Need help setting up a broad plan

First visit to DLR coming up in just a smidge more than 100 days.

Trying to plan, but having a hard time getting started; it’s very disorienting not having a clue about this place :laughing:

Our arriving flight will get into LAX at 1045 Cali time on a Thursday.
We are on property at GCH until Monday with a flight departing LAX 1345 Cali time
We have 4-day park hopper tickets
We will be coming from the East Coast and I’m not sure how laggy we will be as it has been a long time since I’ve traveled that far west.
We will want to see both parks in daytime and at night, and in an ideal world would have the energy to rope drop both parks once

We want to have one dinner at Napa Rose.
The only thing I know for sure is that I don’t want to have any solid ADR-type plans for Day 1/arrival day because I don’t know how long we’ll be able to keep going, knowing we will be up at 3am east coast time.

Can you help me establish a broad plan so that I can escape this paralysis and get to the finer details?

Also, what has the room-ready situation been like out that way? Could we reasonably expect to have some time to nap in the late afternoon so that we can push through a little later?


I am probably not much help as most of my experience is pre pandemic. I will say that given you are coming our way, rope drop probably won’t be very hard, but later evenings probably will. Were you planning to visit the parks on day one or Monday before you leave? I would not plan on your room being ready until 4. ADR I would want are Blue Bayou, Carthay Circle, and Lamp light Lounge. More help coming shortly.

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No park on Monday. Will need to leave for airport by around 10:30ish

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I just got back from a 4-day. Here’s what I would do:

Thursday afternoon unpack, decompress, DL as soon as you feel up to it. DL has lots of rides with short lines: Buzz, Thunder, Teacups, and Small World in particular never have a wait. I’d do Small World for Mickey’s Mix Magic then a snack, then end with a single rider on Space or IJ or Matterhorn.

Friday rope drop Space->Matterhorn->Peter Pan->Snow White->Dumbo->Storyland Canal Boats->Millennium Falcon. Skip anything more than 15 minutes. If you get a decent boarding group(~20-40), this will put you in Galaxy’s Edge about the correct time. Definitely take a pool break after lunch and come back in the evening. The 12-4 timeframe is hot, crowded, and better spent resting.

Sat rope drop RSR. We planned to do RSR->Soarin’->Grizzly->Sky School->Ferris Wheel, but our WEB boarding group got called. I also think RSR->TSMM->Ferris Wheel->Sky School could work, but then you end up with GRR during the hot part of the day, which is a really long line (unless you do single rider). Do not waste rope drop time on Incredicoaster. It never has a line more than 20 minutes no matter what the app says. Consequently, never do single rider for Incredicoaster. It’s never shorter and often much longer. Again take a pool break and linger in Cars Land at night. Try to hit Guardians at the end of the night. It has great capacity, but has a long, hot line in the middle of the day.

Sun rope drop IJ->JC-> Pirates-> HM-> Splash (before it gets hot)-> Pooh. I would try to watch Mickey’s Mix Magic from the castle. Small World viewing is nice because you can roll up 5 minutes before showtime, but the castle has spot lights, lasers, and a couple of other things that definitely enhance the show.

Here’s a link to a DL guide I wrote. Hope it’s helpful.

And a link to a spreadsheet for lamination (one change: Matterhorn does have single rider):


Thanks for this!

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What means this?

And also this?

I am headed to the post office shortly, your maps will be there soon!
Coming from the east, you will be able to get up early fairly easily, so rope drop should be no problem. Staying out late may be harder, but if you can nap in the afternoons might help. I would plan for rope drop Friday and Saturday morning, and then Sunday you can have a later start if you need more sleep.
We arrived last Friday, and went to CA for the evening, Saturday we rope dropped DL, Sunday we rope dropped DCA. Monday…we slept in and didn’t go to the parks until noon. We did add a 5th day for Wednesday, this day we split time equally between the parks thanks to a 1 day PH.
We had a lunch ADR Saturday, and a brunch ADR Sunday. The only other ADR we kept was Oga’s Monday night. There is so much good QS food between the 2 parks, we didn’t miss having ADRs the other days at all.
We started in DCA, because like you we only had 3 full days and a half day to begin with. We also didn’t have hoppers and I didn’t want to pay to add them, we don’t mind 1 park per day. We ended up with 2 full DL days, 1 full DCA day, and then the 4 hours Friday night in DCA which was very productive. (We got an extra half day in both parks once we added Wednesday). It is very easy to hop though, not like at WDW where it takes time. It’s just 3 minutes across the esplanade.


RSR is Radiator Springs Racers. Most will rope drop this, the line is generally long most of the day. So a good place to start your day.
GRR is Grizzly River Run. Like Kali, but better. It is best to ride right before you go to your room at GCH, since it is right across from the entrance to the hotel, and you can easily go change if you get soaked.


No rush at all and very much appreciated! I have been trying to watch vlogs on youtube to get myself a little bit oriented with how stuff is laid out.

Yeah we were thinking probably just Napa Rose if we can get it but maybe also Blue Bayou as a second. Otherwise I’m all for doing a QS graze-fest splitting items so we can enjoy as much as possible that is unique to DLR

I did follow your trip but can you remind me which brunch you did? I was thinking that might be nice.

Well we will have darn near close to 4 days really. But I know what you mean.

Yeah this is crazy neat to me and is part of why I can’t wrap my head around what we can manage by hopping in a day

Also we are torn: better to see what we don’t have here in WDW OR focus on doing what we DO have so as to compare. Thoughts?


And when you rope drop RSR, definitely be front of the rope drop pack. If you arrive at 7:45, you’ll be behind a few hundred people and already be looking at a 30 minute wait. Arriving at 7:15 and getting through security and scanned and to the rope by 7:30 will put you on RSR in 5 minutes which means you can get off and head to Pixar Pier or Grizzly Peak as people are still trickling in.


Do it all! I would start with things unique to Cali, and then add in the rides that are different (but better for the most part) than their east coast version (so BTMR, HM, Pirates). Last, do the rides that are pretty much the same on both coasts (Millenium Falcon, Little Mermaid, TSMM) if you have time.
We ate at Lamplight Lounge for brunch.


RSR has a single rider line which can be helpful if it’s open. We generally single rider Space, Splash and RSR more than we do FP or standby line. Of course, haven’t been there since pandemic.

With four days you can do both. No problem at all.


Pirates is so great at DLR. I think this every time I’m on Pirates at WDW.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the Mater ride even tho it’s probably an A ticket ride. :blush:


We love Mater, and ride it every day we are in DCA. Aliens at HS is the same ride, but not the same. We skip that one a lot, it just isn’t as good as Mater is. Love Carsland!


We will definitely check that out to compare, since we already like ASS but we won’t ride it if the wait is long.

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Yes, don’t miss Mater. And because there are so many more rides in DCA than HS, it never has a long line. 5 minute wait is the norm.


I had a whole thing typed out and my nail got stunk under a key and somehow deleted it all! :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I agree with @Wahoohokie that Grizzly should be done last as the entrance to the hotel is right there. DS and I will go on several times right before we leave as it’s usually a walk-on by the end of the night.

We love Mater too, but won’t wait more than 20 minutes for it (we don’t wait more than 20 minutes for anything except food…looking at you Blue Bayou and Wine Country Trattoria)

I recommend doing Radiator Racers as a family first, then you can Single Rider it all you want after. Know that those cars seat 6 per vehicle, 2 rows of 3 across.

GotG is a huge hit in CA. And I agree that PotC is better in DLR than WDW. Weirdly, I like Tom Sawyers Island better in DLR than WDW too.

Before Marvel Campus, my family viewed DL as the attraction heavy park whereas DCA was more of a strolling, laid-back vibe. I’m not sure what the feel of it would be to us now. In DL it always felt as if we were rushing from one attraction to another, oftentimes crossing the entire park in between rides. DCA was more of a “let’s grab a beer and wander around until we find something with a five-minute wait to hop on”. Completely just my view of it though.

I am stupidly excited for your thoughts on it.

PS wave to Soarin for me, I opened that attraction 20 years ago :blush: (back when California Adventure really did focus on showcasing California instead of on IP)


Me too!

@Bubblez On our April trip, DD18 and I chatted with CM at one of the AKL viewing areas. He had worked for Disney for a long time and helped open DCA and AK. I believe he is now a lead or supervisor on the MJT at AK. I wish I could remember his name. He was always a FL guy, but flew out for a time period of a few weeks/months for DCA opening. I didn’t realize you were there for that too! How cool!


I transferred over from Teacups, Dumbo and Alice. I was so excited to be part of the opening crew. It was such an amazing vibe, until all the press panned the “lame park”.

I think it was a month or two after opening that I got trained on GRR as well. That was a lot of fun, but Soarin will always be the one I opened. :yellow_heart::yellow_heart::yellow_heart:

My biggest regret is that I let a stupid boy get in the way of a possible career there in management. I wish I could have spent more time focusing on putting a roof over my head than chasing boys.

That’s great about your time talking with the CM. There are so many great people within the organization. And so many opportunities to grow!


These are some things I like to see every time I go. :blush: After making a wish at Snow White’s wish well I stop to see the Peter and Wendy tree hidden steps from the wish well.

My boyfriend Shrunken Ned. Jungle witch doctor :rofl::heart: For 50 cents he will dispense your prescription

Patrick the little man of Disneyland lives here :blush:

And most importantly seeing a few Disneyland cats!! :heart_eyes_cat: