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How can I make the most of my trip to Disneyland? Pro advice from the experts in the field

If there was ever a chance to visit Disneyland that was truly golden (or, in honour of Disney100, platinum), this is it.

The Southern California resort is not only commemorating the Walt Disney Company’s 100th anniversary with two brand-new spectacular nighttime shows and other special offerings, but Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the much-loved “Magic Happens” parade, the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival, and the reopening of Mickey’s Toontown on March 19 following an extensive renovation.

For advice on how to make the most of a trip to the “Happiest Place on Earth,” we turned to three cast members who were yearly passholders as children.

Here are their expert suggestions, including both what to avoid and what not to miss.

Things to do

Michael Parisi had a liking for the theme parks as a child, just like many Disney cast members.

“I would always get quite excited about the stretching chambers in the Haunted Mansion. The plot of the attraction was established, and a cast member was involved “He grinned. I had always wanted to work at the Haunted Mansion since I like watching them play that part when I was a child.

He worked in attractions before switching to a position as a maintenance response specialist at the resort, and he more than fulfilled his expectations. He still adores the Haunted Mansion and Rise of the Resistance, which he frequently rides and is a big fan of.

He explained, “There are simply so many features and things to look at that you can go on it dozens of times and you may see something you didn’t notice the time before. It simply never gets boring.

In addition, he suggests visiting Indiana Jones Adventure, which is not offered at Walt Disney World. Another very immersive attraction, that one “simply tells the story so well and really gives you a sense that you’re actually in the environment,” according to Parisi.

Another of his favourites, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, one of the original opening day attractions at Disneyland that was demolished in Florida decades ago, may be enjoyed by nostalgic fans.

It has the classic Disney charm, according to Parisi. “You can clearly see Walt’s influence in the attraction’s evolution and storytelling, as well as in the amount of care and attention to detail that has gone into it. And fortunately, there is never a significant wait.”

The go-to advice from Parisi for first-time visitors is to download the free Disneyland app to check the wait times for attractions. “Usually, that’s how I plan my day,” he remarked. Moreover, there are typically reduced wait times first thing in the morning or last thing at night, allowing you to sort of prioritise the attractions that are a little bit more popular.

Instead of travelling back and forth throughout the day, he takes on the parks section by section, accomplishing whatever he wants to do in one before moving on to the next.

“The more time you spend walking from place to place, that’s just not wasted time, but that’s really time you can use for other things,” he stated with one qualification. “I usually just book it over there as quickly as I can if an attraction has a shorter wait time than it usually does.”

He also advises interacting with the cast members all day long. Several of the resort’s cast members are “very passionate about the firm, the profession, and their position in everything, so they’re constantly really excited to talk about it,” the man said. “The staff at Galaxy’s Edge in particular always has some of the best advice. In Batuu, every cast member has a unique backstory that they’ve incorporated into the programme, allowing for some really interesting and enjoyable encounters.”

What to watch

Esteban Valerio enjoys sitting in parks and taking it all in while he’s not working.

“Just suffuse yourself. Think about the little things, “The manager of guest relations stated. When I’m just lounging on a park bench on Main Street or on the Hub and gazing at Sleeping Beauty Castle, there’s something so incredible to me.

His enthusiasm for Disney “actually dates back to the 1990s, growing up with Disney on VHS recordings” and visiting the parks. I’ve always thought of Disneyland as my house.

He is aware that many visitors have a lengthy to-do list.

“My advice to those who have the checklist is to study it at home, but to stop and smell the roses when you’re at Disneyland. pause, and take a churro whiff “He chuckled. “And just be thankful that you’re here because for some of those families, it might have taken them five years to save to come our parks. So be thankful for that time when they’re finally here.”

Enjoying the different entertainment options available across the resort is one of Valerio’s favourite ways to unwind.

Despite the fact that I didn’t create any of the shows, I get great satisfaction in hearing how audiences respond, he stated. Nobody, including myself, ever gets tired of seeing Fantasmic, in my opinion.

He likes to watch the Disney Viva Navidad! live shows at Disney California Adventure during the holidays. He’s currently entering the brand-new evening production Wondrous Adventures. I want to be able to see all the hidden Easter eggs and all the homage to all of our films that are in the programme, so I want to be able to view it from all the various angles.

On the Disneyland app’s map, under the Entertainment category, are all the showtimes. Whether it’s a large evening extravaganza like World of Color – One or the Dapper Dans (barbershop quartet) on Main Street, U.S.A., it’ll show you where all these concerts are going to be, he said.

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