Reports on Early Entry to DCA from Grand Californian?

Wondering if anyone can described how it worked to do the new early entry to California Adventure from the Grand Californian entrance? When did you arrive and how was the crowd? Where did they check that you were a hotel guest in order to get past the ropes? What rides did you ride first? Thanks!

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I will be there next weekend but staying at DLH. Interested to know the answer to this.

When we stayed at GCH when early entry was not offered, we entered the park about 30 minutes before rope drop, no wait for security, and were able to be pretty close to the front at the Radiator Springs rope.

From that, I can assume 1) you won’t have to wait long at security; 2) you shouldn’t have any issue getting to the rope for EE rope-drop.

But I don’t know the specific procedures for EE.

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Great to hear. Thanks!

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We took a trip Fri Aug 12-Mon Aug 15 and splurged for the Grand for the first time ever.

We are not great early risers and so making it to security before 7:10am was tough. I think the earliest we were able to hack it was 7:05 on our first day (and we were DL bound so we did the breezeway into DTD to get to the main DL entrance).

We used the DCA entrance only 1x (we had planned 2 DCA starts but on our last night we felt strongly we needed to switch our last morning before driving home to DL & so we switched our res - easily bc of the hotel pool availability - to DL from DCA).

In our one experience of the DCA entrance for EE, the line was back to about Storyteller’s at 7:10, but moved fairly quickly so we were just inside the turnstiles at 7:27. They do hold everyone under the trellis that starts the pathway to the GCH off of the walkway in the Grizzly area so after we got through they couldn’t let many people through after us until they officially started letting people pass the trellis area. And they waited until exactly 7:30 and THAT’s where they checked hotel room access. They were looking for apps with the date or a simple room key (hubby & I theorized that they change the color or design periodically so the CM’s know which room keys are valid cuz they didn’t need ot see anything other than the room key if it was a room key but if the app they asked to see the dates on it).

They had several other checkpoints for room keys and we ended up in one of them on the way to our first ride (WebSlingers) because we mistakenly headed back towards Carthay Circle & so had to go all the way to the left on that main pathway (underneath the Carthay Circle theater balcony) going up towards Carsland to again check-off our hotel guest status. If we had gone right from the GCH walkway towards Little Mermaid we probably wouldn’t have needed to show our key/hotel stay in the app again, but we didn’t get a chance to test that theory since we switched our 2nd planned DCA start to DL.

We did Webslingers as our first ride with a less than 15 min wait & were off the ride at 7:59 where we BOOKED IT from the exit & got in line again for this time about a 20 min. wait but well ahead of the rope drop crowd (our older kids jettisoned just as the rope drop crowd showed up & headed towards Guardians instead of a re-ride on Webslingers with the toddlers) & we all met at the exit of Guardians about 8:50.

In our experience early entry was good for about one headliner & get in line for a 2nd ahead of rope drop OR 3-4 of the smaller rides (that doesn’t benefit you much anyway since their waits are really low the whole first/last hour of the park opening).


This is just the sort of intel I was looking for! Thank you so much for taking the time to share!

This will be my first time splurging for GC too, so I’m eager to use the DCA entrance instead of the main entrance. I’m going to plan on starting with WebSlingers too, and I’ll be sure to try out the southern route in hopes of avoiding multiple hotel checks.

If our timing works out similar to yours, I’m thinking about going straight from WebSlingers to Radiator Springs Racers to hopefully be positioned to get in line before the rope drop crowd.

Thanks again!

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Though, now that I think about it, if you use the main entrance, you may be able to be at the rope near the entrance to Avengers Campus at 7:30 when they start doing hotel checks. If you use the GC entrance, you have to wait way over in the Grizzly Peak area until 7:30 to get a hotel check. So, if prioritizing Web Slingers, it sounds like it would be best to be first in line at the main entrance, head straight to the hotel check by the rope, and then slip into WS with hopefully very little line!