DL and CA in one day. Any thoughts or touring plans out there?

Only have one day so trying to pack it all in. Gonna be there from open to close with genie plus

Ideas are so appreciated


What day are you going? As long as there isn’t an after hours event, park hours should be 8:00 - midnight, so lots of time to get things done! I would make a list of your priorities, and you should probably buy Genie+. That will help a lot, but not everything has a LL.

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Are you focusing on what’s unique to DLR?

Totally doable if you set some priorities and are ok with not doing everything at both parks. If you haven’t already, check out the Advanced Genie+ Strategy thread for some advice on how optimize your lightning lanes.

If you’re doing a one day blitz, start in DCA and with a good plan & G+ you’ll easily complete must-do’s there by lunch. Then you can hop to DL for the afternoon & evening to soak in as much of it as you can. In the morning when you are grabbing your G+ for DCA, the only DL LL’s to keep your eye on are Indy & Space Mtn (especially if it’s Hyperspace). Everything else is fairly easy to pick-up. Read up on the G+ strategy thread pinned to La Cava and you’ll be in great shape to get a good DL G+ strategy.

Here’s what I’d consider my must-do’s for showing someone around the parks:

Radiator Springs Racers
Mator’s Junkyard Jamboree
Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout
Spiderman show
Grizzly River Run (only if they were ok w/ being wet)
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail (walkthrough)
Pictures in front of the Lagoon with the Fun wheel behind and/or one of the small pier rides that gives you a view of the lagoon (like Golden Zephyr, etc.)
Monsters Inc (if they are a big Little Mermaid fan would insert that here instead of Mosnters)
Animation Building/Sorcerer’s Workshop (walkthrough only, don’t stop for too much & don’t go into the animation class or Turtle Talk w/ Crush bc there’s not time lol)

Lunch/snacks (fit in above as I could OR save for the very end before hopping): San Fransokyo pier and/or Cozy Cones and/or Pym’s for a pretzel


Go where the G+ LL wind takes you out of:
Big Thunder
Space Mtn
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

If even a tiny inkling of a Star Wars fan also include:
Millenium Falcon: Smugglers Run & get an ILL for & ride Rise of the Resistance

When there is downtime in between any LL’s above slot in any of the following that pique your interest (but definitely don’t have time for all):
One performance of DL band or piano player at Refreshment Corner
Main St. vehicle OR Mark Twain Riverboat OR Sailing Ship Columbia
Full loop of the railroad
Disneyana Gallery and Disneyland exhibit at the entrance of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
when in Toontown for the ride, also walkthrough Mickey or Minnie’s houses

If a princess fan, either the Royal Hall OR the Storytelling at the Royal Theater show.
If not a princess fan, use the time this would’ve fit to do Buzz or Autopia (I would save Autopia for after sunset to see the lights on in the queue area, it adds a lot ot the ambiance for me).

Pirates during 9pm Fantastmic (will be a walk-on)
Watch fireworks from somewhere along Rivers of America after Fantasmic ends
Immediately high tail it to Winnie the Pooh (if open, I know it closes tomorrow for a refurb, so might not be an option for you)
Cut through Galaxy’s edge & see the Millenium Falcon area at night.

Hit up these dark rides in Fantasyland once re-opened after fireworks:
Mr Toad’s
Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
Alice in Wonderland
Peter Pan

If time, fit in either Storybook Land Canal Boats or Casey Jr to see the miniatures (these could also be fit in during all your LL hopping if time). And I always love to ride the carousel & teacups BUT those aren’t necessarily must-do wow attractions. So these are all only to fit in if time.

For dinner do something that’s a mobile order quick wherever you’re at in your LL hopping. Either a corn dog, Jolly Holiday or Bengal BBQ would be my top choices. A Ronto Roaster also is decent if you’re in Galaxy’s Edge. Oh, and snack on a churro and/or beignet at some point. And probably a Dole Whip from Tropical Hideaway at some point too.

And there’s my perfect one-day blitz. It’s a ton of walking & rushing and probably way too much to really fit in all one day. But definitely prioritize what you want to do in Must Do’s, Would like to Do’s & If there’s time To Do’s so you can skip the If time’s when you’re running out of time and make sure you get to the Must’s before the Would Like to’s.


Thanks all so very much. We are going this Saturday. Can you change which park we start at? I think we have DL first currently and you experts recommend the other.


As long as there is availability for your ticket type (I’m guessing 1 day park hoppers) then you should be able to modify. As of right this minute, park hoppers, one park per day and SoCal offer tickets all show availability for starting at either park. So definitely give it a whirl!

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Remarkable and appreciated. A couple of quick clarifications: is Genie+ cost per park or per ticket - so just pay once for a hopper? Are ILL $ worth it for Radiator and Resistance? Just two adults who will be trucking all day long.

Can I get Genie plus or ILL reservations at DL while at DCA and vice versa?

Final question; What should we rope drop to at DCA this Saturday? Got the reservation switch per your reco.

Thank you thank you thank you.


It depends on how you value your time and how important these rides are to you. You could easily spend an extra hour per person per ride without ILL.So if your time is worth more than $26/hr (rise) or 16/hr (rsr), then I say go for it. But RSR is my favorite ride at DCA, and I’m a huge Star Wars fan, so I may be a little biased. :smiling_face:


Yes! Rope drop Guardians, incredicoaster, or TSMM, then knock out a ton of other DCA attractions first thing, before this park gets busy around 10. Then hit RSR with ILL, and out by lunch with an afternoon stack at DL.

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I think so. But remember, at DLR you cannot choose your ILL return time (you get the next availability when you book) and you cannot modify ILL return times, so you’re stuck with what you get. And the ILL return times don’t advance very fast—on an average day it is near immediate availability.

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This is a bit of a rabbit hole, but you can go to Thrill Data to see how ILL return times advance. Pick a day that has similar crowd level as Saturday to get an idea what to expect.

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Yes per ticket, so just once if you have a hopper.

If you have the budget for it & those are both high priorities & are limited on time & won’t be back again anytime soon, I think so. If it would be a tight squeeze on the budget or either of those weren’t high on your priority list then maybe you could skip them, or see if you catch either with a low wait time after coming back up from a breakdown. But if you don’t get ILL and want to ride them, you’ll likely be waiting minimum 45-60 minutes at the very least in the standby for those, so it really does depend on if you want to use that time in those lines or not.

So long as you have hoppers, yes.

I love going to the pier and doing TSMM/Incredicoaster & that corner early but both of those can be unreliable, especially in the morning and have been lately so on your only shot, I would probably recommend Guardians of the Galaxy first (and then you can use G+ to re-ride it with low wait and see if you get a different song because it’s so fun!). You’ll want to line up at the rope that is halfway down Hollywood Blvd for good position.

If you wanted to save $$ on the Radiator ILL and you can be up early to be early to security by 7am, to get a prime position for rope drop then you could try for RSR to see if you can get closer to a 30 (or less if you’re fast & up front) min wait. It is super competitive though as 90% of the crowd at rope drop is headed for Racers so if you’d rather not add the extra time to be up & make the day that much longer. then you could be fine doing any headliner that’s a must-do/high priority for you, except for Soarin’. They meter Soarin’ early on and sometimes even if they have a line don’t fill all three sections of the ride early on.

Yay! It will be a great flow for you & DL is open later so you’ll be able to enjoy it to its fullest too :slight_smile:

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I do love guardians, but if it were me, I’d try to avoid using regular LLs at DCA so I can maximize my afternoon stack at DL.

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I admittedly don’t have recent experience with LL’s because we are too cheap to fork it out for our family who get to go ridiculously often for out of state-ers. But I would think you can get a few quick ones in DCA and still get a good stack for DL.

But this is based on my experience both with FastPass/Maxpass where it was fairly easy to get through every single ride so long as you started right away, knew the order they run out aka your priority list & did an hour or so of immediates in the morning & then stacked for the afternoon/evening peppering in some immediates as & when they were available & fit your day.

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Probably true. Also I think you can’t start stacking at DL when you are hopping until return times advance past 11am. So many rules! :grimacing:

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All the DLR lightning lane rules are summarized in the first post of this thread:


One quick thing to mention - not sure how much this will affect your day, but Saturday is 5/4 (May the 4th) so the Star Wars attractions in Galaxy’s Edge will likely be busier than normal. There may also be some special things going on that day as well, so you might see a few surprises that are not normally happening. Have fun!


Good point. DL will probably be busy. So you may need to buy you ILL for rise earlier than normal. And stacking LLs will be key to hitting the major attractions without huge waits.


I agree with this. If you have one day to pack it all in, I would spend the money. These are my favorite rides, too.

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