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Follow these time-saving tips for reducing wait times at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure attractions.
The Disneyland Resort is magical and fun, and, because of that, very popular. That means you’re likely to encounter some lines at some attractions. But, there are a few tricks you can use to maximize your time.
5 Tips for Reducing Wait Times at Disneyland Attractions
Before I give those tips, though, the first thing I recommend you do is arrive at the resort a few minutes before opening. That gives you time to park and get the gates. There are almost always fewer people then and that makes a huge difference. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, here are my 5 tips:
1.Download the Disneyland Mobile App
This app is amazing for its versatility. First, it’ll let you buy tickets and make restaurant reservations, but it will also give you lots of information to navigate the parks. This includes information like locations of places to eat (and menus), special services, bathroom and more. Most of all, for our purposes, it shows current wait times for all the attractions. That’s great because it allows you to make choices in real time about where you want to go. One huge benefit is it allows you to get a FASTPASS if you have the Disney MaxPass service added on (much more on this below). The Disneyland Mobile App is free and available for both Apple and Android users. I highly recommend that you get it now!
The FASTPASS system is completely free with your ticket and available on many popular attractions. Just go to the attraction you want, introduce your park ticket into the FASTPASS machine, and receive a card with the time frame to come back. This allows you to go do something else and return when it is time to ride. Make sure you choose the line that says “FASTPASS return” when you come back, because this line much shorter than the stand-by line. You can’t get two FASTPASSes at the same moment with your ticket; however, the FASTPASS card will show you the exact time at which you can request another one later on. Check out this list of attractions that offer a FASTPASS here.
3. Single Rider
If you don’t mind getting separated from your family (and you don’t have small kids with you), Single Rider is a great way to get in an attraction if you don’t have a FASTPASS and don’t want to wait in line as long. Just ask the Cast Member at the entrance of the attraction and they will let you know what to do. Basically, on certain rides, Cast Members inside the ride will fill up extra spaces with people in the Single Rider line. You won’t be able to sit with your family, but you all will enjoy the ride faster. This service is available on the following attractions:
In Disneyland: Indiana Jones Adventure, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Splash Mountain.
In Disney California Adventure: Radiator Springs Racers, California Screamin’, Goofy’s Sky School, and Grizzly River Run.
4. Rider Switch
This is particularly important for families with infants or small children. Parents or caregivers won’t need to wait in line twice in order to ride. First, ask the Cast Member at the entrance about this service. Then, one parent will ride while the other one waits. When the first parent is back, they can switch places and ride almost immediately. That’s it! For a list of attractions with this service please click here.
5. Disney MaxPass
A new service at the Disneyland Resort, we had the chance to try it out a few weeks ago (Thank you Disneyland!). There is a cost, but we feel it is well worth it. We loved it! This service allows you to reserve a FASTPASS from your phone! That’s right! You don’t need to walk to the attraction to get a FASTPASS from a machine. Isn’t that great? This saves tons of time and effort.
Here’s just one example from our experience. We arrived at Disney California Adventure 10 minutes after opening. Right there at the entrance, we reserved our FASTPASSes for Radiator Springs Racers. Since it was early in the morning our FASTPASS time was just 40 minutes away (It’s a very popular ride). Then, we checked the Disneyland Mobile App to see available rides close to our location. We saw the wait time at Soarin’ Over the World was just 10 minutes. So we headed that way.
After enjoying the ride, we walked to Radiator Spring Racers, got into a very short FASTPASS line, and while we waited to jump on that ride, we reserved a FASTPASS for Toy Story Midway Mania! So you see the advantage in both time and energy. We just walked from ride to ride, spent very little time in line, and didn’t have to walk back and forth getting FASTPASSes ahead of time. Also, if you have a hopper ticket, you can actually reserve FASTPASSES for both parks!
The service has an introductory price of $10 dollars per day per ticket, and if you can swing it, it’s well worth it! If you haven’t gotten your tickets, you can buy the service at the moment you do. If you already have tickets and would like to purchase the service, you can do it directly on the Disneyland Mobile App.
This is how it works: Once you have your tickets, open the app and, using the bar code on your tickets, link your tickets to the app. Then, click get FASTPASS and the app will ask you to create a party, choose the people in your party, the park, and then the attraction, that’s it! Easy peasy. Learn more about the benefits of the Disney MaxPass here.
There you have it! Now you can enjoy the rides and maximize your time.
Return of the Classics
If you are planning a trip to the parks soon, check out the return of the classics at Disneyland. This includes the new Fantasmic show, the Disneyland railroad with a new section that passes close to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (under construction), as well as all the fun activities at Rivers of America. Also, enjoy the last days of the Summer of Heroes at Disney California Adventure with the new attraction Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission: BREAKOUT! Finally, don’t forget to read about Mickey’s Halloween Party and the Halloween season in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
So much fun!
Thank you to the Disneyland Resort for inviting us to the parks to enjoy the Summer of Heroes. As always, my comments, opinions, and love for the Disney Parks are my own.