Saturday, November 13, 2010

Plans Make Perfection

I recently got a call from my mom about our upcoming trip to Disneyland this Thanksgiving break. She gave me ring because she had just finalized the plans for our upcoming trip, completing all the dining reservations and such.

Almost every time we go to Disneyland, we form some sort of plan. Even though, as a family, we've been there around 20 times, a plan never hurts. We know where everything is, but there's a lot to do on any one day, and it can become overwhelming. Add into the equation that as the day gets longer, people will get tired, and when people get tired, things can go south, and a little direction can be your savior. Yes, even at the Happiest Place on Earth, bickering and arguing can occur.

So what do you do? Formulate a plan. Make reservations at the limited number of restaurants that let you, for other meals, mark out a quick service restaurant on a map that everyone can agree on. Food is a big thing, at least for my family. An empty belly can often lead to rash reactions.

Then there are the attractions. I have heard people refer to Disneyland as "Disney-line." Yes, popular attractions can often be accompanied by long lines. If you have a plan, you can avoid waiting in lines though. Use Disney's Fastpasses to your advantage.

Know the nuances of the Fastpass
A trick I learned a couple of years ago is that Fastapasses don't expire after the hour window of time printed on the tickets. As long as it's after the primary time, you can use your Fastpasses any time after that within the day. And don't feel like the only rides worth your time are the E-Ticket attractions with the lengthy lines. There are many, many other attractions that rarely have long lines and can pass the hour-plus you have to kill waiting for you Fastpass for Space Mountain to become valid. Check out Fantasyland: generally only Peter Pan and Dumbo have long lines for the most parts. There's many hidden gems for you to discover.

This upcoming trip, my family and I have decided that we're going to every attraction listed on the maps. We've got 5 days to do it, so it shouldn't be a problem, but timing is key. We can't just systematically go through each land and wipe out the lot. You've got to do the E-tickets mid morning or before closing, use the Fastpass to your advantage, know when certains rides will have shorter lines, and be cognizant of the parade and fireworks times when lines will be minimal.    

Disneyland and Walt Disney World are some of the most popular destinations in the United States, but that doesn't mean you have to spend the entire day in a confused, flustered state. Go in with a battle plan, and you can make time your pal, not the enemy.

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