One Day PH Plan Suggestions for rides NOT in WDW

Hi, so we are going to be in Anaheim for 2 days in two weekends from now so a Sat and Sun. We were planning to only do DCA on a Sunday BUT my son loves Indiana Jones and we are going to WDW next Spring so I thought it’d be fun to do park hoppers so that he and my husband can do a few rides in DL that are NOT in WDW so Indy, Matterhorn, etc. We’re just SO close to DL, it feels wrong not to go in. :joy:

Does anyone have some suggestions for the following situation:
(we ARE doing MaxPass :+1:t3:)
DL: 9-midnight. Crowd levels: 2
DCA: 9-9 Early Magic Hour: 8am we cannot do EMH Crowd levels: 4

We only want to do Indy Jones, Matterhorn, Pirates and walk around a bit in DL. Then DCA, we want to do pretty much everything but Guardians of the Galaxy ride (and not sure about Incredicoaster).

I had DCA all neatly planned and originally though maybe my husband and son just go to DL during the afternoon while I take my girls to see Elsa and Anna etc in DCA then they come back to DCA but some friends said park hopping in the middle of the day isn’t advised. Should we just start in DL then move over to DCA? And if me and my girls are just going to walk around and do Pirates and one or two dark rides, is it even worth it? :grimacing:

We are doing a dining package in DCA at 1:30 so we definitely want to be in DCA by then and probably stay the rest of the day for World of Color, etc.
I want to be efficient while still enjoying ourselves. As much as I’d love to do PH for all of us it’s $250 more so maybe it’s not worth it for all and we just do PH for son and hubby. Anyway, hopefully this all makes sense. Thanks in advance.

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Balancing budget with Disney fun is a tough call but here are some thoughts:

  • If you have MaxPass, I see no reason why an afternoon hop to DL would be problematic. You may have to keep an eye on MaxPass return times to make sure you snag one for IJ for the time you want.
  • If most of the attractions you want to experience are at DCA, I recommend starting your day there. Hit all the big ticket items first (especially RSR - since it’s the best ride not at WDW, I recommend rope dropping AND getting a MaxPass, and maybe even another one for later if you like it)
  • Another option would be for DH and DS to go to DL after DCA closes while you kill time in the shops or head to your hotel, if that is an option. That way you take advantage of extra operating hours and potentially shorter lines.
  • I recommend taking a look at SWGE. You could probably get on MFSR in 45 min or so, particularly at the end of the day.
  • To the connoisseur Pirates is much better at DL than WDW due to the height of the drops and the length, but honestly it’s not so different that most people would notice.
  • I recommend GotG unless you are skipping due to motion sickness or fear of drops. It’s a great ride and different from anything at WDW.
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Incredicoaster & Guardians are in the top 3 rides at DCA and most definitely should be included!
I would however, skip: Goofy’s Sky School, Silly Symphony Swings, Golden Zephyr and Jumpin Jellyfish because even though they are unique to DCA vs. WDW, there is nothing about them that makes them unique from other theme park rides of the same variety (their Disney theming is very light/non-existent). The same argument could be made for the Pixar Pal Around but that one is a family favorite for the views you get of Disneyland and DCA (some of them revealing backstage areas so be warned).

Also in DCA, I would only do the following if time allows as they are all available in almost identical formats in WDW (and in some cases, better): Toy Story Midway Mania, Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, (both of the above having better theming of their queues at WDW and the rides are identical), Turtle Talk with Crush, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and Disney Jr. Dance Party.

In DL you’re absolutely right it would be wrong not to go into the original park being steps away and your choices to do Matterhorn, Indy & Pirates are great. I would also be sure to add Space Mountain (a much smoother experience and different ride vehicle than WDW’s version).

Also for me personally no trip to capture the flavor of Disneyland would be complete without: Disneyland Railroad, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Big Thunder Mountain (WDW’s version is a little more intense, but the effects & scenery at DL are usually rated as better compared to WDW’s) and it’s a small world (it’s vastly different between the 2 coasts so recommended to do on both but Disneyland’s is strongly considered the better so very much consider doing it as well).

If time, the following give you such a good sense of Disneyland that they should also be considered (but I get that a day is a short so only if time): a trip around the Rivers of America on one of the 3 attractions that make the trip: Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia or Davy Crockett’s canoes (you paddle the canoe yourself & it’s SO much more fun than you would think reading that sentence mostly because the guides are funnier than the funniest Jungle Cruise skippers), Mickey & Minnie’s houses in ToonTown, Pixie Hollow if you have a Tinkerbell fan, Royal Hall if you have a princess fan (you get 2-3 princesses with the one wait and the interactions here are top-notch & even though we do it nearly every trip I never don’t leave with an absolute huge grin on my face and a so happy I could float away feeling). The daytime shows in Disneyland are also so wonderful: Mickey & the Magical Map and Storytelling at the Royal Theater so also highly recommend if time. The Carousel, teacups and Dumbo are also all musts for our family (all are similar in WDW) but they are unique enough in DL especially since the views are different that I wouldn’t discount them as the same ride.

Lastly, I would be remiss to not mention Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Disney Gallery before it that showcases some wonderful Disneyland history including one of the Griffith Park park benches (where Walt dreamt up the idea of Disneyland) as well as the Disneyland Fire Station (the 2nd story holds Walt’s apartment and in the window is a lamp that is always lit- when he was alive the lamp was lit anytime he was inside the parks & following his death, the lamp has remained almost continuously lit to represent his presence has never left the parks).

So in short, is there anyway you can add a day?!?!? :rofl::rofl::rofl: Maybe even 1 park per day?? And limit dining to snacks/packed lunches? Also if I only had one day for both I wouldn’t do any table service meals to save the time for more things. There are so many good snacks/counter service meals that are a better use of time than any table service meals, especially in DCA.

Anywho, sorry to ramble on & on but any other specific questions you have about your day & your plan, please ask!


Yes, all the things @lolabear_la mentioned are items I would recommend if you have more time. Given only one day and the ages of the people you are proposing to send over to DL, you might have to be extremely discriminating! Good luck!