Disneyland/New Year's Day at Cal. Adventure?
"Happy New Year Steve! We are planning on taking our 3 kids (2 7 yr old boys and a 9 yr old girl) and a friend from London to Cal. Adventure on New Year's Day. (Only day we can go!) I am wondering just how bad the crowds will be and if you have any general advice for us to make the most out of our day? We really want to see Cars Land and the new Little Mermaid ride. Thank you for taking the time to help us!
The crowds will be very high that day, projected to be 9 out of a possible 10.
The whole trick is to get there as early as possible. If you can arrange to arrive by 7:00 AM so that you can grab a quick bite before the parks open at 8:00, that would be ideal. When we go on such busy days, we usually get a breakfast burrito to eat on the run.
If you want to get into Cars Land and ride the Radiator Springs Racers, getting into the parks by about 7:30 or so is essential. When the park opens at 8:00, there is a controlled stampede to get on RSR. The line for the RSR fastpass often extends well into Hollywoodland, so you might just as well hit the ride when it opens. By 8:20, the wait for RSR goes over 90 minutes.
After going on RSR, you can explore Cars Land, but I recommend doing that after dark. The neon in Cars Land is beautiful, especially with the holiday decos up. Take a close look at those Christmas decos hanging across Route 66: They are made of tires! And check out the snowflakes made of wrenches. Lots of cool details here.
The lines for Ariel should be quite short. Once the initial rush was past, there wasn't a huge demand for this ride.
If you can make it through the entire day, the World of Color show is not to be missed. It's SO cool. Get a fastpass by Grizzly River Run.
Use Fast Passes as much as possible for popular rides. Star Tour and Space Mountain, over on the Disneyland side, are good examples. In DCA, Soarin' Over California is really great.
I would advise you to get there early, and have everyone pick a favorite ride that they want to go on. I don't think you'll get on every ride there, so pick a favorite, and try to get a fastpass if they have one. Pace yourself in the afternoons after getting on as many rides as possible early. Remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint.