Your free printable Disneyland ride itinerary for 2023 is here! Looking for information on which attractions to ride at rope drop? Or how and when to book your Genie Plus Lightening Lane? Check out this complete attraction guide with itemized instructions so that you don’t miss any of the must-do rides at Disneyland California. Save these handy Pinterest Pins to your favourite travel board or share this with a friend who is heading to Disney this year!
Disneyland Ride Itinerary
The reason that I decided to write this blog post, “Complete Disneyland Ride Itinerary for 2023”, is that while researching our trip to Disneyland, I had a difficult time finding a complete and easy-to-follow itinerary of which rides to do in which order. I wanted a list! Something that I could copy and print and put to use. So that’s what I’ve done for you here. Now please keep in mind that not all days turn out the same. Sometimes rides are closed, and some days are busier than others, so take this and modify it to fit your family’s needs. This list covers the thrill rides that aren’t suitable for all children based on age and height.
Should I get Genie Plus at Disneyland?
I strongly suggest getting the Genie Plus option when you book your tickets. It’s worth it for the extra cost per person. Another nice bonus is that all the photos from your day are included with Genie Plus! So if you ride a ride with a photo option, the photo can be downloaded to your app for free by inserting the code. Or if you come across a park photographer, those photos are also free! So get as many as you can throughout the trip.
Disneyland Arrival and Rope Drop
The infamous “rope drop” gave me the most anxiety while planning our trip. Rope drop refers to the time after you have come through security and the ticket booths. In front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, people wait until the park officially opens and begin exploring rides and attractions. Where do we go first? What will give us the most reward?
Arrive at the park 30 minutes prior to opening to allow enough time for bag check and ticket scan. Walk into the park, down Main Street USA and you will see people gathered for “rope drop” at 8 am. Most of these people are lined up in front of the entrance to Frontierland because they are going to make a run for it to Star Wars: A Galaxy’s Edge for the Rise of the Resistance. Instead, line up facing the entry to Adventureland. We did this two days in a row and were very happy with the outcome both times! In my opinion, Adventureland has a lot of great rides in close proximity, making it easy to check them off your list quickly and without a long wait. Keep in mind, sometimes certain rides are broken throughout the day so if you run to a ride that does not open, you will have to pivot and find another ride to go to instead.
Disneyland Tips and Tricks:
Booking Genie Plus Lightening Lane
You can only use your Genie Plus Lightening Lane once per ride, per day. So if you see on the map that a ride and the line is less than 30 minutes, you can always wait in the queue and use your Lightening Lane to ride it again later that day or vice versa! We did this a few times although some of the rides, although my kids didn’t want to do some of them again so I almost wish I’d just used the pass first!
Once you have booked your Lightening Lane time slot on your app, you cannot book anything else until you have scanned in for that ride. You will notice that the time slots can fill up quickly for the more popular rides, leaving you committed for a hours at a time while you wait to ride. Helpful tip: keep refreshing your app!!! Pull down on your screen, as I noticed that many timeslots became available throughout the day at a much earlier time than first shown. This is likely due to someone cancelling their reservation (which you can do if necessary) and the slot becoming available again. Lightening Lane rides like Space Mountain and Indiana Jones book up quickly.
Take a Break
Come back at night! A day at Disneyland can be long. We did 12-14 hours days each day so that we could make the most of it. Our hotel was only a couple blocks away so a couple of days, we walked back and had a rest and recharge in the afternoon. Then we walked back at night. Disneyland is even better at night in my opinion! I found this worked really well as we were able to do all the rides in Tomorrowland, really quickly! This was the busiest area with the most traffic during the day so by using the Lightening Lane at night, we would get on one ride and book the next for only a few minutes afterward. Have your Space Mountain reservation made for right when you return to the park as this one is the most difficult to reserve.
If going back to the hotel isn’t an option, ride the Monorail and give your legs a break and then head for a sit-down lunch. We loved Downtown Disney and enjoyed a long lunch at Naples.
Since our boys are ages 9 and 11, we actually didn’t do any of the Fantasyland rides because they didn’t have any interest in them. In many blogs that I read prior to our trip, bloggers suggested heading to Fantasyland FIRST, at rope drop and riding all of the classic rides right away. If you have more than one day at the park, and have younger children, I think this is a great plan. However, these rides never have very long lines (except for Peter Pan’s Flight) and we wanted to get through the more popular rides. Fantasyland rides do not have the Genie Plus option so there will always be a little bit of a wait.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Ask anyone who has been to Disneyland and they will surely mention how much they loved the famed Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride. Trust me, it is worth the hype. It’s not just any ride, it’s a whole experience! The downside is that Genie Plus is NOT included for this ride and wait times can climb up to 2 hours. There are two options here, wait until the line is reasonable and jump in or purchase Individual Lightening Lane passes at $25 USD per person, to skip the line.
We rode the ride twice during our 3-day itinerary and waited in line for 60-75 minutes each time. It actually wasn’t too bad! I thought about heading here at “rope drop” but this seems to be everyone’s plan. About half an hour after the park opened, yielded the longest wait times! Instead, we took advantage of the rides in Adventureland and headed up to Rise of Resistance once the wait time lessened to just over an hour. To be totally honest, my husband and I agreed that because of our pre-purchased Genie Plus passes, we barely waited for many rides so waiting for this one was a good trade-off.
Tip: if you DO want to purchase the Individual Lightning Lane passes, do so right after rope drop as the time slots fill up super quickly for the whole day!
Disneyland Ride Itinerary Printable List
8:00 am rope drop, standing at the entrance to Adventureland.
- Indiana Jones (Adventureland) + s
- **book Lightening Lane for Haunted Mansion
- Jungle Cruise (Adventureland)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (New Orleans Square)
- Haunted Mansion (New Orleans Square) +
- **book Lightening Lane for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Frontierland) +
- **book Lightening Lane for Millenium Falcon
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Galaxy’s Edge)
- Millenium Falcon (Galaxy’s Edge) + s
- **book Lightening Lane for It’s a Small World
- Peter Pan’s Flight (Fantasyland) (or wait and do all Fantasyland rides at “rope drop” on another day)
- Snow White’s Enchanted Wish (Fantasyland)
- Alice in Wonderland (Fantasyland)
- Mad Tea Party (Fantasyland)
- It’s a Small World (Fantasyland) +
- **book Lightening Lane for Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Matterhorn Bobsleds (Fantasyland) + s
- **book Lightening Lane for Space Mountain (likely a later time slot will only be available, see tips above)
- Space Mountain (Tomorrowland) + s
- **book Lightening Lane for Buzz Lightyear
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (Tomorrowland) +
- **book Lightening Lane for Autopia
- Autopia (Tomorrowland) +
- **book Lightening Lane for Star Tours
- Star Tours (Tomorrowland) +
- Disneyland Fireworks (Main Street USA)
+ = Genie Plus Lightening Lane option, book a timeslot ahead of time on your Disneyland app
s = single rider lane option, ride without much wait by splitting up your party and riding as a single
** = use your Disneyland app to book these Lightening Lane time slots
Please note: at the time of this publication, Splash Mountain, Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin and Tarzan’s Treehouse were all closed for renovation.
Now that you are prepared for your trip to Disneyland, how about some ideas on what to wear? Check out this previous post:
Coming soon: 2023 Ride Itinerary for California Adventure!