Common Disneyland Mistakes to Avoid On Your Next Trip

At Disneyland, there are several common mistakes that are easy to make during your visit, and these can make your experience less-than-magical. Avoiding these will be crucial to a great Disneyland trip and making the most of every minute in the park, whether it’s your first visit or your hundredth. Be sure to watch out for these mistakes during your next trip!

  1. A common mistake is to drive from your hotel to Disneyland. Many guests are caught off-guard by the cost of Disneyland parking–$30 per car for standard and $50 for preferred parking. This can really add up, especially if you’re visiting for multiple days. In addition, it can be an incredibly long and tedious process to get to the park by tram after you park. In the morning, lines for the tram to the park move fairly quickly, but in the evenings, it can get incredibly congested and be a frustrating experience. For a more convenient option, we recommend either taking the ART Shuttle to Disneyland or opting for an Uber or Lyft.
  2. Eating breakfast in the park is a mistake that wastes precious morning time when you can enjoy shorter wait times. If you want to be ready to enjoy the rides at “rope drop,” we recommend arriving at the turnstiles at least 45 minutes before the park officially opens. In order to get some fuel in before you start going on rides, eat at your hotel before heading to the park or grab breakfast to eat on the go while you’re waiting to get into the park. You can use our itineraries for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure for tips on making the most of this valuable park time!

  1. Neglecting the Disneyland app is a big mistake to avoid when visiting Disneyland. It’s a crucial resource to your trip, as it will allow you to save time through Mobile Ordering for food pickup, book Disneyland Genie+ Lightning Lanes, see current wait times for attractions and show schedules, find character meet-and-greet locations, and more. Make sure to download this before your trip so that you can use it to make your day more efficient at the park.
  2. Resist the urge to take too many pictures. While you do want to utilize what technology has to offer, as discussed above, make sure not to bury yourself in your phone while at Disneyland. While it’s tempting to capture every second of your time at the park on camera to look back at later, there’s nothing that will compare to enjoying it in the moment. You’ll be able to more fully immerse yourself with the magic and appreciate what’s in front of you. As you’re exploring the beauty of the park, keep an eye out for hidden Mickeys and the secret door to Club 33.
  3. Leaving no room for spontaneity is a common mistake when visiting Disneyland. While you don’t want to come to the park completely without a plan, you also want to make sure you aren’t planning every minute of your trip to the point where it feels like a chore to get to everything on the list. Embrace unexpected detours that might come up, and don’t be afraid to deviate from the plan if something arises that catches your attention in the moment. Some of the best and most memorable Disneyland moments are born out of surprises! Remember though, Disneyland tickets and park reservations are required and should be done well before heading to the parks as the parks frequently reach capacity.
  4. On a similar note, making specific promises to kids can lead to disappointment. It’s hard to predict what may happen at the park, and certain characters may not be present, or rides may be closed for refurbishment. Things can change at the drop of a hat, and you don’t want to make several promises only for things to not go according to plan.

  1. While many want to maintain their diet during their trip, there are so many delicious food offerings that are essential to the full Disneyland experience. There are definitely healthy foods offered at Disneyland, but if you do feel an urge to try some treats and snacks, don’t hold back. Enjoy some of the iconic foods at the park, like a delicious churro or a Dole Whip! Be sure to explore offerings that you haven’t experienced before, as you may find a new favorite you weren’t expecting.

Read our full list of the mistakes you should avoid while at Disneyland and be sure to avoid these during your next trip!

At Mickey Visit, we share the most important tips for planning your trips to Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Universal, and beyond. Each week, we’ll share some of our top tips here on Laughing Place.

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Gavin Doyle
Gavin Doyle is the founder of and the best-selling author of “Disneyland Secrets”. Mickey Visit has been featured by Travel+Leisure, ABC, the LA Times, OC Register, Forbes, and more and reaches millions of readers planning Disney vacations each month. Over 100K subscribers receive their free email planning newsletter.