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How to Get the Most Out of Your Southern California City Pass

By Kimberly Fidler 02/24/2015


If you're headed to Southern California for spring break, the Southern California City Pass is a great way to see it all. To help make sure you don't miss any of the excitement, we've put together a sample itinerary of all of our musts at the four parks; Disneyland, Disney California Adventure Park, Universal Studios Hollywood and SeaWorld San Diego. Keep in mind, park hours and schedules are always subject to change, so we highly recommend checking each park's calendar prior to visiting.

Day 1: Disneyland

Kick off the first day of your spring break at the Happiest Place on Earth! Use your Magic Morning early entry if it's available on your first day (currently offered most Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) and head to Fantasyland to ride your favorite classic attractions like Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, "it's a small world," and the Story Book Land Canal Boats, now featuring Arendelle. Grab a FASTPASS for the new Frozen inspired show starring Anna and Elsa at the Royal Theatre at the Fantasy Faire. Next head to Tomorrowland for some Space Mountain, Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters fun! Get a FASTPASS for the night's showing of Fantasmic! (distributed between Fantasyland and Frontierland) Then, be sure to ride the newly refurbished Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Sometime during the day you'll need some nourishment and Disneyland is full of tasty options. Some of our top picks if you're in a hurry are the giant turkey legs, Dole pineapple whips and Bengal Barbecue skewers. Some of our favorite quick service restaurants are Redd Rockett's Pizza Port, the Village Haus Restaurant and the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. If you're looking for a sit down experience, you can't go wrong with the Blue Bayou or the neighboring Cafe Orleans which serves many of the same menu items without the atmosphere and at a lower cost. Another great choice is the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue featuring all-you-care-to-eat barbecue chicken, ribs and other vittles.

 



Day 2: Disney California Adventure Park

You'll definitely want to take advantage of the opportunity to experience Frozen Fun at Disney California Adventure Park - only available for a limited time. Race to Cars Land and get a FASTPASS for Radiator Springs Racers. Morning is also a great time to take advantage of the single rider line. Next, if you have Frozen fans in your group, be sure to get a FASTPASS for the Royal Reception where you can meet Anna and Elsa in person. Head to Olaf's Snow Fest to play and sled in real snow and meet everyone's favorite snow man! Get a FASTPASS for For the First Time in Forever - a Frozen Sing-along and while you're in the area, make time to learn how to draw Olaf at the Animation Building and catch a showing of Turtle Talk with Crush. You'll also want to ride Monsters Inc., Mike and Sulley to the Rescue and Tower of Terror... if you dare! When you head back to Cars Land to use your FASTPASSES, ride Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and grab a quick snack at the Cozy Cone Motel or enjoy lunch and the view from Flo's V8 Cafe. Next, you'll probably want to head to Paradise Pier for Toy Story Midway Mania, California Screamin', Goofy's Sky School, and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure. Finish your evening with the Pixar Play Parade (normally around 5pm), Freeze the Night (runs continuously normally 6pm - park closing) and World of Color (get a FASTPASS for reserved viewing).

 



Day 3: Universal Studios Hollywood

If you have a City Pass, making the 45 minute trek north to Universal Studios is a great way to break up your time at the Disneyland Resort. Start your morning by heading straight to the Studio Tour, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary! This is the can't miss attraction at the park and you'll have the shortest wait first thing in the morning. Once you're done with your Studio Tour, watch for regularly updated signs throughout the park that show the wait times for attractions and shows and use that to plan your day accordingly. Here are our top recommendations: Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, Jurassic Park - The Ride, Transformers - The Ride 3D and Revenge of the Mummy - the Ride. If you have smaller kids, they'll love the new minion inspired Super Silly Fun Land, Shrek 4-D and Universal's Animal Actors. WaterWorld is another incredibly popular show that features intense action and special effects with real stunt performers. After a fun-filled day at the park, make some time to enjoy a night out at Universal's City Walk and enjoy dinner at one of the unique themed restaurants.

 



Day 4: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park

Today is your day to fit in everything that you weren't able to fit in your first two days at the Disneyland Resort and hopefully revisit some of your family's favorite attractions. Some top recommendations are Mickey's Soundsational Parade, Indiana Jones Adventure, the Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise, "a bug's land" and Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular.  If you missed any of the nighttime shows, you'll want to do them tonight! The limited time Fantasy in the Sky fireworks, World of Color and Fantasmic! are each must-sees. World of Color and the fireworks will only be around until the 60th anniversary, so you won't want to miss your last chance to see these. 

 



Day 5: SeaWorld San Diego

A great way to end your Southern California vacation is in relaxing San Diego. SeaWorld San Diego is an awesome park and one you'll definitely want to visit. When you enter the park you'll love the new Explorer's Reef and spend some time getting up-close-and-personal with all sorts of sea life. Can't miss attractions include Manta, Journey to Atlantis and Shipwreck Rapids. But most importantly, you'll want to plan your day around the show times. One Ocean, Blue Horizons, Pets Rule and Sea Lions LIVE are all incredible. In between show times you'll want to explore the Turtle Reef, Dolphin Point and Shark Encounter. If you have small kids, make some time for the Sesame Street Bay of Play.

 



No matter if you choose to make Anaheim your home base for your vacation, or you're looking for hotels near Hollywood and/or San Diego, we'd love to help you build your perfect Southern California vacation for spring break. As you can see, the Southern California City Pass is a great way to experience the best of Southern California's theme parks. Make sure you also plan some good beach time! You can book any of our City Pass tickets online or call our vacation specialists for expert recommendations at 855-GET-AWAY.

 
 
Check out these other great articles: 
 
Last Chance to Lock in the Lowest Disneyland Prices for 2015
Disneyland: The Perfect Spring Break Itinerary
SeaWorld Events at a Glance
Kimberly Fidler