‘I’m going to Disneyland… so what should we do?’

October 26, 2018, 6:20 PM ·

Living in Southern California and regulating a thesis park news website, we get a lot of calls and messages from out-to-town friends who wish some recommendation on visiting Disneyland when they’re in a area. So here are my latest tips for formulation a discerning outing to a Disneyland Resort, for people who don’t obsessively devise their thesis park vacations to a final detail, months in advance.

1. Download a Disneyland app

Putting a Disneyland app on your mobile phone will do some-more to make your day in a parks easier than any other step we can take. With a app, we can buy your tickets in advance, skip a lines during a sheet booths and go true into a parks, where we can lane yourself on a park map, get stream wait times, and find characters, shops, restaurants, and bathrooms. You even can use a app to sequence food, and (if we compensate an upcharge — see below) make reservations for rides and download photos from Disney photographers. Download a app for Apple or Android, afterwards emanate an comment to pointer in before we leave for a park.

2. One park, or two?

The Disneyland Resort is indeed dual thesis parks: a strange Disneyland, that non-stop in 1955, and Disney California Adventure, that non-stop in 2001 before “reopening” in 2012 after a vital refurbishment.

Unlike during Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort, where a 4 thesis parks are located miles from any other and all have their possess parking lots, Disneyland’s dual parks are located within a few yards of any other and share common parking facilities. You can “park hop” between a dual easily, to get a best of any one.

However, we will have to buy a some-more costly “Park Hopper” sheet to revisit both parks on a same day. Prices change by date, yet now run between $97-135 to revisit your choice of possibly park and $147-185 for a “Park Hopper” to get into both on one day.

3. Arrive early

Whatever we choose, devise to arrive during Disneyland’s Mickey and Friends parking structure (if we are pushing from LA) or Toy Story parking lot (if you’re opening from a south) at least one hour before a park’s scheduled opening time. You can check park handling hours on a app.

Disneyland’s crowds are dominated by internal annual passholders, who tend to uncover adult in force after in a day, generally on Fridays. Again, this isn’t Walt Disney World, where crowds mostly skinny in a evenings as small kids get tired. Disneyland gets worse as a day goes on, so get there early to maximize your time doing instead of waiting.

4. Get a Maxpass

You got a app, right? Maxpass is a $10 a chairman per day upcharge that allows we to make Disney’s “Fastpass” float reservations around a app, as good as to get total downloads of Disney’s Photopass pictures, including on-ride photos.

You don’t need Maxpass to get a Fastpass, and Disney’s Photopass photographers will be happy to take your design regulating your dungeon phone or camera as well. But Maxpass allows we to get onto several some-more rides during a day, as we don’t need to travel over to any captivate to indicate your acknowledgment sheet to explain a lapse time. You only daub a accessible lapse time on your phone, wherever we are in a parks, and you’ve got it.

Once we have comparison a Fastpass lapse time, we can’t get another until possibly that lapse time has upheld or dual hours have left by. The pretence with regulating Maxpass is to collect your subsequent Fastpass on a phone immediately once we are eligible. Over a day, that will get we on many some-more rides than we could have by walking around a park to explain your lapse times. Also, removing total float photos and maestro shots inside a park is only cool.

5. Start with thrills, afterwards we can chill

Assuming we can enter a park during opening, start your day during Disneyland by streamer to Tomorrowland for a float on Space Mountain, while regulating a app to book a Fastpass on Indiana Jones Adventure. Then strike adult Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear before streamer behind opposite a core of a park toward Adventureland and Indiana Jones. Then book a float on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad before attack adult a Haunted Mansion and Pirates of a Caribbean. After roving Thunder, book a Fastpass for Splash Mountain to cold off in a center of a day.

At California Adventure, conduct immediately to Radiator Springs Racers while engagement a Fastpass for Soarin’. If we have time before wanting to travel to Soarin’, get a float in on Toy Story Midway Mania next. After Soarin’, use your subsequent Fastpass on Guardians of a Galaxy: Mission Breakout. Then after that, get a Fastpass for a Incredicoaster.

If we are hopping between both parks, you’ll need to brew and match, yet try to do several rides in one park before switching to a other to minimize time watchful during a front embankment to get into any park. And if we are visiting between Labor Day and New Year’s, a Haunted Mansion gets a Nightmare Before Christmas conceal that creates it a good use of a Fastpass, too.

If we arrive after a park has opened, or we are only removing to your second park after visiting a first, demeanour in a app during a stream wait times and accessible Fastpass lapse times afterwards collect whatever looks best for your subsequent options. Go on other stuff, with shorter wait times, while we wait for your subsequent Fastpass return. Generally try to follow a priority sequence listed above, yet feel giveaway to do what we want. There are no wrong answers here. You can use single supplement lines to cut your wait times if we are visiting alone, too.

After knocking out a garland of disturb rides to start your day, good choices to chill after that embody a Enchanted Tiki Room, Disneyland Railroad, and Mark Twain Riverboat in Disneyland and a Animation Academy and Frozen low-pitched during Disney California Adventure. (Note that a Frozen low-pitched can be a tough “get” during some times of a year.)

6. Use mobile grouping for your food… or only get a boiled chicken

Disneyland’s mobile grouping underline in a app allows we to collect your selections from many of a opposite use restaurants inside a dual parks, customize your sequence and place it yet carrying to wait in a line during a restaurant. (The integrate describes how to use Disney World’s system, yet it’s a same process.) You will have to wait a few moments to get your food when we arrive, yet that’s a many improved understanding that fast waits that can be as prolonged as for some attractions. (Especially for Disneyland’s dear Dole Whips.)

One of a few counter-service restaurants that does not accept mobile grouping is my favorite Disneyland grill — a Plaza Inn, home of an extraordinary three-piece boiled duck dinner. At California Adventure, a Carthay Circle grill is a rather upscale, table-service choice, yet good value a time and income if we have both to spend. Or share a Lobster Nachos and donuts during a sit-down Lamplight Lounge for a reduction fussy, yet only as juicy option.

You can crop menus on a Disneyland app, so collect what looks good to you. But if a grill offers mobile ordering, be certain to use it! If we wish a sit-down restaurant, we can make reservations around a app, too.

7. Don’t demur to ask for help

Finally, do not demur to ask for assistance from Disney’s employees, famous as “cast members.” (Because Disneyland is uncover business, right?) You can find Guest Relations expel members, whose whole pursuit it is to help, during City Hall on Main Street in Disneyland and during a Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure. (Both are to a left only past a opening of any park.) If we are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or a initial revisit to a park, they will offshoot we adult with a commemoration button. And if we are carrying any problem with a app, Maxpass, or navigating a park, they have copiousness of tips and recommendation to assistance we get a many from your day.

Have a good trip, and interjection for pity this recommendation from us here during Theme Park Insider!

Replies (5)

October 26, 2018 during 11:06 PM

It helps Disneyland is smaller than WDW Magic Kingdom to get around. Complex in that some-more lines are outdoor and tend to be slower during rise periods. Just have to make certain to change your Fastpass out right and strike a large ones during certain times.

October 27, 2018 during 6:35 AM

For someone who has recently been to Disneyworld, what attractions can be skipped during Disneyland since they are a duplicate (or nearby copy) of a captivate during WDW?

October 27, 2018 during 11:18 AM

TwoBits: That’s tricky. A few are flattering CO copies yet a good thing of Disneyland is that there are pointed differences so value riding.

I cruise Jungle Cruise is a bit skippable, shorter than a WDW version. Also, we cruise a WDW Haunted Mansion is improved (thanks to a large upgrade) nonetheless a Disneyland Pirates is superior. Big Thunder is mostly a same as is Splash Mountain with only a integrate of scenes.

Their Fantasyland is many improved with Mr. Toad and a opposite Small World. Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear are a same yet their Space Mountain is a bit different. At California Adventure, Soarin and Midway Mania are accurately a same as WDW.

Overall, Disneyland does have several attractions WDW doesn’t (Indiana Jones, Radiator Springs, Matterhorn) yet would suggest still attack their versions of some rides only to see differences.

October 27, 2018 during 12:11 PM

Here is my finish list of a Disneyland Resort attractions that a Walt Disney World maestro can safely skip, as they move small or zero of stress new to a table.

At Disneyland:
Splash Mountain
Haunted Mansion (if not a Holiday edition. Do a Holiday version, though.)
Star Tours
Buzz Lightyear
Mark Twain (do a Columbia or Canoes instead)
Jungle Cruise
Peter Pan’s Flight
The Many Adventure of Winnie a Pooh
Star Wars Launch Bay
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (it’s excerpts from Hall of Presidents and The American Adventure)
Gadget’s Go Coaster (same as a Goofy Coaster)
Casey Jr. Circus Train (skip if we do Storybook Land)
Dumbo a Flying Elephant
Mad Tea Party
Tarzan’s Treehouse
King Arthur Carrousel
Astro Orbitor
Fantasy Faire Royal Hall

At Disney California Adventure:
Toy Story Midway Mania
Grizzly River Run (if you’ve finished Kali River Rapids)
Soarin’ Around a World
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
Turtle Talk with Crush
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (same as Alien Swirling Saucers)
Disney Junior Dance Party

Disneyland’s Thunder has a improved finale than WDW’s; It’s a Small World is a strange chronicle and rather different, and Disneyland’s Tiki Room is in many improved figure than a MK’s, so we would embody those on a Disneyland trip, yet we would cruise them low priorities.

Fantasmic! is forever improved during Disneyland, though, so make that a high priority, even if we have seen a DHS show.

October 27, 2018 during 3:05 PM

I’d strike Grizzly River Run from Robert’s list (it is many longer than Kali River Rapids) and supplement all a Paradise/Pixar Pier prosaic rides. Otherwise, that’s a flattering good list of attractions identical adequate between both resorts that they don’t need to be re-experienced. I’d also contend that any vital captivate imagining during Disneyland is value experiencing, yet those on a list should be during a bottom of a priority list.

One other tip I’ll supplement is formulation how to park hop. Before your visit, check a calendar to see that park offers early entrance on that day. If it’s Disneyland, start in DCA and do all of seductiveness (you should be means to hit out a majors by noon), afterwards bound to Disneyland for a rest of a day. However, if DCA is a early entrance park, start during Disneyland and try to hit out as many rides as we can in a initial 2-3 hours (I customarily try to tackle Space Mountain, Star Tours, Indy, Splash Mountain, Matterhorn, and a Fantasyland dim rides in that time), afterwards bound to DCA for a late morning/afternoon, and behind to Disneyland in a late afternoon. If we use this plan along with Maxpass, you’re indeed improved off Maxpassing possibly Space or Indy and attack a Fantasyland dim rides initial thing.

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