Our Top Tips For The Ultimate Day At Disney
Engrained in my childhood memories are countless magical scenes and colourful Disney characters, bought to life every Saturday morning in our family living room and on the big screen. What child hasn’t dreamt of hugging Mickey Mouse on a visit to the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’.
When Walt Disney opened the original Disneyland in 1955, I don’t think even the great man himself, could have envisioned the prolific impact he would leave on the world and so many lives. For generations, families have been visiting a Disney theme park to share experiences and make memories.
With Disney’s sixth theme park to open in Shanghai in 2016, the entertainment juggernaut has brought its unique attractions to locations across the world including Hong Kong, Tokyo and Paris, which complement the original Los Angeles, Anaheim and Orlando, Florida destinations.
But be warned; a visit to a Disney theme park is a marathon, not a sprint. The days spent wondering through this, not so small world after all, requires careful planning to maximise the enjoyment.
So here are a few tried and tested hints and tips to ensure you get the best out of your Disney visit.
Wear comfortable shoes
Let me repeat. Wear comfortable shoes! These are an absolute must and non-negotiable for the entire family. The newest of all Disney parks will open in Shanghai, China in 2016 and will be the largest of all Disney’s at over four square kilometres (1.5 square miles). This mega-theme-park will test your soles. A pair of good, sturdy sneakers or joggers will do the trip.
INSIDER TIP: Ensure you have worn new shoes in first. Walking around Disney is not the place to break new shoes in.
A popular option with many travelers is ‘FASTPASS’. This additional ticket option allows you to hold a space in the line any tie of the day. Although an extra fee on top of your entry ticket or day-passes, it’s worth every cent, especially if you are limited to time, or simply just don’t like to wait.
INSIDER TIP: Book your FASTPASS early, as there are limited numbers available each day and usually sell out in the first hour of gates opening.
Fun and exciting for all the family, character dining is a must-do, especially for younger children. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner with your favourite Disney characters and watch their smiles light up the room. Character dining is available inside both the Disney parks, which includes early entry, and select Disney hotels.
INSIDER TIP: Pre-book to avoid missing out on this popular attraction and don’t miss the Mickey Mouse shaped waffles.
As the saying goes, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”. This of course was not intended for Disney theme parks or Mickey Mouse himself, but a well laid plan will save you time, tears and walking. Plan out the morning, afternoon and evening with plenty of scheduled breaks in-between.
INSIDER TIP: For a great way to involve children, ask them to help plan out the day with you and let them be the guide.
BOOK YOUR DISNEY TICKETS: Call Well Travelled today on 1300 041 781 to book.
If you suddenly find it’s time for an immediate break or rest, jump on the monorail for a scenic view of the park, while simultaneously saving your feet. The slow ride is a great way to get your bearings on the park’s map to help plan out the next attraction.
INSIDER TIP: If staying at a Disney hotel, the monorail may just deliver you direct to the park each day.
If planning a few days at the park, scope out your shopping must-haves and leave until the last day to avoid carrying countless bags around the park and on rides. You will find all the usual themed souvenir stores, but look out for the LEGO Store, various jewelry stores and specialist photographers for long-lasting memories.
INSIDER TIP: If staying at a Disney hotel, all purchases including shopping, food and beverages, can be charged back to your room.
Pack your patience
It may be the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’, but during busy weekend and holiday periods, you will need to pack your patience to avoid tantrums of the child and adult kind. The lines generally pass quickly and often include entertainment to distract you. Markers can be found in the queues to indicate the approximate wait time from that point. But crowds are always a given and just part of the experience.
INSIDER TIP: Say hi to someone in the line and not only make new friends from all over the world, but swap tips and tricks learned along the way.
No surprise that Mickey Mouse ears are the number one souvenir. With over 84-million sold since 1955, it’s the must-have, take home souvenir. And don’t forget the happy snaps with characters from around the park and at the character dining. The great advantage of smart phones is we can take pictures and videos of the fun times that will last a life-time.