1st time Disneyland in less than a week

I need the forums help. I have planned many WDW vacations and do much advanced planning. This trip to Disneyland is from 7/19/19 to 7/24/19, less then 1 week. It is a last minute trip with just my wife and I. We are flying into LAX at 6:45am on 7/19. We are departing about 10pm on 7/24. We are staying at the Motel 6 Anaheim Maingate.
OK, so what I need, is help in the planning. We going to be getting 4 day single park tickets with MAXpass and want to spend at least part of one day at the Galaxy Edge.
Any tips, suggestions, things we should do. We would really appreciate it. Thank you all who help.

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Honestly, with four days, max pass, and the current crowd levels, you will not have any problems doing everything, and I mean everything. The biggest issue with four days and no park-hopper is deciding whether to do two days at each park, or three days at DL and one day at DCA. On our annual spring break trips, we get three days without park hopper and do two days at DL and one day at DCA.

Enjoy! You will love it!


First thing to do is RELAX! DLR requires so much less planning. Leave your car at the hotel. Walk or Uber to the park. The parks are across the courtyard from each other so very close to each other. You have 4 days to enjoy both parks. I would do your first 2 days aaa DL, then CA, and then on your last day decide whether you want to go back to CA or spend more time at DL. Try to get ADR for the Blue Bayou because it’s the best themed restaurant at both parks. I think DL is the best designed and immersive theme park in the world!


I agree with @Hoopsters, about trying the two parks before deciding on where to spend the rest of the trip, but I personally would do one day in DL and one day in DCA, then plan the next to days according to what you missed. Enjoy and have fun!


Agree with others - I would do DL first day, DCA second day, then play it by ear after that. If crowds are as low as they have been and with only two adults in your party, you should be able to experience nearly every attraction within the two days. Then you can repeat all your favorites the next two days.

Make sure to make reservations for Oga’s Cantina and Savi’s workshop (lightsaber) right at 7am the day of your visit to SWGE at DL using the DL website. Everyone seems to love the Cantina and it’s reasonably priced, but the lightsaber is $200 (a guest can come free) so that might be only for the die-hard fan.

Oh, and I HIGHLY recommend World of Color at DCA. You can get a FP using MaxPass any time after scanning your ticket at the turnstiles at DCA. Fantasmic! at DL is amazing as well (better than the WDW version if you’ve seen it, IMO).

Blue Bayou is the probably the only dining reservation you might have trouble getting in advance, so agree if you are interested in that, book now.

Have a great trip!

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starting early with maxpass, you can do much more in a single day than at WDW. and don’t automatically skip the duplicate rides, most are better. Especially Buzz Lightyear, Space Mountain, Pirates, IASW. Plus Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, Soarin (over California), Guardians, Radiator Springs Racers. have fun, we’ll be there overlapping with you. last been to DL in 2016, went to WDW last year.


I live in CA. Really no big planning required for Disneyland. I love that…I love WDW too but I find the planning very stressful. Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom is very nostalgic and California Adventure is more like WDW’s HS park wide open and very little shade. When at California Adventure, be sure to ride the Cars ride…super fun! There are a couple of restaurants in downtown Disney that are real good Black Tap Craft Burgers and Shakes,(skip the shakes and get ice cream at Salt & Straws after dinner…you will not be sorry) and Ballast Point is also very good. Only waited 30 minute with out a reservation. But reservations may make it easier for you. You can also use Open Table to reserve. The CA Grand Hotel has a new Pool bar/cafe that got great reviews and you do not have to be a guest at the hotel. The original Disneyland Hotel is always fun with good bars & restaurants. All of Disney hotels are connected to Downtown Disney everything is very close so Parks, Downtown and Hotels are very easy to explore. The weather been great, not super hot, which makes our summer evening wonderful!! You missed the earthquake and that horrid fight so that a good thing! Wishing you safe and magical time in California…ENJOY!!!


You can’t make FP reservations until you show up at the park, so show up early. And if you will want to eat sit down at the parks make ADR’s. In my experience, it was difficult to get in for a sit down meal without an ADR. Some of the places (at least at DP) wouldn’t even take walk ups. People will tell you planning isn’t required, but I disagree. Far less planning than WDW, but you will definitely benefit from having a shell of a plan.


I agree you need to make ADRs for table service, but like a week in advance will usually do for most locations except the most popular (ie., Blue Bayou). And a little planning goes a long way. Just no need to do 60-day FPP and 180-day ADRs!

We loved Blue Bayou and Carthay Circle, did packages with both of them for priority seating for Fantasmic and World of Color. The seating on the concrete for Fantasmic was hard on my old bones even with the cushion that you get with dinner. Having been to WDW many times, my planning nature had me making ADR at the 60 day mark. Thought that the food in DL and California Adventure was phenomenal. Only thing that I didn’t like was the Monte Cristo, can’t think of the restaurant.

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