Spending 1 day at Disneyland July.. how much can we get done?

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by pinipig523, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. pinipig523

    pinipig523 Earning My Ears

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    Wife and I are headed to LA for 5 days July 15-20. We want to dedicate one of those days to Disneyland/California Adventure. We have been yearly visitors to Disney World, but this is our first time going to Disneyland. Question is which day do you think would be best go to (Tuesday-Friday)? Also, do you think it would be possible to do all or most of the fast pass attractions there and in California Adventure? I've looked at the crowd calendars and it does show it is busy (as it is all summer). I know Disneyland is smaller the Disney World, but am unable to locate an app for wait times and such.

    We are contemplating whether or not to just do the Disney VIP guide so we can get everything done. It is pretty pricey though, so we're weighing our options. We would love input from those with experience. Thanks!
     
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  3. Dream.Finder

    Dream.Finder Creative Consultant at The Disney Store (West Edm

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    The VIP Tour Guide is certainly ONE option. Granted, with one day in the middle of Summer... don't expect to get even close to seeing everything. But there are ways to see the "biggest and best" things, for sure.

    Basically what I'd do is start the day at the Disney California Adventure Park. Get there WELL in advance (about an hour, I'd say) of the park opening that morning. As soon as the park opens, briskly walk towards A Bug's Land and grab a Radiator Springs Racers FP. Then, either try and quickly ride it or go hit Toy Story Midway Mania instead. After that, I'd hit Soarin' and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (potentially FP one of those). Make sure to use that Radiator Springs Racers (and any other) FP when the time comes. Don't forget California Screamin' also. Fantasic coaster!

    Now park hop into Disneyland Park and try and get a FP for Star Tours or Space Mountain. Get in line for the one you didn't FP. Use your FP after the ride if the time is right and then I'd probably hit the Indiana Jones Adventure, potentially FP it, not sure if that would be appropriate at that time though. But you'll know what's best when you get there. Then I'd hit the mountain range (Thunder will be closed) so head for Splash Mountain or the Matterhorn. From there, you've basically hit all the "big boys" so I'd say grab some eats if you haven't already and go to some attractions that you love most or are most interested in experiencing.

    I'd suggest you studying the Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park maps before your trip. That way, you'll have a feel of the park. Disneyland's layout on the left side of the park can throw someone for a loop that is too familiar with WDW's Magic Kingdom. So plan ahead!! Try to hit attractions that you haven't done before or are unique to the Disneyland Resort. Make sure to finish your day of by experience either the "Magical!" fireworks show, Fantasmic! or World of Color! I can't really pick a favorite. But I really like Fantasmic! in DLR better than WDW's. World of Color is also pretty unqiue. However, if you skip out on World of Color, it is possible to see both "Magical!" and Fantasmic! on the same night. Just see the "Magical" Fireworks at the scheduled show time and head on over to the Rivers of America to see Fantasmic! at it's second showing of the evening. If possible, I'd reccomend at least TWO days to experience more of what the Disneyland Resort has to offer. I am spending 6 full days this August but I realize not everyone can do that or have time to, so...

    Good luck! pixiedust:
     
  4. coaches24

    coaches24 DIS Veteran

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  5. DarthMole

    DarthMole DIS Veteran

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    Unless you must ride together, I'd skip the FP for RSR and just do Single Rider. I'd probably leave that for the evening too since everyone says it's better at night.

    If you do the above, I'd probably start the day at DL.

    I think you can get a lot done in a day if you're well rested, get there early, and have a firm game plan before going. Others here or maybe Ridemax could give you a plan of attack of which order to hit the rides, but your criteria of Fast Pass rides is a bit limiting as there are probably a handful of other attractions you wouldn't want to miss that do not have FPs. I'd maybe look over the maps and make a list of must see rides and attractions. Then post the list and see what people suggest. There are some savvy seasoned vets here who will give you good advice.

    One last thing, the 17th may be more crowded at DL than the days around it as it's the anniversary of the park opening and it tends to draw in more people for the day.
     
  6. sonnyjane

    sonnyjane DIS Veteran

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    The suggestion of using Single Rider Lines when available is a great one. Also, you should understand that while Disneyland Resort is physically smaller than WDW, there are nearly the same number of rides and attractions in Disneyland's two parks as there are in all four of WDW's parks, so expecting to do every major ride in both DL and DCA in just one day is ambitious, especially since they are now enforcing FP return times. Underestimating Disneyland is a common mistake for WDW vets.
     
  7. coaches24

    coaches24 DIS Veteran

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    Oh yea no way anyone is getting ALL the rides done in DL and DCA in one day. I know both parks like the back of my hand as far as navigating from ride to ride and I didn't even get close to doing all the rides in one day.
     
  8. RebeccaMcK

    RebeccaMcK Earning My Ears

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    Hi - I'm going on July 2nd for just the one day, with my DD8. DCA opens at 8 am so we're getting there hopefully a bit before that time (DL opens at 7 am for on site guests, and we're just driving in from my parents' place 45 minutes away so we're not staying on site). I know we won't ride everything, but we'll ride our must-do's and have a somewhat good plan for tackling that agenda (it'll depend on FP availability and return times). I just have two questions: Is Mickey's Magical Map show on throughout the day and what times usually? I know it premiered, but so far on DL's website they don't have show times listed....just times for all the other park shows/events. Also, is Radiator Springs Racers not breaking down as often as it used to? I rode it a few times last year (all in October....never was able to get on it during my September visit, and my parents and sister didn't get to ride on their July day there last year). And is the line still usually ridiculously long or is it more of a normal wait time now like other major rides? I know to expect long queues since it'll be July.

    To the original poster, I have the Touring Plans app (lines, etc.) for DLR and WDW on my Droid....had to pay for the membership but the line times are accurate. Crowd levels are there, too, which I've found reliable thus far, at least for DLR.
     
  9. coaches24

    coaches24 DIS Veteran

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    The shortest I saw the RSR stand By line on Monday was 75 minutes. As far as breaking down I have been lucky I guess because in two visits to Cars land (4 days in early Jan and then Monday) I have yet to see it break down.

    Luigis tires on the other hand has broken down on both trips (DD likes it so she wanted to ride it on Monday but we were unable).
     
  10. RebeccaMcK

    RebeccaMcK Earning My Ears

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    Thanks, coaches. Maybe it'll be another year or so before the RSR wait times shorten more. I enjoyed Luigi's Flying Tires a couple times last year even though I couldn't get them to move very much either time. We're sticking with Mater's Junkyard Jamboree as the only other ride we'll do in Cars Land now besides RSR. We've got hoppers so we'll cross between the parks a couple times. Our other must-do's are Little Mermaid, Soarin', GRR, maybe Mickey's Fun Wheel and the red trolley car if killing time at DCA, Space Mtn, Peter Pan, Jungle Cruise, Tarzan's Treehouse, Haunted Mansion (will be first time with the non-Halloween version for DD8), and whatever else there might be time to do. BTMRR is closed (kiddo's favorite) and she won't do 3D, so no Star Tours for us. I've gone off Indiana Jones and Matterhorn now (had not done IJ in a long time, finally did it last September and decided that's it for me....and wasn't very comfortable during Matterhorn with knees at my chin, so it's off my to do list now). DD8 won't do CA Screamin' and ToT. Maybe Autopia if we can get FPs. If there's time, the Storybookland Canal boat is nice, or Casey Jr. Circus train if their queue is shorter (same scenery for both rides). We have no more characters to meet unless we find Pinocchio or Rafiki anywhere (no character meals; just doing counter service like Flo's V8 Cafe and maybe Golden Horseshoe).

    Anyone know about possible, typical show schedules for Mickey's Magical Map over in the Fantasyland Theater? Is it on maybe 4 times a day, or? I might not find out until we're in the park with Times Guides.
     
  11. sheetz

    sheetz DIS Veteran

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    It would help a bit if you skip the attractions that are carbon copies of the ones at WDW. Those would mostly be the the film-type attractions like Star Tours, Toy Story, and Soarin. You should make time to see some shows like Fantasmic (which is quite different than the one in FL), Aladdin, and World of Color. Maybe even one of the parades or the new Mickey and the Magical Map show.
     
  12. RebeccaMcK

    RebeccaMcK Earning My Ears

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    If you were talking to me there (if not, I apologize - the OP could answer), I already plan to skip Star Tours and TSMM. The kiddo wants to do Soarin' but if she doesn't mention it or pass by it that day we could easily skip it. I've already told her we should skip the Redwood Creek Challenge trail this time since we've done it before and have met Dug and Russell from "Up!" We don't do parades (except sometimes "by accident") and have already seen Aladdin (great show) and WoC (I've seen it 3 or 4 times now while DD8 has seen it once). DD8 has seen Fantasmic at DHS but not at DLand (I like it better at DL but prefer to have stadium seats for it like at DHS), but when we just have the one day and are starting at opening time we tend to not stay past dinner time if we can help it, if DD8 gets too tired. And we plan to see Mickey & the Magical Map; we just don't know its times throughout the day.
     
  13. missangelalexis

    missangelalexis DIS Veteran

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    I actually spent one day at Disneyland/CA at the end of June last summer. These are the attractions that my group was able to get done from about 9am to 7pm:
    -Met Pluto in TownSquare
    -Grabbed Space Mountain FP
    -Peter Pan's Flight
    -Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
    -Dumbo
    -Met Alice & Mad Hatter near Mad Tea Party
    -Space Mountain (with FP)
    -Mad Tea Party
    -Snow White
    -Grabbed Grizzly River Run FP
    -Met Mickey in Townsquare
    -Grabbed Splash Mountain FP
    -Lunch Break
    -Met Ariel at entrance (Aurora and Cinderella were out as well)
    -ToT (Standby)
    -Met Minnie near Soarin
    -Grizzly River Run (with FP)
    -The Little Mermaid Ride
    -Splash Mountain (with FP)


    Granted we spent the AM doing FL rides, which may not be what you're looking for. Also we didn't even try to venture to Carsland since it was just after the Grand Opening and we knew it would be insane. I will say it was a lot more crowded than I planned for but we did get MOST of what we wanted to do done!
     
  14. DisneylandPlanner

    DisneylandPlanner Mouseketeer

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    THIS!!!!! Good Luck!
     
  15. longtimedisneylurker

    longtimedisneylurker DIS Veteran

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    If you go to the Disneyland website, and click on park hours, you can see a lot of the daily times for things. Mickey's Magical Map is one of the things listed. For example, today it is running 5 times: 11:30, 12:45, 3:00, 4:25, and 5:40. That may be typical, but you can click on your dates if/when they're posted to see if there is variation.

    ETA: Ah, just scrolled back up through the previous posts and see your date is July 2. I notice also that Mickey and the Magical Map times haven't been posted to the calendar beyond June 30 yet. I'm guessing the times will be the same or very close when posted, but keep checking for your date.
     
  16. rentayenta

    rentayenta <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/dm.

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    We also recently just spent one day at Disneyland/DCA. I'd choose just a few must dos at each park and then anything after that is gravy. You just never know due to rides breaking and crowd levels. Have a great time. pixiedust:


    My musts for each park would include....

    Disneyland:
    POTC
    Fireworks
    BTMRR
    Splash
    Indy
    IASW
    Mr. Toad


    DCA:
    Soarin'
    Radiator Springs Racers
    Screamin'
    TSMM
    World of Color
     
  17. RebeccaMcK

    RebeccaMcK Earning My Ears

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    Yeah, no times are listed yet for July for that particular show. Thanks, though - I forgot to check June for examples (the site loads the monthly/daily schedule pages slowly for me), so I'll jot those times down for now and then check closer to the time of our trip for July 2nd times. They had everything else listed: Golden Horseshoe (Laughing Stock Co.), Aladdin, parades, fireworks, Dapper Dans, Billy Hill, etc.

    -----------
    I forgot about IASW. That's a must do for us most trips, especially in Disneyland (moreso than at Magic Kingdom - the extra stuff and the superior exterior are the draws). I grew up in SoCal and have been to DLand pretty much at least once a year since 1972 (until I moved to CO in 2004 - yes, we're very close to the wild fires right now), so we know there is so much to do in the two parks. I figure, whatever gets done gets done and is fun....hey, a crowded, hot day at Disney is still better than a regular day at home or at work. And anyone doing Fantasyland attractions, yes, do them early in the morning (and sometimes late at night could be good, too). My kiddo is finally ready to give up some DL Fantasyland stuff but we still ride Peter Pan when we can. If we do last a while into the evening, maybe we'll see about Mr. Toad and some other stuff (DD8 finally road Mr. Toad for the first time last October, after seeing the short Disney film at school that year).
     
  18. SeattleRedBear

    SeattleRedBear Mouseketeer<br><font color=red>An old floorboard c

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    @ the OP.

    Any first timers to Disneyland that are WDW veterans should review HydroGuy's excellent comparison of the two resorts

    There is no way you can completely cover the two parks on a summer day (even with a VIP tour, imo). I would suggest focusing on the things that are different between the two resorts or not available in Florida. As sonnyjane pointed out, there are nearly as many attractions in DLR's two parks as there are all in all four of WDW's parks.
     
  19. Zzizzy

    Zzizzy Disney Storyteller

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    I did a segment on the DIS Unplugged Disneyland Edition on this topic and also wrote a blog about it that you might find helpful. It concentrates on Disneyland alone, but you could modify the plan and cover some of DCA as well.

    http://www.disunplugged.com/2012/03/18/disneyland-in-one-day/

    Doing both parks to any great degree in just one day would be a challenge. Disneyland isn't really that much smaller than the Magic Kingdom in WDW, but there are almost the same number of attractions and the time to do those would be about the same. Add in DCA and you are going to need to spend every hour the parks are open. Stay away from Friday; it gets very crowded when the local folks start coming in after work.

    Good luck and have fun!

    -Wayne
     
  20. RebeccaMcK

    RebeccaMcK Earning My Ears

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    Wayne, that's a great article with very good pictures, thank you for posting the link. These days most of us going for one day (if not planning to go back any time soon) are going to park hop, and Radiator Springs Racers has changed most people's morning plans as far as Fastpasses/first rides go - we'll often start off there first. But for starting off with Disneyland, my usual plan of action is to walk down Main Street (take in sights as we go but don't stop anywhere until later in the day when there is more "free time"), get FPs for Space Mtn, then ride the Nemo Submarine since it's a great attraction and usually a "must do" for early mornings since the line just gets longer as the day goes on. We tend not to ride DL's Astro Orbitors since it's low on the ground unlike Magic Kingdom's that's way up in the air (although maybe DL will eventually raise theirs up again). Or else go hit Dumbo/Peter Pan and Toontown, depending on who's in the group and if they want to do those attractions. I've noticed the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-through isn't always open at opening time (I've stood in line at Peter Pan's Flight and seen the walk-through area open later in the morning), so that along with Tarzan's Treehouse and Pirate's Lair (what used to be Tom Sawyer Island) are better as time fillers for later in the afternoon. And now that they're enforcing FP return times, it is better to use the FP system (especially if there for just the one day) and know when to go use your FPs and get more. Doing Fantasyland at night is good, too, if not already done in the early morning. The Mountain rides are good FP priorities (along with Star Tours, like you said). The lines just for getting FPs for Indiana Jones are often long and the FPs run out early on crowded days. It is fun to go through the standby queue once, to see the theming. With Matterhorn, which has no FP, someone told me once that during parades they close one of the two lines - so then the remaining line seems to move faster since they're just loading riders from that one line. Anyway, my rule of thumb is usually to use FP as much as I can, keep an eye on the time occasionally so I don't miss return windows, while riding the favorite rides that don't offer FP. Later, when people are leaving the park after the fireworks, is when I cut through the joined shops along Main Street (and do my shopping if I have any to do). That's if I'm even staying through the night parade and fireworks' time. If we're there at opening time (as we tend to be for the last few years), we've usually done everything we want to do and are ready to leave around dinner time. But that's when we just do the one park. If also doing California Adventure, it'll be a bit later. Cars Land gives us more to do there now, along with CA Screamin', Tower of Terror, Monsters Inc ride, Muppetvision, Aladdin Musical, Mickey's Fun Wheel, TSMM, Little Mermaid ride, Soarin'.....of course, if we cut out what we know we can do at WDW then the day can be streamlined a bit more. For those of us who like to plan our day, of course. Anyway, it's good to see various park touring plans from different people.
     
  21. sar919

    sar919 Earning My Ears

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    OP, how did you do? We did DL and DCA in one day on July 18 and got to do almost everything that we wanted to do, we just ran out of time and energy!
     

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