Having been to both Hong Kong Disneyland and Paris Disneyland, we had to visit the original Disneyland Park – the one that started it all, during our trip to Los Angeles. This Disneyland Park sure did not disappoint as this theme park included many award-winning attractions not yet found in the other Disneylands e.g. Star Tours – The Adventure Continues and included attractions/sights that were “Uniquely American” e.g. the beautiful New Orleans Square.
However, as with every other Disneylands, the main concern we had was crowds and how we do get the most of our day in Disneyland without spending too much time queuing and yet experiencing as many attractions/rides as possible. Surprisingly we were able to do just that during our trip to Anaheim Los Angeles Disneyland! I will be sharing a few tips to help you plan your visit – sort of a quick survival guide for any Disneyland visitor.
Tip 1: Buy your Disneyland Entrance Tickets Online and Take the Disney Monorail into the Park from Downtown Disney
First of all, before you step into the park, you will already met the Queue Monster! – not the monsters from Monsters Inc. but 2 long queues to buy tickets and to get into the park. Save some time by buying your tickets online – you get them for the same price without the agony of long queues. You have to print the voucher – make sure you print the right ones; Disneyland will send you a couple of emails – one of which will have the voucher as an attachment (to exchange for Disneyland entrance ticket when you are at the park entrance).
Unless you have purchased a Disneyland hotel package which entitles you to Magic Mornings – exclusive admission to the park one hour before the rest can, I strongly suggest that you take the Disney monorail from Downtown Disney where you can exchange your printed voucher for the Disneyland entrance ticket. The ride goes straight into Disneyland Park Tomorrowland where you can disembark and start the fun (skipping the long queues to get into the park and the long walk down Main Street to reach one of the “Lands”!
Tip 2: Planning Your Day in Disneyland in Advance
If you have only one day in Disneyland like us, it is useful to know what you want to see and do in Disneyland and know where these places are so you can plan for your Fastpasses (see more tips in our next part of the survival guide to Disneyland) and know where will you likely be stopping for lunch and dinner. Without some basic planning, you might miss some fun events e.g. the Mickey’s Soundsational Parade and activities e.g taking pictures with your favorite Disney characters.
Tip 3: Check out Award-Winning Attractions -> Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is one of the most unique attractions in Los Angeles Anaheim Disneyland – providing for an alternative underwater experience – very different from what you see in other Disneyland attractions. Definitely a must-try in my opinion. Best thing is it is right beside the Disney monorail station so you can hop onto it (after you get past the queue of course) first thing.
You get great views of corals, fossils and even Nemo and Mickey underwater! This might not be for the claustrophobic as the spaces are quite small and the effects of the submarine diving is quite real!
For a quick preview of what it is like in the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage submarine, see the video below:
Tip 4: If You Intend to Check Out Tomorrowland Attractions, Do So in the Morning – Avoid Afternoon & Evenings as They will be Very Crowded!
At Tomorrowland, you must check out the Star Wars – The Adventures Continue (in 3D)! Go early as queues in the afternoon and evenings are very very long. This could be because of Tomorrowland’s location – being nearest to Main Street (where the most of the crowds tend to come in during late morning) and being nearest to the Monorail station (where most of the crowd will check out their last attractions in the evening before leaving the park)
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters is a fun attraction to check out – here you can compete with your friends to shoot down aliens/monsters and also get a souvenir picture of you shooting the aliens sent to your email address (when other attractions would require you to pay for the picture)! You will see that I am too busy shooting with my camera instead of the “gun” provided but still a commendable score!
Tip 5: One of the Best Computer-Generated (C-G) Animations and Interesting Ride in the Park = Haunted Mansion
Expect lots of surprises in the Haunted Mansion – shall not say more spoilers; just experience the whole Haunted Mansion and you will know why I would strongly recommend this!
Tip 6: Enjoy a Lunch Break at the Golden Horseshoe with Affordable Food & Fun Performances
After a half-day of fun at Disneyland, you should take a break and where best to rest than to be at The Golden Horseshoe right at the boundary between Frontierland and Adventureland. Here you get free and fun live performances with filling and affordable food. Check your Disneyland brochures for timings of performances so you can plan your day and when to insert lunch in your schedule. There are multiple performances daily and each of these performances are different – we met people who hold annual passes or multi-day passes and seat themselves in the Golden Horseshoe theatre whole day just to catch all the different performances!
The food on offer includes “The Main Show” Chicken Breast Nuggets (USD $8.49) and Fish & Chips (USD $9.49) – both are served with sliced apples or fries and one dipping sauce (from selection of ranch, honey mustard, BBQ or hot buffalo sauce). Order your lunch in the main theatre (just walk into the Golden Horseshoe and you won’t miss it). There are long queues for the same food outside and if you arrive about thirty minutes before any of the performance in Golden Horseshoe, usually you won’t find any queues inside the theatre!
Get your food and enjoy your well-deserved rest and lunch as you wait for the performances. The performers will “arrow” or “volunteer” some members of the audience to come on stage to be part of their performances so good luck to you!
For the next part on our quick survival guide to key attractions in Los Angeles Anaheim Disneyland, we will share more tips e.g. using your Fastpass effectively and where you get to take a picture with the star of Disneyland – Mickey Mouse (with minimal queuing)!
For flights to the States, you can consider CheapTickets.sg multi-stop trip functionality which effectively serve as a one-stop for us in planning our flights from Singapore to Los Angeles and internal flights to Las Vegas and finally from San Francisco back to Singapore. Please click on link for our USA West Coast trip itinerary.