No announcement yet.

How to Navigate the Parks?


Get Away Today

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [Question] How to Navigate the Parks?

    Hello! I will be visiting the DLR and USH next week. I have never been to any of these parks as I live very far and I don't know when I'll be able to make it back. I have been to WDW numerous times so I think I may have an idea of how to navigate Disneyland, but please tell me your methods. I need help with DCA more, especially with Cars Land.

    And if any of you have any tips for USH, that would be greatly appreciated. I also don't know when to visit the parks. I am going to each theme park on separate days. I know AP's are only blocked out of DCA til Sunday but the only days I have to visit DCA before then is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. My dates in SoCal are August 17-24. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

    My tips for Disneyland are to get there before opening and hit the biggest lines first, such as SPace Mountain, Matterhorn, Peter Pan. Get fast passes as early as possible. If everyone in your group is old enough, use every single rider line you can, such as Matterhorn and Indiana Jones.

    In DCA, hit Cars Land and Radiater Springs Racers first. Use single rider if you can. Also, single rider for Soaring over California and Grizzly River Rapids.

    Good luck and take many photos and post them here.

    No matter where you go, there you are.


    • #3
      Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

      Yeah if you can navigate thru Disneyworld you will have no problem with DL/DCA AND Universal Studios,
      For Universal Studios, I prefer going all the way to the back right of the park to the Studio Tour, You should see that at least once, And then ride the most popular rides like Transformers, The Mummy, Jurrasic Park around the same time since you must go down stairs and they are all together, Also the shows are great, Waterworld, The Terminator, Shrek is also pretty cool. In a day you can see everything.

      And for DL/DCA SBK hit it on the head, and you will find your own groove real fast, Have a great trip


      • #4
        Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

        Keep in mind that the DLR is a LOT smaller than WDW. You can walk from the farthest end of the entire resort to the other easily within 20 minutes or so. I wouldn't worry about it too much. In fact make sure to slow down and don't rush. You usually can get more done if you slow things down a bit and don't rush everywhere.


        • #5
          Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

          Unlike WDW, you are not required to use Fast Passes during your on hour window. As long as you can go any time after the first time, you're fine.

          Make use of the back ways between lands! They are always connected to the adjacent land and are often time more convenient to get from A to B without heading back to the hub. Since Disneyland is a lot smaller, you can avoid crowds for parades and evening shows by doing this (if you choose to). Just know that traffic becomes one-way at the hub and Frontierland for fireworks and Fantasmic!

          Another great way to navigate through the crowds during parades is to go through the shops. The walkways get seriously congested along Main Street, so if you happen to be hopping during a parade, just head straight through the stores--there's very little foot traffic in there then.


          • #6
            Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

            I don't really have plans when traveling in the park. Since I'm an hour's drive away and an annual passholder, I usually just wing it on the fly. But if there is any help I could provide, I can copy paste some stuff I posted in another thread.

            (It may be a little outdated as it was posted roughly around the time when Carsland just opened)

            While at Disneyland here's a list of things I recommend you do (In no specific order);

            - Ask for a ride on the Lilly Belle. Do this at the Main Street Railroad Station right when you get into the park. Spots run out quickly.
            - While up at the station, ask to see if there are any Tender Rides available. If you have any questions, just ask them.
            - Make sure to bring some dimes. There's a music machine that uses dimes up in the station. It sits right across from the dime operated scale.
            (^ The top two are really special gems that I always do every time I visit. Really recommend both of them.)
            - Check out Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Disney Gallery that is adjacent.
            - Take a ride on the Horse Drawn Trolley up to the Castle
            - Listen to the Dapper Dans, Main Street Marching Band, or Firehouse Band if you have the time
            - Request a song from the Rag Time Pianist at the Coke Refreshment Corner
            - Attend the Flag Ceremony at Main Street at 5:10 (Times can change from day to day. Check your park events schedule to make sure). It's a wonderful sight to see
            - Grab Fast Passes for Temple of the Forbidden Eye, Splash Mountain, Star Tours, and Space Mountain as SOON as possible. Lines for both rides can reach up to 60+ minutes in the afternoon.
            - Before heading to Disneyland, be sure to print out this decoder and bring it with you onto Temple of the Forbidden Eye. It will help you translate the lettering located inside the queue. Not only is it fun to do, it will also pass the time.
            - When you're in the projector room of Temple of the Forbidden Eye, be sure to ask a cast member if you could see the Eeyore signage
            - While on the subject of Temple of the Forbidden Eye, be sure to print out a Death Certificate and hand it to a Cast Member at the Haunted Mansion. Why? Because it's fun.
            - Grab a Mint Julep at the French Market, located near the Disneyland Railroad's New Orleans Square Station
            - Matterhorn, Autopia, and Submarine Voyages are things you must try.
            - When you're going to ride the monorail, when they open the gate, head straight to the very front of the loading platform. They will load you into the nose cab, but they will only allow 4 people at a time to ride up in the cab.

            The rest of the park is pretty hit and miss. As for trivia and other little tibits, you may want to check out Yesterland - Disneyland History & Other Disney Park History or Hidden Mickeys of Disney.

            Anyways, While at Disneyland here's a list of things I recommend you do (In a sort-of specific order but it can really be done in any order, but I highly recommend that this order comes before the Disneyland order, but your order is the order you want to do it...order);

            (I will only cover Buena Vista Street, Hollywood Land, and Carsland. I haven't visited the rest enough to state an opinion on them. Sorry :c)

            - Grab Fast Passes for the Hollywood Tower Hotel and Radiator Springs Racers as SOON as you get in the park, especially for RSR. There is actually a line that forms to get to the machines and they run out very very quickly. I've gone by the machines for RSR mid-day and they were already empty.
            - As soon as you enter the park, head straight for Tower of Terror. If things go right, the wait time will be roughly 13 minutes (Boths times I went it was 13 even though the line was shorter than that. Gettit? 13...unlucky number...haunted hotel? Haha, very funny cast members)
            - You can either take the route to Carsland through A Bugs Land to take the side road, or just go straight through to reach the main entrance to Carsland. I recommend for the best effect, head through the front entrance and take in the full beauty of the town and the background's Cadillac Range. Remember to stay on the right, you're driving in America
            - Head straight to RSR and get into line. Single Riders 9At the moment) are filling up entire cars, so they grab 6 people from the SR line and use it to fill up the car. There is a slight chance you and your father may get separated, either by a row or an entire car. If you don't want to take the risk, take the regular line.
            - If you go on RSR later in the day, prepare to wait A LOT and prepare for breakdowns A LOT, and bring water. There is little shade to rest under, like the real desert.
            - If you can't stand country music, bring ear plugs or headphones. You'll need them to survive the winding queue that goes through Stanley's Oasis.
            - Some effects may not work on the ride. Projected mouths may appear faded and bounce around (Most prominent on Luigi), sounds inside the showroom bounce off the walls really easily, and some sounds may not even play at all.
            - If you're hungry, stop by Flo's V8. I always prefer the New York Strip Loin with the sides of corn and mashed potatoes with gravy on it, as well as their specialty vanilla shake and, if I could manage, the mud pie. If you're adventurous enough, you could try the Pork Loin as it comes with Coca Cola flavored BBQ sauce.
            - Did I mention the shake? The shakes are good man, especially the vanilla ones. It's thick and creamy, and they add candy balls on top, so when you're down to sucking up the final portions off the bottom of the cup, you suck up crunchy sweet candy balls of delicious goodness.
            - There are 2 wings where you can eat; the Cafe and the Medical Clinic. Both are highly themed and wonderful to sit in and look at. The cafe show's a bunch of records and tells the story of how Flo used to be a famous singer. The medical clinic features many in-cheek humor, such as posters displaying healthy combustion chambers, x-ray's of some of the resident's motors, eye charts, and many props lining the wall. However, the inside of both sections smell like tire rubber, whether to good or bad effect is your choice. If you can't stand it, just go outside on the patio or gas station tables.
            - 1950's Doo-wop songs play inside. If you're a fan of Doo-wop music, I really reccomend you stay indoors, if you can stand the rubber smell.
            - They serve breakfast from opening to 11, lunch from 11 to ?, and dinner from ? to closing.
            - Once you're done with ANYTHING Carsland related, you MUST head on over to the Blue Sky Cellar. It's located on the opposite end of the main entrance to Carsland. They still have props from the previous exhibit where they showcased the behind the scenes of Carsland. But the main highlight is the new exhibit where it shows a much more detailed look at Radiator Springs' history. They have fake props set around such as Cars photographs, event posters, newspapers, and certificates that all correspond to various Radiator Springs' residents, such as Sheriff, Filmore, Ramone, etc. My personal favorite has to either be Red's backstory or Sarge's.
            - They are also screening a special never-before-seen Cars Toons entiled 'Time Travel Mater', where we get to see Radiator Springs when it was just literally a spring and learn the history of how it became what it is today. I haven't seen it posted anywhere online, and to my knowledge, is the only place you can view the film at the moment. Correct me if I'm wrong. It has lot's of visual gags and a guest star that has a major role in it. No spoilers as to what they are though, and try not to spoil yourself hunting down the clip or reading up on it before you see it. After you watch the program, be sure to look at the other props in the room that tie in with the film you just watched. They're highly detailed and worth taking many pictures of before they're sent back into storage.
            - If you're a dark ride lover, a Little Mermaid Lover, or an Omnimover Ride Vehicle lover, ride Ariel's Undersea Adventure. I know I've ridden it plenty of times before because the ride is short and the line is short and the costumes the CM's wear are absolutely adorable, but I already made an entire thread dedicated to that sort of thing. (Ignore what I said about Carsland. That thread was done pre-Carsland visit and I based my assumptions on just one costume I saw in a preview picture.
            - Head to the Hollywood Tower Hotel through Carsland/A Bugs Land and ride the Red Car Trolley all the way up to the Buena Vista Street stop. Once you get off at the station, head to the end that faces towards the entrance/exit. You will find a newspaper rack there. Grab AS MANY NEWSPAPERS AS YOU CAN. You can take as many as you'd like. I already have a stack of about 30 and it's still growing. Issue 1 Vol 1 they all read. I'm hoping that once they go out of print they become collector's items. Issues will be released every month. June is Issue 1, July is Issue 2, etc. So you best grab issue 1 before they give out Issue 2. Collectors items! HOORAY!
            - Check out Elias & Co. to see if they still have any opening day T-shirts left. Those are the last in stock and they won't be reproduced. MORE COLLECTOR'S ITEMS! HOORAY!
            - If you see any of the street characters, talk to them. Ask for their story of how they got onto Buena Vista Street! I love talking with the Police Officer! He's so fun to talk to.
            - Ask a Cast Member what time the neon ceremony starts at Carsland. It's when they turn on all the neon signs to the tune 'Sh-Boom by The Chords' as done in the movie. It's a really impressive sight to see first time around.
            - If possible, ride RSR again at night. It's works out better that way.- Try to fit both parks into one day for your dad, because both are a sight not to be missed. Recommended you head on over to Disneyland, reserve a spot for the Lilly Belle, and grab fast passes for either park.

            You must choose, but choose wisely...

            Total Tender Rides: 20
            Total Lilly Belle Rides: 9
            Total Dapper Days Attended: 2
            Total Mark Twain Wheelhouse Rides: 5


            • #7
              Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

              At DLR, the Railroad is your friend. When the park gets a bit crowded, the hub can be an ordeal. DLRR can get you from one land to another & avoid the Hub which can get ugly around parade time. You also will avoid the congestion points at the entries of TL & AL
              It is shaded, you get a bit of a breeze, and spares the tread on your shoes. If you want to visit Downtown Disney, get on the train, take it to TL, hop on the Monorail, & you are there in a snap.
              Skiddley Whiffers is a cruel mistress; cold and unforgiving.


              • #8
                Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

                I've been to DLR three times now and still haven't found a way that works best for my family but half the fun of going is trying things differently.

                That said one things that won't change is what we do first. And this is a complete round park trip around Disneyland on the Disney Railroad. Gives you a good feel for the park I find and really put us in the right frame of mind for being there.
                The Chadwick's Online Photo & Video Galleries
                DLR: 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015
                DCL: Alaska Cruise Aboard Disney Wonder 2013
                Planned Trip: DLR August 2018

                Very Happy Disney Vacation Club Member Since 2010
                270 Points at The Villas at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa


                • #9
                  Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

                  This question gets asked twice a week so there may be a little answer fatigue. Go back through the archives and there are hundreds (if not thousands) of this same thread, also, the "Fastpass Sticky" thread at the top and the Cars Land/RSR threads. You didn't say how many days you had, but everyone's priorities are different. Some folks want to do all the rides that are still open from the first day, some want to try to do both parks in one day, some have little kids...

                  Use the Disney web site calendar to check schedules for the various shows and AP blackouts ahead of time and the Ask Otto number, 714-520-7090, in the park. The So Cal passports open up Monday the 20th, but, even so, I just checked the TouringPlans and it showed really big crowds 17th through the 20th with a big drop 21st-24th even with the APs! Go figure!
                  You can sign up with "touring plans" and have them do a statisticly optimized schedule for the day and review projected ride wait times ( though folks here have said there's not enough data on Cars Land). It's worth the $6.95? to join. Use that DL calendar and the to nail down the best day/s.

                  I agree with the above post..if your party can be separated for the length of the ride ( 2 minutes?), you can save hours by using the single rider lines on RSR, California Screamin', Grizzly Rapids, Soarin', Indy, and Splash (there's a little blue "S" on the map if you forget which rides have single rider-or ask a helpful CM).
                  It should still be hot, so GR and Splash will feel good. There are free lockers for GR just to the left of the line. Waves break over the top and water shoots up through the floor drains, so I put shoes and socks in the locker and wear flip flops on the ride.
                  The tickets (fastpass) for World of Color (must see) are from the same fastpass machines as those for GR. I don't know if both shows are filling up these days, but it wouldn't hurt to send someone over with all the tickets to get the passes early.
                  I wouldn't recommend it, but if you only had one day at DL, you could do the 9:00 Fantsmic!, rush over to catch the the 9:30 fireworks at the hub, then be a little late after you rush over to DCA for the 10:15 WOC ( I think when you get your pass at GR you can ask for the later show).

                  There was a great "favorite food" thread here a few months back, worth reviewing to think about where to eat. I like the burgers at Taste Pilots Grill next to Soarin', the mexican food at Paradise Pier, the mexican food at Cafe Zocalo in Frontierland and the gumbo and live jazz at French Market near the railroad and Haunted Mansion

                  Ask to ride up in the wheelhouse of the Mark Twain. It helps if you have a cute kid with you.
                  Last edited by sailor310; 08-13-2012, 01:36 PM. Reason: new crowd info
                  Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
                  Mark Twain


                  • #10
                    Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

                    I have seen several reports of expired FPs being turned away at RSR. It appears as though CMs tend to be more lenient if RSR has been down a lot that day, but people are definitely being turned away. I wouldn't risk it.


                    • #11
                      Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

                      Does anyone know how often the Red Car Trolley's run? Every few min, every hour? Do they run all day? At night?
                      "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

                      -Mark Twain


                      • #12
                        Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

                        My biggest piece of advice:
                        If you are walking from point A to point B and you see a 5 - 15 minute wait for something, go ride it. Take advantage of short lines when you see them. They can change in the blink of an eye. Be flexible in your ride desires and go with the flow.

                        Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter


                        • #13
                          Re: How to Navigate the Parks?

                          For USH: the best advice is to go to the lower lot and enjoy those rides first (or the tram tour first which is at the back of the lot). The reason for this strategy is because most people that enter the park often goes on the first attractions they see when they enter the gate, thus the lower lot and back of the lot are usually short lines when you first get there. By the time you are done with the lower lot, the upper lot will have less people because they are then making their way to the lower lot that you just left.

                          The studio tour is a lot of fun, each tour guide is a little different so I suggest going on it in the morning and then again later.

                          Have fun!


                          Get Away Today Footer