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

The_Mesh_Hatter

Well-Known Member
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Check if Disneyland offers magic hours. If it does, you won’t be able to rope drop fantasyland or Tomorrowland.
 

The_Mesh_Hatter

Well-Known Member
With your limited time, I don’t think Cars Land is worth it. To get from Disneyland’s hub, to ride RSR, and then back to the esplanade would take at least 45 minutes. You’re better off slowing down and taking in what you can rather than rushing.

Definitely do Max Pass. It will save you a lot of running around. If Magic Hours aren’t scheduled for hotel guests, rope drop fantasyland and you’ll be able to get it all done in 40 minutes. Best order is Peter Pan > Toad > Alice > Matterhorn > Storybookland/Casey Jr > Pinocchio > Snow White. If Disneyland is doing Magic Hours, then you can take the monorail into Tomorrowland from DTD.
Then hit Space Mountain (with MaxPass or through the single rider line at the exit), then return to the north end for Small World (must do if it’s in Holiday mode) then Roger Rabbit (delayed opening). Take the train to Main Street. Ride the omnibus or horse drawn carriage up to the hub then hit the west side. Indy offers single rider, so use your max pass on Big Thunder. Then ride the Columbia, Haunted Mansion (which may or may not be open), and finish with one last trip on the railroad from the NOS Station.

The monorail is worth your time too, starting at DTD. And if time permits, Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise, Golden Horseshoe (with lunch) and Mr. Lincoln are all worthwhile. Peek into the Main Street Cinema too.

Given that you’ll be there during the off season and going in the morning, it really won’t be too difficult to soak in everything at Disneyland at a relaxed pace.
 
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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.
 

Evan-500

Well-Known Member
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...
 

iHeartDisneylandCats

Proud Member Since 2016
Do not pick California Adventure over Disneyland.
I never understood the disdain for DCA until my most recent trip last week. Don't get me wrong, it's a decent park, but it's no Disneyland. I don't know if my opinion changed due to getting older, or if it was the recent changes to the park (Pixar Pier and Mission Breakout). I had an enjoyable time in Cars Land, BVS, and Grizzly Peak, but I felt a much larger emotional connection with Disneyland.

It didn't help that DCA currently has its own food and booze fest going on, ruining the atmosphere.
 

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.
 
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