Walking into Disneyland is one of my favorite feelings in the world…but arriving in such a busy place can be a little overwhelming. Let’s talk about touring plans, and some tips and tricks for saving time and having fun in the Happiest Place on Earth.
Some people like to have a strict touring plan, and some people don’t. There’s no right or wrong way to spend time in Disneyland! If you’re not a person that feels the need to map your day, skip to the section below for my tips and tricks while in the park.
If, however, you’d like to have a touring plan and some kind of strategy, remember one thing: no touring plan is perfect. It doesn’t matter how precise that plan claims to be, or how meticulously you’ve thought it out…something will change, a ride will break down, etc. Having a touring plan can be super helpful – just make sure you’re not totally inflexible and can go with the flow when you need to.
To make a touring plan, start by deciding what rides and lands are most important to you. Put the rides in groups by land, and decide which ones you want to get to first. Most Disneyland visitors either travel counter-clockwise (Tomorrowland around to Adventureland), or start in Fantasyland and cross back and forth. You don’t have to do an entire land at a time, but if you’re new to Disneyland, it’s the easiest way to keep track of where you are and what you want to do.
If making your own touring plan feels too overwhelming, there’s a very helpful site I use that will make one for you.
This is by far the most comprehensive site I’ve found for organizing your trip. They take into account what you want to see, how aggressive you want to be, meals, etc. This is a paid subscription ($13 per year), but that also gets you discounts on the annual Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. The only thing I don’t like about this site is the crowd calendar; it changes too frequently to be reliable when planning a trip. I’ll pick a day they rate a 4/10, and when I get to the park, it’s a zoo. I’ll check back on the site, and suddenly they’ve changed it to an 8/10. But even so, if you’re looking for help building a touring plan and itinerary, Touring Plans is an excellent resource.
I also have a few (and much more general) touring plans you can use to help build your own. The more time you spend in the park, the easier it will be for you to figure out how you like to tour and when. By day 2, you’ll probably want to completely switch up your original plan!
The worst part about visiting Disneyland is waiting in line. It’s an inevitable fact of Disney life, but there are a few tricks you can use to help save a little time and skip the lines.
Single Rider Line
Extra Park Hours
On top of the attractions and shows in your touring plan, there’s always some kind of activity going on at the Disneyland Resort. Events like the fireworks, parades, and bands happen periodically in different locations in the park. And no matter where you go, each and every land has hidden details for you to find. So as you travel the park, don’t forget to keep an eye out for these special Disneyland extras. After all, the magic lies in the details!
Bands & Entertainment