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Disneyland Trip Planning Guide
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Brian Bennett

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Forward
Forward  |  Why Travel to Disneyland?  |  My Favorite Things at Disneyland

Resources

Disneyland Trip Planning Phone List  |  Critique of Published Disneyland Trip Guide Books  |  Other Disneyland Resources on the Web

Planning Ahead

Planning Your Trip  |  What Time of Year You Should go to Disneyland  |  How Many Days Do You Need to "See It All?"  |  Other Attractions in Southern California  |  Estimating What Your Trip Will Cost  |  Rental Car Considerations  |  What You Should Pack to Take on Your Trip

Accommodations

Should You Stay On or Off Site?  |  Off Site Accommodations  |  Disneyland Area Campgrounds  |  Disneyland's "Good Neighbor Hotels"  |  On Site Hotels  |  Grand Californian  Hotel  |  Disneyland Hotel  |  Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

Disneyland Resort Primer
A Disneyland / WDW Comparison  |  The Ins and Outs of Disneyland Reservations  |  How to Use Disneyland's Transportation System  |  Developing a Daily "Game Plan"  |  The Daily Afternoon Break Touring the Parks With Kids  |  Touring the Parks With an Infant  |  Touring the Parks with Disabled Guests

The Parks
General Issues
  |  All About Admission Media (i.e. Tickets)  |  General Park Operating Hours  |  "Magic Mornings", the Disneyland Resort's Version of Early Entry  |  Fastpass -- Disney's New "Virtual Queue"  |  Disneyland  |  Details-at-a-Glance  |  Touring the Park  |  Attractions  |  Shopping  |  Disneyland Shows and Entertainment  |  Parade of Stars  |  Believe: There's Magic in the Sky  |  Fantasmic!  |  Disney's California Adventure  |  Details-at-a-Glance  |  Touring the Park  |  Attractions  | Shopping  |  Eureka! The California Adventure Parade

Everything Else
Downtown Disney  |  Guided Tours of Disneyland

Disneyland Restaurant Resource

First, if you couldn't find it here, I would appreciate it if you would click on this link and send me a message to tell me what's missing.  I'll do my best to "fill in the blanks" as soon as possible.

 

Touring Disneyland

Some general thoughts:

  • If you're a WDW veteran, get one of the free Disneyland guidebooks from the entry plaza or city hall, and keep it with you at all times, at least for the first day. You'll find that Disneyland is so similar in layout to the Magic Kingdom in Florida (to the West coasters, it's really the other way around) that you'll probably be turned around at some point during the day. For example, in Disneyland, Big Thunder Mountain stands right where the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion is located.

  • My first and strongest advice is to enjoy the high-profile rides very early or very late. Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, The Matterhorn, Haunted Mansion, Star Tours (although Star Tours has much shorter lines than it used to exhibit), and Pirates of the Caribbean all have much shorter lines first thing in the morning and later at night (on those days when the park is open late). On one early entry day, Barb and I rode Indiana Jones within a forty-five minute span. A short while later, after early entry had ended, we were walking through Frontierland and crossed the line for Indiana Jones which had increased to an incredible hour and forty-five minutes length. We could have ridden six or seven times for that amount of time during early entry.

  • The Fantasyland attractions tend to have lengthy lines. The reason is twofold: First, many of the attractions have a limited load capacity. The Mad Tea Party are Dumbo are examples of this phenomenon. Second, relatively archaic ride technology of those rides makes the loading process slow (exacerbated by the large number of young children involved). If you have kids, prepare to wait for these. If you don't have kids, catch them very early or skip them altogether. The bottom line is that a day in Fantasyland and Toontown will be a slow one.

  • For general purpose touring of the park, I suggest that you start in Adventureland and work counter-clockwise around the plaza hitting the rides you're interested in as you go. That will minimize crossing your paths as you tour the park.

  • Unlike the Magic Kingdom in Florida, there will be no lack of crowds as you stroll through Adventureland in the early morning. The Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye attraction guarantees that this part of the park is almost constantly overrun by guests.

  • Plan to catch Fantasmic! if it is running while your visiting Disneyland. There's more information in the "Parades and Night Time Spectaculars" page on this incredible show. Whatever you do, don't miss it if you have the opportunity.

In a non-busy time of year, a couple of days will cover pretty much the entire park.

 

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