Insider Tips for a Magical Day at Disneyland

As a former VIP tour guide at the magical kingdom of Disneyland, I've had the privilege of witnessing countless enchanting moments. However, it's not all pixie dust and Mickey ears. There are certain unspoken rules that every park-goer should adhere to for a seamless and unforgettable experience. Here, I will unveil the top 5 things that should never be attempted within the confines of this beloved park.

Former Disneyland tour guide reveals 5 park don’ts.

By Amber Wainwright, former VIP Tour Guide at Disneyland

The writer during the 2020 Disneyland reopening
I worked as a VIP tour guide at Disneyland for five years.

Welcome to the happiest place on Earth! As a former VIP Tour Guide at Disneyland, I’ve had the privilege of exploring every nook and cranny of this magical park. And let me tell you, not all attractions are created equal. So, buckle up and get ready for some insider tips and hilarious anecdotes that will make your visit truly unforgettable!

Skip the “Peaceful” Pixar Pal-A-Round

The writer poses in front of the Pixar Pal
The Pixar Pal-A-Round looks like a Ferris Wheel but isn’t so relaxing.

Sure, the Pixar Pal-A-Round may seem like a serene way to enjoy breathtaking views of the park. But let me be real with you – it’s not as peaceful as it appears. Whether you choose the swinging or non-swinging gondola, you’ll be bombarded with screams from the nearby Incredicoaster. Talk about ruining the vibe!

For a truly relaxing alternative, hop aboard the Monorail. Not only will you enjoy a leisurely 13-minute journey, but you’ll also be treated to stunning vistas of the park. Trust me, nothing beats gliding through the air like a Disney super-spy!

Avoid Fantasyland: The “Stroller Central”

Fantasyland may be a dreamy wonderland for little ones, but beware – it’s also a stroller battleground. This area is teeming with parents and their adorable, wobbly toddlers learning to take their first steps. It’s a heartwarming sight, until you get caught in a traffic jam worse than rush hour on the I-10.

My advice? Avoid Fantasyland until later in the day when the crowds have thinned out. Or if you’re looking to expedite your adventure, simply steer clear and explore other fantastical realms that are equally captivating.

Let Merchandise Be the Grand Finale

The writer poses with several pieces of Disney merchandise
Don’t buy your merch until you’re about to leave the park.

I get it – those enchanting gift shops beckon you like magnets, tempting you with must-have merchandise and limited-edition popcorn buckets. But here’s the thing: schlepping your loot around all day can be a real buzzkill. Trust me, you don’t want to spend your time figuring out how to carry everything while maneuvering through crowds.

Instead, save the shopping spree for the end of your Disney extravaganza. This way, you’ll have all the time in the world to peruse every store, find the perfect souvenirs (including those spectacularly bulky lightsabers), and bid farewell to the happiest place on Earth in style.

Parking Predicaments: Mickey & Friends vs. Toy Story

Disneyland parking can feel like a modern-day labyrinth. Sure, every lot has its fair share of cars, but some options are better than others. A $30 parking voucher will grant you access to the Mickey & Friends, Pixar Pals, and Toy Story lots. But let me tell you a little secret – Mickey & Friends is like the Beyoncé of parking structures. It’s always crowded, and you might end up circling for a sweet spot.

So, my personal recommendation? Head straight for the Toy Story lot. Not only is it the designated parking area for oversized vehicles and buses (feel free to bring your monster truck), but it also offers a shorter walk to the entrance gate. Plus, with its relative lack of popularity, who knows? You might just stumble upon the parking spot of your wildest dreams.

Skip the Long Lines at City Hall

The writer in Disney uniform at information desk
Guest-relations centers are filled with friendly employees who want to help you.

Picture this: you’re standing in line at City Hall for a minor issue or a birthday button. What could possibly go wrong? Well, did you know that this guest-relations center is like a magnet for people with high-priority problems? That means long lines and a lot of waiting.

Save yourself the heartache and look elsewhere for assistance. Throughout the park, you’ll find multiple guest-relations locations filled with friendly employees who are eager to help you. Just whip out your handy-dandy Disneyland app, search for “guest relations,” and voilà – all the locations will magically appear on the map. So, wave goodbye to City Hall and get your questions answered ASAP!

That’s it, folks – my top insider tips for a truly magical day at Disneyland! Remember, seek out the hidden gems, laugh in the face of long lines, and most importantly, soak up the enchantment around every corner. Now go forth, my fellow Disney enthusiasts, and make unforgettable memories!