Experience More at Disneyland: Use Your Time Wisely and See All the Magic!

More important than what date to visit Disneyland is what time to visit Disneyland. Disneyland opens at 8am most days, you should be at the gate at least 30 minutes prior to open- if not an hour early on busier days of the year. This will allow you to be at the parks for ‘rope drop' where you can be first in line at the ‘ropes' blocking off each entrance to the lands. If you are present for rope drop, you can walk right on your favorite rides.

The best way to get a lot done in Disneyland is to get there in the morning EARLY and power through as many attractions as you can. Most times you will be able to get more attractions done the first two hours of the morning than you will the rest of the day combined. You can easily ride everything popular in the mornings and spend the afternoons enjoying entertainment and dining.

That is the secret…..so follow it and check the operating hours of Disneyland on the official Disneyland website.

Magic Morning at Disneyland

If you have a three day or more park ticket, ticket with “bonus” status, or CityPass Ticket, you also get a Magic Morning ticket that allows for you to enter Disneyland park an hour before it’s official opening.

Magic Morning is available on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.

The attractions included in Magic Morning are mostly in Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. Magic Morning is the perfect time to knock out all of Fantasyland or to ride Space Mountain or Star Tours many times. I have experienced times in the past where I have just stayed on attractions during Magic Morning more than five times in a row.

Be sure to show up to the entrance to Disneyland about an hour and fifteen minutes before the official opening time.

If you are a Disneyland Resort hotel guest then you also have access to Disney California Adventure an hour before opening on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The other secret is that if you book through a Disneyland certified travel agent you will have access to lots of special perks including Magic Morning and more… Request a quote from our recommended travel agent.

Don't forget to check out our touring plan strategy for Magic Mornings and Early Magic Hour.

Disneyland Books to Make the Lines Go By Faster

While you are waiting in line at Disneyland often times people need things to do. Especially if you hit a long long line, which you undoubtedly will.

disneyland secrets book photoWe love both of these books that help us to pass the time as we wait in Disneyland's lines.

My personal favorite book is Steven Barrett's Guide to Disneyland's Hidden Mickeys. Inside of the book you will find information on the camouflaged images of the Mickey Mouse the Walt Disney Imagineers hid throughout Disneyland as they were building it. (Great read!) Purchase it here.

Also checkout Lots to Do in Line: Disneyland Edition, which provides activities for everyone to do in each specific line. The goal of the book is to keep everyone in the group interested while pointing our the specific details of the different parts of the park. Purchase the book here.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention my own book: Disneyland Secrets: A Grand Tour of Disneyland's Hidden Details. The book features stories and secrets from each land of the resort. You will learn fun facts and history that will help you appreciate the parks even more and enhance the magic. You can find the book on Amazon.  Purchase the book here>

(If you are Disney fan and want more recommendations, check out my full Disney fan library book list.)

Disneyland Apps to Avoid Lines

Disneyland has launched their own mobile app that provides wait times, browse park maps, and locate characters in the park.

This app is now a necessary addition for planning out your day in the park. It makes it easy to check the official wait time for an attraction all the way across the park from you. This is also the most accurate source for information on where to find characters at Disneyland.

You can also purchase your tickets through the app, however they are at full price. Click here to see our Disneyland ticket discounts>

How to Bring MickeyVisit.com On Your Trip

Did you know that you can access this site during your Disneyland vacation? MickeyVisit.com works on all smartphones (iPhone, Blackberry, Android…) making it easy for you to access information about events happening at the parks, dining reviews, and tips about touring the parks.

The site works wonderfully if you can access the internet on your phone. Be sure to use MickeyVisit.com in the parks.

Perhaps the easiest way to bring us on along on your trip is to add us to your phone's home screen.

Cutting the Lines Legally

Every once in awhile, a teenager or other park guest will attempt to cut the lines and hop onto the attraction in front of you, this is obviously not allowed. But, there are a three ‘legal’ ways to jump the line and save a ton of time while doing so.

Disney's FastPass

The Disneyland FastPass system is essentially a way to reserve access to shorter lines for Disneyland's most popular attractions. This service is free of charge and only requires your ticket.

I have quite a few Disneyland FastPass tips that will help you to maximize your time while avoiding as many lines in the park as possible. Read our full Disneyland FastPass guide>

Using Official Disneyland Social Accounts

Also be sure to checkout the official Disneyland and Disney California Adventure social accounts designed to help guests in the parks. These accounts give out information and are a direct link to Disneyland Guest Relations. Ask them a question and they will quickly respond.

These social accounts can be very useful–find more information regarding them here.

Using SingleRider Pass 

What is SingleRider?

Single Rider is basically a way to jump the lines of the best attractions at Disneyland. Your party is split up and put into individual ride cars for the attraction. This is the only downside to using the SingleRider line.

Why was it created?

Disney created the single rider line in order to make sure that every time they sent a ride vehicle into an attraction, it would have every seat filled. Because people often go to Disneyland in large groups, the numbers don’t always match the amount of people that fit into a ride vehicle. Therefore, Disneyland would fill up the ride vehicles with extra people or single riders that have are in the single rider line.

How to Use it?

Meet the Cast Member at the front of the attraction entrance and request to use SingleRider for the attraction. They will more times than not walk you over to the exit of the attraction or gesture to the SingleRider entrance. They’ll give each person a card then you walk to be seated on the attraction.

SingleRider is offered here:

Disneyland Park

  • Splash Mountain (Suggested-almost walk on)
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye (Suggested-Walk On)

Disney California Adventure

  • Incredicoaster (Suggested-Sometimes the wait is long. If the wait for the attraction is under 15 minutes, just get in line.)
  • Grizzly River Run (Highly Suggested On a Hot Day- The line for this attraction is very long on hot summer days.)
  • Goofy’s Sky School (Regular line isn’t usually that long.)
  • Radiator Springs Racers (Highly Suggested-This Line is SOOOO Long Without a Single Rider pass. Even with a Single Rider pass it can take upwards of forty minutes.)

The Soarin' Over California Disneyland Single Rider pass was removed when the attraction was switched over to Soarin' Over the World.

Using the VIP Disneyland Tour Guides

The Disneyland VIP Tour Guides are an expensive service that completely changes the Disneyland planning process for the better. It relieves all stress by employing a Disneyland Cast Member to help you plan your vacation and escort you throughout your time at the resort. If you think that you would be interested in using the Disneyland VIP Tour Guide, see our full review on what to expect and what they include.

Even if you don't plan on using the VIP Tour Guides, it is pretty fun to dream about the amazing service they provide.

More Disneyland Tips and Information

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Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

2 comments add yours

  1. Just visited the parks yesterday (10/05/2018). We got a Fast Pass for Space Mountain (so much better with the Halloween theme!). We exited the ride and noticed a “single rider” sign next to the area where the ride photos are displayed. We were back on for a second ride in 5 minutes! So disappointed we wasted a Fast Pass. It isn’t posted anywhere that there is a single rider option for this ride. We just stumbled upon it on our way out the exit.

  2. Love your sight…will be my “go to” from now on. Do you know where or who has crowd index calendars for previous dates, years?

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