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Disneyland Crowds and How To Beat Them

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Disneyland Crowds. It’s a reality of visiting the Happiest Place on Earth, but it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker.

Being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire world, Disneyland is no stranger to busy days. The trick is knowing how to deal with the Disneyland busy days.

Disneyland Crowds

A lot of the time the crowds are at a tolerable level where the lines for attractions average somewhere around a 10-40 minute wait. Therefore, you can manage to get on a good number of Disneyland and California Adventure attractions.

However, there are some days (usually around summer and Holidays) where it seems as though every single attraction is at least a 30-minute wait. Including even the little ones like Golden Zephyr or the Mad Tea Party.

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Ride Closures 2013

Even that Mark Twain Riverboat which everyone pretends to enjoy has a long wait. And since the little rides have a long wait, that means the really good ones that always have long waits have even longer waits.

Where the Indiana Jones Adventure is usually around 45 minutes, it is now 75. Where Radiator Springs Racers usually has an hour wait, it is now a 90-minute wait. Meaning you’ll
have to listen to that old 60’s music that they play in the queue for even longer, thus making your day at the Happiest Place on Earth a living nightmare.

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Ride and Attraction Closures January 2015

Then there is just walking around the Disneyland park – there are so many people! You can barely move, you’re trying your best not to lose your family.

People are always in the way, and in the midst of all this chaos, all of a sudden someone on an electric scooter comes out of nowhere traveling at 63 miles-per-hour and almost runs you down.

Okay, maybe it’s not quite as bad as I’m making it out to be. But it most certainly isn’t fun.

However, here are some things you can do to enjoy yourself in when Disneyland is busy despite the big crowds.

Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough


What? There’s a Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough?

Yes, there is, located to the left of the entrance of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Or as like to call it: The Thing That Will Make You Spend Goodness Knows How Much Money Only To End Up Spending Four Grueling Hours Washing All The Glitter Out Of Your 4-Year-Old’s Hair.

The good thing about the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough is not many people actually know it exists.

So it isn’t that busy – ever! Even on crowded Disneyland days! So if the crowds get a little too much for you, you can just pop on over to the Walkthrough.

disneyland busy

Plus, the Walkthrough itself is actually very entertaining. It tells the story of the classic Disney movie Sleeping Beauty by showing models of scenes from the film.

The effects they use to recreate these scenes are actually fairly amazing to look at, using similar techniques are seen in The Haunted Mansion.

Additionally, it’s air-conditioned, and nothing can beat that. Not even having glitter dumped all over your hair at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

California Adventure Animation Academy


Located in Hollywoodland at California Adventure, the Animation Academy is an excellent place to get away from the Disneyland crowds.

It usually isn’t too crowded and there are plenty of things to do there.

There is the drawing class where you can learn to draw your favorite Disney characters, such as Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh.

Or, there is Turtle Talk with Crush where you can have a conversation with Crush from Finding Nemo about all the amazing things about the ocean.


Or, you can meet Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen. Or go to the Sorcerer’s Workshop and learn about animation as well as find out which Disney character you’re most like. (Although sometimes you don’t want to know. I found it quite
insulting when they said I was like Dopey).

It’s air-conditioned, there are places to sit down, a perfect place to go if you’re a fan of Disney, so, therefore, is a great way to get avoid the crowds.

Disneyland Crowds – How Much is Too Much?


I find that waiting in for an hour in Disneyland crowds on only one attraction isn’t too bad.

Yes, by the time you’re 45 minutes in you start to get tired – especially if the person behind you is eating one of those heart-attack-inducing turkey legs that smells like a sandwich that has been left out on the counter for 6 years and 23 days.

Still, it is worth it if you pick the right ride to line up for. So if you’re going to go in a long line, make sure it’s something you know will be very good. Something like Indiana Jones Adventure or Splash Mountain.


Waiting an hour for just one or two rides that are both very enjoyable isn’t as bad as it sounds, but – and this is just me personally, maybe you’ll be different – going on more than that can get very tiring.

So what I’m saying is you can manage to do one or two – or maybe three – so you can manage to get some good rides done. But it’s when you
reach the fourth big queue that it can become exhausting.

Disney California Adventure Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

This is great for kids as it is basically a big, glamorous well-themed play-ground. And for adults, it is a relaxing place to sit as it is themed after some of the most beautiful forests in California, such as Sequoia.

So you can watch your kids have fun while you sit down and take in the lovely atmosphere while you wonder why you didn’t just go up to Sequoia instead of paying goodness how much money to get into a theme park only to find out that it was too busy to get on anything and ended up sitting down in a fake replica of one of the most beautiful places in the world that’s only a few hours drive upstate and would be much cheaper and less time-wasting than sitting there constantly checking the Disneyland
app to see if Goofy’s Sky School’s hour-long-wait has died down. But I digress.

Where to Go When Disneyland is Busy


After visiting the Disneyland parks for close to two decades now we have learned some places where it is best to go when the Disneyland crowds just get too much.

Visit The Disneyland Hotels


The Grand Californian is an especially good place to go when visiting Disneyland. It’s just a nice place to walk around as it has a lot of atmosphere. Plus, there’s a bar, so that’s another reason to go.

The Disneyland Hotel, while there isn’t as much to see, is pretty nice as well. Especially the area with Trader Sam’s.

However, if you can only go to one, visit the Grand Californian. It’s much better.

Just Soak In The Atmosphere

Disneyland Hotel Discounts

The reason why most people go to Disneyland is to go on its amazing attractions, which is fair enough – that’s certainly why I go. But sometimes just sitting down on a bench and taking in all the sights is good enough.

Especially in lands like Cars Land where you truly feel as though you just stepped into a movie.

As you can see, there are plenty of things to do other than go on rides at Disneyland. In fact, you could just spend the day there and not go on any rides and still have an enjoyable time.

What do you do to beat the Disneyland crowds?

Disneyland Crowded