Questions from an overplanner…

Taking my girls to DL in two weeks for two days. One day at each park. We have been three years ago so have a general idea but have some specific questions I need help with!!

A few questions For those that have been recently. Thank you for the help!!

  1. Where have you see the most characters hanging out? Three years ago we had a lot of luck in town square but I have heard back by small world now too?

  2. How do we have luck seeing Jack and sally? Any advice to avoid a super long wait? Mirabel??

3.we are staying at best western Stovalls. Is there a best way to get to the parks from there other than how google maps tells me to go?

  1. Are the short musical plays still happening at fantasyland theater? Tangled and belle?

  2. Are the candy canes and gingerbread mickeys worth it?? How much time out of our day will the candy cane wait take?

  1. Another one— if I don’t do a dining package for Fantasmic how do we see it? The late show and hope to find a place to stand? We can get a world of color genie plus ticket though?

This was a year ago but this location had GOBS of characters when I was there. It was amazing!

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I’ve read that in some Facebook groups too! We will have to see. Wonder if there are times of day that are better. There are almost no characters listed in the app.

Number 4 is a yes. I just watched it last week.

Def aim for the later show. There is a hungry bear package as well. They do VQ for WOC. Not sure about Fantasmic

I’ve seen a few in the area between Matterhorn and Alice in Wonderland for some reason. They also walk around Fantasyland sometimes. Main Street is the most likely bet though.

I thought they are only out at Halloween parties. But not sure what special Christmas appearances they have.

There is currently no virtual queue for Fantasmic — just the dining packages at Hungry Bear and Blue Bayou, as well as the patio on River Belle Terrace if you have a reservation for a late dinner that coincides with the show. The late Fantasmic is the easiest way to see it regardless, including standby.


I would concur based on what I saw last week. There definitely seemed like there was space in all areas for the 2nd show.

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hubby said it was good and ate the whole thing. DD didn’t like it but she said she doesn’t like gingerbread. I had some gingerbread cake and sans the frosting (as in the cake itself) it was delicious, so I imagine the cookie is good as well.

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Question: I have 2 park days with hoppers. I currently have park reservations for Disneyland Monday after Easter (:grimacing:) and DCA on Tuesday.

Does it matter which park I do first? DCA crowd level on Monday is lower, but I figured it makes more sense to start in DL (or does it?). I will have early entry both days.

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If this is your first time at Disneyland, I would do Disneyland first and then DCA. Spend your first morning trying to get all your top priorities at DL done, then hop to DCA and try to hit a few headliners. See a nighttime show if available.

Then use your second morning to do everything in DCA that you missed the first day. Then go back to DL and see as much as you can, including the small, lower priority attractions that don’t exist at WDW or are different from WDW.

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It’s my first time and I’m hoping to do as much as possible on those 2 days.

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It’s completely possible to do all major attractions and most minor ones in two days. Definitely plan on buying Genie+ as well as ILL for Radiator Springs Racers (RotR is the same as WDW so up to you, though the line tends to be shorter at DL than HS).

A good strategy is to use the morning hours wisely (especially early entry if you are onsite, but not essential). Unlike WDW, DL visitors tend to trickle in until lunchtime. There is a moderate rope drop crowd, but it disperses quickly and you can get a lot accomplished in the first two hours or so.

Try to hit popular or slow loading rides without a LL early — Jungle Cruise, Storybookland Canal Boats, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo. Ride your first LL attraction at the end of its window or wait for a slightly later return window (you can only get one LL for each attraction, and you will get through a lot of them each day — you may be scraping the bottom of the barrel at the end of the day, so it doesn’t hurt to wait a bit in the morning before using them). Don’t waste morning or late night time in line for Peter Pan. It is almost always the same length of queue all day. Ride whenever is convenient.

At DCA, hit Webslingers and GotG early and the rest will be relatively easy with LL and ILL for RSR. Most of the non-LL rides have short waits.

Good luck!


You’re the best! This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. I have been searching the internet for “Disneyland for first timers”, but all I see are things like “start early”, “wear comfortable shoes” …

I needed something a bit more advanced than that :joy:


Try reading through this thread. There are some pointers and a few of us listed our thoughts on DL vs WDW versions of the same ride.


Thank you! I love the maps with the overlays. It helps to know that DL + DCA are together essentially 1 Epcot. Also helpful to have an idea of the distance of the hotels to the parks.
I think we will really like this trip!

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I hope so! Disneyland has so much charm. It’s not as epically expansive as WDW, but it’s where the magic started.

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I think you will have a great time. I liked the advice above of how to start your days

Make sure in DCA to hit at least once each day- radiator springs, both avengers campus rides rides (we liked we slingers so much more than we thought we would), and my kids really like incredicoaster (it was down the entire day we were there). Though it pains me- skip soarin if you are short on time since WDW is same.

At Disneyland we love pirates, Indy, all 4 mountains, and the different dark rides. The train is a must do- get on in new orlean square with a bag of bengeits. I think that’s the best way to do it. One thing we noticed was the parks got crowded at night but it was very rainy the mornings we were there so that might be a reason for that?


A mini trip report with some fun pictures and things we did. It was rushed, wet and cold so I didn’t take a ton of pictures.

This trip was just with my two daughters. They have a flower stand in the summers and saved money for tickets from that. So it was a quick trip to see Christmas.

It was highs of 50s and rain both days. We brought extra shoes for lockers and wore hats and warm coats!!

Saw Santa at the grand Californian the night before. We stayed at the best western Stovalls and did walk through the GC each morning without question to get to the parks. One morning a guard did ask where we were heading and I said for breakfast and he didn’t ask any other questions.

We did see Jack and sally. They were cancelled in the rain, but once it stopped they came out for their afternoon shift. Saw our fave pirate while we were waiting for them!

All morning we walked onto Tomorrowland and fantasyland rides.

Saw Mando (without grogu) in galaxy edge. Rode everything there. Had so many churros and other treats. Rode the train with beignets! Closed the night out with a final ride on splash, haunted mansion and thunder mtn. We didn’t make it for the late showing of Fantasmic, the time change and late hours got us. Next time!!