Route through Disneyland

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We often get asked about what route we take through Disneyland, so below is a typical route we take through Disneyland. It can depend on crowds for the day, but this is usually the case – keep in mind, our kids are ages 1 year – 5 years old, so we tend to stick to the no height requirement attractions.

We are early birds, so we like getting to parking 60-90 min before opening so we can be in the park at rope drop. Parking opens 60 min prior to official park opening time on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and 90 min before park opening on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Read on for our suggested route with young kids and further down the page for our suggested route for older kids and kids at heart!

Suggested Route for Young Kids

  • We always START in FANTASYLAND – we ride Peter Pan (depends on how long the wait is, but it’s usually never under 20-30 min), Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, Teacups, Casey Jr. Train, King Arthur Carrousel & it’s a small world (Fantasyland is also home to Snow White, Pinocchio & Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – usually have shorter waits).
  • Next up is TOONTOWN – opens 1 hour after the park opens. We like to arrive at opening to see the characters (1-3 at a time) greet guests at the gate when it opens – so fun! Our kids also get energy out exploring the character’s homes & we ride Gadget’s Go Coaster (35″ to ride).
  • Next, we head to TOMORROWLAND to ride Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters (no ht requirement) Autopia (32″ to ride) – also home to Finding Nemo, but we don’t usually go on that (claustrophobia…ha!).
  • After Tomorrowland, we make our way into FRONTIERLAND. There are no rides our kids can go on here (other than exploring the Mark Twain Riverboat), but we love to walk through or watch the Big Thunder Moutain Railroad train.
  • Next up is NEW ORLEANS SQUARE to ride Pirates of the Caribbean & sometimes Haunted Mansion (Haunted Mansion Holiday during Halloween & Christmas is less spooky for our kids).
  • After New Orleans Square, we head into CRITTER COUNTRY to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh & grab a treat at Pooh Corner).
  • Lastly, we make a stop in ADVENTURELAND to ride Jungle Cruise, explore Tarzan’s Treehouse & the Tiki Room show.

One thing that we sometimes do on extra crowded days is go into Adventureland earlier in the day. It can get extremely crowded through there! We also like to ride the train around the park, but it’s not running until this Summer 2017.

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Suggested Route for Thrill Seekers

If you’re heading to Disneyland with kiddos who are seeking to ride the thrilling attractions, or you yourself are planning on enjoying the “big kid” rides, we have some suggestions on where to start! This route can vary depending on what rides everyone in your group wants to do first, but these suggestions may help you decide what your plan of attack will be. This route is also based on arriving at or close to park opening!

Before reading on, you’ll definitely want to utilize Fast Passes during your visit – for more information on these special passes that will cut down your wait time significantly, click here.

  1. Start your day in Tomorrowland – grab a Fast Pass for Star Tours: The Adventure Continues (Fast Passes are distributed across the walkway from the ride, between Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters and Little Green Men Store Command). Once you’ve got your Fast Pass, walk straight to Space Mountain to ride standby (the line shouldn’t be more than 10-15 minutes at this point in the morning).
  2. After Space Mountain, you can either grab a bite to eat at Galactic Grill (serves breakfast) and wait for your Star Tours Fast Pass return time, or ride Autopia since you’re already in Tomorrowland waiting for your Fast Pass return time (return time shouldn’t be too far out from when you pull the Fast Pass, IF you pull the Fast Pass in the morning).
  3. After Tomorrowland, we suggest heading to Adventureland to grab a Fast Pass for Indiana Jones (once you’ve used your Star Tours Fast Pass). After you’ve got your Indiana Jones Fast Pass, walk down to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain – the standby line shouldn’t be too long if you’re at the ride by mid-morning. If the standby line does happen to be over 30 minutes, then check the Disneyland App for standby wait times for Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion or Splash Mountain. If the Big Thunder Mountain standby line is short, then go ahead and ride! Once you exit the ride, you might have time to get another attraction in before your Indiana Jones Fast Pass return time. If that’s the case, we suggest riding Pirates of the Caribbean since it’s close by. Keep in mind, Big Thunder Mountain DOES offer Fast Pass, so if standby wait time is too long, you can always get a Fast Pass after you’ve used your Indiana Jones Fast Pass.
  4. Splash Mountain and Haunted Mansion both offer Fast Pass, so once you’ve used your Indiana Jones Fast Pass (or Big Thunder Mountain Fast Pass), depending on standby wait times, try to grab a Fast Pass for one of the other two attractions if you haven’t already gone through their standby lines.
  5. After you’ve done everything you would like to do in Frontierland, Adventureland New Orleans Square and Critter Country, we suggest making your way over to Fantasyland to either get a Fast Pass for Matterhorn or ride standby. If you’re not currently holding any other Fast Pass by the time you get to the Matterhorn, then we suggest just grabbing a Fast Pass vs. waiting standby. While you’re waiting for your Matterhorn Fast Pass return time, you can head into Fantasyland to see what wait times are for the kiddo rides (hey, they’re fun for adults and teens, too)! Rides with typically shorter standby wait times include the Teacups, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, King Arthur Carrousel and it’s a small world.
  6. If you’re a fan of Toontown, you can always head into Toontown after Fantasyland to enjoy Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin or Gadget’s Go Coaster. Keep in mind, Toontown closes a few hours before official park closing time.

We hope this helps you plan your day! Of course, we can’t predict what every day at Disneyland is going to be like as far as crowd levels go, so this route may have to be adjusted based on wait times and the busyness of the park!