Good Morning from Rivers of America at Disneyland Park

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios


Disneyland park just opened for the day, and one of the best things about being among the first in the park is the quiet and stillness you will find. There’s something about that feeling of having the park (almost) to yourself, seeing sights like a still and quiet Rivers of America. What is your favorite thing about being in Disneyland park when it first opens? Tell us in the comments!


  • Erin, you actually described *exactly* my favorite thing about being at Disneyland Park in the early morning! I love getting a Starbucks iced coffee on Main Street, and the strolling up to Frontierland to sit in front of Rivers of America, watch the little ducks, etc. I’m taking a friend who has never been to Disneyland, and plan to show her that spot first! It’s easy to overlook those types of experiences – understandably, since you’re surrounded by so many action-packed adventures like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Indiana Jones Adventure (happy 20th IJA, and thank you Disney for the awesome season pass holder event with my favorite Imagineer, Tony Baxter!).

  • I forgot to comment on this blog a few days ago, as I had intended.

    I love, love, love early mornings at Disneyland Resort — not just in the parks, but at the hotels and in Downtown Disney as well. It’s a great time to explore the entire property and find the hidden gems that can get obscured in the hustle and bustle of a typical day at DLR.

    I have often told people that when I am able to be at DLR before the masses descend, I find it invigorating, inspiring and energizing. I love the calmness of the morning, when the leaves and flowers are still dewy and the sun is slowly rising in the sky. There is a certain peaceful solitude that isn’t there at any other time of day. During the Holidays (my favorite season at DLR), the brisk chill of the December air hitting my cheeks is exhilarating.

    And then there are the practical reasons for mornings in the parks (aside from getting on rides without a wait). Those of us who are avid shutterbugs know that being there before too many visitors have arrived is crucial to getting a few good people-free shots — a feat that can be hard to accomplish later in the day.

    In general, though, I think that people are, collectively, in a better mood in the morning. The day is new, and the eagerness to enter the enchanted gates of Disneyland (or California Adventure) is palpable.

  • We celebrated my sister’s bachelorette at the Disney Resort and were able to do Magic Morning staying at The CA Grand. The girls and I enjoyed everything in our PJs! The best was the short lines to Radiator Springs Racers. See you Weds. Erin! xoxo

  • Hi Erin,

    Whenever I’m ask for advice about Disneyland the first thing I always tell our friends is to get in as early as possible! The Park has a special atmosphere on early mornings that is just wonderful! The still, cool air, the morning sunlight playing across the landscape, the peaceful quiet, all give it a wonderful feeling.

    There are several iconic photos of Walt on a morning walk through the Park and I often think of him when I’m in the Park early. I always wonder what his thoughts were as he looked out at his marvelous creation!

    Thank you for highlighting one of my favorite times in the Park and thank Paul for another great photograph!

    Arizona Mike

  • Goodness! What a lovely photo. Beautiful.

    • It really is! Courtesy of my friend, Disneyland Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer.

  • The feeling walking down Main Street and all the memories that come from the previous trips. Walking right on to POTC or having a nice breakfast at either Riverbelle or Carnation. Will be there in 6 days, can’t wait!

    • Have a great visit, Shannon!

  • I also like the cast members waving and greeting everyone as you come down Main Street – an extra-special Disney touch! We usually ride a couple E-ticket rides, grab a set of fast passes for another, and enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the Carnation Café.

    • Great point!

  • There’s a beauty in the simplicity of walking through an empty(ish) park. When I get the opportunity to be an early bird at Disney, I absolutely love walking around and noticing all of the “Disney” touches to detail. It really gives me a thrill to soak up the atmosphere created there. From touching those intended imperfections or to simply be able to look up and appreciate the show, there is ALWAYS something to discover. Oh but wait, walk-on rides are pretty awesome as well!

    • I totally agree, Khryztine.

  • As Matthew stated, “the early bird gets the worm”. I had the opportunity of visiting the parks on Saturday right at the ‘rope drop’. Due to the parks being light on traffic, I was able to ride Star Tours, Buzz Lightyear, Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, Big Thunder Mountain R.R. and Radiator Springs Racers all within 2 hours. 🙂 As the parks began to fill to normal capacity I was able to simply wander around and enjoy the atmosphere without the need to hustle to the attractions as my ‘thrill junky’ needs had already been met.

    • Sounds like a great morning!

  • Erin, I love opening time because the park is fresh, clean and bright, and a feeling of excitement and anticipation is in the air. Of course the lack of crowds is an added benefit, too! Early bird gets the worm.

    • Well said, Matthew!

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