DLR Help Please!


My GF just decided to grant my long standing request to go to DLR for the first time! Actually she really wants to go too, she is a Disney freak also, and a member of this group by the way, but has never posted, just lurks.

Anyway, being an east coaster and a WDW veteran, I’ve never been to DLR and I’m getting excited just thinking about starting to plan it!

I’ve always wanted to stay at the Disneyland Hotel, so that’s what we are going to do. The thing is, she wants to go over Memorial Day weekend. I’m wondering how the crowd level is in May, particularly that weekend. I also would like to know how much time I’d need to see both parks, assuming that we aren’t going to do anything else in So Cal, just all Disney all the time. (this time anyway, I’d like to do a longer trip in the future to see much of that area in Cali).

Anyway, if there are any DLR veterans out there, I’d appreciate the help!


We have been there many times, it’s always pretty busy but the holiday weekends are the busiest. If there is only 2 of you going it shouldn’t be to bad. Many times we have been standing in lines and there will ask for parties of two to come to the front of the line to fill in the empty spaces of many rides. Can’t think of anything else right now, it’s pretty early here, but I will post more tips later.


I was at DLR on Friday Nov. 11th 2005, and the lines were gross! At the Matterhorn, both lines went all the way around the mountain, and then they started a whole another line, which was long itself (had maybe about 150+) people. Pirates, they had them lined out into the walk-way in front of the ride, and even to on top of the bridge right now. It was gross.

I don’t know if it’s like that in May, but with more kids getting off for spring break and such, I can’t even picture the lines at that point.

By the way, on that day, there was not a single ride with less then a 2 and a half hour wait, and that was if the line moved quick!


Memorial Day is pretty crowded, you can expect really long lines. Don’t be surprised to see 2 hours waits on many rides.

If you are going during an off season, you can see everything in the two parks in 2 days if you really try, 3 days if you want to make sure you hit everything. When it is busy, I would say a good 4 days. If there is any way you can miss that holiday, you will get to see more, and it will be much more enjoyable.


I am an east coaster too that HAS TO visit DL during the peak season. We are going the end of June and I am sure it is going to be just as busy. Honestly, I would definately go!! Even if it is crowded you will still have a great time, especially your first visit to the DLR. We are staying at the DL Hotel too, for the first time. We are staying for 3 nights with a four day park hopper. During the busy season I think this is sufficient time to see nearly everything. The only two other times I’ve been to DL have been during the peak season and we were fine!

You’ll love it! The only tip I noticed on my last few trips were to DEFINATELY arrive for park opening and get as many fast passes as possible trhoughout the day. I tried to get fast passes for Indiana Jones and those go FFFAAAASSSTTT when it’s busy!


Having good company during the busy season can make a huge difference when waiting in the longer lines! :biggrin:

Make sure to use Fast Passes as best as you can, because they will help you to squeeze in more fun! :mickey:


yes fast passes are your best friend during peak times!!! and making sure you are not rushed in time!!! Try to have some down time!!! it really helps when you get frustrated and just sit have something to eat or watch a show!!


It will be busy, but you’ll be at the Happiest Place On Earth, so how bad can it be? :mickey:

I echo the FastPass advice! Get them while they’re hot!

And go at park opening–you can get a lot in before the masses arrive. I hit Fantasy Land first (KA’s Carousel, Dumbo, Peter Pan are the first 3). Before I had kids, it was Pirates first, BTMRR, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain and Pirates again, OR Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Star Tours. Have a general plan of attack.

Read up on menu’s and have an idea of where in the parks you’d like to eat so you aren’t wandering around. And plan your meals at ‘off’ times to avoid long lines. If you want to eat at Blue Bayou, make a PS for certain that weekend!

I hope your long time DL dream is a wonderful as you like it to be!!!


ingamba, if you have any more than 4 days to spare, you should really try to get over to Universal Hollywood. That’s another treat, as is sightseeing in LA. There’s so much to do out there.


Ditto on the Fastpass suggestion. However…the times I have been there when it is busy, FP’s for Splash Mtn. go first. If you want to ride it I would suggest getting those FP’s very very early in the day. I have gotten FP’s for Splash at 1pm with a return time of 9:30pm! The standby line will easily be 2 hours also. At a peak holiday time I would allow 4 days to see everything.


I love Universal Hollywood! It is so cool to see all those real movie sets.


Yeah, Universal is pretty sweet… Whenever I have gone to Universal I have managed to really luck out and see some filming of cool movies (Austin Powers, Batman, The Grinch). I cannot wait to go there again, but I am letting my young’uns get a little bigger so they will enjoy it too…

The Universal Walk is pretty cool mall too! I love all of the whacky stores that they have!


Oh me too! We love to just hang out there. Oh and a few times ago, we saw Vern from Trading Spaces and Christopher Lowell.


Disneyland is good, and since you’re an East Coaster, you might actually appreciate California Adventureland.

If you haven’t booked your rooms yet, and you can afford it, The Grand Californian is well worth the time, rather than the Disneyland Hotel. The Grand Californian is right next to the park, and has it’s own entrance to California Adventure which only allows guests of the Hotel to use. Saves a lot of time standing in line.

May is always crowded, but two people can weave through and survive without too much stress. But unfortunately, it means long lines.

MY ADVICE? Take three days to do Disneyland and California Adventure.
Use California Adventure in the afternoon, and Disneyland in the morning/evenings. I’ve found the little kids tire by seven, and most leave, which frees up the park. Get some nap time in during the peak afternoon, so that you can enjoy the park up until closing time each night.

Fast passes are useful, and use the wait time to do exploring of Disneyland that are sometimes “less crowded”, such as Abe Lincoln, the Gallery, the Railroad, and other parts of main street.

Just my thoughts…


Is that correct? When I was at DLR in Early November 2005, We used that entrance to get to the Grand Californian Hotel Gift Shop. The cast members there let us go though, and we were not guests of the hotel. They didn’t even ask to see room keys or anything. :cool:


isn’t that funny, when I stayed at the Paradise Pier Hotel we used our own specials entrance and some days they would ask for room keys, others they wouldn’t. Same with the Grand Californian entrance (which is ALOT nicer than the Paradise Pier one lol)
We were staying off property and exited through there to check out the gift shop then were coming back and they wouldn’t let us through, when we had gone through there literally TWO minutes prior…


Isn’t that weird. I guess it’s how many people are coming though. Maybe they just want someone new to talk to!!! LoL!!!


Ditto this. The best piece of advice I could give anyone going at a peak time is to be there first thing in the morning when they drop the rope at the top of Main Street. Like in Orlando, Main Street will open at least 30 minutes prior to the published opening time for the park and the place will be pretty empty until 10 or 11 even on the most crowded days.

A big difference between DL and WDW is the fact that while WDW is really a vacation destination, DL gets most of its attendance from us locals. That is important because we have to actually get there first and almost no local will get up at 6am to get to a rope drop at 8am. As a hotel guest, though, that’s not nearly as big a deal for you.

We had a trip with family (with 3 families and 6 kids ages 2-12 and 8 adults) from out of state on July 5th a few years ago and being early birds we hit every Fantasyland ride by 10 and all of Toontown by 11. We all left at 8pm because the kids ran out of things to do.

Since you’ll have two adults, you might need to bounce around a bit for the bigger rides and getting early FastPasses is a good idea too, but you can have a great time even on crowded days. The nice thing about DCA is that nobody ever seems to go there, so the suggestion above to check that out in the afternoon or take a rest at the hotel is a good one.