When I was reading Walt Disney’s biography, one of my favorite passages talked about how Walt spent his time in the park taking in all the sights and sitting on benches to watch people enjoy the wonderful place he had made. Vacations to Disneyland can feel hectic, exhausting and even frustrating at times. Instead of coming home feeling refreshed, people may be more worn out than when they came.
But I think that if we all adopt an attitude and mindset like Walt, we can learn to appreciate and enjoy our Disney vacations to the fullest. Here are 12 tips to help you fight grumpiness when you are in the parks.
1. Recognize and appreciate what a privilege it is to be in Disneyland
When your child is screaming or you are waiting in a line for a ride that you do not even want to go on, remember what an amazing opportunity it is to be in the parks at all. Take a deep breath and think about how many people dream of having an opportunity like this.
2. Watch dreams come true
When you enter the park gates instead of quickly rushing to the first ride, people-watch for a minute. Watch the little girl bouncing through the gates for the first time. Watch her mouth drop and her eyes widen with excitement. Watch the grandpa become a little boy again as he sees the park with new eyes since the last time he went was when you still paid per ride. Watch a mom’s eye tear up as she sees how happy her family is. Watch dreams come true.
3. When it’s late at night and you feel yourself getting grouchy, grab a coffee
One of my favorite things to do late at night when I’ve spent a full day at the park is to grab a coffee at the Market House on Main Street and sit down at the Plaza Inn for a few minutes to rest. Cozying up with a warm drink in the happiest place on earth is far better than going back to a hotel.
4. Eat and drink water
One of the best things you can do to fight grumpiness on your Disneyland trip is to make sure to stay hydrated and pack lots of snacks. The blowups and arguments always come when people are tired and hungry. While there is little you can do about being tired (besides filling your body with caffeine or sugar, which I wouldn’t recommend), you can avoid being hungry by remembering to eat and drink water.
5. Ride the Disneyland Railroad or the Monorail
Hopping on one of these attractions will allow you to rest your feet and enjoy the view, which is sure to keep you from getting overly grumpy. Unless, of course, you end up not fitting on the train or monorail right away and end up waiting forever. You’ll want to time it just right!
6. Go on your favorite ride
Whether it’s Peter Pan’s Flight or Space Mountain, going on your favorite ride will certainly cheer you up right away!
7. Take a picture
It’s a proven fact: smiling makes you feel better. Well, it might not be proven. I didn’t look it up. But it sure is hard to keep being mad when someone pulls out a camera and tells you to smile. Nobody wants a picture taken where they look upset. When you force yourself to smile, you might actually feel a little happier inside.
8. Eat something sweet
I wrote a whole blog post about sweet treats, so you should definitely go try one (or two!) to lift your spirits.
9. Give someone in your party a hug
Hugs make us feel safe and comforted. If you feel the grumpiness coming on, hug your mom, sister, friend, significant other or whoever you aren’t upset with.
10. Smile and talk to a cast member
I am a big proponent of getting to know the people who work hard to make your experience magical all day at Disneyland. If you make yourself be pleasant to people, you will start to feel more pleasant yourself.
11. Buy a souvenir
What can I say? Shopping is always fun.
12. Look around you
Lift up your head and admire the beautiful place around you! You’re in Disneyland for goodness sakes. You can’t be grumpy too long in the happiest place on earth.
Also, here’s a clip of Grumpy and Snow White just because!