Top 12 Things I Learned at Disneyland

We’ve been absolutely itching to post about the Happiest Place on Earth, but were waiting for exactly the right writer to come along.  And now she has.

Debbie Abrams Kaplan is a journalist, mom of two, and founder Frisco Kids—an online guide to kid-friendly events and trips around the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

She’s new to Travel Savvy Mom, and boy does she ever fit right in.   Here are a few lessons she learned the hard way at Disneyland.


1. During the fireworks, some idiot dad will stand in front of you the entire time, blocking the view of everyone sitting behind him. What an ass.

2. In Astroblasters (the Buzz Lightyear ride), if you continue to shoot a lit-up target, you get 1,000 points instead of 100. This is how you can beat your husband three times and almost get the high score of the day. Not that I’m bragging. (I knocked out my husband twice in Wii boxing twice too).

3. If you are prone to motion sickness, one time on Star Tours is plenty.

4. If you try to take your daughter on Indiana Jones because you think she’ll love it, be warned. Family therapy awaits.

5. If your daughter uses a FastPass on Indiana Jones and ultimately sits the ride out (waiting for you in the loading area next to a garbage can), you do NOT get the FastPass back.

6. When you sit in the front of the Splash Mountain log wearing denim shorts, the shorts will stay damp in the crotch all day and you will look like you peed in your pants. Your children will think this is hilarious, as will Grandma.

7. If the Dumbo ride says the wait is only 10 minutes, the sign is lying. It’s 30.

8. Your children will outgrow wanting pictures with the characters. You and your sister, however…

9. If I give my kids $10 to spend at Disneyland, one child will buy the first thing he sees, and the other will shop at every possible store. Come to think of it, each child takes after a different parent. Scary.

10. Sign of the times: The sign for Tom Sawyer’s Island is now covered with a ‘Pirate’s Lair’ sign. But the most popular sign is the one that says “restroom.”

11. Pirates of the Caribbean is a great place to take a nap. Ask my dad.

12. If your husband hates Disneyland before he goes, he’ll hate it after. Especially since you can’t buy beer there.


Need a hotel near Disneyland?  Here are two we like:

Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
Candy Cane Inn

Looking for a comprehensive source of Disneyland vacation tips?  We like this one:

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  1. Seana says

    HA! I learned lesson four the hard way on day 1 of a four day park hopper pass. I spent the next 3 days ruining the fantasy of Disneyland for my children by explaining how EVERYTHING works. On day 4 I insisted, as a life lesson, that the children ride IJ again because it was nothing to be scared of. End result: Lesson #5. Wish I had read this before I took the kids to Disneyland!

  2. says

    Four DAYS at Disneyland? Please just take me out behind the shed and shoot me if I ever purchase something called a “four day park hopper pass”.

  3. says

    Disneyland is my worst nightmare, it works like a brain washing machine for kids, they just loose control when they get there. When I went there last time with my kid, it was terrifying :[

  4. rationalizin' says

    Somehow, we talked ourselves into buying an annual pass to Disneyland for Southern Californians. This before even having made our first visit with the kids (which wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be). We’ve practically freed ourselves from guilty thoughts of the cost of the passes figuring our next visit will practically be ‘free’ if you compare it to the cost of 4 2-day passes. Is that messed up or smart?

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