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Disneyland in a day and Magic Mountain for a few hours only. Advice?

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Hi all

Doing LA at end of August. Originally I wasn't going to worry about Disneyland as there wasn't time but an extra day got added so decided to do it even though I've heard you need like 2 or 3 days there.. anyhoo I thought one day is better than nothing and the park will be open until midnight I think so will stay until late.

Any advice of must do's a lot of the rides do look more like for kids but will make sure to do hyperspace mountain. Won't be going adventure park just original Disneyland

Similarly wasn't meant to go to Magic Mountain either even though I would love to. I do like coasters and high thrill rides. We got a go card which includes entrance so it feels like such a waste not to use it. That day will be hiring a car and driving around the hills and near the park so thought a few hours is better than nothing so again wondering for advice for a quick visit?

Just isn't time to do everything I wanted to make sure Universal Studios and other places were absolute definites hence why Magic Mountain and also Lego land didn't make the cut lol. Also legoland is included in the go card but doubt we can do that.

First trip to LA and focus is on movie related tours and activities and rock and roll scene stuff ie Sunset Strip. Theme parks is the third priority

Thanks

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Advice? More days? Seriously attempting Magic Mountain in a few hours is a huge ask especially if you want to get on all of the coasters. As for Disney it may seem like kids stuff but there is a lot to do. Are you doing just Disneyland or also California Adventure as that will make the day even more rushed. Don't think I am the only one who says you can't do one and not the other when it comes to the Anaheim Disney properties.

Flash pass and Fast Passes will be your best way to try and get the most out of the days. Probably the best advice outside of more days.

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I just got back from the US and went to Disneyland for the first time! Much better than I expected! I highly recommend getting there early. 

With SFMM - I've been there countless times. I love love love it. You should go during the week as there will be very short wait times for rides, I also recommend not wasting your money on a fast past during the week as the max you'll wait is 15 minutes for popular rides. 

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My opinion: when I finally decide to stop going on cruises and go back to the USA, I'm planning at least 4 days in Anaheim for DL/DCA and at least 2 days for SFMM, and even then I'd be concerned I wouldn't get through everything I wanted to see there and thoroughly enjoy. 

100% buy the platinum fast pass thing for SFMM regardless of cost if you won't be back for a long time. 

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My advice: ditch one of the parks. Both of them are big enough to justify even more than one day. Trying Disneyland in one day is ill-advised, but trying Magic Mountain in a few hours is just ludicrous, and not worth the ticket price.

Ditch one of them and use the time to explore more of the other.

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18 minutes ago, Reanimated35 said:

My opinion: when I finally decide to stop going on cruises and go back to the USA, I'm planning at least 4 days in Anaheim for DL/DCA and at least 2 days for SFMM, and even then I'd be concerned I wouldn't get through everything I wanted to see there and thoroughly enjoy. 

100% buy the platinum fast pass thing for SFMM regardless of cost if you won't be back for a long time. 

I was at SFMM last week on a weekday and was literally riding x2 with 5 others it was that quite.. a flash pass might not be necessary for him on a week day at the end of august. 

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Okay, I would recommend what @jake_hunt said and ditch one of the parks.

However - let's say you don't. Now I haven't been to either park, but I too am stupid enough to be planning to do a Disney park in one day at the end of this year (that said, it's Paris which is a bit smaller and I'll hopefully get back to another Disney park in the coming years)

Get there well before opening and stay until closing. Avoid going on the weekend if you can. There are plenty of sites over the internet that have crowd calendars for Disney parks so you can work out the best day to visit. Plan out your day - that's probably my top tip. Work out what rides you want to do most and order them so you do the most popular rides at the best times of the day - those being just after opening, just before closing, around lunchtime, and when there are parades/shows (that said, Disney does some fantastic shows that are certainly worth watching). Fast Pass is your best friend, use it as much as you can. Although it's not recommended, I have heard of people who have done Disney in a day successfully - you just have to be prepared to make a very detailed plan (and possibly for that plan to fail).

If you're only at MM for a few hours, skip X2, no matter when you visit it will have long queues. If you really want to ride it buy a Flash pass with the X2 upgrade. Again, work out what coasters you want to do because you will have to skip a fair few. X2, Twisted Colossus, Tatsu and Full Throttle are probably the top rides in the park. Skip Viper and Goliath, as gigantic as these two rides are I have not heard a lot of good reviews for them. 

Thats some advice from someone who's never done either park and is possibly completely wrong about what I just said. 

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Skip X2, then say X2 is on your list of top rides in the park. WTF?! 

X2 is a must and make sure you allow time to ride it. It along with Tatsu will be the rides with the worst queues in the park. Do Full Throttle first (annual pass holders get early entry so this is something to consider buying if you get one cheap enough). Superman Escape is the only other ride that will have a decent queue length. 

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Buy whatever the expensive qbot is at Magic Mountain.  You've spent thousands to get to the park, don't skimp on the $100/$200 and get the most out of it.  Disneyland musts are pretty much everything.  Get there early, get a fastpass to Indy, go ride Splash, Big Thunder, and get another fast pass as soon as you can.  Haunted Mansion and Pirates have massive capacity so you can come back later, and with that you've knocked out 5 of the big rides.  The other big 'must dos' at Disneyland park are Matterhorn, Space Mountain and Star Tours so worth heading over that part of the park to get those done.  Should take you to mid to late afternoon where you can pop over to DCA if you want.  GOTG will be busy as hell so pretend it isnt there and get your Cali Screamin', Grizzly River and what ever on, before heading back to Disneyland for the second Fantasmic and jump on a few rides late when the queue dies down.  If you want to eat at some point you can do that too. 

 

Good luck!

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For Magic Mountain, I’ve actually done the park in one day a few times, and if you get a Flashpass (Minimum Gold) that should be sufficient.

Gold Flashpass tends to be pretty good anyway.

If you are hiring a car, then be at the park for opening (Typically 10am, but ideally you want to be at the gate 9:30 so you can be in  the front crowd when the turnstiles open, and get into one of the major rides without a queue) then do your scenic drive after.

(Or maybe forego a bit of a sleep in for one day and do some driving in the hills in the cool of the morning...... just so long as you get to the park for opening, I cannot stress this enough)

 

In terms of the non coaster attractions, the only ones to worry about would be:

 

>Justice League (If it is completed in time for your visit...it’s completely different to the one at MW, and has a motion base vehicle)

>Lex Luthor Drop of Doom.  Granted its only a few meters taller than giant drop, but it has single rider, so you won’t waste any time.

 

Nothing else is noteworthy, and the rapids are overly wet. The flume ride is much the same as any other.

 

For the coasters, there are 15 adult sized ones....If you can ride at a rate of one every 20 mins using flashpass or through lack of crowds, then that means 5 hours.

 

I think this is a good rough priority order in terms of the must ride ones....The top three should be absolutely done.

 

1 Twisted Collossus – Racing, heaps of airtime, crazy twists and inversions, and very smooth. One of the world’s best coasters.

 

2 Tatsu  - Flying coaster, but this one works because it is literally on top of the mountain, so the whole ride has you soaring well above the trees. The pretzel loop is an awesome intense finale.

 

3 X2 – Groundbreaking coaster with seats that can flip, so about 3-4 times in the ride you get turned upside down. The first drop makes the most of it by dropping you down head first.

 

4 Riddlers Revenge – A big lengthy stand up coaster. Single rider line via exit to get straight on.

 

5 Batman the Ride – Smooth intense inverted coaster...It’s just a really good package.

 

6 Goliath – Hypercoaster. The main reason this gets slammed is because its only got one airtime hill, but objectively, it’s still a great ride.

 

7 Apocalypse – Wooden twister coaster that is nonstop, and runs fairly well.

 

8 Full Throttle – Interesting, has a couple of launches, a  huge loop, and a big hill...it’s fun, but not as fleshed out as the other coasters.

 

9 Scream – Multi looping coaster with floorless cars. Its good, but the floorless gimmick isn’t as great as you’d think. Do riddlers first.

 

10 Green Lantern – This is polarising, people either love the intensity and insanity, or find it so intense it is unenjoyable for them. Single rider is on this one via the back stairs, so give it a go.

 

11 New Revolution – Has Single Rider for non VR riders. If you want to ride VR, expect to wait 90 mins, or fork out for the platinum flash pass.

If you want to see what all the fuss is about with VR, then just wait to ride Arkham at movie world with it.....Otherwise, a lap via single rider non VR is fine, it’s a fun classic coaster.

 

12 Ninja – Suspended coaster with swinging cars. Its good, but not that extreme.

 

13 Viper – Looping coaster. It’s not as  rough as people say, and is decent, but if you have a choice the other coasters should come first...But it has Single Rider, ask for directions if you can’t find the Singles entrance.

 

14 Superman: Escape from Krypton – If you have ridden tower of Terror at Dreamworld then this is the same.

 

15 Gold Rusher – A bleh mine train. If you are riding Big Thunder Mountain at Disney, then this will be a disappointment.

 

To sum up a game plan I tend to use, basically, be there for the gate opening, then move with purpose straight to either X2 or Full Throttle (I’d say X2) and get a ride in before the hordes, then try and get a 2nd ride on another one nearby (I tend to pick Tatsu), and from there, assess queues, get a flashpass if needed, then work down the list.

 

Also, if you have only got limited time, have you considered Universal Studios? That park can definitely be done in your timeframes, and is closer.

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I did half a day at Magic Kingdom over in Florida. Fastpasses are everything. If you get there early in the morning (which is super important imo) try and hit up one area first (e.g. Frontierland) and rush straight there. You can get onto the main attractions first without needing fastpasses. You'll want to get fastpasses for rides such as HyperSpace Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsled, Indiana Jones and pretty much any major rides that interest you. 

Try and get onto the rides during this parades (and if you really want, the fireworks) as many people will be watching during this time. Although this is really up to you. As, Joz said, don't get fastpasses for large capacity attractions. I remember waiting for Haunted Mansion on a busy day for about 20 minutes, so it's really not worth it. 

All the best with your trip!

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I can highly recommend https://ridemax.com to help plan out your day at Disney - you tell it the day you are going and the attractions you want to visit, and it builds a customised plan to get you the (predicted) shortest waits possible. The app ended up overestimating most of the wait times when we were there, so we got in a couple more rides than we planned.

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also Lego land didn't make the cut lol. Also legoland is included in the go card but doubt we can do that.

I don't recommend Legoland to any adult really. I mean I guess miniland is cool, but the rides really are aimed at the younger set, but even then, they aren't even that good as kids rides anyway.

 

As for a Day in Disneyland,

Turn up before opening time.

There is single rider on Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain and Matterhorn....Use them! I'm not sure how many people are in your group, but I'd do those rides as singles if it means you miss out on less of the rest. You may have to ask the entry host for a single rider ticket, which you carry through to the boarding area.

Indiana Jones in partiular I have fond memories of my last visit where I rode it about 7 or so times, and got all the variants on the first scene.

I think its the best thing there too anyhow :)

As for the rest, yep Space Mountain is probably your #1 pick. Add to that Big Thunder Mountain, Star Tours as ones not to miss.

The other good rides, Pirates of the Carribean and Haunted Mansion and Buzz Lightyear and 'its a small world' are high capacity as mentioned, so do them later on or if you need to kill time for when your fastpass slot is approaching.

Have I missed anything? The rest of the lineup include Finding Nemo, Roger Rabbits Cartoon Spin, and then about 7 or so smaller dark rides in Fantasyland. Admittedly, I dont think I've ridden all the Fantasyland dark rides. If you are pressed for time, give a couple of them a go at least, but personally I found them to be very brief rides and you move quickly through the scenes...There's a bit of "was that it?" with some of them.

If I was looking for rides to be the lower end of priorities, Autopia, the Monorail, Winnie the Pooh and the Teacups would be it.  Probably the train and riverboat too.

Im not sure if I'd recommend doing DCA and DL in one day anymore, since DCA is so much more fleshed out. 

You could probabl

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I definitely agree, get to the park EARLY!

At Magic Mountain I got on 4 rides (Green Lantern, Batman, Riddlers & Scream) in less than an hour. I chose to do the rides at the back of the park first which is a wierd route that most people wouldn't take. However seeing as you only have half a day, get a flash pass for sure & get on the ones mentioned below:

- X2

- Tatsu 

- Twisted Collosus 

- Riddlers Revenge (If you've never done a stand up)

Ones to skip:

- Lex Luther (Pretty much giant drop)

- Superman: Escape from Krypton (Pretty much tower of terror)

If you find time to do them though, go for it! 

:)

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2 hours ago, Gazza said:

If you want to see what all the fuss is about with VR, then just wait to ride Arkham at movie world with it.....Otherwise, a lap via single rider non VR is fine, it’s a fun classic coaster.

Strongly agree with this. The VR is not worth the wait in the queue for. Single rider this ride as it good enough by itself.

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I did SFMM in A day (Not everyone I was travelling with loves coasters and gets the idea of spending more than one day at a park!) and you really should get there early as possible. The only coasters I missed out on riding were New Revolution, Superman, Green Lantern and Gold rusher. New revolution is probably the only coaster I missed out on that I would have liked to ride. Superman is basically the same as TOTII and Gold Rusher isn't anything special from what I've seen.

Get there early as possible and head for either Twisted Collossus or Full throttle. The former is popular and the latter has rubbish capacity, apparently X2 usually takes a bit of time to start running and dies off in the afternoon. I found the que for X2 wasn't too bad mid afternoon although it wasn't a very busy day.

I'd say in terms of what you should be prioritising: 1) Twisted Collossus (Really good ride, racing adds uniqueness), X2 (Nothing comparable other than Eejanaika in Japan), Tatsu (Well executed flyer, very high off the ground adds to the flying experience, I enjoyed it even tho flyers aren't really my thing). After these 3 its really about what you think you'll enjoy more, Riddlers is well executed for a standup, Goliath is a solid Hyper, Very intense helix in the middle of the ride, Batman:The Ride is the same as all the other clones, good experience but I wouldn't call it unmissable. Apocalypse is a pretty hectic woody, a bit rough but good fun. I really enjoyed full throttle, the Back row has some mental hang time in the loop, bit of a missed opportunity as the ride feels as if it ends too early but its a good ride. Scream is a decent ride, nothing special and its literally over a carpark but if its basically a walk on its worth the 10 minutes out of your day. Ninja is a suspended coaster, decent ride, not very forceful. I really enjoyed viper, it's a bit rough especially going into one of the half loops, but it was a good experience and showcases what Arrow were making in the 90s.

Edited by Pd46
Clarity.

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Change your plans if possible to give yourself more time for the parks.

Failing that, fast passes and single rider queues are your best friend.

Rank the attractions before you go so you don't end up missing out on the things you want to do the most.

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14 hours ago, pin142 said:

Skip X2, then say X2 is on your list of top rides in the park. WTF?! 

I meant to say skip it if you're not wanting to buy a Flash Pass (which he should - but some people don't want to fork out the extra couple of hundred for top tier + X2 expansion), if he's only spending a few hours there it's very possible that without a Flash Pass you've spent half your day already. I'd personally rather get in a bunch of good rollercoasters instead of one fantastic rollercoaster.

The other option is to get to the park well before opening, making sure you're one of the first people into the park, and running straight to X2.

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 according to the website you don't need the top tier flash pass to get on X2 you can also get the upgrade with gold.

pD46   yes Batman is the same as all the clones but given the original poster  probably hasn't ridden any of them that therefore makes it unmissable.

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3 hours ago, Santa07 said:

The other option is to get to the park well before opening, making sure you're one of the first people into the park, and running straight to X2.

Not uncommon for X2 to open until later in the day (if at all) so would avoid this move and do something like Full Throttle instead.

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I also vote for Platinum flash pass, really makes a massive difference to the day if you're in a hurry and August will still be well busy.

Make sure you check if X actually has a wait though, sounds crazy but last July with massive waits on everything, X was like a 2 cycle wait and I didn't need to have bought the X upgrade on my flash pass.

I would also recommend lining up once for Colossus if the wait isn't too bad, then use your once only flash pass for a second ride. It's hit and miss for racing, but the ops do try hard, it's usually guests who screw it up, so make sure you get yourself a racing ride. If you race on both laps that's a real treat.

 

As for Disney, don't skip California Adventure, it's an amazing park now. With no Fantasmic you should make sure you see World of Color, it's really great and if you're so close you CAN NOT miss Cars Land and Radiator Springs Racers, it's one of the best theme park lands ever built. I would also make sure you ride their rapids because nothing else out there comes close.

 

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40 minutes ago, djrappa said:

I also vote for Platinum flash pass, really makes a massive difference to the day if you're in a hurry and August will still be well busy.

Make sure you check if X actually has a wait though, sounds crazy but last July with massive waits on everything, X was like a 2 cycle wait and I didn't need to have bought the X upgrade on my flash pass.

I would also recommend lining up once for Colossus if the wait isn't too bad, then use your once only flash pass for a second ride. It's hit and miss for racing, but the ops do try hard, it's usually guests who screw it up, so make sure you get yourself a racing ride. If you race on both laps that's a real treat.

 

As for Disney, don't skip California Adventure, it's an amazing park now. With no Fantasmic you should make sure you see World of Color, it's really great and if you're so close you CAN NOT miss Cars Land and Radiator Springs Racers, it's one of the best theme park lands ever built. I would also make sure you ride their rapids because nothing else out there comes close.

 

and Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout. Plus Fantasmic returns this Summer.

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Thanks for all your advice.. so as I said in the OP I wont be wasting any money because the entrance to SFMM comes included with the Go Card which I bought specifically to gain access to other tours and parks. So having SFMM on it is a bonus really and since it's there I thought it's stupid to waste it and a few hours are better than 0 hours right..

I wouldn't have bought a ticket to MM otherwise as I simply do not have time to really visit there a full day.. As I said number one priority for LA is Movie stuff (which incidentally includes Universal) second is rock and roll (I am staying in the Jim Morrison room and visiting all the places they used to play, record etc) Number three is theme parks coasters etc even thought I am a huge theme park plan which is why I am doing at least Disneyland. I will try to get across to Adventure Park on the same day but looks to be a bit of a stretch

First time in LA I can always go back another time and spend more time to do Disneyland and SFMM properly but doing on a little bit is pretty good considering I didn't think I would be doing either :)

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