Getting the Most Out of Your Disneyland and Walt Disney World Vacation #seizingfamilytime

January 27, 2012
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Some tips for getting the most out of Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

FASTPASS

  • FASTPASS is the key to getting the most out of your Disney experience. My husband is somewhat of a pro about the FASTPASS.
  • FASTPASS can be used on the following attractions at Disneyland: Autopia, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Indiana Jones Adventure, Roger Rabbit’s Car Too Spin, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Star Tours.
  • Use FASTPASS on these California Adventure rides: California Screamin’ (well worth it even though I was terrified!), Goofy’s Sky School, Grizzly River Run, Soarin’ Over California (our family’s favorite ride at both EPCOT and California Adventure), The Twilight Zone of Terror (I couldn’t get anyone to ride this ride with me!), and World of Color.
  • When you enter a Disney park, check the bulletin board at the park entrance. The board shows wait time for rides and which rides are FASTPASS. You will also see which rides are closed for the day.
  • Look for FASTPASS distribution kiosks near the entrance to each ride.
  • Check the FASTPASS return time to know when you can ride the attraction. Don’t use a FASTPASS if you will not be available to ride the ride. Save your FASTPASS for another ride.
  • A tip about World of Color at California Adventure… World of Color is a spectacular light, water, color, and movie show. You will want to use your FASTPASS to get a good viewing spot. Go early to the Grizzly River Run to get your FASTPASS for World of Color. You can hold a World of Color FASTPASS and a FASTPASS for a ride, so go get one as soon as you arrive in California Adventure.

Season

  • We have visited Walt Disney World twice in the fall. While the parks have shorter hours in the fall than in the peak seasons, we loved walking on rides and waiting for just a few minutes to get on a ride.
  • In addition, to short wait times, you’ll also find that flights in off-peak season are cheaper as well as hotels.
  • On this trip we visited in August. Because it was the height of a peak season, we planned our days with FASTPASS, wait times, and our stamina in mind. If we were all up for waiting in a long line, we did.

Technology

  • Our two-day stay at Disneyland Resort would have been far less fun had my husband not had an app on his phone. He kept us apprised of wait times. With a Kid, a Preteen-now-Teen, and a Teen, we had the flexibility to race from one ride to another. Families with younger kids will want to pace themselves due to weather, crowds, and wait times.
  • Here’s an app for Disney World Wait Times.
  • Visiting Disneyland? Here’s an app for wait times.
  • And of course, charge those batteries. Bring all chargers on your trip. Charge digital, video, and phones at the hotel each night.
  • We had a couple of Flip Video Cameras which we let our kids carry.

Safety

  • Stay connected with cell phones.
  • Our Teen and Preteen-now-Teen did not carry their phones as they were worried about losing them or getting them wet. Because of this we stayed in a group of 5 or we split in to a group of 2 and a group of 3. My husband and I coordinated a meeting spot if we split up to ride different attractions.
  • Let each family member carry his Disney ticket in a lanyard. You can bring a lanyard from home or buy a colorful lanyard from any of the Disney stores. Each lanyard comes with a clear plastic case for holding the Disney ticket and money. We found it helpful for each child to carry his own lanyard and ticket so that it was easier to get FASTPASS.
  • My older two know their name, address, home and all our cell phones, but I wrote down all our details on a piece of paper for my youngest child to carry with him. If he got separated from us, I wanted him to know how to reach us.

I was given passes to Disneyland and California Adventure. We paid for our own flights, car rental, and hotel accommodations while in Southern California. The views expressed in this post are my own. I follow the tenets of Blog With Integrity.

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3 Responses to Getting the Most Out of Your Disneyland and Walt Disney World Vacation #seizingfamilytime

  1. Becca Bernstein on February 6, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Ahh! Good tips. I bookmarked this page as we’re thinking of going in the Fall. Thanks for this info! This is great.

  2. [...] Street Live, so of course my son had to be taken when he was old enough. We took the older two to Disney World when the youngest was three so we took my son when he was 3. I practice the same level of equality [...]

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