Updated November 30, 2018
The success of your morning can determine how your entire day goes at Disneyland. I have some tips for you on how to make the most of your time and how to get everyone started in the right direction.
The benefits of an early arrival are plentiful. Save your slumber for another vacation. There is work to be done at Disneyland!
In this article
Before You Arrive
Before you even arrive on site, I suggest you have the following done:
- Have tickets purchased. Buy online or purchase from your hotel. Lines at the ticket counters on site can be long.
- Eat breakfast. Wake early and enjoy breakfast in your hotel or find something on your way in. If you are wanting to dine with characters, reserve the latest time available. A 10:30am reservation is a good idea. That allows you to enjoy the earlier hours and then take a break when everyone else shows up.
- Apply sunscreen and make sure kids are prepared for their day.
- If you’re lining up outside prior to open, look for restrooms at each end of the waiting area between the parks. Have everyone use the restroom before entering.
When to Arrive
I repeat this time and time again because it’s actually that important.
To get the most out of your mornings, arrive an hour prior to park opening. If you have Extra Magic Hour/Magic Morning privileges, arrive 30 minutes prior to EMH/MM opening time.
Do this First at Disneyland
This post shares several plans for how to start your day at Disneyland.
They work! Follow one of my plans and you’ll have the majority of the most iconic attractions completed in the park by lunch.
Do This First at California Adventure
This post shares several plans for how to start your day at California Adventure.
They work, too! DCA has fewer attractions, overall, and is easier to navigate if you know what you’re doing. It’s entirely possible to have every attraction complete by a late lunch.
Follow This Plan for One Day at Both Parks
I’ll have a pretty blog post to go into more detail about how to cover the best of both parks in one day, but for now, visit this post.
With it, you’ll start at DCA and finish at Disneyland.
Follow These Tips for a Late Arrival Day
I highly recommend arriving prior to park opening and following the above listed plans to be sure you get to experience all that the Disneyland Resort has to offer.
However, for an arrival day, or one that you choose to sleep in on, check out this post for how to get the most out of your abbreviated time in the parks.
Magic Morning & Extra Magic Hour
- For detailed explanations of each, visit this post.
- If you don’t have Magic Morning or Extra Magic Hour? Don’t sweat it. There’s still plenty of time for fun and you’ll do just fine by following the posts I share above for each park. (I rarely have either and accomplish everything I want to without it.)
- FASTPASSES are essential for making my strategies work. Whether you’re using the Digital (Classic) version of FASTPASS or MaxPass, you will benefit from my plans. Absolutely review this post to know all about your options and how each works.
- My plans are created with not only the most logical way to tour the parks, but also with how long you will have to wait until you can pull your next FASTPASS. There are many misconceptions on how long you have to wait. Know exactly what your options are prior to visit. This link goes into detail on that.
- All of my plans are created so that any park guest can use them. I do not incorporate Single Rider Lines or Rider Swap because they’re not a fit for everyone. But, if they work for you, certainly consider using these tools.
- I test my plans in the parks about once a month to ensure they’re as up to date as possible, giving you the most current information for your visit. Follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram to keep up with how these plans play out.