California Adventure tips?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 6:09 PM
Yay! I get to go to LA the last week of February. I'll only be there three days (of which one will be spent with Hollywood types), but I get one day to go to another California park! (Already done KBF and Disneyland, and SFMM won't be open in the middle of the week, so it's DCA by process of elimination.)

Looking for any tips from those who know it well, and particularly for any suggestions on how to obtain discount tickets...


Wednesday, January 30, 2008 6:18 PM
As far as I know, Disney doesn't do any discounts for out of town guests. You're sure you want to do DCA? Right now, its a 5 rides park and you'd be done quickly with the park without the possibility of going next door to Disneyland.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008 7:50 PM
Your hotel if your staying at one would have discount tickets, its a small discount, but its there.

Absimilliard is right, but depending on what kind of park goer you are you could spend most of a full day there.

I have two tips, and they both revolve around beer.

1) There is a white pavilion, not sure of the name, with a bar outside with good beer and food. You can see it if you are looking across California Screamin's launch.

2) There is a small Carl Straus brewery booth in the cannery row section of the park where the bread makers and mission tortilla is.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 8:00 PM
Buy a 1-day park-hopper pass.

DCA is, at most, a 4-6 hour park. I was just there on the Sunday of MLK weekend and we were out of the park by 1pm and that includes rerides on Tower of Terror, Soaring, and California Screaming. I can only imagine it'll be even less crowded on a non-holiday weekday. You can spend the rest of your day at Disneyland.

HELPFUL HINT #1: Buy your ticket online and you can skip the ticket booths and go right to the'll save you a ton of time.

Here's my suggested itinerary:

Disneyland Park opens at least an hour before DCA, and its Main Street is open about 30 mins prior to official opening hour (they hold back the crowd at the end of Main Street). Taking into consideration Los Angeles traffic, the tram ride from the parking lot to the entry plaza, and getting through the security check point you should plan on arriving no less than 30 mins prior to opening. It never hurts to be early and have to wait around a bit.

Once the rope is dropped and guests are allowed past the end of Main Street and into the rest of the park go into directly into Tomorrowland and grab a Fast Pass for Space Mountain. You'll use this later so avoid the urge to ride and go knock out a ride or two (Buzz Lightyear and Star Tours would be good choices nearby). Then head over to DCA just prior to opening.

When DCA opens proceed directly to Soaring Over California and grab a Fast Pass. You'll use this later however if there is no line you might as well'll want to use your pass for a reride.

HELPFUL HINT #2: Ask the ride op who assigns rows if you can wait for row B-1 (it's easy to remember...think B-1 Bomber). This is the center top-most row and offers the best unobstructed view. Trust me, it's worth having to wait a ride cycle.

Then do the park in this order:

Hollywood Backlot. Start with Tower of Terror. There won't be a line so you might as well enjoy a few quick rerides. Then knock out Monster's Inc you're done with the backlot.

Tough To Be A Bug (unless you've seen this at Animal Planet). But don't skip's a great 4D film.

Pacific Pier: Start by grabbing a Fast Pass for Mulholland Madness (that you'll use later) then walk to the end of the pier and begin with California Screaming (including a reride or two). The coaster is a people-eater and with the low crowds you won't need a fast pass, even for rerides.

After you've had your Intamin fix head to the Sun Wheel. Make sure you get a swinging car (the better action can be found by boarding the purple cars by turning right when the queue splits into two lines. Continue on to MaliBoomer (use the single rider line!) and Golden Zephyr (as close as you'll get to a Traver Circle Swing in the U.S.). Hopefully by now it'll be time to use your Mulholland Madness pass.

Next up is Grizzly River Rapids. If the weather is chilly or you don't feel like getting wet buy a poncho in the ride's gift shop. This is an excellent rapids ride that you won't want to miss. If you ride it but skip the poncho you might want to consider packing a change of clothes...just in case. I was glad I did a few weeks ago, lol.

Post Grizzly Rapids, continue towards the park exit, using your pass for Soaring Over California to nab a second ride. And then you're done with DCA.

Go back to Disneyland, check the Wait Time board and go grab a fast pass for whatever has a long wait (most likely Indy or Splash Mountain). At some point you'll want to use your pass for Space Mountain. Don't worry that your allotted ride time might have won't be denied a ride.

HELPFUL HINT #3: The one hour ride time printed on a Fast Pass is not a mandatory return time. If your pass says "1pm - 2pm" you can actually use your pass any time from 1pm until park closing.

Well...hope you have a good time and that some of my hints and suggestions help you make the most of your day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 9:42 PM
^ Agreed with everything :)

I especially agree with the 1 day hopper. While won't regret it.

If you're going to pay to spend the whole day in DCA, wait till 2012 when they're done fixing it ;)

*** Edited 1/31/2008 2:42:54 AM UTC by Peabody***

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 9:46 PM
Wow that was to the point! Make sure you eat at a In and Out Burger when in Cal. Traffic will suck at all times.. you could hit up DCA and Knott's the same day.. their about 15-20 mins apart.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008 10:10 PM
Yeah, I've never done DCA before, and while I know I won't need it I've scheduled a full day at both Disney parks this March. I figure we'll spend most of our time at DL, maybe spend half a day at DCA tops and then go from there. Maybe Knotts but I've done Knotts before and my companions aren't huge coaster buffs so we may find something else to do, general cheesy tourist stuff probably.

If we're going on days when DCA is open until 10pm and DL is open to midnight are we pretty much guaranteed massive crowds during the day? I'm guessing yes but with the parks open so long we still shouldn't have much trouble hitting everything.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 11:26 PM
Thanks for the great feedback, everybody.

My schedule is basically, fly out on Monday the 25th. Arrive in LA at noon. The 26th is pretty much cut in two by multiple meetings, so that destroys much of a chance to do anything except maybe head down to Pacific Park for a couple hours in the evening. And then on the 27th, I fly back at 1:20.

So really it all comes down to Monday the 25th. I figure getting out of the airport, getting my rental car and driving to Anaheim will put me there (realistically) about 2:00. My window, then is from 2 - 8. Not really long enough to truly appreciate Disneyland again, but probably optimal for a park like DCA.

Since I don't when I'll get back to DCA, I intend to take my time and explore every nook and cranny, see the shows, get lots of re-rides, maybe even...dare I say it? relax.

If I had the whole day, I would definitely go for the one-day hopper pass. But as is this is probably the best solution.

Thanks especially to Moosh, for your in-depth strategy. I'll definitely make use of the special ride tips. I don't usually go for raft rides, but on your recommendation I'll try it. (Think I'll bring a new poncho, still folded up in a little pouch that I can stuff in a cargo pants pocket. That way I won't have to pay twelve bucks or whatever for a new one.)

Guess this means I'll owe everyone a TR. :)

Thursday, January 31, 2008 12:43 AM
My window, then is from 2 - 8. Not really long enough to truly appreciate Disneyland again, but probably optimal for a park like DCA.

Well why didn't you say that in your first post? You could have saved me all the time it took to write my tips! lol :)

Arriving at the Disney Resort at 2pm and with DCA having a closing of 8pm then yes, I agree: skip Disneyland and only visit California Adventure. I still suggest buying a ticket online.

I'll amend my suggested itinerary just a bit:

When entering DCA proceed directly to Soaring Over California and check for a Fast Pass. If it's not already sold out for the day, grab one and then directly into the Hollywood Backlot.

Start with Tower of Terror, including rerides, then follow up with Monster's Inc. Then over to Tough To Be A Bug (again, unless you've seen this at Animal Planet). If you haven't seen this don't skip's a great 4D film.

Next, Pacific Pier: Start by grabbing a Fast Pass for Mulholland Madness (that you'll use later) then walk to the end of the pier and begin with California Screaming. I recommend riding at least twice: try the front and back as both offer different and fun experiences. Continue next to Sun Wheel and MaliBoomer.

If your Mulholland Madness pass is ripe use it, otherwise move on to Golden Zephyr and/or Grizzly Rapids, then backtrack slightly to knock out the Mouse. FYI, the ponchos are expensive so bringing your own for the rapids is a good idea.

Post-Rapids use your fast pass on Soaring (don't forget: Row B-1!). If you decide you need to experience the ride again use the single rider line to your advantage.

You've now experienced all the "must-see" attractions at DCA. Still have time left? Here's what you've missed that may be worth checking out:

Hollywood Backlot's Muppets 3D and the Animation Experience; a quick walk thru Flick's Fun Faire, where there is nothing for adults to ride there but some cool theming; Golden Dreams w/Whoopie Goldberg; Orange Stinger (aka Wave Swinger in Faux Orange).

Have fun!

Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:05 AM
OK sice this is a topic about California tips I'm going to post here instead of starting a new topic. Can anyone please give me tips on how to hit up everything at SFMM in June.
Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:11 AM
Get there at opening, stay until closing, and keep your fingers crossed that everything you want to ride is open. lol
Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:13 AM
Do you think the walkway between Maliboomer and Screamin will be open by then? I probably wouldn't even bother with a Madness pass. You'd have to walk the long way around to Screamin if they are still working on TSMM. I'd just head straight for Screamin and then back to the other side for all the goodies over on the other side of the pier.

And if you want to ride the Zephyr, if you see it open from anywhere in the park, head directly over and ride. That thing goes down in the slightest of winds.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 12:17 PM
True, if the construction wall is still up my plan does involve a bit more walking but Mulholland Madness has a very low capacity. Even what looks to be short line can take well over 30 mins. I always get a Fast Pass for it.
Thursday, January 31, 2008 1:38 PM

Mamoosh said:

Well why didn't you say that in your first post? You could have saved me all the time it took to write my tips! lol :)

Yeah, my bad. I should have been a lot more specific. But think how many people probably never thought about doing a DL/DCA combo day before, and now you've shown them how to properly manage it!

And I will use your tips religiously. Well, I'm not religious, so I'll use them...spiritually. ;)

Thursday, January 31, 2008 2:08 PM

CoasterMonkey said:
Make sure you eat at a In and Out Burger when in Cal.

That is a MUST! The fries are incredible!

In-N-Out's Secret Menu:

Thursday, January 31, 2008 3:28 PM
The fries are incredible only if you eat them there in the restaurant. Don't let them get cold!
Thursday, January 31, 2008 4:08 PM
I must be the only one who think In-n-Out fries are horrid. They have NO FLAVOR!

Skip In-n-Out and eat at Zankou Chicken.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 4:33 PM
I don't think I'd eat them alone, but they are a good foil for the burgers...which have a lot of flavor.
Thursday, January 31, 2008 4:41 PM
^^Zankou is the yumminess....the perfect pit-stop between Knotts and....anyplace! :)
Thursday, January 31, 2008 7:06 PM
In N Out Burger will give you free Stickers if you just ask.. I got a pile! Never forget the late night stop at Del Taco.. they are on every corner!

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