10 tips for a stress free Disney trip

One of the things you hear non-Disney people complain about is how crowded the Disney theme parks are and hence they don’t have the best experience in the parks.  So if you aren’t a Disney geek (and I mean that lovingly), these tips may help you enjoy your trip to Disneyland or World just that little bit more… trust me, I know what I’m doing.  Many of these will help you to avoid the queues at Disney, and some are just good to reduce your stress levels.

  1. Get there early – arrive around 30 minutes-1 hour prior to official park opening.  Often the park gates will open 30 minutes prior and give you access to main street.  Grab a coffee, have a pee then beat the crowds to the first few attractions.  Then consider doing the Fantasyland attractions either first up or at the end of the night after fireworks (when the little ones have gone).
  2. Travel off-season – January, September and the first couple of weeks in December are great off-season times.  For Disneyland, which sees a lot more “locals”, avoid weekends.
  3. Eat lunch and/or dinner early or late – avoid the main meal times at restaurants.  Use these times to visit attractions.
  4. Skip the queue – Make use of single rider lines and use the FASTPASS system.
  5. Take a break – especially if you are visiting at a busy or hot time of year.   During the hottest part of the day, head back to your hotel for a swim or a nap.  If your hotel is too far to get back to, head to the nearest Disney Hotel and check out the chairs in the lobby 🙂
  6. Arrange a meeting place – what if your group gets separated accidentally?  Arrange a meeting place before this happens and be sure to talk to children about what to do if they get lost.
  7. Check the times – If you are travelling off-season check the times guide for things that are running on a reduced schedule – fireworks, shows etc   You may want to plan your visit around certain things if they are important to you
  8. Dining – if you have dietary restrictions, look at menus online to find out where might be suitable for your requirements.  If you are wanting to dine at a specific table service restaurant, you may need to book it in advance.
  9. Don’t be a dick – respect other visitors, don’t push ahead in lines and give people space. Just chill if someone pisses you off.  You will have a better time and so will everyone else around you.
  10. Use the force technology – use your smart phone to help you tour the parks.  There are a number of apps that will show you current wait times for attractions or consider using a touring plan (I am in no way affiliated with TouringPlans.com but I’m a very happy customer).

If you are looking for tips specific to Hong Kong Disneyland, you might want to check out this post.

If you are a Kiwi or Australian looking for cheap Disneyland tickets, check out this post.

What tips would you give someone going to Disney for the first time?

Partners Statue and Disneyland Castle
Partners Statue and Disneyland Castle


  1. Decide in advance the handful of rides or shows or parades that you don’t want to miss. Check the park website to make sure those are not going to be closed for maintenance. Follow the tips above to see/do those. Everything else is gravy. You can relax and enjoy the street entertainment, follow along to those other rides or shows your companions want to see, and not worry that you’ve missed something.

    • Great recommendations. We usually all pick 3 must do attractions and then do those first. There is so much to do without hitting the busy queues. Stopping and smelling the roses and just enjoying the experience.

    • We use our jetlag to our advantage too, we wake up stupidly early so its easy to get up and out the door and we are going to DISNEY! 😉

      Glad you liked the tips. Do you have anything to add?

      • Eat lunch at 11ish in an air conditioned restaurant. Not being from Florida AND being there for rope drop means we are ready for a real break around that time. Bonus is most people don’t do that, so it is easy to get a reservation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s