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Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

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  • Trip Report Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

    • Easy arrival via bus. At least arriving by 4:30pm, put our group into the park quickly and with ease.
    • Walk-on rides! It was less crowded than I have seen it in the off-season.
    • CMs seemed less harried. Everyone seemed really friendly and happy to be working that night. Some years it seems like the CMs would rather be anywhere but DL, and that no amount of hazard pay would suffice.
    • Shops, like the bazaar in Adventureland, were strategically blocked to prohibit hooliganism. It was probably a stop loss measure, but I noticed it and it made a difference.
    • Free popcorn! Used my voucher the next weekend when I went back with the husband.

    THE BAD:
    • No security check points. Kids could get away with carrying contraband as a result. I didn’t allow any bottles in, which meant no alcohol from my kids, but I saw other kids with drink bottles not sold in the park. Did they contain alcohol? Maybe not, but Disney didn’t control it this year. Who knows what was brought in.
    • The mixing of the kids with the regular population. Too hard to control. As another chaperone from a different school noted, they caught some of their banned kids there because they were able to come in during regular hours. There was no fool-proof way of keeping them out this year. In fact, if someone was sneaky enough, they could be there for the Grad Nite portion.
    • Kids were disappointed that they weren’t there until sunrise (a sight I missed too). They felt it was too short, although, we probably got just about the same amount of time as we would have if we had arrived at 11pm.
    • Some said it wasn’t as special because it wasn’t just for them.
    • Not everything was opened, or attractions closed too early to be enjoyed.
    • There were only two dance areas and they both played the same kind of music, and according to the kids, they played some of the same songs more than twice. The kids said they would have liked to have the different dance areas which were less crowded in previous years (last year’s junior rep was adamant about this point in our debrief), and more variety in music styles.
    • Tram ride at the close. There were too few tram CMs to deal with the crush. Make ‘em walk, I say!

    THE I’M STILL NOT SURE ABOUT:
    • For practical reasons, I still think there needs to be a check-in. How do you know that the chaperones are really there Disney? We never checked in, you have no idea if we were even there. This bothers me from a supervision standpoint.

    Alright. That’s it for now! I gotta get back to work here! Will we go next year? We’ll have to think about it some more before we put in our request for next year’s date.
    Last edited by elsa; 05-30-2012, 07:33 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

    Great trip report--thank you!!! It's interesting that some of your grads found the mix-in disappointing too. It's so ironic to me that the tight security used to be one of the big selling points of Grad Nite, particularly the inability to bring in alcohol (which of course some got around, but for the most part it worked), and with the mix-in it would be ridiculously easy, not to mention the security of having all of the kids contained in a single secure area for the duration of the event, defeated by the mix-in and park hoppers. Thanks for your great report!

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    • #3
      Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

      Thanks for the excellent post, Elsa!

      Originally posted by elsa View Post
      ...he told me a tale of woe which occurred as he tried to leave. The tram boarding area was packed! He walked back, and he said in the 10+ minutes it took, not a single tram passed him headed back to the structure. He said when he left DTD there were four trams boarding filled with people, and that when he arrived at M&F, the plaza was filled with trams full of people just sitting and waiting to go to DL.
      That kinda makes me wonder how prepared Disney is (or perhaps isn't) for the crush of crowds that will hit the DLR when Carsland opens. I wonder how what level of staffing they're really going to invest in security, crowd management and tram transportation.
      "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
      Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
      imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

      - Neil Gabler

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      • #4
        Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

        I think the mix in is a horrible idea for all parties involved. Many guests have reported back of loud, lewd and rude behavior in the presence of small kids. The grads themselves don't feel appreciated because it no longer is "their night" and the lack of security measures ensures that something is going to go down badly. All it's going to take is one idiot drunk (either student or regular park guest) to ignite a keg barrel of bad PR that Disney is going to want no part of.

        This whole thing is a bad idea from the start and the brain child that came up with this idea should be fired. And, for clarity, no, I'm not kidding.

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        • #5
          Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

          What a great post -- thanks for the insider perspective. It sounds like they didn't do ANYONE any favors by doing the mix-in situation this year.

          You deserve more than a popcorn voucher for that night Elsa!

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          • #6
            Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

            when i had grad night there was a dress code now they can where jeans and t shirts

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            • #7
              Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

              go to youtube and search on "disneyland grad night"

              enough said.
              --
              http://www.bewaterwise.com

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              • #8
                Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

                Well when I went some rides were closed too...Nemo, Small World, inntoventions...etc. As for people saying its not there thing...I don't see that a Con since...of course Disneyland is not everyones thing but they have been doing this for years (since when my dad went to high school) and for the most part people have fun and if you don't like it don't go (i had friends who did this)

                To me that seems like a good and bad thing not to stay at the park all night...yes you don't see the sunset...but man I was sooo tired the next day sleep all day. Also about the outside drinks...yes I know for a fact that many must of had something in those drinks besides "soda/water" my friend does it all the time (super annoying) kids these days are just a "dumb" as ever and want to make the most of this one time trip to Disneyland
                Happy Halloween!!!

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                • #9
                  Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

                  It's sad to me the changes made to Grad Nite. I have such fond memories of my grad night and it just doesn't seem "special" anymore. No wonder many schools are choosing to go to other parks (Knott's/SFMM) for their grad nights.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

                    I hear that Mater Dei rented ESPN Zone for the night instead of doing a DL Grad Night.

                    You'd think that if enough schools joined together to "buy" a traditional Grad Night, they would. That might be some work. And a lot more expensive than what they're offering now.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

                      Originally posted by ravencroft View Post
                      go to youtube and search on "disneyland grad night"

                      enough said.
                      I enjoy loud and lewd behavior, but not at Disneyland.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

                        Sounds like they cheaped out. And probably charged the school the same amount as last year.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

                          Originally posted by sediment View Post
                          I hear that Mater Dei rented ESPN Zone for the night instead of doing a DL Grad Night.
                          I know that OCHSA doesn't go to Disneyland anymore.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

                            Originally posted by ttintagel View Post
                            Sounds like they cheaped out. And probably charged the school the same amount as last year.
                            Not sure how much it was last year, but this year it's $61 per ticket.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Grad Nite 2012: A Chaperone's Perspective

                              Originally posted by ttintagel View Post
                              Sounds like they cheaped out. And probably charged the school the same amount as last year.
                              I don't remember the exact cost for last year, but they were probably about the same. We always tack a few extra bucks on to the cost to cover transportation, so the kids end up paying a bit more than the $61 it was this year. But the cost has been relatively static the past few years.

                              Comment

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