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  • [Question] December 2011 and pictures help

    Hey all got a question for ya all.

    We are planning our yearly disney trip and thinking we want to move it to either the first week of dec or the second week of dec (Sunday - Thursday) or should we keep our normal days first week of feb?

    So the question is whats betters for people NOT being there? We will have kids and not staying on property (worldmark). One the people going has never seen disney for Christmas. So that would be worth it right there. But I guess I am spoiled with no one being there in feb. So what do you guy's and girls suggest?

    Now here is my other question. Is there any way to get in to the park a little early and get some pics of main street with no one on it before the park opens?

    Any help on any of this would be great thanks again. You all rock.

  • #2
    Re: December 2011 and pictures help

    The earlier in December you go the better. As the month progresses the crowds get even heavier. Mid week the first week in the month isn't bad, but you also have to remember that usually that first week (normally the first Mon/Tue) they have cast member Christmas parties in the park and Disneyland will close early. The first weekend is also Candlelight. I've been there during Candlelight, and early in the day its not bad but the park starts to fill up in the evening with people coming in to see the processional.

    But the parks during the holiday are especially magical. I love the decorations, the lights on the castle, just the whole atmosphere of the resort. If you have someone in your party who hasn't seen the park at that time, its worth it to show them how pretty the park is then.

    The only way to get into the park early is to have magic mornings, and I think to get those you have to stay at one of the resort hotels or one of the Good Neighbor ones, and buy your tickets there. I've never done the magic morning so I don't know exactly how that works.




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    • #3
      Re: December 2011 and pictures help

      The 3-day tickets include one Magic Morning admission (half-hour before the park opens, right?). Even so, I think they let regular guests come inside to Main Street before the park opens on most days. Magic Morning just means you actually get into the rest of the park before everyone else. If the park is open 8a-12a, there aren't any Magic Mornings, though. Most of December is 8a-12a, but the first week might not be (Disneyland's online calendar only goes through June right now - you might call Disneyland to see if they will tell you what to expect). Disclaimer: I can't promise you everything I wrote it totally correct!

      Even with the crowds, I would still go in early December over February because there are almost always rides closed for refurbishment in February whereas everything is open in December. If you use Fastpasses efficiently you can cover all of Disneyland on the most crowded of days, and if you're there multiple days seeing everything is no problem at all. It's not as nice as an empty February day, but you'll still have fun.

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      • #4
        Re: December 2011 and pictures help

        Originally posted by bee1000 View Post
        The 3-day tickets include one Magic Morning admission (half-hour before the park opens, right?). Even so, I think they let regular guests come inside to Main Street before the park opens on most days. Magic Morning just means you actually get into the rest of the park before everyone else. If the park is open 8a-12a, there aren't any Magic Mornings, though. Most of December is 8a-12a, but the first week might not be (Disneyland's online calendar only goes through June right now - you might call Disneyland to see if they will tell you what to expect). Disclaimer: I can't promise you everything I wrote it totally correct!
        I've never done magic morning either but according to their park hours, magic morning is usually one hour prior to the 8:00 a.m. opening AND it is on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. There have been times when it is also held on Mondays but I think thats pretty rare.

        As for crowd levels, I visited the park plenty of times during the holidays and the best day I went without any crowds was November 30th (a Tuesday). It may not be in your timeline but it was the perfect day. The lines were super short and the crowds were relatively low. The latest day I went where the crowds were tolerable was December 13th (a Wednesday). Whatever you do, avoid anything after that if you want to avoid crowds. Also, I know you said you're going Sunday through Thursday, but should your plans change, try to avoid Fridays or if you can't, at least get out of there by the afternoon.

        My final decision maker when it comes to crowds is the parks calendar. Once I see some of the passes start to be blocked, I know its because its busy.

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        • #5
          Re: December 2011 and pictures help

          It's worth battling the crowds to be there around Christmastime, IMO. Everything is open and the park is gorgeous. As previously stated, early in December is not bad at all either. I would still be prepared to make the most of the fastpass system though.

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          • #6
            Re: December 2011 and pictures help

            I have been going to the parks every year for christmas time the last few years and have found that the first two weeks of december are relatively light compared to the last two weeks of december. As soon as kids are off for winter break, families flock to the resort and the parks usually reach capacity by the early evening. Either way the park is so magical during the holidays that no level of crowds can ruin it I would say any date after December 16th and the parks are going to see peak crowds.

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            • #7
              Re: December 2011 and pictures help

              Thanks ya all we are going the first weekend in December can't wait. Thanks again and about the pics maybe I can get a get a cast member get me in early .

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              • #8
                Re: December 2011 and pictures help

                Magic Mornings is a good bet for being able to get a picture of Main Street with FEW people in it.

                If it were me - I'd mount the camera on a tripod - take several exposures with the same settings noting where the people are, and making sure I get at least one exposure containing the area where each person WAS with no one there. It's possible to combine the images in Photoshop (or editor of choice) to get an "empty" Main Street.

                ...but as you well know, that's just me.





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                • #9
                  Re: December 2011 and pictures help

                  Easier to just wait till everyone's gone at night, and cleared out.
                  Caleb


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                  • #10
                    Re: December 2011 and pictures help

                    There's another (and better) trick to getting empty Main St. photos in the morning.
                    Select a Non Magic Morning Hour Day and find out what the earliest reservation for the Minnie & Friends Character Breakfast is.
                    For example: A few weeks ago when I was there, the park opened at 9:00, meaning rope drop is at 9:00. However, the first reservation for breakfast is at 8:40. There is a separate gate at the far left end that is only for people with reservations for that Character Breakfast. All the gates open at the same time, usually at 8:30 and then everyone runs in to Main St. I made my reservation for 8:50, was the first one in line at the breakfast gate and was the first one in the park. (I also snuck off from the breakfast line and ran to the Partners Statue to take a picture of that with no one in the frame.)

                    Everyone without breakfast reservations has to wait behind the rope until 9:00.

                    For the people with reservations, they walk you through the photo supply store and around the rope over to Plaza Inn.

                    If you are the first person in line at the Character Breakfast gate, you have a straight shot onto Main St. and can be the first one there. You will only have a few moments to get some empty pictures, but you can get them.

                    Also be aware that since it is Christmas time, there will be a line up of all the main characters in front of the christmas tree for the first guests. They are only there for about 1 minute, then they break off to their own photo locations. I was only able to get one shot of them before they dispersed. This absorbs a lot of the people coming through the tunnels, so you might have a few more minutes of a lower crowd to get your shots.

                    Hope that helps.
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