5 Outdated Disneyland Tips and Tricks to Avoid

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My mother always told me to not believe everything you hear. This is definitely true when it comes to things you find on the internet. Searching for an answer to any of your questions on the web will take only seconds but is it the correct answer? Is that answer up to date? That is the thing about looking for information on the internet, once you find an answer to your question, you always have to double and triple check to make sure that it is the correct one. The same thing goes for looking for tips and tricks for Disneyland.

If you search up “Disneyland tips and tricks” on any search engine, you will discover hundreds of different lists and suggestions on the subject. Now, are all these tips and tricks you just discovered true, out of date, or just plain false? Well, I am here to help you weed through the five most popular outdated and false tips that I have seen around the web. These five tips come up frequently, and I wanted to set the record straight so that all of you know which tips are simply fools gold.

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Free Pickles

This is an interesting false tip I have seen spread rapidly on Twitter recently. The story is that if you go to any pickle stand in Disneyland, and ask the Cast Member their how their day is going, that they will give you a free pickle. Unfortunately this tip is not true. The interesting thing about this “tip” is that it has never been true. It is just something that someone made up and it has been spreading around like wildfire ever since. Even though this tip is not true, you should still ask any Cast Member about their day. Your free gift will be showing those hard working Cast Members that you care.

“Andy’s Coming!”

The rumor is that if you go up to the Woody and Jessie characters–from Toy Story–and yell out “Andy’s coming!” – that they will fall to the floor just like they do in the movies. I have heard that this rumor used to be true, but Disney made these characters stop doing it because it was dangerous. Either way, this “tip” is not true. Even though this “tip” is false, I still see it on many different tips and tricks lists (especially on Pinterest) all the time. So friends, just do not do it.

Disneyland Crowds
People everywhere.

Less Crowds = More Fun and Done

This is the number one tip that I read all the time that simply is not true. Just because the park is not busy does not mean that you will get to experience all the attractions and things you want that day. If you use a touring plan, go early, and make use of FASTPASSes, then you will take advantage of any day you go to Disneyland.  Believe me, I have gone on extremely busy days and have gotten so much done just by following those three tips. Also, going during off peak season means that many of the attractions might be closed for refurbishment during that time. So it would be wise to bookmark TouringPlans’ Disneyland refurbishment attraction page and always check if any attractions will be closed on your next trip. Remember, it is all about having a plan, being flexible, and making adjustments.

Do Not Be Late Using Your Fastpass

Recently, Disneyland and Disney World have cracked down on guests being late with their FASTPASSes. But that does not mean that if you are late they are useless. On my last trip to Disneyland (this past December), I had the chance to talk with a Cast Member about how late someone could be with FASTPASSes. This Cast Member explained to me that it all depends on the Cast Member but usually a 15 to 30 minute grace period is acceptable. However, on an extremely busy day, you can even be closer to 45-55 minutes late. Also, it is wise to have a good reason why you are late.

Photo from Disneyland website
Photo from Disneyland’s website

Free Coffee Refills

This is one tip that use to be true but ever since Starbucks made its way into Market House on Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland, it is no longer valid. The tip was that if you bought coffee inside Disneyland–and kept your receipt–that you will be able to refill your coffee for free just by showing your receipt. However, now that Starbucks is in the parks, they stopped doing this. Either way, it is great that Disneyland has better coffee than they did before. That stuff was awful.

So, what are some tips, tricks, and hacks have you come across that are untrue or out of date? Leave a comment below so we can add to this list. Let us keep this list up-to-date to help others no fall for misleading tips. In the meantime, checkout some of TouringPlans’ tips and tricks that will not steer you wrong.

Update: 01/23/15

From Jeffrey:

“At Disneyland, Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin used to be on a different network from other fastpass rides. You used to be able to get a fastpass for it even if you had another active fastpass in the park. This is no longer true. Similarly, the fastpass for Goofy’s Sky School in California Adventure could be used the same way, but I don’t know for sure if that has changed. I’ve gotten extra fastpasses through both rides in the past, but on my recent visits, Roger rabbit definitely wasn’t allowing it anymore.”

From Ashley:

“…it’s a bit easier to meet characters in Town Square [when it rains at Disneyland], because they relocate into the lobby for Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and most people walk right past. You’ve also got a much better chance of meeting multiple characters together (i.e., getting that elusive picture with Minnie and Mickey at the same time).”

 

Ray

Growing up Southern California, it was hard for Ray not want to go to Disneyland everyday. He was a passholder for over 10 years until he left to teach English in Korea and now lives in Seattle. Even though he lives in the Pacific Northwest, he always has Disney on the mind. Ray is channeling his Disney passion to write for TouringPlans.

21 thoughts on “5 Outdated Disneyland Tips and Tricks to Avoid

  • January 21, 2015 at 9:52 am
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    Here’s one that’s timely: Disneyland is not busy on Super Bowl Sunday. Quite the opposite. I find that the parks are busier on Super Bowl Sunday than your typical Jan-Feb Sunday.

    • January 21, 2015 at 10:01 am
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      So true. Before moving to Seattle, I was not a football fan at all, so for a handful of Super Bowl Sundays, I would go to Disneyland. Surprisingly there would be a good number of people at Disneyland.

    • January 22, 2015 at 12:16 pm
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      This.

      My friend’s friend said he was going on Super Bowl Sunday because he thought it would be slow. In my experience over the past few years this has not been the case at all.

  • January 21, 2015 at 10:35 am
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    Walt Disney World and Disneyland are pretty much the same. This one pops up all the time and it is NOT true. This seems especially believed by WDW attendees who go to DLR expecting WDW, or worse, think DLR is not worth going to since it’s WDW, only smaller. As anyone who who goes to both resorts knows, DLR is very different from WDW!

  • January 21, 2015 at 11:01 am
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    Does the Starbucks honor free coffee refills for the customers who earned them through their loyalty program? At a green level you get free refills of brewed coffee and tea at Starbucks (same day, technically I believe you aren’t supposed to leave the store). Does the Starbucks at Disney not do this?

    • January 21, 2015 at 1:16 pm
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      The in park Starbucks are franchises, not corporate stores, and while you can earn stars, benefits of the loyalty program do not apply.

      The Downtown Disney Starbucks is a corporate store and does honor benefits, although note that refills are only for when you are still at the location (which is the official policy for all Starbucks).

  • January 21, 2015 at 12:00 pm
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    Would love to hear about outdated tips & tricks for WDW.
    : )

    • January 21, 2015 at 12:45 pm
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      I would totally write one for WDW but I’m not that experienced in that area (I’ve only been twice). But I’ll suggest this topic to other TP writers that are more knowledgeable in that area.

      Thanks for the suggestion!

      • January 25, 2015 at 11:45 am
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        Thank you, that would be great. I’m sure there is someone (on the touring team)who would be able to carry this task out.
        I realized that you are a Disneyland fan after I added this message.
        Thanks again.

  • January 21, 2015 at 12:09 pm
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    Hi, I’m looking for some help regarding the touring plans, which is the reason I just subscribed to the service. It seems that the two day touring plan for junior pirates is in fact one jam packed super long day, and one half day. In fact the last activity of day two is to eat lunch (which seems a bit pointless considering its the last thing). I was hoping a two day plan would be evenly spread out over two days. Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

    • January 21, 2015 at 1:05 pm
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      I unfortunately don’t know the answer to your question but if you email TP’s customer service (webmaster@touringplans.com), they’ll be able to help you. Good luck!

  • January 21, 2015 at 12:51 pm
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    I hate going on busy days, even with a touring plan and FastPasses, because of slogging through the crowds, which is especially hard with a stroller! This past trip, I scheduled our rides early in the day, without a lot of trudging from one land to the other. Then we mostly did shows and less busy rides in the afternoons/evenings. The key is to get there early! Also, the tip that it won’t be busy on rainy days didn’t hold true for us. It seemed even busier than it was because the crowds displaced from closed attractions made the other lines longer. It was very quiet at night, though, since Fantasmic! had been cancelled.

    • January 21, 2015 at 2:35 pm
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      One of the worst parts about going to Disneyland when it’s raining is that Fantasmic! gets canceled. I don’t think many guests do know that if you do go on a rainy day.

      • January 21, 2015 at 4:53 pm
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        The kids were upset about the parade being cancelled as well. They replace it with something they call, “Mickey’s Rainy Day Cavalcade” which is literally the three Main Street Vehicles with various characters sitting in them waving at the crowd. After they went by, my daughter said, “That was it?!”

        • January 24, 2015 at 10:48 am
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          You were lucky! I took my grand daughter in 2004. It rained , and the “parade” was the Omnibus . Period. We counted 9 characters .

  • January 21, 2015 at 1:15 pm
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    Wonder if the pickle rumor came from someone who was just lucky enough to get a free pickle in that way and just thought it always happened? I know I have heard of cms giving ice creams and other stuff to nice guests ON OCCASSION! I added that part in caps, because for some reason some read things like that and expect it. Then the rumors form. 🙂

  • January 22, 2015 at 1:01 am
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    For Fastpasses, I’d say it has much to do with the individual cast member, and how you approach them. A little politeness and graciousness goes a long way. Also, to be honest, I think the fewer people in your party, the better your chances at getting in late. (And don’t forget to thank them if they do let you slide!)

    And, as has been stated in the comments, rainy days are *not* anything special… Matterhorn, Alice, Teacups, Big Thunder all get shut down (and I’m assuming some of the outdoor rides in Fantasyland as well? Or is it anything with an exposed track?). The parade Fantasmic and fireworks all get cancelled— and this one surprised me, the show in Fantasy Faire theater can get cancelled as well. And don’t forget, a lot of queues for attractions and dining options, short of table service restaurants, are all outdoors and not under cover. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a nice rainy day at DLR, but you will get wet, and don’t expect the crowd to drop at all— in fact, the lines on other rides will most likely jump.

    Oh, but one tip that is true for rainy days— it’s a bit easier to meet characters in Town Square, because they relocate into the lobby for Moments with Mr. Lincoln, and most people walk right past. You’ve also got a much better chance of meeting multiple characters together (i.e., getting that elusive picture with Minnie and Mickey at the same time).

  • January 22, 2015 at 4:38 am
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    At Disneyland, Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin used to be on a different network from other fastpass rides. You used to be able to get a fastpass for it even if you had another active fastpass in the park. This is no longer true. Similarly, the fastpass for Goofy’s Sky School in California Adventure could be used the same way, but I don’t know for sure if that has changed. I’ve gotten extra fastpasses through both rides in the past, but on my recent visits, Roger rabbit definitely wasn’t allowing it anymore.

  • January 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm
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    I used to get the sandwich pickle planks from the condiments bar at River Belle Terrace (even when I wasn’t eating there) and Taste Pilot Grill but alas RBT no longer has counter service at night and TPG is going through a refurb. No more free sliced pickles for me.

  • January 23, 2015 at 4:17 pm
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    Love all the comments you guys! Updated the post with a couple of more tips from our readers. Keep them coming.

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