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Thread: My First Trip At Disneyland

  1. #1

    Wink My First Trip At Disneyland

    Hello. I'm going to Disneyland next August. My first time there. Any tips? Thanks!

    Here's some info:
    We're coming to Southern California from August 5 through 12.

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  3. #2
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    foresthill Ca

    Ages in groups? Any special interests or events?

  4. #3

    Staying on site or off? Any special needs in the group? Start reading the MP DLR Updates (come out every week) to get caught up on all the news so that you'll feel more familiar with DLR before your trip. Download the free DLR app and make sure it works on your phone. Start using it to get used to the maps, interface, etc. You can see the menus to find out what will work with your group and where to find it.

  5. #4

    We're heading out to Southern California for a birthday trip for my Mom (her birthday's in April). We're probably staying in Huntington Beach. None of us have special needs. Ages of everyone in group: Me (turning 36 in June), my younger sister (turning 24 in April), my brother (turning 30 in February), my Mom (turning 65 in April) and my sister in law (turning 28 in May). I think the plan is just one day at Disneyland.

  6. #5

    For just one day, buy your tickets ahead of time on the DLR website or on the DLR app. The tickets should be loaded on your app automatically so that you can go right to the gates without stopping at the ticket booths. That will save you lots of time. Try to be at the gates for rope drop so that you can take full advantage of the cooler morning hours when the crowds are lower. If you will be driving from Huntington Beach, time your commute so that you can be parked and at the gates well before they open. You can always get coffee and breakfast at Starbucks in Downtown Disney to eat while you are waiting in line for the gates to open. You can purchase MP on the app once your tickets are activated at the turnstiles. And you can start getting fastpasses right away. MP comes with free Photopass, so take advantage of that! Ask everyone in the group what their #1 must-do in the park is, then try to do that so that everyone leaves happy at the end of the day.

  7. #6

    Thank you!

  8. #7

    I would watch some videos on You Tube about trip planning, rides, Fast Passes and such.

    I have prepared for trips to Europe and New York and other places and have found lots of great info on YouTube.

    "If you can Dream it you can Do IT." Walt Disney

  9. #8

    Thanks! I'll do that.

  10. #9

    The best time at the park are the first two hours and the last two hours. It is shocking how big the crowd is at opening and yet when you get in, it feels like it is empty. But, if you look down main street people continue to pour into the park. The park absorbs those people pretty well, but it keeps getting a little more crowded and a little more crowded until a couple hours after opening you really feel the crowds and see the wait times. Two things happen in the evening that lowers the crowds -- the fireworks and Fantasmic. The park is crowded and hard to maneuver through, but the lines are shorter because everyone is crowded outside to watch those shows. After the fireworks, half the people watching them leaves. Same with Fantasmic. So after those shows it is much less crowded.

    When I go, I stay walking distance and relax at the hotel from mid-afternoon until after dinner. I usually nap as well because I am burning the candle at both ends by going first thing in the morning and staying until the bitter end. I catch up by resting and napping in the middle. You are going for just one day, so that won't be your strategy, but I really want to encourage you to suck it up and maximize your day by going early and staying late. Use the middle part of the day to sit somewhere quite to recharge.

    Everyone is going to have a different list, but my not to miss attractions would be The Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Soaring, Guardians of the Galaxy... on a hot day Grizzly River Run. As I make this list I keep thinking of the great things I am leaving out. It really depends on what interests you and your group. I would also include a visit to the new Star Wars land, Galaxies Edge. It is breathtaking, but beyond walking in and through it, it falls flat. The attractions aren't that great so I wouldn't waste my time on them for a one day visit. This is my list. You should watch the videos and create your own.

    As was mentioned, get MaxPass and use it. Do some googling and read some articles on how to use it to its maximum. Being strategic with fastpasses can really help save time in line.

  11. #10


  12. #11

    You stated one day at Disneyland, but are you including California Adventure in your plans? Some of the suggestions above are in California Adventure.

    You state it's your first time at DL, but I assume you and your group have been to WDW in FL before?

    If so, would you prioritize seeing things that are in DL that don't exist in WDW?

    One day to see everything even in just DL might be a bit rough having never been there before, though I am sure you can get a benefit from MaxPass as other's have suggested. But you probably won't be able to leverage it quite as well as the locals who go all the time (and also know exactly where they are going when they wander through the parks to get places, vs needing to check maps/apps to just see where to walk to get places). So it will likely help a lot, but I wouldn't expect it to be the golden solution that lets you see/do every single thing in the park in a single day.

    If the answer to being in WDW before is yes, I'd put the identical (or close to identical) attractions on the "potential to skip" list, especially the ones that generate long lines (unless you have a particular favorite or two).

    I'm certainly not suggesting skipping all of the headliners that are similar on both coasts, but I would not prioritize doing them all for the slight differences.

    If focusing on unique things in DL itself, I'd make sure to hit all the Fantasyland attractions that don't exist in Florida. Alice in Wonderland, Casey Jr Circus Train, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Snow White's Scary Adventures, Pinocchio's Daring Journey, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Also the Finding Nemo Submarines, the Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, Sailing Ship Columbia.

    Are you sure you only are spending one day in the park (or parks, if you are also trying to do California Adventure)?


  13. #12

    The Pirates of the Caribbean is quite a bit different than in Florida, you have water falls to go down. Also you may want to book at meal at the Blue Beau restaurant - a little expensive but you eat in the ride and watch the boats go by.

    The haunted mansion is a little different too.

    I like the Autotopia better at Disneyland better too.

    "If you can Dream it you can Do IT." Walt Disney

  14. #13

    No arguments on the slight differences from me!

    I actually started going through those in my head, but thought better of it before knowing what experiences the original poster might have at the other parks.

    Agree on Pirates.

    Scenery-wise, I'd suggest Big Thunder is different enough (particularly the last lift hill) to be worth it too. Space Mountain, maybe not so much, even though it's a lot smoother ride in DL (of course if it's in "Hyperspace Mountain" overlay mode, then it's a must, at least in my book!). Soarin' is identical unless they happen to be running the original California version like they did earlier this summer in DCA.


  15. #14

    Hi. Me again. Right now, we plan to visit Disneyland on our first full day, August 6. I don't know if we plan to visit California Adventure or not. Should I look into a park hopper ticket?

  16. #15

    That depends a lot on your answers to some of the questions above.

    I re-read the above posts, and we know your dates in So Cal (possibly only one in Disney), where you are staying, ages, and that you don't have special needs. (all good info, but not enough to help figure if it makes sense to hop if you are only doing one day, which it sounds like is still up in the air). Has everyone in your group already been to WDW in Florida, or is this the first time to Disney Parks at any location for some in the group?

    If you have all been to WDW and want to skip every ride that has a similar counterpart in Florida, then you should hop, because while there are lots of unique things in DL that are not in MK at WDW, it probably isn't enough to fill a full day. Also, is your group all OK with the "big ticket" rides like roller coasters? At least 2 of the unique rides (Matterhorn and Indiana Jones) are roller coaster type or rough adventure rides. If your group doesn't want to do that sort of ride, then there is less to do in Disneyland and more reason to hop to California Adventure.

    Hopping is simple for Disneyland and California Adventure, it's a very short walk from gate to gate (much quicker than walking back to a parking lot to get to your car or any nearby hotel). It's certainly do-able to go between the two several times in a day and not lose a lot of time in the process.

    Also depends on if you are trying to maximize rides/attractions, or just chill out and walk around the parks a bit.


  17. #16

    I've been to Disney World in Florida several times.

  18. #17
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    foresthill Ca

    My friend and her parents just hopped with toddlers. They only had 1 day. They skipped a bunch of the bigger rides because of the girls but friend and her dad did Smugglers Run. They were quite happy with their day.

  19. #18

    Start saving some money now

    "If you can Dream it you can Do IT." Walt Disney

  20. #19




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