How To Avoid Lines At Disney. Updated in March.
Contrary to popular belief, you can ride all, if not most attractions at Disneyland in one day. It takes a little planning and knowledge. I can spend 6 hours at Disneyland never wait in line and ride anything I want.
Have a designated runner whose job is to get Fastpasses. They can do this while you get in a ride or food line and return after they get the passes. The official Disneyland app lists which attractions are offering Fast Passes.
Go to the Disney Vacation Club in Downtown Disney. The Construction won't start until Summer in Downtown Disney so the DVC location is still open. Listen to the presentation that is an hour, and they will gift you three FastPasses for every person in your party. They will also offer you drinks. You can use these at any attraction. Peter Pan does not offer a FastPass and has a long line. I would use one there. Radiator Springs Racers is another option if you do not want to go in the single rider line. Radiator Springs Racers Fastpasses run out very early. Guardians of the Galaxy Fastpasses run out early. You recover that hour fast with the three passes per person.
Do not waste your time on getting Fastpasses for rides that have a single rider line. Maximize your time. For example, get a FastPass for Big Thunder Mountain. Then while waiting for your Fastpass use the single rider entrance to ride the Matterhorn and Indiana Jones. You might not sit with your party, but you are still getting on the ride faster.
- Indiana Jones
- Goofy's Sky School
- California Screamin
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Splash Mountain
- Grizzly River Run
- Space Mountain
Radiator Springs Racers and Space Mountain are the hardest attractions to get Fastpasses for. The issue with Space Mountain is the return time could be hours later in the meantime you cannot get any more fast passes. The Radiator Springs Racers FastPasses go fast as do Guardians of the Galaxy.
Fantasyland lines are a waste of time. The Matterhorn offers FastPass but a single rider is your best bet. It's A Small World offers FastPass the return time can be 10-20 minutes. Skip Fantasyland during the day if you can as lines are twenty minutes or more. They close most of the attractions during the fireworks. Go during the second parade or Fantasmic show. Half of the time, the wait times are about five minutes, and sometimes you can walk straight on the rides. Most weeknights before Disneyland closes you can walk on most rides.
Carsland is much like Fantasyland. Radiator Springs Racers Fastpasses runs out early. Luigi's and Junkyard Jamboree's wait times are about 10-20 minutes each during World of Color they are about 5-10.
Know where to go. Some rides (like The Little Mermaid in DCA or all the rides in Bugs Land) have no lines or short wait times. Watch a show like the Enchanted Tiki Room. Tarzans Tree House in Adventureland and Sleeping Beauty Castle in Fantasyland are walk through. Redwood Creek trail can keep you entertained while waiting for a Fastpass.
If you have small children, ask for a rider switch pass. No one has to miss out. Once the first rider has finished the ride, the next person gets on. As a bonus, some members of your party may ride the attraction twice.
Use the Disneyland App to find the rides with the shortest wait times.
Get there early, or come late. The park is a ghost town in the off season. Even when it has been busier early after opening and late before closing the park is not crowded. Take advantage of that.
If all else fails, you could just pay $10 a day per ticket/pass for the MaxPass, which allows you to get FastPasses via the Disneyland app.
World of Color and Fantasmic offer Fastpasses, and should not interfere with your ability to get more for the attractions. Do not devote hours claiming your spot. There are also dinner packages, which include Fantasmic or World of Color passes with better views. It is not worth staking out a spot hour before. Stay for the second parade if there is a nighttime parade it is easier to find a place to sit.
Main Street and Buena Vista Street gift shops stay open half an hour to an hour after closing depending on the season. Wait until it's time to head home to shop.
If you have any new tips, please comment below.