Introverts visiting Disneyland may feel a bit overwhelmed. It’s no secret that Disneyland is the “Happiest Place on Earth”. It can also be the busiest place on Earth.
Regardless of the busy-ness, Disneyland still manages to be incredibly magical, making even the most introverted of introverts blissfully content while inside its gates.
I’m an introvert. This comes as a shock to many people since I can be talkative when I feel like being talkative. But the honest truth is that while I love people, I need copious amounts of time alone in order to recharge my batteries.
I’ve discovered a few things during our trips to Disney that help me maintain balance and not feel too overwhelmed.
Visit Disneyland in the Off-Season
When is the best time for introverts to visit Disneyland? It’s almost easier to talk about the worst times to visit Disneyland.
Crowds will be at their highest on weekends, holidays, and school vacation days. You can always check a crowd calendar before you go (there are several bloggers out there that make their best guesses for each year, but keep in mind that some charge for their services).
As a free alternative, visit Disneyland’s ticket website or view the tickets section of the Disneyland app. Prices are pro-rated depending on the popularity of the day. Therefore, lower ticket prices = lower crowds.
You’ll want to keep in mind that lower-priced days also have shortened hours. So, if you’re the type that likes to stay in the park until midnight, you might have to settle for higher crowds. However, if you’re like me, and most introverts that I know, you’re ready for a few hours of quietness by 9 pm, so the shorter hours are perfect.
We typically go in the middle of the week, while school is in session. We request independent study for the week from our children’s school and try to complete as much as possible before we leave.
Pictures with a little Disney magic.
Book Your Own Hotel Room if Traveling with Family or Friends
Traveling with family and friends to Disneyland is always fun! My kids LOVE making memories with their cousins.
All five members of our family are introverted, so even though we have a great time with cousins, we all need a little space to relax and unwind. That’s why we typically get our own hotel room rather than sharing a larger suite or house with cousins.
We love staying in a house or cabin with cousins during our winter getaways, but since Disneyland can cause more sensory overload than a cabin in the mountains, it’s nice to have a place all to yourself for a few hours after a long, full day at Disneyland.
Taking a short break
Float On Over to Tom Sawyer Island
One of the best-kept secrets at Disneyland is Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. This little island, located in the center of the Rivers of America, and visible from both Adventureland and Frontierland, is only a 2-minute ride from the mainland.
Guests can hop on a motorized raft that shuttles them over to the island. Adventurers can stay on the island for as long as they would like, or at least until the rafts stop running, which is typically around dusk.
There are caves to explore, swinging bridges, trails, and plenty of nooks to pull up a seat and just enjoy the quietness. Since the Rivers of America flows around the island, the water provides a peaceful buffer from the mainland.
Cave view from Pirate’s Lair
Watching the river boat
Peaceful views from Tom Sawyer Island
Eat Meals Early or Late
Grabbing a bite to eat during “off” hours is always a good idea! There will be fewer people in line and more open tables.
Eating lunch before 11:30 or after 1:30 and dinner before 5 pm or after 7 pm will allow you to miss the busiest meal times, a plus for introverts visiting Disneyland!
Always Order Food Via the App
COVID-19 may have made this the default option, but mobile ordering is always my first choice. It’s so easy!
I love that you don’t have to stand in line, then try to get everyone to hurry and choose a menu item while the cast member patiently waits. Instead, everyone can look over the menu options on their phones, choose what they want, then pick it up when it’s ready.
I also connect the app to my credit card, making the ordering process that much easier. Mobile ordering is more efficient and all kinds of wonderful.
Use Fastpass or Single Rider Lines
Since waiting in lines with masses of people isn’t a favorite pastime for introverts visiting Disneyland, we use Fastpass/Maxpass and single rider lines as much as possible. Using Fastpass/Maxpass and single rider lines allows you to experience more in a shorter amount of time.
As introverts, we’re ok with not having to be seated next to our friends and family on every ride; hopping on a ride as a single rider is no big deal. Children as young as seven can join the single rider line as long as they meet the height requirements for the attraction.
Our kids were a little nervous the first time they used the single rider line but ended up loving it. They especially enjoyed the single rider line on the Radiator Spring Racecars ride since you frequently end up “racing” against a friend or family member who was in the single rider line with you.
Pure joy on Splash Mountain
A quiet moment with Tiana–only us!
Avoid the Center of Main Street for the Evening Shows
If large crowds give you claustrophobia, you’ll definitely want to avoid the center of Main Street, U.S.A., before, during, and after the nighttime shows.
Guests pack into the area in front of the castle, standing shoulder to shoulder (but not during COVID-19, of course).
As an alternative, the show can also be watched from other areas like It’s a Small World and Rivers of America. The last time we were there, we were one of a handful of families watching from the Rivers of America.
We were close to New Orleans Square so we grabbed some hot Mikey beignets and mint juleps and settled in for a great show. Unfortunately, that night they ended up canceling the show due to technical difficulties. So, instead, we sipped on our juleps, munched on our beignets, and enjoyed the silence.
Let the Crowds Disperse Before Trying to Leave After the Nighttime Show
When the nighttime show ends at Disneyland, there is a mass exodus of guests leaving the park. Think bumper to bumper traffic with some guests weaving through everyone like they’re on a motorcycle.
I have only witnessed happy, tired guests leaving, but it’s just A LOT of people. If you opt to hang out in the park for a few extra minutes, you can leave as the crowd dies down. Just don’t be one of those people that the cast members have to ask to leave the park. Nobody wants to be those people…not even the introverts visiting Disneyland.
Making memories at Disney’s California Adventure Park
It’s Time to Plan Your Next Trip to Disneyland
I know a few people who haven’t been to Disneyland citing crowd concerns, but to me, Disney crowds are happy crowds. There’s no comparison between a state fair crowd and a Disneyland crowd.
By implementing all these tips I hope you can enjoy a more “low-key” Disney vacation. Here’s to planning your next trip to Disneyland! May all your dreams come true!