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  1. #1

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    brand new need advice!

    We are taking our first trip to disneyland with our 2 yr old and 4 yr old and I need advice! First, we are thinking January, can anyone tell me if there are less busy days at the end of January or maybe the end of February? Its easier on hubby (work) if we go end of month but dont want it to be insanely busy. second, for those who have gone with little ones, how did they do with sleeping arrangements in the hotel? My 2yr old will need to sleep in the hotel crib and my 4yr old will just co sleep with us. But we have never done a vacation before in a hotel with them. So input on how you all do it is appreciated.
    Thanks so much

  2. #2

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    IsItPacked has January listed as a "ghost town" on these dates in January:

    6-9
    13-16
    21-23
    27-30

    Those are all weekdays and the only weekday/weekend to avoid would be Martin Luther King Day on January 20th.

    As far as February goes, the park is listed as a "ghost town" on these dates (also all weekdays):

    3-6
    11-13
    24-27

    February has more "yup, it's packed" days than January does and you have multiple holidays such as Valentines Day, Lincoln's Birthday, and Washington's birthday.

    As far as cribs go in hotels you just have to request one at check-in and/or when you make the reservation.
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  3. #3

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    It's simple. They are slow months, and even the weekends are slow compared to other weekends of the year. This don't mean the weekends are slow, just not as busy. Only work mildly to avoid MLK weekend, not everyone gets that off. Do avoid President's Day Weekend, because everyone gets Monday off it's the only bad time.

    Also don't go the right after the first. Holidays are done on the 6th of January, so if you want to see it expect crowds, or come that last weekend of the Holidays or a day of it, and enjoy the slow weekdays right after.

    Also be aware it can be rainy. And ride closures and remodels are common during this slow period of the year. Fireworks, Fantasmic! and even World of Color may only be Friday through Sunday shows.
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  4. #4

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    There will be less ride and show closures at the end of February vs. January. Also...BTMRR should be reopening 2/14/2014.
    My vote is for late February.



  5. #5

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    Not so sure about dates, but I've traveled with small kids. Your sleeping arangement sounds like it will work. Put the 4-year-old in between Mom and Dad, and it should work out fine.
    As for a crib, although hotels generally have a crib to loan/rent, often there is a price, and I have also seen really archaic, possibly unsafe cribs being offered. When my kids were of crib age, we found it much easier just to travel with a Pack n Play. (isn't that what portable cribs are called? I forget. It's been a while.) They are easy to carry, colapse well, and my kids were so used to it that it made it easier for them to sleep. Just a thought.
    Also, in case you're not familiar with it, both parks have a baby center, where little ones can be changed easily, emergency supplies can be purchased, and high chairs can be used for a quiet place to eat (or even just escape the hubub.) They even have pint-sized toilets to help with toilet training if your kids are at that level.
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  6. #6

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    As a parent who has taken his kids for many years (my youngest was 6 weeks old, his first trip), I would say that Mid/late February is definitely a slower time at Disneyland.

    As mentioned by previous people, the crowds are considerably less, but the drawback is this:
    1. there is a chance of rain (minimal, but a chance)
    2. more rides will be closed for refurbishment

    Now, aside from that, I would also recommend, from my own experience, to get there right at park opening. The crowds are virtually nil in the morning, and you can walk onto almost any ride, up until about 11:30am.

    Next important recommendation is; 'don't try to make a marathon of it'. By this, I mean, pace your day. Go to the park in the morning, stay until about 1:00pm, then go back to the hotel for a few hours in the afternoon. Come back to the park for dinner, and stay for the evening. Trust me, the 'afternoon downtime' for the kids (and you) is way more valuable than dragging them around the park for a full day. Trying to make kids do a full day at the park will quickly turn it into the 'unhappiest place on earth'... tired kids = meltdown. Tired parents = arguments.

  7. #7

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    Are you staying at a Disney hotel? I believe all Disney hotels offer Pack and Play's for guest use. Call them and double-check. If you're staying at the Grand Californian I know that they have sleeping bags you can use as well (maybe the 4-year old would enjoy that?).
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  8. #8

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    I'l also add to get there at opening, and knock out Fantasyland right away. I'd do Peter Pan's Flight first, since those lines will get big. Then Dumbo, then the rest. The kids love them, and the lines do build up. I did this with my kids, and we finished all of Fantasyland in about 20 minutes. Then we were able to move more slowly since the kids got their favorites out of the way early. We were even able to reride some of them later on.

  9. #9

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by sbk1234 View Post
    I'l also add to get there at opening, and knock out Fantasyland right away. I'd do Peter Pan's Flight first, since those lines will get big. Then Dumbo, then the rest. The kids love them, and the lines do build up. I did this with my kids, and we finished all of Fantasyland in about 20 minutes. Then we were able to move more slowly since the kids got their favorites out of the way early. We were even able to reride some of them later on.
    I agree with this. If you wait to do Fantasyland you will have a pretty hefty line to deal with for Peter Pan and Dumbo. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride can get kind of long, but it usually doesn't exceed 20-30min. However, going at very off-peak times will affect the waits. If you go early enough in the mornings the lines for just about anything should be light until noonish.
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  10. #10

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    In February Haunted Mansion and Small World should be back to normal, if that's important to you.

  11. #11

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    We just got back from a Nov 3 and Nov 5th trip. Lines were very short. About 5 to 10 minutes for everything! No to little lines. It was nice. But there were no fireworks (there was World of Color)

    Years ago, when my two oldest were about the age of your kids, we barely left Fantasyland. We spent most of the day in Fantasyland and Toontown. We did walk over to Winnie the Pooh ride. But I don't think we went into Tomorrowland. We just did the Fantasyland rides a few times each. The kids loved it.
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  12. #12

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    I understand that mid to late Feb. is normally slow but what about Big Thunder re-opening? Will that make it abnormally busy?

  13. #13

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
    I understand that mid to late Feb. is normally slow but what about Big Thunder re-opening? Will that make it abnormally busy?
    There might be more AP and local presence, but I don't think it would have much of an effect on the amount of tourists.
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  14. #14

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    Re: brand new need advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottG View Post
    I understand that mid to late Feb. is normally slow but what about Big Thunder re-opening? Will that make it abnormally busy?
    No

    As with almost everything it will open on a Friday and every Friday evening is busy. If it opens softly on a Thursday it will not increase the park's attendance in any noticeable amount. Only BTMRR will have a bigger than usual wait in any case.
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