go wrong. If you’re not careful you could end up with an afternoon full of complaints. Classics such as “I’m hungry,” “I’m tired,” and “I don’t want to wait, I want to ride now” are best left to families without a fearless leader like yourself. Avoid these pitfalls and more with this guide to make the most of your Disney Day!
Get Up Early
This is by far my #1 tip to making the most of your Disney trip. Whether you’re visiting Disneyland, Disney World, or DisneySea getting up earlier will give you more hours in your day – that’s just simple math. What’s even better is most people aren’t willing to do it. You can get more down in the few hours between rope drop and lunch than you will in the rest of your day. This is especially important at Disneyworld where it can take 30 minutes to an hour just to get from your hotel to the park.
It’s all fun and games until the crowd gets hangry (when you get hungry and start being agitated by everything). There’s nothing worse than getting half way through an hours long line and having someone say they’re hungry (well except maybe “I need to use the bathroom” but we’ll get to that). You’re probably far enough into the queue that’s it’s a lot more effort than just popping in and out of the line, plus the people behind you aren’t really going to appreciate that anyway. I will always fill my park bag with apples, small bags of chips, beef jerky – anything that won’t spoil and doesn’t require silverware really. That way we can all have a quick snack while in line and wait to grab real food until it’s convenient.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
The average temperatures in Florida and California can reach 80 degrees most of the year, and heat stroke is a legitimate concern. Even mild cases of heat exhaustion can bring down an otherwise perfect day. Being hot is plain uncomfortable and the most important thing you can do to combat the heat is to stay hydrated.
Wear Appropriate Shoes
It drives me crazy to see people walking around the parks in flip-flops or…believe or not…heels. How in the world are you walking around for 10+ miles (yes 10, I always wear my fitbit) and not breaking your ankle or getting blisters? To me it’s just a completely unnecessary accessory that is going to drag down your whole party. If you’re worried about pictures, keep in mind that most will be from the waist up anyway. Forego the influence of the fashion runway and stick to tennis or running shoes. You can check out some super cute Disney inspired outfits that don’t use heels HERE
Take a Break
Your Disney vacation is not a marathon (unless it is actually a RunDisney marathon, and then I’m super jelly). There is so much to see and you can’t help but want to do it all. But if you try to go full speed ahead for the length of your trip you and your party are going to burn out – fast. Plan to take a short break every day that gets you out of the heat and away from the crowds. There are even some great rides that offer a break without having to leave the parks.
Take Tons of Pictures
This is kind of a given, but be sure to take pictures of everything. Even if you aren’t planning on using the pictures for any specific project, you may change your mind after the fact. Disney Scrapbooks exist in their own realm of DIY and the results of them are beautiful. I made one for our first trip and gave it to my father the following Christmas (they take some time). I wasn’t planning on doing one from our most recent trip and didn’t take as many pictures, now dad’s asking for another one and I’m sort of at a loss. There are plenty more projects you can use the pictures for or even *gasp* just to look back on your memories.
Plan Your Day
Creating a daily itinerary is easily the #1 thing my family most makes fun of me for when preparing for a trip (there’s tons of others, but this is the worst). They laugh all the way up until we get there and they have no idea what to do. Hell, they don’t even really have any idea of what’s there! Let alone how to get it all done. You don’t need to schedule everything down to the minute, but have a general outline of your day will save you many headache inducing scenes of “what do you wanna do? “I don’t know, what do you wanna do?” You can click HERE to learn more about how to create your own itinerary.
Extra Magic/Early Morning Hours
If you are staying on sight at any Disney hotel, either in Disneyland or Disneyworld, you are able to enter certain parks before or after close on specific days. I did already mention that getting up early is the best thing you can do, but it’s worth a little reinforcement. Disney World also has late night hours, and in my experience the parks are next to empty during this time. My first trip we rode Space Mountain back to back to back in less than 30 minutes during the nighttime extra magic hours.
Whether you are on vacation for a week or a day, remember the 5P’s my grandmother taught me: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Results. Okay, that’s only 4P’s my grandmas version has a bit more colorful language that I’ll just leave to your imagination.
Let me know what tricks you use to keep your crowd from getting restless and check out these other great posts about even more park hacks!