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
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