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  1. #1

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    Cool The Perceptions, Opinions and Musings of an Annual Passholder

    For those that are planning your next trip to Disneyland you are always wondering when is the best time to go. Any special nuggets you can pull to prepare yourself for your visit to the park is always helpful.. Right? So anyone reading this post and is a regular to Disneyland, please share your thoughts as well...

    Jan.-March...... Enjoy this time in the park.... Seriously.. This is what I call the calm before the storm. The park is not terribly crowded. There are no major holidays or events that cause Disneyland to have any special attractions or shows during this time of year aside from "the norm".... The weather is nice.. Probably one of the most pleasant times during the year to go.. The only down side is, during the week the park is still on winter hours so they close early.. Typically around 6,7,8pm.. Weekends are still open til 11-midnight though.

    April-August........ Oooohhhh Disneyland.... You are lucky I love you so much.....It starts with the Spring Break crowds... Which are tolerable.. Up until the Grad Nights.... Since my experience with Grad night this past spring, from now and forever more whenever I hear the phrase Grad-Night... It will immediately be followed by the phrase "OH HELL NO!" You can only imagine.. A bunch of teenagers running around the park without parental supervision, still trapped in their own selfish little world giving no regard or consideration to others around them, which is shown in their behavior, which includes the emotional breakdowns, dramatic confrontations, the need to socialize in the middle of crowded walkways.. Oh and don't forget the random outburst of teen spirt that erupts for no reason at all right in front you.. I'm referring to that one girl that started doing her cheer routine as you were trying to pass her (WHYYYYY?!?!?!) It's now the end of July and I am still getting the nervous twitches even thinking about Grad night....

    Fortunately Grad night only lasts about 2 months.. Towards the middle of June things tend to calm down and you just have to deal with the normal summer crowds which brings in the bus loads (not kidding) of tour groups... Which isn't bad but has managed to bring your Disneyland gage back to the "Tolerable" level... As a premium pass holder, during the summer months I LOVE Saturdays.... All other pass holders are blacked out and it's just you and the daily-3 day ticket holders.. As long we the weather isn't ridiculously hot and humid, it's a great time to go...

    September-Oh September how I love thee... You bring with you the end of vacation season.. You bring with you the back to school season... Even sometimes you bring with you cooler temperatures..... Regardless you reduce the crowds in the parks... People are back to school, back to work, going back to whatever part of the country they came here from and not going to Disneyland.. No special attractions, special shows out of the ordinary happening.. Though the Halloween decorations typically start going up towards the middle to end of the month which starts bringing in crowds.. Still not awful...

    October.......Though the Halloween season at this point is in full effect, select rides such as Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain have been refurbished to fit the season along with the special Halloween firework show. It definitely does draw a crowd into the park. The weather typically is cooler so even if it is crowded the atmosphere is just very fun and nostalgic, it is just always a great time. Be sure to check the dates for the Mickey's Halloween party nights if you are planning a trip here during this season and not planning on trick or treating.. During those nights (which typically sells out out in advance) One of the parks closes down early and only the guests that paid for the event ticket for that night are allowed into that park.

    November-December...... After Halloween there is typically a one to two week window while they transition into the Christmas season, which is a great time to go. Nothing seasonal or special to draw in the crowds, aside from just being Disneyland.. Space mountain is closed down while they change it back to normal.. No more scary ghost.... Keep in mind that we are officially in the fall/winter months.. During the week the park closes early...

    Christmas time is the BEST!!!!

    Note: The first Saturday after they put up all the Christmas decorations (Which is typically the 1st or 2nd Saturday in November) ABC is there the first part of the day filming the Christmas parade that will be aired on Christmas day... Going to the park during this time is great if you would like to watch the parade, see stage performances by special artists, possibly to be able to see yourself on TV Christmas day once you are watching the parade on TV that they shot back in November.. But if you are going there to just have a relaxed day of fun... I got three words for you... HUMAN TRAFFIC JAM... During the parade they "herd" the sheeple/crowds through the back ally ways of the park that lead to the other lands.. If you are there to just ride the rides and walk through the park, this no fun.. I would suggest coming later that evening or holding off until Sunday to come.

    All in all during this time of year is truly the most magical time of year.. The weather is nice and cool, Disneyland has mastered the whole nostalgic factor. It is a great time to come to the park and create some amazing memories for a lifetime.

    These are just my thoughts and experiences from the time I have spent in the park being a pass holder the last 6 years.. Please share your thoughts and observations!
    Stacey Smith
    The Real Princesses of Disneyland
    2014 Gumball Rally


  2. #2

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    Re: The Perceptions, Opinions and Musings of an Annual Passholder

    Changing Space Mountain back to normal only took like 3 days last year. I was there like 4 times right after Halloween and everyday there were hardly any lines. I mean 10 minutes on everything. If you go to Disney for the rides this is truly the optimal time to go.

  3. #3

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    Re: The Perceptions, Opinions and Musings of an Annual Passholder

    It doesn't take them that long the change Space Mountain back at all.. Considering it's all software based and not a complete decor overhaul like Haunted Mansion.. It only takes a few clicks on the computer and from there run the tests needed to make sure the program is stable and consistent.....
    Stacey Smith
    The Real Princesses of Disneyland
    2014 Gumball Rally


  4. #4

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    Re: The Perceptions, Opinions and Musings of an Annual Passholder

    Quote Originally Posted by ocstaceysmith View Post
    A bunch of teenagers running around the park without parental supervision, still trapped in their own selfish little world giving no regard or consideration to others around them, which is shown in their behavior, which includes the emotional breakdowns, dramatic confrontations, the need to socialize in the middle of crowded walkways.. Oh and don't forget the random outburst of teen spirt that erupts for no reason at all right in front you.. I'm referring to that one girl that started doing her cheer routine as you were trying to pass her (WHYYYYY?!?!?!)
    In fairness to the teenagers, there is literally nothing on this list that I have not seen many adults do as well. Including "teen spirit." Though it was loud group singing of pop songs not cheer routines, but the intent is the same.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  5. #5

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    Re: The Perceptions, Opinions and Musings of an Annual Passholder

    I do agree with you.. But during grad week it happens in mass quantities vs. sporadically...
    Stacey Smith
    The Real Princesses of Disneyland
    2014 Gumball Rally


  6. #6

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    Re: The Perceptions, Opinions and Musings of an Annual Passholder

    I avoid Grad Weeks like the plague....

    Great summary of the best (and worst) times to visit
    2014 Gumball Rally Team- Skyway Sweethearts
    *~2014- Disneyland Premium Annual Passholder~*
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  7. #7

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    Re: The Perceptions, Opinions and Musings of an Annual Passholder

    First year as an AP holder and I'm having a blast. We're one level down from you so no Saturdays, but we love going for a few hours on Sunday morning or evening. Things we've figured out so far:

    - Opening weekend of the OC Fair was a great time to go. Not as crowded.

    - Sunday nights, it's relatively easy to time a fast pass ride on Big Thunder during the fireworks. Awesome!

    - Winter is a great time to go. More ride closures, but we always find plenty of things to enjoy.

    - It doesn't matter what time of day it is, there's never a short line for Dole Whips.

    - I'm looking forward to Fantasmic's off season so we can ride the Mark Twain at night.

    - In general, we're learning to just appreciate the park for what it is, not what we think it should be. Maybe that's easier as an AP holder that gets to visit more often; it would be different if we could only visit annually (or less) and each visit's flaws would be magnified.

  8. #8

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    Re: The Perceptions, Opinions and Musings of an Annual Passholder

    Very good overview, just note that Halloween decorations actually start going up end of August/early Sept as the start of Halloween time is now about 1/3 of the way into Sept.
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