Top 5 Mistakes Even Experienced Disneyland Parkgoers Make

Whether it’s your first visit to Disneyland or your hundredth, each trip carries the potential for lots of fun and cherished memories. However, Disneyland newcomers and experienced parkgoers alike still have the potential to make some mistakes during their vacation that could detract from their overall experience.

While first-time Disneyland visitors may make mistakes like waiting to make dining reservations or forgetting to do their research ahead of their trip, frequent visitors have the potential to make some mistakes during their visits as well. We’ll share the top 5 mistakes experienced Disneyland parkgoers may be making and how to prevent these!

1) Riding the same attractions every trip. If you’re a frequent Disneyland visitor, you’ve likely developed a list of your “non-negotiable” attractions that you need to go on every trip (unless they are closed for refurbishment). You have probably spent time strategizing the best way to get to all of these, and it can be easy to end up basing your entire day around them.

However, doing this routine every trip can lead to burnout when it comes to your favorite experiences. It’s worth it to take a step back and conside the attractions you haven’t ridden for a while. Perhaps you want to revisit a favorite childhood ride you haven’t gone on for years or spend some time enjoying some of the underrated Disneyland attractions at the parks. Whatever you decide, it’s worth it to make a conscious effort to mix things up so that each trip has its own unique highlights. That said, there are some amazing favorites like the soon-to-return “Fantasmic!” show at Disneyland that I love to see every trip.

2) Frequenting the same dining locations without mixing it up. On a similar note, experienced parkgoers often have their favorite dining locations that they frequent, whether this means getting the same meal at a certain quick-service location or always making a dining reservation at the same table-service restaurant.

If you find that you’re falling into a pattern of only eating at the same locations, don’t be afraid to mix things up and revisit somewhere you haven’t eaten in a while. Take a look at the best Disneyland restaurants and see which options you might be neglecting—it may even be worth it to splurge on a special experience once in a while!

3) Another mistake experienced parkgoers make is overplanning for their Disneyland trip. Especially when you’re familiar with the parks and have a firm idea of everything you want to get to during your day, a trip can start to feel more like a list than a fun experience.

While frequent visitors know that a healthy degree of planning is necessary, if you’re starting to feel like you’ve mapped out every detail of your trip and it’s getting to be more stressful than enjoyable, don’t be afraid to reevaluate and do what calls to you in the moment. You can spontaneously decide to jump in a character meet-and-greet line or grab a snack and just sit and enjoy the ambience of the parks for a while. Make sure that your planning doesn’t get in the way of you doing what will make your trip worthwhile for you!

4) If you visit Disneyland often, overspending on souvenirs can become a mistake you can frequently make if you’re not careful. There is always an endless stream of exciting new merchandise showing up throughout the parks, and it can be easy to accidentally spend more than you anticipate.

It’s never a bad thing to buy a Disneyland souvenir that is going to be something you cherish, but if you’re enjoying a multi-day trip and trying to stay on a budget, we recommend establishing a firm souvenir budget and waiting until the last day of your visit to buy that item you’ve been eyeing to dodge any impulsive purchases.

5) Overdoing the pictures and videos. For frequent Disneyland visitors, it can be tempting to keep your phone out at all times to get footage of everything that you may want to remember your trip by later, from character encounters to the highlights of the fireworks show. Because a Disneyland trip is jam-packed with excitement, the impulse is often to keep reaching for your phone every time you see something interesting.

While it is worthwhile to capture special moments from your day in moderation, it’s also possible to go overboard and end up documenting nearly every moment of your trip. It’s always great to have a few key moments to look back on, but it’s also important to remember to enjoy your time at Disneyland with your own eyes to fully appreciate the magic around you.

Avoiding these mistakes can help you make the most of your experience at the parks if you visit often. For more guidance on mistakes to avoid, you can also read our list of rookie mistakes that you may still find yourself making at Disney Parks!

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.