Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sam's 10 Commandments of Disneyland

Sam left his 10 commandments of Disneyland in a comment on my Disneyland post. I decided it was good enough for its own post. Here it is:

Disneyland is a magical place and a national treasure. In order to enjoy your time at Disneyland, you need to follow certain principles outlined below.

My Ten Commandments of Disneyland (in no particular order):

1. Get to the gates early; arrive at least 20 mins before the park opens. You have a limited amount of park time, don't waste it going through security or sleeping in.

2. Always hit Fantasyland first. When using Magic Morning entry, Peter Pan is your first priority. After Fantasyland, the world is your oyster.

3. Think ahead. Plan where you want to be in sixty minutes and get Fast Passes in advance if necessary. Grab switch passes even if you don't plan to use them right away. A switch pass in the hand is worth two in the bush.

4. Stop and smell the roses (and Dapper Dans). Despite the urgency to maximize your time, the best time at Disneyland is often chilling at the Corner Cafe under an umbrella or munching on a cookie at Pooh's Corner.

The famous photo of Sam enjoying the Dapper Dan's barbershop quartet

5. Aggressive politeness. Never overtly cut someone off or drill them with the stroller, but use passive aggressive techniques to make sure you don't lose a spot in line.

6. Don't leave anything in the park. Hit the park so hard that you can go 12-18 months without having any regrets about your time there. I think you need at least a 4 day parkhopper.

To quote Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers, "Rule 76. No like a champion."

7. Eat up. Pack lunches and snacks to defray the costs of food at the park, but don't be too miserly about the food. Disneyland has some good eats from Pooh's Corner Bakery to Gibson Girl's Ice Cream Parlor...indulge.

8. Mousewait. Use the App to track wait times in the park and see how your time is best utilized.

9. Diamonds in the Rough. I think there are some great rides/events that people ignore, such as Muppets 3D, Winnie the Pooh, Monsters Inc., Casey Jr., Regular Train, etc. Pick up a program and make sure you catch a parade, singing group, etc.

10. Lanyards & Pin trading. While lanyards and pins can be worn by all, pin trading should be reserved to kids. Get your kids a lanyard and a few pins, and they will be in hog heaven.

As Walt Disney so eloquently said, "I only hope that we don't lose sight of one thing -- that it was all started by a mouse."

Unfortunately, I needed one more day at the park. It's okay though, I already have the next trip planned out, and May 2012 will be here before you know it.


Liz said...

Rule #11- find a reason to have a Guest Assistance pass....aka the "magical pass of wonder".

We have thought of you guys a lot today as we toured the park. The line was huge for the brownies, but I'll be back!

Pandy said...

Here's our #1 commandment......NEVER GO IN THE SUMMER! We love our Wednesdays and Thursdays! Oh, and don't forget to repeat Tower of Terror until you're faint.

Laura B. said...

Some additional Barlow family rules:

#11 - Always get the dining plan, including 2 snacks a day. Calories are free in Disney and we enjoy every bite.
#12 - Divide and Conquer. I always send Ben to get in line at one attraction while I run and get passes at the next. Saves wear and tear on the kids and makes me a happy Mom.
#13 - Toy Story Mania is the best. Ride it as much as possible.

Brandi said...

We need to go with you next year, talk Sam into going any month but May!! I just got a little giddy thinking about it. I need to go with someone that uses their time wisely. People refuse to go with me to Disney land. Sam has taught me well.

sara said...

I was planning a trip to Disneyland this summer and now I feel way more intimitaded. What's a fast pass and Magic Morning entry and a switch pass? And what in heaven's name is a Lanyard? I'm not sure I can handle it. Could you have Sam do a "Disneyland for dummies" post... or a "Disneyland for those with a sad childhood and have never been"
Maybe I'll have my kids just look at some pictures of Mickey Mouse and call it good.

Linde said...

Good post Sam!

Sam said...

Brandi, Jason has already committed you and the kids to Disneyland in May 2012. Forget about the dance recitals and school, we are talking about the Happiest Place on Earth. Remember, you can always retake a class, but you can't relive the party.

Sara, just google the terms. The information super highway will answer all of your questions.

Raderstorf Family said...

Sam if you think Disneyland is great may I suggest Fort Wilderness in Walt Disney World. As such a seasoned Disney visitor FW is a CAN NOT MISS, you will love it more then life itself!!

SewSara said...

he's a gem!
i love that he's so into disneyland :)

Jill said...

You're right, these are definitely worthy of their own post.

The Mostess said...

I am committing Sam's ruled to memory.

Stephanie said...

I love everyone's tips, we have never done the lanyard thing there.

@Sara--it doesn't matter what you do, you'll still have fun! My kids are all grown up but we still love rides like Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear (we are geeks, and can't get enough of Space Mountain. Not sure if we love Space Mountain because it's a fun ride or because we laugh hysterically on it because Steve is screaming like he's going to die the whole time..."No! No! AAAHHHHH! No-no-nooo!!!" Seriously, he freaks out like he has special needs or something, and it makes everyone else on the ride look at him like he's a crazy person when we get off and point out the "crazy guy" when the pictures show up. I wish everyone could experience that ride the way we do. We are laughing so much that we can't breathe! haha. There were a couple of younger kids on the ride and I was hoping that Steve wouldn't make them more scared--I think they were worried more about him than themselves. Oh, good times. :) We are just wacky, what can I say?

My favorite time of year to go to Disneyland was in October. I loved the cooler weather, the smaller crowds and the Haunted Mansion was pretty fun too. I would love to go to Disneyland in October after Justin gets home from his mission!