DO’S AND DON’TS AT DISNEYLAND: A Different Kind of List
DO’S AND DON’TS AT DISNEYLAND: A Different Kind of List
This is sort of a part two of of a previous article I wrote based on frequently asked questions from family, friends, and listeners, about their upcoming trip to Disneyland. As I previously mentioned, I am a huge Disneyland freak. In fact, this year alone I’ve flown back home several times, hanging out with family and friends, shooting videos for my YouTube channel youtube.com/radiomaverick and meeting new people who are Disneyland fans as well.
I was extremely surprised by the responses from the first article with even more questions, I though this time, I want to talk about some of the do’s and don’ts while at the Happiest Place on Earth. But a different kind of do’s and don’ts. Stick with me here.
Although some of these are to me based on common sense, others are some of the unwritten rules when visiting the Parks, And a few are tied to actual rules of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. As always, check out the official rules and restrictions on the Disneyland website before you go.
I SPY A CELEBRITY: Because you’re at a theme park so close to Hollywood, you’re gonna bump into a celebrity or two. Most often the rich and famous will hire a Disney Cast Member, who we regulars call “Plaids”, because they are wearing a plaid vest. The Plaids escort the celebrity and their family members onto the rides and attractions, and are sort of a buffer between them and the crowds. Remember, they are just people, who like you, enjoy taking in the magic of Disneyland. And they may have brought their kids with them. So don’t run up to them and ask for a selfie. And it is very rare if you get on the attraction or in a ride vehicle with a famous person due to the Plaids, but if it does happen, again respect their family time. I have bumped into Playboy model Holly Madison on several occasions with her kids. Madison is a huge Disneyland fan. But the one time we had eye contact, I just nodded, “hi” and moved on. I did get onto the Haunted Mansion with Kaitlyn Dever (Last Man Standing), Jake Short (A.N.T. Farm), and Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives). Their Plaids deemed my friends and I OK, I guess. We didn’t approach them as celebrities, we just joked with them as if they were regular guests. I made a comment that every time I get on the Haunted Mansion, it breaks down. “It’s a curse.” No one believed me. Sure enough, just as we entered into the hallway of doors….the attraction stops, the announcement over the loud speakers says it’ll be back up in a moment, and the lights briefly come on. Kaitlyn Dever turns to me from her Doom Buggy, and says, “OK dude. You’re freaking me out!”
DRESS APPROPRIATELY: First, know that Disneyland does have dress code. If security or a Cast Member find something on your shirt that is inappropriate, such as graphics language, etc… they will ask you to change your shirt. Or if they feel that something you’re wearing can cause physical harm or is a hazard, like wearing a jacket with spikes. I know this one for a fact as a friend had to put her spiked jacket into a locker. Security also had to tell my daughter once she couldn’t wear an actual Alice in Wonderland dress inside the Park because younger guests might think she was Alice. The exception of course is the Oogie Boogie Halloween Bash where guests are allowed to dress up in costumes at the special paid event at DCA. BUT! You can DisneyBound! I have a lot of friends that do this. They dress up in regular outfits that recreate, usually using the colors of a favorite Disney character. Like if you wanted to DisneyBound s Mickey Mouse, you can wear red pants, black n white shirt, and yellow sneakers. There’s a few websites that sell DisneyBound clothing.
It should go without saying, wear comfortable shoes…with ARCH SUPPORT! We’re talking actual light fitting walking shoes with ARCH SUPPORT! Don’t wear sandals or flip-flops. They will mess up your feet in the long run. When I’m at Disneyland, I can easily do 8-10 miles. And remember, if you’re going on Grizzly River Run, or Splash Mountain (soon to be Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in 2024, based on the Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog), your shoes will get wet.
WALK TO THE RIGHT: When you walk into the Parks, walk to the right. Common sense, right? But I can’t tell you how many people walk to the left and against the flow of traffic, and then there’s that dance you make not sure if the person walking in the wrong direction is gonna move a side. I had a guy walking on the left of a busy sidewalk on Main Street USA, and purposely rammed right into me, knocking me over on top of a couple of ladies. He started to walk away, but thankfully security saw the whole thing and stopped him. After talking with all involved, not sure if he was kicked out of the Park or not. More on THAT later.
NO FLASH PICTURES! NOW OFF WITH YA! I was on Pirates of the Caribbean just last weekend and the guy in front of me started shooting video with the flash on. His son quickly grabbed his dad’s iPhone and said, “DAD! It was literally the first thing they tell you! No flash pictures!” More often than not, flashes go off and you will hear over the loud speaker of the attraction, as Cast Member calling someone out for using the flash on their phone. Be sure to turn it off, dim the screen of your phone, and turn off the ringer.
PULL OVER, PLEASE: Don’t just suddenly stop. There’s a crowd of people right behind you. The key word here is crowd. I can be a fast walker. Even at Disneyland. And I know I probably shouldn’t. But it’s the way I walk. And that can mean rear-ending someone who suddenly comes to a complete halt. It’s best to move over to the right and out of the way.
PLACE HOLDER: It’s commonsense not to cut in line at an attraction (you’ll be surprised how many people actually do). But there’s a major don’t with regards to letting friends cut in line. Don’t hold a place in line for a party of five or more. You don’t want to be that person.
SINGLE RIDER: And if you do have a party of five or more, do not stand in the Single Rider lines. Yes, you’re acknowledging that your party will not be riding together on let’s say, Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land. First, a member of your party may have already gone through the attraction and is getting off long before you even get on. In the case of Radiator Springs Racers, too often the wait time in the Single Rider line can be a longer wait time than the actual line because there are multiple large parties in the Single Rider line.
TABLE HOG: Speaking of hold a place in line, here’s an unwritten rule that’s gonna be tough not to break. And it’s a fine line that I can see why people do this. When you’re at a restaurant like Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland that doesn’t have reserve seating or where a Cast Member seats you, don’t be a table hog. Again this one is a tough one because if you have party of five, you don’t want them all in line with you as you order the food. The problem is, then you have a person who has already ordered and picked up their meal, and is now walking around looking for an available table. This has happened to me on more than one occasion. I had a lady who noticed me wandering around aimlessly, who was kind enough to invite me to sit at her tables (that’s right, tables) while her husband was ordering all the food for the family. I was able to eat all of my food, watch the end of the show, before her husband even showed up.
BACKPACKS: I did mention in the previous article about backpacks and the issues with them. It takes longer to get through security, you have carry it around on hot days, and if you’re in line with a tight queue like Peter Pan’s Flight, you’re swinging it all around, hitting people, etc…. The less you carry, the better. Respect others personal space. This goes beyond not getting into their face. Stay off the rails while waiting in line to get on the likes of Star Tours.
DUDE, WHERE’S MY STROLLER?: First, let me say that there IS a ban of double wide or elongated strollers, as well as wagon strollers. But during my recent visit to the Disney Parks, apparently they’ve not stopped them from entering. But I would suggest not to bring the oversized strollers. For many families, strollers are essential. Period. Gotta bring it. But there is a major issue with so many strollers. Dare we say, too many strollers. You can’t even walk through Fantasyland because the sidewalks are clogged with strollers. In fact, Disney has moved gift stores, produce stands, extend walkways, eating areas, just to have parking lots for strollers. There are signs that will say stroller parking, and even signs that say no stroller parking. If you do park your stroller in an area you’re not supposed to, it will get moved to the proper lot. I saw a family come out of it’s a small world freaked out because their stroller (packed with souvenirs) was gone. When a Cast Member told them where it was properly re-parked, they had a hard time finding theirs within the hundreds of strollers.
DRINK AND REST: OK. This is something I say all the time, and it finally happened to me during my recent trip to Disneyland. And I was pretty embarrassed about it. I have always loved the heat. I’ve never had an issue in the Parks. But it finally hit me. It was only 90 degrees, but I got dizzy and dropped. Drink lots of water and rest. And there are some great places to rest and cool down. The Disneyland Railroad does the grand circle tour of Disneyland with great views of the Rivers of America and the ever so popular, Grand Canyon and Primeval World. Heck, I’ve known people taking naps on the train. Another great place to chill is Inside the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln on Main Street. Just note that you could easily, by accident take a nap there, only to suddenly wake up to the loud canon sound effects during the presentation.
DON’T DRINK & RIDE: Duh, right? It used to be, back in the day, that the exclusive restaurant above New Orleans Square called, Club 33 was the only place in the Parks where you could buy and consume a lovely adult beverage. Now, alcohol is severed at many different dining places, with several bars at the resort. One of the most popular places is Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel. So you know what that means! You’ve seen those videos that have gone viral. The family fights, the foul language, and, well, let’s just say, don’t drink and go on the Tea Cups. You don’t want to be the highlight on TikTok where someone is yelling at you during the brawl, “There are kids! Think of the kids!” Trust me. There’s no quicker way to, not just get kicked out of the Parks…but get banned for life.
DISNEYLAND JAIL: Yes. There is a Disneyland jail. No, I’ve never been there. But, as I just mentioned, there are videos of people who have been in fights, get drunk, protest, harass Mikey & Friends, ‘flash’ the cameras on attractions with souvenir photos, trying to sneak a kid into the park, or do other stupid things on the rides. And yes, Disney will escort you out. And they will ban you from the Parks for life. If the offense is really bad, they do call the Anaheim police department.
IS THERE ONE MORE THING?: Did I miss anything? Anything that drives you crazy when you are at the Disney Parks? Any basic commonsense rules breakers you see? Send me a message.