The Disneyland No Rides/No Queues/No Stress Anti-Touring Plan (Part 3)

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Earlier, I introduced Part 1 and Part 2 of our new Disneyland touring plan that aims to take the stress of standing in lines or sitting on rides out of the equation. Though it may not be many guests’ idea of a day in a theme park, it’s perfectly possible to enjoy a full day of low-impact fun at Disneyland without experiencing any of the attractions most people associate with a visit.

Here is the next part of the plan. It focuses on the west side of the park, which features some of Disneyland’s most inviting corners to hide from the crowds.



  • See the Enchanted Tiki Room, arriving in time to buy a Dole Whip and watch the preshow video.
  • Jungle Cruise is gentle fun if the line isn’t long.
  • If stairs aren’t an issue, climb Tarzan’s Treehouse, or at least enter through the exit and watch the kids going wild on the playground.
  • Consider walking through the Indiana Jones queue at least once, even if you aren’t interested in riding; it’s an impressive (if exhausting) example of scenic design. When the wait is posted over 15 minutes, get a Fastpass to skip the boring exterior line. Before you climb the stairs near the loading bay, you can simply tell a cast member that you want to exit. If you are brave but impatient, Indy’s single rider line often has little to no wait.

New Orleans Square

  • Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean both move guests through quickly even on busy days, and neither is likely to disturb any but the most delicate constitutions.
  • Seek out the jazz and pirate bands that play in the area.
  • Poke around the lovingly detailed alleyways around the Pirates of the Caribbean exit.
  • Sit outside at Cafe Orleans with a plate of pommes frites and watch the crowds go by.

Critter Country

  • Stand on the bridge near Splash Mountain and watch riders take the plunge. If you dare to get damp, the single rider wait is usually bearable.
  • Feed the ducks from the porch behind the Hungry Bear restaurant.


  • Take a raft to Tom Sawyer Island and explore the fort and caves (watch your head!).
  • Sail on the Sailing Ship Columbia, Mark Twain, or both. You can usually step on board just before departure time without standing in line, or board early for the best seat at the top front.
  • Don’t miss Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at the Golden Horseshoe. Show up early to grab a box seat and some chili. If the Billys have the day off, the Laughing Stock comics are a fun diversion.
  • Get to know the pigmy goats, pardoned turkeys, and other animals at the Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo, and explore the decor inside Miss Chris’s cabin.
  • Look for the petrified tree that was an anniversary gift from Walt to his wife; she donated it to the park. Also try to spot the jumping fish and railroad tunnel remains from Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland, across from Big Thunder Mountain.
  • Pump some quarters into the Frontierland shooting gallery.
  • Walk through the Rancho del Zocalo patio, especially when decorated for Dia de Los Muertos.

Check back later for the next final part in this series. And in the meantime, leave your suggestions for what was missing from this list in the comments below.


Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

3 thoughts on “The Disneyland No Rides/No Queues/No Stress Anti-Touring Plan (Part 3)

  • May 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    In Critter Country you can enjoy the sweets shop at Pooh Corner which is usually relaxed not crowded. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh normally has a very short wait.

  • May 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Here are a couple of my favorites:

    Underneath the Hungry Bear Restaurant is another seating area. Walk past all of the tables to a path that eventually leads to some stairs to the upstairs eating and ordering area. Before you get to the stairs there’s a wall you can sit on, or just grab one of the chairs. From here you get a fantastic view of the boats on the Rivers of America. But if you’re lucky you can see some of the Disneyland cats. I think there’s a feeding station nearby so I almost always find at least one cat there. It is a nice respite from the park and usually cool and quiet.

    Behind the Fowler’s Harbor is a short path that that leads to the fruit cart by Splash Mountain. From the path you can see the Splash Mountain logs as they make the turn after the splash down. It is fun to watch people’s expressions. It is also a little off the beaten path and another quiet place to enjoy some mango slices from the fruit stand.

    From Frontierland, right by the petrified tree, look toward New Orleans Square and notice that you can see the tops of sailing ship masts! These are intended to be the tops of the ships in Pirates of the Caribbean.

    In the Rancho del Zocalo seating area, one part of it is right next to the Big Thunder Mountain tracks. It is fun to sit there and see the people as they end their ride.


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