In the Park

Top 5 Tips to Enjoy Disneyland When It’s Busy

Enjoy Disneyland when it's busy - Main Street USA with crowds

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IT HAPPENS.  WE PLAN AND PLAN AND PLAN SOME MORE AND WHEN OUR VACATION FINALLY ARRIVES, THE PARKS ARE PACKED!  DON’T DESPAIR – WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED.  HERE ARE OUR TOP 5 TIPS ON HOW TO ENJOY DISNEYLAND WHEN IT’S BUSY!

Disneyland is a magical place to visit.  The parks host thousands upon thousands of visitors each year and there are no signs of slowing down.  But these crowds can have an impact on a lot of things.  So how do you enjoy Disneyland when it’s busy?  Well, luckily, we’ve got five great tips for you to make the most of even a crowded day in the resort!

After all, you’re still in Disneyland!

 

 

Arrive Early

Even on the busiest of days, arriving ahead of the crowds can help you get a little more done.  One of my favourite ways to enjoy Disneyland when it’s busy is to rope drop.  What does this mean? 

The gates to both Disneyland and California Adventure are open before the park “officially” opens.  At the posted park opening time, you will hear Walt Disney’s voice over the speakers, welcoming you to Disneyland.  If you are in the parks before opening time, you will see Cast Members holding ropes to keep the crowd within a specific area.  In Disneyland Park, you can’t get past the main hub until the official opening time.  In California Adventure, it’s the same.  You can’t get past Buena Vista Street until the official opening time. 

Being in the parks for rope drop allows you to be ahead of many other guests, which means you can enjoy some attractions that will inevitably have really long lines later in the day.

Decide ahead of time what your plan is.  When those ropes drop, the crowds scatter in all directions, depending on what attractions each person wants to enjoy. 

Always check the official Disneyland site for current hours of operation, refurbishment schedules and entertainment!

 

 

Have a Plan

When the parks are quiet, it’s so easy to choose on a whim what you’d like to do next.  But one of the best ways to enjoy Disneyland when it’s busy is to have a solid plan.

We’ve always found that when we have a purpose, we get a lot more done.  For example, if we want to ride all the attractions in Fantasyland, that’s where we start.  We work our way through and only move on once we are done.  Yes, it might mean standing in line for a while for each ride, but we’d be standing in line anyway!

My personal favourite way to get more done is to not bounce around much.  The only exception to that rule is if I can get a time slot on Genie+ for a big ride that I’m excited to do!

You’ll also want to be sure that you know ahead of time which rides are options for you and your group!  Download our Height Requirements chart to have on your phone so that you can plan accordingly.

 

Go with the Flow

Now, I know I just said to have a plan.  But I have to admit that I find it easier to enjoy Disneyland when it’s busy if I’m relaxed about it.  Recognize that there will be crowds.  There will be long waits.  Rides close down unexpectedly.  How you react to these situations can make or break your day in the parks!

When you’re standing in line for an attraction that hardly seems to be moving, look around.  The details in each and every queue in the Disneyland Resort are wonderful.  These are the pictures that I love to take – the little extras that all come together to create the magic.

You can play games with your group!  Watch for Hidden Mickeys wherever you go and see who can spot the most!

 

Lego Store in Downtown Disney Anaheim California - Maleficent dragon Prince Philip made from Lego
Head into Downtown Disney in the early afternoon to beat the crowds!

 

Take a Break

Afternoons in the Disneyland Resort are busy.  That’s just how it is.  And when the days are ALREADY very busy, afternoons can be very hectic.  This is the time to take a break!

Wander the shops on Main Street, check out the Main Street Cinema or the Opera House, where you can view the Disney Gallery and the Disneyland Story.  You can hop aboard the Disneyland Railroad for the Grand Circle Tour.  The train might be full, but you won’t be fighting crowds once you’re on!

You might want to head outside of the parks and check out Downtown Disney.  As the day goes on, the Downtown Disney district gets busier and busier, but early to mid-afternoon is still pretty manageable, even on very busy days.

Maybe head back to your hotel for a swim or nap!  This will not only get you out of the crowds, but it will refresh you and get you ready to stay late into the night!  The busiest days in the parks generally have the longest hours, so if you’re feeling a little weary, relax and head back later!

 

 

Grab a Snack and Enjoy the Atmosphere

Get yourself a classic Dole Whip in Adventureland or a delicious Mickey Mouse Beignet from the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square.  If you’re in Californa Adventure park, grab a frozen treat from the Adorable Snowman on Pixar Pier or visit the Corn Dog Castle in Paradise Gardens Park.  Find a bench or an empty table and enjoy your treat!  Listen to the sounds of the parks and enjoy your time.

The details in the Disneyland Resort aren’t limited to just the attractions.  The gardens are lovely, the music is wonderful and the sounds of guests enjoying themselves just adds to the overall atmosphere.  Soak it all in!

 

Of course, there are more ways to enjoy Disneyland when it’s busy, but these are our favourite ways to do it.  Just remember, above all else, to enjoy the magic!

 


 

Want to remember this?  Save “Top 5 Tips to Enjoy Disneyland When It’s Busy” to your favourite Pinterest boards!

 

Pixar Pier entrance Disney California Adventure

 

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"to all who come to this happy place ~ welcome"

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These three savvy Canadian Moms are experts at planning and budgeting for a Disneyland Resort trip in California. Join them on their journeys filled with Mickey-sized fun, pixie dust, and endless memories!

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