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  1. #16

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    I'm pretty confident you'll be able to do all that relatively easily within four days. Don't save DCA for Saturday, do it on Wed or Thurs so you have a less crowded day to do the whole park. If you keep up a decent pace (you shouldn't have to rush too much) and use FP, get there at opening (when crowds are much lower), you'll get it done!

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  2. #17

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    Quote Originally Posted by bjmort View Post
    So I've been doing further research on my next trip and these are all the attractions I plan to hit on my 4 day visit. 3 of these days will be in disneyland and one in DCA. I plan to be going on a Wednesday through Saturday last week of April so park hours will be 10-8 on the first 2 days and then 9-12/11 the last two. It will just be me and my Wife.

    You should be able to get this done in 4 days. Just bear in mind that the last week of April could have some Spring Break stragglers and AP visitors who avoided the crowded Spring Break weeks, so the park might be more crowded than it would be otherwise. As Kelly mentioned, don't save DCA until Saturday because the crowds will be more intensive than during the week. I would strongly advise you to do DCA on Wednesday or Thursday (in my experience, Wednesday is the best day to be in DCA). Also, don't be reluctant to go back to DCA at any point during the other days. You will quickly realize that you have Park Hopper passes for a reason. Use them, enjoy them, and don't limit yourself to just one park per day.

    I would also advise you to utilize the FP system, especially for major rides you want to do more than once. Indiana Jones is one that can easily rack up a 45-60min standby wait no matter what day it is, so it would be in your best interest to do a FP regardless. The same applies for Space Mountain (I never ride without a FP), Star Tours, Splash Mountain. Of course, Splash depends on timing and weather. There are parts of the day where Splash doesn't have a significant wait time. The one ride that I have never needed a FP for because the line moves pretty quickly is Thunder Mountain Railroad. However, it will be coming off a major refurb so the lines might be longer than usual. Just be patient and allow your day for potentially long queues, like Peter Pan. Some wait times you just have to endure.

    As far as DCA goes, unless you get there at the crack of opening you won't get a FP for RSR. That is one where you should be prepared to spend at least an hour waiting for if you miss out on a FP. Another ride that has no FP but is a consistent 45-60min wait no matter what is Toy Story Mania. That's another one to prepare for unless you sacrifice hitting Cars Land early. The only other rides I can think where you would absolutely benefit from a FP is Soarin' Over California and Tower of Terror. Those standby waits can get pretty lengthy. Little Mermaid and Monsters Inc. almost never have significant wait times. Each time I have been on Little Mermaid I have waited 5min or less and the longest I have waited for Monsters is maybe 15min. And just an fyi for the Aladdin show you will have to show up early and wait in line if you want a good spot. I have waited twice and noticed people start waiting up to an hour before showtime. Plus the show is about 50min long. It will take a chunk out of your day in DCA, especially if you're adamant about spending just one day in that park.

    *The best tip for tracking wait times is to use the wait apps if you have a smartphone. MouseWait was very helpful to me on my last trip.


    And just a tidbit about your dining plans... keep in mind it will take you time to travel from the parks to DTD/Disney hotels and back. I personally save my DTD time for my day of arrival before I enter the parks because of the hassle it is and because it is very time consuming. DTD is open to the general public and is always crowded. At peak evening hours the restaurant wait times are long (I have waited 70min for Rainforest Cafe before), the stores are crowded, and the foot traffic is high. The philosophy I personally follow is if you're inside the parks then stay inside the parks and eat. If you want to eat outside of the parks I would do so after you are done riding stuff and/or watching shows. You waste more time than it's worth.

    [Edit] I just re-read your original post. Also consider that if you are planning this for April 2015 and the rumors are true, there could be some serious renovations and refurbs going on at that time. Rumors right now are the refurb of Tomorrowland to a Star Wars theme and the building of a Monsters Inc. land and/or Door Coaster in DCA. Plus there could be some refurbs announced for standard rides from now until then. Be prepared to potentially not be able to ride some of the things you might want to at this point in time. One downside of planning so far in advance.
    Last edited by DrFink; 11-04-2013 at 08:51 AM.
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  3. #18

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    Ideal trip length: two weeks.

    Personally, and based on my experience, if you plan to do everything on your list in four days it will require arriving at the park for rope drop, and staying until they usher you out at night, going on days of very low attendance, and running between attractions. The amount of time spent in lines will certainly kill the four day plan. Especially with the dining options you listed.

    It might be possible in five days - but it will still be close.

    How people who claim they can do "everything" in 3 days baffles me. Clearly they don't count many things in the "everything."







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  4. #19

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    Ideally, the perfect amount of time would be an open ended trip that you can make as long as you want, so you can stay until you just feel it's time to go. No rushing, no pressure, no deadline.

    However, since that's not realistic, I'd say 4 days. There's too much to do there to do EVERYTHING in less time without rushing. Slow and steady is the way to go. Otherwise it's like eating a really rich dessert way too fast.

  5. #20

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFink View Post
    I just re-read your original post. Also consider that if you are planning this for April 2015 and the rumors are true, there could be some serious renovations and refurbs going on at that time. Rumors right now are the refurb of Tomorrowland to a Star Wars theme and the building of a Monsters Inc. land and/or Door Coaster in DCA. Plus there could be some refurbs announced for standard rides from now until then. Be prepared to potentially not be able to ride some of the things you might want to at this point in time. One downside of planning so far in advance.
    i think seeing as Star Wars celebration is in mid April 2015 at the convention centre that the Star Wars refurb would be planned to be done by then.

    if the refurb schedule comes out and it's not favourable I may just reschedule the trip.

  6. #21

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    Quote Originally Posted by bjmort View Post
    i think seeing as Star Wars celebration is in mid April 2015 at the convention centre that the Star Wars refurb would be planned to be done by then.

    if the refurb schedule comes out and it's not favourable I may just reschedule the trip.
    Not necessarily. The Star Wars Celebration is not really associated with Disney, so just because the convention is going to be in Anaheim doesn't mean any planned renovation of Tomorrowland will be rushed and completed by then.
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  7. #22

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    For me, usually 5 days in the park is perfect, plus one day to hang out around Orange County. I'm a Canadian resident, who just passed his SAT's Orange County College here I come!

  8. #23

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    We do 5 days, Sun-Thurs. Well, technically it's 4 1/2 days, since we actually hit the main gate around 1:30-2:00 Sunday, our arrival day. We also go off-season so park hours are shorter (9am-8pm with EMH) during those weekdays so we catch the Fireworks on Sunday night. For us, that's the minimum time to do (& re-do) what we want to do at our own pace, which tends to be on the leisurely side with occasional bursts of manic speed (LOL). Your Disneyland Day 'want-to-dos' would take up probably 2 1/2 days for us, including multiple rides on our favorites. We spend 2 days at DCA, although sometimes we end up drifting over to DL after awhile if DCA isn't crowded & we get 'done' early.

    Do I think you could do it all in 3 days? Sure, probably. But (depending on hours/crowds) you may be going at a frenetic pace, which to me cuts the enjoyment. If possible, do 4 days, even if one of the days is an arrival/departure half-day. And figure out what are 'MUST' dos versus 'wanna' dos so you aren't bummed out if you aren't able to do everything.
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

  9. #24

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    Just to give you an idea - my friend and I flew in on a weekday morning, took a cab to the parks, did all of DCA except Aladdin, Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (might have butchered the name on that), and Grizzly River Run (only because it was closed) - we even watched the Pixar Parade and did a couple Meet and Greets - all within 7 hours, then took a cab back to the airport and flew home. We were exhausted, but mostly due to being awake early to travel. We kept up a decent pace, but we sat down to eat and didn't run. In fact, we didn't use a single Fast Pass - we did Single Rider on RSR and that's it. If you time it right with doing in the off season (which some swear it doesn't exist... I've experienced otherwise) you should be able to easily do DCA in a day. Three days in DL should be plenty to do everything on your list plus re-rides. I think you'll have a fun, productive trip!!

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  10. #25

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    4 days is more then enough time. Last Christmas time I got all the big rides, fantasyland rides, almost all DCA rides, all parades, fireworks, fantasmic, world of color and much more in 2 days time. Mine you I'm still young and went from 8-12 each day but even with all that and the super busy crowd I had lots of time to relax. Just take advantage of the fast pass system! 4 days is plenty of time

  11. #26

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    Thanks Kelly!

    Yeah I'm really looking forward to it. I went in August and really was just going because I was close by and now I'm obsessed. This trip will be the last one for probably 10 years. Will try to get to Tokyo Disney about 3-4 years after this one

  12. #27

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    Hehe I know what you mean - the more you learn, the more obsessed you'll get!

    OMG Tokyo Disney is my ultimate dream. I hope you make it out there!

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  13. #28

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    Quote Originally Posted by KellyMcG86 View Post
    Just to give you an idea - my friend and I flew in on a weekday morning, took a cab to the parks, did all of DCA except Aladdin, Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (might have butchered the name on that), and Grizzly River Run (only because it was closed) - we even watched the Pixar Parade and did a couple Meet and Greets - all within 7 hours, then took a cab back to the airport and flew home. We were exhausted, but mostly due to being awake early to travel. We kept up a decent pace, but we sat down to eat and didn't run. In fact, we didn't use a single Fast Pass - we did Single Rider on RSR and that's it. If you time it right with doing in the off season (which some swear it doesn't exist... I've experienced otherwise) you should be able to easily do DCA in a day. Three days in DL should be plenty to do everything on your list plus re-rides. I think you'll have a fun, productive trip!!
    You did all this in one day and we didn't get a trip report!?

  14. #29

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    Re: Ideal trip length

    I have also done DCA in one day as well, but I skip a lot of things in that park so I don't know if my DCA days can be technically considered full days. I don't do Soarin' (if I can help it), California Screamin', Tower of Terror, parades, Grizzly River Run, and I am now at the point where I will always skip Luigi's Flying Tires.
    In my three most recent trips I have scheduled the Aladdin show on another day and just park hopped for it because it takes up such a significant chunk of time. When I went this past May I had five days at the parks and I ventured into DCA probably 4 or 5 times. When the crowds are lower than usual it makes a big difference on what you can achieve in a day.
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