10 Tips for Non-Disney Loving Family Members: How to Deal with the Disney Grumps on Vacation!

Let’s face it, not everyone loves Disney as much as we do! And some families might have one non-Disney loving family member that might be along for the ride. Our top ten tips for Disney grumps are here to help you save the day so everyone has the best experience on their vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth.

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1. Plan Your Disney Trip TogetherMickey Mouse and the Magical Map Show

For Disney vacations, the fun starts the minute you start planning your vacation. Sit down with your non-Disney-loving pal and see what interests them. Are they are interested in high-thrill rides? Classic rides? Certain foods offered in the parks? Disneyland Resort does have something for everyone and knowing ahead of time what your non-Disney-loving pal is interested in will help you better plan your trip together. Planning a trip is so much fun that this is one of our top tips for Disney grumps!

2. Discuss a Reasonable Budget Ahead of TimeDisneyland Hotel

It’s no surprise that everything Disney is expensive, so factor your non-Disney-loving pal’s budget in when planning your vacation. Not everyone is willing to spend a lot of money on hotels, especially if you will spend most of the day in the Parks. Discuss what accommodations are important to them. Take into consideration their wants and needs. Of course, I absolutely love to stay onsite! However, I am willing to compromise since there are a lot of quality hotels to choose from around the Resort. Cutting down on costs are a good way to keep everyone happy making it one of our best tips for Disney grumps.

3. Avoid Crowded Times of the YearDisneyland' Sleeping Beauty castle

For those who are not a fan of Disney to begin with, the Disneyland Resort won’t be fun if you pick a time of year that tends to be more crowded. Do those who do not live by Disney a favor and choose a time of the year to visit that is more mellow and less packed with people. Be sure to read our Crowd Calendar to help you get started.

4. Take Advantage of Genie+

There is nothing worse than having your non-Disney-loving pal remind you that the long, never-ending lines you wait in are the reason they are not that into Disney. Take advantage of Disney Genie+ which will not only save you a lot of time by bypassing long lines, but it will also save you and your party’s sanity. Usually if I hear someone say negative things about Disney, it has something to do with lines! But you don’t have to wait in line if you follow our morning strategies, make this one a priority from our list of top tips for Disney grumps!

5. Festivals Can Be a Great Distraction

Choose your vacation dates strategically when visiting the Disneyland Resort with those non-Disney fans by visiting during festivals to keep everyone happy. While you stick to your strict ride itinerary, introduce non-Disney friends to the Disney California Adventures Food and Wine Festival. This once-a-year delicious event takes place at the end of February and lasts through mid-April and can fill hours upon hours with wine-sipping, food-cooking demonstrations, and live entertainment. This festival does not drown guests in Disney. In other words, those non-Disney pals in your party will not feel as if they are inundated with Disney.

Another fun festival is the Disney Festival of Holidays that takes place in Disney California Adventure Park in the winter time. Ok… there will be crowds, but the cultural festival with its booths offering unique cuisine from around the world can be a welcome distraction for you and your non-Disney guests. Bon appetit!

6. Provide Non-Disney Guests a Nice Quiet Place to Escape Inside the Park

Believe it or not, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park do have some quiet places where the non-Disney guest can hang while you get your Disney fix. Here are some more of our favorite not-so-secret spots to chill:


  • The Golden Horseshoe Saloon
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • it’s a small world promenade
  • The Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments with Abraham Lincoln
  • Main Street Cinema
  • Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square
  • Harbor Galley Seating (my favorite!)

Disney California Adventure Park:

  • Paradise Gardens
  • Boardwalk
  • Redwood Creek Challenge
  • Flo’s V8 Cafe
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Animation Building

7. Downtown Disney Walk Offers Hours of Fun

Who says your non-Disney-loving friend really has to spend the entire day at either Park? Why not drop them off in Downtown Disney where hours of fun await them? Guests can spend hours at Splitsville where they can bowl and listen to live entertainment. There is also a ton more things to do in Downtown Disney from admiring the art (and if you are lucky an artist of the month onsite) at WonderGround Gallery, feasting on a variety of scrumptious food, shopping, and indulging on a super fancy cocktail (or beer) at a number of unique bars.

8. Make Reservations for Some Fine Dining

Disneyland goes to infinity and beyond with the many dining choices available. Long gone are the days where guests are only offered corn dogs and fries. Your non-Disney-loving guest may have a change of heart about Disney if you book a lunch or dinner at the Blue Bayou! The beauty of Disney Dining is that the menus change from lunch to dinner so there is that much more options to dine to choose from. If you are really looking to impress, book a table at Carthay Circle! You will not regret it!

9. Take a Moment to Listen 

On most trips, you can find my family speed walking to keep up with me as we engage in our strict Disney schedule to hit all our favorite attractions. My family lets me lead which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. One good thing having me lead is we are able to experience all of our favorite attractions (some even twice).

On the downside, sometimes my family wants to stray from a strict schedule. And those times I find are some of our happiest and best times ever (aside from my daughter’s Grizzly River Run obsession which leaves me soaked). So, this tip is very important. Listen to your non-Disney-loving guest. Maybe having them pick what they want to do throughout the day may give them a change of heart about your beloved Disneyland. .

10. Allow Your Non-Disney Pal to Make Their Own MagicTips for Disney Grumps: entrance to Disneyland

Sometimes the excitement of the Disneyland Resort has its way of spellbounding us die-hard Disney fans. Just because you love to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean over and over doesn’t mean your non-Disney-loving pal will. If your non-Disney-loving pal wants to spend a couple more hours sleeping in, then meet them inside when they are ready. Sometimes that’s one of the top tips for Disney grumps! Not everyone wants to get up early on vacation and if they’re fine with meeting you later, you can go enjoy riding Pirates again and again!

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Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Kim Schultz

Kim has her Bachelor's Degree in English Literature with a minor in Technical and Professional Writing from San Francisco State University. She received her editing certificate from University of Berkeley Extension and won numerous awards for fiction writing from the San Mateo County Fair Literary Stage.

One thing she loves most in life besides family and writing is Disneyland! Kim and her family are season pass holders and travel to Disneyland numerous times a year (between 10-15 times to be exact!).

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