Published: May 12, 2013 at 2:06 PM

One tip: Disneyland's first roller coaster, the Matterhorn Bobsleds, is unique to Disneyland among the Disney theme parks (at least so far). It was refurbished in 2012 with new ride vehicles, though many park visitors complain that the leg room is very cramped since the refurbishment.

Although the Matterhorn doesn't offer Fast Passes, it does have a single rider line which can save a lot of waiting time if you are willing to break up your party when riding. Single rider lines are also available for Splash Mountain and Indiana Jones Adventure, and are especially useful next door in Disney California Adventure on the extremely popular Radiator Springs Racers.

Published: May 12, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Unfortunately, Disneyland botched that Matterhorn refurb. I recommend bringing a coat or something else that you can fold and sit on, so that you won't feel all the bumps in that ride.
AJ Hummel

Published: May 12, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Great article for first time Disneyland visitors. The plan given is very similar to what I usually do: Space Mountain, Star Tours, Indiana Jones Adventure, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean (even on busy days I usually get all this done within two hours without using Fastpass), then tour the remainder of the park in whatever way I choose and end the night with Fantasmic! (tip: if you go to the second showing you can often arrive ten minutes before and find a great viewing location, although it may be standing room only).

With the exception of Star Tours, I'd consider all of the above attractions must-sees even if visitors have experienced them at Walt Disney World, and I'd also note that while Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom are very similar, there are enough unique attractions at Disneyland that Magic Kingdom visitors should still plan at least a full day for Disneyland park itself (I'd recommend two days, or at least a day and a half, for first-timers who have not visited Magic Kingdom). One other tip: With the exception of Peter Pan's Flight, the Fantasyland dark rides usually experience significant wait time drops during the parade, so if you're not watching the parade this is the time to ride them.

Zack McDonald

Published: May 13, 2013 at 12:57 PM

We always Fast Pass Indiana Jones then go to the Matterhorn. After the Matterhorn we ride everthing in Fantasyland in a little over an hour.
Mark Kausch

Published: May 14, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Great tips! If you happen to be doing both parks in one day, I feel sorry for...I mean, get the Fastpass for Radiator Springs Racers in CA Adventure first if you're early.

As for eating, read the Blue Bayou's menu first before making a reservation to avoid sticker shock.

And if you need mobility help, especially ECV's, get them EARLY! They often sell out early, around noonish (OK, I'm a local. That's early for me), and you'll need to get put on a waiting list. Kinda like Fastpass, but much less fun. You'll give them your cell phone number, but Disneyland phone service is not the best, especially during heavier times.

Mark Kausch

Published: May 14, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Also note that as far as food is concerned - why do I keep coming back to that? - Downtown Disney is much closer to Disneyland than DD is to WDW's MK. Many good food choices are available right outside Disney's gate, including Disney's Californian Hotel. You can't miss seeing Downtown Disney as you're entering Disneyland unless you're really, *really* trying.