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Only 5 Hours in Disneyland - First time - What would you do?

DanielBB8

Well-Known Member
So you suggest he/she sit in the airport for 5 hours instead?
More like 8 hours since traffic to Anaheim and back will be horrendous and extra time for TSA. He’ll need at least 3 hours extra plus extra hour to get from parking structure to park. I guarantee you will miss your flight if you time everything wrong. Best thing is go on one or two must do attractions, then whatever has no line. Shop and leave immediately. You may only have 3 or 4 hours in the park.
 

Disney Analyst

Well-Known Member
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Honestly, just finally being in Disneyland will be worth it. Everything else is the cherry on top. Pirates will blow your mind, as will Indiana Jones.

Don’t make a small castle comment.
 
I'm going to make an unpopular suggestion - at least consider going to DCA instead.

I mean, if you're a true nostalgic regarding Disney and you really want to see "the park that Walt built" then by all means do Disneyland. I completely understand that. It's a great park. For my money, however, Disneyland doesn't do much that's better than DisneyWorld (and what it does do better, Tokyo does better than that). The few unique rides such as Matterhorn and Toad are nice and all, but I wasn't overly impressed. Indy was cool, but I was spoiled by the much better Tokyo version this summer.

But Radiator Springs Racers and Mission Breakout are my two favorite rides in all of the Disney Universe (that I've seen so far). Granted, it's risky to suggest any particular ride to anyone, as we all have different preferences. But I think Carsland is generally regarded as the best thing Disney has done in a while (stateside at least), and if you enjoy ToT, then Mission Breakout is a unique and fun spin on that.

I guess it comes down to nostalgia vs. a couple of great rides. Anyway, just something to consider...
 

PSM

Member
Original Poster
Wow, so much good information to sift through here. The big question is still if I can make it work with my schedule but I'm in a holding pattern on that, so I want to do all planning now while I'm waiting to find out in case it works.

FYI, I will be flying out of John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, not LA. Every time I check, the traffic from Disneyland to that airport doesn't seem horrendous (30-40 minutes) but am I wrong here? I know LA traffic is horrible but, like I said, I've never been to California. Any input on this would be appreciated.

Right now, it says 30-33 minutes and the roads are mostly red on Google Maps, so does it typically get way worse than that?
 

SteamboatJoe

Well-Known Member
Wow, so much good information to sift through here. The big question is still if I can make it work with my schedule but I'm in a holding pattern on that, so I want to do all planning now while I'm waiting to find out in case it works.

FYI, I will be flying out of John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, not LA. Every time I check, the traffic from Disneyland to that airport doesn't seem horrendous (30-40 minutes) but am I wrong here? I know LA traffic is horrible but, like I said, I've never been to California. Any input on this would be appreciated.

Right now, it says 30-33 minutes and the roads are mostly red on Google Maps, so does it typically get way worse than that?
When I was researching my trip, most sites suggested SNA over LAX. My brother, who frequently flies to California for business, said the same thing.

I only ended up flying into LAX because the available flights in and out of SNA didn't line up with my preferred schedule and travel time. I think LAX may have also been a little cheaper.
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
When I was researching my trip, most sites suggested SNA over LAX. My brother, who frequently flies to California for business, said the same thing.

I only ended up flying into LAX because the available flights in and out of SNA didn't line up with my preferred schedule and travel time. I think LAX may have also been a little cheaper.
Don't go to LAX because its cheaper. You will loose any gain in traffic and stress. Long Beach is an option if available.
 

Texas84

Premium Member
Wow, so much good information to sift through here. The big question is still if I can make it work with my schedule but I'm in a holding pattern on that, so I want to do all planning now while I'm waiting to find out in case it works.

FYI, I will be flying out of John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Santa Ana, not LA. Every time I check, the traffic from Disneyland to that airport doesn't seem horrendous (30-40 minutes) but am I wrong here? I know LA traffic is horrible but, like I said, I've never been to California. Any input on this would be appreciated.

Right now, it says 30-33 minutes and the roads are mostly red on Google Maps, so does it typically get way worse than that?
If you take a cab or shuttle they can use the express lanes. I've never had a problem to/from SNA even in heavy traffic.
 

SteamboatJoe

Well-Known Member
Don't go to LAX because its cheaper. You will loose any gain in traffic and stress. Long Beach is an option if available.
I got a shuttle service and landed in the late morning on a Tuesday so it wasn't bad at all but I definitely could see how it would be.
 

BubbaQuest

Well-Known Member
Where and how do you get the shuttle?
There should be standard shuttle vans waiting at the Airport (aka Super Shuttle). A cab might be faster since there will not be additional stops. The freeway interchange at SNA is always a little crazy and congested, but the local drivers should know how to get through it.

Have a great trip.
 

Nezumi Fan

New Member
We've sneaked over to MK on travel days when we've been in Florida; we're AP holders at Disneyland, so five hours feels generous.

Since you may be less familiar with the park, though, I would say that making a plan with time in mind is one of the most important things.
  • tempting as it may be, don't park hop: Disneyland and California Adventure are close, but that's still a lot of walking -- consider time to cross the esplanade, time to get through the gates at the parks, time to walk to whatever ride you're headed for;
  • cluster your rides, whenever possible -- if you're doing Pirates, do Indy; if Toy Story, the Incredicoaster;
  • go on Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! -- right now, it's my favorite ride in either park, and still unique to any Disney park in the world;
  • use Max Pass! you can't use it on every ride (such as Pirates) but, if you use it for other things, that gives you more time for lines, if needed;
  • if you can, choose not to sit down to eat! there are plenty of kiosk-type options: if riding Pirates/Mansion, grab a bread bowl clam chowder at Royal Street Veranda (look right immediately before you enter the inside Pirates queue); if Main Street, grab a corndog (MK corndogs don't even come close), and there are also corndogs in DCA, near the Ariel ride;
  • consider a grand circle tour on the Disneyland Railroad: it's 20 minutes, start to finish, and a great chance to rest your feet
So many other things you can do, but that's what I've got for now. Five hours can be plenty of time if you do some planning ahead of time. (^_^)
 
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