Disneyland & DCA in a day

Hi All, this forum has been great. So thank you in advance. I have my touringplans sorted for the day. We are going on the 16th November. Crowd levels are 4 for both parks. It is EMH in DCA so we are going to hit DL first. We will be using a MaxPass. Is it better to do the big rides at DL, then hop to DCA. Once we have done all our must does head back to DL to sweep up haunted mountain, small world etc.

Currently our plan finishes in DL at about 11, and then starts at DCA at 12 (contingency). Queues are 30 mins + for most of DCA stuff. Would be better doing 8 - 10 at disney and then 10 - 12 at DCA then back again?

thank you

Since you are limited to one day, maximizing your park hours is key. I think you should RD the DCA EMH and hit a couple / few rides, then switch over to DL when the crowd builds. I would make a “must ride” list and try to hit most of my musts in DL, then switch to hit my musts in DCA being flexible with time. You’ll spend some time each time you switch.

My biggest focus would be to look at your “must do” items that run out of FP first. For example RSR run out usually mid to late afternoon and in DL, SM is most likely to run out first, but there are some exceptions to that. I like to track the headliners a week or two before I go to see when they are running out and gives me a better idea of how to plan my trip. I really let Maxpass guide me and hop several times back and forth (especially on a CL 4 day).

I assume you are starting at DL because you are off site and can’t take advantage of the DCA EMH - good plan. The two parks are so close it’s wlmost like one big park (think FW and WS in EP). I’d hit the big rides in DL, then hit the big rides in DCA, then go back to DL for smaller rides and end in DCA to see WOL. You cannot do all of the rides in both parks in one day; I would focus on DLR-specific rides.

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Of the “clones”, SM, POC, and iasw are definitely “better” at DLR, so you need to see them.

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No WOC right now, it has been down for months due to some issues. No word on when it will return.

While not easy, it is possible. @lolabear_la and her son almost did it!


Thank you for all the advice!

It is definitely not a plan that I would recommend to anyone wanting to enjoy more than rides & Twitter on their DL day!! :laughing::laughing::laughing:

But because it was a challenge we were chasing the adrenaline rush kept us happy to closing & beyond so I wouldn’t say it wasn’t fun.

DCA is actually a lot easier to knock out in one fell swoop & even though it has EMH for your one day the footprint of onsite guests who A) have access to it & B) actually get up early enough to utilize it are super small so starting there isn’t a big disadvantage. And if you are ready to line up for regular entry an hour before (so when EMH starts) you’ll be let in by 30 min before & the line for Soarin won’t be closed off to just EMH guests so you can get 1 ride in before RD. More importantly though, you’ll be able to obtain your first MP right at 7:30 & start getting up on that game.

We followed Disneyland Daily’s Big Kid’s Plan with MaxPass for our challenge day & it worked quite well! It includes every single attraction so if I had just one day, there’s a lot on this plan that I would skip (Goofy’s Sky School, SS Swings, Jumpin Jellyfish, Grizzly River Run and probably also Golden Zephyr and Pixar Pal Around). Then in the plan where Casey mentions to grab a 2nd Racer’s & 2nd Incredicoaster FPs I would start grabbing DL FPs (Haunted Mansion Holiday & Space Mountain would be my choices, Indiana Jones is a good choice as well if either of those don’t appeal to you for some reason).

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So do you think that doing DCA first might work better. Is that a definite that you can get in 30 mins as that would be key?

You have to make sure you are among the first to line up which is usually 65-75 min before regular park open but yes, they very reliably start letting those lined up for reg park open in 30 min early.

Technically you can also get into Disneyland that early but nothing is running and typically in my experience the lines to get into DL are longer or you have to go earlier so it’s more waiting with less reward. If you love Fantasyland dark rides that might be the only reason I would say to start in DL but even then, Fantasyland is easily doable at night in the last hour or so of the park opening. And I love how it looks at night! So yes my vote would be to start in DCA.