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Disneyland Article
How To Get The Most Out Of Early Entry Benefits
Megan Dubois
When Disneyland reopened after the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, many guests were dismayed that beloved programs like Extra Magic Hours and the Magic Morning hour for Disney hotel guests were discontinued. But it appears Mickey was listening because starting August 8, those visiting the company’s Anaheim parks can get in a few more attractions each day thanks to the start of early entry at the Disneyland Resort.

So what do you need to know before trying to get into Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park early? And how early should you actually get to the resorts to take full advantage of this extra time?

Which Anaheim hotels offer Disneyland early entry?

Early entry is reserved for those guests staying at one of the three official Disneyland Resort hotels: the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Grand Californian Resort and Spa or Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel. Guests will need to be checked in at the time of early-entry admission, so be sure to go to your hotel first if you’re taking an early flight, or use the Disneyland app to check in online. When you get in line at either park, you will also have to show proof that you are staying at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels.

Travelers staying at one of the many so-called “good neighbor” hotels near the parks (ones not owned by Disney) are not eligible to take part in early access at Disneyland Resort.

What time does Disneyland early entry start?

Early entry starts 30 minutes before the park’s regular opening time. So if the stated time for the park’s opening is 8 a.m., then early entry will start at 7:30 a.m. One thing to be aware of, though, is that arriving at 7:30 a.m. will likely put you at the back of a very long line of other hotel guests on the esplanade who are also trying to get into the parks before the normal opening.

To get the most out of Disneyland early entry, visitors should be in line at their chosen park no later than 45 minutes before early entry starts — this means arriving at 6:45 a.m. for a park that would normally open at 8 a.m. Arriving at this time, will help ensure you’re closer to the front of the line and can use the full 30 minutes of time allowed by early entry.

Which Disneyland parks offer early entry?

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park are both offering early entry. The park you line up for in the morning will be the same one you have a park reservation for that day. So if you have a park reservation for Disneyland Park, then you will be able to enter that park 30 minutes early.

What attractions are open during Disneyland early entry?

Many fan-favorite attractions will be open at both parks during early entry. Fantasyland and Tomorrowland are the only two lands that open for early entry at Disneyland Park. We recommend getting in line for Space Mountain as early as possible because after the park opens the wait times get long very quickly.

At Disney California Adventure Park, the early-entry attraction list is a little more varied, with rides to enjoy in Avengers Campus, Cars Land and Pixar Pier. Your top priority should be either Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout!, or the Incredicoaster since both attractions are popular and are known for having long wait times throughout the day.

To see a full list of attractions that are open during early entry, visit the Disneyland website.

Are shopping and dining options open during early entry?

Some shopping and dining options are open during early entry. If you’re a fan of Disneyland merch and want to get your hands on limited-release items, this would be a great time to do that. Even if the store doesn’t officially start selling limited-release items until the park is open to all guests, getting in line early will give you a big advantage.

Those who get a little peckish in the morning can head to places like the Fantasyland Fruit Cart at Disneyland Park or the Cappuccino Cart at Disney California Adventure Park for a pick-me-up before any planned, or unplanned, dining reservations.

What does early entry mean for Disney Genie Plus users?

If you want to take advantage of Disney Genie Plus and Individual Lightning Lane services, you can begin purchasing and booking your spot in line for participating attractions once you enter the park during the early-entry period. Just know that the times the system offers for selection won’t begin until after the official park opening since there are no Genie Plus or Individual Lightning Lane time slots offered during the early-entry period.

Which Disneyland attraction should you book first on Disney Genie Plus?

Assuming you followed our advice to get on Space Mountain during the early-entry period, we suggest booking Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Haunted Mansion or Indiana Jones Adventure as your first Disney Genie Plus reservation for the day since these rides book up quickly.

Which California Adventure Park attraction should you book first on Disney Genie Plus?

If you were able to get on both of our suggested attractions during early entry, consider booking Soarin’ Around the World or Toy Story Midway Mania as your first Disney Genie Plus selection of the day at Disney California Adventure. Both of these rides can incur long wait times in the first few hours of the park being open to the general public.

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