Can someone explain the extra/early magic hours? I bought a 3-ticket pack and I’m staying offsite at the Best Western Plus. I see that DCA has the early hours (projected) for Sunday & Monday when I am there - can I get in early on both days or only one? Or neither? I’m a little confused. My other day is Saturday but we won’t arrive until late morning. Also, how early should I arrive for rope drop if crowds are expected to be high that day?
There are different packages with different hotels, so you probably need to check the specifics with Best Western. The vast majority of my many DLR visits were day trips from San Diego. The last time I did a multi-day trip was back in 2012 (can it really be that long ago?) and I stayed at PP. My last off-site overnight was at least 10 years ago, and I only stayed one night…
If you are staying off-site, then there is only one option. You can get the early morning at the Disneyland park, one time only, on the days it is open early.
DCA is not an option for those staying off-site. The daily options are available to those who stay at the resort hotels everyday of their stay.
Exactly what @lmbc said, you can only use it at DL on Saturday, Tuesday or Thursday, and only once. EMH at DCA requires a stay onsite. I wouldn’t worry too much that you cannot use it, EMH at DL is very crowded (due to most people getting tickets that include the magic morning), you will do just great starting at rope drop at DL on Sunday. We usually start in the park without EMH and it works perfectly.
Ideally, arrive an hour or more before rope drop. You will be shocked how long security takes at Disneyland (in comparison to WDW if you have been there). The line this year seems to reach to Harbor Blvd by the time the parks actually open (which may mean a 45 minute wait to get through security).
So knowing this, am I better off doing rope drop at DL both Sunday and Monday then hop to DCA later or should I do one each day, even though I can’t get in early at DCA? I’m used to WDW so this “not planning/go with the flow” is a challenge lol. First time to DL. I’m mostly concerned about max passes at Radiator Racer and Guardians. We will want to do RR at least twice during our stay with the least wait possible. The wife doesn’t ride roller coasters but loves Test Track so RR is a big priority for us.
If I were you, I would start Sunday at DL and Monday at DCA. The crowd for EMH at DCA is small since there are only 3 onsite hotels, so you are not really too far behind. Maxpass is amazing! Remember that you can book your first one as soon as they scan you in at the gates, even if the park doesn’t open for awhile. This is a huge benefit that those who don’t pay for MP cannot get, as the paper fastpasses do not start until opening. Make sure you know when you can book your next Maxpass, set a timer on your phone so you don’t forget. You will easily get many, many rides in with MP by doing this. We love it, I will never not buy it for a trip.
Whenever I stay off site, I always go to the park that does not have early morning. We are frequently there for rope drop. Then I might switch to the other park after our break.
Curious what you mean by set your timer on your phone. can you book a second Maxpass before you use your first Maxpass?
When you obtain a FP at Disneyland, either on your phone using MaxPass or through the kiosks, beneath the return time it will tell you when you are next eligible for a FP. Below I’ve described how exactly the logic works behind the windows, but if you don’t care to know the ins & outs then just know that you should pay attention to that time listed & set an alarm on your phone for that time so it won’t pass unnoticed & you can get your next FP. The only time that scanning in will get you a ride sooner than the time listed is if you book a FP window with less than 30 min before the return window.
In that case, the app/paper from the kiosk will tell you that you can get your next one in 30 min, but if you were to scan in as soon as the return time allows you would be able to get your next FP without waiting the full 30 min to pass. If you don’t have MaxPass this isn’t as cool as an advantage as you still have to wait to go to the next kiosk after you ride the ride. With MaxPass since you can book from your phone you can pull the next FP while waiting to load for the current one.
As for the rest of the timings:
If the FP return time is between 30 min and 90 min (for those using MaxPass) or between 30 min and 2 hrs (if using the kiosks) then you can pull a next FP as soon as the window opens which means you should grab a FP right then, no need to scan in. Ride the current FP whenever is convenient in the window.
If the FP return is beyond 90 min (for those using MaxPass) or 2 hours (for those using kiosks) from when you pulled it, you will be eligible to pull your next FP in 90 min/2 hours (depending on how you obtained it). Here MaxPass gets another advanage as they have 30 less min. to wait when the FPs start getting out there.
Hope that helps clarify & ask away if it doesn’t!
Thank you. I’m used to WDW so Maxpass is all new to me.