Updated July 2016
So, you know how to get started at California Adventure. It’s busy over there. Be sure you know.
How about Disneyland?
You should essentially start out in one of two directions – off to conquer all of the Star Wars stuff in Tomorrowland or to Peter Pan.
Option 1: Star Wars Focused
Go directly to Tomorrowland, to your right.
Be sure to review my post on the Star Wars Launch Bay for lots of details and your strategy. Follow the strategy in that post and then start with one of my touring plans when you finish there. Pay close attention to Jedi Training if you’re interested in having your child participate. You must register your child at park opening, or he/she won’t be able to join the fun.
***My only change to the touring plans would be to scratch off Peter Pan (as well as everything you accomplished in Tomorrowland). By the time you finish with Star Wars, the line for Peter Pan will be enormous. Save it for late at night if you can. Mid-day lines for Peter Pan are crowded and hot. If you plan to stay until close and kids can handle it, I recommend leaving Peter Pan until the very last option and getting in line just before the park officially closes. Don’t spend actual park time waiting in that line. If you are in line at 8:59pm and the park closes at 9:00pm, you can wait as long as it takes to ride that attraction or any other. You just have to be in line prior to close.
Not interested in Star Wars? Go for this next option.
Option 2: Everything Else
Start with Peter Pan as directed in all of my touring plans and just keep going. Pull FASTPASSES and work your way through the plans to make the best use of your time.
FASTPASSES are used in all of my plans, so be sure to know how this works. The actual machines can be seen here, below. You slide in your theme park ticket and out comes a FASTPASS. It’s like magic. (Haters wouldn’t move this day, so I had to capture them, too. It’s like they read a blog or something telling them to pull FASTPASSES. Oh wait.)
FASTPASS options at Disneyland:
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Haunted Mansion (sometimes uses FASTPASSES)
- Star Tours
A few tips to keep in mind:
- While waiting to use your FASTPASSES, you can easily knock out 3 attractions within a relatively short amount of time. If it’s logistically nearby, enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and Winnie the Pooh. Each have a short wait time in the morning and aren’t too far apart.
- Three dark rides (Snow White, Pinocchio, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride) all have super short wait times at the close of day. I recommend you skip these three until the park is nearly closed. You should be able to enjoy all three within 20 minutes if the lines are low enough. (I’ve actually walked onto each of these moments before the park closes.)
- Never drag the family through the park if you intend to accomplish the plan I’ve laid out in under 10 minutes. Send one person with everyone’s tickets to grab FASTPASSES. Everyone must be inside the park (no sleeping in) and everyone’s theme park ticket must be scanned as entered into the park. One adult can accomplish all of these things much quicker without children, so send one adult to take care of it all.
- While the one adult is grabbing the passes, allow the rest of the family to peruse Main Street or walk through the castle or even hop on Astro Orbitor in Tomorrowland, which typically has very little wait upon entry.
- Have one person keep track of all theme park tickets and FASTPASSES. If children have lanyards for their pin trading, do not allow them to hold their own tickets or passes. One person should be in charge of all tickets and passes, and it should absolutely be an adult.
- If you’re nervous about meeting the times on your FASTPASSES, set an alarm on your phone for each. While Disneyland used to be flexible on arrival, now they insist you arrive during your designated range of times.
Got other ideas? Find me on Facebook and let’s chat!
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