After 16 years... I finally visited all Disney theme parks around the world || Part 2: What Have I Learned?

It took me 16 years to visit all 12 Disney theme parks. It was not smooth-sailing from year 1 to year 16 of course. There were ups and downs throughout this experience. You might ask...

So what?

This might surprise you, but I did truly learn a lot from this experience! And here are some of the few things that I want to share with you all.

Plan Ahead
This might be a no-brainer advice, but the importance of it can't be underestimated. As a citizen of a high-risk country (yes, guys, Indonesia is still considered as a high-risk country), traveling to Western countries are very time-consuming because we have to obtain the visas for the particular countries that we want to visit. To get those visas, we need to have everything prepared, such as hotel confirmation, flight booking, bank statement, passport photos, visa application forms, and many other documents that I cannot state one by one.

Do you really want to be in a long line like this in the morning? No? So come early!
Source: Wait a Moment

Going to theme parks alone requires careful planning, ranging from the date of visit to the timeline of attractions that you want to visit. Throughout my 16 years of visiting Disney theme parks, I have learned the art of this exact planning, such as:

  • Coming to the park at least 15 minutes before opening time to avoid huge morning rush and long waiting time,
  • Exploring the park back-to-front instead of front-to-back (visitors tend to explore attractions that are towards the front of the park then move towards the back),
  • Knowing which attractions to prioritise and such,
  • Avoiding long meal lines, AND
  • Many more (ask me if you want to know more, tee~hee).

Be Flexible
Nowadays, it's important for all of us to be flexible with everything, ranging from time management to cultural interaction. Visiting Disney theme parks is no different! Rides break down. Paths closed down for parades. Rain makes everything wet and slippery. All of a sudden, line for Big Thunder Mountain becomes 75 minutes. Oh no! What should you do now!?

You have 16 hours to explore the entire park. Ask yourself, "Do I want to wait this long? Is the wait worth it?"
Source: Huffington Post

Being flexible requires you to think on the cold, on the spot and make quick decision on what to do next if the thing that you already planned doesn't work. For example, when I went to Hong Kong Disneyland, lines for Space Mountain was 65 minutes. "Argh, it would be a waste of time if I spent an hour in line." So what did I do? Get a FastPass and move on, explore the other parts of the park and ride the attractions that have waiting times of 30 minutes or below.

At the end of the day, it took me only 4 hours to finish everything that I wanted to do at the park.

The best strategy to be flexible is to get to know as much of the park as you can. Without knowing, you will be clueless in deciding what to do if your original plan doesn't work.

Enjoy the Little Things Around You
Disney theme parks are awesome. The rides are awesome. The parades are awesome. The nighttime shows are even awesome-r (heck, might be the best in the world, if you want to ask me).

Yet I've seen SO MANY people making the routine of visiting Disney theme parks into an "Amazing Race style" kind of visit rather than something that they can truly enjoy.

"Oh my God, we have to go to Expedition Everest now! RIGHT NOW! We have to hurry!"
"Get the f*** off! We're in a rush!"
"What do you mean my FastPass doesn't work? This is a joke!"

When visiting Disney theme parks, take the time to enjoy the sceneries around you. They're beautiful!
Source: adrieltjokro

You are visiting Disney theme parks, not doing a race. Why so upset? Why in such a rush? Why don't you enjoy your time?

When I visit theme parks, I leave the pressure that I carry with me at the entrance gate. I immerse myself into even the littlest things that you can find within the theme park. This is particularly true at Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disney Resort, where people seem to enjoy their time much more than the people in the sister parks at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.

So enjoy the little things around you instead of rushing yourselves throughout the park. Enjoy the chirps of the bird at Frontierland. Enjoy the smell of the strawberry popcorn by Mount Prometheus. Enjoy the glee and laughter of the people around you. Trust me, this will make you enjoy your time more and you'll be happier. It's Disney theme parks anyways, not the Amazing Race.

Carry Little
Don't pack too much when you come to theme parks. Trust me, it will be such a hassle for you. Disney theme parks in the U.S. and Europe have been especially careful with what you can take and what you can't take into the park.

Do yourself a favour by refilling your water bottle inside the park.
Source: Disney by Mark

When deciding what to bring to the park, it's important to answer the following question: Will I need this? For example, yes it's fine for you to bring a bottle of water, but do you really need it? Liquid is a sensitive item that will eventually be checked at security point, so it is better to bring an empty water bottle instead and refill your bottle at the many drinking fountains that can be found inside the park.

Don't carry more than necessary. The lighter you bring, the faster you go through the security checkpoint, the more time you'll have to enjoy the park!


I think that is all from me at the moment. How about you? Do you have anything that you would like to share with us when it comes to what you learned from visiting Disney theme parks?