Chances are you’ve been to one of those “other” theme parks before coming to Disney. You know what I mean – the ones with the crazy thrill rides, long lines, yucky food and cheesy decorations throughout the park. If you’ve never been to Disney, you might think that’s what you’ll find in their parks as well. Strolling through any of the Disney theme parks doesn’t necessarily scream Disney at you. Yes Mickey’s around (and you can always find him in one of the shops around the parks) here and there, but he’s not every ten steps or even on every sign. Disney does a fantastic job of incorporating all of the Disney brand into the parks – not just The Mouse himself.
Once you’ve experienced Disney for yourself, hopefully you’ll associate Disney with fun, happiness and magic instead of just a mouse or castle. For us, when we visit one of the parks, our expectations are higher than when visiting other places because of our past experiences. Disney is known for it’s customer service so it’s something we expect every time we’re on property. Don’t be surprised to see Cast Members stop what they’re doing to ask if you need help finding something or make a suggestion if you’re having a hard time deciding what to try for lunch. They’re quick to offer to snap a picture of your family or help stop a melt down with a sticker that magically appears at just the right time. Little things like this are what sets Disney apart for our family.
Food is another thing that sets Disney apart in my book. At a “regular” theme park, you might find your standard “fair food” like hot dogs, funnel cakes or burgers. Those choices plus hundreds more await you in the Disney parks. Even the pickiest of eaters can find something they’ll like during their visit. Have someone with allergies? Disney’s got you covered there as well. My oldest son is lovingly referred to as “Bubble Boy” because of his extensive list of allergies. Never has he had a problem finding something to eat at Disney. Chefs and Cast Members go out of their way to make sure he’s got something that he’s happy about eating even if it’s not on the menu.
Lines are something that will be a problem with any theme park you visit. FastPass+ is Disney’s answer to trying to help avoid lines when you purchase your tickets in advance. If you purchase tickets at the gate, there are kiosks throughout the parks to set up your FastPass+ options so you’re not left out either. With a bit of planning, you’ll know when to visit the parks and attractions to avoid long wait times too. Spend more of your vacation time and money on other things instead of standing in line.
While Mickey’s not around every corner, he’s still throughout the parks. Maybe even in some places you wouldn’t think to look. Imagineers put Hidden Mickeys into the attractions and around the parks while constructing the different things and give you a chance to look for Mickey in some less than obviously places. Hunting for Mickeys is also a great way to spend time while you’re standing in line.
People tend to be shocked by ticket prices at Disney and will tend to visit some of the other parks. Prices aren’t all that different, especially what is included in your ticket price. Be sure to compare everything when comparing the price of a Disney vacation to a trip to another theme park. Does the ticket price include parking? Front of the line or FastPass+ access? How many attractions will you have access too? How many shows are available to see? Once you start looking at the number of things available to you during your day, even if you just visit one park, it’s much easier to see that Disney is a better deal for most families.
By doing a bit of leg work before your trip, you’ll have a much better time at Disney than visiting those other theme parks during your vacation. What’s your favorite thing about visiting Disney?