- If the app or map says that Mickey will be at a certain spot at 10:30 AM for pictures and autographs; you need to line up at 10:15. I know it sounds lame…like wasting 15 minutes of a packed and expensive trip. Yet, the last thing you want to do it miss the one (or multiple) character you so wanted to meet! And if you know that there will be more than one character out in a specific area, it is a really good idea to divide and conquer. Have one person from you party stand in line for Mickey while another stands in line for Minnie. That way you can see as many characters as possible and NOT waste time standing in line.
- Hit the most popular rides and attractions as EARLY in the day as possible. And if you want to ride it more than once, grab a FAST PASS if one is available. For example, Space Mountain is one of my favorites. I could ride it over and over again. So when I do Disneyland I head immediately to Tomorrow Land and grab a Fast Pass for Space Mountain. Then if the line isn’t too long, I get in line. Now, I get to ride it twice! Hooray for me! I do this with as many rides as I can actually. I love to take advantage of the FAST PASS system.
- Pay attention to the times of the shows and parades. And watch as many of them as you can. Disney really does present some top notch entertainment. They will WOW you, that is for sure! And often it is the rest or time off your feet during that performance that sets you up for the remainder of the day. Just the breather you need to push through! Or if you don’t want to see the shows, pay attention to the times of them so that you can guage when the lines will be shorter for certain rides. Please be aware that some rides shut down for the shows and/or parades. You will want to check that as well.
- Make meal reservations. I know that the places that take reservations are often more spendy than those you just walk up to; but knowing you have a chair with your name on it waiting for you is a welcomed relief for your feet. The food will most likely be even more delicious that the quick service restaurants and it is a time to sit and talk to your party. Make sure to tell the host/Cast Member if it is a celebration of some sort. Anniversary or birthday or the like. They are always happy to celebrate with you. If you make reservations, you are definitely more likely to get the restaurant you want NOT just what has an opening. Be this character dining or just a sit down place, making reservations is a smart first-timer’s move.
- ASK QUESTIONS! Cast Members are a wonderful fountain of Disney knowledge. They are friendly and knowledgeable. USE THEM! I have NEVER had a bad experience with a Cast Member. I admire them and respect them for all they have to put up with. Really, they WOW me! Ask them for tips of secrets. HINT**** go to the Indiana Jones shop and ask to see the house for the Little Man from Disneyland or go on the Indiana Jones ride and ask where Eeyore is.**** Cast Members usually know where the best spots for a show are or where to find little hidden extras on a ride or attraction. They really can make you visit to The Happiest Place On Earth even MORE special!
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