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  1. #1

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    My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    I spent May 6th to May 10th at the Happiest Place on Earth and I was really excited to get back to my favorite place. It is really upsetting for me, but I think this was probably the worst trip I have had in all the years I have been visiting Disneyland.
    The week was plagued with unexpected ride closures, school trips, rainy weather, and the worst part of all... Grad Nights.

    Monday and Tuesday were by far the best day for crowds. It was rainy and cloudy so I think people who could avoid the parks did just that. Monday I was able to do just about anything that was open in both Disneyland and DCA including all three rides in Cars Land. However, the rest of the week was terrible because of the amount of school groups and teenagers for Grad Nights. The kids were obnoxious, rude, loud, pushy in line, cut ahead of people in lines, and just plain inconsiderate. That goes for both the grads and the regular school groups. I went on a music trip in 10th grade and if we would have acted like that we would have been sent home. I had terrible experiences on both Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion due to idiot kids and teenagers. I just learned the hard way never to step foot in the parks during the month of May. My "no-no months" are now mid-April until the end of August.

    Ride closures added to the overall annoyance of the week. Indiana Jones was closed for 3.5 of the 5 days I had in the park. It was open when I went through Adventureland on Monday but it closed on Tuesday & Wednesday and also closed about halfway through the day on Friday and stayed closed until I left the park a little after 11pm. Pirates of the Caribbean and the Matterhorn Bobsleds were rides that also temporarily shut down on Friday. I got to a point where I asked myself what rides were open and not which rides had closed. This caused the wait times for the available rides, even the Fantasyland attractions, to go up and the walkways were jammed with people trying to figure out what they could do. Also due to the Grad Nights half of DCA closed early most of the week. Add that into the amount of rides that close for World of Color every night and it practically makes going into DCA and trying to stay past 8pm pretty worthless.

    I am planning on contacting Disney about numerous things regarding this trip and part of that includes the ridiculously inaccurate wait times I noticed all week long. I don't think I entered a line once where the posted wait time was accurate whether it was over or under estimating. When Indiana Jones opened on Thursday the line extended almost to the Adventureland restrooms and the standby wait time posted was only 20min. It took us 45-50min if not longer. When we walked out of the ride the line was still as long and the wait time hadn't been bumped up. Posted wait times for RSR, Luigi's Flying Tires, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and Star Tours were also very inaccurate all week. I don't know if due to random ride closures and OSHA inspections the leads and managers had their minds somewhere else or what, but it was unacceptable.

    I'm not trying to make it sound like I didn't have any fun because that isn't true. I always have fun when I'm at Disneyland. I just think this was the trip with the most unpleasant moments and annoyance.


    Now for the fun stuff =^D

    Here is my ride count:

    Pirates of the Caribbean (x4)
    Matterhorn Bobsleds (x2)
    Star Tours (x4)
    Space Mountain (x2)
    Haunted Mansion (x3)
    Indiana Jones (x2)
    Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (x3)
    Snow White's Scary Adventure (x2)
    Pinocchio's Daring Journey (x2)
    Alice in Wonderland
    Storybook Land Canal Boats
    Casey Jr. Train
    Enchanted Tiki Room
    Innoventions / Iron Man Tech
    Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (x2)
    Captain EO (x2)
    Gadget's Go Coaster
    Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
    Jungle Cruise
    Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (x2)
    Splash Mountain (x3)
    Mark Twain Riverboat

    Monster's Inc, Mike & Sully to the Rescue! (x2)
    Ariel's Undersea Adventure (x4)
    Turtle Talk with Crush
    Goofy's Sky School
    Jumpin' Jellyfish
    Heimlich's Chew Chew Train
    Golden Zephyr
    Radiator Springs Racers (x2)
    Mater's Junkyard Jamboree (x2)
    Luigi's Flying Tires
    Muppet Vision 3D
    Toy Story Mania


    I did finally walk through Bug's Land and did the other two attractions inside Cars Land. I really liked the Junkyard Jamboree but I absolutely hated Luigi's Flying Tires. I thought they were difficult to move and are very lackluster. I wasn't too into Bug's Land as a whole. It seems more for little kids like ToonTown is.

    Pictures to follow in the next post!
    Please... put Guardians of the Galaxy in Tomorrowland.








  2. #2

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    Please... put Guardians of the Galaxy in Tomorrowland.








  3. #3

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May





    Please... put Guardians of the Galaxy in Tomorrowland.








  4. #4

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    Holy moly there are 41 people reading your TR as I type this!

    I'm sorry to hear that your trip wasn't as fantastic as it could (and should) have been. The inaccurate wait times, and mismanagement of the lines themselves (why would they allow a 45 minute line to spill into the walkway instead of wrapping it?), would be incredibly frustrating in itself. Throw obnoxious kids into the mix and it's a recipe for disaster. I'm happy to hear it wasn't a complete loss for you, and hope your next trip makes up for it!

    Thank you to Poisonedapples for my awesome signature!
    KellyMcG86's Disneyland To Do List

  5. #5

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    Thanks for the TR sorry you had some issues but at least you had fun!

  6. #6

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    I also must mention some food!

    The Churro bites at the Cozy Cone Motel are to die for. I know they are just chopped up Churros, but the chocolate sauce made them even better. I also had my first cream cheese pretzel and I swear I will never not eat one. They are so good.

    Cocina Cucamonga in Paradise Pier was pretty impressive. I got Carne Asada steak (and it was a decent sized steak cooked with some pink in the middle) and a chicken tamale complete with beans, rice, and two flour tortillas for $11. For theme park Mexican food it was very good and you got a decent amount of food for the price. I will probably eat there again next time I visit.
    I obviously also visited the Boudin Bakery as you saw in my photo above for some clam chowder in a bread bowl. Always a must have for me when I go to Disneyland.

    I also ate lunch at Blue Bayou and dinner at Cafe Orleans. I still love the Chicken Gumbo Crepes at Cafe Orleans. I also grabbed a burger at the Hungry Bear and ate their disgusting onion rings. I don't know what it was but they did not taste good at all.


    Aside from food...

    I noticed throughout the week was the lack of events that were originally posted on the event calendar like the Jedi Academy and shows inside The Golden Horseshoe. They were on the event calendar up until a couple days prior to me flying out and sure enough there were no shows happening other than on Friday. By then so many rides were unexpectedly shutting down that there were too many people standing around to even see a show. I walked through Tomorrowland to sit and watch a Jedi Academy show and people were practically sitting on top of each other to stay behind the blue line.

    I also think Disney needs to tackle incomplete parties entering the lines. It seems that every time I got in line for something there would be 6-7 people cutting the line in front of me to meet someone who decided to get in line and then call them when they got close to the end. If it were up to me I would enforce a policy of "if your party is incomplete you cannot enter the line." Have everyone ready to wait or ride separately. It's that simple.
    The worst was this family who put their children in line for RSR (the oldest looked about 8 years old) and when we got close to the end the kids called them and the parents squeezed in and cut the whole line.

    I am still an advocate for the removal of FastPasses, too. It seriously makes wait times longer than it would be to just have everyone wait standby. The worst is RSR and I know there was a thread about it not too long ago. The first time I was in line my wait that could have easily been 35-40min wound up being over 60min because the CM's let 100 FP and single rider people in and then only let 20-30 standby guests through. They seem to purposely hold the standby line at a stand still and wait for more FP guests to walk up. There was a point where the standby line had stopped completely and there was no one in the FP line, but the CM stood there and waited to see if more FP people showed up instead of letting standby guests get on the ride. It's ridiculous. The day Disney says goodbye to FP is the day I will buy myself a cupcake to celebrate.

    Also a quick tip for those entering with multi-day passes in the future... it takes a lot longer to get into the park in the morning due to them having to take pictures of everyone at the gate. The fact that they are taking pictures of young children and babies takes up a lot of time (and is a bit ridiculous, imo) and the fact that the guests don't know what they are doing. They try to hand their tickets to the wrong people, they don't know they need pictures, people are leaving without getting handstamped and then trying to re-enter, etc.. The list of problems just goes on and on. I think they should make separate lines for multi-day pass holders so it makes things a bit smoother.
    Please... put Guardians of the Galaxy in Tomorrowland.








  7. #7

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    I agree that there should be a separate line for AP's. I am sorry you had a less than incredible trip! I'm glad you made the most of it though. We have got to get out of town so on a whim last week we booked tickets to Anaheim. I'm really glad I read your report. We will not be in rush mode and will expect it to be full of annoying teenagers. We just need to get away so it doesn't really matter we won't get to do much in the parks. I saw 102 degrees today!!! We will be needing some pool time anyway. Unfortunately that means no Lilly Belle.

    Thanks again for your TR.

  8. #8

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    I was there about the same time frame and it was pretty crazy with the ride closures and school groups. I think I'm done for about two years.

  9. #9

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    Quote Originally Posted by VintageMouse View Post
    I was there about the same time frame and it was pretty crazy with the ride closures and school groups. I think I'm done for about two years.
    Yeah, I was thinking about going back in the Fall but I might hold off until next year.
    Please... put Guardians of the Galaxy in Tomorrowland.








  10. #10

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    Sorry to hear that your May trip was not as you expected. May is actually our last "big month" before the summer heat kicks in. So we tend to visit Disneyland as much as possible in the month of May. Having a close to Memorial Day birthday doesn't make a Disneyland birthday trip much fun either.

    There are a couple of ways that we make the Month of May more tolerable at Disneyland:
    We always get there when the park opens, so that we can take the most advantage of Fantasyland before it becomes too crowded (insanely crowded).

    We always watch the parades "renegade style" by looking for a place under the ropes near the corner of Storybook Land across from the teacups right before the parade starts rather than have to stand out in the hot sun for long periods of time.

    We always get one summer treat whether it's Wild Cherry slushies, ice cream bars, or Dole Whips.

    We never go when a Grad Nite is scheduled. Now that they can rule the park during the day, it's just not worth the insane teenagers (hard to believe we were all that age once).

    We always travel with a misting fan when the temps are predicted to be 80 or higher.

    We avoid Memorial Day weekend and celebrate my birthday the weekend before, weather permitting.

    We enjoy the Tiki Room, the show at the Fantasyland Royal Theater, eat at Pizza Port, and use the Monorail to take breaks from the heat.

    But above all else, we know it will be crowded and we know that we have done everything at Disneyland thousands of times. Whatever we are dying to do, we do first, and if we don't get to something, there is nothing lost.

  11. #11

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    I was there in late April and there crowds were really light. I think as long as you go after spring break but before Grad Nights start, that's the sweet spot.

    I love Cucina Cucamonga! They do have really good food, and I ususally get a kid's meal since that generally has enough to fill me up.

  12. #12

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    Quote Originally Posted by kirstenh View Post
    I was there in late April and there crowds were really light. I think as long as you go after spring break but before Grad Nights start, that's the sweet spot.
    This year was a bit tricky with timing. We chose May because it was when I could go on leave and when my friend who lives in Phoenix was done with her semester at ASU. If it wasn't for her schedule we would have gone in early March like we did last year. That was probably the best time I have ever had in terms of crowds and weather.

    I will definitely look into April again, though. Thanks for the tip!
    Please... put Guardians of the Galaxy in Tomorrowland.








  13. #13

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    We were there May 1-5 and it was fine. No grad nights to worry about and the groups of kids seem to consist of singing or band teams. They were excited but fun so not annoying like some other general groups. We hit that sweet spot I guess. We really lucked on that way though. Does anyone know if they post those grad night dates very far in advance?? I would like to make sure we always avoid that.

  14. #14

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    Here are all the 2013 Grad Night dates:

    May 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 18, and 22
    June 12, 14, 20, and 21

    I found those through a link via Trip Advisor. In other words, Disney does not seem to post the Grad Night dates for the public to see.

    I also wonder if there are there really chaperones for the high school kids for Grad Night? I never noticed any chaperones for any group other than obvious school groups.
    Please... put Guardians of the Galaxy in Tomorrowland.








  15. #15

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    Re: My week at Disneyland - Learning the hard way to avoid the month of May

    Quote Originally Posted by smartlabelprint View Post
    I saw 102 degrees today!!! We will be needing some pool time anyway. Unfortunately that means no Lilly Belle.
    Don't give up on the Lilly Belle, it has dropped 10 degrees today and is supposed to drop more tomorrow. The weekend is going onto be mid 70's if the forecast is correct

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