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40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland

As long-time Disney frog-natics, Disney is practically our home, second to our humble lily pad. Disneyland trips are almost as routine as visiting the grocery store. We use our extensive experience to give tips and tricks so that you can get the most out of your Disneyland visit. A lot has changed over the last year or so, but things are pretty much back normal. No matter what, we've still got our hearts set on making the very most of our Disneyland day. And we want the same for you — you've taken a frogtastic step in planning a Disneyland trip! Knowing that the Happiest Place on Earth can be also one of the busiest places on Earth, it's important to have some strategies when going to the parks. Well, frogs, that's why we're here! Here's a list of Disneyland tips that will help you maximize your time.

A new Disney Genie service is available in the Disneyland app. Disney Genie+ is a paid service that replaces MaxPass (and FASTPASS). We're sharing what we know about these changes, as well as how to maximize your time at Disneyland right now.

40 Disneyland Tips to Maximize Your Time

1. Buy Tickets Online

We always advise purchasing tickets online, but now you'll need both a valid park ticket AND a park reservation before you arrive. Did you know you can purchase your discount Disneyland tickets through Undercover Tourist and save some green? We even sell tickets pre-loaded with Genie+! As soon as you receive your ticket order, book your Disneyland park reservations to secure your dates. You'll need to pick the park you want to visit when you make your reservations. If park hopping, you'll choose the park you want to visit first. You can park hop after 1 p.m. (subject to availability).

Don't purchase tickets at the ticket booth because if there aren't any reservations left that day, you will not get in. Also, when you buy tickets in advance, you'll save a lot of time (in addition to money) by going straight to the entrance. You won't have to spend any time in ticket booth lines. This can save you an hour on a busy day! For now, you'll want to purchase well in advance (up to 120 days). Buy them as soon as you can to lock in the lowest rate.

2. Pick the Best Times to Visit

While it's always a good time to visit Disneyland, there are times during the year that are better than others. Holidays, school schedules and local visitors have a big impact on Disneyland's schedule. Use this guide to determine the best time to visit Disneyland.

Right now, you can only book reservations for up to 120 days in advance. Here are two additional links you may find hopful at this time when planning your visit:

  • Disneyland Park Availability Calendar — This calendar allows you to make sure the park you want to visit is available on the day you want to visit (before you buy or start to reserve).
  • Disneyland 1-Day Ticket Tier Calendar — Disneyland 1-Day tickets vary in price by day. There are six price tiers. Popular days such as weekends and holidays are higher tiers and cost more than, say, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at a non-peak time. This calendar shows you the price per day. If you purchase multi-day tickets, you don't need to worry about this calendar.

3. Stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel

Stay at Disney's Grand Californian

For the most immersive Disneyland experience, stay on property. The three on-site hotels — Disneyland Hotel, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel — are creatively themed with great Disney touches (plus you can save money by booking your stay through us!).

The hotel guest security screening opens before any other security, so if you want to be the first one at the park gates, staying on-site is a nice perk. Resort guests at the Grand Californian can use the dedicated resort entrance to Disney California Adventure from Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which is a nice perk to staying there. (Here are even more benefits to staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel.) You'll want to choose that park as your first park of the day if park hopping.

4. Can't Stay on Property? Stay Close by

Some of the off-site hotels near Disneyland are actually closer than the on-site hotels and less than a five-minute walk to the Esplanade that connects the entrances of Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. If you stay close by, you won't have to pay to park at Disneyland and you won't lose any time in the parking garage or the long walk over to the parks from there. There are other benefits of staying at hotels near Disneyland too! There are also hotels that are a short walk to the free parking lot shuttles at Toy Story Lot. (Ribbit! We can save you $$$ if you book your hotel through Undercover Tourist!) People start to line up at Harbor Boulevard security before 7 a.m., but once the security line starts moving (about 45 minutes before the park opens), it goes quickly.

5. Ease Your Way Through the Security Line

The best way to get through the security line quickly is to be prepared. Only bring the items you will need for the day. Bring bags with the fewest zippers and compartments possible. Make sure all of your bags are out and open for the cast member to peek into. Have keys, cell phone, coins and any metal devices in your pockets in bags or ready to be placed on the table at the security scanners. Have something that you know will buzz, such as a belt? Take it off and shove it into a bag for a moment. At times, some security entrances have an expedited screening for people with no bags. If you have no bags to check, you may save yourself a long line there!

Remove all banned items from your bags before you visit such as selfie sticks, loose ice, whistles, pocket knives, balls or zip ties or restraining devices. It's a bummer to have to go all the way back to return an item you frogot was in your bag (or dispose of it). Make sure your stroller fits the guidelines so you don't get turned away. Read more in our post on using a stroller at Disneyland.

6. Get to the Parks Before They Open

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Rope DropWe say this a lot, and here it is again: The shortest waits of the day are in the first hours of a park's opening (and the last two hours before the park closes). When you arrive at the park before it opens, you will be one of the very first people inside.

The park turnstiles generally open 30 minutes earlier than posted. If you're early, you can usually enter up to the ropes and when the park officially opens, you will hear an announcement and the cast members will pull back the ropes. This is called "rope drop." Once the rope drops, you can enter the rest of the park and go straight to the rides. For the most popular ride, such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, you'll follow cast members to the ride after rope drop.

One of the best ways to maximize your time at Disneyland and get the most out of your day is to be one of the first people in the park.

7. Snag a Locker

Lockers can be a lifesaver (and a back saver). It's smart to travel light in the parks, but you want to bring sweatshirts, jackets and cameras. Make renting a locker your first priority of the day. This eliminates the need to haul all of your gear around, yet isn't out of the way for a quick stop for more sunscreen, layers and such.

8. Download the Disneyland Mobile App and Get Familiar With Its Features (Including Disney Genie)

Life. Save. Er. Download the Disneyland mobile app before you arrive. It has wait times, show listings, character locations, park maps, restaurant menus and so much more. You can show your barcode at the gate for admission when you first arrive at the park! Having the Disneyland mobile app is necessary for using Mobile Order for food. Some dining locations only accept Mobile Order right now. Order meals ahead of time so you don't get caught hungry. You can also purchase PhotoPass+ through the app so you can get all your PhotoPass downloads.

You'll need to use the app to access virtual queues if they are activated. Two rides were only accessible via a virtual queue, but now they operate with a standby line:

However, the Disneyland app states that, at busy times, the park may open a virtual queue for them. You will have to be in the respective theme park to join the virtual queue.

Disney Genie is a new feature in the Disneyland app. It helps you plan and customizes your day and itinerary based on your interests.

You can use the Disneyland app before you arrive. Set up your account ahead of time. You can link your park tickets so you will be ready to make your park reservations. You may want to look ahead at restaurant menus to see what's available and plan dining (60 days in advance about 6 a.m.) or even make dining reservations through the app. If you miss getting dining reservations, you can use the app to join a walk-up waitlist in the park when available.

9. Follow These Tips for the Shortest Wait Times

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland0Pirates of the Caribbean with a short morning lineFollow these tips to find the shortest lines:

  • Arrive early before park opening.
  • At Disneyland, focus on Indiana Jones Adventure, Haunted Mansion and Pirates just after park opening or at the end of the night.
  • Now that Rise of the Resistance has a standby line, you might want to watch its wait times in the app. Its line closes early, usually at 9 p.m.
  • At Disney California Adventure, focus on rides without Genie+ at opening.
  • Follow a touring plan (recently updated!).
  • Check the Disneyland app for wait times.
  • Focus on characters and shorter lines midday.
  • Stay late to take advantage of shorter evening lines.
  • Hop in a line before closing.
  • Keep in mind that wait times may be faster than posted times.
  • Consider paying for Genie+ or individual Lightning Lane to use the Lightning Lane and skip the standby line.
  • Hotel guests should take advantage of Early Entry. Hotel guests can enter either theme park 30 minutes before park opening for select attractions, shopping and dining.

10. Use Genie+ to Schedule Ride Return Times and Use PhotoPass

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland-A person buys Genie before hopping on the Monorail

Free FASTPASS and paid MaxPass services have been retired. A new paid option called Disney Genie+ replaces the old paid MaxPass.

PhotoPass downloads are included in Disney Genie+. Hop over to our PhotoPass post for the deets.

As for Disney Genie+, the ultimate way to maximize your time at Disneyland comes with a small price tag. Disney Genie+ is an optional add-on service that costs $20 per day, per person. It allows users to make Lighting Lane (the new name for FASTPASS return lines) selections from their smartphones one at a time to skip the standby lines for certain attractions. You can only use the Lightning Lane one time per ride, per day.

Disneyland Park Disney Genie+ Attractions

You can start making Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane reservations once you have entered the park for the day. Here are the attractions that are available on Disney Genie+:

  • Autopia
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Haunted Mansion / Haunted Mansion Holiday
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • "it's a small world" / “it’s a small world” Holiday
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin (closing for Toontown refurbishment in March 2022 through TBD)
  • Space Mountain
  • Star Tours — The Adventures Continue

Disney California Adventure Disney Genie+ Attractions

  • Goofy's Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy — Misson: BREAKOUT! / Monsters After Dark
  • Incredicoaster
  • Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Soarin' Around the World
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!

There are some limitations to Disney Genie+. Many of the rides in the park are not on it. Certain high-demand attractions are not included, but you can pay to skip the lines for those rides through individual Lightning Lane selections. You may choose up to two of these attractions per day and may not book the same ride twice. Pricing varies per date, attraction and park. Hop back for more details as we continue to learn the ins and outs of Disney Genie at Disneyland. Standby lines remain available for free.

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland-Entrance to Radiator Springs RacersThe following new or popular attractions are available for individual Lightning Lane selections:

  • Radiator Springs Racers (standby line and Single Rider line remain open for no additional charge)
  • WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure (standby line remains open and a new Single Rider line for no additional charge)
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (standby line remains open for no additional charge)

The price can vary per ride and day (between $7 and $20 per person, per ride for front-of-the-line access). You may only purchase each ride once and a maximum of two different individual Lightning Lane selections per day. You may make these selections once you enter the park for the day.

11. Take Advantage of Early Entry for Disneyland Resort Hotel Guests.

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland-Early entry SignAs of Aug. 8, 2022, Disneyland Resort hotel guests with park tickets and a reservation can enter either theme park 30 minutes before it opens. People with early entry can access select rides, restaurants and stores in that time.

12. Consider a Show Dining Package.

You can save time and score a great viewing area for the parade, Fantasmic! and World of Color with dining packages. After all, you need to eat, so this solves two problems of where to eat and where to watch the show. Plus, people camp our for over two hours for some shows, so you'll save some time there. If you cannot get a reservation, try to join the Walk-Up List in the Disneyland app for table-servicing dining locations.

13. Do Not Head to the Most Popular Rides First

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Radiator Springs Racers

If you're set on riding Radiator Springs Racers first thing, you won't be alone. You can hit this ride first after rope drop if you want to. However, many other people have the same idea and the line can be long right after park opening. Instead head to Guardians of the Galaxy and then hit the other Cars Land rides with short waits before committing to Radiator Springs Racers. Use the Single Rider line in the morning to practically walk right on!

Radiator Springs Racers' line moves fastest in the first hour of park opening because there are fewer Lightning Lane users slowing down the standby line. Or, save more time and hop in the Single Rider line (all single riders must be 7 and up).

14. Use Rider Switch if Needed

Rider Switch is still available — yay! If you have tadpoles who aren't tall enough to ride (or don’t want to ride), go to the entrance of the ride with the entire party and get a digital Rider Switch return window added to the supervising parent’s park ticket (along with up to two other people). One parent can supervise the tadpole(s) while the rest of the party rides; then, once the riders return, the supervising parent can have a turn to ride while skipping the line. Some members of the first party can also be part of the second party and ride with the first supervising parent when they take their turn, but they have to scan their tickets in advance before their first ride because they can’t change their minds later. Hop over to our Disneyland height requirements and Rider Switch post to see how your tadpoles measure up.

15. Appoint One Genie+ Wizard

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland-Man uses Genie+ on phone

Collecting FASTPASSes is a thing of the past now that free FASTPASS is gone and so are the distribution machines. If you opt to pay for Disney Genie+, have one person make selections and keep track of everything that is happening in the park and set an itinerary. When the hard work of planning pays off, let the rest of the party think it all just magically worked out. It's easier to make ride selections for the whole party to ensure that you all get the same ride windows so you can ride together. You may find it easier to select rides for the entire party rather than individually.

16. Park Hop

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Disney California Adventure Entrance

To hop or not to hop? It's much easier to hop at Disneyland than it is at Disney World. Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park are just a short hop, skip and jump away from each other. With the entrances maybe a one-minute walk apart, park hopping can be an effective way to maximize your time at Disneyland. During this time, you may hop after 1 p.m. and can hop back and forth between parks after that. Hopping is subject to park capacity, but it has not been a problem yet.

Double check the calendar, but Disney California Adventure usually closes earlier than Disneyland. When Disney California Adventure Park closes, you can head to Disneyland for a final ride or two. We like to end our night with Gibson Girl ice cream (order ahead via Mobile Order). We recommend starting in Disney California Adventure and then hopping over to Disneyland.

Allow at least 30 minutes from entering one park before entering the other park or you might get delayed at the gate for hopping too quickly. Here are more Disneyland tips on choosing the best ticket.

We do have some money-saving advice for park hopping. You'll pay the same $60 to add park hopping to a 1-Day ticket as you would a 5-Day ticket. So the more days on your ticket, the cheaper the price you'll be paying per day of park hopping. Fun! (Psst ...  you can save even more when you buy a park hopper through your favorite froggy friends.)

17. Have a Plan and Prioritize Attractions

You want to visit the attractions with the longest waits when they have the lowest waits at park opening and closing. If you've got one day for each of the parks, follow our 1-day Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure park plans.

18. Save Time in the Dole Whip Line

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland-Dole Whip Float

Securing this delightful dessert with a massive following takes some strategy. Indulge in your Dole Whip by using Mobile Order from the Tiki Juice Bar. Tropical Hideaway in Adventureland is walk-up only.

Use Disneyland Mobile Order Service and skip the line to order. In fact, at peak times, the Tiki Juice Bar only accepts Mobile Order. The line is shrinking now that there are now TWO Dole Whip locations in Disneyland Park! You can also pick up your pineapple Dole Whip (as well as raspberry and mango favors and other favorite snacks) from the Tropical Hideaway restaurant in Adventureland (which is not available via Mobile Order). During holidays, you might even see some unique flavors make brief appearances!

19. Buy Your Souvenirs Ahead of Time

Yes, who doesn't want a Disneyland hat, spirit jersey, set of ears, plush, pin, framed artwork and all the other tempting Disney trinkets? We all want a little something special from the parks, but we prefer to buy souvenirs online and at discount shops to give to Tad and Lily ahead of the trip. This saves us time spent in the shops and also money. Plus, if you arrive with your souvenir Disney clothes, you can wear them in the park! They look great in photos.

20. Wait Until the End of the Evening to Shop

If you must shop, wait until the park closes. The shops on Main Street, U.S.A. and Buena Vista Street are open an hour after the parks close. Also, World of Disney in Downtown Disney is open after Disneyland closes.

21. Save the Shows or Sit-down Experiences for Later in the Day

The parks are the least busy during the first few hours of the day. You don't want to find yourself in a 30-minute show when Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Alice in Wonderland will see their lowest waits of the day! When lines peak in the afternoon, it’s showtime (and a good time to rest those legs). Don't avoid the theaters though. Many of the show stages will set the stage for physically distanced character sightings.

Save certain sit-down experiences for the afternoon such as Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room or the Disneyland Railroad at Disneyland Park, or Turtle Talk with Crush or Mickey's PhilharMagic at Disney California Adventure. They give your flippers a little break. And in the case of the Disneyland Railroad, it also serves as transportation. Longer rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean and "it's a small world" make for nice air-conditioned breaks.

22. Make Use of the Single Rider Line or Buddy Pass

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland-Single Rider Lines at Radiator Springs Racers

Single Rider is a great way to maximize your time at Disneyland. Ride operators use single riders to fill empty seats.

If you don't mind splitting your group up on the actual ride, you can experience the following attractions at super low waits on select attractions (Single Rider availability may vary per ride per day at this time):

Disneyland Single Rider Attractions

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Splash Mountain

Disney California Adventure Single Rider Attractions

  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Incredicoaster
  • Goofy's Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure

Buddy Pass is a similar option to reduce the wait for small parties at Disney California Adventure. Monster’s Inc. and Toy Story Midway Mania may offer Buddy Passes to parties of one or two (as well as up to two adults and a small child) at certain times. Buddy Pass holders enter a separate line and fill in empty rows as they come up. Buddy Pass is subject to availability.

23. Know When and Where to Find Your Favorite Characters

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland-Pooh is in Critter CountryWhile a handful of Disney characters have their own dedicated meet-and-greet stations, many of them roam freely at Disneyland . You can catch several characters at Town Square at Disneyland or near the Carthay Circle Fountain at California Adventure. You can talk to princesses in Fantasy Fair, or chat up Captain Jack Sparrow or Redd at New Orleans Square. Toon Town has characters outside their houses (returning in 2023), and Avengers Campus has many characters around to meet.

You'll also see characters playing in new locations. Look to the raised area across from "it's a small world." We recently caught Winnie the Pooh back in Critter Country.

The Disneyland mobile app offers some character locations. Keep your eyes open and look for them in unusual spots. Also, character-helping cast members — usually in red vests and hanging out with the characters — will let you know if and when you can catch your favorite.

Character cavalcades are traveling through Disneyland park in the afternoons. You can catch them on the parade route in Disneyland. Check the Disneyland app for cavalcade times.

Check out our tips on meeting your favorite Disneyland characters! We've added some new tips for finding characters now that meet and greets have returned.

24. Cozy Up to Your Favorite Characters at Breakfast

Disneyland Character Dining — Tiana

A character meal is a great way to see a bunch of your favorite characters all at once. To really maximize your time at Disneyland, schedule a breakfast before the park opens. Character dining is back. Hop over to our character dining post to see which locations are open and what they are like at this time, since the experience is slightly modified at some locations.

25. Have a Plan for a Lost Child

It's easy to get distracted in a theme park, for kids and adults as well. There are lots of people and lots to see. On more than one occasion, we've stopped to shoot off a quick text message, looked up, and couldn't see the tadpoles among the sea of guests. Make sure you have a plan in place in case someone gets separated from your group. Here are the top 10 don'ts for getting lost in the theme park (this post is focused on Disney World but our tips remain the same elsewhere!).

26. Pack Your Own Snacks and Water

This is always good advice. You'll save time, money and meltdowns by packing your own snacks and water (just no glass bottles). Fill stations and drinking fountains are open, plus you can usually ask for free ice water from a restaurant.

27. Make Dining Reservations or Check the Walk-up Availability

Knowing when and where you're going to eat can be a timesaver. By eliminating the time it takes to consider your options, hopping right to your restaurant really speeds up your day. Visit the Disneyland website or the Disneyland mobile app to see your options and reserve. Our three favorite spots are the Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square, Carthay Circle Restaurant on Buena Vista Street and Lamplight Lounge at Pixar Pier. Café Orleans has fun food too (such as the Monte Cristo and pommes frites). Disneyland dining reservations open 60 days in advance at 3 a.m., but keep checking back.

Restaurant availability and menus still vary. If you don't get reservations, you can check the Disneyland app. When you're near the restaurant, open the restaurant page and tap Join Walk-Up List. You might get lucky with this new feature and score a table.

28. Eat During Off-peak Hours or Dine on the Move

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Disneyland Yeti Popcorn

If you can't secure a reservation or would rather dine at a quick-service location, you'll save time waiting in line and finding a place to sit if you dine during the off-peak hours. This is from 10:30 a.m to noon and 3 p.m to 5 p.m. Here are some of our Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure quick-service favorites. Enjoy outdoor tables set up in new places around that park so you can enjoy the beautiful views.

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Fried Cheese on a Stick

You can save some time by dining on Disneyland eats that can be enjoyed on the move. Turkey legs, corn dogs, meat skewers and chili cone queso (in Cars Land) are all compact enough to be munched on while you're moving in normal times. Hop over for help in finding the best on-the-go Disneyland foods for when you need a light meal.

29. Plan Your Visit to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Disneyland's newest land takes a little planning if certain experiences are important to you. You can make advance reservations to build a lightsaber at Savi's Workshop or visit Oga's Cantina. Reservations have reopened to build a droid at Droid Depot. Learn more about how to make the most of your time in Batuu from our galactic guide to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. You can maximize your time in the park by saving your visit to the land for later in the day when the lines may be shorter and the land will be less sunny or hot.

30. Use the Mobile Order Service

The days of long food lines are gone! With Disneyland's Mobile Order service, you can order food from anywhere. Make a food order while you're in line for a ride, at the back of the long restaurant line or even in your hotel room. Just stop by the Mobile Order window and pick up your food. Many restaurants inside Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa currently offer Mobile Order.

With more people using Mobile Order, even the mobile waits are bound to get long, especially for popular spots at mealtimes. If you know where you want to eat and approximately when, order early. You can choose an order window that is several hours away. You can always cancel or change it to later if you can't make it until you tap "I'm here, Prepare my order." But it's smart to plan ahead. We know you're supposed to wait until you arrive to say you're there, but it takes time to prepare the food, so we always tap ahead of time while we walk over. Order ahead for popular spots. You can now mobile order treats from the candy shops too!

Our new time-saving move at breakfast is to mobile order breakfast at Galactic Grill while we ride the monorail into the park. When we arrive in Tomorrowland, breakfast is served!

31. Bring Your Own Lunch

If you really want to save time and money, bring your own lunch. Think picnic items such as sandwiches, raw veggies and fresh fruits. You may even bring a full picnic and store it in a locker outside of the park near the Picnic Area. No glass containers, loose ice or dry ice are allowed through security.

32. Pack the Essentials

Don't forget sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, cell phone cords, chargers, battery packs and band-aids. Using the Disneyland app on your phone can drain your battery. It doesn't rain very much in Southern California, but if you don't want to get wet on the water rides or plan on being in the front row at World of Color, you should bring your own poncho. You'll save time and money when you need them. Speaking of getting wet at Disneyland, we have a post with eight essential rainy day tips!

We have a new list of essential items now that COVID-19 is around. We bring our own hand sanitizer for preference or convenience, but you can find it everywhere in the park. We bring multiple face coverings even though they are no longer required in case we feel like using them or need to hop in First Aid.

33. Know When the Different Park Areas Close

Mickey's Toontown — where you'll find Mickey, Minnie, other characters and more family rides — closes earlier than the rest of the park on nights with fireworks. It sometimes opens an hour after park opening. Toontown is actually closed until some point in 2023 for the opening of Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance usually closes early, so check the hours. We like to hop in line right before it closes for a short wait.

At Disney California Adventure, several Pixar Pier and Paradise Gardens Park attractions, food and merchandise locations close prior to World of Color performances during normal operations. The following attractions close prior to World of Color:

  • Games of Pixar Pier
  • Incredicoaster
  • Jessie's Critter Carousel
  • Pixar Pal-A-Round
  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
  • Silly Symphony Swings
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish
  • Golden Zephyr

If you want to ride the Incredicoaster at night (our favorite time to ride!), you’d better ride it before World of Color. The park often closes just before or after the last World of Color show.

Even without shows affecting the ride and land openings and closings, you may see different hours than usual at this time.

34. Plan Meals Around Parade Times, Showtimes or Restaurant Hours

Choosing a great spot for Fantasmic!, World of Color or the fireworks is a rite of passage in our Frog Family. We make the most of this time waiting for the show to start by making it "dinner time," as well. We find our ideal viewing location, and then one family member sets out for burgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, fried chicken from Plaza Inn or other grab-and-go type foods for the rest of the family. While we wait for the show to start, we eat sitting down!

Fireworks have returned! We say to check restaurant operating hours and plan ahead so you don't go hungry. Mobile Order in advance so you don't miss out!

35. See the Second Show

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - World of Color Viewing - Pixar Pal-A-Round

During the busiest times of the year, there are often two showings of the parades, World of Color and Fantasmic! The later you stay, the less time you need to stake out a viewing location for these shows. When there is a later World of Color show, the crowds tend to be much thinner for the second show, especially since it may take place after the park is officially closed.

36. Plan for World of Color in Advance

World of Color uses a virtual queue for the main viewing areas. It's free but spaces go quickly. You can join the virtual queue at noon each day. Follow our World of Color post for tips on viewing this amazing show with colorful fountains, projection, music and special effects. There are dining packages and a dessert party that also provide a reserved area to stand.

37. Save Attractions with Long Waits Until the End of the Night

Wait times drop off in the last couple of hours of park operation, which makes this a perfect time to hop in line at Indiana Jones Adventure, Peter Pan's Flight or Space Mountain. If you're already in line when the parks close, you can stay in line and ride. We enjoy riding Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance right before it closes. Check the ride's hours in the app since it closes early.

38. Ride During Showtimes

The wait times drop significantly for rides in New Orleans Square and Critter Country during Fantasmic!, making show time the best time to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and Splash Mountain. You may also find shorter lines in Disneyland during fireworks and at available rides at Disney California Adventure during World of Color if the park is still open.

39. Make Sure You're in a Ride Line when the Park Closes

Once you're in a line, you will get to ride, even if it's already past the park's closing time. Just hop in line before the park closes. Keep in mind that some rides close early, such as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

40. Catch the Flag Retreat

In Town Square, the patriotic flag retreat is still hoppening each day. It's slightly modified, but it occurs at 4:30 p.m. daily. Grab a bench and enjoy!

We hope you've enjoyed our tips to maximize your time at Disneyland. Do you already follow any of these tips? Have a tip we haven't listed? Share in the comments below! If you're looking for Disneyland tickets, you can save on multi-day tickets through Undercover Tourist.

Related: Best Time to Visit Disneyland

Related: The Ins and Outs of Disneyland Dining Reservations

Keep hopping!

Keep hopping, Leap!
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51–100 of 118 comments
Apr 18, 2018 at 8:47 a.m. KeithCarreon Says...

Thank you so much for this tips, we always spending our family travel in disneyland but we didn't enjoy so much our trip at disney land because of the time budgeting, but now you helped me how to manage our time this coming vacation at disneyland and you helping me have Idea how to enjoy our day at this place.

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Apr 18, 2018 at 10:53 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Keith!

We are so hoppy to help! Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about your upcoming trip to Disneyland. Enjoy!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 16, 2018 at 4:13 p.m. Miranda Says...

Hi, this will be our first trip to disneyland with our 2 and 4 year old. The main reason we are going is because our son loves Disney cars. Our first day in the park will also be his birthday 5/28 so we are hoping to have a plan so he can ride the rides at Cars land. Any extra advice? Our first day will also be memorial day so I know it will be crowded. Thanks!

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Jan 22, 2019 at 7:36 a.m. Laura Says...

Check your 4yo's height too. The first time I took my grandson at 3yo he was too short to ride cars....very disappointing for him. Have fun!

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Apr 17, 2018 at 2:34 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Miranda,

Hop over to our Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park Plans to get tips on how to navigate the parks and when to experience attractions! By looking at these plans, you can get an idea of what rides to prioritize and when to visit them so you can maximize your time in the parks.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 11, 2018 at 7:03 p.m. Cristine Says...

Hi! Thanks for all the great tips! It is overwhelming to navigate everything, so your posts help greatly! I am traveling single mom style with my two boys 12 & almost-7 the 3rd week of April. We have a week vacation and think we will enjoy 4 days at the parks. We are staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim theme park entrance, so hope this will help with ease of access, and taking breaks midday as needed. It seems like we'll get the most out of our time if we plan ahead for shows, get the FASTPASS & MAXPASS, go early in morning, and plan for our desired rides first thing in morning and any shows at end of day. Do you have any advice on how to best enjoy the park with only one parent and with two kids of such different ages? Many thanks!

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Apr 12, 2018 at 4:52 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cristine,

Great idea to enjoy 4 days at the parks! You'll definitely enjoy the convenient location from your hotel to the parks. Don't be afraid to take pool and nap breaks! You might also find our Disneyland park plans helpful in prioritizing your days in the parks. Since your tadpoles (kids) are such different ages, you might find this post on Disneyland height requirements and Rider Switch to be useful. While having a plan is great and recommended, we find it makes things easiest when you're flexible with changes to the plan. Most of all, just enjoy yourself! You're going to the Happiest Place in the World after all!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 9, 2018 at 3:06 p.m. Megan Says...

Thanks for all your tips!! We leave tomorrow for 8 days - yay!! We have 5-day park hoppers, and we are planning to get MaxPass for 4 of those days. My question is - can we get ONLY PhotoPass for 1 day? Do all members of our party need to purchase PhotoPass, or just 1 member?

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Apr 9, 2018 at 12:08 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan!

For each day that you have MaxPass, you will also have PhotoPass! And all members of your party can link to one PhotoPass and see the images on their devices for download as well.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Apr 9, 2018 at 8:55 p.m. Megan Says...

Thanks!

I'm just wondering about the one day where we do not want to purchase MaxPass. (One day we are entering the park with no intention of rides...so don't need the fast pass feature. This day, we're doing character breakfast and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!!) On that day, would it work for only ONE of us to purchase MaxPass? (Cuz the only thing we want is the benefit of photo pass that day). And then whenever we get photos taken, we just scan the one person's code?? Just trying to figure out if there is a way to get the benefits of photo pass without every person in our party purchasing MP for one day??

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Apr 9, 2018 at 11:21 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Megan!

Oh, sorry we misunderstood your question! Yes, absolutely. One person can purchase MaxPass in order to get PhotoPass abilities for the day. Just be sure to scan that person's code wherever you get photos taken in order to link them to your account. Great question :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Apr 10, 2018 at 11:45 a.m. Megan Says...

Perfect - thanks so much for all your help! (PS - your 1-day and 2-day plans are so so great! Love the colour-coded maps!!)

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Apr 4, 2018 at 6:03 p.m. Stacy Says...

Park hopping is my definite time saver. Especially if you find you finish up earlier than expected at one park - just hop your way down to the other!

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Mar 5, 2018 at 4:41 a.m. Jen Says...

We are going to Disneyland for two days on march 20. 3adults and 3children, do the children need to buy maxpasses too even if the adults will be the ones managing the rides. Infact two adults out of three probably won’t do any rides either. What do you suggest? Thank you for your help.

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Mar 5, 2018 at 9:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen!

Anyone who will be enjoying the rides and attractions needs to have a MaxPass, regardless of who will be managing it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Mar 3, 2018 at 11:02 p.m. Amy Says...

MaxPass not only saved us time, but saved us a lot of extra walking.

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Feb 27, 2018 at 11:54 a.m. Lorena Says...

Hello! I'm going to do Disney in one day with Park Hopper and purchase the Max Pass, but I have a doubt, I'm going to be able to have the fast pass for World if Color AND Fantasmic on the same day? Or I have to choose one show?

Sorry for my english, I'm argentinian, love your posts!

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Mar 7, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lorena,

It an be challenging to get both in! It all depends on show times and crowd levels that day. The FASTPASSes for Fantasmic! run out the fastest, so get those first thing in the morning. If you do no get one, arrive early for a standby location. Arrive early even if you have a FASTPASS since they do pack people in for the show. The World of Color FASTPASSes take longer to distribute, and if there is a second show that night, it is definitely the least crowded. You also don’t necessarily need to be right in front for World of Color; the first row can get wet from the spray, and the water sprays really high.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 27, 2018 at 4:26 a.m. Steve Says...

Do you know if you can select a FastPass (while at the Park)... leave the park mid-day to take a break... and then utilize the FastPass upon your return?

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Feb 27, 2018 at 4:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Steve,

Yes, you can most certainly reserve a FastPass for later in the day and then come back to enjoy it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 18, 2018 at 4:33 p.m. Amber Says...

Hello!

We are planning a trip for Mid Sept 2018. We will just be there one day. What park do you suggest? This will be mine and my 8 year olds first trip. So we have no idea where to begin!

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Feb 21, 2018 at 11:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amber!

Oh, my! If possible, we would recommend purchasing a Park Hopper ticket to experience the magic of both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure in one day. However, if you have to choose JUST ONE, we'd go with Disneyland Park for your very first trip to experience all of the classic fun and attractions.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Feb 3, 2018 at 5:42 a.m. Tee Wheeler Says...

How much is parking on the property?

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Feb 5, 2018 at 4:19 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Tee!

Parking is $20 per standard vehicle.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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Feb 2, 2018 at 5:31 a.m. Amber Says...

We are planning a trip during Presidents' Day weekend. Which day will be busiest- Sunday or Monday?

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Feb 2, 2018 at 9:35 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amber!

Our Crowd Calendar predicts that it will be equally busy on both of those days. If we had to guess, we would lean towards Monday to visit.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 29, 2018 at 1 a.m. Court Says...

Hello!

Me and my family are going to Disneyland for Spring Break. The youngest child is 12 years old. If you could give me any ride suggestions that would be great! Thank You!

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Jan 29, 2018 at 3:01 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Court!

Oh my goodness! That sounds like it will be a super fun trip. Truly, every experience and attraction at Disneyland is wonderful for families of all ages. But it sounds like your group may enjoy the more exciting rides such as Splash Mountain, Space Mountain and Matterhorn Bobsleds. Be sure to visit Cars Land as well!

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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Jan 19, 2018 at 12:23 a.m. Rich R Says...

Taking my 5 year old son for the first time. I havnt been in 20 years! I was planning on getting there about 1:00 so we can stay into the night a bit before he melts. Any comments or suggestions for parking or shortest wait times on the kiddie rides? Thanks!

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Apr 7, 2018 at 8:54 p.m. Lindsay Says...

I am surprising my husband with a 2 day anniversary trip at the beginning of May. Already have tickets, lodging, and dinner with Goofy reserved. Neither of us have been there in over a decade. What should we know, what should we plan, and what should we pack? I am thinking one day at each park as I did not go for park hoppers.

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Apr 10, 2018 at 3:36 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lindsay,

Hop over to our Disneyland park plans to get an idea of what to see and do! One day at each park is definitely a good idea, especially since you didn't purchase Park Hoppers. While you're visiting in the beginning of May and not the dead middle of summer, our post on our top tips for Disneyland in summer might help you out some. Have a great trip!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 7, 2018 at 8:40 p.m. Lindsay P Says...

When we took our twins when they were little, we showed up at opening and then headed back to the hotel around 1 for lunch and "quiet time". Went back around 3 or 4 and were able to finish the night with the parade. Hope this helps!!

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Jan 23, 2018 at 10:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rich,

Having a later start in the day is a great approach! Most of the "kiddie" rides will become less crowded as the evening goes on...and this will help you avoid a grumpy kid! Have fun :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jan 11, 2018 at 12:47 p.m. Lee Says...

Hi

Great tips, thanks.

Me and my family of 4 are going to the Disney Parks at Easter and the tickets we have purchased include Fast Pass+. is this new and different to the Fast Pass you cover in your tips above? I'm really concerned about queues ove rthe Easter holidays so want to make sure we get the best from the Fast Pass facility.

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Jan 11, 2018 at 9:59 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lee,

Are you visiting Disney World in Florida, or Disneyland in California? This post covers Fastpass in Disneyland. If you're headed to Disney World (in Florida) you can check out our tips for the FastPass+ system here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 3, 2018 at 10:41 p.m. Carrie Says...

Hello, what a great website! My husband and I are going in Jan/Feb 2018 with 4 & 6 year old kids, and I will be 4 months pregnant. We will do a 3 day hopper. Do you have any advice/tips on how to make the most of our time, I'm sure most of the rides won't allow pregnant ladies. Thanks

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Jan 4, 2018 at 11:42 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carrie,

There are plenty of shows and attractions to be seen that aren't rides! For attractions you won't be able to experience, your family can always consider using Rider Switch. This will allow everyone to have a ride buddy and not be left out. Be sure to also check out our Disneyland park plans to maximize your time. Have a great time!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 29, 2017 at 2:35 p.m. Luke Says...

Hello!

First, I want to say that your website is fantastic and extremely helpful! I wanted to see you all knew which rides at Disneyland are historically the longest waits, and which ones we do not have to rush to at the beginning of the day. The wife and I are going to Disneyland for the first time on March 6th, 2018 and I'm trying to figure out how to maximize the day as much as possible!

Reply
Dec 29, 2017 at 11:38 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Luke,

Popular rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain Matterhorn Bobsled usually have longer wait times. Check out our Disneyland park plans for recommendations on how to maximize the day!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 17, 2017 at 2:12 a.m. Krista Says...

What does this statement mean on Disney's website: "Be aware that pre-purchased theme park tickets do not guarantee entry on any given day. Please consider arriving early to begin your magical experience!" Do they limit the number of park visitors each day and how can you plan a vacation there if they do? Thank you!

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Dec 18, 2017 at 10:16 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Krista,

The parks do have a capacity limit and when they reach them, they cannot let any more guests in, unfortunately. When visiting during peak times (such as the holidays), it's wise to get there early so you can get inside before they reach capacity!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 11, 2017 at 3:02 a.m. James Says...

Hey we are going to Disney land at the end of January. We are from Canada and wanted to do 2 says but the Canada pass might make it the same price to do 3 days. (We might only use 2). I had a couple questions. We are bringing our daughter who will be 3 and a half when we are there. Any tips on what rides are best for a girl that age and which park is better or if a park hopping pass would be worth it for her if she gets bored at one. Thanks for the help. I’m sure you have a section on ages and what not but I haven’t got that far. Thanks again.

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Dec 11, 2017 at 1:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi James,

Hop over to this post for some ideas on what rides would be best for her. It's geared towards babies, but the rides listed are great for toddler age, as well. This post also contains height requirements for Disneyland attractions, which can be helpful for you, as well. If you're going to be at the parks for 3 days, you might consider a Park Hopper. It's very easy to hop between the two parks, so if she ends up having a favorite ride or show, it'd be simple to go to that particular park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 1, 2017 at 7:22 a.m. April Says...

Thank you for all the tips. We are struggling with locking down our dates to go in 2018 and am hoping for advise. We are looking at the Middle of March, the week after Easter or the Middle of April. I'm worried about the crowds and having to stand in lines as it's busier times, I'm disabled. However, we are a family of 6 and going in the slower time is quit an increase in price. We are torn with deciding if the price is worth less wait time. Also with not having info for 2018 yet it's hard to see if rides will be closed. Thanks for suggestions.

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Dec 5, 2017 at 2:20 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi April,

The middle of April would be your best bet as far as crowds go. The middle of March is usually spring break, which brings in more crowds, and so does Easter. Check out predicted crowds on our crowd calendar.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Nov 19, 2017 at 3:48 p.m. You Says...

Do we take the FASTPASS for colours of the world or radiator springs racers first? There is a rule where you can only take the fastpass once in every 2 hours.

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Nov 16, 2017 at 8:27 a.m. Jenny Says...

Hi. I love all your tips for maximizing time at DL! I am taking my 7 year old son by myself at the end of Jan 2018, thanks to your calendar, but many of the tips rely on a group (One person getting fastpasses, etc). Obviously, I can't leave my son to hold a spot or use the single rider options. Do you have any advice for optimizing our visit for a single Mom?

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Nov 16, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jenny,

We recommend figuring out ahead of time what rides and entertainment you and your son want to experience. Prioritize the attractions so you can have a plan on what you are going to do and what Fastpasses you'll need while you're in the park. We have Disneyland park plans that can help you with having a tentative schedule! Hope this helps.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 11, 2017 at 4:47 p.m. The Clark Channel Says...

We are a married couple who are total Disney fanatics, and we finally got to visit Disneyland for the first time! And we made a video about it :D We love this website and all you do!

We think you'll like our video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZS9XNpumXk

Hope all is well!

Reply
Sep 6, 2017 at 10:33 p.m. RG Says...

we are planning a trip around thanksgiving to DL and CA. I know it is quiet busy at that time. We were there last Halloween. What are your favorite character meals for 8 year old girl and 4 year old boy. We did Ariel's Grotto and Breakfast with characters at plaza Inn last year. Do you recommend Disney MaxPass. TIA

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Sep 7, 2017 at 8:14 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi RG,

Ariel's Grotto, Plaza Inn are both great. Consider Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel or the breakfast buffet with characters at Disney's Grand Californian.

We have a full post on MaxPass that can help you decide if it's good for your family. Read it here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 11, 2017 at 9:10 p.m. Shawn Says...

Hi Leap,

Thank you for all the specific and useful information. Your one day plan is especially helpful. We are three adults going to Disneyland Park for one day on a Friday in August. We are most interested in the thrill rides and the Haunted Mansion. Do you have a strategy for maximising time if these are out primary focus? Thank you.

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Aug 14, 2017 at 8:25 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Shawn,

Take a peek at our Park Plan and make adjustments, eliminating anything you don't want to see in order to "Prioritize" your top attractions. Also, consider Disney MaxPass to get FASTPASS times quicker.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 1, 2017 at 2:28 a.m. Gigi Says...

My teenage daughter is planning to go to Disneyland on the day before Veterans Day weekend in November with her class for one of the leadership classes that they do at the park. She hasn't been to Disneyland in about 4 years. They most likely won't arrive until after the park opens. What should I pack for her and what rides would she want to go on?

Thanks!

Reply
Aug 2, 2017 at 3:21 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Gigi,

Check out our post for Disneyland rides teens might enjoy. As far as what to pack, make sure she has comfortable shoes since she'll be doing a lot of walk. During that time of year, the temps are usually in the 70s during the day and 50s at night, so maybe a light sweater, as well.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 27, 2017 at 4:40 p.m. Raji Says...

Hey, I am super glad to have read this post before heading to Disney this year with my kids. I could'nt have enjoyed the time in Disney without having a locker and fast pass. We did just one park per day to save money. I have one tween and a teen and could do all the FP rides without any hastle. We had about 2 hours free in the disney adventure park. This season being super crowded, it was quite exhausting but we did enjoy it thoroughly. Thanks a lot for all the tips. I really appreciate it.

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Jun 27, 2017 at 4:08 a.m. Amy Says...

Hi,

We are getting married in Feb 2018, and am considering going to Disney land for our honeymoon. Will Feb still be an enjoyable experience as i know its a cooler period?

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Jun 27, 2017 at 8:48 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy,

Congrats! While it's cooler and some attractions are down for refurbishment, you won't find huge crowds in February. Take a look at our Crowd Calendar to see what the days look like for you!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Apr 23, 2017 at 6:04 p.m. Jan Says...

We are planning a family reunion the first week of May 2018. For 2017, I notice the Indiana Jones Adventure will be closed for refurbishment May 1-25.

I realize this is too far ahead but does it typically close during this time every year? This is one ride none of us have done (not at WDW) and would hate to miss it.

If need be, we can switch the date a few days. Btw, your website is a wealth of information. Love it!!

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Apr 25, 2017 at 11:14 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jan,

Indiana Jones Adventure usually goes down during spring. It's possible that the attraction will go down the same time, but refurbishments are always scheduled to change.

Keep Hopping!

Leap

Reply
Oct 18, 2016 at 4:23 p.m. Shmoo Says...

Hi There!

I am planning on coming Nov 28 - Dec 5 ( or there about) It will be shortly after my son's 10th birthday and he has never been to Disneyland before.

I have read several places that this is an excellent time to go because the park is less busy.

Are there any attractions we should visit on the first couple days at the parks? We know we will be going over a weekend that tends to be busier. Any word on if they are having their Christmas performance in the evening yet?

Thanks!

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Oct 25, 2016 at 12:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

The religious Christmas Candlelight procession will be held in front of the train station near the entrance to the park on Dec 3 and 4 this year. But it is very challenging to get see. The seats are reserved, so there is standing to the side. There is a new Holiday fireworks show that will be going on—check the calendar for the nights. The holiday parade will be running, and there is a new Holiday World of Color show too.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 5, 2016 at 10:15 p.m. Heather Says...

I am looking at going to both parks January 7,8 or 9,10 will it be really busy then?

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Oct 12, 2016 at 10:18 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Heather,

Holiday Time ends Jan. 8. The 9th/10th will be much quieter ... but without the holiday events.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 6, 2016 at 6:27 p.m. Dina Says...

Hello! I'm loving your page! I'm arriving Tuesday, November 8th with my 3 girls (12,10 & 7) and staying in Anaheim area till Thursday. I'm very unsure what type of ticket to purchase. We will arrive in Anaheim around 1 pm Tuesday. Should I purchase a 2 day hopper and try to go Tuesday afternoon/evening to get in some rides/attractions and then do all day Wednesday? And will a day and a half be enough time? Lastly, character dining? Worth it, or no? It's very big in WDW, but wasn't sure about DL. Thanks so much for any advice!!

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Sep 19, 2016 at 2:19 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dina,

Thank you for the compliment! If you enjoy character dining, then you have a lot of choices. We recommend a lunch so you you can take advantage of morning time in the park, which is the least crowded. We do not recommend a character breakfast on Wednesday because you will want to arrive early at the park that day. Since you have a limited time, it might be hard to fit it all in. We recommend the Park Hopper so you can get see everything. If it saves money you can do a one-day park for Tuesday and a ParkHopper for Wednesday, but see how the cost breaks down. But if there is nighttime entertainment those days, you will enjoy seeing World of Color one night and fireworks the next. They will release the entertainment schedules in the next couple weeks, so use those to plan your day.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 21, 2016 at 4:53 a.m. Ron Crawford Says...

Found one of the best eats for the price is Smoke Jumper Cafe right next to Sorin in Cal Adventure. In there you have a great condiment bar that is you do it right you can make yourself a nice salad with condiments. They have thousand island and ranch dressing. Roasted red bell peppers, sliced peppers, sliced tomatoes and if you like pickles. You will walk out of there full and feeling good because part of your meal was salad.

Reply
Aug 22, 2016 at 8:38 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ron,

Great suggestion! Thanks for sharing :)

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 5, 2016 at 6:05 a.m. Laura L. Says...

Hi there! I enjoyed reading your article. I am a single mom who has been saving for 2 years to take my 2 preteen and teen boys. They and I am very excited. We are going to both DL and DCA the second week of October. I'm looking for my info and opinion on Mikey's not to scary Halloween party that will happen 2 of the 3 nights we are there. I feel like we are kinda getting the short end of the stick with park hours. The cost for 1 ticket is an additional almost $80 per person and you get about 5 more hours in DL. I'm trying to decide if purchasing those tickets in addition to the already purchased 3day park hopper passes are worth it? Candy isn't an appeal, my boys are too cool to dress up.....but I'm bummed about the loss of park time.

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Aug 9, 2016 at 9:52 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Laura,

Don't worry. You can still have a great time without buying party tickets. If you are buying a three-day park hopper you can maximize your time by hopping between the parks. We recommend doing a full day at DCA one of the party days, do a full day at Disneyland on the nonparty day, and then do Disneyland in the morning of the other party day, then somewhere in the afternoon or early evening you can hop on over to California Adventure (which has a lot to offer kids your kids' ages). Except for the party times, you can just hop back and forth if you prefer one park over the other park (be sure to check DCA nighttime hours as well because they may not be open super late). The two parks are very close and a short walk apart. Also, keep in mind that if you are standing in a line when the park closes for the party, you can stay in that line until you have ridden the ride and then leave. You can watch Halloween fireworks from outside the park in a few areas on party nights. You can see some from the area between the parks, from Downtown Disney, from some hotel rooms (even offsite hotels have some great fireworks views), and the top of the Mickey and Friends parking structure. Or use the evening to go out for dinner or to swim in the hotel pool. There are video games in the ESPN Zone at Downtown Disney and movie theater at Downtown Disney.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Aug 1, 2016 at 7:57 p.m. Judie Says...

Which Frozen show would be best to see if we are wanting to see World of Color too? Any advice? Also, how would you organize the day with those two shows as well as riding, Soarin, Radiator Springs Racers, Tower of Terror, Screamin, and Ariel's Ride? There are 4 adults. We are going Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Thanks!

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Aug 9, 2016 at 12:34 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Judie,

When you arrive in the morning go get your Frozen FastPass first. One person needs to take all of the park tickets to get the passes—guests must have entered the park. They hand out the shows in order of the shows for the day. Once one show fills up, they start distributing the next show. You do not get to pick. Get whatever show you can and note the time. Arrive about an hour before show time. They are all the same. Keep your ears open. Sometimes they hand out World of Color FastPasses on Buena Vista Street after people enter the park or in the Frozen line. That can save time. Otherwise you pick them up over by Grizzy River Run. Next stop pick up FastPasses for Soarin' or Radiator Springs since the shows do not affect the ability to pick up ride FastPasses (for four adults we recommend getting the FastPasses for Soarin' and doing the single rider line for Radiator Springs early—it can be very short and you may end up in a car with a family member or on the same group of cars. You will all finish within a minute of each other). Then hop in line for Tower of Terror early followed by Screamin'. Be sure to hit Toy Story Midway Mania while you are by Screamin'. Ariel's ride usually has a very short line any time of day so save that one for later.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 26, 2016 at 7:02 p.m. Belle Says...

We're planning to see Disneyland decorated for winter. Do you think the weekend of December 2 thru 5 of this year be busy? My 22 year old son is "special needs" with Autism. Do you know if they provide line priority for those with disabilities?

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Aug 9, 2016 at 1:06 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Belle,

Head to Guest Services and ask about receiving the Disability Access Service Card. It’s designed for guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue because of a disability (especially cognitive related). It works pretty similar to FastPass; you’ll receive return times for attractions so you don’t have to physically wait in line!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 26, 2016 at 3:09 a.m. Laura Says...

Great blog! We are going in November over Thanksgiving. I know will be busy but I have wired 58 years to celebrate my birthday at Disneyland and see it decorated for Christmas. Many friends are coming from across the country and have never been or been 50 years since they were there. These tips will come in handy! Thanks

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May 24, 2016 at 4:20 p.m. Anderson Family Says...

We are traveling to disneyland next month june 14 &15 to be more exact now with only having 2 days what would be the best way to go about that? keep in mind it is my 8 yr old and husbands FIRST TIME!!!

Reply
May 31, 2016 at 5:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

All of these tips are the best way to skip the lines at Disneyland, but you can see our touring plans here.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 19, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. Julie Says...

I've read today about FastPass+ being implemented at Disneyland. We'll be there mid-June of this year, and wondered if you could offer wisdom about how they differ from the normal FassPass experience, as well as what you'd recommend using them for with a five-year old boy? Thanks!

Reply
May 30, 2016 at 8:47 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Julie,

We have some tips on this post that would help familiarize you with it.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 16, 2016 at 4:28 a.m. Daniel Says...

Hi, there

I'm going to Disneyland next week, I got my tickets online, since I don't have time to wait for my tickets to be shipped I got etickes. Do I need to get an actual park ticket at the entrance of the park in order to use the fastpass machine?

Thank You

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May 20, 2016 at 9:56 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Daniel,

When you enter the park, the cast member will hand you a ticket you can use for Fast Pass.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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May 11, 2016 at 4:32 p.m. Amy Knoche Says...

Is Olaf now meeting with Anna & Elsa, and are the wait times crazy long?

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May 20, 2016 at 10:44 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amy,

Yes, Olaf is now in the same area as Anna and Elsa. The wait times have dropped off, and you no longer need a FastPass to see them.

Keep hopping!

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May 24, 2016 at 4:22 p.m. Anderson Family Says...

where would we meet Anna,elsa and olaf??

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May 31, 2016 at 5:13 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi,

You can meet them all now in Disney California Adventure at the Royal Academy inside Animation Academy.

Keep hopping!

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May 11, 2016 at 4:23 p.m. Robbin Says...

I want to take my 2 year old to DL for his B-day before he turns 3. What offerings does DL have for kids B-days?

Lastly is Memorial Day and extra busy day (I didn't see it mentioned above)?

Reply
May 20, 2016 at 10:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Robbin,

Memorial Day crowds can vary from year to year, but we do know that many of the annual passes, except for the lowest pass, are not blocked out that day. Most holidays bring crowds. If you are celebrating a birthday, be sure to get a free birthday button from the information booth, and you can order cakes through the online reservations system.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Apr 29, 2016 at 6:01 a.m. Nori Says...

I'm going with my two daughters ages 7 and 10 on May 28-31. It's Memorial Day long weekend. I know this is going to be super busy. Is there a park that would be less busy during this time and do you think I should do both parks or is Disneyland enough?

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May 20, 2016 at 10:46 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Nori,

We happen to like California Adventure for one of the days. With Cars Land, The Little Mermaid Ride, Soarin', Toy Story Midway Mania, and several thrill rides and more, it has a lot of offer that age group. Generally, it will be busy in both parks, but we like to avoid the park that offers an early entry because that park stays busy throughout the day. Arrive early for the shortest morning lines.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Apr 20, 2016 at 2:59 p.m. Rebecca Says...

Hi! These tips have made me EVEN MORE excited for our trip we are planning July 6th. Seeing that it's after the July 4th holiday, is it normally starting to calm down a little or is it pretty busy that whole week because of the holiday? One more question, if you had to choose 1 absolute must see, what would it be. My kids are 11, 7, and 4 and none of them have ever been. I can't wait to go as I haven't been there since 1996 (grad party) and I don't remember much at all about it. This article has been amazing to read but I did notice it was posted in 2014. Has a lot changed since then? Anyhow, thanks again for all the tips. Have a great day. -Rebecca

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Apr 26, 2016 at 8:34 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rebecca,

Any days near a holiday tend to be more crowded than usual, but you should be able to accomplish a lot if you arrive early and use FastPasses for the most crowded lines. Your kids are different ages, so it is hard to say what is a can't miss. At California Adventure, there will be a new Soarin' Around the World ride that will be worth doing—get a FastPass for that—and Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land is the Must-Do ride with the longest lines. FastPasses for Radiator Springs move quickly, so either get a FastPass first thing in the morning (near the entrance to Bug's Land) or go ride it first.

In Disneyland Park, the older kids will love Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Thunder Mountain or Star Tours (especially if you have Star Wars fans) or they like fast rides. Your youngest may enjoy Star Tours and Thunder Mountain too, depending on how brave he or she is. Pirates of the Caribbean is a great must-do for the whole family. Splash Mountain is also great for a hot day. Be sure to catch the Paint the Night parade and The Disneyland Forever Fireworks.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Apr 18, 2016 at 7:26 p.m. Amanda Campos Says...

Hi,

I am purchasing the 3 day hopper tickets through my husbands work. How do I know if it includes a magic morning?

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Apr 25, 2016 at 2:11 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Amanda,

I would reach out to your husband's company directly to confirm.

Keep hopping!

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Mar 15, 2016 at 1:31 p.m. Zareen Says...

Hi

Thnx for ur tips really very helpful. V r coming in summer break with our kids 7 n 2 yrs n my mother in law also she is severe arthritis patient n on wheel chair I want to ask for

her will she enjoy there ? Like any kind of activity for her? n wat abt DACS is still available there ?? Or how can v buy this card ?

N plz help me for my kids also my boys love cars n dinosaurs can u tell me rides according to their ages

Thnx

Reply
Mar 17, 2016 at 8:41 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Zareen,

Most of the rides at Disney World are wheelchair accessible, so she can enjoy anything she chooses to! DAS is available, but it’s reserved for those who cannot wait in a conventional queue due to a disability. You don’t have to buy it; you just stop by Guest Relations and see if you qualify for it. This post might help you figure out what attractions are suitable for your kids’ ages!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Mar 3, 2016 at 9:33 p.m. Aimee Says...

Hi - What's the best restaurant to sit at for the World of Color show and where is the best location to be in Disneyland to watch the fireworks.

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Mar 11, 2016 at 9:35 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Aimee,

You can't really see World of Color from any of the restaurants. You can see a side view from some parts of the Cove Bar and Ariel's Grotto (which often closes before the show), but they stop serving for the show and you would have to be in place pretty early to get a spot. Even with the expansion, there is always a long wait to get into the Cove Bar. It's not a great view of the animation/video. Of course you can see some color and water, but the animation on the water and on the Micky Fun Wheel and the loop of the roller coaster are best viewed straight on. There is a new dessert reservation you can make where you get to sit and have dessert for the show, but it is pretty pricey. I recommend getting a FASTPASS early in the day over by the Grizzly River Run. There are dining programs that allow you to eat in a restaurant with a prix fixe menu and they give you vouchers for an area to watch the show later. None offer dining while watching packages. They are expensive. Our favorite of these restaurants is Carthay Circle. But we would seriously opt for the free FastPasses. If there are two shows, the second show is very uncrowded and very easy to get a great spot to watch it.

As for the fireworks, we have a post that outlines the best places to view them. The very best view if you are willing to wait in place for hours before the show is right in front of the castle. We prefer, though, to hop in place about 20 minutes before the show on Main Street in front of the Penny Arcade and Gibson Girl ice cream in the middle of the street. You can see the fireworks very well over the castle with that iconic view, and the projection is all around you with some other surprises too. It is also easy to get a good spot in front of the fence in front of It's a Small World (which also offers some surprises too). You can see the projection there very well (even better than the castle, we think), and the fireworks are very close (over Toon Town and to the left of it's a small world). That is the best and least crowded view of projection, however, you lack that iconic view of the castle and can't see Tinker Belle fly. It all depends on what is most important to you. We don't like to wait for hours, so the Main Street and Small World locations work best for us. If you are watching near the castle, watch out for trees--they block views. Some areas are designated walkways, so ask a cast member before committing to a spot, so you don't get moved and lose your spot just before showtime.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Mar 3, 2016 at 5:22 a.m. Christine Says...

We are going to Disneyland the week of June 6th-10th. Is this a busy week?

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Feb 25, 2016 at 3:25 p.m. Cat Says...

Hi! How are the crowds at the end of September/beginning of October? Two, possibly three of us will be attending Gay Days weekend at the parks. Would a Park Hopper ticket be a good choice for us?

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Feb 19, 2016 at 3:57 a.m. Carrie Says...

Hi.

Just wondered about Dis raising prices for tickets?

Should I buy now for April trip or wait?

Appriciate

Reply
Feb 24, 2016 at 6:27 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Carrie,

I would purchase soon for the greatest savings.

Keep hopping!

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