California Adventure Park Hopping Tips


If you are enjoying a park Hopper ticket for California Adventure and Disneyland here are some great tips and tricks for enjoying the two parks on your visit…

  1. Arrive Early, typically the lines are shorter in both parks in the morning. Therefore it is best to enter either park when it first opens in the morning. Generally speaking, it is better to stay in one park the whole day as you will be able to experience more of the park and more rides during a full day. Take advantage of being able to go straight onto a few rides like the Grizzly Run or Soarin over California before the lines grow.
  1. Must do List, create a checklist of what rides, shows and treats you want to enjoy most throughout the day. Our “Must Do List” includes California Screamin, Tower of Terror, Grizzly Run, Soarin over California and Goofy’s Sky School to name a few. It is great to have a must list as your plan but be spontaneous and take advantage of anything with a short wait time.
  1. Wait Times App / Wait Times Board, Save time by checking the Wait Times Board, located across the street from Carthay Circle on Buena Vista Street or download the Disney App to your smart phone where you can check wait times right at your finger tips.
  1. Magic Mornings, if you are staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel you can enjoy an extra hour in the morning before the park opens. If you are staying at a Good Neighbor Hotel and do not have access to Magic Mornings, then it is best to go to the park that does not have Magic Morning that day. For example Disneyland runs Magic Mornings, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday’s. While California Adventure runs Magic Mornings: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. When you enter the park on those days, the park will have already been open an hour.
  1. Fast Passes, Fast Passes enable you to come back to the ride at a specific time, by passing the longer Standby line. Rides that offer the Fast Pass service include:
  • California Screamin
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Grizzly Run
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Soarin over California
  • Tower of Terror
  • World of Color

As soon as the park opens go straight to the Cars Fast Pass distribution, of all the rides in the park, this one has the longest standby line, it also runs out of Fast Passes the quickest. Next, go over to The Grizzly Run and grab a Fast Pass for the “World of Color” show. You can hold both of these Fast Passes at the same time. This is also a great time to go on the Grizzly Run if it is a hot day the line you see right now will be it’s shortest all day. Actually, go twice in a row if you don’t mind getting extra wet. We always take advantage of the moment, if you can go on a ride twice in a row, then do it!  Note on your Fast Pass what time you can acquire another Fast Pass.

  1. Standby Wait Time, if the ride is over 30 minutes go for the Fast Pass option, but if the wait time is under 30 minutes take the Standby line.
  1. Single Rider Lines, take advantage of Single Rider lines, if you don’t mind splitting up, single rider lines are much shorter.
  1. Rider Swap, if you are enjoying the park with a child that does not meet the height requirements of a ride, one parent can go on the ride with the older child that is tall enough, while the other parent waits at the exit with the younger child that cannot go on the ride. When the first parent exits the ride, the two parents swap places. Everyone can enjoy the ride without having to wait in the standby line twice.
  1. Front of the Ride, Want to sit at the front of the ride, just ask the cast member when standing in the queue, however, the wait will be a little bit longer. But, if you want to be in the front car for Soarin over California or California Screaming, it is worth the wait.
  1. Parades and Shows, California Adventure offers a wide variety of its own unique shows which alone make the park hopper ticket worth it. Check out the full list of parades and shows available and refer to your Entertainment Guide for exact times as the show times change throughout the year.
  1. Breaks, Take some time to relax and cool off in an air-conditioned building. We love to spend some time at Off the Page, where you can learn to sketch your favorite Disney characters. The Aladdin musical at the Hyperion Theatre is another great way to escape the walking and the heat. You will also find it cool in the 3D Theatres: “The Muppets 3D Vision” and “It’s tough to be a Bug.”
  1. Emergencies, It is a good idea to know where the First Aid Centre’s are in the park? If you have an emergency or just need a band aid. Both parks do have Nurses on site. You will have to fill out some paper work even if it’s just for a Band Aid. In Disneyland the First Aid Centre can be found beside the baby center. In California Adventure the First Aid Centre is right beside the Chamber of Commerce when you first walk into the park.
  1. Washrooms, here are the locations of the washrooms in California Adventure. It is good to be familiar with them, if you need one in a hurry.
  • Buena Vista Street: beside the Chamber of Commerce, beside Mortimer’s Market.
  • Hollywood Land: beside Off the Page, Beside Hyperion Theatre
  • A Bugs Land: beside Flik’s Flyers
  • Cars Land: beside Flo’s V8 Café
  • Pacific Wharf: beside Lucky Fortune Cookery
  • Paradise Pier: behind King Triton’s Carousel, beside Paradise Garden Grill
  • Grizzly Peak: Across from Soarin over California,
  1. ATM Machines, can be found throughout the park: Inside the Main Entrance next to the lockers, The Bay Area, Pacific Wharf, Outside Off the Page in Hollywood Land and near Sideshow Shirts.
  1. Second Showings, World of Color will often have two showings, the later will often be less crowded.
  1. Fireworks in Disneyland, Many guests flood out of California Adventure late in the evening in time to catch the Fireworks as well as the Color The Night Parade in Disneyland. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of shorter lines in California Adventure.
  1. World of Color Show, is another great time to take advantage of shorter wait times on the rides as a huge number of people will be watching the show.

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