The Ultimate Guide to Disneyland

How to See it All in the Most Magical Place on Earth

Before You Arrive:

  • Download the Disneyland App – It has all ride wait times, maps, and you can purchase your tickets and MaxPass there
  • Purchase Tickets online or in the mobile app and upgrade to MaxPass
  • Disney MaxPass ($20 Per Person/Per Day). This is the single best thing you will purchase at Disneyland and will save you hours of waiting in line. MaxPass lets you book FastPasses via your phone to skip the front of attractions at designated times.
  • Note: You can upgrade your previously purchased ticket to include MaxPass, after you have scanned into the Park within the Mobile App.
  • Link Your Party’s Tickets Together in the mobile app. This lets you easily book FastPasses for your entire group in one transaction.
  • Plan to get to the Disneyland at Park 45-60 minutes before opening. This will enable you enough time to park, get through security, take the tram to the park, and enter the park before the official “opening” time. You can find the park hours listed here.
  • Rise of the Resistance Ride: They just opened the new blockbuster Star Wars ride – Rise of the Resistance. If it is critical for you to ride, be sure to enter Disneyland BEFORE park opening. The will let you enter the main street area 15-30 minutes before the listed opening time.
  • This attraction using a Boarding Group system. A Boarding Group is kind of like a FastPass, but instead of a return time, you have a Boarding Group Number. You will get a push notification once your Boarding Group number is ready to board.
  • To better your odds, have all your tickets linked on all party member’s phones. You can all try and get a Boarding Group. Just ensure you join the Boarding Group with your entire party.
  • Once it hits promptly 8AM you can try to book a Boarding Group. You’ll find a large page in the Disneyland app with more details about how to join a ride Boarding Group. You may need to keep force closing the app and retrying. Thousands of people will be trying this, so you Disney server has trouble keeping up.
  • Note, they sold out in 30 Seconds when I was last there. If you don’t join a boarding group at 8am exactly, you will not be able to ride this attraction.
  • The order we’ve listed rides on the itinerary below is the order we suggest you ride them in each land. We’ve put the busier rides first so you can ride them before the lines get long


  1. Enter Disneyland first thing in the morning (rather than California Adventure)
  2. As soon as you enter Disneyland, open the Disneyland app and book your first FastPass. It is important to check the time at the bottom of each FastPass reservation, as often you are able to book your next FastPass before the other one is expired. This way you will have maximized your efficiency waiting in lines.
  3. Book a fast pass to Space Mountain using your MaxPass as you briskly walk (since running is frowned upon) to Indiana Jones and ride it.
  4. After successfully riding Indiana Jones, it should be time to use your FastPass for Space Mountain. Walk over there, and as your doing so, book your next FastPass for Star Tours.
  5. After riding Space Mountain, it its time to use the MaxPass for Star Tours. Go for it! Otherwise, I would recommend walking over to The Matterhorn Bobsleds, and riding the attraction. If the line is under 15 min, feel free to wait. If it is longer, ask the attendant for the single rider line. This will separate your party into “single riders”, but will allow you to cut the whole line. (see all single rider attractions in the section below)
  6. Once you use your Star Tours FastPass, reserve either Splash Mountain (a water ride), Haunted Mansion, or Big Thunder Mountain. No order is needed for these ones, but the lines can get long so definitely take advantage of MaxPass where you can.
  7. Between your FastPass return times for the above three attractions, I would prioritize going on Pirates of the Caribbean, and Jungle Cruise. All other attractions are icing on the cake.
  8. Next, book a FastPass for Radiator Springs Racers, and head over to the California Adventure park.
  9. Continue booking FastPasses for the other major attractions in California Adventure (Guardians of the Galaxy, Soarin’ and Incredicoaster)
  10. Enjoy the rest of your visit with food, rides, and shopping!

Single Rider Attractions

If you love an attraction and don’t want to wait in the line and don’t mind getting split up, here is a list of “Single Rider” attractions, where you can go through a special line (often found in an exit, but just ask) to cut the entire line:

  • Goofy’s Sky School - California Adventure
  • Grizzly River Run - California Adventure
  • Incredicoaster - California Adventure
  • Indiana Jones Adventure - Disneyland
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds - Disneyland
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run - Disneyland
  • Radiator Springs Racers - California Adventure Note: the single rider line can be 30+ minutes for this attraction
  • Space Mountain - Disneyland
  • Splash Mountain - Disneyland
  • Star Tours - Disneyland - California Adventure

Top Rides at Disneyland & California Adventure

  1. Rise of the Resistance (Disneyland) my thoughts
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean (Disneyland)
  3. Radiator Springs Racers (California Adventure)
  4. Haunted Mansion (Disneyland)
  5. Indiana Jones Adventure (Disneyland)
  6. Space Mountain
  7. Big Thunder Mountain
  8. Smugglers Run
  9. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout!
  10. Jungle Cruise
  11. Matterhorn
  12. Peter Pan
  13. Soarin’
  14. Incredicoaster
  15. Star Tours
  16. Toy Story Midway Mania

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