One day park hopper - any tips?

Hi everyone!
DL is my home park, but I haven’t been in two years. I went to WDW last summer, so I understand genie+. Here’s my situation!

My aunt and uncle are taking their grandson to DLR for one day for his high school graduation. He grew up here, but lives out of state now, and hasn’t been to DLR in at least five years. They are getting park hoppers and want to make the most of it for this thrill-loving young man.

I feel so out of the loop since I haven’t been there lately. Do you have any suggestions regarding which park they should start in and how they might utilize genie+ for the day? I read the genie+ post, so I’m familiar with what order they should book in for each individual park, but I’m not sure for the park hopping.

I plan to start watching return times and looking at thrilldata to be able to give them advice, but I was hoping to hear any insights from you experts!

They will be visiting early June.

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Cali is generally a better ropedrop park when you’re park hopping since it has longer Lightning Lane queues in the afternoon–and crucially, more of them. You can get more done if you get all of the high value attractions in DCA done with before the lines start to take off.

So you’ll generally want to book your TSMM, GOTG, WS, etc. in Cali during the morning.
Around 2-3pm you’ll want to switch to planning your Disneyland attack. If it’s a busy day then you can book Indy and then Space, giving you a nice 3-4 hour break where you can shop/eat/sleep/whatever during the heat of the day.

I personally prefer starting Disneyland purely because of the atmosphere and food, switching to Cali for the afternoon, and then back to Disney for the evening. But it’s not practical if your only drive is to get on every thrill ride within a 20 mile radius :smile:

Check out the La Cava subforum for some better tips, we have quite a bit stashed away up there, including some DL/DCA specific knowledge.


Perfect, thank you so much!


I second starting in DCA for strategic reasons. I do prefer starting in DL for atmosphere & then hopping back & forth at will between DCA & DL depending on what entertainment/LL’s I’m following midday & then closing out with DL after DCA closes, but none of that is very efficient so DCA first then hopping after a short midday break to DL is perfect. DCA does have fantastic atmosphere too (and the wider much less claustrophobic pathways) so the morning will still be a wonderful start.