Three castle parks in three years


We had that at wdw as a character diner in H&W. It was perfect. I already considered it for DL. Hard choice between “to go” and “inside of PotC”.


You can’t go wrong with either one too. If you don’t think you’ll ever be back, I think doing the Blue Bayou package will be well worth it. You can know what you want off the menu & do your best to keep the experience to 60 min. & be back out to enjoy all the rest of your must-do’s that Disneyland has to offer.


I agree! We did the Blue Bayou/Fantasmic dinner deal last summer and it really made for not only a delicious, special meal (Blue Bayou restaurant is inside the Pirates ride) but we were given some nice cushions for Fantasmic later that night (you’re sitting on cement!). The reserved Fantasmic area is quite close to the water, actually next to the railing. Super fun to see the show up close with no one in front of us! And you can stay seated for the fireworks immediately afterward, although you don’t see the castle itself. We didn’t mind that as the fireworks view was quite spectacular.


Thank you both. I guess the “to go” package is a good idea. So, if there is only one show of Fantasmic, we can stay seated, if there are two shows, we would watch the fireworks and than experience the second Fantasmic show. This way we are the most flexible.

For the arriving day, I plan a character diner at goofy’s kitchen, because you won’t need park entrance tickets for that. Maybe a character breakfast before departure. Which one would you recommend?

In the end, with the rest of our trip, budget will be an issue…


Actually there will be an announcement asking you to please stand during the fireworks, but you just stand in the same spot as you were for the show. Also for the to go area, I have heard on occasion (if it is crowded, they may have you stand during Fantasmic as well, but I don’t think that is very often).


When did they start the “must stand” policy during fireworks? They didn’t do this when we went last summer.


It was in place when we were there on July 15 and I have heard numerous reports that it is the protocol. Whether they always enforce it, I am not sure.


Thanks - it seems odd that it’s not always done, but perhaps it is a CM judgement call? Either way, it’s still a cool way to see the fireworks. I can’t believe there’s enough time after Fantasmic to get over to the hub and find a good spot (and of course, everyone will just let you in! :joy: ) before fireworks start.


In June we just stood in the street. I love how you don’t have to camp out there like at WDW.


It’s been many years since I tried to stand with my family in the hub area, but as I recall, it was quite the challenge. However, I believe that trip was over July 4. And of course, you’re right - so many things that require so much advance planning at WDW just aren’t a thing at DL. I still am amazed at the fact that Pirates doesn’t even have a FP - we just walked right on last summer several times throughout the day.


In November we got a great spot on Main Street 15 minutes before the fireworks.


After a Little Basic planning/thinking i have the following first draft of a optimized, personal TP:

Arrival from L.A. during late afternoon
Check-In “Best Western plus Pavilions”
Walk through “Downtown Disney”

Character Diner at "Goofy´s Kitchen"

Touringplan DCA - 09:00AM - 12:30 PM

  1. Radiator Springs Racers (Arrival 09:08 AM - Wait 18)

  2. Obtain FASTPASS for Incredicoaster using MaxPass

  3. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! (Arrival 09:35 AM - Wait 25)

  4. Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! (Arrival 10:08 AM - Wait 4)

  5. Soarin’ Around the World (Arrival 10:22 AM - Wait 27)

  6. Incredicoaster (FP) (Arrival 11:03 AM - Wait 14)

  7. Flo’s V8 Cafe for lunch (11:30 AM - Duration 45)

Touringplan Disneyland - 12:30AM - 10:00 PM

  1. Obtain FASTPASS for Matterhorn Bobsleds using MaxPass

  2. Pinocchio’s Daring Journey (Arrival 12:33 PM - Wait 11)

  3. Alice in Wonderland (Arrival 12:49 PM - Wait 27)

  4. Space Mountain (Arrival 1:25 PM - Wait 34)

  5. Obtain FASTPASS for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad using MaxPass

  6. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (Arrival 2:11 PM - Wait 27)

  7. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (Arrival 2:55 PM - Wait 9)

  8. Jungle Cruise (Arrival 3:20PM - Wait 20)

  9. Obtain FASTPASS for Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin using MaxPass

  10. Indiana Jones Adventure (Arrival 3:49 PM - Wait 33)

  11. Big Thunder Mountain (FP) (Arrival 4:34 PM - Wait 5)

  12. Matterhorn Bobsleds (FP) (Arrival 4:48 PM - Wait 9)

  13. Snow White’s Scary Adventures (Arrival 5:03 PM - Wait 19)

  14. Obtain FASTPASS for Haunted Mansion using MaxPass

  15. Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin (FP) (Arrival 5:29 PM - Wait 5)

  16. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (Arrival 5:42 PM - Wait 19)

  17. Hungry Bear Restaurant - ADR for Fantasmic! “to go” Package (06:30 PM - Duration 45)

  18. Haunted Mansion (FP) (Arrival 7:02 PM - Wait 5)

  19. Fantasmic! (9:00pm, 10:30pm)

  20. Remember…Dreams Come True Fireworks (Showtime: 9:30pm)
    (Or 19/20 the other way around - possibly another fireworks show)

Character breakfast (maybe - which one?!?)
Early departure to San Diego
Visit “USS Midway”


Following questions:

  • I am not happy with the fastpass suggestions. Should i build the TP manually without optimizing?
    So i would get only the FPs for rides that are must haves for us?

  • In general there is lot of filling material, which we can skip, as lines are longer than 30 minutes.
    As mentioned, we have a few unique must dos and all the other are nice-to-have.
    Should i consider that during building the personalized TP?

  • Which character breakfast on departure day you would recommend?

  • Other opinions regarding the TP?

Love to hear from you.

Regards, Mathias


A few things to note about DLR, it is a very unique park, in that it is annual pass driven. Locals can change the CLs on a dime. If a CL was expected to high, but then inclement weather comes in, then the CLs could end up being very low. Also on the contrary, if CLs were expected to low and someone shares that a celebrity is there or it turns into a really nice day, then the pass holders could be be there in droves and drive up the CLs. Also, because there are not as many people who populate the data as WDW, the TP at DLR tend to not be as accurate as WDW. I personally always create a plan and follow it in the mornings, but then let Maxpass take over and guide to what to do next.

One option that may be (if you want to spend the time) is in the late afternoon when you arrive, go see a DVC presentation (you can book before your visit) and by watching that, you could get a few any time fps per person (you can ask what the current promotion is) and be ahead of the game the next day. The presentation is at the DLH and you could go to your dinner reservation after at Goofy’s Kitchen. DTD is not that impressive to me personally. I would enjoy walking through the lobbies of the different towers at DLH instead or getting a drink at Trader Sam’s.

If you start in DCA, then I recommend doing the Gabe 2.0. The Gabe was created by a Liner and has been shared and has evolved through Maxpass. "The Gabe” is- TSM x 2 to IC x2 to Gotg x 2 and RSR MP. while waiting for RSR do Soarin and GRR. If you want to save time, don’t do them twice.

For the departure day Character breakfast, I would pick Story Tellers Cafe.


Agree with @carthy15 on her recommendations to spend your time both on arrival day and on Storyteller’s as a leaving brunch. The only Downtown Disney store we typically spend any amounts of time is World of Disney and even then it’s typically only to consolidate our shopping as most of what can be found there is located within the parks, just not in one stop as it is at World of Disney.
I also happen to agree with her on the advice to let Maxpass be your guide for the afternoons. Keep a list of attractions that you’d like to Maxpass (either in a touring plan or in a list/note app on your phone) and as you get to your next window to select a Fastpass on your phone reference your list.

With the attractions you have in DCA I would definitely either chose Guardians or Racers as your first one to rope drop (and not having to use a FP for). While I LOOVE the Gabe 2.0, it makes sense if you also have both TSMM and Incredicoaster on your must-do’s. Since you only have Incredicoaster & it has short return windows/low waits in the mornings vs. the other attractions on your list, it makes sense to go to 1 of the other 2 first. If when you scan into the parks the Racers FP is available to be booked within 40 min of park opening time, then I would grab Racers as your first FP & hit Guardians at rope drop (and Monsters right after it), then grab Incredicoaster 2nd as soon as the Racers FP window opens, ride Racers using that 1st FP. If the return window for Incredicoaster is within 10 min of finishing Racers, head there & if Soarin FP is not very far out, grab it next. Fill in any time between these last few steps with exploring/getting photos of Carsland or if the waits for Luigi’s and Mater’s aren’t long, you can also ride those attractions as they are uniquely themed.

If, when you scan into the park, the Racers FP is going out more than 40 min then follow the plan’s recommendation to get an Incredicoaster FP first, but I would grab it while waiting for rope drop, not after riding Racers as the plan suggests. At rope drop head to Racers and ride, keeping an eye on when you can pull your next FP (it’s possible it will be before the plan anticipates) and pull that FP next for Guardians and/or Soarin whichever timing fits best & standby the other.

As for your lunch at Flo’s plan, while the theming is awesome, the food to me is so-so compared to most all of the other food available throughout Disneyland Resort. A lot of times, we will take food we purchase elsewhere in DCA to Flo’s & eat it there. Our favorites in DCA: are Corndog Castle, Ghiradelli’s (ice cream totally counts as a meal in a theme park), the Cone Queso or Mac n Cheese Cones at the Cozy Cones nearby in Carsland, Pacific Wharf Cafe bread bowls and bread pudding. Because you are doing lunch right in between your park hops consider eating at Plaza Inn or Bengal BBQ in Disneyland, our favorites on that side. Make sure that you are grabbing your first fastpass for Disneyland once you’ve gotten passes for everything you’ll be getting in DCA (i.e. if you get a FP for Guardians & wait in standby for Soarin, then as soon as your window opens up after pulling Guardians, book your first Disneyland FP- if Indy or Space Mountain are within 60-90 min, definitely snatch up one of those first, if not, then Matterhorn as the plan recommends is a good one).

Any other questions you have, ask away!


I heard about this option, but i thought it is always one fp per person. I don´t think my famaly would be happy to spend the short free time during a, for us, useless promotion. If you get “a few” it could be worthwhile for me.
I will think about it. The presentations are approx. 1,5 hours?

This sounds interesting for the morning in DCA. If we do it that way, i would prefer only to ride once and than check out the rest of DCA, if there is any time left. Thank you.


Thank you. I have to work through your ride and meal suggestions.
I know it is no nuclear physics, but i want to do everything right.

I’ve been thinking about it for a long time, before we went to DLP.
In the end touring DLP was really easy and relaxing.

In WDW we really enjoyed Downtown Disney as an appetizer for the parks.
In DLP it was a short pleasure. I guess in DLR it will be something in between.


I did it over the summer and got 3 or 4 per person. My memory escapes me right now. You can check what the offer is currently right before your trip.


I also seem to remember it being multiple per person and my memory seems to think that recent reports have been 4 per person in your party, but only those who could act on making a financial decision would need to be present (i.e. kids are not required to attend and can explore, shop, swim at their leisure). Also I have heard it is a very soft sales presentation so there is no pressure involved, like other timeshare presentations would be.

I haven’t ever done the tour myself, but if you have the time on arrival day, then it seems a very easy way to ease the burden of doing everything you want in one day. But I also understand if you’d rather just spend the time together relaxing.


4 FP per person are really not to be despised. I’m seriously considering participating in the promotion. But that I can decide that spontaneously. 4 fp plus maxpass is really an enormous touring Advantage.

Thanks for the hint.