Strategy for December 24th - evening entry

Hello, I will be arriving at LAX at 2pm on the 24th of Dec. Want to get to hotel and into Disney ASAP! Question - is paying for the FP worth it that evening or should I wait until my next 2 days of touring DLR and DCA with park hopper? Which park to do on the 24th? Should I just go for regular FP or just look for low line rides? With my fam of 5, kids age 7,8 and 11. Interested in rides and holiday experiences!

I would anticipate that the parks will be packed. DCA will probably have fewer people. Yes to the Fast Passes. If you are only there for a couple of days, just get them, even for the half day. You will be glad that you have them. Some of the most popular rides might be out of them, but you will at least be able to get on some rides.

Agree that both parks will be packed to the gills, but I totally understand wanting to jump right into the parks! I would probably also head to DCA because it may not have less people exactly, but it will have more room for the people inside to occupy meaning you feel less squashed. I would focus on holiday entertainment (Viva Navidad, Toy drummers, Bunea Vista St bell ringers, Christmas tree lighting, etc.) and get what FPs you can (you can still get FPs for free by going to the physical kiosk, but can also pay $10/person/day to book FPs from your phone on the Disneyland App). And in between enjoy more atmosphere/walkthrough attractions- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, Animation Academy, Turtle Talk with Crush, Blue Sky Cellar Preview Center).

As for purchasing Maxpass: when you arrive, I would check to see what FPs are available before purchasing MaxPass. To this for free on the app go to the map & ensure Attractions are showing. Then click Show List > Filter > scroll down to Interests > click FASTPASS > Apply. This will give you a list of attractions that have FP & their wait times. Click on each attraction to see what FPs are left (a little manual, but at least gives you an idea of what would be available for you if you were to purchase MaxPass). Since you can’t start getting them until you scan into the park, I worry that on such a busy day by the time you get there, the availability will be low. If that’s the case, save the $$$ & enjoy an entertainment & walk-through/high capacity attraction kind of day.

My guess on FP availability for the time of day & how busy I expect it will be...
  • Racers & Guardians: long gone

  • Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion Holiday: most likely gone

  • Indiana Jones, Toy Story & Soarin’ near to gone (meaning you could pick one to FP, but the others would be likely to run out by the time your window opens to grab the next).

  • Big Thunder, Matterhorn & possibly Star Tours & Roger Rabbit’s & it’s a small world: slim pickins (They might even be in the same boat as the line above, but if they aren’t you could still only get 1 or 2 of these before they are out for the day)

  • Leaves you with: Splash, Incredicoaster, Grizzly River Run, Goofy’s Sky School, Buzz Lightyear (and even then I could see Splash & Incredicoaster being in the slim pickins - Splash if available would be for after dark).