Disneyland (CA)

The Disneyland No Rides/No Queues/No Stress Anti-Touring Plan (Part 2)

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Earlier this week, I introduced Part 1 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 first part of the plan. It focuses on Main Street USA, a land most guests hurry through, but which holds the lion’s share of the park’s stress-free entertainment.

Main Street USA

  • Ride one of the vintage vehicles up Main Street to the hub, then take a different one back.
  • Look at the memorabilia in the Main Street train station, then ride the rails for a round trip or two around the park.
  • Explore the Disney Gallery’s rotating art exhibit inside the old Bank of Main Street.
  • See Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, arriving early enough to see the Steve Martin pre-show and examine the lobby’s historical Disneyland models.
  • Check out the Emporium’s animated window displays, and the elevated manequine vignettes inside.
  • Watch the classic short films inside the Main Street Cinema.
  • Grab a cup of coffee from the Market House, and save your receipt for free same-day refills. Snoop on the antique party line telephones, then sit outside at a table on Center Street, listening to the amusing sounds emanating from the windows above.
  • Put some spare change in the primitive 3-D movie viewers in the Penny Arcade.
  • Watch the chefs in the candy store whip up a batch of sweets.
  • Catch a performance or three of the Dapper Dans, Main Street Marching band, or Coke Corner ragtime pianist. The daily flag retreat ceremony is not to be missed.
  • Try to identify the names of Disney Legends and Imagineers honored on Main Street’s windows.
  • Stop and watch some artisans work, like the silhouette cutters, glass sculptors, and watch painters.
  • Ask the prestidigitators at the Magic Shop to demonstrate some tricks for you, and stare at the creepy optical illusion in the window.
  • Sit in the chairs on the porch, on the right side of the street next to the silhouette shop.
  • Take a picture with the Partners statue in the central hub, and appreciate the surrounding flora and fauna.

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


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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.

9 thoughts on “The Disneyland No Rides/No Queues/No Stress Anti-Touring Plan (Part 2)

  • Pleas please make one of these for EPCOT! Also it might be nice to include some more shops. If I had a long time at WDW, I’d definitely do something like this, but I just can’t give up the attractions for an entire day 🙁

  • Awesome! Is there one of these kinds of plans for Disney World (Magic Kingdom) as well from the folks who take it to the next level? This is so great all the new bits of learning about the parks that go so much deeper than just the great rides. I want to do this at the MK on a trip.

  • If there are two showings of Fantasmic (do they even do that anymore?) you’d definitely want to see the second one. You can hang out in Critter Country during the first one, and then when the first showing ends and the crowds roll out towards Main Street, you can just slide in behind them without having to fight upstream through them.

    • That’s a great suggestion, I’ll have to incorporate it into the plan!

  • This is a fantastic list. The atmosphere at Disneyland is a very unique thing. As a local, I frequently go there to read and just soak up the energy. I am perfectly happy just watching fireworks and Fantasmic!

    • Where do you think the most hassle-free location to watch fireworks and Fantasmic are? I want to include them in this plan without asking people to stand in a crowd for hours…

      • I am loathe to give away my favorite spots, so I will give my back up spots. I like the small stairs and platform in front of the Cafe Orleans/French Market for Fantasmic!

        For the fireworks, I think castle front and center is the ideal spot, but the Main St train station requires less waiting time.

  • This is awesome. We are going in two weeks and my wife is a very non-attraction person. We may do the Ultimate Anti-Touring Plan, which will be to take as long as possible at each of these items.

  • Absolutely awesome. I think it will be great to round out the UG with a nice relaxed plan like this. Most guests never appreciate the items on your list, which is too bad, as they’re the types of details that separate the Disney theme parks from “ordinary” amusement parks.


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