Returing to Disneyland and looking for guidance

Hi, all-
Some history: I was last in Disneyland/CalAd about 5 years ago. With three other adults we had one-day Park Hopper tickets and - with the help of a personalized Touring Plan - were able to hit the best of both parks in one day. Very satisfying :slight_smile:
Looking ahead: On July 28 and 29, we’ll be back. One park per day, CalAd on the 28th and Disneyland on the 29th. Genie+ on both days.

In the past, we did well with the Touring Plan and the Fast Pass - I got the hang of leapfrogging rides and passes to get the most out of our day. But now I find myself a bit overwhelmed with the addition of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes. (not to mention the PAID Lightning Lanes and the occasional Virtual Queue). I’d like to plan out our day, but I’m not sure where to start. The Disneyland App? The Touring Plans app? A printed Touring Plan? I want to start building an itinerary, don’t know which app or website to do it on. All of them?
Should one person be in charge of Lightning Lanes for everybody (party of 7)?
What gives us the best options for planning our day, but allowing for some in our party to peel off for other rides, then return to the group? (I don’t see the whole group following one schedule all day, but they probably would for most)

I’ve read through a lot of the threads here, but it gets so complicated - especially with all the acronyms used, too.
I’ll stop now but if anyone has any direction for me, I thank you in advance!

1 Like

The YouTube TouringPlans Teaches has a few episodes on Disneyland, and how best to use the G+ there. I would start with that.

DisneylandDaily does a good blog rundown of rope drop strategies and what not, and Molly from Mammoth club does a fair amount of touring videos/vlogs with DL.

I think it’s easier as a group to have one person booking all the LL reservations-- big difference at DL is that you can only start booking your LL when everyone has tapped in, so if you have some members of your group not tapping in at the start, you may not have all the LL rides together. Another thing to watch out for at DL is that rides go down a lot, and then get converted to anytime passes. But most anytime passes have some kind of restriction, so you won’t be able to use them at certain rides. So you’ll have to read the small print on your anytime pass.

1 Like

Yes, it’s best to link everyone’s tickets to one person’s app (plus others’ as a backup) and have that person book all the LLs. And if you’re splitting up, make sure tickets are linked to a leader in each subgroup.

There are many ways to do this, but I would hit the big time rides in the morning before you split up to give you more flexibility later in the day. That includes Indiana Jones, Space, Matterhorn, and MFSR in Disneyland, and GotG, Webslingers, TSM, GRR, and Soarin’ in DCA (roughly in that order in each park respectively).

Also remember that it’s easy to hit a bunch of rides in the first hour the parks are open plus early entry, so make prudent use of that time. If you ride standby in the morning., you will be able to ride again using LL later in the day since you are allowed one LL per attraction.

Genie+ is really not much different from Fastpass at DLR at least, other than needing to pay. You should do fine!

Good luck!

1 Like

Jeff - I like your idea of saving the Lightning Lane passes for a second ride, if the standby lines aren’t too bad early on.
I’m feeling more confident the more I read…I just need to figure out who/what to trust for planning the order of attractions.
Your list (which looks solid) obviously comes from your experience, but…
The Touring Plan that this site put together for me showed Incredicoaster, then Soarin’, Monsters, Guardians, Luigi’s and so on.
The Unofficial Guide book recommends Radiator Springs, then Luigi’s, Mater’s Junkyard, Incredicoaster and so on.
If I do a plan on the Disneyland app, it will likely give me a whole different schedule.
Those differences are where my hesitation comes from.

1 Like

Are you getting Genie+ / Individual Lightning Lanes? There are reasons to do this order but in general I would say Incredicoaster and Soarin’ are second tier priority.

Radiator Springs is a good option during EE if you’re not buying ILL. You could also ride using Single Rider line.

We are buying Genie+, but would rather not buy individual Lightning Lanes - it depends on how desperate people in our party (7 people) want to go on a particular ride, I guess.
We’d rather do a schedule that lets us hits those attractions without paying for them.

1 Like

Ok then I would get in line for RSR after doing one attraction during Early Entry - probably Guardians or Webslingers. RSR opens with regular hours, not EE, but if you’re in the park for EE they will let you queue about 10 minutes before it opens, in front of day guests. (I assume you will have EE? If not that changes things.)

We do not have Early Entry. We will be going in with the masses. And need to make our plans based on that.

1 Like

With no EE and no ILL, the best options for RSR are single rider line, standby after dusk when it’s cooler, or hopping in line right before park close.

1 Like

To clarify, are you saying that to get onto ANY ride with an Individual Lightning Lane - if you don’t choose to pay and don’t want an endless line - to follow the tips you had above? That there’s no good time or way to get on as a group?
Is there value in trying to run to that ride right at rope drop? I mean SOME people get in with minimal wait right at opening, don’t they?


While normally running right at rope drop can be an advantage, at RSR specifically if you don’t have EE you’re at a very steep disadvantage (the EE crowd can move freely up to the ride queue entrance and most EE entrants do head there in the last 5 or so minutes). Add on top of that that 90%+ of the regular rope drop crowd also head there, it creates an extremely competitive situation.

Even those at the regular rope drop crowd that arrive to the back of the EE crowd will likely wait 30-40 min. and all during a time when all the other headliners can be done with extreme efficiency that you don’t get later in the day if you’re spending that golden time queueing for the one super-headliner.

You’ll be better off by far using rope drop to get on either Toy Story, Guardians or Webslingers thereby making your LL priorities a little easier to manage (and if you can snag an LL for all three then you’ll be able to ride some of those twice!).

If you’re not one to watch the nighttime spectaculars then during World of Color is a good time for RSR. If you do like the nighttime spectaculars I would probably put it at dusk after a full day of accomplishing all your other Genie+ priorities. And you could pay the ILL for it too if you really wanted to bypass the wait.

1 Like

Echoing what @lolabear_la said, after dusk when it’s cooler, during a nighttime spectacular, or close to park closing are your best bets for Radiator Springs Racers.

Rise of the Resistance had tolerable lines in the afternoon and evening, but keep in mind it closes before the rest of the park often.

Runaway Railway may have a tolerable standby wait — keep an eye on it. I found that riding it right after they reopen Toontown after fireworks was a good time, or generally after 10pm.

1 Like

I’m thinking that Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be a priority for some in our group, so if trying to hit that immediately isn’t an answer - and nothing else is either - we may have to give Mickey a few more bucks for an Individual Lightning Lane.

1 Like

Actually of the three ILL rides at DLR, Rise has the most reasonable lines outside of rope drop. Just don’t go between park open and about 11am. If the app says the wait is 60 minutes or less, I suggest you go for it. But if it’s never short enough for your liking, buy an ILL. They are usually available till like 4pm or so.

1 Like

DL has a quite a few non-LL attractions too that are great to hit up early/first if they are at all priorities: Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Finding Nemo Submarines, Alice in Wonderland, Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, Storybook Land Canal Boats and Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. In DCA Luigi’s & Mater’s in Carsland as well as some of the mid/lower tier pier rides (Fun Wheel mostly, but while you’re there and all of them a walk-on, you can knock them all out in one fell swoop).

1 Like