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The Great Debate: Single-day park visit on a weekday after Christmas

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  • The Great Debate: Single-day park visit on a weekday after Christmas

    Quick background: My husband and I met in Orange County many moons ago (2005) when things like $135 SoCal annual passes were a thing. We now live in Colorado. The last time we were able to visit Disneyland was December 2017, while seeing my folks, who still live in the area. We'll be visiting them again this year for Christmas, which leads me to the Great Debate.

    I've seen the crowd prediction calendars. I know that the week between Christmas and New Year's is, historically, THE busiest week all year at Disneyland. We went despite this fact in 2017 and even though the park was mad packed, we were impressed with how well Disney kept lines moving; also, some very chilly post-sunset weather (low 40s) scared tons of people out of the park and we ended up having a great time hopping from ride to ride after dark. Happy twist of fate. I'm not counting on such fate again.

    But I'm debating a single-day trip (on either Mon 12/27 or Tues 12/28) nonetheless because: 1) we haven't been since 2017, 2) the fact that COVID + park reservations are a thing makes me hope it won't be QUITE as full as it has been historically, 3) maybe, despite its faults, shelling out for Genie+ to maximize the day might actually mean we can beat the worst of the lines?

    That said, I'd like to temper what might be a bit of hopeless optimism with some realism.

    What IS park capacity like in the COVID era? Has anyone been on a "10/10" crowd day lately—or something close enough—to share what exactly a maxed-out park feels like in these weird pandemic times? Will we feel like sardines, as we did in the pre-mask days of yore? Or are the Powers That Be keeping things reasonable considering the situation? Or does nobody know what it's really going to be like because the situation IS so unusual this holiday season?

    We're not the kinds of people who need to go on ~absolutely every ride~ to be happy. We'd just like to hit a handful of old favorites and check out Galaxy's Edge; otherwise, we'll probably just walk around and soak in the atmosphere. But if the atmosphere is going to be I-can't-move, maybe we'd be better off sitting it out.

    Thanks for any insight you can provide. It's been a long time since I logged into this forum!
    carrying bottled skies around
    twitter.com/equustel

  • #2
    It will be extremely crowded.

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    • #3
      I don’t think anyone knows. Check the Disneyland app on upcoming weekends for ride wait times to gauge this. In particular, check ride times a couple times a day Thanksgiving weekend. That might be an indicator. I do recall how packed things could get pre-Covid. I actually think things are better with the new systems... but September was my last visit and things keep evolving... so don’t really know.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tarheelalum View Post
        It will be extremely crowded.
        YEP.......Sadly....
        and I sure with Disney new system......it will ,keep the park crowded.
        IMO
        Soaring like an EAGLE !

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        • #5
          Perhaps park hopper tickets? I believe Disney Genie /lightning lane/buy a lightning lane ticket for some rides will be available.
          definitely read tips on Mice Chat home page, other Disney blogs, example, Disney food blog. And this forum. Need $$$ , mobile phone, portable charge cell. A learning curve for me. For myself, will be there 1st and 2nd week of December, then 1st week or second week after New Year.
          I think since you haven’t been to the Parks for a couple of years you may just prep yourself and go. predicted to be crowded… don’t forget, Knott’s is close by. rides too much for me, but like the atmosphere, shops.
          Last edited by InTheRealm; 11-07-2021, 03:52 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by InTheRealm View Post
            Perhaps park hopper tickets? I believe Disney Genie /lightning lane/buy a lightning lane ticket for some rides will be available.
            definitely read tips on Mice Chat home page, other Disney blogs, example, Disney food blog. And this forum. Need $$$ , mobile phone, portable charge cell. A learning curve for me. For myself, will be there 1st and 2nd week of December, then 1st week or second week after New Year.
            I think since you haven’t been to the Parks for a couple of years you may just prep yourself and go. predicted to be crowded… don’t forget, Knott’s is close by. rides too much for me, but like the atmosphere, shops.
            Knott's ,there only few rides, that I would do........
            I enjoy the atmosphere, and the food there ,and enjoy shopping as well.
            Great place to buy EAGLE T-Shirts.....
            and Entertainment is very enjoyable ,specially during Christmas time!
            IMO
            Soaring like an EAGLE !

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            • #7
              My friend and I are doing a one day trip on 12/28. We are literally flying in on the first flight, hanging in the parks 7 or 8 hours, then flying home that same night. I know it will be packed. If Genie+, Lighting Lanes are running, we will take advantage of those, since we have such limited time. I am going into my day knowing it will be packed, and knowing I may only get on a couple things. I just want to go in, get a Disney fix, and will try not to have too many expectations. I say go for it! It'll be crazy dumb packed, but it will be beautifully decorated and you can enjoy a yummy treat or two. It's all in your mindset!

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              • #8
                Thanks, all—the winds have shifted a bit and pushed us in the direction of making a special trip out for my husband's 40th in April ... maybe. If a few more stars align. Here's hoping we can make it work. It's come to our attention that we both have WAY too much leave at work (good problem, I know) so we really should use a chunk of it on something like this rather than sneaking in a visit when our campuses are closed, anyway. Ha.

                In any case, the sold out reservation calendar for 12/27 and 12/28 certainly seals one end of the deal. XD

                Originally posted by JoFi View Post
                My friend and I are doing a one day trip on 12/28. We are literally flying in on the first flight, hanging in the parks 7 or 8 hours, then flying home that same night. I know it will be packed. If Genie+, Lighting Lanes are running, we will take advantage of those, since we have such limited time. I am going into my day knowing it will be packed, and knowing I may only get on a couple things. I just want to go in, get a Disney fix, and will try not to have too many expectations. I say go for it! It'll be crazy dumb packed, but it will be beautifully decorated and you can enjoy a yummy treat or two. It's all in your mindset!
                That sounds just insane enough to be a blast! I hope you have a great time. With that mindset—I'm sure you will!
                carrying bottled skies around
                twitter.com/equustel

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