I used to be a VIP tour guide at Disneyland. Here are 5 things you should never do in the park.

  • I worked as a VIP tour guide at Disneyland so I know which offerings aren't worth visitors' time.

  • The Pixar Pal-A-Round looks cool and relaxing but I'd much rather go on the monorail.

  • Avoid busy areas like the Mickey & Friends parking structure and Fantasyland.

In the five years I worked as a VIP tour guide at Disneyland, I got to know the park very well.

As an all-knowing theme-park expert who ensured guests had the best experience possible, I quickly learned which attractions weren't worth visitors' time.

Here are five things I recommend avoiding at Disneyland.

I recommend skipping the Pixar Pal-A-Round

The writer poses in front of the Pixar Pal
The writer poses in front of the Pixar Pal

The Pixar Pal-A-Round looks like a Ferris Wheel but isn't so relaxing.Amber Wainwright

Nothing beats a sky-high view of the park, but the Pixar Pal-A-Round isn't as relaxing as it looks.

This 150-foot-tall ride isn't your average Ferris wheel. You have the option of riding in a swinging or non-swinging gondola but, in my opinion, both options are uncomfortable. No matter if I was swinging or stationary, the nearby screams of the Incredicoaster, a roller coaster situated next to the Pixar Pal-A-Around, tainted the otherwise peaceful scenery.

If you want a relaxing alternative, I recommend the Monorail, a 13-minute-long transportation system that gives passengers scenic views of the park.

Steer clear of Fantasyland, a stroller central

It's nearly impossible to avoid crowds at Disneyland but Fantasyland is the one place that's guaranteed to be packed for the majority of the day.

I quickly learned that this area is a hub for parents and animation-loving children, and as a result, is often filled with tons of strollers and babies learning how to walk. It's adorable for a moment but can quickly become frustrating as you try to comfortably make your way through Fantasyland.

Traffic jams here are worse than on the I-10 during rush hour. Try to avoid Fantasyland until the end of the day, when it's slightly less crowded, or, if you want to move through rides and attractions quickly, steer clear of this area altogether.

Don't shop for merch until you're on your way out of the park

The writer poses with several pieces of Disney merchandise
The writer poses with several pieces of Disney merchandise

Don't buy your merch until you're about to leave the park.Amber Wainwright

Trust me, I understand the urge to make a beeline for the gift shops. There might be that one piece of merch that you have to have or even a new limited-edition popcorn bucket.

Treat yourself to all of the goodies but don't buy them right when you enter the park. There are few things worse than lugging your merchandise around and then eventually feeling pressured to purchase a locker or leave the park to store your new items in your car.

Figuring out how to comfortably carry and store your merch can take away precious time in the park so if you're planning on buying items, especially bulky objects like lightsabers and drink sippers, save it for the end of your day.

Avoid the Mickey & Friends parking structure

No matter where you park at Disneyland, there will likely be many cars already there. However, you do have a few options when it comes to parking.

If you drive a standard-sized vehicle, a $30 parking voucher will get you into the Mickey & Friends, Pixar Pals, and Toy Story lots. Out of the three, I've found that Mickey & Friends is the most well-known and crowded parking structure.

I recommend the Toy Story lot, which is also a designated parking area for oversized vehicles and buses and allows for a shorter walk to the entrance gate. This lot is less popular among guests so you might even find the parking spot of your dreams.

Don't wait at City Hall for a minor issue or question 

The writer in Disney uniform at information desk
The writer in Disney uniform at information desk

Guest-relations centers are filled with friendly employees who want to help you.Amber Wainwright

Please don't spend an hour standing in line at City Hall for a birthday button.

Disney's City Hall, a guest-relations center, offers assistance regarding disability services, Disneyland app troubleshooting, itinerary planning, and day-of park issues, so it's usually very busy.

Since this center is typically bombarded with guests with high-priority issues, I recommend going somewhere else for general questions or minor matters.

There are so many guest relations locations throughout the park staffed with employees who can help you. Simply go on the Disneyland app and search "guest relations," and the locations will appear on the map.

City Hall is so small and gets busy fast, so why wait forever for something that could be a quick fix elsewhere?

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