We have been to the parks (Disneyland and California Adventure) every week since January, except for the the 2 weeks we were in Tennessee. It has been a blast exploring and getting to know every square inch of the happiest place on earth.
JD bought a pass on my birthday and he has been using vacation days to join us for the past few weeks. It has been great having him with us. I typically take the girls by myself and while there are some definite challenges as the only adult, it's doable and we all have a great time. But having daddy with us means more roller coasters and less stroller pushing for me!
JD is learning what it means to be a Disney season pass holder. Basically, getting at the park 30 minutes prior to opening and staying until close, never eating during traditional mealtimes because ride lines are shorter then, and being ready to ditch the stroller anywhere to sprint to the rides with the shortest lines. He gets better each week.
We are about to be blocked for the busy summer season so this week's trip is probably our last until the fall. We made the most of it by staying late and riding many rides that we skip due to the long wait times. We had a great time and will be sad to take a break.
10 tips from this seasoned season pass holder:
* Bring band-aids and ibuprofen. Headaches plague me nearly every trip and one or both of my girls scrape a knee more often than not. Be prepared!
* Watching a show is a great way to escape the sun and heat and get off of your feet for a bit. Some of our favorites are Muppet Theatre, Peter Pan Story Time, and Turtle Talk with Crush.
* Download wait time apps on your smartphone so you know which rides have the shortest waits. This saves you from wasting precious time walking around when you could be riding!
* Skip the parades to ride the most popular rides. There will probably still be a wait, but it will be much shorter with most park-goers watching the parade instead.
* Get there early. The whole parking and entering the park process takes time. The earlier you arrive, the less crowded it will be and the more RIDES you get to ride! We rode 4 within the first hour yesterday!
* Pack all your meals. Disney can be (relatively) cheap. Most trips we buy nothing at all. I pack tons of food and a giant gallon jug of icy lemon water and we spend nothing all day.
* Eat lunch/dinner on rides! I am sort of hardcore about using our time wisely while at DL. Any wasted time not riding something is a source of frustration for me so we eat on trains, steamboats, and on the monorail. Not every ride allows this and obviously you don't want to eat on a turbulent ride, but find the slow-moving ones and chow down. Once it's over, you'll have plenty of energy to sprint to Indiana Jones!
* Bring sunscreen and a change of clothes for everybody. I love the water rides, but walking around with wet underwear all day is miserable. Bring lightweight changes and stash them in a plastic bag at the bottom of your stroller/backpack.
* Figure out what your most comfortable pair of shoes are and wear those. Tennis shoes kill my feet after wearing them all day. For me, TOMS are the most comfy. Wear what makes your feet hurt the least. You will be walking miles.
* Likewise, put shoes on your kids that they cannot remove! I've seen more discarded toddler shoes than I can count where some kid, bored in their stroller, kicked off a shoe while their poor mother was oblivious.
Disneyland is really fun and we are blessed to live so close. What's your favorite thing to eat/ride/see at Disney?