Disney’s California Adventure Park – Our HOW TO Guide


Across from the entry to Disneyland at Anaheim is the California Adventure Park. When you buy a ticket for multiple days at Disneyland you can visit the park across the from Disneyland.  You will not be disappointed as it is just as magical as Disneyland.  You will need a full day at the park.  Plan to be there from before opening to leave at closing time.  Follow this guide and you will make the most of this wonderful place…….



I am serious when I say this….’if you want to go on this ride even once stick to the following’.  We went on this ride 4 times in one day.  Many people don’t even get to have 1 turn.  Ok are you ready?!

  • Arrive at the park before the opening time so you can gain entry as soon as possible to then join the queue behind the rope.  You will be waiting behind the rope for at least 20mins.  This will give you time to study the map and talk your game plan with your group.
  • One adult takes all the entry tickets, as they are needed at the Fast Pass ticket booth and all the bags.
  • The other adult takes all the children and carries the littlest if they are going to hold you back.
  • As soon as the rope drops RUN, RUN, RUN.  The adult with the tickets heads to the Fast Pass booth (it is nowhere near the CARS ride).
  • The other adult and kids heads to the ride, everyone is going there so stay up the front and GO GO GO!
  • Once you are at the ride with the kids go straight on to the ride but ask at the entrance for a SWITCH RIDER PASS.
  • Enjoy the BEST RIDE EVER with the kids. Don’t worry about the other adult they will get their turn.
  • Once you have finished the ride, the other adult should be waiting for you at the exit.  This adult can then take your SWITCH PASS (through the FAST PASS lane) with two children.
  • Your kids have now had 2 CAR rides.
  • Your wait shouldn’t be too long to use your FAST PASS and go on the CARS ride for the 3rd time.  As soon as you are able head to the FAST PASS booth and fingers crossed there are more FAST PASSes left grab some more.

If you decide not to follow the above guide expect at least a 2-3 hour wait.  Good luck!IMG_0558


While you are waiting for the Cars ride enjoy the whole Radiator Springs themed area.  It is stunning.  Make sure you have watched the movie first as it will enhance your enjoyment there.  Come back to visit this area as the sun is setting the neon lights coming on at dusk is a wonderful photographic opportunity.  We ate at Flo’s Café twice and the kids still mention it.P1040265 (1)


This wooden boardwalk area feels nostalgic, like you are at a real ‘old school’ fair ground.  For slightly taller kids and adults the California Screamin’ rollercoaster is heart stopping, we loved it.  We never waited more than 20mins for this ride, there are FAST PASSes available. Mickey’s Fun Wheel looks like a tame Ferris wheel but if you go on the rocking side it is thrilling.  Poor Polly thought she was going to die as it rocks and rolls, we were all in fits of laughter on this ride, there is a no rocking choice but BE BRAVE. The Toy Story Mania ride which usually has the longest wait is worth it.  In long queues we always play the game ‘Heads Up’ on our phones. This is a common sight in queues and a great way to meet people.  The rest of Paradise Pier caters for the whole family, there is even a little rollercoaster.

Toy Story Mania

Toy Story Mania


This is a light show that is held in the evening.  There are FAST PASSes for this event which will allow entry into certain seating areas.  A truly amazing show.  We have never watched the whole show as the kids were exhausted but the 30mins we did see was worth the staying late for.    We never sat down for hours to get a good spot but have just got lucky each time. P1040283


What a blast we have had on this ride, make sure you get a FAST PASS for this.  The lead up in the waiting area creates the spooky theme.  The ride itself is a thrill.  You are in a seat within an elevator.  The seat goes up and down and a window opens so you can see all of the Disneyland Park.  The drop within the ride is fast.  Our kids don’t enjoy this ride but they have been on many times as we love pushing them to the limit.  They secretly do love it as they have been on about 8 times each! Do this ride before dinner!

We really love Disney’s California Adventure Park.  Let me know if you have any tips!!

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