We’re not saying you should plan your day to the minute—that’s not fun for anyone—but keep in mind that there are over 50 attractions between the two parks, and that doesn’t even count shows, shops and restaurants. It’s a lot to manage, so we suggest adding a bit of structure to your day: Are there any parades or nighttime shows you want to see? Do you have dinner reservations?
Begin your morning at California Adventure and get FastPasses for World of Color and Radiator Springs Racers—sometimes you can immediately grab an additional Fastpass, so make sure to read your Racers ticket. Afterwards, head to Disneyland (which won’t conflict with your California Adventure passes) and get a FastPass for Indiana Jones or one of the Mountains, as well as one for Fantasmic (which won't count against your pass limit).
Pro tip: Struck out with passes for the major thrill rides? Consider using the single rider line if you’re okay being split up from your group. On Radiator Springs Racers especially, this can sometimes knock the line down from over a two-hour wait to less than 30 minutes.
Pro tip: Pack an extra pair of socks if you plan on riding Splash Mountain or Grizzly River Run. Nobody likes blisters and stinky socks.
Pro tip: If you’re looking to soldier on with a bit of liquid courage, stake out a seat on the patio at Cove Bar at California Adventure or hole up in Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel.
Pro tip: Consider turning off your data or going into airplane mode, especially on reception black holes like Indiana Jones and Soarin’, to keep your phone running all day.
Pro tip: As you leave attractions with an on-ride photo, don't forget to snap your own shot of the screen.
Start at the left and work your way right because everyone does the opposite.
Pro tip: If you’re looking to travel to and from the Downtown Disney area, the monorail is a fun, retro shortcut that typically doesn't have a huge wait. Plus, the nearby lots offer three hours of free parking; you'll save money this way if your visit is under six hours, but stay longer and you'll pay considerably more than the garage.
Arrive early. Lines are shortest in the morning because, let's face it, who wants to wake up that early? You do.
If you can stay awake for a few extra hours, the late showings of Fantasmic and World of Color are significantly less crowded.
Just about everything is less crowded during the Disneyland fireworks (except for Fantasyland and Toon Town attractions, which close during the show).