Disneyland: Working the System & Avoiding the Crowds

What is the number one thing you DON’T want to do during your Disneyland vacation?

How about….stand in line?  No one wants to wait in lines!

This blog post is all about a way to “work the system” to really maximize your time in the parks, getting to all the best Disneyland has, with the most minimal wait times possible.

Top 5 Ways to Work the System

  1. Arrive at Park Opening.  This is KEY!  Most people do not arrive at park opening, so the lines and crowds will naturally be lighter during those early morning hours.
  2. Take advantage of extra hours if you can!  These are a great time to visit the theme parks.  If you have Hoppers, you can then hop to the opposite park for even lower crowds.
    • If you are a Disneyland Resort Guest, you can utilize Extra Magic Hour, where the park opens 1 hour early for onsite guests, at both parks!  Click here for the current schedule of which park is open on each day of the week.Magic Morning
    • If you are an off-site guest, with a qualifying ticket, you will have access for one Magic Morning to Disneyland park only.  This allows entry 1 hour early. Click here for the current days that offer Magic Morning.
  3. So, you are at the park, it just opened.  Now what?  Do not ride the first thing you see or get in line for a character meet.  Head right for those big headliner attractions (often no where near the front of the park!), or head to what is most important to you/for your family.  Continue to ride those main attractions before the crowds roll in!  Then, take an afternoon break at your hotel, and return to the parks in the evening.
  4. Child Switch – if you have a child who is too small, or too frightened, to ride some of the thrills, maximize your time with Child Switch!  Here is how it works: Everyone goes up to the queue on the ride and ask the Cast Member for a child switch pass, they will hand you what looks like a FastPass paper ticket.  Then one adult and the child/children who aren’t riding can go off to another attraction or a nearby gift shop, etc. while everyone else takes their turn on the ride.  When the riders return, the waiting adult then takes the Child Switch pass to the ride queue and uses it to go through the FastPass queue.  Up to three people can ride on a single Child Switch, so that means riding children can get in two rides!  You wait in line once, but everyone gets a chance to ride!  To really maximize this – use Child Switch in combo with FastPass!  One adult holds a FastPass for the attraction, the other gets a Child Switch.  Everyone goes through the FastPass queue!
  5. Single Riders Line – if your family is all of appropriate age where you are comfortable splitting up, use Single Riders Line for minimal waiting in line!  You WILL be split up – you might end up in the same ride vehicle, but it’s very likely you will not be close to each other.  In Disneyland Park: Indiana Jones, the Mattterhorn, and Splash Mountain all have a Single Riders Line.  In California Adventure: Soarin’, Radiator Springs Racers, Grizzly River Run, Goofy’s Sky School.  Single Riders Line can also be combined with Child Switch!

Written by Brook

We are Team Pixie Dust! We are travel agents that specialize in Disney vacations. Our personalized vacation planning is NO cost to you, and we will search out the best value for your vacation dollar. Contact us today for more information or a no-obligation quote! brook@brookwoz.com