How to prepare for your first trip do Disneyland

How to prepare for your first trip do Disneyland
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Sean MacEntee

About to go on your first family trip to Disneyland? Lucky you. It is a memorable experience, but it needs some extra preparation. Here are some great tips.

Disneyland is all about fun. There are several theme parks over the globe and all of them have one thing in common – they are huge. Really, really huge. And most of the time they are really crowded, especially during holiday weekends and during the peak tourist seasons. No one wants to wait hours (yes, hours) for just ONE ride, right?

So, even before setting off, first plan your trip in a way that you are most likely (it’s never guaranteed) to not haveĀ a big crowd and the theme park. You can use the site to figure out a suitable day, Deseret News reports.

Be prepared with extra cash. Whatever amount you think would be enough, have at least 50% more on hand just in case. Disneyland can be expensive, especially for food, souvenirs, some rides. Things can quickly add up before you know it. After all you are aiming to create a great memory for you and your family, right? You don’t want it to be spoiled by a sudden lack of funding. And, yes, keep in mind that all of those stuffed animals and souvenirs you are pretty much guaranteed to buy and/or win, would need much luggage space so pack accordingly and have that extra space.

Depending on your schedule, trip and the place you stay, you should also research beforehand the way to get to the park, the opening and closing times (some rides have different times than the parks general open and closure times!). Disneyland’s website usually has this information along with which rides are closed for repairs. Usually you can buy the tickets online which also reduces the waiting times since the lines for tickets can be quite long.

Work up a strategy. Disneyland has quite a lot of rides and to be fair it’s not really mandatory to ride them all. There are special shows, too, so even if you want to check everything out, one day won’t be enough. So check out what rides the park you will be visiting has and decide which are the “must haves” with your family, decide which are “maybe” and which you can live on without trying.

Use the extra features Disneyland provides. Two of them are great for reducing waiting times and are called Fastpass and Stroller switch pass. Fastpass allows you to go to the entrance of the ride, insert your ticket in a machine and get a pass with a time frame when to come back and go through a special gate. You will still wait, but not nearly as much as if you simply go in the back of the line. Check out on the website which rides offer Fastpass since it’s not a universal feature around the park. Fastpasses also run out quickly so first go to your top priority rides to get one.

Stroller switch passes are for families with babies or toddlers in a stroller who can’t ride the big rides. Ask the attendant and the beginning of the line for a stroller switch pass (works if you have gotten a Fastpass, too). This could get you a ride at the back of the ride for your group.

Remember your goals – to have fun. Disneyland can be a hectic place with all the people, lines and excitement. It’s easy to turn everything into a rush from a ride to ride. Even with the long waits, try to go at your own pace, having fun. Use the extra time the Fastpass tickets give you to rest or to go to some other ride or a show. Also try to save the buying of souvenirs for last since you wouldn’t want to carry them with you all day long. Above all else, have fun!