Wait Times Disneyland California

Ask any Disneyland regular about their least favorite part of the Happiest Place on Earth, and they’ll likely say one thing: the lines. 

With immensely popular rides like Space Mountain and Splash Mountain drawing huge crowds every day, wait times at Disneyland can easily stretch over an hour. 

Knowing the Disneyland California waiting times lets you plan your visit and dodge the long queues. 

This article shares everything you need to know about the Disneyland California line wait times and escape them. 

Average Wait Time at Disneyland California

Disneyland California Ride Waiting Times range between 30 minutes to one hour. 

The longest waiting time in the park can be found for Space Mountain, Star Wars and Millenium Falcon rides. 

Here is a list of the most popular rides at Disneyland Park with their wait times

RidesAverage Waiting TimePeak Time
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance1 hour 50 minutes8.30 am to 10.30 am
Space Mountain1 hour 55 minutes3 pm to 5 pm
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run79 minutes11.15 am to 11.45 pm
Splash Mountain1 hour 6.30 pm to 10 pm
Matterhorn Bobsleds1 hour3 pm to 4.30 pm
Indiana Jones Adventure1 hour3.30 pm to 4.30 pm
Star Tours58 minutes12 pm to 2 pm
Big Thunder Mountain Road53 minutes7.30 pm to 8.30 pm
Autopia40 minutes5 pm to 5.30 pm
Gadget’s Go Coaster33 minutes5 pm to 5.30 pm

Disneyland California Adventure longest wait time is 1 hour 50 minutes for Radiator Springs Racers. 

Disneyland California Adventure ride waiting times are 45 minutes for popular rides like Soarin’ Around the World, Guardians of the Galaxy Mission and Goofy’s Sky School. 

Here is the list of the average wait time at Disneyland California Adventure

RidesAverage Waiting TimePeak Time
Radiator Springs Racers1 hour 50 minutes11.30 am to 3.30 pm
Soarin’ Around The World1 hour6.30 pm to 8 pm
Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission: BREAKOUT!1 hour12.30 pm to 4.30 pm
Incredicoaster50 minutes3 pm to 4.30 pm
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree45 minutes12 pm to1 pm
Goofy’s Sky School45 minutes3 pm to 4 pm
Luigi Rollickin’ Roadsters40 minutes3.30 pm to 4.30 pm
Jumpin’ Jellyfish20 minutes10.30 am to 12.30 pm
Silly Symphony Swings (tandem swings only)20 minutes12 pm to 2.30 pm
Grizzly River Run20 minutes2 pm to 3 pm
Silly Symphony Swings (ride in single swing)15 minutes11 am to 12.15 pm
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail ( only zip line and rock wall)5 minutesAll hours

Disneyland California’s Average Wait Time Throughout the Year

The wait times for rides in Disneyland California Resort are low during the early morning opening hours, parades and fireworks. 

The queues are relatively smaller during the weekdays when compared to weekends. 

June to August are the most crowded months at the park. 

During this time, the waiting time for the most popular rides can be two hours. 

Public holidays and festive weekends like July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year also attract many visitors, increasing the waiting times. 

If you plan to visit during these months, we recommend purchasing a Genie+ ticket in advance. 

The park is less crowded between mid-January and February and late April and early June. 

During these months, the average ride waiting time is 25 minutes, making it ideal for a crowd-free visit. 

How To Escape the Disneyland California Ride Waiting Times

How To Escape the Disneyland California crowd
Image: Latimes.com

With over 10 million visitors flocking to Disneyland every year, long queues are inevitable. 

With smart planning using Disney’s own ride reservation systems and paying attention to peak visiting hours, you can reduce the time you stand in waiting lines. 

Here are some tips for dodging long lines and minimizing wait times during your Disneyland vacation:

Use the Disneyland App to Check Wait Times

The Disneyland app and website provide real-time wait time updates for every ride in both Disneyland and California Adventure. 

Checking these regularly can help you identify periods of the day when waits are shorter at key attractions you want to experience. 

Often, the longest standby waits to materialize between 11 am and 3 pm, so avoiding the early afternoon is wise if you don’t have MaxPass or Lightning Lane reservations.

Strategize the Use of Lightning Lanes

lighting lane
Image: Wdwnt.com

You can get the Lighting Lane Pass with your Disneyland California Genie+ tickets

Disneyland’s Lightning Lane allows guests to reserve return times for popular rides, bypassing the regular standby line. 

Maximize this by targeting longer standby waits first, then using FastPass/Lightning Lane for shorter ones. 

Always check standby waits before using FastPasses, as sometimes the regular line may be just 15 to 20 minutes, allowing you to conserve FastPasses for bigger rides.

Take Advantage of Single Rider Lines

If you don’t mind splitting your group up, use the single-rider lines at attractions like Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones and the Matterhorn. 

These special queues let individuals fill odd-number spaces left open on rides, significantly reducing wait lengths. 

Just be aware you likely won’t get to sit with your whole party.

Visit During Off-Peak Times

off season
Image: Disneyland.disney.go.com

Avoid visiting Disneyland during peak spring break, summer and winter holidays, when attendance and wait times scale up dramatically. 

October, May and early December see fewer crowds and much more manageable lines across both parks. 

Visiting on weekdays rather than weekends can also make a big difference in wait times at popular rides and attractions.

Use Early Entry for Popular Rides

Both hotel guests and Magic Morning ticket holders get early theme park admission to Disneyland or California Adventure on select days. 

During the early entry period, you can get a head start on trying the most popular rides, such as Star Wars, Space Mountain, and Radiator Spring Racers, with the least waiting time. 

You can knock out multiple long wait rides in the first hour if you move briskly early.

Parades and Shows Can Be Wait Time Opportunities

Image: Disneyland.disney.go.com

Wait times for rides often dip during the afternoon parade at Disneyland and the World of Color nighttime show at California Adventure. 

Use these brief windows to hop on attractions while crowds gather to watch the entertainment. 

After trying the rides, you can still catch the tail end of the parade or shows.

Dine During Peak Times

One way to avoid long mid-day waits is to visit popular Disneyland restaurants during the peak 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. rush. 

Make a mobile order via the app to save more time. 

Grabbing a table service meal lets you relax and recharge comfortably while standby waits are the longest in the parks (just don’t linger too long, or waits may drop while you’re still eating!)

Check Heights Before Wasting Time in Line

Disneyland’s most thrilling rides, like Space Mountain, Incredicoaster and Radiator Springs Racers, have height requirements

Before waiting potentially over an hour in line with antsy kids, double-check the height indicators out front to ensure nobody gets disappointed after an agonizingly long wait.

When All Else Fails, Wait it Out

Despite your best efforts, sometimes long Disneyland waits are unavoidable. 

Pack patience along with sunscreen and comfortable shoes. 

Entertain restless kids in line with mobile games and snacks to ease their suffering. 

Take turns holding your place in line for long waits while others take a bathroom break or grab food. 

Drinking cold water and utilizing Disneyland’s interactive queues can also help pass the time.

Suggested articles: 

FAQs About Wait Times Disneyland California 

1. Why do Disneyland California waiting times vary throughout the day?

Disneyland California waiting times fluctuate due to park attendance, ride popularity, and operational considerations. 

Peak hours, such as midday, generally have longer lines, while early mornings and evenings may offer shorter waits. 

Attractions with high demand contribute to increased wait times.

2. Can I check real-time waiting times for rides at Disneyland California?

Visitors can use the Disneyland app to access real-time ride waiting times. 

The app provides up-to-date information, allowing guests to plan their day and choose attractions with shorter lines, enhancing their overall park experience.

3. How does Disneyland California manage crowd control during peak times?

Disneyland employs various strategies for crowd control during peak times, including adjusting staffing levels, implementing virtual queues, and utilizing the Genie+ system. 

These measures aim to enhance guest flow and reduce overall waiting times.

4. What are the busiest times of the year for Disneyland California?

Busiest times at Disneyland California include holidays, school breaks, and special events.

To minimize waiting times, consider visiting during off-peak seasons or weekdays when attendance tends to be lower.

5. Are there any tips for avoiding long waiting times at Disneyland California?

To avoid lengthy waiting times, arrive early, take advantage of FastPass or Genie+, and plan strategic routes using the Disneyland app. 

Consider single-rider lines and be flexible with your schedule to optimize ride access.

6. How accurate are the estimated waiting times on the Disneyland app?

The Disneyland app provides fairly accurate estimates of waiting times, constantly updating based on real-time data. 

However, unexpected issues or changes in ride operations can impact the accuracy of these estimates.

7. Can I reserve access to rides in advance to skip the regular lines?

Yes, with the introduction of the Genie+ system, visitors can reserve access to certain attractions in advance, reducing the time they spend in regular lines.

8. Are there any attractions at Disneyland California with consistently shorter waiting times?

Yes, some attractions consistently have shorter waiting times than others. 

Checking the Disneyland app or asking park staff for recommendations can help identify these rides and optimize your visit.

9. How can I make the most of my time while waiting in line at Disneyland California?

Utilize interactive elements in queues, bring snacks or entertainment, and use the time to plan your next activities.

Some queues offer engaging experiences, turning waiting time into a part of the theme park adventure.

Featured Image: Dlnewstoday.com