Three castle parks in three years


Hello everybody,
i´m back. Remeber me (Help-Needed , Trip Report). Mathias from germany here.

My DD is currently in Austin, TX as an exchange student until June this year.
Now my family and I are planning an early summer vacation to pick her up from her lovely host family. Of course we want to spend some holidays in the US.

Since we spent 4 weeks in the east of the country in 2017, we now want to get to know the west.
So it was obvious to consider DL within our plan.
BUT, we´ll only have two weeks for San Francisco, Monterey, Highway #1, L.A., Anaheim, San Diego, Las Vegas, Sequoia, & Yosemite.

Nevertheless, i´m working on a self-imposed challenge “Three castle parks in three years”.
We went to WDW in 2017, Disneyland Paris last year and now plan to visit DL in early june.

Currently the plan is to spend 2 nights in Anaheim. However, the arrival will be late from L.A. and departure early towards San Diego. That means it will probably only give a full day in the parks. As a , neighborhood hotel, we have currently opted for the “best western plus stovall’s inn”.

As a basis for the personalized touringplan I use the “two parks in one day plan” from the book “Unofficial guide to DL 2019”

Following thoughts/questions:

  • The touringplan indicates that you should not go to DCA on an early morning.
    On the scheduled day (06/07/2019), however, is an early morning in DCA.
    We are not flexible at all regarding the days, due to our tight schedule.

  • What will happen, if Star Wars Land is open? Cancel everything because of the crowds.

  • Any general touring tips for two parks in one day? Remember, we already know most of the signature rides from two castle parks. I plan to visit every unique headliner in DL/DCA first thing.

  • Am i totally crazy to to it the worst possible way in your opinion?

Happy to discuss with you!


Congratulations on such a wonderful summer of travel! So, here are a few thoughts from me:

  1. If SWGE is already open, then DCA may be wonderfully quiet, despite the Extra Magic Hour. OR, be one of those families first in DL and spend some quality morning time in SWGE with 20,000 of your closest friends. You can’t get more unique for Disney than SWGE this summer.

  2. If SWGE isn’t open yet (and June 7 means it may not be), try to get a FP for your “must-do” DCA choice as soon as you get inside. Are you purchasing MaxPass? I’d highly recommend it since your time is so precious. I know it’s not cheap, though. And June 7 is still very early in the summer, so I don’t think that crowds will be that bad at DCA, despite the Extra Magic Hour.

Good luck!


I think you are safe as far as SWGE. Based on the blockout calendar, they are not anticipating it to open until the end of June, beginning of July.

One day in the parks won’t get you everything, but you will get a very nice taste! I would focus on DLR Anaheim exclusive shows/rides and then add other items as time allows.

Because DCA ee is exclusive to resort guest, it will not impact you very much. It is not guaranteed, but on occasion, going to DCA can be advantageous, as you can get on soaring 30 minutes early depending on on how they have configured the rope drop.

I agree with @calyptephile, if at all possible, get MaxPass. Even at $15 per person, it is still a bargain and will ensure that you get the most out of your one day. Starting at DCA, my first FP I would pull is Radiator Springs Racers. It is usually the first FP to go in both parks (at least it is until SWGE opens).


Welcome back to the TP forum universe & welcome to the laid-back West!

You have quite the itinerary outside of Disney! I know you may have some awesome things planned in San Diego but as wonderful as San Diego is, I would always vote for another (even half day) at Disneyland over anything in San Diego. But I understand that your itinerary may not be flexible, so with that in mind, I’ve linked below a previous response I made to another poster asking for must-do’s with limited time in Disneyland. Your time may be even further limited, but at maybe the below will allow you to prioritize on what’s in the touring plan.

And without further ado, here is my 2 cents on the matter: Must-Do’s Unique to Disneyland Resort


First of all - thank you for the warm welcome on the westside.
Happy to discuss with all you liners again. love it.

I already considered maxpass as a no-brainer. We are big fans of the photo-pass option. So, i would have bought it just for that benefit. The System in DL Paris in 2018 is quite similar to DLR, but you have to go to the fastpass Kiosk at the rides. Since I was initially very spoiled from wdw, I was pleasantly surprised how well the system works. Not having to run to each attraction in advance with maxpass, sounds like a big advantage.


As DCA “must-do´s” i plan:

1.) Radiator Springs (so excited, as we missed test track in epcot/wdw)

2.) Soaring (missed in epcot as well)
3.) Guardians of the galaxy (much better than Tower of Terror?)
4.) Incredicoaster (we love rollercoaster)
5.) Monsters Inc. (worth it?)

6.) Are there more “must-dos”?

can you please explain this, i don´t really understand.

As (unique) DL “must-do´s” i plan:

1.) Indiana Jones

2.) Enchanted Tiki Room (missed it so far)
3.) Pirates of the caribbean (best version?)
4.) Matterhorn

5.) what else?

The plan is to stay in DCA until 12pm and go to DL until after the fireworks.
BTW is it possible to see fantasmic AND the fireworks?


Wow, thank you. That was indeed helpful.


Have you read up on MaxPass? I would unequivocally recommend this, especially with your tight schedule. It was worth every penny. Set an alarm on your phone for every 90 minutes to be sure you are maximizing pulling the passes.

We were there this past June and it was the trip of a lifetime. I love, love, loved DCA. I agree with your Must Do list, though Monsters, Inc. and Tiki Room would be comfortably stricken off my list if necessary.

You can manage Fantasmic and Fireworks. I did it last June. Get a FP for Fantasmic (these are not linked to other FP) and just as they are finishing get off your bottom and start moving intentionally to main street. For these fireworks standing in the midst of Main Street is actually a GREAT spot as they have projections on the building. It was phenomenal last year. As you approach Main Street if/when CM try to usher you into the back-stage route out of the park politely insist you are not leaving and they will wave you to the street. This is my experience anyway.


Thank you for this insights. And yes, Maxpass is a no-brainer for me.


There is a chance (not guaranteed), that once you tap into DCA during an ee (early entry for resort guests only), that Soaring will not be roped off to non-ee guests. If this is the case, you would be allowed to get into line for soaring up to 30 minutes before the park opens.


Best is in Paris, if you ask me. But Disneyland is a strong #2, IMO.


If they are doing 2 showings of Fantasmic, I strongly recommend that you do Fireworks first, and then go to Fantasmic showing #2.

If they are only doing one showing of Fantasmic, then follow @qwerty6’s plan.


A few notes on Fireworks, Fantasmic and their logistics for one day:

This year it will be a a new show- Mickey’s Mix Magic- that is being touted as a projections & laser light show with fireworks only on select nights. The first show ever will play tonight so I don’t have any comparison to offer for where I would rank it.

With you going on a Friday in June it will probably include fireworks, but just note they may not include fireworks every day with this new show and that may include the 1 night you are there. Disney is also being super coy about informing which nights will include fireworks & which ones won’t but the general consensus is that the shows scheduled for 9:30 on weekend nights (Fri-Sun) will include them (unless there are winds that prevent the fireworks from being sent off) and then the weeknight shows scheduled at 6:30, 7:30 or any earlier time will not have fireworks & be the music, lasers & projections.

I second @MouseGirl42’s suggestion for how to see both Fantasmic and Fireworks with 2 showings. If in budget, consider a dining package for Fantasmic. The primo package for Blue Bayou gets you a meal in the beautiful restaurant that is inside the start of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and is considered one of the only must-do sit down dining experiences at Disneyland, mostly for the ambiance but the food is also quite enjoyable (just no alcohol to pair with the great offerings unfortunately). Also worth mentioning, for the 2nd showing of Fantasmic they will usually combine all 3 dining packages into 1 section & the far less expensive Hungry Bear On-the-Go package gets the same section & view. The Hungry Bear is a great option & not only saves money, but also saves bunches of time being a quick-service/counter-sevice vs. a sit-down table-service meal like Blue Bayou, so something to consider.

If only 1 Fantasmic show, note that for the plan to make it from Fantasmic seating to Main St is a very tight timeline (7 min from the end of Fantasmic to the start of fireworks) with crowds of people also heading the same direction with you & it has usually been my experience that fireworks are starting before getting into position on Main St. If you are a small/mobile group you may have success but be sure you know exactly where you want to go & note that CMs will most likely route you through to Adventureland to get out to the hub & the walkway that connects Frontierland to Adventureland is one of the most narrow walkways of the narrow walkways of Disneyland so you’ll want to make sure you book it from the Fantasmic show to fireworks to avoid being walled in a human traffic jam at this point with the fireworks starting as you are attempting to exit Adventureland or find a position in Main St.


With DCA I think you’ve hit all of my must-do’s! (Though I must admit I have a very jaded opinion about the newer version of Soarin compared to the old & so it doesn’t make my must-do list, but if you’ve never seen a previous version, definitely do it, it’s usually a much easier FP to obtain at DCA vs. Epcot at WDW!)

In my opinion, Monsters Inc is worth if a 15 min or less wait. Sometimes they will also have open the “Buddy Pass” line which is for groups of 2 to go up the exit to help the ride more efficiently load. If you will be a group of 2 or don’t mind splitting up your party into groups of 2, this is a great way to bypass a lot of the wait. The queue does have some light theming that you would miss entirely doing the Buddy Pass but nothing that I would consider a must-see prior to the ride.

As for Disneyland must-do’s:

The Fantasyland dark rides! I love them & they often have short queues (save for Peter Pan) the first & last hours of the park so I would absolutely include them at either end of my day. Snow White’s & Pinocchio’s are more C attractions & very short so I would skip those first if running out of time, but Alice & Mr. Toad’s are definitely B attractions that are quite wonderful so I wouldn’t miss those 2 at the very least.

If you are a fan of Roger Rabbit in any way shape or form, Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon spin in Toontown is also a must-do. And even if you aren’t a huge fan, it’s a mix of a dark ride on a teacup (it spins & has a wheel to aid you in spinning even more through the ride, or you can counter-spin it to keep you straight on if spinning isn’t your cup of tea).

I would also add Space Mtn and Big Thunder to your must do’s. Especially if Space has the Star Wars Hyperspace Mtn overlay when you are there.


I knew why I started a new topic here. THANK You all for the great hints.


This sounds nice if you are lucky


We had this in Disneyland Paris. It is great and in Paris now the normal layout


In Paris it was indeed better than WDW. So only if time allows


OK, this is a good idea. Roger Rabbit it is at least. And everything with short waits


The most recent reports are that you have to show an onsite room key to enter the Soarin queue during early entry, but I’ve only seen one report so it may be that this isn’t every morning!