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Early entry is back for Disneyland Resort Hotel guests! If you’re visiting Disneyland Park soon, you’re going to need to know this information! Even if you’re not staying at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels, Disneyland early entry will affect your vacation. This info is especially important if you’re going to be rope-dropping. Keep reading to find out more info about Disneyland early entry, how to use it efficiently if you’re a Disneyland Hotel guest, and how to change your rope drop strategy if you’re not staying on a Disneyland property. I also talk about the benefit of using early entry to get on the two most popular rides in the parks! Rise of the Resistance and Radiator Springs Racers.
I was just at Disneyland Resort to test out the early entry for hotel guests. I worked together with a few friends over a couple of days to test out several different strategies for Disneyland Resort hotel guests using early entry and for guests staying on property you are utilizing rope drop.
I’ve got an episode on my podcast about the early entry at Disneyland that will be really helpful for you! Make sure you check it out!
If you’re looking for Disneyland planning tips, and the latest Disneyland park news you’re in the right place! I also talk about Disneyland park history, the storytelling behind the attractions, and my latest Disney park adventures. I’m here to help you plan your Disney vacation with a little extra magic mixed in. Join me!
This episode is all about Early Entry at the Disneyland Resort! I teamed up with a few friends(Shantelle@Disneylandtourguide, Liz@Disneyfoodnfun, Ashley@Disneyplannerbabe) to test out Early Entry! We each tested a different strategy with Early Entry, so there’s lots of information to share with you! We also talk about how Early Entry changes rope drop for guests not staying on property. Plus, my favorite Disneyland treat of all time is back in the parks! Don’t miss this episode!
Shantelle@Disneyland Tour Guide: https://www.instagram.com/disneylandtourguide/
Liz@Disney Foon N Fun: https://www.instagram.com/disneyfoodnfun/
Ashley@Disney Planner Babe: https://www.instagram.com/disneyplannerbabe/
Early Entry Info: https://mixinsomemagic.com/disneyland-early-entry-for-hotel-guests/
Churro Sundae Copycat Recipe: https://mixinsomemagic.com/disneyland-churro-sundae-recipe-2/
Discount Disney Tickets and Hotels: Discount Park Tickets and Hotels: https://www.getawaytoday.com/tickets/disneyland-resort/?referrerid=7842
*Use code MSM10 to save an additional $10!
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Discount Disney Park Tickets
Please be aware, that Disney theme parks all require park tickets and reservations. Make sure you have both! There are a limited number of reservations, so make your park reservations as soon as possible. You can make them 120 days in advance. Please don’t pay full price for your Disney tickets or hotel! My partners at Get Away Today have the very best deals on tickets and hotels. Their customer service is top notch and they even have layaway plans. You can find them here or call 1-855-GET-AWAY. Make sure you tell them Melissa from Mix In Some Magic sent you for the best deal! If you book a package with park tickets and a hotel room you can use my code MIX10 to save an extra $10. That’s more churro money, friends! They book all the on-property hotels along with good neighbor hotels. They are Disney experts!
I have a bunch of hotel reviews that might be helpful for you if you’re still trying to decide where you’d like to stay. I prefer to stay at a hotel within walking distance of the Disney parks. This is a great option for our family because I love being able to just walk over to the parks and walk back to the hotel when the day is over.
What is Disneyland Early Entry?
Disneyland early entry is a perk offered to Disneyland guests who are staying at one of Disneyland’s on-property hotels. If you’re staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, Paradise Pier, or the Disneyland Hotel, you’ll have access to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park 30 minutes before the park is open to the general public.
Select attractions, dining, and shopping will also be available during this time. This is great news for Disney hotel guests! Getting into the parks 30 minutes before everyone else is a big deal! You’ll be able to check some big attractions off your list before the park opens! Plus, when the park does officially open, you’ll already be inside taking advantage of low morning wait times while everyone else is just getting to the ticket gates!
I’m a big fan of early theme park entry because it’s a great way to make the best use of your time on your Disney vacation!
What’s Open During Disneyland Early Entry?
Not every attraction is open for Disneyland early entry. Here’s a list of what’s available at each park during early admission.
Disneyland Park Attractions
- Alice in Wonderland
- Astro Orbitor
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Disneyland Monorail
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- King Arthur Carrousel
- Mad Tea Party
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
- Space Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Disneyland Park Dining and Shopping
- Fantasyland Fruit Cart
- Galactic Grill
- Guide II
- Esplanade Stroller Shop
- The Mad Hatter in Fantasyland
- Market House
- Plaza Inn
Disney California Adventure Park
Disney California Adventure Park Attractions
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission BREAKOUT!
- The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
- Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
- Soarin’ Around the World
- WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
Disney California Adventure Park Dining and Shopping
- Cappuccino Cart
- The Collector’s Warehouse
- Corn Dog Castle
- Esplanade Stroller Shop
- Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe
- Fillmore’s Taste-In
- Seaside Souvenirs
- WEB Suppliers
How Does Disneyland Early Entry Work?
Disneyland early entry guests will be able to enter Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park through a special entrance by showing their Disneyland Resort Hotel room key. Sometimes they will also be asked to show their hotel confirmation on their Disneyland app as well.
Here’s some information from the Disneyland website:
- The early entry benefit is only for Guests who are checked in and currently staying at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels at the time of their early entry admission to a theme park.
- To enjoy early entry admission, a Guest (age 3+) must be staying at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels and have a valid theme park ticket and a park reservation for the same park on the same date. Link theme park tickets or passes, theme park reservations, and hotel reservations to the Disneyland app to show verification of these requirements. Tickets and passes can be viewed by selecting “Tickets and Passes” and hotel dates of stay can be viewed by selecting “My Hotel Reservation” in the Disneyland app.
- Applicable theme parks, days and times of operation, and attraction and service availability for early entry may vary and are subject to change, capacity and cancellation without notice.
Disneyland Hotel Resort guests can enter from several different locations. They can enter from the main gates of Disneyland or Disney California Adventure. From the new entrance near Paradise Pier. Or, if you’re staying at the Grand Californian Hotel there is special entrance into Disney California Adventure Park that is only open to hotel guests during Disneyland early entry.
Disneyland Hotel Guest Early Entry Strategy
If you’re staying at one of the Disneyland resort hotels, here’s some strategy and touring plan info that will be helpful for you. Make sure you arrive early at the main entrance gate. Don’t leave your hotel when early entry starts. To take full advantage of this awesome perk, you’re going to want to be leaving your hotel 45 minutes BEFORE Disneyland early entry begins.
Disneyland Early Entry With Disney Genie Plus
If you’re using Genie Plus, you might want to consider hitting a few rides during early entry that don’t offer Genie Plus lighting lanes. Rides like Peter Pan’s Flight and Alice In Wonderland at Disneyland don’t have lightning lanes and the lines for these attractions can get long during the day.
Over at Disney California Adventure Park, Web Slingers is a great ride to start with during Disneyland early entry. Web Slingers has a paid lightning lang that’s not connected to the Genie Plus system. So, ride that first while the line is short so that you don’t have to pay extra for a lighting lane later in the day. Then, you can use your Genie Plus to ride the other attractions lightning lane attractions during the day.
Disneyland Early Entry Without Disney Genie Plus
If you’re using Disneyland early entry without Genie Plus, consider taking advantage of the short wait times for some of the most popular Genie Plus attractions. Rides like Space Mountain and Matterhorn bobsleds would be a great place to start at Disneyland. If you’re at Disney California Adventure Guardians of the Galaxy, Toy Story Midway Mania, or Incredicoaster would be great options.
Rise Of The Resistance and Radiator Springs Racers With Early Entry
If you’d like to experience Rise Of The Resistance or Radiator Springs Racers, you’ll be in a really great position to ride them with little to no wait time because you’ll already be inside the parks! This is probably the biggest perk of early entry for Disneyland Resort Hotel guests. Here’s some info on how to successfully get in line for them before all of the regular guests arrive.
Early Entry Rise Of The Resistance Plan
To be one of the first guests on Rise of the Resistance at Disneyland during early entry, you will need to line up a bit early. You may only have time for 1-2 other rides(I recommend Peter Pan and one more in Fantasyland of your choice if you have time). You’ll want to get in line at least 15 minutes before the official park opens to be one of the first people! Here’s a quick schedule to follow.
- Arrive at park gate 45 minutes before Early Entry begins.
- Early Entry begins, head straight to Peter Pan’s Flight.
- Ride one more Fantasyland ride(time permitting).
- Line up in Fantasyland at the entrance into Tomorrowland(Near Red Rose Tavern)15 minutes before the park officially opens.
- Park officially opens.
- Head straight to Rise Of The Resistance as quickly as possible to be one of the first guests to ride! Use the second entrance into Galaxy’s Edge to save a little time. See map below.
Early Entry Radiator Springs Racers Plan
I recommend using the main gate entrance to DCA at this time over the Grand Californian entrance. It seems to be much quicker in the morning and early entrance time is precious! To be one of the first guests on Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure during Disneyland early entry, you will need to line up a bit early. You may only have time for 1-2 other rides. I recommend Web Slingers or Guardians of the Galaxy(not both) plus Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree(time permitting). You’ll want to get in line at least 10-15 minutes before the official park opens to be one of the first people! Here’s a quick schedule to follow.
- Arrive at park gate 45 minutes before Early Entry begins.
- Early Entry begins, head straight to Web Slingers or Guardians Of The Galaxy.
- Ride Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree(time permitting).
- Line up in Cars Land Near Radiator Springs Racers(see map below) 10-15 minutes before the park officially opens.
- Park officially opens.
- Cast members will walk you to the entrance of Radiator Springs Racers and you’ll be able to be one of the first guests on the attraction!
Disneyland Early Entry Tips
Here are some Disneyland early entry tips that will be helpful for you. Make sure you arrive early to early entry. I recommend arriving 45 minutes early.
Don’t waste your precious early morning time eating breakfast or shopping! Take advantage of the short wait times for the attractions and ride as many as you can!
When the early entry is winding down and it’s almost the official opening time, start making your way to one of the bigger attractions that weren’t open during early entry so you can be one of the first guests to ride it! I suggest Indiana Jones Adventure, Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy’s Edge, or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland. If you’re in Disney California Adventure, consider hitting Radiator Springs Racers in cars land as soon as the park opens if you can be one of the first groups in line.
Of course, I’ll be testing these strategies and updating them as soon as I have more helpful information!
Strategies for Guests Without Disneyland Early Entry
If you’re going to be rope dropping Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park and are not staying at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotel properties, you’re going to want to change you’re game plan a bit to save time and still take advantage of the lower wait times in the morning. Rope dropping is still a great game plan even though there will already be guests in the park! I will be back in the parks in two weeks to do more testing on rope dropping now. Here’s some tips for where to go for rope drop now that Disneyland Early Entry is back.
Rope Dropping Disneyland
When rope dropping Disneyland now that early entry is back, you’re going to want to steer clear of Tomorrowland. Fantasyland is still a good option, but you’ll want to skip Peter Pan and save it for later in the day. My top picks for rope drop are anything in Adventureland, New Orleans Square or Critter Country.
I don’t recommend rope-dropping Rise of the Resistance. Early entry guests will beat you there and chances are your wait times will be just as long as they will later in the day. For Rise of the Resistance, I recommend riding it later in the day. About 1 hour before the park closes the lines are usually fairly short(under 60 minutes) and the sun has gone down so it’s not hot. Keep in mind Rise of the Resistance closes earlier than the rest of the park(usually around 9pm), so check the Disneyland app to see what time it will be closing on the day you’re visiting. You can also pay for an individual lightning lane. More info here.
Rope Dropping Disney California Adventure Park
When rope dropping at Disney California Adventure Park now that early entry is back, you’re going to want to steer clear of Radiator Springs Racers and Guardians of the Galaxy and Web Slingers. My top picks for the morning are Toy Story Midway Mania, Incredicoaster and any of the other rides along Pixar Pier.
I don’t recommend rope-dropping Radiator Springs Racers. Early entry guests will beat you there and chances are your wait times will be just as long as they will later in the day. For Radiator Springs Racers, I recommend riding it later in the day. About 1 hour before the park closes the lines are usually fairly short(under 60 minutes) and the sun has gone down so it’s not hot. You can also take advantage of their single rider line or pay for an individual lightning lane. More info here.
Disneyland Planning Help
I’ve got bunches of information on planning a Disneyland trip that will be so helpful for you! Start with my complete guide to visiting Disneyland. It’s a step-by-step guide for planning your vacation that will be helpful. Check out my top 10 Disneyland tips and my guide to when to visit Disneyland to help you pick the best time for your vacation! I’ve also got a post on rope dropping at Disneyland that’s very helpful.
Make sure you check out my downloadable touring plans if you’d like a step-by-step guide to the parks!
I have a planning phone call that’s super popular! In this phone call, I can answer all of your Disneyland vacation questions and give you lots of tips and info tailored just to you and your group!
I’m really excited that Disneyland has brought back early entry access for guests of Disneyland Resort Hotels. If you’re staying on property, taking advantage of Disneyland early access will be one of the best ways for you to maximize your time on your vacation! Getting a head start on the Disney magic is always a good idea! If you’re not staying on property, you’re still going to have a great vacation! Stay tuned for lots of tips and park strategies!
Make sure to check out my podcast for lots of Disney planning information! You can find it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Just search for “Mix In Some Magic” Follow me on Instagram for more Disney tips and lots of Disney tips and fun!