Skip the line passes are a highly cultivated perk in any theme park. But they can be a decent extra cost on top of your already expensive park ticket (not to mention parking, food, drinks, and merchandise). So when are they worth it? And are they worth it at the ultimate, happiest theme park — Disneyland?
I conducted a rigorous test at Disneyland to find the best, most up-to-date answer for you. I did it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome. Over two nearly identical weekdays, I put this question to the test. (Obviously results may vary if you’re going on a weekend or busier day, but this comparison should still prove helpful guidance.)
Alright enough waiting (this is no Rise of the Resistance standby line)! Let’s get into the results I found…
DAY 1 (Without Genie+)
My first Disneyland test day was Wednesday April 26, 2023. FYI this is typically a less crowded time of year, what with spring break season just ended and summer not yet arrived. I’d decided to start with a non-Genie+ day. So I had to set my strategy accordingly.
The first PRO TIP for any theme park, but especially one as ever-popular as Disneyland, is to rope drop! Meaning get there before official park open time, so you’re on Main Street ready to charge forth as soon as they drop the ropes to the rest of the park. I know that’s quite early, but I promise it’s worth it. That first hour is often referred to as the ‘golden hour’ and it truly is the best time to get on the most popular rides with the lowest waits (other than at the very end of the night, but more on that later).
This Disneyland test definitely included rope dropping on both days. So today I was in the park and ready to go at 8am on the nose. Now since I didn’t have Genie+ today, my rope drop ‘golden hour’ strategy needed to first target the more popular rides that might get longer lines later on (even if they are on Genie+).
So as the rope dropped and the crowd swarmed forward, I took the first left into Adventureland. A good deal of the rides down this way tend to get longer waits later on (and are mostly all on Genie+). So today, without Genie+, I was…