Judy’s Comments

How To Avoid Going Goofy at Disney

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disneyI just returned from a spontaneous weekend trip to Disneyland with my husband and two daughters, ages 11 months and 3 1/2 years. Most of my friends thought we were crazy and, in hindsight, we may have been!

My oldest daughter had a great time touring Disneyland and she'll always remember meeting Mickey and Minnie Mouse. However, I learned a lot from this trip and the next time we make a visit to the "happiest place on earth," I'll spend more time planning. So to help other mothers plan a more perfect Disneyland getaway, I put together several tips based on the lessons I learned during this experience.

1. Character Dining

Make the most of your time at the park and skip the "Meet and Greet" lines for Disney characters. Waiting in the "Meet and Greet" lines doesn't always guarantee you'll meet your character of choice. Opt instead for Character Dining, where your child is guaranteed to get an up-close encounter with their favorite Character. You'll find these opportunities at:

Disneyland Park - Plaza Inn Disney California Adventure - Ariel's Disney Princess Celebration
Disneyland Hotel - Goofy's Kitchen
Grand Californian - Storytellers Breakfast
Paradise Pier Hotel - PCH Grill Breakfast

2. Best Time To Go

Crowds are overwhelming during school holidays and three-day weekends. The summer months are extremely busy as well, but the park is open longer and most of the rides and attractions are operating. Try Sundays, when the park is usually less busy.

January and February weekdays are the least busy times, but the park is open fewer hours.

3. Fast Pass and Rider Swap Tips

Every Disneyland ticket comes with the opportunity to receive Fast Passes for specified rides. A Fast Pass will give you a return-time window so you can skip the standby line and head to the front. If used correctly, Fast Passes allow you to maximize your time at the park. Usage is complex, however, so make sure you know all the rules before buying a pass.

4. Cheap Tickets

Discounts on Disneyland tickets are hard to find. If you purchase your tickets online in advance, you can save a couple dollars through travel sites like Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz and Disneyland.com.

5. Discount Disney Gift Cards

Before your trip to Disneyland, buy discount Disney gift cards on GiftCardGranny.com and save up to 10 percent at Disneyland's ticket counters, stores, restaurants and food stands.

If you're willing to take a risk, however, you might try buying tickets on eBay. Alternately, you can try hitting up a cast member for the complimentary passes they receive (make sure you tip) or ask patrons leaving the park if you can have their tickets. Look for the most expensive tickets that haven't been signed.

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Monday, 26 September 2022
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