So I'd like to ask those people here who visit these parks regularly, which of the 4 days (FRI, SAT, SUN, MON) should we visit our 4 target parks (Disneyland, Disney California, Six Flags, Knotts Berry in order of preference) to have the best overall experience?
I'm also not committed to KBF for what its worth, I resent not being able to purchase tickets in advance on the net (we are in the UK and they only 'serve' US and CAN) and some of the tales I've read here are a little worrying. If we dropped one of the 4 days, this would be the one.
If it helps we are two 40 somethings with a 10 year old son. I and my lad prefer thrill rides whilst my wife likes the 'atmosphere' you find at parks like Disney along with the shows (she once went on Thunder Mountain in Orlando and hated it, if that gives an idea of her 'level'; each to their own of course).
Many thanks in advance to any who can help...
FRI: Six Flags Magic Mountain- Some schools should still be in, and this park is a major draw for teens, so it should be less busy in the day time.
SAT: Knott's Berry Farm- What is considered busiest day for Knott's by most, I consider the best day to visit Knott's, and if you would like to know, I have the perfect route for getting every ride acomplished within half the day (rushing) or a good portion of the day leisurly strolling! :D
SUN: California Adventure: The Disney parks are nearly ALWAYS busy, so I just chose the day DCA is open the longest.
MON: Disneyland- The crowds will probably tone down on this weekday with work and some (but very few) students, so this should be an opprotune time to visit.
I sure hope this helps!
First of all, you should get a three-day park hopper for the Disneyland Resort. This will allow you to maximize your time there, as that appears to be the most important park. It will also be the most crowded, but since it has the Fastpass system you will still be able to experience everything. Also, try to get a hotel near the Disneyland resort, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. It doesn't have to be a Disney hotel, just one within walking distance of the parks. Now, here is what I recommend for each day.
Friday: Knott's Berry Farm opens at 10 A.M. everyday. Be at the park as early as you can. Depending on crowds, you may be done with the park by 4 in the afternoon. Even if it is crowded, the park doesn't usually take a full operating day. Once you are done with Knott's, drive down to Disneyland and explore the park until you are tired. It will likely be open until midnight by that time, so you could potentially stay fairly late. This is probably the least crowded day for the Disneyland Resort, so try to take advantage of it if you can.
Saturday: Be at Disney's California Adventure when they open. Try to get on all the rides you want to ride as quickly as possible. When you are done with the park, head over to Disneyland for the remainder of the day. This will probably be the most crowded of the four days at most parks, although the Disneyland Resort is an oddball and is often less crowded on Saturday than on Sunday due to Annual Pass holders.
Sunday: Spend all day at Disneyland, or spend part of it at Disney's California Adventure. If you did California Adventure on Saturday, you don't really need to go back there as the park can be done in about 7 hours even in sold-out crowds (with a good plan of attack). If you finish early, that is fine, and is actually a good thing. If possible, get a different hotel near SFMM for Sunday night to avoid LA traffic Monday morning.
Monday: Spend all day at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Make sure you are there at opening so you have time to do everything. Even though it will likely be fairly uncrowded (least busy of the four days), Six Flags Magic Mountain has the most rides and requires the most walking. You will be tired after the park, even if they are only open for eight hours.
I've never actually done anything like this, but based on my experience at the parks I'd say this is probably your best bet. It will be somewhat tiring, but it will be worth it. Depending on your endurance level, you may want to alter it by leaving out Disney on Friday or focusing on one park each day over the weekend. However, having a hotel right near the parks will help significantly as you can easily go back to it and rest in the middle of the day. Whatever you end up doing, I wish you good luck and hope you have an enjoyable trip.
1. Arrive To Knott's Gates 30 minutes Before Opening
2. (This is supposed to be a secret, but I'll let you in on it): Ghost Town opens 10 minutes before the rest of the park, so you want to ride Ghost Rider absolutly first!
3. Head straight for Silver Bullet. If you are fast enough, you'll just barely beat the folks coming in when the rest of the park opens and get the first train!
4. Now you want to head for Supreme Scream followed by Perilous Plunge. No lines should be in site.
5. At this point, here is another secret. Depending on if these two rides are open, Xcelerator at this time would begin a couple test runs and Log flume would just barely open. HEad directly for Log Flume, ride it, and run (if you can) for Xcelerator. There WILL be a line, but a small one.
6. Finally head over to Ghost Town again and hit Pony Express and Bigfoot Rapids. Now you can leave the rest of your time to explore Camp Snoopy and Fiesta Village where great surprises await but few lines, though be sure to catch the last showing of Mystery Lodge, one of the best theme park shows. Also, if your son would like Snoopy, he has his own ice show.
Now, this should work as I went to Knott's for 4 days straight (THURS-SUN) meaning I have seen anywhere from little crowds on Thursday to the big yet still avoidable crowds on Saturday (yet you would never guess the day I used this touring plan and got everything done was the very busyh SATURDAY!)
Hopefully this helps as well! If you need help with other parks, just ask as these parks in Southern Cal (if you will) are my area of expertise!
Several of you mention the SoCal schools, can anybody tell me when they actually do break? Our schools summer break is mid July - end August in the UK so you guys obviously do it different over the water.
Regarding KBF, if I could get tickets at a 'sensible' price I would probably re-instate it. It seems very old fashioned in this day and age not to sell tickets worldwide over the web. Paying the price on the gate would annoy me when I know it can be bought cheaper.
I suspect I can't even buy online once in the US as my CC will have a UK address attached to it.
However, I take the advice regarding the quality of this park and will have a serious rethink.
We've now added an extra day to LA to take a bit slower, so KBF is back on and we can take the Sunday/Saturday off and go to the beach to rest up.
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney California Adventure
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Hollywood