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Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

Singapore
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Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

Hi, I have been ploughing through previous postings to get a sense of how to go through the rides for our first trip to DL/DCA this June. We are a party of 3 adults, 3yo and 11mo, and will be there for two full days on Wed and Thurs. My plan is to take the adult rides early each morning (as it seems the parks are less crowded) and then move on to the kids' rides and/or visit areas good for my 3yo. Will have to do rider swaps for the adult rides.

This is the tentative game plan. Does it look ok? Am I missing anything for my 3yo? Any other tips to get the adults faster onto the rides? I know I am supposed to enjoy the magic but being a planner professionally means I can't let go. But after doing so much reading, I still feel ill-prepared.

Wedesday:

- Pick up fastpasses for Radiator Springs, California Screaming & Twilight Zone; Take a couple of kiddy rides in A Bug's Land while waiting

- After riding fast pass rides, take kid-friendly rides near California Screaming e.g. Carousel, Mickey's Fun Wheel, Toy Story Midway Mania

- Lunch in DCA (any recommendations?)

- Visit Hollywood Land or rest of Cars Land

- Naptime for the kids

- Return to DL; Fantasy Land (priority: Meet Elsa and Anna)

- Soundsational Parade

- Critter Country

- Dinner at River Belle + first Fantasmic show (do French Market or Café Orleans also offer a direct view of the show? These two come more highly recommended on the forum)

- Fireworks (where can we catch most of the fireworks nearby, without being too near? DD loves to watch but is terrified of the sound so compromise would be to watch a distance away)

Thursday

- Take fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Ride Indiana and Pirates of the Caribbean.

- Ride Big Thunder; collect fast pass for Autopia; take rides in the vicinity.

- Complete Autopia; visit Toontown + Lunch

- Naptime for the kids

- Fantasy Faire

- Continue with Fantasy Land

- Dinner @ Big Thunder Ranch

- Walk about at Main Street

- Fireworks somewhere along Main Street

OK?

Las Vegas, Nevada
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for Anaheim, St. George
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1. Re: Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

Yes, you have done your homework :) That first few hours after Park opening time is the least busy time at Disneyland. So its a good idea to do the rides that would have the longer lines later. Peter Pans Flight, Dumbo, and Storybook Land Canal Boats usually have the longer lines, and rides with Fastpasses.

There is usually a line to get into either Park. And they will open up usually the Mainstreet area of the Parks about 30 min before regular Park opening time. So you would basically want to be in line already about 30 min before regular Park opening time at least.

With only 2 days. I would suggest you avoid trying to get a Fastpass for Radiator Springs Racer ride and just do a Single rider line where you are basically willing to ride the ride alone which you will have to do anyway with 2 small children. The line will be pretty short, and you wont waste your time waiting in lines. They open up Park of California Adventure Park 30 min before regular Park opening time for people to line up for the RSR ride, and the lines are long. Fastpasses are usually gone for the ride within an hour after being available.

However, taking advantage of the free Fastpass system as well as rider swap is a good idea. Heres more info on the free Fastpass system and how to best use it. Single rider option may work out the best for you with alot of the more adult rides vs Fastpasses.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g29092-c3632/Anaheim:…

And heres more info on taking babies to Disneyland

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g29092-c4552/Anaheim:…

At a busy time, you might consider getting a 3 day Parkhopper with small children which will allow you to go at a little slower pace. Theres so much to see in both Parks usually a 2 or 3 day Parkhopper is suggested under normal circumstances. Even if its only a Partial 3rd day. Its usually worth it. And a 3 day Parkhopper comes with an early entry into Disneyland Park 1 hour before regular Park opening time which is helpful to select areas of the Park and has low crowds. You could also just add the extra day and upgrade your 2 day Parkhopper ticket to a 3 day one if you feel you want more time by the end of the second day on the 2 day Parkhopper ticket at the Maingate ticket window. Costs are the same as if you purchased a 3 day Parkhopper to begin with. Heres more info on Magic Morning ( early entry)

wdwinfo.com/disneyland/plan/early-entry.htm

Heres a Map of Hotels in the Disneyland area so you can see where things are located. The Disneyland Main Entrance is off of Harbor Blvd near where it says "East Shuttle Area" on the Map.

…10-best.info/disney_map.pdf

And here the maps of both Parks that you can pick up at the Turnstiles that go into either Park to help with your planning.

…go.com/media/dlr_nextgen/SiteCatalog/PDF/Di…

…go.com/media/dlr_nextgen/SiteCatalog/PDF/Di…

Heres the menus and current pricing for restaurants at Disneyland.

http://allears.net/dlr/din/menu/menus.htm

If you want to meet Charaters, that is also best done in the early morning hours. Its just going to get busier in the later afternoon.

If you want to watch Fireworks at a distance. Try the Train Station at the beginning of Main Street as you come into Disneyland Park. It high up there, and you still get a pretty good view. Stay away from the Speakers on the lightpoles though. Or do what we do, and that is get some ear plugs or noise canceling earphones that will block the sound enough, and get upclose!!

Edited: 1:35 pm, April 14, 2014
california
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2. Re: Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

On Wednesday you mention trying to do the Frozen meet and greet after lunch. I've heard the lines are insane for this, sometimes longer than 4 hours. I think you should plan to do this first thing on Wednesday or first thing on Thursday, although Thursday is a magic morning for Disneyland so the lines would already be long since others will have already queued up.

Bay Area, CA
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3. Re: Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

Are you staying onsite? If you are, it would make a huge difference in how you tour the parks.

FYI, the line for Elsa and Anna is often anywhere from 2-4 hours! I think the only way to make it short is to go there first there at park opening.

Are you going this week? Indy might be down, if I'm not mistaken.

Melbourne, Australia
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for Melbourne, Victoria, Road Trips
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4. Re: Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

If you only have 2 days, I'd swap them. Wednesday is early entry for Disney hotel guests into DCA, so there will already be people in the park when you arrive. Thursday is early entry for everyone with a park hopper as well as hotel guests to DL. Or if you can add an extra day & get a 3 day park hopper, then keep DL as the Thursday & do the Fantasyland rides first.

For me, 3 days is the minimum amount of time I allow for Disneyland. It will be busy in June. I aim to do as many rides as I can during the first few hours of the day, before the crowds build up, then do a few shows in the afternoon when the ride queues are long. I use the Magic Morning early entry to do the Fantasyland rides, starting with Peter Pan, as it's too busy for me (I don't have children) in the afternoon.

You might find it helpful to print off a map & use it for your planning. You don't want to be backtracking around the park picking up fastpasses. Keep in mind that you can only have one FP per park at a time (except for RSR) & they need to be used during the times given. I always plan the rides I want to do each morning & what shows I will see at night, but leave the afternoon free.

United States
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5. Re: Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

Other than RSR you can only have one fast pass (fp) at a time.

I'd suggest getting an Indy fp rather than waiting.

Plan your early mornings & try to relax the rest of the day. Easier said than done. I'm a planner too. ;)

Yucaipa, California
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for Anaheim
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6. Re: Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

Is your daughter going to be okay with the sights and sounds of the dragon in Fantasmic?

Anaheim, California
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7. Re: Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

You can actually get a RSR FastPass and a World of Color "FastPass" (show time in a specific section), and then the others are on the main system in DCA.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g29092-c3632/Anaheim:…

Edited: 6:06 pm, April 14, 2014
Singapore
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8. Re: Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

Thanks all for your tips, especially pointing out that Wed is early entry for DCA and Thurs DL. I'll swap the days around for a start. I had contemplated about getting 3-day parkhopper but my prob lies with me not being sure what time we'll be coming into Anaheim and whether the babes will be up to it to visit Disney after the journey. I have planned for us to visit the Grove and Original Farmers market from 10am until after lunch, which means we will leave LA 2pm. We may or may not have a stopover along the way but I reckon it will take us 1.5hrs to get to HOJO (I rather not speed get into trouble with the highway patrol since we are from out of town). In the event the babes are not willing to cooperate, I may end up only visiting Disney Downtown or Anaheim GardenWalk. That will be money wasted on 3A1C tickets. Hence I rather play it safe and go with two-day parkhopper. But I have to admit I am concerned about the June crowd. We'll be there 18 and 19 June. How bad are the waiting times, historically at least?

Re. Frozen, I am already well-aware of the wait. But with my DD singing 'Let It Go' repeatedly and reminding me every waking moment that she wants to see princess Elsa, I don't see how I can wriggle out of it. Sigh. Maybe one way to make life easier for me is for the adults to split up that morning? Hubs can Q in line for Frozen while my sister and I can run to the stations to get fast passes. Possible? All I need is his Disney pass right?

Redlands, my daughter is ok with loud music. Just dislike loud explosions or thuds. So I think Fantasmic should be fine. So would Café Orleans or French Market offer similar views to River Belle? I am hoping Café Orleans would 'cos they take reservations and that would make my life so much easier :)

Darkbeer, according to the tripadvisor link, California Screaming is also on a separate system, no?

california
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9. Re: Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

I believe historically you are going at a very crowded time. The frozen meet and greet is hugely popular right now which is why I and others suggested planning to do it early (read: first thing) in the morning on a non-magic morning day (in your case: Wednesday).

10. Re: Help to plan a route within DL and DCA

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Removed on: 1:23 pm, April 15, 2014
Edited: 1:23 pm, April 15, 2014