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Disneyland and Other Disney Parks Discuss I'm going to Disneyland for 1 day-need advice!!! in the Miscellaneous Disney forums; I'm going to San Diego toward the end of October. Gonna get there late Wed. night and going to Disneyland Thursday. Been to Florida lots of times, but haven't been ...
  1. #1
    kwyn is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Sep 2010

    I'm going to Disneyland for 1 day-need advice!!!

    I'm going to San Diego toward the end of October. Gonna get there late Wed. night and going to Disneyland Thursday. Been to Florida lots of times, but haven't been to California Disneyland since I was a kid. I'm 38 now.

    1. What time should I leave from San Diego? Car or Train?

    2. There are only 3 of us, all adults.

    3. Is it possible to spend most of the day in Disneyland, but hit Soarin too?

    4. How long does it take by car to get there?

    Anything else I should know? What should I not miss?

  2. #2
    lilo88's Avatar
    lilo88 is offline Lifetime Pass
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    Aug 2007
    Eureka, MO

    Re: I'm going to Disneyland for 1 day-need advice!!!

    how fun!! I hope you have a blast. I've only been once so I'm not much help but I say hit PotC for sure and HM also for sure. Great park and I so wish I can get back someday. Have a good time and welcome to the forums!
    Tiffany~ºoº ~ D23 member

    Sufferer of Disney Vacation Depression

    97'~French Quarter, 99'~CBR, 01'~Movies, 03'~Music/PORriverside/DCL, 05'~POP, 06'~Movies, 08'~Movies, 09'~Disneyland/ Embassy Suites Irvine/ 10'~Music, 12'~LBV Best Western Disney View

  3. #3
    NC_WDW_Daddy's Avatar
    NC_WDW_Daddy is offline Annual Passholder
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    Jul 2008
    Richlands, NC

    Re: I'm going to Disneyland for 1 day-need advice!!!

    If you are only going to DL for the day, be sure to get FPs for Indy and Space Mountain. Also ride IASW and the Matterhorn. If you are going to both parks, you can hold simultaneous FPs in both parks, so you could get a FP for Soarin', then head back to DL for awhile. In DCA, be sure to catch the Aladdin show and World of Color.

  4. #4
    supernova's Avatar
    supernova is offline Premium Annual Passholder
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    Jul 2005
    Staten Island, NYC

    Re: I'm going to Disneyland for 1 day-need advice!!!

    I went to Disneyland only once, and that was before they opened California Adventure. I was able to knock off the entire park in one day, with PLENTY of time to spare. Too much time, actually.
    Please visit my new DISNEY AUTOGRAPH website to check out my autograph collection!

    Really Walt? Disneyland is MY land? Why would I want a silly little land when I can have the WORLD.

  5. #5
    NOS is offline A-Ticket holder
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    May 2008

    Re: I'm going to Disneyland for 1 day-need advice!!!

    Congrats on your upcoming Disneyland trip. You'lll have an awesome time. I am a lifelong Disneylander so to answer your questions here goes:

    1. San Diego is approximately 90 miles south of Disneyland. Depending on the time of day you leave it could anywhere from 1.5-3 hours by car. Remember this is So-Cal traffic and if you're going mid-week, rush hour can be crazy. I'd leave no later than 6-7 am. The good thing is that its a straight shot up I-5. Train service is basically non-existent to the proximity of the parks.

    2. Since it's all adults, you should be able to move quickly. However make sure you slow down and take it all in. Disneyland packs a lot in 80+ acres!

    3. Yes it is possible to spend all day in Disneyland then hit Soarin' at DCA. Although it will probably be a 1-2 excursion given crossing the promenade, entering DCA, waiting in the Soarin' queue, then back again. If you're at DCA I recommend California Screaming, Grizzly River Run, Tower of Terror (it's different than DHS), and the Alladin show.

    4. See answer to #1

    5. In Disneyland don't miss Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, Pirates, New Orleans Square, Toontown, Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride to name a few.

    Have a wonderful time!

  6. #6
    DisneyDaddy is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Sep 2010

    Re: I'm going to Disneyland for 1 day-need advice!!!

    Here is a report of our recent trip which I posted on another site. We did both parks in one day. Here is how we got the most possible done!

    On Tuesday, August 10, 2010, we flew to Orange County to make use of the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" tickets we earned earlier in the year. We wanted to do this before the kids got back into school. We stayed at the Castle Inn and Suites. This was our first time at this hotel and it was perfect for our needs. Great location, clean, and economical.

    Our plan? To upgrade our tickets to park-hopper and then do as much as possible of both parks in one day. We knew we would be exhausted by the end of the day, but we were determined. So here is how the day went...

    We went to bed early Tuesday night to get a good night's rest. We then woke up early on Wednesday morning and had a quick breakfast of cereal bars and bananas and made it to the park about 7 a.m. (an hour before opening). Knowing that we only had a one-day ticket, we purposely picked a non magic-morning day. We were literally the first four people at the turnstiles. We waited patiently and then, finally.... Opening Time!!!

    We made our way as quickly as possible (you're not supposed to run in the park, so you KNOW we weren't doing that! he he!) down main street, through the castle, and straight to Fantasyland and Peter Pan's Flight. We were among the first to walk right on the ride!

    Next up, right next door to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Again, the cast members working the ride were practically waiting for us. Same thing for the Matterhorn, which was next on our list.

    After exiting the Matterhorn, I headed across the park with all four tickets in hand to collect Indiana Jones fastpasses for the whole family. My wife and kids rode Snow White and Pinnochio (again with zero wait) while they awaited my return.

    We then complete our whirlwind tour of Fantasyland with a trip to It's a Small World. Our kids are now too big to really care about Dumbo or Casey Jr, so by 8:45 or so, we leave Fantasyland, only to see that both Peter Pan and the Matterhorn have already formed substantial lines. Whew! Off to a good start!

    At this point, more fastpasses were almost available, so I headed waaay across the park to Critter Country to collect Fastpasses for Splash Mountain. The rest of the family headed to Tomorrowland to ride Buzz Lightyear. When I caught up with them, they rode again, this time with me. My wife got the high score and was quite proud of herself!

    Now, it was time for Indiana Jones. The wait was already up to about 30 minutes, but no worries! We enter the Fastpass line and are onboard in 5 minutes. My daughter, who was unsure she wanted to ride at first, later declared it was her favorite ride!

    Now it was time for my personal favorite, the Haunted Mansion! I LOVE this ride! It is such a classic! This was followed by another classic, Splash Mountain (using the previously obtained Fastpasses).

    It was now about 10:30 or so and we headed back toward Main Street. The family rested on a bench near the ice cream parlor while I cruised over to Space Mountain to collect yet another set of Fastpasses. We then headed to the exits to make our way over to California Adventure.

    First order of business? Of course, more Fastpasses, since Disneyland's and CA's machines are not connected. So after entering, I turn right toward Soarin' while the family heads left toward the Tower of Terror. When I got to TOT, my wife and daughter opted out of this one, but my son and I rode with only about a 12 minute wait. Not bad.

    Next on the list was Monster's Inc. This was temporarily broken down, however, so we would have to come back later. So we proceeded to the Animation building just in time to catch "Turtle Talk with Crush". Hilarious, as always!

    We then went to check out the line for Toy Story Mania, which was about 45 minutes. We decided that since we rode this at WDW a couple of years ago and since the kids have the game on Wii, it wasn't worth it. Luckily, this was a unanimous decision.

    Now it is about noon, and the Fastpass tickets for the first two shows of World of Color have been given out. This was what we wanted, as the third and final show at 11:15 p.m. was the only one which would allow us to catch it as well as Fantasmic! over at DL.

    For those who are interested, I'll explain here a little about how this works. When CA opens, they begin giving out Fastpasses for the first show. Even if you are the first one there, you cannot request a specific show. You must accept what is being given out at the time. Fortunately, there is a sign which tells you which show is being given out, so you know before requesting the tickets. When the tickets for the first show are gone, they begin giving them out for the second show, and then finally, the last show.

    So, with World of Color tickets in hand and starting to get a little hungry, we grab some hot dogs and sit down for a much needed rest. When I finished eating, I headed, once again, across the park to Paradise Pier to collect Fastpasses for California Screamin'. By the way, holding World of Color tickets does not affect your ability to obtain Fastpasses for other attractions.

    On my way back from Paradise Pier, I get a call from my wife that they had finished eating and that my son was dying to ride Monster's Inc, which was now fixed. So I caught up to them in line and we rode.

    Our plan had been to catch the 1:25 showing of Aladdin. We love this show and thought it was going away in a couple of days (turned out it is staying...yea!), so we couldn't miss our last chance to see it. Unfortunately, we did. We got there a little late and the seats were full. So, we altered our plans to return for a later show and made our way to Soarin' to use our Fastpass tickets from earlier. What a great ride! Always one of our favorites! So much so that on our way out, we grabbed new Fastpasses for later!

    Finally, we went to ride California Screamin', all except my wife, who is not much of a roller coaster fan!

    Now it is time to head back to DL, where we rode Space Mountain. (This one my wife can handle!) A 65-minute wait was posted, so again, we were glad to have those Fastpasses! I then ran over to Autopia to collect more Fastpasses while the family headed to stake out a spot for the afternoon parade. Not the best parade Disney has ever produced, but it was fun nonetheless.

    After the parade, we decided to catch the Captain EO Tribute. I'm not a huge Michael Jackson fan, but it was cool seeing a piece of Disneyland history.

    It was now time to use our Autopia Fastpasses. Even with the Fastpasses, the wait was a bit long, and our kids were not too impressed with the ride (and they have a similar "antique cars" ride at Six Flags over Texas, where we have season passes), so we will probably scratch this one from our list on the next visit.

    We really wanted to ride the Nemo Submarines, since we have not done this one, but the lines were just longer than what we wanted to wait. We knew having only one day that we had to make a choice. Peter Pan and the Subs are two rides with no Fastpass which are very popular. We could have gone straight to the Subs first thing in the morning, but by the time we got off and made our way to Fantasyland, we would not have had the awesome morning we had there. So, we bit the bullet and decided to try to ride the Subs later at night, closer to closing, when maybe the lines would be smaller. We never made it, which is my only regret from this trip. But at least that leaves us with a reason to go back soon!

    After obtaining Fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, we made sure to catch two more classics, the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean.

    By the time we did these, it was time to use our Big Thunder Mountain tickets, so we did.

    By now, it is about 6:15 or so, and we were not about to miss the final showing of Aladdin at 7:05, so off we go to CA again, where we got great seats.

    After the show, we went to use our Fastpasses to ride Soarin' over California a second time.

    Now, it was getting late so we hurried back to DL to try to find a spot for Fantasmic! We ended up finding one, but it wasn't a very good view. This was OK, since we have seen the show several times. After the show, we slowly made our way through the crowd back toward Main Street, while catching what we could of Magical, the fireworks show. After the fireworks, we left Disneyland for the last time and headed back to CA to line up for World of Color with Fastpasses in hand. Tip... even with Fastpasses, you still want to show up to the designated waiting area early. The Fastpasses are divided up into different colored sections, but even then, each group is huge, so if you want your pick of seats, you need to be at the front of your group if possible.

    We were in the BLUE section, which was slightly off to the left. but we were at the front of this section. Then, we got really lucky because I guess the YELLOW section (in the center) had a bunch of no shows, so just as the show began they opened this area and let us move over. Terrific seats! Yeah!! A great way to end the night!

    I will post my review of World of Color in a separate post.

    Well, there you have it! That was our very eventful and fun-filled day. I woke up the next morning almost unable to walk because my legs were so sore, but it was worth it! Can't wait to do it again!


  7. #7
    kwyn is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Sep 2010

    Re: I'm going to Disneyland for 1 day-need advice!!!

    Wow! Thanks for the responses!!! Much appreciated!!!

    So the Castle Inn was close and had reasonably affordable rates?

  8. #8
    ReelBigBear is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Oct 2010

    Re: I'm going to Disneyland for 1 day-need advice!!!

    1. Taking the train is a bit longer and less flexible. Go by car and plan to leave early: in order to do everything you'll want the max amount of time you can stand.

    2. Wonderful. Don't forget to see Fantasy Land

    3. The walk from Disneyland's front gate to Soarin' takes at most five minutes, that said you could encounter a 45-60 minute line. Maybe go early, get a fast pass, and go do something else, like see the awesome Aladdin show or eat in Downtown Disney (ESPN Zone has heavenly buffalo wings).

    4. sorry, can't help you here

    The front gates are right next to each other making park hopping easy! Also the Motel's that are across the street like the castle inn are super close and mostly affordable. See World of Color!

  9. #9
    Ray Anthony is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Mar 2011
    hong kong

    Re: I'm going to Disneyland for 1 day-need advice!!!

    above all else, dont forget your camera and snap beautiful pictures

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