First time to Disneyland Questions

Nole95

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 8, 2007
Taking the family out to California and Disneyland for the first time next month. My wife will be running in the Disneyland Half, and we will be staying at Paradise Pier.

While I am pretty much an expert on how to do Disney World, I am starting to wrap my head around some planning for Disneyland.

My specific questions revolve around early admission. We will have at least one early admission to DL and one to DCA.

For DCA, we will plan on hitting RSR first using the wide right technique I have read so much about that. After that, what would priorities be? Should we hit up the rides where there is no FP available such as TSMM, rest of Cars Land, etc? Both kids are tall enough to ride everything so no worries there. Must dos would be RSR, California Screamin, Soarin, TSMM, and River Run. Everything else will fall into place after those.

For DL, what are some preferred early admission strategies as far as what to ride in that hour? Must dos would be Splash, Space, Indiana Jones, Big Thunder, Pirates, Small World, Mr. Toad, and Star Tours. Looks like Matterhorn will be closed during this time.
 

figment_jii

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 22, 2006
For DCA, we will plan on hitting RSR first using the wide right technique I have read so much about that. After that, what would priorities be? Should we hit up the rides where there is no FP available such as TSMM, rest of Cars Land, etc? Both kids are tall enough to ride everything so no worries there. Must dos would be RSR, California Screamin, Soarin, TSMM, and River Run. Everything else will fall into place after those.
I would probably try to tackle RSR and TSMM during the EMH. Screamin', Soarin', and GRR are popular, but they have FPs and you can usually slot them in during the day. The other Carsland rides normally don't have really long lines, so you can also do them during the day. FPs aren't distributed until the park opens to everyone. For me, I would probably start at RSR, then head to TSMM. After that, depending on lines (and wait time) i would probably do Screamin' (because it's near TSMM) and then head to Soarin'. I'd leave GRR until the afternoon when it's warm because you will get wet.

For DL, what are some preferred early admission strategies as far as what to ride in that hour? Must dos would be Splash, Space, Indiana Jones, Big Thunder, Pirates, Small World, Mr. Toad, and Star Tours. Looks like Matterhorn will be closed during this time.
Splash, Indy, BTMRR, and Pirates aren't open during EMH/MM. Only the Tomorrowland and Fantasyland rides are open, so I would focus on those. For me, I would probably go to Space and Star Tours first, then head over to Fantasyland. Aside from A&E and Peter Pan, the lines are generally okay at opening and for a bit thereafter. Once the park opens to everyone, I would probably go grab a FP for Indy or BTMRR, ride Pirates while waiting, and then go get a FP for Indy or BTMRR (whichever you didn't do) or ride it depending on the line. Again, I'd either FP Splash or wait until the afternoon to ride it when it's warm.
 

whoever

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 7, 2013
Figment nailed it. We normally do PP first because Space/Star Tours aren't must on our list, but since they are on your's, thats the only deviation from how we do EMH at DL.
 

DisneyMomCT13

Earning My Ears
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Taking the family out to California and Disneyland for the first time next month. My wife will be running in the Disneyland Half, and we will be staying at Paradise Pier. While I am pretty much an expert on how to do Disney World, I am starting to wrap my head around some planning for Disneyland. My specific questions revolve around early admission. We will have at least one early admission to DL and one to DCA. For DCA, we will plan on hitting RSR first using the wide right technique I have read so much about that. After that, what would priorities be? Should we hit up the rides where there is no FP available such as TSMM, rest of Cars Land, etc? Both kids are tall enough to ride everything so no worries there. Must dos would be RSR, California Screamin, Soarin, TSMM, and River Run. Everything else will fall into place after those. For DL, what are some preferred early admission strategies as far as what to ride in that hour? Must dos would be Splash, Space, Indiana Jones, Big Thunder, Pirates, Small World, Mr. Toad, and Star Tours. Looks like Matterhorn will be closed during this time.
We took our first DL trip august 2013 (we are frequent travelers to WDW). LOVED it but found it to be quite different. For your morning to CA be at the turnstile about a half hour before early opening. We came from the east coast so that was no trouble for us with the time difference. Went straight in toward cars land and got right behind the cast members leading us to RSR. Keep right and you will walk right on. In fact you could walk on a second time as we found that possible both early mornings we were in that park and it was so fun to ride it twice! We then did the other cars land attractions and the. Got in line for a fast pass for RSR for later in the day because we lived it so much. For ya park opened at 7am early opening and it was fun to watch the general public enter at 8am. They were heading to carsland as we were heading away from it. We the. Went to you story and cali scream in coaster and we made our way around all the attractions in the boardwalk area. Honestly we were able to everything in that park that we wanted to do before lunch! We did go back a second early opening morning to do RSR again as we loved carsland so but it wasn't necessary. For DL park we did the 7am early morning and hit all fantasyland rides first (Peter pan, Mr. Toad, dumbo, canal boats, Alice etc.) really fun to enjoy attractions not found at WDW! We were able to do all fantasyland in just over an hour. I headed to space mountain right about park opening to the public and walked right on with minimal wait and liked it better than space mountain in WDW, smoother! No issues getting in splash but I did that as a single rider-boats are much smaller! Pirates was great and I liked it better than the one in WDW too. We did quite a bit in the 5 hours before we had lunch! Didn't use fast passes much due to the great early mornings we had.

Don't forget about works if color, amazing nighttime show like no other I've seen at WDW and worth doing a dinner package at Carthy Circle to have the reserved viewing location. Dinner was great and we entered seating about 45 minutes before the show.

If you park hop you need a hand stamp when you exit the park, we didn't know and exited and tried to re enter later and while we did get in it was a hassle! Not the same as WDW.

Weather was cool in the mornings and evenings so u recommend sweatshirts, even in August! We found it to feel a bit different from WDW, but we LOVED the intimacy of the parks and the charm that comes with a slightly smaller size and the original location. I would certainly go back!
 

kitayama

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Figment nailed it. We normally do PP first because Space/Star Tours aren't must on our list, but since they are on your's, thats the only deviation from how we do EMH at DL.
Figment seems to have good answers to everything!

Oh, and to the OP... Relax, this is Disneyland, not a Disney World! There is far less stress here. :-)
You will be able to ride everything in a few days with minimal planning using the extra time or not. Toy Story Midway Mania is nowhere near as crowded here as it is in Florida by the way... And getting a fastpass to Soarin' Over California is not difficult at all.
 

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