Tips for avoiding the crowds at Disneyland

People love Disneyland and with travel season upon us Disneyland will be a top destination for families. Everyone would love to avoid the crowds and visit Disneyland on a day when they can walk on and off the rides without the long lines, but unfortunately that usually isn’t possible. There are some things you can do, however, to spend more time on rides and less time in line.

Disneyland Railroad station at the main entrance.

Disneyland Railroad station at the main entrance.

Visit mid-week

When scheduling permits, avoid weekends, Fridays and Mondays. Opt for Tuesday through Thursday for fewer crowds. As reason has it, visiting during off peak months and non-holidays is also the best time, but not possible for many people.

Watch for early admission times

Be mindful of Magic Morning early admission times. These are select days when one or the other of the parks open one hour early to certain guests. So if, for instance on Tuesday Disney California Adventure opens for regular admission at 10 am, but has Magic Morning admission at 9 am, there may be crowds earlier in California Adventure, however it might be a great day to visit Disneyland right as the park opens.

Single rider lines

Many of the roller coaster style rides at Disneyland have a single rider line. If you are willing to split from your group, you can get on a ride quite quickly going this route. Often you will notice the single rider sign at the entrance of a ride. Just follow the sign leading to a cast member who will give you a single rider ticket. As a single rider is needed to fill in a seat you will be put on the ride. It’s works out great and is usually very fast. A word of caution: on occasion it is possible for the actual ride line to go faster than the single rider line (such as the Matterhorn), but this is extremely rare.

View of the Matterhorn.

View of the Matterhorn.

Fast passes

Take advantage of fast passes. On popular rides it is best to get them first thing in the morning. We recently went to Disneyland on a non-busy day and got a fast pass for the Speed Racer ride in Cars. The park opened at 10 am, we got the fast pass around 10:45 am, and the return time on the fast pass was for 6:20-7:20 pm! On popular rides get your fast passes early or it may be too late! You can get as many fast passes as you want as long as the times don’t conflict.

Be early

Arrive before opening time. Be at the gates when the park opens. Know what rides you want to go on, which ones are the most popular and important to you, and go there first. If you are visiting two parks in one day be organized about your visit. Don’t go rushing back and forth between the parks or even back and forth across the same park. Go through each park in an orderly way to not waste time and to make sure you can see and do as much as possible in your magical day. Even if it means a wait in line in one popular ride, it is likely less time consuming than dashing back and forth across the parks multiple times.

Have fun

Don’t forget to have a wonderful time! I don’t know how many times I’ve been to Disneyland and I still haven’t seen it all. That could be part of the magic of it, there’s always something new to come back for. Enjoy the time with family and friends and make it as memorable as you can after all, this day will never come again!

What did you enjoy best about your trip to Disneyland?


Posted under: Attractions, California


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