The newest attraction at Disney’s California Adventure Park is Cars Land, which opened on June 15, 2012. And the most popular ride in there is Radiator Springs Racers, where people have reported waiting as long as 4 hours to get on the ride. Prior to going, I had friends and co-workers recount their experiences and offer advice on how to minimize the waiting and reduce the stress. Yes, you should go early and yes, you should grab a Fast Pass. But as I found out, even the line to get a Fast Pass can be long and you could be waiting an hour or longer just to get the pass, if they don’t run first.
Luckily for us, we stumbled across a couple of ways to minimize the waiting in the Fast Pass ticket line as well as how to maximize the number of times you get to ride it.
Hint #1: Find the preferred Fast Pass ticket line. *IF* you are staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel (Grand Californian or one of the Disneyland Hotel Towers), there is a special entrance to get into the preferred Fast Pass ticket line ahead of non-hotel guests. The “regular” line begins in front of the Carthay Circle Restaurant, but do not get in this line. Instead, ask a Disney employee about the special line for hotel guests or look for Disney employees blocking off a roped entrance across the street from the restaurant. If you show them your Disneyland Hotel room key, they will let you through into the preferred Fast Pass line. I showed up at 7:30am and once the park opened at 8am, it only took about 10 minutes to get Fast Pass tickets. We were not aware of this hotel-only entrance the day before and I waited about 40 minutes in the regular line, which had backed up all the way to the Hyperion Theater and started to wrap around the corner towards the Hollywood Hotel.
Hint #2: Grab as many Fast Passes as you can. There is a 40″ height limit in order to ride on Radiator Springs Racers, but you can use any ticket to grab a Fast Pass. If you have a child that is not tall enough for the ride, you can still use his or her ticket to get a Fast Pass so another family member can go on the ride a second time. We grabbed four Fast Pass tickets even though only three of us were tall enough to go on the ride.
Hint #3: Ask for a Rider Switch pass. If you have a child that is not tall enough for the ride, Disney has a Rider Switch pass that you can take advantage of. According to the Disney website, “(the) Rider Switch program allows multiple adults to experience an attraction while one adult waits with a child. You then “switch” to enable the other adult to enjoy the attraction.” In other words, one parent stays behind with the child while the other goes on the ride, then the parents swap. The parent that stayed behind gets the Switch pass to go on the ride and can even bring an eligible child with him/her. We were able to grab a Switch pass because our 3-yr old was not tall enough, and our 5-year old got to enjoy the ride twice – once with Daddy and once with Mommy. Using the Rider Switch pass, we parlayed four Fast Pass tickets into 8 total rides:
Come back to the ride a little later on in the day and do the same thing with the last 2 Fast Pass tickets. That’s a total of 8 rides – 2 for Parent A, 2 for Parent B, and 4 for Child A. And make sure you buy Child B something really nice from one of the nearby Souvenir stores for his/her contribution!
28 December 2012
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