First time DL from UK. I’ve got a few planning questions please

Hi, my family and I ( me, my husband and 2 teens 14&16) will be visiting DLR in August as part of a longer California vacation. We’ve previously done a week in DL Paris and 2 weeks in WDW.

We will have a partial day and 3 full days at the parks. I was only going to buy 3 day tickets but it’s not much more for the 4th and I figure it would be hard to see the park from our hotel but not actually go to it on our first day. I also talked myself into hoppers and Genie + as this will likely be our one and only visit.

My rough plan is:
Partial day 1 (~3pm till late - I’m viewing this as a bonus day. Go to DL and just spend the time doing the things we’re usually too rushed to do e.g. the railroad, Tiki room and getting photos taken etc. plus we’ve not seen Galaxy’s Edge yet so will definitely spend time there. I’m aware we will be arriving at the busiest part of the day so if genie plus/low waits are available then great but if not, plan to just chill and consider any rides done a bonus. Do ride times tend to drop during the fireworks? Is concentrating on Fantasyland late in the evening a good idea as little ones may have gone home by then?
Day 2: CA start - Will probably do the CA fireworks this night.
Day 3: DL start - Will probably do the DL fireworks this night.
Day 4: CA start then mop up. Either redo a night show or more rides.

My teens as not early risers so I don’t imagine that we will be rope-dropping (we did a few time in WDW and quite frankly, it was miserable). We will probably arrive ~11 but can stay late. We are staying in a hotel near the entrance so can take breaks if needed. I’m aware that we will will already have spent over a week in San Francisco/LA and will be heading on to San Diego after so I don’t want to exhaust us.

Does this sound feasible? I used a personalised Touring plan with Fastpass in WDW and my family thought I was a magician!! I’m getting to grips with Genie + and will have an outline plan with TP.

Sorry it’s so long. Thanks for reading.


Yes, in general wait times are lower during nighttime entertainment. It’s a particularly good time to hit SWGE, but be positioned early cause you can get cut off if you are in the wrong side of the park.

Yes, starting at about 10:30pm, Fantasyland is usually very short waits. Keep in mind Fantasyland rides connected to the castle are shut down for about 2 hours around fireworks. The fire marshal has to clear all attractions to reopen, which can take like 45 minutes.

Totally feasible. I always recommend 3 full days for DLR. Having that extra half day will be perfect.

My one word of caution: The first two hours of park operation are golden and you will sorely miss out on very short waits. Just be prepared mentally for that. BUT, with Genie+ you can more than make up for that disadvantage and get through everything.

Just be aware the biggest difference between Genie+ at DLR and WDW is that at DLR you can’t get your first LL until you have all tapped into the park (including monorail entrance). So you can’t “stack” before arrival in late morning or afternoon. But it can still work out.


Thanks so much. They might surprise me and get up early some days. Other days, my husband and I may just pop over for rope drop and leave them be! What’s the saying ? You snooze, you lose!


Your plan sounds very feasible. Having a 4th partial day will be very beneficial and allow you time to ease into your park time & get a lot done!

Fantasyland at night is one of my favorite ways to end the day because of the high concentration of rides with likely low waits so, yes it will be a great plan. Just know that Peter Pan will not (usually) drop under 25-30 BUT if you are closing up the park, you can get in line just before the park closes & the times we’ve managed to be up that late, we’ve never waited more than 20 min for the ride. I call it midnight pixie dust (because usually we go when DL’s closing is midnight).

Morning’s are fantastic & we try to be there for them, but honestly if it’s not a cold time of year, we very much enjoy closing out the park to being there early. So if it’s easier to be up late, it’s not awful too. You do have to watch generally for the DL nighttime shows & where their traffic patterns are to avoid being cut-off/trapped by them but once the 2nd Fantasmic! show gets going, a good portion of the crowds dissipate.

Also, I love that you are doing San Francisco, LA, Disneyland and San Diego in one trip! That sounds absolutely amazing!


Thank you. Good to know I’m on the right track.
Can’t wait for this holiday. We are aware that our teens won’t be holidaying with us for much longer so trying to get some experiences in. Not so looking forward to the 11 hour flight nor the credit card bill but will deal with that later.


Your plan looks good. I also have a teen, so we do late starts, with late nights. We use Gene+ I don’t feel like we are missing anything.


I find DL much easier to use Genie+ with LL availability late into the days. I think you’ll be fine with late starts using Genie+. It’s a much chiller vibe than WDW probably cuz it’s mostly locals who can easily come back so there’s not this mad rush to do it all. And it has later hours than WDW with that 12am closing at DL. I find the parks to be dead in the late hours. We were walking on to everything in the late evening. But yes things like Fantasmic, parades, fireworks can get you blocked so be on the side of the park you want to be before they start. They did have a path during the parade they’d open for people to cross b/w floats in Nov. so it’s still possible to get thru. Just difficult. Also beware I have a hard time catching the fireworks in Disneyland. They get cancelled a lot for wind so just don’t expect to see em and if they happen bonus. They still do the projection show if they have to cancel the fireworks.


:joy: this is always my attitude. And mine are 18 and 15 and it’s nearing its end for me too. They both agreed to do a weekend in WDW with me and DH for my bday and I’m so excited it’ll be the four of us. I’m NOT inviting anyone else or so I say now.


Not sure whether to start a new thread or add to this one so I’ll try here first.

If I do convince my teens to get out of their beds, I think we will need midday breaks. Can I stack genie plus if I leave the park for this? Or do I need to be tapped into a park?

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You can book LLs from anywhere once you have scanned into a park. I always try to stack LLs from my hotel during an afternoon break. Just need to wait 2 hours between bookings so not always possible to book more than 1 or 2, depending on how busy it is.


Thank you. I’ve started to drop hints that going early will get us on the good rides. We’ll see. Good to know I can book from the hotel once we’ve been in in the morning.

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Mid-day (2-4pm) is actually the worst time to get reservations, so I think that works out on more levels than you’d think.

Yes, you can stack, and you can stack an unlimited amount of LLs (just make sure you can be in the park for your windows!) If you book them in the right order, you can also have all of them open at the same time :grin:

Note that this usually only works on really busy days, as on mellower ones the windows will be too soon to stack more than one or two, as daw623 mentioned.


LLs can also be modified now, which makes it much easier. I book as soon as eligible and then modify during the break. Then we have at least two rides lined up for the late afternoon return.

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Remember modifying keeps the original time, so if you book a ride for 2 pm at noon, you can continue to modify to get the time you want, like 5pm, but still book another at 2 and do the same thing. You could have 4 LL booked for the evening. Also, search La Cava section for DLR drops that continue through the evening. You could actually get some decent LL rides in that first night. I also recommend you try for DL fireworks first night, so if they don’t happen because of wind, you have other opportunities.