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Extended Hours & Crowds OR Elbow Room & Attraction Closures???

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  • Extended Hours & Crowds OR Elbow Room & Attraction Closures???

    I often think of when is the best time to go to Disneyland when planning our trips. For obvious reasons, there are positives and negatives for going at different times of the year. Holiday Seasons, Halloween, Summertime and more.

    I personally love the fact that "peak" and "holiday" seasons have extended hours, all the shows and parades are playing, and usually all of the rides are working in full force. Although the downfall is that the parks are usually at capacity or close to it and all of the long lines, crowded areas and such that goes with it!

    The main perks for going in the "value" season are the obvious reduction in crowds to allow for some room to "stretch out", which is especially important to me as a family with toddlers. And the negatives that follow along with the slower times are the reduced operating hours, the shows such as Fantasmic and ELP are not playing, and the possibility of rides closed for refurbishments and such.

    So my question to all of you is somewhat multifacited. Can we have it all? Extended hours, with all the shows, rides and attractions running with smaller and more moderate crowds and wait times?

    Is there that special time that you have found at the beginning or end of the "summer" season? Maybe you have found that last week, just before it ends provides this magical blend of having it all. Or maybe I am just dreaming...

    And finally...What are your favorite times to go to Disneyland and why? What special things do you do while you are there because you have gone at that time?

    Thanks in advance for all of your insight!

  • #2
    Re: Extended Hours & Crowds OR Elbow Room & Attraction Closures???

    The morning of January 1st.
    Empty park... YES!
    sigpic

    -melissa.

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    • #3
      Re: Extended Hours & Crowds OR Elbow Room & Attraction Closures???

      It's such a tough balance sometimes to find that time when the parks are less crowded and everything is open late and fully operational. Actually, it's incredibly rare.

      When I went this past late April / early May, the crowds were very tolerable during the week, however the 8pm close time eliminated the chance to see the fireworks. Plus, being that this time is still the 'off-season', Splash Mountain was closed for a referb (ouch!) and Fantasmic! was not operating due to the work on Pirates Island. Boooo.

      Now I'm going in mid-to-late August when the hours are 8am to 12am, but the crowds and lines will be a much larger. On the other hand, everything is scheduled to be operational during that time.

      I don't think there are too many win-win scenarios. I just expect that I usually have to compromise between crowds vs. operations depending on when I decide to visit.

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      • #4
        Re: Extended Hours & Crowds OR Elbow Room & Attraction Closures???

        I'm thinking the beginning of December, perhaps the first 2 weeks of the month.

        Then again, I can go whenever I want so I don't care about seeing everything in one visit anyway.

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        • #5
          Re: Extended Hours & Crowds OR Elbow Room & Attraction Closures???

          Originally posted by wave789 View Post
          I'm thinking the beginning of December, perhaps the first 2 weeks of the month.

          Then again, I can go whenever I want so I don't care about seeing everything in one visit anyway.
          In the first 2 weeks of December, aren't the hours still short?

          It is not as much seeing everything on one trip as it is having everything available if I want to see it, and having the choice to do so. I also enjoy the extended hours because I do enjoy the fireworks, Fantasmic and ELP. Those are typically not offered during the less busy times at the park.

          Another big positive to me about the extended hours with having toddlers is going back to the hotel to relax and having the later hours available after the afternoon naps to play in Disneyland at night. I am sure that everyone here can understand the magic of Disneyland at night!

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          • #6
            Re: Extended Hours & Crowds OR Elbow Room & Attraction Closures???

            What also stinks is that when you go during the "off season" times (in my case, late October), you're paying the same amount as peak season times- even though you have less park hours, rides and shows available to you. And from what I'm beginning to understand, my days at the park won't even be roomy ones. Along with the Halloween crowds, there will also be the Utah long weekend crowds and the park might be as busy as any other time of year!

            I'm still thrilled to go, but as my budget gets tighter and tighter I get more disappointed that such a popular time of year doesn't have longer hours or at least reduced price to compensate the reduced hours.

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            • #7
              Re: Extended Hours & Crowds OR Elbow Room & Attraction Closures???

              For our last visit, we went in the last week of May, which I think is going to be our usual time now. The park was only open from 9 to 9, but it was close to midnight... I was also glad that the crowds, though not small, weren't overwhelming, either, and the weather wasn't hot yet. Also, most of the closed attractions had just opened, so the only thing we missed was the submarines.
              "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-a-Dee-Ay,
              Home sweet home is the lesson today."

              You're wrong, Brer Rabbit, why would I want to be home when I can be at Disneyland?!?

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              • #8
                Re: Extended Hours & Crowds OR Elbow Room & Attraction Closures???

                Originally posted by lil lisa View Post
                What also stinks is that when you go during the "off season" times (in my case, late October), you're paying the same amount as peak season times- even though you have less park hours, rides and shows available to you. And from what I'm beginning to understand, my days at the park won't even be roomy ones. Along with the Halloween crowds, there will also be the Utah long weekend crowds and the park might be as busy as any other time of year!

                I'm still thrilled to go, but as my budget gets tighter and tighter I get more disappointed that such a popular time of year doesn't have longer hours or at least reduced price to compensate the reduced hours.
                That is an interesting thought that never had crossed my mind! It costs the same to go to Disneyland in the middle of June when the hours are 8AM to 12 Midnight with all of the shows and attractions available as it does in the middle of the week in September when the hours are 10AM to 8PM. The latter with no shows and fireworks and possible attraction refurbishments as well.

                Of course the price of admission does not really apply to me as I buy AP's, although it is an interesting point. I really could not imagine that logic applying to another business.

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