AttractionsDisneyland (CA)

Disneyland Attractions to Skip

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Sleeping Beauty Castle
Sleeping Beauty Castle


“How much will it cost?” “When is the best time visit?” “Where am I going to stay?” “Which attractions should I experience?” These are the four most important questions you must answer before venturing on your Disneyland vacation. For me, the first three questions have always been easy to answer, but the last one has always been a bit of a challenge. That is because it all depends on who will be joining you on your Disneyland trip. It’s important to find a balance with a list of attractions that everyone can enjoy together. One method that has always worked for me is to skip Disneyland attractions that will take up more of my time.

I am on the same boat as our other TouringPlans’ writer – Tom Bricker – who believes that everyone should experience every attraction once. But what about those moments when you are strapped for time or only going to be at the park for one day? Even if you create your own touring plans – which is a must – it can still be unclear which attractions should be added to your touring plans. This is why I am here to help you determine which attractions to skip and which attractions will maximize your time at the park. Let us begin.

Main Street U.S.A.

Skip: The Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

InsteadMain Street Cinema

  • Even though I love Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, it does take a bit of time to experience. Visiting Main Street Cinema can take as long as you want, and you can get some much needed time in air conditioning, as well.


Skip: Astro Orbitor
Instead: Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

  • Since Astro Orbitor is one of the slowest loading attractions in Disneyland, it would be wise to skip. You can get a faster and more exciting experience on Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

Skip: Autopia
Instead: Star Tours: The Adventure Continues

  • Autopia can be a great experience for children, but that line can get pretty terrible. Head to Star Tours, get a FASTPASS, and enjoy.

Skip: Innoventions
Instead: Space Mountain

  • You will not have to wait a long time to get into Innoventions, but inside it is a bit of an underwhelming experience. Rather, enjoy a space exploration on Space Mountain. Just grab a fastpass and enjoy your intergalactic journey.

Skip: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
InsteadDisneyland Monorail

  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is another of Disneyland’s slowest loading attractions. Unless you have a lot of extra time, I suggest seeing Disneyland from a different perspective on Disneyland’s Monorail. Granted, the Monorail does take some time to get on and off from, but it will not take as much time as Finding Nemo.


 Skip: Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Instead: Fantasyland Dark Ride Attractions

Skip: Matterhorn Bobsleds
Instead: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

  • I love the Matterhorn Bobsleds, but it is never the attraction that is on my “must list.” The line is always long, even though there are two tracks. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is just as wild but in a different way, without the wait.

SkipMad Tea Party
InsteadAlice in Wonderland

  • Even though Mad Tea Party is fun, it just takes up too much time. Alice in Wonderland does not have a FASTPASS system, and its line does look intimidating at times, but it is a fast loading attraction. Getting to Alice at rope drop or later on in the day is the perfect time to experience the wonder that Alice has to offer.


SkipPirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
InsteadPirates of the Caribbean

  • Even though Tom Sawyer Island is fun for children to run wild, it takes so much time to get to the island. Instead jump aboard Pirates of the Caribbean if your family wants a true pirate experience.


Skip: Tarzan’s Treehouse
Instead: Jungle Cruise

  • Even though you may want to wait to walk through Tarzan’s Treehouse, there really is not much to see. If you want to see a lot and have a few laughs at the same time, then enjoy a ride on the Jungle Cruise.

cirtter country

SkipDavy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
InsteadSplash Mountain

  • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes is one of those attractions that get you, the guest, to experience and see Disneyland in a different way. But the wait can be a bit longer than expected. Go on Splash Mountain instead and watch the canoes go by, by taking a break in the Hungery Bear Restaurant eating area.

Mickeys ToonTown

Skip: Mickey’s Toontown
Instead: “it’s a small world”

  • Mickey’s Toontown is so far from everything else in Disneyland! If you are heading that way anyway, I suggest “it’s a small world.” It is one of the fastest loading attractions in Disneyland, and there is so much to see and enjoy. (Ed. – I was with you up until here. Toontown is a must do for me when I go to Disneyland.)

The attractions that I suggest to skip in this article are by no means terrible. Most of the attractions that I suggest for you to skip are personally some of my all time favorites. I am here to just try to help you – the reader – get the most out of your Disneyland trip. Granted, if you are staying at the Disneyland Resort for more than a couple of days, then you have a lot more time on your hands. You might even be able to experience most – if not all – of the attractions that Disneyland has to offer. And, hey, it is perfectly fine to not be able to experience all the attractions that you had in your touring plans. That just means that you will have to plan another vacation to the Happiest Place on Earth! And there is nothing wrong with that.

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Growing up Southern California, it was hard for Ray not want to go to Disneyland everyday. He was a passholder for over 10 years until he left to teach English in Korea and now lives in Seattle. Even though he lives in the Pacific Northwest, he always has Disney on the mind. Ray is channeling his Disney passion to write for TouringPlans.

7 thoughts on “Disneyland Attractions to Skip

  • I strongly disagree with many of these suggestions if you have small children. Our under 6 crowd has been to Disneyland twice and Dumbo is always the first thing they think of. It is iconic and great for little ones. It’s not scary and they get an elevated view of the cutest buildings in all of Disneyland. When my husband and I backpacked through italy before children the best piece of advice we got was in each town you visit find the tallest public building you are allowed to go up and get the best elevated view of the landscape. It was great advice for italy and it is great advice for Disneyland. In each region of disneyland scope out the highest stationary place you can climb and take in the view. Tarzan’s treehouse lets you do that for Adventureland and New Orleans. Tom Sawyer’s island is great for large families and no lines. They can run about and have adventures. Our girls couldn’t get enough of the floating bridges. Plus we picnicked away from crowds. Smallworld for Toontown? That just doesn’t make sense. Toontown is where you find the iconic Disney characters. Again little ones can explore without lines. There is a quiet nook behind Goofy’s house where we found all kinds of little hidden Disney touches that made us feel like we were really visiting where the characters lived. Plus take a quiet catnap in the shade. Go Go coaster made our littlest feel like a big girl because it was a roller coaster she could go on. The girls liked Smallworld but very few characters they recognized. Disneyland with small kids is about sharing your joy for certain characters or experiences with your little ones, you can’t do that with most of the suggestions on this list. If I was a single person or a young couple this list might make sense, but if you only have one day with small children this is a terrible list. The whole family would have to be divided as grown ups switch off rides and small kids would be just standing in line all day. Stressful enough on a long day with minimal optimal nap time.

  • I don’t agree with any of this. Go to the attractions that appeal most to you. Autopia is fun. Finding Nemo is fun. Toon town is loved by kids. Innoventions is pretty fun too. Especially story time in the Peter Pan room. If you want to manage time utilize fast passes as much as possible. Start on one side of the park and work around to the other.

  • Many valid tips but in my book Nemo, Matterhorn, and Roger Rabbit shouldn’t be skipped due to their exclusivity at Disneyland. You can’t find those at Walt Disney World in Florida. I might agree though if the hypothetical family would be more likely to visit Disneyland again in future visits over WDW.

  • Hmm, I do agree with a lot of these, like Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln— I enjoy it myself but especially if you have kids, they just will not get what all the fuss is about. I’ve gotta disagree on some others.

    Matterhorn is a fun one, and personally way above Mr. Toad for me. Single rider line is a great option for a time saver, but if you’re looking for a similar ride with a better wait, I would go with Big Thunder instead.

    I’m surprised Peter Pan didn’t get a mention as a ‘skippable’ one— it really is a great dark ride, but it’s always got a huge line compared to the others, and in a time crunch, I would point people towards Pinocchio for a similarly well done and classic dark ride that has a much shorter wait. (I’d also say Alice, but that one usually has a longer wait as well.)

    And skipping Toontown entirely? Roger Rabbit is an excellent dark ride, and the added benefit it has over several of the other dark rides is that its queue is just as immersive as the ride, instead of just being an outdoor line in front of the attraction. And beyond that, the play areas alone should rate this area highly for kids. As much as I adore small world (and I personally never skip it), I would possibly even do Toontown over small world for younger kids, because you can do it at your own pace.

    However, I *would* agree that if you have a time crunch, you shouldn’t try to meet Mickey and Minnie in Toontown. (Pluto and Goofy’s lines do tend to be shorter back there, though.) It takes a bit more planning, but if you can find out when the mice are going to be coming out for a set in Town Square, you can be there just a couple of minutes beforehand and have a much, much shorter wait. This can work well if you’re already planning to head back down to Town Square for lunch or to get seats for a parade.

  • Ride the monorail? Seriously? Are you two dating or something, cause that is ridiculous.

    Your list of “instead” recommendations makes no sense. You said you wanted to save time, but it you suggested things with geographical proximity. Touring plans take walking time into account when optimizing, so this isn’t really an issue.

    Also what plan doesn’t already include splash over canoes, buzz over orbitor, pirates over the island, jungle cruise over treehouse, star tours over autopia?

    I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

    Something constructive:
    Skip: The Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln
    Instead: Pirates for your animatronic human fix.

    Skip: Astro Orbitor, Dumbo, Mad Tea Party
    You have a need to spin around? Ride Roger Rabbit.

    Skip: Autopia
    Like trasportation? Use the train to move quickly across the park.

    Skip: Innoventions
    Unless you are here for character photos you can’t get anywhere else. In that case, don’t skip.

    Skip: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
    Notorious slow loader, if you like water visit the Jungle Cruise.

    Skip: Matterhorn Bobsleds
    Ride Big Thunder for your outdoor roller coaster fix. Space Mountain for indoor.

    Skip: Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, Tarzan’s Treehouse, Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
    Looks like you’re not afraid of exercise. Run and get me a churro.

    Skip: Mickey’s Toontown
    Instead go to Fantasyland.

  • Wow, I must disagree. Although the line for Dumbo may be long, the line for Peter Pan will be longer, 40 minutes plus shortly after rope drop, so that should not be a ride included on an alternative plan. Snow White, Pinoccchio and even Mr. Toad, yes. But you can’t include Peter Pan in that list.

    As for the others you mentioned, be careful when advising to go on rides over visiting attractions. While I agree that Pirates and Jungle Cruise are better experiences than Tom Sawyer’s Island and Tarzan’s Treehouse, taking into account the much lengthier wait times for those rides over no lines for the skipped attractions should be accounted for.

  • I disagree. You shouldn’t skip Matterhorn as it is a Disneyland classic. There is always a single rider line if you don’t mind riding in separate sleds. You also shouldn’t skip Roger Rabbit Cartoon Spin. Even though it is in the back of the park, it is a fun, different dark ride. You can skip the rest of toon town unless you have little ones and want to meet Mickey and Minnie


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