A Little More Disney in My Life

March 15th Title ImageSo, since I love Disney, and love writing about it, I thought it was time to write another Disney post. And I feel like the fact that my last Disney posts was one of my most popular so far kind of justifies another post. 🙂
So, here we go with 5 more tips on getting the best out of your Disney vacation.

1. Start from the back of the park- When you walk into and Disney park, it can be easy to instantly get caught up in the magic of your surrounding, and it can be tempting to go to the first interesting thing you see, but I encourage you to head towards the back end of the park instead. This tip applies mostly to those who are getting to the park in the morning soon after it opens, but it applies for several hours after opening. You’re not the only one tempted to visit the first attraction you see, many people will start at attractions near the front of the park, leading to congestion and long lines. If you head to the back first, you will find shorter lines and smaller crowds while everyone is still gathered near the front. Enjoy some attractions, shops, restaurants  etc. in the back of the park and then work your way forward. By the time you make it back to the front, the crowd will have spread more evenly through the park and you can enjoy yourself without having to deal with the beginning-of-the-day crowds.

2. Head to the left- While many attractions have only one line to get in, there are several that have two or more lines. When you find yourself at one of these attractions, choose the line to your left. For reasons I do not know (but are probably explained somewhere out there by some statistic genius) people tend to gravitate towards lines on the right, so if you head to the line on the left, your wait can be shorter. This is not always true, sometimes you may run into a group of savvy disneygoers who also know this tip, or sometimes people may just be more aware of what’s going on and realize that the left line is shorter, but typically you can save a bit of a wait if you head to the left. From what I have heard, this tip applies most when the crowds are higher.

3. Try some of Disney’s signature treats- There are some treats that are famous among Disney Resort fans that you often can’t easily find at home, make sure not to miss out on these. If you’re in Disney World, one of their most famous treats is the turkey leg. You can find them at many food kiosk throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, and if you enjoy some nice juicy turkey (dark meat, of course) then this is a tasty, and quirky, treat to help keep you fueled. Another treat famous at both Disneyland and Disney World is the Dole Whip. The Disney Parks are some of only a few places in the world that serve the Dole Whip, so make sure you try one while you have the chance. Dole Whips are a lactose-free pineapple soft-serve dessert (although there are other flavors available depending on where you get it, the Disney Parks serve pineapple and vanilla). This chilly treat is great when you need a cool, refreshing snack. If you’re adventurous enough, don’t forget to try my favorite way of eating a Dole Whip, the Dole Whip Float! A Dole Whip Float is made by pouring pineapple juice over the Dole Whip. It’s a fantastic tropical treat that really helps you get into the Disney mood. Another treat to try if you’re visiting Disneyland is the Mint Julep. Mint Julep is traditionally a minty cocktail famous in the Southern United States, but many years ago, Disneyland came up with their own non-alcoholic version which they serve in several locations in New Orleans Square. Mint Julep is a wonderfully cool, refreshing drink that goes wonderfully with the ambiance of New Orleans Square. Lastly, One of the most famous can’t-miss treats is the Disney Parks is really more than one treat. I’m talking about Mickey-shaped treats! Disney loves to honor the lovable mouse that started it all, ond one of the ways they do that is by making mickey-shaped snacks of all sorts. Some favorites to try are pretzels, waffles, ice cream bars, and beignets (a fluffy doughnut-like treat popular in the South-Disney’s version can be found in New Orleans Square in Disneyland).

4. Try your hand at Pin Trading- One of my favorite things to do at the Disney Parks isn’t a ride, show, attraction, or restaurant, it’s Pin Trading! Pin Trading is a popular Disney pastime, and can be a fun way to get an especially memorable souvenir. Collectible pins are available at pretty much any gift shop throughout the Disney Parks (many shops have special exclusive pins, so be sure to check for new pins in every shop you visit). You can collect your pins on a lanyard (also available at most gift shops) and display them as you walk through the parks. You may notice as you explore, that cast members have their own collections of pins. If you see a pin you like, feel free to walk up to a cast member and offer one of your own pins up for trade, there’s no need to fear rejection, cast members are required to trade with guests (and don’t worry about possibly taking their favorite pin from them, the cast members’ collections are supplied by the parks and are not the cast members’ own pins). Sometimes you can find rare pins from other Disney parks around the world, or rare limited edition pins no longer sold in the parks. It may feel awkward at first to ask a cast member to trade, but before long you’ll be eyeing every lanyard you walk by and trading left and right. You may even come across fellow park visitors willing to trade, just don’t get pushy. Guests are under no obligation to accept your offer, so if someone says “no” to a trade let it go and let them enjoy their day at the park. Pin Trading is one of my favorite things to do at Disney because not only are you collecting souvenirs, you’re collecting memories and stories that help you to look back fondly on your trip for years to come.

5. Don’t feel rushed to leave at closing- Something I was not aware of until a year or two ago was that the Disney Parks do not actually close completely at “closing time.” The official closing times for the parks apply to rides and attractions, but the shops stay open for about an hour after closing. If you’re not ready to leave right away, feel free to linger and check out the shops while the rest of the guests make their way out. This is also a great way to avoid the mad rush to leave at closing time, and if you’re staying on Disney Property, this is a great way to avoid the big crowds at the monorails and busses. And if you’re still not ready to go back to your hotel after the parks close completely, head over to Downtown Disney (known officially as “Downtown Disney District” in the WDW Resort and “Downtown Disney Area” in the Disneyland Resort) these locations are open late into the night and offer many fun activities to keep the magic going.

Well, that’s all my tips for today, I hope you learned something useful for your next Disney trip. Do you have any tips of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments. Have a favorite Disney treat you absolutely must have every time you visit? Tell me about it! Have a favorite Pin Trading story? I’d love to hear about it. Until next time,

Happy Learning!

-Lizzie

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