8 Ways To Save Time During Your Disneyland Vacation



When planning a Disney Vacation, it is important to plan accordingly so you can maximize your time in the parks. There is so much to do, see, and eat! Here are 8 Ways to help you save time so you can make the most of your Magical Disney Vacation!

1. Rope Drop

Arrive at The Disneyland Resort prior to the parks scheduled opening time. You can enter the park and walk Down Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland or Buena Vista Street in California Adventure. When the park is officially opened, Cast Members will “Drop the Rope” allowing guests to head to the land or ride of their choice. This is crucial when on a Disney Vacation. Parks seem to be the most empty first thing in the morning, allowing you to get a lot done in a short amount of time. I recommend going to your “Must-Do” or popular rides first! Such as Space Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and Indiana Jones.

2. Create a Checklist of “Must-Do’s”

Make a list of things you would like to do on your trip. Put them in order of what is most important to you and go down the list. A lot of time can be wasted trying to figure out what to do or where to go next, especially with multiple people involved. With a list handy, you have a plan of where to go and what matters most. This is a great way to ensure you accomplish those Must-Do items.

3. Single Rider Line

Single Rider is a great way to utilize time! If you are riding alone or don’t mind splitting up your group, this line is for you. Single rider fills in the gaps on certain rides where seats are open and available. The entrance can sometimes be found at the exit of the ride. This line is usually only a few minute wait, sometimes a walk-on but wait times can vary. Now, this isn’t always an option, so be sure to check with a Cast Member before getting in line.

Space Mountain single rider line
Single Rider Entrance located at the Exit of Space Mountain

Rides at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure with Single Rider Lines:

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Incredicoaster
  • Radiator Springs Racers

4. Mobile Order

Mobile Order is one of my favorite ways to save time in the parks. Lines for food and snacks can get long. Open up the Disneyland App and make sure you are logged in, hit the plus sign at the bottom and click on “Order Food.” A list of places will appear along with available times. Select your location and time slot, add items to your order and check out. Make sure to have a card saved in the App. If you have A Magic Key Pass saved in the App, Magic Key discounts will also be added during checkout in applicable locations. After your order is placed and paid for, You will get a notification when your Pick up time is approaching. Go to your selection location and click on “I’m here, Prepare My Order.” When your order is ready, you will then get a notification with an order number and Pick-up window. This is great way to utilize time and grab a bite to eat before your next attraction.

Disneyland mobile order
Mobile Order and Mobile Check out Selections on The Disneyland App

5. Buddy Pass

The Buddy Pass is available only at Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to Rescue! and Toy Story Midway Mania! located in Disney California Adventure Park. The Buddy Pass allows you to fill in empty rows, your party must fit in one row. This option isn’t always available, so be sure to ask a Cast Member at the front of the ride if it is available that day. This is a quick way to enjoy these two rides with little to no wait.

6. Genie+ Service and Lightening Lane

This brand new service is here to replace the once FastPass and MaxPass system. It is not yet available at The Disneyland Resort but when it arrives, it’ll be sure to save you some time! This service will cost $20 per day, per guest. Choose from available times and attractions to use the Lightening Lane entrance, with one selection at a time. There will also be an option to Select and pay for single attractions using the Lightening Lane entrance. That cost has yet to be announced.

Disney Genie
Disney Genie services are not available yet at the Disneyland Resort (Photo: Disney).

Rides with Lightening Lane:

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Star Tours – The adventures Continue
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Autotopia
  • Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Incredicoaster
  • Monsters, Inc. Mikey & Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Soarin’ Around the World

7. Rider Switch

Rider Switch is a great option for families with little ones, or riders who don’t want to experience an attraction. It allows the rest of the party to go on the attraction, without having to wait in line a second time. Check in with a Cast Member at the front of the ride queue, they will scan your tickets or Magic Key Pass for the group that will ride second. The party can be up to three people. The first group will then wait in the regular line queue, while the second group waits with the guest(s) who aren’t riding. Once the first group is off the ride, the second group will then have the Cast Member at the queue scan their tickets or passes. The second group is now able to skip the line and experience the attraction.

Rides with Rider Switch:

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Star Tours – The adventures Continue
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • Autotopia
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Incredicoaster
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Silly Symphony Swings
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish

8. Mobile Checkout

This is a newer service currently available at three locations. The Emporium inside Disneyland, Elias & Co. inside California Adventure and World Of Disney in The Downtown Disney District. Open up the Disneyland App, click on the plus sign at the bottom. Select the “Shop in Store” option and the location you are currently shopping at. Scan your item and checkout using a card on file, Magic Key Discounts will be added as well. The App will then prompt you to Exit the Store using the Mobile Checkout Exit. Show a Cast Member your barcode and then you’ll be on your way! This is a great way to avoid long checkout lines.

There you have it, 8 ways to save time and make the most out of your Disneyland Vacation! Have you used any of these time saving options before? If so, which is your favorite? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Written by

Brittney Malina


Contributing Writer

Brittney has been going to Disneyland since she was 3 years old. She has had a deep love for all things Disney ever since. Now as a wife and mother of two, she gets to share the love with her family and re-live the Disney magic through her children’s eyes. Brittney is a Legacy Passholder and you can find her walking down Main Street, U.S.A. with a churro or iced coffee in hand.

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