What’s the longest amount of time you’d be willing to wait in line for an amusement park ride? Forty-five minutes? Two hours? When the new “Guardians of the Galaxy” themed ride opened at Disney’s California Adventure, park enthusiasts waited for up to FIVE HOURS!
Now that the hype has died down, the average wait time for this ride is about an hour and a half. But if you know when to get in line, then you could be riding much sooner.
It’s all about strategy! For your next trip to Disneyland or California Adventure, follow these tips from the “LA Times” that will cut down your wait time without costing you a dime.
Pick the right date
I bet you already guessed that the lines are the longest during most major holidays. And of course, the summer months get pretty crazy too. Try to plan your visit for September or January. Average wait times for rides during these months is only 15 minutes.
Saturdays are the busiest day of the week. Sundays and Mondays tend to get busy too because visitors may be doing a long weekend trip. If you go to the park on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, then you’ll see a shorter wait time.
When you’re looking for Wednesday dates in January and September, steer clear of Labor Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and New Years.
Psst: There may be an exception to this rule. One park-goer said Disneyland is a ghost town on Easter and Father’s Day.
Pick the right time
At Disneyland and California Adventure, the early bird really does get the worm. If you show up about a half hour before the park opens at 8 a.m., you’ll be among the first people inside. If you stay at a Disneyland hotel then you get to enter the park at 7 a.m.
If you get inside close to 8 a.m., head straight for the ride you want to go on the most. As I mentioned before, the average wait time for the “Guardians of the Galaxy” is an hour and a half. But if you get in line close to 8 a.m. then your wait time should be less than an hour.
Average wait times for each day tend to be a bell curve. Times start to increase around 10 a.m. and decrease around 9 p.m. So if you’re a night owl instead of an early bird, save the most popular ride for the end. California Adventure closes at 10 p.m. and Disneyland stays open until midnight during the summer months.
Ride by yourself
Luckily, fast passes aren’t the only way to cut the line. As a single rider, you get to cut the line for free! This isn’t the optimal solution for big family trips where the goal is quality time. But if your goal is to ride as many rides as possible then this is your best bet.
Essentially, you’re a seat filler. Most rides seat an even number of passengers; if there’s an odd numbered group then you get the extra seat. If you don’t mind going solo then you could get on a ride with a 55-minute wait in as little as 5 minutes.
For more tips and tricks, click here or click the blue button below for a link to the entire “Los Angeles Times” article. It has charts for average wait times by hour for several popular rides at California Adventure and Disneyland.