Some of my favorite rides and best memories are in Fantasyland, Disneyland, and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Every time I hop on a flying ship on Peter Pan’s Flight I think of the happiest thoughts, any happy little thought. When I scurry into a caterpillar on Alice in Wonderland I go a little bit mad in the best possible way. Fantasyland. These rides transport me back to the days of my childhood, and I forget all my troubles. But these rides aren’t only my favorites, they are also the favorites of the hundreds of small children and their families who flood into Disneyland each day.
Perhaps one of the most congested parts of the park, Fantasyland is somewhere where children and adults of any age, size or disability can go on any ride. No wonder they’re so popular.
So, how do you beat the crowds at Fantasyland and ride Alice in Wonderland without waiting for over an hour?
Well, there is an easy and obvious solution. Do not try to ride Peter Pan’s Flight, Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, or Dumbo the Flying Elephant from the time the park opens to the time the fireworks start. Children and their families are out all throughout the day, and many of them will spend most of the day in Fantasyland. Some rides, such as Pinocchio’s Daring Journey or Snow White’s Scary Adventure, have generally consistently short lines, but the ones mentioned above are always packed full.
This does have a caveat. Some rides, such as Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Snow White’s Scary Adventure or Mad Tea Party, generally have short lines and it could be worth going to these during the morning hours or a little bit before the fireworks start. It’s a small world is hit or miss; sometimes the line can stretch back to the starting point, while other times you can walk right on. Play this one by ear and check it every time you’re near it.
If I ruled out going on these rides anytime between opening and fireworks, when are you supposed to relive the days of yore? Well, there are three options I would recommend.
The first is, and you can read more about this here, use your Magic Morning wisely! Instead of following the crowds to Space Mountain or Star Tours, head over to Fantasyland and jump on Alice in Wonderland or Dumbo the Flying Elephant. The lines will inevitably be much shorter and you can knock out a couple of your Fantasyland favorites before the park even opens. For many families, getting to the park early enough for Magic Morning is not a reality so you will not be competing with the same amount of children for these lines.
If you’re not a morning person or do not have Magic Morning there are still two more options you can take advantage of as well.
The first is similar to Magic Morning. As soon as the park is open, head straight to Fantasyland. Peter Pan will probably have a wait of at least 30 minutes already, but you might still be able to get on Dumbo in less than 15 minutes!
The second is a little secret I discovered the last time I went to Disneyland. In my ignorance, I believed all the Fantasyland rides closed for the night once the firework show started. Maybe I am the only one who didn’t know this, but this is not actually true.
While the rides do close for the show, they actually open up for a little while after both shows have ended. Once the last firework show ends, the parks start to empty out. Families with little ones often end their night, which means Fantasyland rides are just waiting for you to walk right on them.
I have one last tip for you, and this one is a bonus. The best time to ride Matterhorn Bobsleds is right after the firework show when the mass exodus of people are trying to get out of the park. This is perfect for a few reasons. 1. Even if the line is somewhat long, you don’t have to fight the crowds of people trying to get out. 2. The ride probably won’t be nearly as long as it is during other parts of the day.
The Magic Morning option is the best option for getting the most amount of rides in the shortest amount of time, but any of these ways will help you save time and ride all the attractions you want to!