My girls and I just went to Disneyland a week ago. We are still recovering from the long hours and all the walks over our short 3-day weekend trip. While I learned some tips and tricks, I also realized the 6 Disneyland mistakes I made. I definitely don’t want to make the same mistake next time!
[READ ALSO: 9 Disneyland tips and tricks I learned from our 3 days at the park ]
Disneyland Mistake #1: Picked the wrong weekend to go.
There wasn’t really many other days we could do this trip — we couldn’t go during the week because of work and school. And most of the long weekends in 2017 were already planned. I also preferred not to go during summer when it is hot and humid. So I settled on the MLK weekend thinking that most people have gone to Disneyland during Christmas and New Year holiday. Well, I was so wrong! I didn’t know there was the Star Wars Marathon over MLK weekend! Next time before I pick a date for Disneyland, I would definitely check out the list by Undercover Tourist for best and worst time to visit Disneyland in 2017 and 2018!
Mistake #2: Didn’t know Magic Morning is only for Disneyland Park.
I bought the 3-day single park tickets which comes with one Magic Morning. According to Disneyland website, “Magic Morning allows one early admission into select attractions, stores, entertainment and dining locations at Disneyland Resort Park before the park opens to the general public.” Apparently Disneyland Report Park does not mean California Adventure Park! We found out the hard way! I made the kids got up at 6am so that we could get to California Adventure Park by 7:30am. After waited in line for half an hour, we realized that we could not get in! The Magic Morning at California Adventure Park is for hotel guests at any of the three Disneyland hotels! We could have slept in!
Mistake #3: Getting up at 6am every morning to get to the park before 8am.
My kids are 17, 13, and 11 years old. They were tired every morning after 14 hours in the park the day prior. But I am not sure if we really had any other choice since our trip was only three days and we needed to maximize our time. If we had the choice, I would probably get up early one day and sleep in the next day. But parks became really crowded by 11am. So this was a tough call.
Mistake #4: Waited 90 minutes in line for the “Frozen” show
I was the only one in the group that really wanted to see the show. So girls took time away from rides and waited with me for the 3:30pm show. They didn’t complain, but I felt pretty bad. My legs were very sore from standing in line for 90 minutes. While the show was good, I had seen the movie many times and it would have been OK to skip the show. If you must see the show, you should come just half an hour prior and you would have gotten a seat just fine.
Disneyland Mistake #5: Bought tickets online with the wrong credit card!
I always pay for my trips using my Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I thought anything on Disneyland website would be coded as travel expenses by Chase. Well was I wrong! Wish I had used my Citi Premier Thank You card instead. Maybe I would have earned 2 or 3 points per dollar on my Disneyland tickets, depending if it would be coded as entertainment or travel expenses. Oh well, lessons learned!
Mistake #6: Moved up my daughter’s braces appointment one day before the trip.
According to my middle daughter, this was my biggest Disneyland mistake! She was originally scheduled to put on her braces the day after we return from Disneyland. But two days prior to the trip, the dentist’s office called and told us about an opening slot. I agreed to it without any more thoughts. Poor girl was in such pain that she could barely eat. She had to use fork and knife to cut up a hamburger! It wasn’t until we were at Disneyland that I realized I truly made a mistake.
Those are the 6 Disneyland mistakes I made. What about you? Did you make any mistakes from your Disney trips? Please share so other readers can avoid making the same Disneyland mistakes!
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Disneyland is always a “next time I’ll know better” experience. I hope you guys had a fantastic time anyway.
We did. Thank you! Not sure when we will return. We are heading to DisneyWorld this December. After that, I need a long time to recover! 😉
FYI. In my experience with magic morning, the two parks alternate which day they offer the extra hour. It’s usually posted at the security check or online. Maybe next time you’ll have better luck.
I did check online! It was supposedly Sunday for California Adventure and that was why we went. But we couldn’t get in because we were not hotel guests! 🙁
So Cal resident tips— stay at the Hyatt Orange County ESPECIALLY if someone in your party has diamond status. They’ll treat you right, Great staff! it’s close enough — 1 mile shuttle drive– to leave, nap and go back. They have large reasonably priced suites for the family. I like to go in November. Weather is mild, Christmas decorations are up… take a personal day and go during the week.
Yes you are absolutely right! Hyatt Orange County is fabulous! I got a free upgrade to two bedroom unit. Will definitely return even if I am not a diamond member.
I did the same thing with my son’s braces for spring break two years ago. I learned an important lesson, no orthodontia near trips. He was in pain a lot of the time.
I can relate to #5 using the wrong credit card. My family and I recently spent 3 days in Orlando and paid $20 a day for parking at MK, Epcot and HS. I paid using my Chase Sapphire Reserve which pays 3% for parking. Alas, it coded as amusements and I only got 1% back. I should have paid for Disney parking using my Citi Double Cash card.
Every time I read an article about Disneyland tips or lessons learned it makes the entire experience sound horrific.
Any vacation that requires that much planning and you still end up waiting 90 minutes for a ride or show is for suckers.
Every time I think about taking the kids to Disneyland I do research and end up going to Hawaii or the Caribbean. No lines and actual experiences not manufactured ones.
Your biggest mistake was not using a travel counselor that knows the ins and outs of a Disney (Land or World) vacation and can let you know these these and more before you go so you don’t use valuable time or miss out on anything. Most are totally free!
Before you head to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, check http://www.allears.net for everything you need to know.
I have an article on safety tips for the parks at http://www.freetimejournal.com, under Florida.
Always look at black out dates for Disneyland annual passholders. If the cheapest pass is blocked, the park will be packed.