Disneyland recently changed their process for meeting Anna & Elsa at Disneyland. You will no longer need to wait in line for two hours (or more) to meet the lovely sisters from Arendelle.
As of September 2014 Disneyland has put into place a new process they like to call a virtual standby line. In order to participate in the virtual standby line you will need to obtain a Return Time Ticket.
There is no other way to meet Anna and Elsa, there is no physical stand by line. I emphasize this because it is true and as of the printing of this article the only way to meet them is with a Return Time Ticket.
The Return Time Ticket works just like a FASTPASS, but these tickets are very limited. In order to get a Return Time Ticket you need to be at the Main Gates at park opening or take advantage of Early Admission. (more about Early Admission later)
Note: as of December 19, 2014 Anna and Elsa will move from Fantasyland to the Animation Building inside Disney California Adventure.
Once you are inside Disneyland make a beeline for Fantasyland and head towards the Village Haus Restaurant which is near the Frozen Meet n’ Greet area.
This is where the back of the line will more than likely be. However, if the park is already open then the line will stretch out into the back of Frontierland near Big Thunder Ranch.
You MUST have all of the park tickets (or Annual Passes) from each member of your family in order to get a Return Time Ticket for them. Each ticket must also be valid, meaning the family member must have entered the park. So you can’t take the tickets into the park while your family sleeps in, they must be in the park. This is how a FASTPASS works as well.
I stood in line for 20 minutes to get a Return Time Ticket while my husband took our daughters on some rides. Later in the day we returned to the Frozen Meet n’ Greet area and waited for about another 20 minutes to see Anna & Elsa.
Take Advantage of Early Admission
There are two ways you can enter Disneyland Park with Early Admission. With both of these features you should plan on being at the Main Gate or the Mononrial entrance (near the Rain Forrest Cafe) at least 45 minutes before early admission starts. Remember that you will also need to have made it through security before getting to the Main Gate or the Monorail platform. Basically, once early admission starts you need to be ready to enter the park.
Extra Magic Hour
When staying at either the Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier or the Grand Californian you can take advantage of the Extra Magic Hour feature. Extra Magic Hour rotates on a daily basis between Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park. You will need to visit the Disneyland Resort website prior to your vacation to see the specific days Extra Magic Hour is available at Disneyland Park.
You will need a valid hotel room key for each person in your family, even the kiddos.
I suggest using the Monorail to enter Disneyland during Extra Magic Hour because it will get you into Disneyland quicker. Once you exit the Monorail in Tomorrowland make a dash for Fantasyland. Only one person from your family will need to wait in line for the Return Time Tickets. Again, make sure you have all of the park tickets from your family.
The Magic Morning feature is for those guests who purchase a 3-day+ park hopper ticket in advance of arrival or a 2014 Southern California CityPASS online, or at the Main Entrance Ticket Booth. There is only 1 Magic Morning available with this option so be sure to use it for Disneyland Park.
What if you don’t have an Early Admission option?
If you can’t use Early Admission as an option to get into Disneyland Park early you should still be able to get a Return Time Ticket, but there are no guarantees.
Note: I called Guest Services prior to my trip to ask if they would be distributing Return Time Tickets during Early Admission and I was told “No.” Obviously, they provided me with incorrect information.
Visit Disneyland Resort’s website for when the park will open during your visit. Plan to be at the main gate at least 45 minutes to an hour before park opening. This means that you and your family will need to have cleared security and be in line at the main gate before the park opens. Once the gates open you will be one of the first people inside the park.
You can also use this method on the Monorail, however there is no set schedule for the Monorail and you could be left waiting on the platform for a train while other folks are headed to down Main Street, U.S.A.
Once inside the park have one person take all of the park tickets and head to Fantasyland. The rest of your family doesn’t need to join you they can go and enjoy the rest of the park.
How many Return Time Tickets are there?
I was told by a Cast Member that the Return Time Tickets are limited, but they didn’t tell me to how many are distributed. At the Return Time Ticket distribution there are 2-3 Cast Members in charge of the process. They use a hand held device to scan your park tickets (or annual pass) and the Return Time Ticket. The reason for the long line to get the Return Time Ticket has to do with the process, as you can see they are basically doing this by hand, no FASTPASS machine is involved.
I inquired to another Cast Member about when they normally run out of Return Time Tickets and he said usually by 9:30 am but it depends on how many people show up when the park opens. But don’t think that if you make it into Disneyland that by 9:00 that you will get a ticket, because you will more than likely not. There is a long line for the tickets and you need to be in the line as soon as you enter the Disneyland.
Meeting Anna & Elsa
Here is a quick video about our meeting with Anna & Elsa. The Meet n’ Greet is quick, but they were really nice and my girls were a little speechless.
Hopefully by following these tips you will be prepared and ready to grab your Return Time Tickets to meet Anna & Elsa. If you have any other tips to share please just leave a comment in the box below.