Disneyland Morning Strategy- Disneyland Park Strategy 2023

With so many attractions to ride, shows to see, and treats to eat, it can be difficult to know how to maximize your Disneyland day in 2023. To have the best Disney day ever, it’s important to arrive early in the morning, before Disneyland opens its gates. What's the best Disneyland morning strategy?

Mornings are the best time to explore Disneyland because the biggest crowds haven’t arrived yet, so lines are short. You can see the most attractions in the shortest amount of time before many other guests fill up the park.

Disney die-hards and casual parkgoers agree that an efficient morning is the key to a successful visit to any theme park. Let’s explore the best tips and tricks for your Disney morning 2023.

Discount Disneyland TicketsWalt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue at Disneyland. Disneyland morning strategy 2022

Get Away Today is our favorite (and Disney-approved!) reseller for resale Disneyland tickets. They offer some of the best discounted Disneyland tickets around, and their customer service department is top-tier. They want everyone to have the best Disney experience possible.

Get your discounted Disneyland tickets through our exclusive link here!

Get Away Today’s service makes your Disney morning even more efficient. They deliver your tickets electronically, so you don’t need to wait in any ticketing lines before you enter the parks. 

Get Away Today also offers layaway plans that allow you to pay off your tickets in monthly installments. Read our editor’s review of Get Away Today’s perks here!

Boost your morning with the Disneyland appGuests enjoying Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride at Disneyland. Disneyland morning strategies 2022

Disneyland has an official app that you can use to enhance your Disney morning experience. It's one of the best tools that you can use to maximize your Disneyland morning strategy. The most obvious perk of the app is its laser-accurate, constantly-updating wait times that let you see how long queues are for every attraction in the park. 

The app has several other helpful features, too. You can order food from your phone with the mobile order system, make dining reservations, access your PhotoPass pictures, link your park tickets, and, most importantly, utilize the new Genie+ system.

We highly recommend downloading the app, linking your tickets, and looking at all the features before you arrive at the park. This way, you won’t waste any precious time trying to figure out how to use all the helpful app utilities on your big Disney day!

Disneyland rope drop guide 2023: what is rope drop?Sleeping Beauty's Castle Disneyland Morning Strategy 2022

To get into Disneyland as early as possible, you should plan on arriving at least an hour before the listed opening hours. In a practice known as “rope drop,” cast members will start admitting guests thirty minutes before the official opening time. This means that you can begin your Disney day with the shortest queues you’ll see in your entire visit!

To ensure you’re part of the first wave of admitted guests, make sure you get to Disneyland as early as possible. Parking in the Mickey & Friends parking structure can take some time, and going through the security checkpoint also adds several minutes to your arrival procedure. Your goal should be standing outside the gates of the park 45 minutes before the official opening time.

Disneyland Morning Strategies 2023 – what's the best Disneyland morning strategy?Splash Mountain. Disneyland morning strategy 2022

Once you’re in the park, it can be tricky to figure out which rides to prioritize while morning lines are still short. What's the best Disneyland morning strategy? Here are some of the best Disneyland morning tips to organize your precious morning time. 

Strategy #1: Go big

If you want to avoid Disneyland’s longest lines, prioritize these rides in the morning before they get too crowded.

  • Peter Pan’s Flight (Fantasyland)
  • Space Mountain (Tomorrowland)
  • Rise of the Resistance (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) (see below for more details)

If you’re lucky enough to be in the first batch of guests on these rides in the morning, you could avoid wait times that often balloon to one or two hours later in the day! However, if you use the magic of rope dropping on one of these big-ticket attractions, don’t expect to have shorter wait times elsewhere –– even at their shortest, these lines can eat up a sizable chunk of your morning.

Strategy #2: Outsmart the experts

Most of the guests who arrive for rope drop are well-versed Disneyland fans, so they probably know about the big three attractions and will rush to them as soon as they enter the park. You can take advantage of these trends by visiting other popular attractions that usually have long lines, but aren’t quite as massive as the aforementioned trio. 

The biggest concentration of sizable attractions is on the western side of the park, in Frontierland, New Orleans Square, Critter Country, and Adventureland. Each of these sections (or “lands”) has at least one marquee attraction that draws sizable crowds throughout the day. To maximize your time, we recommend visiting the following attractions in the morning:

  • Splash Mountain (Critter Country)
  • The Haunted Mansion (New Orleans Square)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (New Orleans Square)
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Frontierland)
  • Indiana Jones Adventure (Adventureland)
  • Jungle Cruise (Adventureland)

Strategy #3: enter a world of fantasy

Some guests like to approach their Disneyland days in chunks, visiting every attraction in a given area before moving to the next corner of the park. Fantasyland is a great place to start. It has tons of fun rides that younger visitors will want to experience before they’re too tired out, and many of the queue areas are outside without shade, which makes morning the best time to avoid the heat. 

We recommend starting with Peter Pan’s Flight, then moving to:

  • Dumbo
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Storybookland
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
  • Casey Jr’s Circus Train
  • King Arthur Carousel

Strategy #4: explore the future

Tomorrowland is another great place to start your Disneyland day. Lines for many of the rides in the area can grow quite long pretty quickly, so we recommend approaching Tomorrowland in the following order:

  • Start at Space Mountain
  • Autopia
  • Astro Orbiters
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters
  • Star Tours

Strategy #5: a galaxy far, far away

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is Disneyland’s newest addition, which makes it an attractive corner of the park for first-timers and seasoned veterans alike. It’s also the only section of the park where you might have to wait in a long line to enter the beautifully-themed shops, which means it’s also a smart spot to begin your Disney adventure. 

Disneyland Morning Strategies: Genie PlusLightning Lane. Disneyland morning strategy 2022

To further maximize your Disneyland morning strategy, visitors now have the option to pay an additional fee for access to the new Genie Plus service. Genie Plus allows guests to make digital reservations for attractions with Lightning Lanes. Genie Plus is a super effective tool for seeing as many attractions as possible, but what’s the best way to use it? Let’s explore the possibilities.

First, it’s absolutely essential to purchase your Genie Plus before Disneyland opens for the day. This will allow you to make your first reservation as soon as the park opens. Genie Plus only allows users to make one reservation every two hours, so it’s important to strategize by picking the highest priority attractions.

We’ve broken down two different strategies for Disney+ usage. Both of them group attractions that are close to one another so you’re not running around the park all day. The first strategy guide prioritizes gentler rides for younger visitors, while the second focuses on thrill rides.

For younger visitors (fewer thrill rides):

  • Reserve Genie Plus for Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
  • Ride Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Ride Alice in Wonderland
  • Ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Ride Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
  • Ride Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Ride it’s a small world
  • Ride Casey Jr.’s Circus Train
  • Ride Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin using your Genie Plus reservation
  • Reserve Genie Plus for Splash Mountain
  • Ride Storybook Land Canal Boats
  • Ride Sleeping Beauty’s Carousel
  • Ride Mad Tea Party
  • Meet Mickey and friends in Toontown
  • Grab lunch in ToonTown
  • Ride Splash Mountain with your Genie Plus reservation

For thrill-seekers

  • Reserve Genie Plus for Space Mountain
  • Ride Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Ride Star Tours
  • Ride Space Mountain with your Genie Plus reservation
  • Reserve Genie Plus for Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Ride Matterhorn Bobsleds if the posted queue time is 20 minutes or less. If the queue time is longer than 20 minutes, save this attraction for a later Genie Plus reservation
  • Grab a snack as you walk through Adventureland
  • Ride Haunted Mansion
  • Ride Indiana Jones Adventure with your Genie Plus reservation
  • Reserve Genie Plus for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Ride Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Ride Jungle Cruise
  • Grab a snack from Tropical Imports Stand
  • Use the restrooms to the right of Tropical Imports Stand
  • Ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with your Genie Plus reservation
  • Reserve Genie Plus for Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
  • Eat lunch
  • Ride Splash Mountain
  • Ride Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run with your Genie Plus reservation

How to ride Rise of the Resistance in Star Wars: Galaxy’s EdgeRise of the Resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Disneyland morning strategy

The marquee attraction in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is a brand-new ride called Rise of the Resistance. It’s one of the most fun, thrilling, and technologically innovative rides in any Disney park, so you don’t want to miss it! 

Along with Radiator Springs Racers and WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure in California Adventure, Rise of the Resistance offers a la carte Lightning Lane virtual queueing –– it’s not included in the Genie+ system, but still uses the Disneyland app. If you opt to use the a la carte virtual queue, it’ll cost you $20 per guest, which is absolutely worth it if you want to fit as many attractions as possible into your day.

If you don’t use the Lightning Lane, the standby wait time will probably eat up a good chunk of your day, even if you visit in the morning –– if you rush straight to Rise at rope drop, you might get lucky and only wait 30 or 40 minutes, but the wait time usually is at least an hour.  The wait time often exceeds two hours, and sometimes hits 180 minutes.

We recommend saving the attraction for later in the day. Monitor the wait time using the Disneyland app, and join the standby line during a parade or mid-afternoon. Remember that Rise of the Resistance closes earlier than the rest of the park –– you only have until 9:00 PM to visit it!

Plan Your Disneyland Vacation!

Keep reading our blog to keep you updated on everything you need to know to prepare for Disneyland vacation! Be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter to  receive helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere. You can find more information on planning your vacation here:

Leave a Comment