- Before you head to the parks have a tentative plan in place of how you want your day to go. What rides you HAVE to ride, what shows you want to see, where you want to eat, what characters you want pictures with and anything else you want to do. You don’t need to stick to this plan exclusively, but it will help you from being overwhelmed and not knowing what to do. As well as wasting time trying to decide what everyone wants to do!
- Once you get to the park send a “FP Runner” to get everyone a FP to one of your top must do rides. UPDATE Disney now has info stands around the park where you can have a cast member add, cancel, or change your FP’s. They also still have the FP kiosks by the rides. We would send our runner to the ride and if they passed a stand along the way with little to no line they got the FP’s there. But if the line was long or they got to the ride before seeing a stand, they go the FP’s at the rides kiosk.
- NEW ALTERNATIVE STEP #2: Get Disney’s new MaxPass and schedule your FP’s right there on your phone! Spend more time enjoying the park instead of running around to get FP’s. (more detailed explanation of the MaxPass under “What is a FastPass?”)
- If you send someone to get the FP’s everyone else should head to a ride with a wait time of 20 minutes or under. Your runner should be able to catch up with you before you get on the ride. + this makes it so you don’t have to drag your whole party across the park just to get a FP.
- If you get to the park early spend your morning on JUST rides! Lines are typically shortest right when they open so go on any rides with a 20 minute or less wait time WITHOUT a FP! (Save your FP for the rides with longer lines)
- By doing this you can spend your afternoon (when lines are a lot longer) seeing shows, watching parades, seeing characters, or anything else you want to do and then go on rides with your FP’s! (Watch for another post in my Disney series about “What to do at Disneyland besides rides!”)
- If you didn’t get the MaxPass, when it’s time to get another FP send your runner to get one as quick as possible! The less time you wait between getting your FP’s, the more FP’s you can get! Which means more rides and less waiting in line!
Follow this plan throughout the day and you’ll be much happier as you get to enjoy Disney rather than waiting in lots of lines!
I will add that some of the new and more popular rides are going to have long lines even with FP’s. So if one of those rides are on your must do list read on to find out how to stay entertained while waiting in line.
- What is a FastPass? A FP basically lets you skip the standby line through a separate, shorter, line that gets you on the ride faster. UPDATE
- How do you get a FP? All you need to get a FP is your entry ticket. They aren’t extra things you need to purchase (phew haha) Every ride that offers a FP will have a designated area with FP distribution machines. (not every ride offers FP. Check out a park map to see all the rides that offer them) Put your park entry ticket in the machine and it will dispense a FP for you. (just don’t forget to grab your park entry ticket) You will need to do this for each person in your party because the FP’s are only good for one (1) person. UPDATE You still get your FP’s the same way, through the distribution machines, BUT the FP now just goes onto your park entry ticket. You will need to scan your park ticket when you go through the FP line. The machines still dispense a FP, but it is just a reminder ticket. You do not need it to get on the ride. 2ND UPDATE There are also info stands all over the park where you can have a cast member add, change, or cancel FP’s for you.
- When to use your FP?
Once you have your FP ticketsThe reminder FP ticket will have a one hour time frame on it. (i.e. 1:00pm-2:00pm) This is your return window of when you can ride your ride. They do not let you use your FP before or after that time frame so you’ll want to make sure you can make it back to your ride before the FP expires.
- How to use your FP? During the one hour window on your FP you will head to your ride. When you get there go to the FP line NOT the standby line. (ask a cast member if you can’t find it)
Show the cast member at the entrance of the line your FP and that’t it!Have your park entry ticket out and you will scan it at the FP entrance. Now you can enjoy your ride without waiting in a super long line. (if the first person doesn’t take your FP HOLD ONTO IT! There is usually a FP check halfway through the line so you’ll need to have it or they’ll send you to the back of the line)
- How many FP can you get at a time? You can only have one (1) FP per two-hour time block. So that means you’ll have to wait two hours before getting another one. (
Your current FPYour FP reminder ticket will have a definite time at the bottom of the ticket that lets you know when you can get your next FP.)
- When to get another FP? Like I mentioned above you can only get one FP every two hours. So as soon as that two hours is up you’ll want to hurry and get another FP. This makes it so you can get as many FP’s as possible.
- What is Disney’s new MaxPass and how do you use it? Disney’s MaxPass is part of their Disneyland app. You have to pay for the feature to activate it in the app. It is $10 per day, per guest. It allows you to add, change, or cancel FP’s right there on your phone. It saves a lot of time and running around the parks to get FP’s. You also have unlimited access to download Disney’s PhotoPass photos you have taken throughout the day. If you’ve ever seen those Disney cast members walking around with a camera and taking pictures at the prime photo spots, those are the PhotoPass photographers. They take your picture and then you have the opportunity to purchase them. If you get the MaxPass though you can download the photos for free! This makes the MaxPass more worth it in my opinion! Check out Disney’s website HERE for more info on their MaxPass.
HOW TO STAY ENTERTAINED IN LINES: Sometimes waiting is unavoidable and with little kids and babies they can get bored really quick! Even if you’re only waiting for 15 minutes. A lot of the newer rides though have interactive lines, meaning they have games to play, music going, or other fun things to keep people preoccupied while they wait. If your kids are still restless or need something to do try these 7 tips!
- Grab a snack before heading in line! You will have to throw it away or put it away before getting on the ride so make sure you have time to finish your snack or can put it in your bag until the rides over. Snacks can get expensive at Disney though so plan ahead and bring some with you and give them to your kids while you are waiting in line.
- Look for Hidden Mickey’s! For those that don’t know a Hidden Mickey is it is “a representation of Mickey Mouse that has been inserted subtly into the design of a ride, attraction, or other location in a Disney theme park, Disney properties, animated film, feature-length movie, TV series, or other Disney product.” (Thank you google 😉 ha) These are so fun to look for! It can keep your kids entertained for hours trying to spot everything that looks like a mickey shape! (This game might not work for babies or very young kids, but you sure can have fun playing it!)
- Play group or interactive games on your phone. This is the only time I would recommend being on your phone at Disneyland (because let’s be real you didn’t spend all that money to sit on your phone or let your kids sit and play games on it) When we are with just adults or older kids we love playing the game Heads up while we wait in line! For young kids and babies I download the Disney Junior app and let them watch Disney shows or play games!
- Play I spy! This is a classic game and you can even make it Disney related!
- Play spot it Disney version! Try things like Mickey ears, a cast member smiling, etc. First person to spot the thing gets a point!
- Hum a Disney song and see who can guess it first OR quote lines from Disney movies to see who can guess the movie first!
- Bring small toys for babies and only give them one at a time so they don’t get bored.
Well guys there it is! Part 1 of my Disney series. I hope you enjoyed it and learned some tricks for you next Disney vacation! If you have any Disney secrets you think I should share or have a question you want me to answer feel free to email me by clicking here. I would love to hear from you!
Be sure to check out Part 2 HERE for “What to bring!”