sorry to hear you had a dissapointed time. yeah this is a hit or miss type of thing i guess.
sorry to hear you had a dissapointed time. yeah this is a hit or miss type of thing i guess.
Yes I understand and felt a little the same. We came from Phoenix drove over for the weekend, paid hotel etc. Last year we had a great time. This year you couldn't hardly walk and we spent the whole night standing in lines. Yes there was a lot more people and everyone we talked to felt the same. We just didn't have the fun we had the year before.
My family and I were at the party on the 9th and had many of the same issues. For a special event, the crowds were too large and did not have a significant benefit other than cheap candy. Lines for meet and greats were too long, bottlenecks in NOS were as bad as mid-day when the park is at capacity, and the fireworks while interesting were not worth the wait.
Unless there is a significant reduction in participants (paid and unpaid) we will not be going back. I felt that we wasted $46.
The other disappointment was the effect on DCA when DL closed on Friday night. The line for TOT was over 1.5 hours at times, RSR was in excess of 2 hours, and all the other rides were significantly impacted. Add the nightly World of Color shut down of Screamin' and MFW, the park was over populated for the rides and activities available
It's making me nervous, and we will be there on the 26th for Mickey's NSS Halloween Party. Anyone with experience going the last few parties? What should I expect? With so many more people there, and the suggestions from other MC forum members I wonder if its even worth going now?
I do feel that since you are buying the special ticket you feel like the park should be less crowded but that is just an illusion. I feel it's as bad as a reg weekend day.
Going in Nov this time and hope we will miss some of the crowds. Last year when we went on a Thur I couldn't believe how packed it was. I hate to be there for summertime judging by crowd levels during Weekends and Special Events like these.
Most of the Arizona schools were on fall break last week, that probably boosted the lines quite a bit.
When we went I researched the party and made sure that as soon as they let you in:
1. Go straight to the Mickey and Minnie Line as it is always the longest, if you want a picture
2. Do all the picture taking first
3. Do all the candy last it will be there all night
4. Must see the fireworks in front of the castle which will also give you a view of the parade
5. You can always do rides but not the party/event so if you can get to some great if not no big deal
We had the best time there at the party and the fireworks were some of the best I have seen so I cannot complain and I would do it again.
I was also there on the 12th and it was very crowded. It was so bad that I have written off ever doing a party on a Friday again. Your mileage may very but I am done with it. Still love the place, the parties need a little work. Went the last two years on a Friday and had a great time, crowds were pretty manageable.
Placement of candy lines in already congested areas is poor planning. They sell way too many tickets. I know you can't cure the corporate greed but it was just ridiculous on Friday. I'll do a trip report in a few days after I process some pics.
This year I was able to attend to both DL's MHP on Sept 28th and MK's MNSSHP on Oct. 14th. And I was shocked at the results. I am a transplated east coaster. Born west coast, grew up on DL, I left then nest after a few years in college and moved to florida. I generally find DL to be better then the MK not just ride for ride and show for show, but in detailed story telling, how clean it is, and operations.
So... this is a bit shocking for me but honestly, aside from the fireworks show which was better at DL, MK's MNSSHP absolutely beats DL's MHP in every other category.
Boo to you Parade vs Mickey's Halloween Calvacade : Come on Disneyland, we have seen you time and time again, blow MK entertainment out of the water. But Boo to you Parade is real, large, well done and a major entertainment offering that your Calavade, while cute, does not compare too.
Trick or treat lines = I would compare but MK's MNSSHP didn't have any long lines. And some of them were enhanced with cute, albeit cheap, back drops and or 2D cut outs. The Wonderland Cards trail off of Story Book Circus comes to mine, as does the Mator themed one near the Grand Prix. But I didn't see any enhancements to the treat lines at DL, and did see major lines that were completely sans at MK.
Villians Mix and Mingle, a short but great dance show in front of the castle, loaded with pyro and unusually good choregraphed dance moved and great music. Its a 10 minute long intro to he villians who afterwards come out and "mingle" in the crowd for autographs and pictures.
Fireworks : same music, different narrations, and here DL out did MK, but even MK had its moments as the finally is down 360 degrees around the park, so where MK has some lack luster moments in the middle where DL has some real wow moments, the finale helps make up for that.
Crowds : DL sold way too many tickets. At one point in New Orleans Square it was a very for real elbow to elbow packed. MK lines were minimal at worst. Space Mountain was 20 minutes and they were only running ONE track. Mansion was 10 to 20 and had "ghost" entertainment on the front lawn telling stories.
She was funny and entertaining enough that even with a minimal line, guests stopped to interact with her instead of just bolting ahead to the attraction.
Crowd control was better at MK, something I usually find to be the case for DL, and I have always assumed they were forced to be better due to hosting a similar annual attendance in small park with much more narrower path ways than it's east coast big sister. What ever the reason, in this case I found the 7pm transition for party guests only at DL to be rough, almost hostile, while MK seem to smoothly guide the guests who were not party guest out though clearly marked exit pathways. They had many check points set up at MK and they worked very well.
Food and Beverage offerings, here I found both parks to be limited and about the same.
But MK wins, and solidly so, over all on the merits of its huge parade, more entertainment, no lines for the treats trails, and just not being sold so that its packed to the gills. A rare win for the MK over DL, but lately I have notice those rare wins aren't as rare as they use to be.
We've never done the Halloween Party at Disneyland but have done MNSSHP at MK twice with much different results.
The first time we did MNSSHP it was, without a doubt, one of my most favorite theme park evenings EVER. (and that's a LOT). The crowds were non-existent, the weather was perfect, the company was divine We were able to get a great spot for the parade (right in the hub), the other park guests were very courteous and it was just an all-around great time.
The second time we went it was almost exactly a year later. On a weeknight (just like the year before). It was absolutely horridly packed. Worse than I've seen MK on even Gay Days. Because of this the other park guests were rude, everybody was annoyed and I had one of the worst theme park evenings EVER. So much so I was ready to shorten our vacation and go home (and this NEVER happens to me).
My point is, you never know when it's going to be busy vs not busy. I do see these parties as an extreme cash-grab by Disney, more-so than other "Haunt" events as those truly offer a great variety of things you can't get on any normal day. It's also obvious that due to the overwhelming popularity of these events Disney is selling more and more tickets. Unless there ends up being a backlash and they don't sell out (or almost sell out) each night, Disney is going to continue to jack up the prices, sell more tickets and have even less things to do at these parties.
I understand your thought about crowds, though odd you use gay days a reference for crowded, because honestly gay day crowds are very manageable compared to what the MK can have. But even if MK was crowded, I would have giving it the solid win between the two events. That said, I have been to LOTS of MK MNSSHP parties, and many of them were crowd, much more so then I experienced on the 14th of Oct.
I have never been to a MK MNSSHP that was as packed as the MHP at DL that I attended on the 23rd of sept. At one point in New Orleans, the crowds for Mansion merged into the trick or treat trail and the Jack and Sally Meet and Greets and the ODV carts and shoulder to shoulder pack resulted in flash backs of Epcot on NYE as you try to pass through the bottle necks the result either in Canada or Mexico. It was INSANE, not just a hassle.
I suggest watching the FW show from Small World Mall. The projections on the SW facade are huge and at a better level. The pyro FX go off at the castle behind you so that the whole FW show is happening around you. There is nothing like standing so close to where they launch the FW too! That was great; we could feel them. It was much less crowded there than in the hub - still busy, but more manageable.
We had a great time over-all and that was b/c we enojoyed our time together. I was there all week, but if I had paid for that night and it was my only night, I would have been dissappointed big time.
If you park at the Toy Story lot, you will miss a major traffic jam of ppl leaving the resort. While you will def notice ppl leaving the TS lot too, you will miss the majority of headaches. This info comes from other members of our party who parked in different areas.
During The Event:
BTMRR was the longest line. It started out as about 45min. It quickly turned into almost 90min. The sign all night was "stuck" at 35min. They ran both sides for the day ops but changed it to one side during the event. It was the WORST line to wait in all week and this event was no different, actually, it was worse for the event. I should have made a trip to City Hall, but I just didn't want to waste the time left. I suppose I could still do it online???
Space was too long too. It read 15 min the last time we rode it during the event, but was closer to 45 min. They were not being properly loaded. Trains would depart w/ 2-3 rows empty. The GAC issue was very noticable here and compounded the problem. The upper level queue CM wasn't sending down ppl fast enough. I suspect that they DO NOT want that section of queue to hold its' intended max capacity due to wear and tear of the buildings' infrastructure and/or crowd control. But all the times we rode during the event (and yes, during the week sometimes), it was like they waited for a dozen ppl to be in the station before letting another batch of guests go down the ramps. Usually, the wait during that section was from the "space port e-exit". But during the times they diviated from this, the guests hurried down the ramp, but not fast enough, and several totally empty trains were sent thru. Meanwhile, a thousand+ ppl were waiting at the upper level queue. These empty rows and empty trains all add up to much longer waits.
Splash was a walk-on by the first parade. We found our selves gravitating towards it at the start of the event and near the end where we just stayed in the log and rode over and over until we felt we were going insane!!! (In a good way). Ride-wise, this was our fave of the night b/c of this. It was quite warm out and we guessed that ppl didn't want their costumes to get wet. We took advantage of the oppertunity! Also, the few guests who joined us and decided that they were going to do what we were doing - well, they were in a great mood. When we rode with the dozens of ppl who were on the ride/in the queue, we started to set up the queue so that they would get re-rides too. We crowd controlled ourselves and we had it down pat! A huge thanks to all those ppl who participated in timing it so that we all got re-rides - lots of them!!! If you are reading - a big big thanks! Sooooo much fun!
POTC was a solid 10-15 min all night that we saw. As was JC.
ST was a steady 45min from what we saw as we walked by it several times.
Matty was a steady 30-40 min. Single rider, 3min, yep, three whole minutes!!!
Nemo was insane at 60 min for the event, but we skipped it all week (in protest).
SW was closed from just before fireworks until the rest of the event. It never re-opened. If this is SOP for the event, I suggest you make it a priority if you feel this is a must-ride attraction. We were a bit bummed that it didn't re-open, but we got one ride in for that week so we just brushed it off.
HMH the queue was up and down for the whole duration of the event. It was stange how the line would get very crowded and then less crowded. I have never seen this pattern before for this ride. I will have to do some research for answers. We saved it for last and getting on it as the last group of the event. We rode it earlier in the trip, but we wanted a symbolic ride for the H'ween spirit to help us get in the holiday mood since it was our last ride of the entire trip (the next day, we only stopped in for b'fast before our trip home). HMH didn't have a wait time posted all that week - it was blank. It was a crazy long line that would get shorter and then longer and then shorter then drastically longer and then significantly shorter. We got in line at 11:55pm and it took us about 25 min.
We were able to ride Pan during the mix-in portion of the event and waited about 50min. We tackled Mr Toad in about 30 min.
Very few of the posted wait times were accurate. Most were well over the posted time... by more than a five minute window.
Some of the restaurants/eateries were severely under staffed. I would have preffered them to just close down some restaus and better staff others. As it was, some eateries were closed for the event. There was a significant closure of ODV after the fireworks. I am guessing that this was part of the staffing plan. This was creating much longer lines at the remaining ODV carts. We just got to the point where we said **** it, we will get something after we leave the park.
Like I said, we were over all happy that we went, my SO really wanted a bit of H'ween this year, and that filled his desire. We made the best of it and we were warned here at MC that it would be busy. Our biggest issue (and again, not just the event), was that many times DLR felt like it was understaffed. Actually, it wasn't just a feeling, it was a fact. CMs were haggered. I feel this is the biggest dropped ball on the part of Disney. I strongly disagree w/ raising prices and cutting staffing. I will gladly pay a higher price ticket (day or event or AP) to reduce the number of guests in the park and for DLR to make money and meet the demand, but I cannot agree with awfullllly under staffed parks in some areas and certain times of the day. It wasn't isolated cases either - I could look past that if it was. I feel like it was a money making "scam" on the part of Disney. I hope they change this soon.
Anyway, OP, not to sound like a Negative Nellie and I didn't want to hijack your thread, I just wanted to add my 2cents for future readers so they know what they are in for. I also wanted you to know that while we don't have the same exact opinion, we did share some of the same negative issues. After many years reading here on MC I have learned alot and know what to look for so that I can report back to other readers.
In the end, I will wait before I buy tickets to the event next year to see if they are habitually understaffing or not. If it looks like they are doing it again, I will skip the next H'ween Event in 2013.
Wow I'm sorry to hear that you had such a bad time... I've been at pretty much all of the Halloween Parties this year and I can say that Friday was definitely the most crowded one I've experienced (they oversold it). My observations though, everyone FLOODS the treat lines the first hour or two after the event starts and they don't really give out much candy those first few hours. However, after the fireworks the crowd really thins out and the treat lines (as well as the attraction lines) get a lot more manageable. But I do agree that they understaff for the event. The first night this year I was shocked at how many eateries and stores were closed just an hour into the Party.
No worries @JMazz about "hijacking or being a negative Nellie,lol" I feel as though we are on the same page for issues that arose during the party. Alot of the staffers looked very unhappy and some shops were closing as well. Sadly I dont think we will return for MNSSHP 2013, I love Disneyland though- I just wish they took into account the enjoyment of the guests who paid extra to be there that night and sold less tickets.
Where would I say WDW does better, only for having a full parade. Crowds do spread out better in WDW, that's how it was built thanks to the test program in DL. In DL everyone concentrates around most of the treat stations, and in the hub. It the nature of the parties.
DL does better for better CMs, too many of the WDW CMs seem unhappy to have this extra shift. Ride overlays, DL has them, WDW does not. I agree I'd give DL an advantage for the fireworks but only a little one. Chracters are roughly the same, they are out there in both parks. Big Thunder Ranch.