We are WDW AP holders living in Orlando, making our first trip to CA for Disneyland next year and super excited planning this! We are debating between 3 and 4 days - non park hoppers (unless you guys convince us otherwise) with MaxPass addition. 2 adults, 2 teens and a 2 year old! Thoughts?
Welcome to the West! DL is on a totally smaller scale than WDW but it has a lot of charm if you can look past the narrow walkways that create human traffic jams anytime the CL is 5/6. DCA having been built a little later is a very nice escape for when those walkways in DL become ugly so for that reason alone I would suggest park hoppers! Plus the parks are both within security & a 2 min walk from turnstile to turnstile so unless you have a large group that isn’t very agile (toddlers, elderly grandparents/great-parents) there’s no reason NOT to spend the extra for the hoppers.
If you will want to take midday breaks for 2 yr old (and parents) to nap, then I recommend 4 days minimum. If you have a group that doesn’t need a long midday break (maybe just a break for an hour or so to lounge) then 3 days. And if your group can go go go then it can be done in a whirlwind 2 days. But 3 days is preferable so you can repeat some favorites/fit in anything that you found out you really wanted to try & to generally enjoy the more laid-back feel of the parks.
As for MaxPass, I am in the minority that doesn’t rave about it & consider it a given to fork over the $$$ for it. And that’s the case for 2 reasons:
- We have a built in FP runner as we still have a little one (1yr old) that can’t get on most rides with a height req. so we can easily, just not as conveniently bc we have to walk to the kiosk still use the old system.
- We have a family of 4 APs aside from the baby & the expense adds up!!! So yeah, I do walk more to be able to spend the $$$ on a park snack.
If the convenience of not having to run around to all the kiosks seems like bliss though, then it is a very good system & if budget weren’t such a concern I would do it in a heartbeat, but this just happens to be a way I can save, so I do. One thing that works really well is to purchase MP for everyone who will ride for 1-2 of your days that you will focus on riding all the headliner rides. Then the rest of the days just getting it for 1 person for taking advantage of photos that come along with the MaxPass as well.
We typically get a three day one park per day pass when we go, but we are on a budget! The park hopper is quite a bit more expensive by the time you’ve purchased for the whole family and I would rather spend the extra $$ on other things. We spend two days at DL and one day at DCA, and can do and see everything we want in that time. However, we go hard and long - rope drop to close. LOL Also, we usually go for spring break and the crowds are between 7 - 9/10 typically. Depending on crowd size when you are there, I wouldn’t spring for max pass everyday. We did max pass on one of our DL days last April. The crowd was 9/10 and we wanted to maximize our rides and also used it to take advantage of photo pass. The other two days we did traditional fast passes. Is there a price break for getting max pass on all days in advance? If not, I would try it and see if you think it’s worthwhile before buying for all of your days. Teens are great fast pass runners!
Disclaimer: If money was no object for me, I would probably spring for the 4 day park hopper with max pass - the works!
Oh good idea! We will definitely just try MP for 2 days (one at each park) to get all the rides we want then do regular FP for the rest, and can always add MP on later if we decide to. We do love to roam and enjoy the atmosphere so I think we’re going to go with 4 days… you may have convinced me to get Park Hoppers too… we’ll see. Thank you so much for the input!
Me too! Everytime! But Disneyland can be definitely be done w/out hoppers or MaxPass.
No price break. The way Disney has it setup now is that you can only buy MaxPass in advance if purchasing tickets through them directly & you cannot pick & choose days, you have to buy for all your days if you puchase in advance. If you don’t buy directly through Disney or don’t want to get it for all your days you then have to purchase it day by day once your ticket has been scanned in thru the turnstiles. It’s a simple process that can be done in a few clicks but it is an extra step to already having it. You just have to be sure you either know the security code for or have the card with you for the credit card stared in your app, in order to complete the purchase.
I would definately get MP first, it can make such a big difference. I have never had hoppers, or really don’t think they are necessary for 4 days. Would consider hoppers for 3 days.