Things to Do...and Not Do at the Disneyland Resortby Jenna Kahl, contributing writer
I am not the kind of person to lead with the negative. I tend to create elaborate excuses for people when they are exhibiting not-so-pleasant behavior. Maybe they are having a bad day? A headache? Fighting with their spouse? When my family and I travel to the Disneyland Resort, I am the same way, but I do secretly keep my running list of things, both big and small, that drive me crazy. While this article might seem like my list of Disneyland Resort related pet peeves, it can also be seen as ways to have a great trip and make friends along the way.
Bad Stroller Behavior
Strollers are meant to transport children, not to be used as a battering ram when working your way through crowds. Take a step back, slow down, and stick to the outside walkway. My family and I will try our hardest to do the same. If your small travelers require a mid-walkway stop (or several stops over a 20-foot walk) please pull to the side so others can pass without running you over or being separated from the rest of their group.
Your Mom Is Not Here (well maybe she is but, seriously?!):
The Disneyland Resort is a welcoming and—almost always—clean environment, but it drives me crazy when other guests leave their garbage behind, especially in show venues. Everyone at the Resort is there to enjoy themselves and taking the extra time to throw away your empty popcorn bag and water bottle makes everything a little easier for everyone.
Bad Input and Advice
This usually happens before and after our time at the Disneyland Resort, and its more common to happen to friends of ours, but bad Disneyland advice really gets me going. Yes, you can travel with small children. No, not all attractions have FastPasses. No, you won't wait in line all day. Yes, the shows are worth it do a lot to combat someone who says: "I'm sure nothing has changed since I went there 20 years ago." I try to provide the positive spin as much as I can but sometimes it's a nod of the head and walking away.
Not-So "Disney-esque" Language
I know not everyone at the Disneyland Resort is traveling with children, and many are there to celebrate more raucous occasions. but please try to watch your language. Kids hear everything and when that language is directed toward other guests or cast members, it can be hard to explain. Our family has embraced our own brand of "angry" words–our 4-year old commonly using the phrase "Ugh, peanut butter sandwich" when she is frustrated, and that is fine by me.
Patient and Kind
I have had my fair share of bad customer service and, sometimes, complaining is a deserved reaction. However, blaming your bad day or an attraction's closure on a cast member is definitely not deserved. I understand being frustrated. You traveled a long distance, have one day at the Resort and Indiana Jones Adventure is once again closed, but the cast member is not at fault. Try to engage with cast members: ask them about their favorite attractions or long they have worked for the Disneyland Resort, check out where they are from on their nametag, and make small talk!
Lack of Planning
OK, so this one may be more controversial, and I don't mean this with any malice, but please do your research before coming to the Disneyland Resort or be OK with what could result. Check the online calendar for park hours, special events, and attraction closures. While this little bit of research might not address everything, it can really help in setting realistic expectations. I totally get being a first-timer, asking questions, not knowing where the FastPass line is, etc., so I am happy to help when I see a dazed and confused group—but try to prep a little at least.
Having an entire group slip under the rope line five minutes before the parade to stand directly against your back and pushing you forward is a big no in my book. Move on and catch the parade another time, it will just be uncomfortable for everyone. If you did land a great spot and have some space to share, please share, especially with little ones. Countless times we have invited smaller Disney fans to join us along the curb so they can see.
So now that I have laid out all the things that bug me I want to point out that it's hard for me to be in a bad mood at the Disneyland Resort. Generally I think the majority of the people who go there are lovely and there to a have good time.
What are your dos and don'ts at Disneyland?