Disneyland & DCA in one day!

jonnyc

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hi everyone,

I've spur of the moment booked a trip to drive Route 66 in September, and at the end of the trip I've got a couple of days in Santa Monica.

After realising where I was going to be, I had the light-bulb idea that I could dedicate a day to visiting Disneyland!

My question for you guys is: Is it possible to do Disneyland and DCA in one day? I'm of course not expecting to do absolutely every attraction or properly explore the parks, but just get in the highlights.

What do you guys recommend?
 

Cosmic Commando

Well-Known Member
Are you driving all the way from Chicago? Definitely let us know how that part of the trip goes!

Here's my top picks:

1. Radiator Springs Racers
2. Indy
3. Pirates
4. Haunted Mansion Holiday (will open middle of September)
5. World of Color
6. Space Mountain
7. California Screamin'
8. BTMRR

That should be do-able on most any day, depending on your party size. Fill in from there, and you'll have a great day. Remember, the day of the week makes a big difference crowd-wise at DL. Honorable mentions for me go to the DL Railroad and the Aladdin show. They both have a lot going for them that you won't find at WDW.
 

RMichael21

Well-Known Member
Try to hit at least one of the FL classic dark rides. My votes go to Peter Pan, Mr. Toad or Alice. Mr. Toad and Alice aren't at WDW and Peter Pan is so much better. Beware, Peter Pan get VERY VERY crowded in the first 30 minutes that the park is open. In the first hour, Alice and Toad get very crowded as well.
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
Is it possible? Absolutely. Would I try it? No. I would allot one day for DCA and one for DL, although if I had just one day, I would do just Disneyland. But if you really want to go to both, I would start out at DCA. Head straight to RSR, and since you'll be by yourself, get into the singles line. Then spend the morning and part of the afternoon at DCA, hitting attractions like TofT (it's different than the WDW version, though I like the WDW one better), Califofnia Screamin', Monsters Inc.: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue, and a few others. You can hit TSM, though the queue is not as good as the WDW version. The line will be shorter, however. No need to wait more than 30 minutes for it. Soarin' is in better condition than the WDW counterpart, but watch your time.

Then head over to DL. You must see Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, PofC, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and Rodger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin. I hear that the BTMRR is also great in DL since the complete refurbishment, so you might want to try that. HM is optional. It's neat because the stretching room actually is an elevator as opposed to the WDW version, but it's a slightly shorter attraction, and when I went, not in as good condition as the WDW version (this is rare. Most of the DL rides are in excellent condition, but WDW's is in better condition. Probably a more recent refurb, at least from when I went). You can also hit the dark rides in Fantasyland. Skip Splash Mountain and Winnie the Pooh as they are not nearly as good as their WDW counterparts. Star Tours is basically a WDW clone, and of course, Captain EO is the same.

Check to see if World of Color or Fireworks are running! California Law prohibits Disney from showing fireworks every single night of the year, same goes for Fantasmic with the fireworks. I would skip Fantasmic (it's different than the WDW version, the dragon is better, but you've only got one day). If World of Color is running but not fireworks, you may want to flip flop your day. You can still hit RSR in the singles line. That attraction is crazy popular. You've been warned. Someone else might know a little more about the exact procedures of when shows are running, especially since you are going in low season and they will most likely not be running every day.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
@jonnyc It will be very important to know what day of the week will you be trying this in September. A Saturday would be best because you'd have long weekend hours, but not have the big crowds of Friday night or Sunday that are due to AP's descending en masse.

If it's a weekday when both parks will close at 8PM, it will be nearly impossible to do both parks. On a Saturday it's doable.

What day of the week will you be there?
 

jonnyc

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks for the tips everyone! I'm going to be there on a Wednesday, absolutely gutted to see the Indy ride is going to be closed for a refurb when I'm there :(.
 

Cosmic Commando

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the tips everyone! I'm going to be there on a Wednesday, absolutely gutted to see the Indy ride is going to be closed for a refurb when I'm there :(.
Well.... it will help you see more of other things? And a reason to go back. ;)

I don't think an early weekday closing will be a big handicap. The best thing you can do is get there for opening.
 

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