Reddit r/Disneyland deleted this for some strange reason.
Before I was a CM, I was a guest like everyone else. I came once a year and spent three days there.
I’ve been to Disneyland enough times previously that I knew the traffic patterns, I knew which rides had long lines and when, and which rides to go to that had the short lines during certain times of the day.
I knew where to go and when. And that is what I did.
However, one day, for a single day, I decided to say “Nuts to the lines!”. Instead of plotting where to go like a military battle plan, I went on what I wanted to when I wanted to regardless of how long the line was. If it was a short line, great. If it was a long line, I waited in it, enjoyed the atmosphere, people-watched in line, and soaked up the show in the queue (for rides that had it).
Of all the days I spent in Disneyland as a Guest, that day was the best. No stress, no worry, just went where I wanted to without worry.
I regret what Disneyland has become with its Fastpass (something I was against from the beginning) and now Lightning Lane and Genie+.
I know time is valuable, and there are people who want to get the most rides in the limited time they have.
But I think the stress of having to manage your day as if you’re playing Beat the Clock detracts from what is supposed to be a holiday. A relaxing day with family (or alone) to enjoy everything Disneyland has to offer. It’s more than ticking off rides on a chart. It’s the stroll down Main Street. It’s watching the steamboat on the river while waiting for Fantasmic! It’s the journey through the day, not the goal of “I have experienced ten rides today.”
Disney makes too much money to hope that these stressors like Lightning Lane and Genie+ will disappear down the Pit where they came from.
But do yourself a favour and try a day without them. So what if you only get ten rides instead of thirteen or whatever. Relax.
Disneyland is supposed to be a place to relax and enjoy, not someplace that will cause you to work more than at your job trying to plan the most efficient route as if you’re on the LA freeways.