Oh sweet, have fun with that! I have done both parks in one day (in September rather than February if that makes a difference). Saturdays Disneyland has ERT for resort guests and multi-day ticket holders, so your best bet is to go to California Adventure first. All the big rides have Fastpass now, and it's easy to get around that park quickly. if you're just going for the ones that aren't in Florida, I'd suggest getting Fastpass to Radiator Springs Racers and going to Guardians at opening, then over to Incredicoaster, then RSR, then get out of there. Some people are going to tell you that's dumb and there are single rider lines, but you guys are going to want to ride together.
Pirates is a beast and that line moves so quickly, you'll never stand. The boats go through so quickly they don't always have time to fill them all completely. It's quite a sight. Just do that whenever you feel like it. Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain are probably your best Fastpasses on the Disneyland side.
You'll definitely want to do Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean. All three are very different compared to their Magic Kingdom counterparts. You also have the original Enchanted Tiki Room which is a blast. Other unique quirky "only at Disneyland" attractions are the Submarine Voyage, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, and the Fantasyland dark rides (Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio's Daring Journey, and the glorious WTF that is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride).
If you’re into shows at all, Frozen at the Hyperion (in DCA) is one of the most incredible (and expensive) broadway-style shows at any park anywhere.
Definitely don’t miss Pirates! It’s by far my favorite version above Florida’s and Paris’. Space Mountain is a lot different too, though in my opinion a little less interesting. Still worth it for the comparison though. The front row gives the most wild ride.
Grizzly is a must-do too, even if you have to wear ponchos. It is so well themed and has some CRAZY drops for a rapids ride. The only comparable one I’ve done is River Quest at Phantasialand.
^ So would be the "Alice in Wonderland" caterpillar ride vehicles, too.
Not to mention the ride itself. And IMhO, of the five dark rides past the castle, the three on the right are by far the best of the bunch to me. And then after Alice, you hit the Matterhorn! Both sides!
Wow, thanks guys! I forgot about some of those Fantasyland rides. We'll be sure to check them out.
Single rider wouldn't be our first choice but we'll totally do it if it the alternative is not getting to ride certain things at all. Thanks for the tips about the Fantasyland rides.
So (since I got some conflicting opinions) would the best strategy be to get there at open, reserve Radiator Springs Racers as soon as we step through the gates and head to something like Guardians or should I just head right for Cars Land?
PS: I'm stupid, it's a Friday and not a Saturday. They seem to have a midnight close either way though.
A.J. wrote:You also have the original Enchanted Tiki Room
From experience, if California Adventure has early entry for hotel guests, Radiator Springs will already have a sizable wait. That's also where most people go at rope drop. Meanwhile Guardians was a walk-on for the first hour on Sunday even with California Adventure having early entry.
If you want to do the low capacity Fantasyland rides like Alice in Wonderland, going there first isn't terrible. There's no preshows and the ride time is short enough that you can get them all in a row. Plus you're near Matterhorn too.
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Remember, you're getting yourself MaxPass, so you won't have to go to the distribution location to get a FastPass for Radiator Springs Racers. Personally, I've never had any major issues with Radiator Springs Racers' single rider queue, but it's your call, as you may not want to ride separated.
Matterhorn's standby queue is the worst. It wraps around the perimeter of the mountain with little to no shade and nothing to look at except the other people walking around enjoying their days. I might even recommend to go to Matterhorn first to avoid that without having to do single rider. (EDIT: Matterhorn just came out of a refurbishment and this is no longer a thing.)
Also, why not the Enchanted Tiki Room? Twenty minutes or so in an air-conditioned building watching a fun show with a Dole Whip... Would be a good break if you have a FastPass coming up.
One thing you can do to help yourself plan is download the Disneyland app before your trip and if you're bored on a Friday, just open it up and check what the wait times are.
A.J. wrote:Matterhorn's standby queue is the worst. It wraps around the perimeter of the mountain with little to no shade and nothing to look at except the other people walking around enjoying their days. I might even recommend to go to Matterhorn first to avoid that without having to do single rider.
I thought they just changed all that configuration, and put the queues more in front of the attraction than around the mountain, like before? I don't think it goes that way any more, as you posted. And I do remember those lines, back in 2016.
I need to find posts about that change. Hmmm. <looking>
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