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  1. #1

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    Fun at Disneyland on super-crowded days?

    My brother is visiting from Texas with his 7-year-old
    and wanted me to take them to Disneyland on July 3 or 4.
    Since I don't like going on the most crowded days,
    and since I don't want to begin using our AP's for at least for a month,
    I talked him out it and have other plans for them.

    But (I like big buts) I got thinking, what if you were going to go on July 3 or 4 while this Carsland-mania is at its apex?

    If you "had to," how would you spend a day at Disneyland when it's at its absolute most crowded?

    We're winding up a two-year Disneyland hiatus so below I have a couple of questions about the resort as it is in July of 2012. Your answers will be appreciated!

    I consider myself a summa *** laude
    [Thanks auto-censor!], blackbelt, Jungle Cruise Guide-caliber Disneyland expert (former attractions host, AP's from 2006 through 2010),
    but I'd like to hear your ideas on this because I will be playing Disneyland tour guide for friends and relatives a few times this coming year.

    My plan A:
    Get to Disneyland when it opens and hit favorite rides for the first 90 minutes, using Fastpasses like a pro, if there were professional Fastpass users.
    Have lunch with a reservation (Blue Bayou, Main St., or rarely-too-packed Big Thunder BBQ),
    or hit the (Soon to open? When?) Earl of Sandwich,
    or get to Pizza Port right when it opens (at 11?) for great views of Tomorrowland.

    The rest of the day is about crowd avoidance, less popular attractions (in the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room ) and attractions via Fastpasses and--above all--live entertainment. Many entertainers are most enthusiastic in front of bigger crowds. I remember some characters in parades acting like they were rock stars in front of large, roaring fans.


    Then get away from those crowds again in more remote areas like the one under the Hungry Bear. (That's still open, right?)

    I'd like to hit Trader Sam's at the Disneyland Hotel for a drink (Can kids stay there to eat and have a soda or juice? My daughter and I have looked around inside a couple of times and the bartenders were very nice, but we didn't see any other kids inside.)

    And I'd like to hang out somewhere in the Grand Californian--maybe so the kids could hear a storyteller by the fire.

    Plan B: DCA
    Probably just hang out in Carsland at the start of the day and before we left at night. I've read that that part of the park has been a bit popular since mid-June.

    Follow the Disneyland plan above with a drink in the Cove bar, or a chicken salad in a bread bowl with an overpriced beer on the wharf. Avoid the crowds in one of my favorite uncrowded Disney places, the Animation lobby.

    So, fellow, self-proclaimed experts: what's wrong with my plans? What specifics can you add so I can improve as a crowded-day tour guide? Someone going to Disneyland tomorrow might actually be helped by this!

    Last edited by jcruise86; 07-02-2012 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Mild OCD?

  2. #2

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    Re: Fun at Disneyland on super-crowded days?

    use fastpasses and don't worry about actually riding anything. Just enjoy the park and it's themactic offerings

  3. #3

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    Re: Fun at Disneyland on super-crowded days?

    Plan C : 7-year-old

    Your scheduling, park knowledge and manipulation of fastpasses and crowd speculation mean nothing to the child. Once the Disney magic enters the child's heart, your careful planning will go out the window.

    Is this the child's first time to Disneyland? How often are they able to get out this way??

    Don't take Disneyland away from them just because you don't like crowds or know that there's less hectic days to go - the trip would be for them, not you..

    If you do end up going, merely "guide" them into what you think the best way to attack the park is that day; but if by a child's whim or other events conspire to derail your plans for the day, don't get hung up on it. Enjoy the day with the kids and use your knowledge and experience to make that day better for them - rather than trying to force fit a schedule into the day.
    "Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money" - Walt Disney

  4. #4

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    Re: Fun at Disneyland on super-crowded days?

    Warning: I'm tired and my boring response to HM 339's compelling reply is probably too long. I responded in his/her message with "[ ]s" and after the copied message.
    Quote Originally Posted by HM 339 View Post
    Plan C : 7-year-old

    Your scheduling, park knowledge and manipulation of fastpasses and crowd speculation mean nothing to the child. [
    Define "mean". Just because they might not understand the complexity of my flexible plans doesn't mean they won't appreciate them.] Once the Disney magic enters the child's heart, your careful planning will go out the window.

    Is this the child's first time to Disneyland? How often are they able to get out this way??
    [I hope they return next summer. The visiting girl has some mental challenges and from what I understand does not have expectations of visiting Disneyland. My older brother has never been a Disney fan and going on a very crowded day like July 3 or 4th would probably confirm his belief that it sucks. Instead of Disneyland, we're visiting our nicest relatives {the nicest people in the world, in fact, 11 "kids" with approximately 10,0000 grandkids} on their beautiful ranch in Ventura County.]

    Don't take Disneyland away from them [They could still go.] just because you don't like crowds or know that there's less hectic days to go - the trip would be for them, not you.. [I'm not as selfless as you--any trip I go on will also be for me, and I ALWAYS watch out for my own daughter who shares my reluctance to start our APs for the 4th of July.] . . .
    THANK YOU for the nice post, HM 339, but have you waited with a seven-year-old in five one-hour lines on one hot day? My own daughter and I get along beautifully at Disneyland, though I wouldn't test our theme park synergy on one of the most crowded days. I show her such wonderful outings (once going on Pooh five times in a row and going on it three times in a row on a dozen other trips and going on Dumbo three times on many occasions), that she trusts I'm planning for her fun with her input. Fastpass mastery means improvising--going to Disneyland is Jazz, not classical. So I'm with you there, but I think I would would sort of be "taking Disneyland away" from the visiting seven-year-old if I took her on a day when the rides she'd like the most had miserably long lines. I'll give them great Disneyland days when it is:
    1. not a heavy, day-long rain (which happens about twice a year)
    2. not over 95 degrees
    3. not one of the 30 or so most crowded days of the year.

    My daughter and I COULD have fun any day of the year, but my visiting relatives will have to wait for one of those days not listed above. This might be TMI, but I was given less than a week's notice of their visit and I don't want to activate our APs four weeks early for one visit. (My daughter is on a summer program we don't want to miss more than one more time.) We'll go in August a few times on weekdays--my brother and his seven-year-old can visit next summer and give us more than a few days notice. (We plan our non-local trips a year in advance, partly because I have a teaching position and taking off for vacations requires some advance planning. Again, sorry for writing TMI.)
    Last edited by jcruise86; 07-02-2012 at 11:26 PM. Reason: mild OCD

  5. #5

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    Re: Fun at Disneyland on super-crowded days?

    One fun thing for a 7 year old is to play Musical Chairs with the Mad Hatter and Alice.
    This is currently done at 1:00 at the Coke Corner Piano on Main Street.
    No waiting, just show up and sit down when they ask for contestants.
    Lots of fun, jokes, and sometimes other characters join in....


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