Now that they are guides to Fastpass and World of Color up, I figured it be time for a new thread about how to make the most of your day at the Disneyland Resort.
Measure your kids before heading out:
I know you parents out there want your kids to have a good time and ride all the rides. But it's important to know that certain rides have a height requirement for saftey reasons. Below is a list of all attractions with height restrictions:
Attractions with a 40 in requirement:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Silly Symphony Swings
Soarin over California
Attractions with a 46 in requirement:
Indiana Jones Adventure
Attractions with a 35 in requirement:
Gadget's Go Coaster
Attractions with some restrictions:
Autopia: 32 in height requirement and 54 in to drive alone
Attractions with a 42 in requirement:
Grizzly River Run
Attractions with a 36 in requirement:
Tuck and Roll's Drive Em Buggies
Attractions with a 48 in requirement:
If your child isn't tall enough, they won't be allowed to ride and must stay outside. A child swap option is available at most of these attractions.
Heres how a Child Swap works:
1. Inform the CM at the entrance that you need a child switch pass.
2. Choose the person that will be staying with the child. The rest will go in line and ride. The one staying with the child will have the pass.
3. Once the group is finished riding, switch off. Now the group will be with the kid while the person will have his turn riding. Note that the pass is good for 2 people so another can ride again.
Indiana Jones Adventure and California Screamin (as far as I know) have a special Fastpass for the child. This pass will be good once the child is tall enough to ride the attraction and is good for 6 people. If you manage to get one, be sure to keep it with you each time you visit the parks, you'll never know if your child got taller!
When to ride the popular attractions:
A lot of people who visit the parks will be trying to ride the popular ones first thing when they get there. The best option is to be there when the park opens. This is when all the attractions will have less wait times. Below are rough estimates of the wait time at Indiana Jones Adventure as an example of a popular attractions wait time throughout a 8-12am day.
15 min- 45 minutes
45 minutes-60/75 min
If you notice, you'll see that your best chances to ride Indy with a short wait would be when the park just opened or when it's near closing time.
Peter Pan's Flight, however has a long line throughout the enitre day, so plan accordingly when trying to ride this attraction.
Everyday, an attraction will go down due to technical difficulties. This is common at Disneyland and California Adventure so be aware of this. If you are outside the attraction when its down, you won't be permitted to go in line until the ride is fixed. Cast Members at the entrance do not know when they will be reopen and will ask you to check back later. Heres a tip: If you are at another attraction, you can ask the Cast Members there to call the attraction that is down for an update. That way, you are not going back to that attraction to see that it is still down.
If you in line when it's down, don't panic. Most attractions will allow you to remain in line until they get the word to evacuate the line. The only exception is Big Thunder which they will evac the line once it breaks down. If you do have to be evacuated in line, you get a nice compensation. This is called an Attractions Re-Admission Pass. The pass is good for up to 6 people to whatever is written on the pass (most will say "choice" meaing that you can use it for the attraction that broke down or you can use it to ride a ride you haven't been on yet) Note that it's not valid on Toy Story Midway Mania!.
If you are on the ride when it's down, you will remain in your vehicle until they fix the ride or they have to evac the ride itself as well (they evac the line first then the ride). If the ride gets fixed and your still in the ride, you will get a chance to go on again without getting off. If you are evaced, then you will also recieve a re-admission pass when you exit.
Some attractions take place in theaters. These attractions typically do not have a queue and the only real waittime is the time until the next showing. Most have shows running every 20 minutes so be sure to ask the CM's at each theater attraction to see how often the shows run. Last shows are typically at closing time.
Attraction Re-Admission Passes
Remember I talked about the re-admission passes in the breakdown section? I'll be talking more about it here.
You can only get these if you have to be evacuated from an attraction when it's down. Each pass is good for up to 6 people and is valid for whatever is written on the pass.
Choice means that you can use it on the attraction that you were evaced from or at another attraction. It is not valid on Toy Story Midway Mania at DCA. If it has the attractions name on it, that means you can only use it on that attraction. If you decide to use a "Choice" Re-Ad on another attraction, heres what you do:
If using it with a FP Attraction: Go to the FP line
If using it with a non-FP attraction: Typically it's the exit or wherever the handicap goes.
Remember, they are only valid on the date issued.
When to eat:
Anyone hungry? Thats a question that pops up a lot during a trip. The best suggestion is to try to not to eat at the prime dining times for Lunch and Dinner as you'll be in line to get food and it can be long. Most food locations open at 11am so be sure to check each location or visit guest realtions as they should have the operating hours for the eateries.
Attraction Operating Hours:
Not all attractions open and close with the park. Some have individual closing times for various reasons. Those attractions will have a star next to the name that indicates that they will close early. These close early to get ready for shows that happen in that area. The shows and areas are:
Land: Frontierland, Adventureland, Critter Country
Attractions closing: Tarzan's Treehouse, Mark Twain, Columbia, Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyers Island (inlcuding rafts), Davy Crockett Canoes
Land: Fantasyland, Mickey's ToonTown, Tomorrowland
Show: Disneyland Fireworks
Attractions: All of Mickey's Toontown closes for the fireworks, fantasyland attractions near the castle (Snow White, Carousel, Peter Pan, Mr. Toad and Pinochio)and ALice in Wonderland, Disneyland Monorail. All execept for Toontown reopens after the show is over.
Land: Paradise Pier, Golden State
Show: Disney's World of Color
Attractions: California Screamin', Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (used as a holding area for the Red Section guests of the Paradise Park viewing area), Mickey's Fun Wheel (these three close and don't open back up), Silly Symphony Swings, Golden Zeypher, Jumpin Jellyfish (close for the show but reopens in between performances) as Maliboomer will be gone soon, it has been omitted out of this guide.
Some will have a sign saying when they will close while others do not. For those, ask the Cast Member at those attractions.
Parking can be a problem on busy days. Disney operates the following lots:
Mickey and Friends Parking Structure (primary parking area. Trams to the Downtown Disney District and the Esplanade are provided)
Pumbaa Parking Lot (located right across from Anaheim Gardenwalk on Disney Way)
Toy Story Parking Lot (located on Harbor Blvd, shuttles provided in this lot)
Remember that all will take credit cards if you don't have cash on you by the time you get to one of these parking locations.
Staying at a hotel is a great way to be close to the parks. Disneyland has three hotels on property:
Disneyland Hotel (moderately priced)
Paradise Pier Hotel (lowly priced)
Grand Californian Hotel (most expensive)
Remember that it's important to make a hotel reservation at least a month in advance. If you cannot book one of these three hotels, then I suggest the hotels right across the street. These are called Good Neighbor hotels by Disney. Most provide shuttles to the transportation plaza on Harbor blvd and even sell Park tickets at their locations!
Nearby Southern California Attractions:
Don't just spend your vacation in SoCal with Disney, also plan to visit the other theme parks in Southern California!
Knotts Berry Farm: Located 10 minutes away from Disneyland in Buena Park, this is a Local favorite! Once an actual berry farm, it is now a thrilling theme park with some of the best rides in the state! Also home to Knott's Berry Farm's Famous Chicken Dinners!Also home to Knotts Soak City Water Park! To reach Knotts Berry Farm from Disneyland, there are two ways:
Freeway: 5 north then 91 west. Take the Beach Blvd exit then follow the signs to Knotts
Regular Street: From Harbor, make a left on Katella then make a right on Beach Blvd.
The Knotts Berry Farm Resort Hotel also has a shuttle going to Disneyland!
Universal Studios: The Entertainment Capital of L.A., this is an actual working movie studio. Be sure to embark on the Studio Tour where you will be taken into an actual Studio Backlot! Located in Universal City near Hollywood.
I will be updating this as more info is recieved.