We got tickets in advance with a preset time, however, we got to the town well in advance (more than one hour before our time). Skipping the line we went straight to the reservations. We were offered to take another tour so we would not need to wait that long. Which was great. Gave us enough time to grab something to eat but we did not have to wait till our original time and we saved on the time waiting in line. It costs a little more but you come here to enjoy not spend time in lines.
Another interesting thing they do is that if you visit both castles (Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau) they space the visit apart such that there is plenty of time in between such that you can shop around and spend some money. So if you want to visit both castles buy the tickets separately. Again, it will cost more. So the choice is yours. However, I think it is pretty strange to come and not visit at least one of the castles as some people suggest - the scenery is nice but it is much more memorable with visit to the castles!
Unique Suggestions: You'll still enjoy it, maybe will have to wait a bit longer :)
There are maybe only few tourist traps around the world as perfect as Neuschwanstein. You can see the great setting of the castle in the surrounding nature - which is the one and only really magnificent thing there - free of charge except of the fee for the outrageousely overpriced parking.
Unique Suggestions: So pack as many people as you can into the car when visiting NS. Skip the visit of the interior and enjoy the great landscape and how nicely the castle is placed there. That makes a nice excursion, in particular if you connect it with Linderhof and do and avoid the same there.
Achtung Achtung! There's one trap in Neuschwanstein (and I don't mean the castle itself here ;). You have to buy your ticket for a tour at the bottom of the hill in Hohenschwangau before you go up to the castle. So if you want to go on the tour inside the castle you have to stand in line with a lot of other people to get a ticket at the ticketcenter.
Unique Suggestions: You can reserve a ticket in advance. It's a bit more expensive but saves you the queuing part in Hohenschwangau.
Fun Alternatives: You can have fun at Neuschwanstein without a ticket. We didn't have one because we were told that it's not as interesting inside as it looks from the outside. You can go around the forest to Marienbrücke and all the other lookout points and you can even go inside the castle's yard. It's only there where the tours start (which only take approx. 30 minutes by the way).
Next to Hotel Lisl is a small store for luxury, Louis Vutton, Versace, etc. shopping. Don't bother walking over unless you love high end shopping.
Unique Suggestions: As you can see from the picture it does have a great knight in armor for pictures.