First DL trip ever! Here's my plan

I’ve booked the flights, bought the tickets, and set up park pass reservations, so it looks like my first Disneyland trip ever is going to happen in the second week of August! I’ll be at GCR Thurs 8/11 through Sun 8/14 and plan to arrive early afternoon Thursday (hoping the tour of GCR is back on by then). I haven’t been to any Disney park since January 2002, so it’s been a long time coming.

As the subject line shows, I have a few questions I’d like some advice on. Our only day reserved starting at DCA is Friday (have Park Hoppers with Genie+), so I’m planning to reserve Storytellers for late that afternoon (getting out of the heat) and get the WoC package, so that’s set pretty nicely. That’s also one of my two rope drop days.

I’m less sure of which day to do DLR rope drop (either Saturday or Sunday, leaning towards the latter) and MSEP (either Thursday or Sunday, using the Plaza Inn package reservation). Flight out isn’t until after noon on Monday, so we can do Sunday late if needed. I figure with three-plus days we should be able to do everything. (We’ll be leaving the parks mid-afternoon Saturday for Mass and the other reason for the trip; I’m a Minnesota Twins fan, and we’re planning to see them play the Dodgers Wednesday and the Angels Saturday.)

For rope drop days, it looks like resort dining doesn’t open early enough; we do have a rental car so we can do breakfast nearby. Any recommendations on that would be helpful.

Finally, a bit of a curveball is that my spouse has gone keto. That should work fine with planning (removing the skin from the chicken at Plaza Inn, looking forward to Bengal Barbecue), but any advice on that would be helpful as well. We’ve checked out some videos and I feel reasonably confident of finding good options for her.

Thanks so much for any help you can provide!

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I’ll have to come back to your questions later, but good luck planning your trip! I’m headed to DLR with 5-day tickets this Wednesday. I currently don’t have any ADRs and am just going to do QS and get on a walk up list if we feel like TS.


Enjoy your trip! I’ll be interested to hear how your trip goes.

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We typically just grab breakfast in the park. There are lots of good QS options like Jolly Holiday in DL and Pym’s Test Kitchen in DCA. Or we eat a granola bar and then get an early snack from Bengal BBQ.

My advice would be to RD everyday so I’m no help there. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Here’s what my current plan is for the three-plus days at the Disneyland Resort. We have park hoppers and Genie+ included and plan to take advantage of that. Also planning to take breaks in the afternoon since we’re so close to the parks and to avoid the heat (we’re from Oregon and I’ve already got my SCFTDM* hat from my last Disney trip)

We arrive on Monday, but don’t go to Disneyland until Thursday. Planning to arrive about noon or so after sleeping in a bit after seeing the Twins beat the Dodgers and catching up on computer games (my spouse) and doing laundry (myself).

Thursday, August 11th: be at GCR by about 1pm at the latest, earlier if the Art of the Craft tour returns by then (not optimistic). Have reservation at River Belle Terrace (F! Standard Package) at 3pm, so plan to be at the gates by 2pm in case the first-time ticket process is poky. I figure this is a “west Disneyland” day: Frontierland, Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Critter Country, perhaps SWGE if timing works. Some of this might move to Sunday. Do F! at 9pm and stick around for fireworks at 9:30pm.

Friday, August 12th: breakfast in room, rope drop DCA (I’ve told her we’ll be at the gate at 7:15am). This is our DCA day, with first rope drop item being either RSR, IC, or perhaps WS. Plan to work from back gradually forward. Early 5:30pm dinner at Wine Country Trattoria for preferred seating for WoC at 9pm.

Saturday, August 13th: bit later start on the busiest day (crowd-wise) at the parks. Breakfast somewhere ketoish; she’s intrigued by Red Rose Taverne, but it looks like Downtown Disney also has options. This is our most open day; planning on mostly Genie+ or short line items and leaving no later than 3:30pm for 4:30pm Mass at Christ Cathedral (getting there early to check the place out), then see the Twins beat the Angels.

Sunday, August 14th: breakfast in room, rope drop Disneyland (again, hopefully at gate at 7:15am), heading to Fantasyland to start as Becky G recommended, then focusing on the east side with Tomorrowland and places we didn’t do on Thursday or want to repeat. Lunch at 1:40pm at Plaza Inn for MSEP preferred viewing; may go back to hotel to rest near pool in afternoon with pool pass. MSEP at 9pm and perhaps some last rides before crashing at a Buena Park hotel for the night (flight home isn’t until after 1pm).

We’ll have the TouringPlans app and use it (naturally) and have already made the above ADRs when they opened. No kids, so we won’t do some of the very kid-oriented rides (as tempting as it might be for my spouse to get a picture of me on Dumbo).

Does this sound workable to more experienced DLR visitors? We’re not runners, but decent walkers.

Also, any recommendations for Saturday breakfast (or other advice) would be helpful. Other dining will be quick service and likely mobile orders. She’s gone keto, so we’re looking forward to Bengal Barbecue and some other good keto options.

Thanks for any information you can provide! We’re both really excited to be going!

(*Sketchy Clerk From The Daisy Mart)


Are you planning to do any of the Fantasyland rides besides Dumbo? (I’m not sure what you consider “kid-oriented rides”.) If so, on Sunday, you may want to RD the Fantasyland rides since almost all of them do not have Genie+.

By the way, DL also has a stationary Dumbo and teacup where you can take pictures.


Planning to do most rides except for simple spinners, so we’ll be doing nearly all of Fantasyland. Perhaps even some of the spinners if timing and the mood strikes us. My spouse also doesn’t want me to get her dizzy on the Mad Tea Party, which I would totally probably maybe not do. With EE thrown into the mix for our trip, that should give us more flexibility.

Have to think about the stationary Dumbo or teacup picture. I’m a sucker for a picture like that…

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