The crowds were out in full force at Disneyland this weekend. Of course this is to be expected. School is out and two new rides have just opened.
Tomorrowland could be best described as very very crowded. If you do not need to approach Tomorrowland from Main Street at the moment just don’t even go there. Access Space Mountain from the other side of the park and avoid the Jedi crowds.
I had a plan of action to get the most possible rides on Star Tours. I booked a room in one of the Disneyland Resort hotels so that we could get the Soundsational Summer Package. Not only does this give you early entry into the parks on certain days it will give you something even more valuable. 2 Fast Passes per guest. This is a huge deal if you want to avoid standing in the line for Star Tours.
The early entry hours this Sunday meant that Disney resort guests could enter Disneyland at 7am which is one hour ahead of the rest of the park guests. This should have got us a head start but of course after leaving the park at midnight the night before things didn’t quite work out as planned. So we were a little late reaching the Fast Pass kiosk at 8:15am.
By this time the standby line for Star Tours was already 75 minutes long. The line for the Fast Pass kiosk took almost 10 minutes. But the short wait for those prized Fast Pass tickets was well worth it. If you are visiting the parks this summer my advice is that you will have to get to the kiosk early in the morning. It had only been open a short time but the Fast Pass return time was 1pm to 2pm. The Cast Member I spoke to said he expected them to be all gone by 11am at the latest. So get there early!
By the afternoon the Star Tours line did not vary from a wait time of 170 minutes. Yes, that is almost 3 hours! If you had a Fast Pass then the wait averaged around 20 minutes. But that was just enough time to enjoy the new features of the line. Those in the standby line had to stand outside in Tomorrowland in the sun for around 2 hours.
By contrast California Adventure park seemed much less frantic. The Little Mermaid wait times were not too bad at all. Often the wait time was less than an hour. As this is a new attraction there isn’t yet a Fast Pass for it, but Disney resort guests can use one of their Fast Passes to go to the front of the line (or the early entry to get into the line ahead of everyone else).
Lines for The Little Mermaid are never likely to be as long as for Star Tours. The ride is much faster loading than Star Tours and can process many more guests per hour. And of course it seems unlikely that anything will beat the popularity of Star Tours for a long time to come.
Both new attractions are very well worth seeing. Star Tours is just amazing and far exceeded my expectations. The Little Mermaid is a much needed addition to California Adventure. Careful planning, and of course the extra expense of booking a Disney resort room, meant that I got to ride Star Tours 3 times this weekend. I would wait a long time in line for what is one of the best attractions which Disney has ever produced. But 3 hours? I think my limit has to be a lot less than that.
So just how long is too long to wait for your favorite Disney attraction?
Alison Meacham has visited Disney World and Disneyland so many times that her children think it is normal to see Mickey Mouse at breakfast. She is a little obsessed with Disney and is the writer of the EverythingMouse blog