Disney Parks Tips & Tricks To Get The Most Out Of A Visit To The Happiest Place(s) On Earth
Four little words encapsulate pure, unbridled joy for children of all ages: “I’m going to Disneyland!” Disney parks are true magic, but all that excitement – and all of those rides – can be a bit overwhelming. Stepping into these gloriously manicured worlds with some preparation can spell the difference between "the happiest place on Earth" and "the most frustrating vacation ever." So before you strap on your mouse ears, dive into these tips and tricks for visiting a Disney theme park.
Disney secrets will make your trip to the park even better. Want to know how to breeze through the line, or make the most out of your day? A quick glance at these Disneyland and Disney World vacation hacks will clue you in. This insider advice for visiting Disneyland will leave you ready to have the most magical vacation of your life.
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Go On Rides During Shows
Disney's parades, fireworks, and other public shows are wonderful, but if you’ve had your fill of them or are willing to skip a few, you’re in for an opportunity. One of the best times to ride attractions is during a parade, because half of the people in the park are watching it. Know your map, parade times, and the best routes to rides, and you can go straight to the front of the line.
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Know Your Extra Magic Hours
It can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day when you stay at a Disney park. Extra Magic Hours are there to help. Extra Magic Hours are worth knowing about regardless of whether or not you’re staying on property, but for a different set of reasons.
If you’re lucky enough to be staying at a Disney resort, Disney offers you a few extra hours to spend at the opening or closing of various parks. If you aren't staying on-site, it's smart to look at where those Extra Magic Hours are happening – you can avoid crowds by going to another park instead.
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Celebrating Something? Get A Special Pin!
Simply going to Disney is already cause for celebration, but if you’re there for any kind of a special celebration, head to Main Street's City Hall and get yourself a pin. Birthdays, honeymoons, anniversaries, or first time visits are all popular reasons to celebrate with Mickey. Not only will your special pin leave you with a smile and a unique souvenir, it often leads to special treatment from cast members throughout the park.
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Get There Early
It may sound obvious, but one of the biggest tricks to getting the most out of your Disney experience is to get to the parks early – which is to say 45 minutes to an hour before they open. You’ll have a leg up on countless guests, and a higher chance of getting to the front of the line where FastPass isn't an option. Plus, all of the parks have an adorable opening ceremony!
It’s truly a joy to watch Mickey Mouse open the doors to the Magic Kingdom, and nothing compares to the feeling of being the first through the gate. Save that snooze for the Bahamas (or else a mid-day nap) and get up and get going at Disney – it’s worth it every time.
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Take The Line To The Left
Disney pros agree: whenever possible, go left. If you enter a line and can’t see the attraction, choose the left fork. It might be pure coincidence, but that line seems to move faster.
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Use FastPass Wisely
For many Disney visitors, it’s all about the rides. To maximize your time on the attractions, get to know and love FastPass. Essentially, FastPass is simply a way to make a reservation for a ride at a certain time, ahead of time. Disney is often updating and tweaking this system, but as of this writing, most parks offer FastPass for three rides, and you can make reservations as many as 60 days in advance if you are staying at a Disney resort and 30 days in advance if you are off site. Reservations can be made online or with the Disney app.
It’s important to remember that not all rides use FastPass, and not all rides that do use FastPass really need a reservation. Moreover, FastPass is best used in tandem with an early-riser strategy – only reserve your FastPasses in the morning, because once you’ve used those you have scheduled, you can get more for the evening.