A Singular Sensation

oneDisneyland offers many ways to abbreviate your wait in long queues. We’ve written in-depth on the Fast/MaxPass offerings. We will also write more about strategically planning riding attractions that do not offer these advantages. Single-Rider is a really effective way to get on that attraction quickly.

Currently, the rides with Single-Rider at the California Disney parks are as follows:

Disneyland Park:

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Splash Mountain
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Space Mountain

Disney California Adventure Park:

  • Grizzly River Run
  • Incredicoaster
  • Goofy’s Sky School
  • Radiator Springs Racers

As with many of these offerings that Disney provides, there are some trade-offs or compromises. Firstly, it’s called Single-Rider for a reason. It’s just you. If you’re with your family or a group, there’s no guarantee that you’ll all be on the same vehicle together. And chances are, you will not be. For this, we advise using a Fast/MaxPass to ride the attraction once together with your group to get the pictures and have the experience together. For future rides, go Single-Rider. Another gotcha is that sometimes Single-Rider is not available at these locations. Sometimes, due to traffic or other demand-related situations, the attractions do not offer this benefit. Most times, you’ll see a sign or some indication that it’s available or not. Or, asking a Cast Member will get you that information. Because these Single-Rider options are usually taking a different route to get to the platform, please listen and respect the instructions given. Especially from the super helpful Cast Members.

For Matterhorn Bobsleds, the option is extremely efficient and you will get many rides in a very short time. They are constantly pulling from the Single-Rider queues and your wait time is usually very short. You may be placed in either the left or right queue, or you may be given the choice. But if you love this attraction, Single-Rider is pure gold!

Splash Mountain is also really good to take advantage of this program. The lines are much shorter than the Standby or Fast/MaxPass queues. They tend to still be a bit of a wait but very worth it.

Indiana Jones Adventure is a bit hit or miss. Sometimes they don’t do Single-Rider. And even when they do, it’s not as efficient as the others. Still worthwhile to use this on this attraction, absolutely. But they only let a few through at a time since they have to load the handicap elevator and only 6-8 folks can comfortably fit. Again, it’s still better than Standby so go for it.

In Disney California Adventure, definitely use it on Incredicoaster (formerly California Screamin’) and absolutely use it on Radiator Springs Racers. These attractions usually have amazingly long standby lines and the Single-Rider option is heaven!

Here, at ToDisney, we provide the hints and tricks to maximize your fun. The Single-Rider option on these attractions are outstanding ways to accomplish this. As mentioned, always look or ask a Cast Member to find out if Single-Rider is available for that attraction. Also always be kind to those lovely Cast Members! They work hard and have kind of a rough job but they continue to be happy and helpful. If you get on Twitter, send out a hashtag #CastMemberCompliment and mention the name and where they were. Also link @DisneylandToday and/or @Disneyland in your tweet. The company sees these and passes the praise along in a really cool way.

Some of the information here is based on articles from Southern California newspapers or Wikipedia. One amazing article from the L.A. Times has a ton of great information regarding minimizing wait time for attractions.

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We are building a world to help you learn how To Disney! The foundation is this blog. All the knowledge sharing and tips/tricks will be shared here. We also want to engage with you anywhere else to further enhance your experience. So far, we’ve added a new Facebook Group, an Instagram account, and a Twitter account. I’ll add the links below.

The goal here is to ensure the best experience for all of you to learn from us here and you can share your knowledge and stories through our Social Media. We hope you’ll follow all our accounts and that it will always be valuable to you.

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Our Way… To Disney

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Our way To Disney is both simple and complicated. The simple side of things is pretty much this: we do mostly attractions. We’re not into meet & greets or character meals or parades. Disney is magical. Quite literally. Places like Universal Studios and other theme or amusement parks are fun. Disney is magical. This comes from things that are environmental, like music, smells, decorations, etc. The level of immersion when you walk into an attraction like Haunted Mansion or Pirates of the Caribbean is a testament to this magic. You get the magic when you ride the attractions and experience the immersive story-telling. From Cast Members being extra happy and very polite to sight lines and forced perspective convincing your willing mind that Sleeping Beauty’s Castle must be 500 feet tall.

Complications are introduced with what we do between riding these attractions. We eat. We walk. We play games on our phones like HeadsUp! We use amazing tools Disney provides like FastPass and MaxPass to ensure our wait in the queues are minimal. We take advantage of single-rider options on attractions that offer it. For example, Indiana Jones Adventure. Yes, we’ll generally take a ride as a family first, usually with FastPasses. From then on, it’s single-rider or bust. Same with Incredicoaster and most recently, Space Mountain. Maximize riding the attractions, minimize the waiting. Before MaxPass we would literally sprint to FastPass distribution areas for attractions like Radiator Springs Racers as soon as we got through the ticket turnstiles. (Thank goodness for MaxPass!)

MaxPass is a recent addition Disney introduced in July of 2017. For a cost of $10 per person, per day, it affords you the amazing convenience and ability to digitally reserve FastPasses through your phone on the Disneyland App. You just have to have entered the park. It’s super great as you can collect your entire party’s tickets or passes on your device and reserve FastPasses all at once. No more running to the FastPass distribution machines and feeding it ticket after ticket hoping you all get the same return time. So awesome and so worth the money. PhotoPass is also included, and that allows you to download photos from attractions and from the photographers around the parks. We consider MaxPass a must-do for at least a few of the days of your trip, if not every day. To be clear, your entire party can participate in MaxPass with just one phone, but a MaxPass must be purchased for each ticket. If you have youngsters without phones, no worries.

FastPasses are reservations for a future time on an attraction. A shorter queue is provided to assure a faster arrival to the attraction. MaxPass is a digital version of this that removes the physical aspect, no tickets, no actual distribution locations. It’s right on your phone.

Rope drop is always a goal but rarely has it happened for us. It’s especially nice to take advantage of this opening ceremony for the fanfare and the anticipation as the crowds press you in towards the literal rope, cutting off your access to further magic. If you’re at Disneyland and get close to the barrier heretofore mentioned, speed your way through the castle gates to Peter Pan’s Flight. That classic attraction is ALWAYS in a long wait. Another way to get through that queue is to take advantage of Extra Magic Hour or One Magic Morning. These are benefits to Disneyland hotel residents or multi-day ticket holders, respectively. As the title infers, you get into the parks one hour before the normal park opening. These are great ways to ride these commonly busy attractions.

Please enjoy Disneyland in your own way. We’ve taken years to develop our way and we completely enjoy all the benefits.  We look forward to sharing more and more ways To Disney. If you have some requests or questions, leave them in the comments. It can be a lot of work and put a toll on your feet after several days. But as I’ve always said and will continue to say, it is all worth it.

Who We Are

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We are a Disney Family! Our family was originally my wife Rachel, my son Wyatt, and me. Lately, since the beginning of 2018, we have two add-ons. They are my cousin’s son and daughter, Conner and Elle. Pictured above from left to right are Conner, me, Rachel, Wyatt, and Rachel’s sister Ruth. Elle was not with us during our 2018 trip. I’ll find a picture of her and add it. We currently live near Salt Lake City, Utah.

My history of Disneyland before I was married consists of one visit in the late 1980’s. I was about 10 years old. I don’t have a ton of memories about it other than I know it was so much fun and I loved it. When I got married, Rachel, who had gone almost yearly with her family growing up, wanted me to go. I hesitated because, in my mind, Disneyland was great for kids and not for adults. She wouldn’t have that and said, “We NEED to go!!”. My reply was, let’s wait until we have kids to take. “We REALLY NEED to go!!”

I finally relented and that was it. Blew. My. Mind! I had never had so much fun. I was hooked.

I need to step back to fill in kind of a big plot-hole here…

When we were planning our wedding, we decided that it would be amazing to spend our short honeymoon at Walt Disney World, in Florida. We budgeted and planned for a total of three days and told our family and friends we’d be gone a full week. The plan was to come home secretly and have some alone time. Our wedding day was September 8th, 2001. We were in Florida, ready to head to Magic Kingdom on September 11th… We heard all the commotion in the hotel, turned on the TV and were completely floored by these horrific events in New York City. But, we came and paid to go to Disney, so we went. We didn’t even make it through the front gate before they closed the park and started ushering us all out. We were able to go back the next day, but I remember so little about the park itself. I remember it was raining a bit. I remember after hearing all flights were grounded that we called the airline at every phone booth we could find. I remember that our short, three day honeymoon was extended to nearly the full week we had told everyone it would be. All in all, an experience that wasn’t entirely positive about Disney Parks.

Since those events, we tried to visit Disneyland or Walt Disney World every year. One year, we all had Annual Passes and went so many times in that period.

Wyatt has been “indoctrinated” into the world of Disney Parks since birth. He truly loves the Magic that only Disney can provide. He loves the food, the attractions, and the great family time we have together.

Here’s a picture with Elle (far left):

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While others may contribute to this blog, Rachel, Wyatt, and I will be the regular writers and we hope to delight, entertain and most importantly, educate you on how To Disney.