When your job is Disney-related, you go frequently, and, you tend to learn a thing or two. Here are some of the things I learned at Disneyland from going often, and that you should know too!

Things I learned from Disneyland

  1. I’m not the only Disneyland fan, so sometimes I have to share. Yes, I’m talking about the crowds. Today, it seems like everyone and their dog loves Disney Parks. Compared to most other Disney Parks, Disneyland is pretty small and cramped. As a result of this, there are times when the park is packed! Of course, it is easy to get frustrated at this, but it is better for you if you don’t freak out. Make the most of it. I will admit that I have some tricks up my sleeve to make any crowded day more manageable, but even without these tips, you can still have a magical vacation.
  2. Cast Members are awesome. Did you know that entry-level Disney employees (Cast Members) make an income barely over the minimum wage? And, they have to be kind and smile at everyone. In the heat? Or, the rain?! Did you know that the characters, especially the princesses, get harassed a ton?! And yet, I rarely encounter a bad apple when it comes to CMs. They do it because they love Disney, they love people, and they want to do it. The point is: treat them with love!
  3. You can make anything fun. Even when I was pregnant and thought I could never have the same amount of fun as I normally would at the parks, I still had a blast! Most people may prioritize the thrill rides (myself included, not going to lie). But to be honest, a ride on Pinocchio’s Daring Journey or Mayer’s Junkyard Jamboree can lift your spirits more than you’d expect, with half the line…or less!
  4. Disneyland will never be complete. If you didn’t know this already, this is an exact quote from Walt Disney himself. People sometimes shade Disney Parks, as they can be under constant construction for the next big thing. But that’s one of the things Walt loved most: constant progress forward.
  5. Helping others enjoy the magic that I know and love is more fun. Since becoming “the expert,” so to speak, I have learned that helping people truly fall in love with Disneyland is much more fun. It is like I get to live vicariously through them as they experience everything for the first time. It is especially amazing for me when I am able to help others with disabilities, like me, enjoy the magic of Disney and forget their problems for a while.
  6. No, I don’t get sick of it. I could be here all day every day and never get sick of it.
  7. Just follow the rules, okay? Let’s go back to #2. Cast Members are awesome. They aren’t trying to ruin your day by telling you to stay behind a certain line or that your child can’t climb on certain things. Their primary goal is your safety.
  8. Disneyland can really test relationships. I have this theory that if a relationship (whether romantic or otherwise) can survive a Disney trip, it can survive basically anything else. So if you want to put your relationship to the test, book a long Disney trip.
  9. Don’t talk loudly on rides. I don’t care how many times I’ve been on it before. I don’t care how many more times I plan to ride it in my lifetime. If you talk loudly, I may punch you. But then again, I would like to come back to Disneyland without being blacklisted…so, I won’t. But I promise I have thought about it.
  10. People don’t know how to walk. Zig-zag walkers. ‘Nuff said.
  11. You WILL have to adapt AND be okay with it. I planned all month to get a boarding pass for Rise of the Resistance for our last trip. But we were just barely too late (and when I say “barely,” I mean we were seconds too late). I cried my eyes out for about an hour, no joke. After that, I realized that a day at Disneyland without Rise of the Resistance–how I’ve done it for several years now–was still better than anything else. We still had such an amazing time!
  12. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Yes, Disney trips are inherently expensive. However, there are tons of ways to save money too. For example, you do not have to purchase snacks, souvenirs, or even meals. You can bring all those from home and/or enjoy the freebies! I have so many tips on saving money at Disneyland. I will be sure to update this post when I come up with more, and/or make an entire article about it.
  13. I have a certain way of doing things, and I know I am right. For example, I don’t care what anybody says, Toy Story Parking is the best.
  14. Waiting in line is half the fun. Don’t get mad at me for this one! Trust me, I have been on trips to Disney where my husband and I don’t wait in line at all…and I have been on trips where the lines are all very long and we can’t avoid that. You may be surprised to know that the trips where we never used one Fastpass, are the ones we look back on and cherish the most! There is not much talking and bonding while riding any thrill rides. While waiting in line though, you get to play games, get to know each other, and laugh a ton!
  15. But that doesn’t mean you should wait for longer than 45 minutes. Yes, waiting in line can be a source of fun memories, but waiting in line all day is still a waste of your Disney time. Use the Fastpass to Maxpass system instead! Fastpass is 100% free of charge! Use it! Make a list of the rides with longer lines–like Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Radiator Springs Racers, and Guardians of the Galaxy–and make sure to Fastpass those throughout the day.
  16. There is a right and wrong way to do it, and you are probably doing it wrong. There is a “perfect plan” that will allow you to do everything…or at least everything you want to do. And I promise you, not one internet source has it right–especially not with the newest additions of Rise of the Resistance and Galaxy’s Edge.
  17. You will never know everything. As somebody who has literally dedicated her life to publishing Disneyland fun facts, I sometimes feel like I know everything there is to know about the parks. But with all the constant changes, new additions, and even increased understanding of Disney history…I really feel like I learn something new every day.
  18. I feel like I learn something new every time I visit. Seriously, just last week I learned that I hate the new Pixar Pals parking structure for reasons related to missing a Rise of the Resistance boarding group (I’m not bitter, you’re bitter).
  19. You will grow out of the “kid rides,” but then you will grow back into them again. I have been visiting the Disneyland Resort since I was a little girl. I am also a very small person. I was around 6-7 years old I believe before I could ride Splash Mountain–which is only 40 inches. For reference, my cousins were able to ride it around age 3. Anyway, once I was both old enough and tall enough to ride the “big rides,” I lost interest in things like Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Winnie the Pooh. As I’ve gotten older though, even before becoming a parent (even though that still makes a huge difference), I love re-riding these, too.
  20. I still cry every time I watch certain shows. Frozen–Live at the Hyperion Theatre, Fantasmic!, and every time they bring back Paint the Night or Remember, Dreams Come True: the real reason I wear waterproof mascara to Disney.