Disneyland or DCA on Monday, Sept. 12?

Hi Liners!

Long-time lurker, first-time poster (I think!).

I’m planning our Sept. 12 - 15 trip (staying at the new Residence Inn on Katella) and would love your advice on which parks to visit each day.

Crowd levels, Opening Hours:

Mon: Disneyland 3/10 10AM-9PM; DCA 5/10 10AM-8PM (cannot use DCA’s EMH)
Tue: Disneyland 2/10 10AM-9PM; DCA 3/10 10AM-8PM (could use Disneyland’s MM)
Wed: Disneyland 1/10 10AM-9PM; DCA 2/10 10AM-8PM (cannot use DCA’s EMH)
Thur: Disneyland 2/10 9AM-8PM; DCA 2/10 9AM-5PM (could use Disneyland’s MM)

Of course, these are low crowds! I’m probably crazy for even worrying about it, but I just want to have a plan in place, you know? (Of course you know! You’re a Liner!!) The other factor is I’d like to make Blue Bayou reservations for one of our Disneyland days, so of course that ought to be arranged in advance. (I have one for Monday, but I just checked and there are available times for the rest of the week as well).

So what do you think? We will NOT have access to DCA’s Magic Morning, but we could use either Tuesday or Thursday’s Magic Morning at Disneyland. We could get there in time for it more easily on Tuesday, I see now. We’re walking from Katella, and we’d need to be at Disneyland by … let’s say 7:30 AM to take full advantage of Thursday’s Magic Morning? That might be a little much for our little crew.

We went to DLR last April, so it’s not like we’d be chomping at the bit for one or the other. We’d probably like to split evenly our time between the two parks, although I’m going to (try to) be flexible on that.

With any luck, we won’t need a plan, but a plan I will have! Your thoughts are appreciated!!

Sending back to the top – never saw it there in the first place. Still hoping for some advice!

If you don’t already plan to get park hoppers, I would definitely recommend looking into it. The parks are so close and you’ll be able to split your time exactly you want to with having 4 days and hopping! Even if you don’t hop until the last day, I feel like the last day is really valuable to have that hopper, because then no one has to miss out on one last ride on their favorite and with them being SOO close, it’s even easier to accomplish!

That being said, I would recommend you definitely make use of Tues’s MM in DL especially if you can be there early enough for it! With a 10AM opening, 9AM MM will be more crowded because more people will show up for it. Being at DLR by 8AM or even 7:45AM should give you that leg up on the security lines to be among the first at the turnstiles to make the most of your MM.

The other days, my general adivce is to start at the park that doesn’t have an MM/EMH. So Monday, DL, Wed DL, Thur DCA. Even though your starts would be uneven, if you have the hoppers you can easily go back and forth and make use of the rest of the day to help split the time more evenly.

However, if you really really want to split your time including starts in half and park hoppers arent’s in the picture, Monday at DCA is not a bad idea for the following 2 reasons:

  1. Monday morning lines to get into DL are LONG. My personal guess is that there are guests there as spillover from the weekend getting one last day in DL plus new arrivals coming their first day for a 5-day visit and are staring in DL. Firt days on a 5-day ticket require their pictures taken, back of the tickets signed and/or exchanging paper vouchers for soft plastic tickets to pull FPs, etc so that can really slow down the lines plus they always seem to be longer lines to get into DL on a Monday every single time we have gone on a three-day weekend ending on Monday.

  2. Even though, DCA does have an EMH on Mon, because EMH is exclusive to on-site hotel guests, starting an hour behind that crowd isn’t as bad a start as starting behind any DL MM/EMH crowd with is open to on-site hotel guests as well as all the Magic Morning eligible folk (3 day or more park tickets purchased in advance).

If you decide to split your time even or lean more towards DL, and whether or not you park hop, the trip should be a fabulous one! We like to stay at the corner of Katella/Harbor and it’s a great, convenient location. We haven’t ever stayed at the Residence Inn but it looks fantastic and is very conveniently located near the CVS on the corner making it very easy to pick up water/snacks either for the park or for the hotel as we come & go. The walk is not a bad walk either, especially in the morning. There are also shuttles available in the Toy Story parking lot just across the street on Harbor/Katella (towards the new Walgreens going up on the corner just across from the CVS). They run all day and are free, even if you are not parking in the lot. The walk is a little long on way back to the hotel to sleep after a long day at the parks, BUT the line to the Toy Story shuttles always seems longer, so we brave the walk, stop at the CVS for late night room refreshments/snacks and rinse, repeat for the next day.

Thank you for the thoughtful reply!

I like your reasoning behind DCA on Monday – we, too, will be activating our four-day passes and will need photos taken, so I can imagine how many others will be doing the same thing. The on-site hotels do seem to be pretty well booked up for our dates, which might mean a hefty crowd for DCA’s EMH, but it still might be better than a typical Monday morning at Disneyland by the time the gates officially open.

And if not, I guess we can change gears and head to Disneyland. I was vacillating on the hopper vs. non-hopper, because we aren’t all-day visitors (my son is young and the days are short in September, anyway), but it seems like the safer route to go.

I’m definitely in agreement on Disneyland on Tuesday – I just booked the Blue Bayou!!

I’ll have to report back and let you know if the crowd levels felt like 1s and 2s. Here’s hoping!!


Oh, and thank you also for mentioning the Toy Story lot shuttles – I hadn’t (and probably wouldn’t have) thought about that, and it might really come in handy!

Thanks again,


I would do DCA, DL, DL, DCA. That’s what we did for a 4 day Mon-Thursday trip (staying offsite). Worked out great except I didn’t research the DL mornings good enough and went for a couple of rides that weren’t open yet (oops!).

I’m planning to do the same pattern – Good reminder about early-morning rides. I’ll have to make sure it’ll all work out!

To make it easy for you, here is what Touring Plans has to say about which attractions are open in Disneyland.

THANK YOU! I really appreciate the extra help. :wink:


You’re very welcome! :slight_smile: