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40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland

A note from Leap: Disneyland limits capacity via a new theme park reservation system. Hop over to our Disneyland reopening post for the latest news and safety information (and over to our mask policy post, since the rules may change). During the phased reopening, some attractions, shows and tools to maximize your time at Disneyland may be temporarily unavailable. In big news, FASTPASS and MaxPass have been retired, and a new paid service replaces them in fall 2021 (more details below). Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hour are temporarily unavailable.

As long-time Disney frog-natics, Disney is practically our home, second to our humble lily pad. Trips to Disneyland were 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 also returning back to 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! 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 tips that will help you maximize your time at Disneyland.

Some of the tools we have relied on to maximize time in the past are changing. A new Genie service is coming to the Disneyland app in fall 2021. Genie+ is a paid service that replaces MaxPass (and FASTPASS). We are sharing what we know about the changes to come as well as how to maximize your time at Disneyland right now.

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland

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. This is so Disneyland can limit capacity and allow for physical distancing. Did you know you can purchase your discount Disneyland tickets through Undercover Tourist and save some green? As soon as you receive your ticket order, be sure to 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).

Normally, 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 60 days).

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 60 days in advance. Here are two additional links you may find hopful at this time in terms of planning your visit:

  • Disneyland Park Availability Calendar — This calendar allows you to make sure the park you want to visit is available 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 5 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 do not 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. Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa was first hotel to reopen and the other hotels will reopen at a later date. Disney's Paradise Pier reopens June 15, 2021. Disneyland Hotel reopens July 2, 2021.

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!). During normal times, you can enjoy the Extra Magic Hour for every day of your stay at an on-site property. The Extra Magic Hour benefit gives you one-hour early access to either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park, which can be critical in reducing your waits on the most popular attractions (talkin' about you, Radiator Springs Racers).

Extra Magic Hour is temporarily unavailable during the phased reopening. But you should still aim to arrive at the gates before the park opens to take advantage of the least crowded time of day and get a jump on the fun. We'll let you in on a little secret, most days, the theme park gates open early anyway (sometimes 30 to 60 minutes before opening time). So if you arrive early, you'll definitely make your own "magic morning." Rides are open with the shortest wait times of the day.

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. If you can't stay on property, at least 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 (once shuttles are running, there can be a wait for the parking tram). 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 once it reopens. (Ribbit! We can save you $$$ if you book your hotel through Undercover Tourist!) People start to line up before 7:00 a.m., but once the security line starts moving, 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 clothes pockets ready to be passed to the guard 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, the Harbor Boulevard security entrance (the area where Toy Story Lot and off-site hotels tend to enter) has a special security line 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 do not get turned away. Read more in our post on using a stroller at Disneyland.

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Rope Drop6. Get to the parks before they open.

We 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 of park opening). When you arrive at the park before it opens, you will be one of the very first people inside the parks.

During a normal time, you can 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 a called "rope drop." Rope Drop is hoppening right now, however, sometimes the rope drops earlier than posted opening time. You can enter the rest of the park and go straight to the rides. The park turnstiles generally open 30 to 60 minutes earlier than posted.

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 prepare to use virtual queues.

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 QR 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 do not get caught hungry. You can also purchase PhotoPass+ through the app (new) so you can get all your PhotoPass downloads.

You'll need to use the app to access virtual queues, called Boarding Groups. Two rides are only accessible via Boarding Groups (they have no standby line):

These two rides offer two opportunities per day to join a boarding group: at 7 a.m. and at noon. You will join a Boarding Group on your smartphone through the Disneyland app. You must act quickly because the Boarding Groups and backup Boarding Groups fill within seconds to minutes. You cannot join both at the same time.

Disney Genie is a new feature in the Disneyland app coming fall 2021. It helps you plan and customize 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 or even make dining reservations through the app.

9. Follow These Tips for the Shortest Wait Times

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Indiana Jones FASTPASS

Follow these tips to find the shortest lines when visiting now:

  • 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.
  • At Disney California Adventure focus on Radiator Springs Racers and Toy Story Midway Mania! at park 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

10. Use Genie+ (released fall 2021) to schedule ride return times and use PhotoPass (temporarily unavailable so in the meantime get PhotoPass+ for photos).

It was announced in August 2021 that free FASTPASS and MaxPass have been retired. A new paid option called Genie+ replaces the old paid MaxPass. More details to come in the next few months.

PhotoPass downloads are included in Genie+. In the meantime, you can purchase PhotoPass+ in the Disneyland app. Hop over to our PhotoPass post for the deets. You can even purchase it after your visit if you get home and decide you want to download your photos.

Here are the details on Genie+. The ultimate way to maximize your time at Disneyland comes with a small price tag. 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. That means that the second you walk in the front gate, you can reserve a Lightning Lane for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

There are some limitations to Genie+. Rides that utilize a virtual queue as well as high-demand attractions such as Radiator Springs Racers are not on Genie+, however, you can pay by ride for those options through Lightning Lane Select. You may choose up to two of these attractions per day and may not book the same ride twice. Pricing will vary per date, attraction and park. Hop back for more details as this new service launches. Standby lines and virtual queues will remain be available for free.

Disneyland Park Genie+ Attractions

Over 15 attractions will be available on Genie+. The complete list is not yet available. These are the attractions that were on FASTPASS before it ended or were slated to begin soon (list of attractions subject to change):

  • Autopia
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Haunted Mansion / Haunted Mansion Holiday
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (had not started for FASTPASS but is confirmed for Genie+)
  • Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
  • Space Mountain
  • Star Tours — The Adventures Continue
  • "it's a small world" / “it’s a small world” Holiday
  • Fantasmic! (did not affect obtaining ride FASTPASSes)

Disney California Adventure Attractions

  • Incredicoaster
  • Goofy's Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy — Misson: BREAKOUT! / Monsters After Dark
  • Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Radiator Springs Racers (confirmed will not be available on Genie+)
  • Soarin' Around the World
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • World of Color (did not affect obtaining ride FASTPASSes)

11. Take advantage of Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hours (temporarily unavailable, but the parks usually open early anyway). 

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland-Partners Statue with castleWhile Magic Morning and Extra Magic Hours are temporarily unavailable, we still recommend arriving early to the park gates. Be there an hour early if you can. Parking lots open one hour before park opening. The parks usually let guests in the park early for rope drop. You may not have a dedicated hour, but you'll be way ahead of the crowds if you arrive early. You can knock out the most popular rides right away.

The only way you benefit from the Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hours (EMH) when they return is if you actually show up early for them. Both allow one-hour early admission into the parks, a huge leap on the rest of the touring population. You want to get to the park at least a half-hour before the extra hour begins. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a long line of not-quite-early-enough risers who are also waiting to get into the park!

12. If you are an early bird not staying on-site, start the day in the park not hosting Extra Magic Hours. 

This is not applicable at this time. The good news is that both parks generally open the gates early at this time.

Your Disneyland visit gets easier and easier not having to keep track of which park is open early. Admittedly, these hours are an annoyance to people who do not get to take advantage of them. #JustJealous Just arrive early to the park you reserved early and you will be fine. Again, below is our advice for how to enjoy your morning in the park that is not hosting early morning entry once this benefit resumes.

Even if you arrive ahead of park opening, the park with Extra Magic Hours or Magic Morning will have more people in it, and you’ll encounter some lines and fewer immediate Genie+ options. You're better off heading to the opposite park. You can usually enter the other park 30-minutes early, but you will have access to the entire park once the rope drops at official opening.

13. If you aren't staying on-site and want to experience Radiator Springs Racers first thing, head to Disney California Adventure on a non-EMH day.

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Radiator Springs Racers

Everyone gets in the park early most days lately, so head straight to Radiator Springs Racers for the shortest wait! The Radiator Springs Racers line moves more quickly without FASTPASS users holding up the stand-by line. Last time we rode, it was only one party per car, which means the line can build.

Just skip to the next tip for now. But we have hoppy news! Single Rider lines have returned. That's always our secret weapon when tackling this ride.

If you're set on riding Radiator Springs Racers first thing, you won't be alone. On days with Extra Magic Hours at Disney California Adventure, the park will already have plenty of guests who are in line for the attraction.

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 you have young children who do not meet the height requirements.

Rider Switch is still working! Yay! If you have tadpoles that are not 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 mind later. Hop over to our Disneyland height requirements and Rider Switch post to see how your tadpoles measure up.

15. Only have one person in your party make Genie+ selections (for now, appoint a master scheduler).

Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - Disneyland Haunted Mansion FASTPASS

Collecting FASTPASSes is a thing of the past, now that free FASTPASS is gone and so are distribution machines. If you opt to pay for Genie+ when it's released, 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. Back when we used MaxPass, I found it easier to make ride selections for the whole party. It was the only way to ensure that we all got the same return times so we could ride together. We have not used the Genie+ yet, but we suspect it could be easier to select rides for the entire party rather than individually.

Until Genie+ comes out, this is one less thing to worry about for the time being. Instead, follow one of our touring plans and use the Disneyland app to check wait times to decide where to ride next.

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. Both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park are just a short hop, skip and a jump away from each other. With the entrances maybe a minute walk apart, park hopping can be an effective way to maximize your time at Disneyland. During this time, you may hop after 1:00 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.

Disney California Adventure closes at 10:00 p.m. these days. Disneyland closes at 11 p.m. When Disney California Adventure Park closes you can head to the later park 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. That's often the easier ticket to buy right now. You might purchase early to get that Disneyland start.

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 tips on choosing the best Disneyland ticket.

We do have some money-saving advice for park hopping. You'll pay the same $55 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.)

Park hoppers who wish to join the second enrollment of the day of Boarding Groups for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance need to have entered either of the theme parks that day. If you are Disney California Adventure and get a Boarding Group, you can hop over to Disneyland Park after 1 p.m. to catch your ride.

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 orange, raspberry and mango favors and other favorite snacks) from the Tropical Hideaway restaurant in Adventureland.

19. Buy your souvenirs ahead of time.

Yes, who doesn't want a Disneyland hat, jersey, set of ears, mug, pin, Tsum Tsum, 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 least busy 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 through. Many of the show stages will set the stage for physically distant character sightings.

As you may have guessed, shows will not be something to worry about for some time, although nightly fireworks and projection shows are back! But you can 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 Cariibben and "it's a small world" make for nice air-conditioned breaks.

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

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

  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Star Tours

Disney California Adventure Single Rider Attractions

  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Incredicoaster
  • Goofy's Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run

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.

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland-Donal and Goofy greet guests from the train station steps23. Know when and where to find your favorite characters.

While a handful of Disney characters have their own dedicated meet-and-greet stations, many of them roam freely at Disneyland ... normally. However, during the pandemic. meet and greets are distanced and in new places. You can catch several characters at the Main Street Train Station at Disneyland or the Carthay Circle Fountain at California Adventure. You can talk to princesses in Fantasy Fair, or chat up Tiana, Captain Jack Sparrow or Redd at New Orleans Square. Toon Town has characters outside their houses. Avengers Campus has many characters around to meet.

You'll also see characters playing in new locations. We have caught Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore catching butterflies and painting trees in a grassy area near the hub. Look to balconies in Frontierland and the raised area across from "small world."

The Disneyland mobile app does not offer character locations at this time, so 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 both parks in the afternoons. You can catch them on the parade route in Disneyland and the Paradise Gardens Park area of Disney California Adventure.

Check out our tips on meeting your favorite Disneyland characters! We've added some new tips for finding characters now, while characters will be mixing and mingling from a safe distance. We look for characters when attractions lines peak.

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 has begin to return. 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.

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 top 10 don'ts for getting lost in the theme park.

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. Having your own snacks will also help you to reduce contact with employees and surfaces. Just remember to be seated, distanced and stationary before you drop your mask to take a bite. No more eating in line.

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 (like their Monte Cristo, pommes frites and Mickey beignets).

Restaurant availability and menus will vary when the parks reopen. Indoor dining will not return right away. If you do not get reservations, you can check the Disneyland app. When you are 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 then 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, chili and Frito bag (Firefly) 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 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 (once it reopens). Reservations have reopened to build a droid at Droid Depot. More time slots are released at 7:00 a.m. each day for same-day reservations through the Disneyland app or online. 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 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 and fewer locations open, even the mobile waits are bound to get long, especially for popular spots. 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 are supposed to wait until you arrive to say you are there, but it takes time to prepare the food, so we always tap ahead of time, while we are walking over. Order ahead for popular spots such as Pym Test Kitchen in Avengers Campus.

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 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. The masks get sweaty or dirty, so it's nice to swap them out for a fresh one. We also remember to reapply sunscreen the tops of our faces so we don't get an embarrassing mask line. In fact, don't froget to bring hats and sunglasses.

33. Know when the different park areas close.

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland-The Fountain in Toontown 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 usually opens an hour after park opening, but during the reopening period Toontown is opening at park opening.

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 operation. The following attractions close prior to World of Color (once it returns):

  • Games of Pixar Pier
  • Incredicoaster
  • Jessie's Critter Carousel
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • 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 and show waits or restaurant hours (not applicable until the shows and parades return).

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!

Nightly fireworks returned July 4 — we say to check restaurant operating hours and plan ahead so you do not go hungry. Mobile Order in advance so you do not miss out.

35. See the second show (once shows return).

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

During the busiest times of year, there are often two showings of the parades 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, the crowds tend to be much thinner for the second show.

36. Grab a FASTPASS for World of Color or Fantasmic! early in the day (temporarily unavailable).

40 Tips to Maximize Your Time at Disneyland - World of Color FASTPASS

With FASTPASSes being retired, we are not sure if large shows such as World of Color and Fantasmic! will be an offering with the new Genie+. These shows are temporarily unavailable. The shows were available through MaxPass, so you could reserve them from your smartphone as soon as you entered a park for the day before the pandemic. That also means they disappeared even faster! They were not connected to the rest of the system, so you could obtain these FASTPASSes without worrying that they would affect your ability to obtain ride FASTPASSes. Keep hopping back for updates as more details are released.

37. Save any of the attractions with long waits that you missed in the morning for 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.

With the parks closing earlier, you don't want to wait until the last minute to ride. Do not let the end of the night creep up on you. But if you are already in line when the parks close, you can stay in line and ride.

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 are in a ride line when the park closes.

Once you're in a line, you will get to ride, even if it is already past park closing time. Just hop in line before the park closes.

40. Catch the Flag Retreat.

In Town Square, the patriotic flag retreat is still hoppening each day. It's slightly modified (they are not calling our branches of the military right now), 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 comments below! If you are 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 106 comments
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!

Reply
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

Reply
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!

Reply
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.

Reply
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!!

Reply
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.

Reply
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

Reply
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!

Reply
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.

Reply
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.

Reply
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

Reply
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.

Reply
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?

Reply
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

Reply
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.

Reply
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.

Reply
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?

Reply
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!!

Reply
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!

Reply
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

Reply
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?

Reply
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!!

Reply
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.

Reply
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!

Reply
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?

Reply
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

Reply
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

Reply
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

Reply
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?

Reply
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!

Leap

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

where would we meet Anna,elsa and olaf??

Reply
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!

Leap

Reply
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

Reply
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?

Reply
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

Reply
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

Reply
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

Reply
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?

Reply
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!

Leap

Reply
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.

Reply
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?

Reply
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?

Reply
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!

Leap

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Feb 19, 2016 at 12:58 a.m. Stefanie Says...

You share that we should bring food and picnic type lunch. I read on the website that you cannot bring food inside. Did you find different information? We were going to do this to keep our cost down. Thanks for sharing!

Reply
Feb 29, 2016 at 5:10 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stefanie,

You can definitely bring a backpack with water and snacks into the park. They check all bags before you enter, but they are not worried about food. Coolers must be smaller than 24X15X18 inches or 61x38x46 centimeters.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Feb 13, 2016 at 1:20 p.m. Jen Says...

We have one day in Disneyland with a 6 and 2 year old. I booked a character breakfast at 10 and an early dinner at 5 both are in Disneyland...with that time frame and one day only should I also get the park hopper...not sure if that will be too much for one day. Thanks for all

Of the great tips.

Reply
Feb 25, 2016 at 10:02 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jen,

You could still hop, but I think it would be better not to in this case, and spend the day at Disneyland with the more iconic rides geared for their age group.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Feb 8, 2016 at 11:40 p.m. Heather Says...

Great tips! I know most as I read up on this all the time! But one I particularly never thought of, is going to the park without magic morning hour first if you aren't staying on property. Definitely a good idea!

Reply
Feb 4, 2016 at 5:17 a.m. Linda Says...

Hello, I'm taking my family (husband and 4 kids ) end of March during our spring break. We plan on staying at a good neighbor hotel, from the packages that I've seen, they offer transportation at a fee or do you suggest driving in? Also is it best to get a hopper pass or one park a day. We are getting a 3 day pass. Thank you.

Reply
Feb 10, 2016 at 12:32 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Linda,

I think it would be easier to opt for transportation to the parks since you are visit during Spring Break and parking will likely take extra time, but definitely weigh the costs. Some Good Neighbor Hotels are walking distance—that would be idea.

As far as the hopper vs. non-hopper, that is your call, but hopping between parks is pretty easy to do and doesn't cost too much more. You will have more flexibility with this, but also keep in mind that during very busy days (such as Easter), it's going to take longer to get into the parks and if one reaches capacity, you won't be allowed in until people leave.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jan 31, 2016 at 3:40 a.m. 1st trip ! Says...

I have read different stories about brining food into the park. We planned on backpacks with water and a few snacks. Will this be allowed ? Also this trip will be one week before my sons 6th birthday ( planned based on time off from school) do you think any of the places will do something special for him? Thanks and I can't wait for our 1st trip to DL!!

Reply
Feb 26, 2016 at 11:01 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi,

What a great way to celebrate a birthday! You can get custom cakes delivered to any table service restaurant or character dining locations. There are also mini cakes and pirate treasure chest containers. Order at least three days in advance. You can make reservations for birthday dining experiences.

You can definitely bring a backpack with water and snacks into the park. They check all bags before you enter, but they are not worried about food.

Be sure to get a free birthday button and a 1st visit button at the information booths in the parks!

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jan 28, 2016 at 7:48 p.m. ParisFamily Says...

We are planning a 3 day trip to both parks in April. I have 4 kids and then my husbands parents and sister will be joining us. Our twins will be almost 11 months old so of course this is there first experience. We are so very excited. But I had a few questions. We are planning for the first weekend that month and was wondering what the crowd is like around that time. I know it's a very busy place but I also know it's sometimes slower at certain times. I'm just trying to be aware of what to prepare for. I have been researching a ton. Trying to organize it the best I can since they are so young and my other two are a little older. I have only ever taken my older two but was so unorganized. So I feel we missed out on a lot. Any advice for this exciting trip is greatly appreciated.

Reply
Feb 8, 2016 at 11:36 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there,

You may find this post helpful:

https://www.undercovertourist.com/blog/best-time-visit-disneyland/

Early April is expected to be quite busy.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jan 27, 2016 at 4:51 a.m. Donna Says...

Is Super Bowl Sunday as busy as I am reading it is? That Sunday in California Adventure is early entry, can anyone enter Or do you have to be staying at one of the Disney hotels?

Reply
Jan 27, 2016 at 9:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Donna,

There was for a time a myth that Disneyland was dead on Super Bowl Sunday, and that's not true. It can be busy, but it won't be as busy as the holidays. For early entry, you would have to be staying on-site to get in during that time.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Jan 4, 2016 at 5:03 a.m. Mrs. Frogriguez Says...

My husband Hopity, (a huge Disneyland and frog enthusiast) has not been to the park since 2006 (before first wife passed). Though I enjoy it (2004 my last visit) I would prefer to start some fresh memories. We've both never been to CA Adventure so we'll go there, but what's new at the Mouse House?

Reply
Jan 5, 2016 at 8:41 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mrs. Frogriguez,

Love your name and enthusiam for frogs ;) There is Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, which you should not miss! Radiator Springs Racers is my very favorite ride of all time.

We hope you will consider hopping over to Disneyland Park, they have made some exciting changes to many classic rides.

You'll notice some significant (but temporary) changes in Tomorrowland, where they are undergoing the Season of the Force. Space Mountain has been transformed into Hyperspace Mountain with Star Wars music, sounds, and visual changes. It seems faster and darker too. Star Tours has a new adventure and some new characters added in. You can meet Darth Vader and Chewbacca in Launch Bay or meet Thor or Spider-Man upstairs in Super Hero HQ (as well as virtually try on IronMan's suit). You can sometimes catch Stormtroopers stalking around Tomorrowland.

They have added some classic Disney characters into the appropriate lands in "it's a small world," so have fun trying to spot them.

In Pirates of the Caribbean look out for Captain Jack Sparrow in three scenes.

The hatbox ghost has reappeared in the Haunted Mansion (you'l see him just after you leave the attic).

Thunder Mountain added a new explosion in the mine shaft.

Peter Pan has a new nursery and updated visual effects in the ride.

The Yeti in the Matterhorn is more lifelike and scary. They have added some new elements to the ride.

Alice in Wonderland has some new digital scenes that are worth checking out.

Finding Nemo might be a new attraction for you in the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea submarines.

To the left of the castle be sure to walk though Fantasy Faire where you can meet classic princesses, as well as some new modern ones like Rapunzel or Merida. You can watch a live show of Frozen in the theatre there as well.

Most importantly, be sure to catch the Paint the Night Electrical Parade and the Disneyland Forever Fireworks. Watch the fireworks in a spot where you can see the new projection that is an important and magical part of the new show. We recommend getting close to the castle, standing on Main street in front of Gipson Girl, or seeing it in front of Small World. Small world has the easiest projection and is actually closer to the fireworks but Main Street and the Castle will give you the iconic view, complete with flying Tinkerbelle. We have several posts on getting the best view of Paint the Night and Disneyland Forever. We are sure that all of these new experiences will help you make new "hoppy" memories that will also make you nostalgic for the Disneyland of your youth together.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 20, 2017 at 8:27 p.m. Sally Says...

Isn't Frozen show in California Adventures?

Reply
Jul 21, 2017 at 10:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Sally,

Yes, Frozen – Live at the Hyperion is at Disney California Adventure Park.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Dec 11, 2015 at 10:01 a.m. Kate M Says...

Hi

Love all the great ideas!

I have not been back to DL since I was 8 now it is my time to bring my children. We are there between Jan 29 and the 4 of feb. Any idea on how busy it might be and how to find out when Magical mornings are and how to plan breakfast with a character? Keeping in mind we have six kids age ranging 4-16

Any suggestions would be much appriciated

Reply
Nov 23, 2015 at 2:53 p.m. Anthony G. Says...

I am taking my family for Christmas, Do you have a 3 day planner for easy use> To plan my trip?

Reply
Nov 24, 2015 at 7:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Anthony,

We do not have a 3 day touring plan at this time, but will keep this in mind as we expand on the ones we have! We do offer plans for both of the Disneyland parks that you could use to prioritize rides.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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Oct 28, 2015 at 6:47 p.m. Dave Says...

1. Do they have lockers to put jackets or small lunch in?

2. Want to take wife to see Christmas decoration what is the best day between Nov,16th thru Nov 20th?

3. My wife is limited on long walks do they have electric carts or? for rent, Cost?

4. What's the best day with less crowds, we will be there early.

My wife has never seen Disneyland decorated for Christmas, and we haven't been back in 15 years. I really want to make the best of it due to my wife's Cancer remission. Any suggestion will be appreciated. Thank you

Reply
Sep 4, 2017 at 9:41 p.m. Andrea Says...

Dave, If you plan on park hopping during your trip, you'll want to rent a ECV from one of the local medical supply stores, the prices are less than Disney and you can take it wherever you go. At DL you can't take the strollers/wheelchairs/ECV out of the park. The local medical supply stores will deliver the ECV to your hotel or rental home or you can pick them up if you like. If you choose to park in the Mickey and Friends parking structure, be sure to ask for Chip and Dale parking. It's designated as Disability parking but if you don't have a tag and let them know you have an ECV then they'll let you park there if there is room.

Reply
Nov 16, 2015 at 12:45 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Dave,

They do have lockers in both parks and in the area between both parks.

That is a great week to visit. All of the Christmas Decorations will be up. Nov 16 is the opening of the Star Wars Season of Force in Tomorrowland so there could be larger than usual crowds that day in Disneyland. I think November 18th and the 20th are the best days to visit Disneyland (the 18th being the least crowded) and the 17th and 19th are the best days to visit Ca Adventure. Whatever park does not have an early morning admission (extra magic hour or magic morning) tends to be the least crowded park that day. If you are staying at a hotel that has that benefit, you might want to take advantage of it, but if you visit on the non-magic morning when the park opens it will probably be just as magical and uncrowded as it is for those people who visit on a magic morning. Space Mountain will be Star Wars themed as Hyperspace Mountain beginning that week (and last during the season of the force) so if you plan to ride that I would arrive early or try to get a FastPass as new changes are always the most popular, which means have the longest lines.

They rent wheelchairs and electric vehicles. Wheelchairs are $12 per day plus a refundable $20 deposit. Electric convenience vehicles are $50 per day plus a refundable $20 deposit if you return the vehicle and key

If you are using a chair in Disneyland, you go to a special loading area for rides and they may give you a time to come back later if there is a long wait. Most rides at Ca Adventure were built to accommodate a wheelchair in the regular line.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 30, 2015 at 9:26 p.m. Cass Says...

Do we need a fastpass for World of Color? We arrive on Mon and will miss getting the fastpass in the morning. Is it first come first serve once the passes are gone?

Reply
Oct 1, 2015 at 9:59 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cass,

We recommend you get a FASTPASS for World of Color, the earlier, the better, but you should get one no matter when you arrive. These FASTPASS are not tied to the others, so it won't affect your ability to get other FASTPASSes.

Keep hopping!

Leap

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