This past week was one filled with monumental changes for me. The New Year marked my 21st birthday and the first leg of my semester trip to Spain. And what better way to celebrate the next season of my life than to kick it off at Disneyland with two of my best friends?
With a little faith, luck and pixie dust, our day in Disneyland went off without a hitch. We went on nearly every ride, feasted on all the goodies Disney has to offer, and rang in the New Year with Mickey. How, you ask? We had five takeaways to help other mouse seekers.
- Go early, leave late
This applies year round, but especially on New Year’s Eve because the park opens at 8a.m. and closes at 2 a.m. We were able to get on our favorite rides multiple times because we beat the crowd and had no wait times first thing in the morning. On top of that, we stayed at the park until 2 a.m. and by then the park was empty and we happily had the privilege of being the first people to ride Star Tours in the New Year.
Fastpass is an absolute no brainer. All you do is take your admission ticket to a kiosk for the ride you want and scan it. The machine prints out a ticket with times to return to the attraction. While you wait to ride you get in line for other attractions with smaller wait times. Fastpass is the way to avoid burning three hours of your day standing in line for one attraction.
- Single Rider/ Rider Switch
Single Rider is awesome for adults or people with older kids. We went on Cars in California Adventure 4 times in 30 minutes because we just kept getting back in the single rider line. That ride had a two hour wait at the time! Then there is rider switch. Rider switch is great if you have kids because one person can wait in line and ride the ride and then they can get a rider switch pass so that the other parent/kids (up to three) can go through the Fastpass line. We lucked out and were given a rider switch for Indiana Jones because the ride broke down right at the end. (Meaning we were able to to ride it twice even though we completed the ride the first time).
- Dining Reservations
Meal reservations can be made within 60 days of a visit to the park and are completely worth planning. We ate a mouthwatering three-course dinner at River Belle Terrace on New Year’s Eve, it cost a little more but the service and the breather from the crowd was just the break we needed.
When we got to the park, we grabbed a map and decided which attractions were priorities for us. That allowed us to get fastpasses for those rides right away and to utilize our time doing exactly what we wanted to do.