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View Full Version : Do the crowds lessen after Jan. 1st?


global_mom
08-17-2007, 10:01 AM
We are considering surprising the kids with a DL trip for New Year's week. We know that New Years Eve and NYD will be insane.

Do the crowds traditionaly thin after about Jan. 2 or 3rd? We would be able to stay until Jan. 7 or 8 but would we be able to see everything? This could be our only trip to DL:sad1: so we want to make it count. We would plan to arrive on Dec. 30th.

We originally thought that we would do DL in March or May of 08 but DH's work may prevent that from happening and we dont want to put this trip off for another year.

Thanks!!!

disneegrl4eva
08-17-2007, 11:04 AM
We are considering surprising the kids with a DL trip for New Year's week. We know that New Years Eve and NYD will be insane.

Do the crowds traditionaly thin after about Jan. 2 or 3rd? We would be able to stay until Jan. 7 or 8 but would we be able to see everything? This could be our only trip to DL:sad1: so we want to make it count. We would plan to arrive on Dec. 30th.

We originally thought that we would do DL in March or May of 08 but DH's work may prevent that from happening and we dont want to put this trip off for another year.

Thanks!!!

I would say after the 3rd you should be ok....crowds will thin down somewhat from all the christmas/NY chaos..however, keep in mind that the 4-6 is a weekend and in the past Mondays and Fridays have been ok but last year or so Fridays and Mondays are horrid

DisneySuiteFreak
08-17-2007, 11:30 AM
I was there this past January from the 3-7 and the park was at peak capacity every day. Imo, it wasn't as busy as the last week of Dec-Jan 1, but it still may be overwhelming if you're not used to it.

DangerMouse
08-17-2007, 11:52 AM
We were there the 7th through the 9th, and the park was no where near capacity. It wasn't light by any means, but I would say the crowds were quite manageable.

Leofoenget
08-17-2007, 12:22 PM
We are considering surprising the kids with a DL trip for New Year's week. We know that New Years Eve and NYD will be insane.

Do the crowds traditionaly thin after about Jan. 2 or 3rd? We would be able to stay until Jan. 7 or 8 but would we be able to see everything? This could be our only trip to DL:sad1: so we want to make it count. We would plan to arrive on Dec. 30th.

We originally thought that we would do DL in March or May of 08 but DH's work may prevent that from happening and we dont want to put this trip off for another year.

Thanks!!!

Many schools are still out so don't plan on lesser crowds until at least the 7th which is the second Monday. If you can stay until the 8th you may have 2 really nice days.

DisneySuiteFreak
08-18-2007, 01:45 AM
We were there the 7th through the 9th, and the park was no where near capacity. It wasn't light by any means, but I would say the crowds were quite manageable.

When I was there Jan 3-7, they had the electronic signs out everyday saying that Disneyland Park was full, however, we were still able to get in, and as I said earlier, it still wasn't as busy as the last week of Dec through Jan 1. The 3-7 was a Wed-Sun. 7-9 was Sun-Tuesday. Also didn't the Xmas decor start coming down on the 8? At least that was what I had found in researching my trip, that's why we went the 3-7 or the First week of Jan 2007. Also this past January had a major cold snap and that could have accounted for a slightly smaller crowd. It was so cold that the Feds had to help out Ag farmers who lost crops.

DisneySuiteFreak
08-18-2007, 02:04 AM
We are considering surprising the kids with a DL trip for New Year's week. We know that New Years Eve and NYD will be insane.

Do the crowds traditionaly thin after about Jan. 2 or 3rd? We would be able to stay until Jan. 7 or 8 but would we be able to see everything? This could be our only trip to DL:sad1: so we want to make it count. We would plan to arrive on Dec. 30th.

We originally thought that we would do DL in March or May of 08 but DH's work may prevent that from happening and we dont want to put this trip off for another year.

Thanks!!!

You'll be able to see everything if you utilize FP and EE. You can see it multiple times if you utilize SR. Just remember that you're there to have fun and just go with it. ;)
I saw a lot of upset people last January, frustrated parents :headache: screaming at their kids who didn't want to wait in long lines when they had already been waiting for 60 minutes, etc. Maybe they didn't understand how to use FP :confused3 or maybe there wasn't any FP? There were a lot of rude people who would stick their head or arms out in front of my camera when I was there first for a parade staking out my spot. :rolleyes: So I have alot of shots that would have been okay, except that I also caught the back of their head! :sad2: I try not to let that stuff bother me. It's not worth the time it takes to get upset. Just relax and enjoy it -- you're on vacation in the happiest place on earth. :cheer2:
My son and I decided that we would just take our time and enjoy being there. We didn't do the crazy, running-around-like-a-chicken-without-a-head-thing trying to get as many FPs as possible like we've done in the past. (But then again we go every year for the Holiday season.) We still got to ride most of our favorites a few times each day utilizing FPs and SR. If riding a lot of rides is important to you, then by all means do the whole running-around-like-a-chicken-without-a-head-thing to get as many FPs as possible. ;) (Lord knows I've done it!) If your kids are young, use EE because Fantasyland was a nightmare. I don't think we rode 1 Fantasyland ride the whole trip. There are no FPs for Fantasyland and we didn't want to wait in 1 hour plus lines for a dark ride. We'd rather spend that time riding BTMRR, Splash or Indy. ;) My son is older...
:yay: Have fun if you decide to go.

global_mom
08-18-2007, 07:23 AM
I think that I am desperately trying to make the January dates work b/c we want to go so badly, however, it seems that it might be wiser to wait and go at a less crowded time.

We have done WDW so much (about 3 times per year) that we are very relaxed when we are there. The children are all under 12 but we usually go to the parks for a few hours and then do other things. Somedays we dont even go to a park, we just swim and relax. We now do WDW "vacation style" instead of "commando style". I think that we would be in commando mode for DL since we like to cover a park from top to bottom and we might not even get to return to DL. We live in Georgia so going to California is a major trip !

THank you all for the great advise! We may rearrange some schedules and try to go the first week of March (spring break) even though we may face the cheerleaders. OR we will do some extensive schedule rearranging and try to go the 3rd week of May. DH is a Realtor so it is tough for him to go out of town March-Sept. but we may just have to find a way to do it.

THanks again!!:goodvibes

DisneySuiteFreak
08-18-2007, 09:36 AM
I think that I am desperately trying to make the January dates work b/c we want to go so badly, however, it seems that it might be wiser to wait and go at a less crowded time.

We have done WDW so much (about 3 times per year) that we are very relaxed when we are there. The children are all under 12 but we usually go to the parks for a few hours and then do other things. Somedays we dont even go to a park, we just swim and relax. We now do WDW "vacation style" instead of "commando style". I think that we would be in commando mode for DL since we like to cover a park from top to bottom and we might not even get to return to DL. We live in Georgia so going to California is a major trip !

THank you all for the great advise! We may rearrange some schedules and try to go the first week of March (spring break) even though we may face the cheerleaders. OR we will do some extensive schedule rearranging and try to go the 3rd week of May. DH is a Realtor so it is tough for him to go out of town March-Sept. but we may just have to find a way to do it.

THanks again!!:goodvibes

Just keep in mind that any time there is a large convention in town on school vacation it may be busy anyway. A lot of schools in California are multi-track schools were somebody is always on vacation. Depending on what date in March you go, you may be facing Spring Break crowds. So if you really want to go in late Dec- early January, you should go for it.
I just re-read your post referring to going at Spring Break...IMO, if it works for your schedule, you should just go in January. It'll probably be just as busy during Spring Break.
I have been at Disneyland during the holidays for the last 7 years or so and they've had those signs out every single time about the park being full. Although I have read about people saying they were turned away at the gates or advised to go to DCA, that has never happenned to us. (Knock wood!) You just get in line like usual, and as people leave, (And they will leave for breaks, meals outside the park, or to go home) I assume they are on the other end letting them in. The wait in line was so fast for us, we never noticed the transition.
I wasn't trying to scare you off going. :eek: I just thought you should be aware of the kinds of crowds :crowded: you may be dealing wth. As long as you know ahead of time, you can probably let it roll off your back if someone steps into your pictures, etc. Again you can have a lot of fun utilizing EE, FP & SR (on the rides they have them on) :wizard: and in between riding those, you can wait to ride other rides, eat popcorn:: , sightsee :hyper2: or people watch.
Fyi, since they got rid of the FPs at pirate: , the wait for it is not usually that long. I think the longest we waited in January was 30 minutes???:scratchin The line looks super intimidating because it wraps around the whole area and out the front and loops around a few times, but it moves a lot faster now. :dance3:
Also, if you're planning on staying several days, watch the parades and Fireworks to get them out of your system, :woohoo: and then hit the rides on the rest of the days while they're happening. party:
It's true that a lot of rides are walk ons when there is something bigger happening. (Just avoid Small World and Toon Town during fireworks because they are closed.) I would go to the Fantasyland or Tomorrowland rides when F! is going on and then when everyone rushes to see the fireworks, head to Adventureland, NO Square and Critter Country. Those rides will be walk ons. (Or they should be...) Go the back way behind BTMRR because they will be rerouting people through Adventureland and Frontierland. (One goes out and the other goes in -- and it's never the way you think it's going to be!) :confused3
During that time of the year Fantasmic usually shows 2 times a day, Fireworks go off every night, (unless there are high winds) and the parades are 2 times a day in Disneyland. So the price we pay for peak capacity is that we don't have to worry about seeing those shows. :cheer2: Going in off season, they are only showing on the weekends.
Good luck!

global_mom
08-18-2007, 10:32 AM
Disneysuitefreak: thank you for taking the time to post this info. for me! DH and I are going to do some serious talking and finalize our plans ASAP. I am soooo overanylzing this trip b/c it is out of my comfort zone. However, DH did remind me that we will be going to San Diego in Feb. of 2009 and we can always add on a few days to return to DL and see things that we might miss during a Jan. 2008 trip. I had forgotten that his convention would be back in CA so soon so that does give us the opportunity to take the kids out of school for a few days and make it a family adventure. I was looking at the january trip as the only time that we would ever go to DL so it takes some pressure off to know that we will indeed be able to return only one year later.

We do already have ressies at WDW for NYE thru the 7th so if we dont change to go to DL at least we will be in the middle of Disney magic no matter what!:banana:

Thanks again!!
Elizabeth

DangerMouse
08-18-2007, 11:14 AM
When I was there Jan 3-7, they had the electronic signs out everyday saying that Disneyland Park was full, however, we were still able to get in, and as I said earlier, it still wasn't as busy as the last week of Dec through Jan 1. The 3-7 was a Wed-Sun. 7-9 was Sun-Tuesday. Also didn't the Xmas decor start coming down on the 8? At least that was what I had found in researching my trip, that's why we went the 3-7 or the First week of Jan 2007. Also this past January had a major cold snap and that could have accounted for a slightly smaller crowd. It was so cold that the Feds had to help out Ag farmers who lost crops.

You sure we were there the same year? ;)

Our first day was the 7th and it was the last day of the holiday season. We walked into the esplanade so I didn't see any capacity signs, but we did not experience anything close to peak crowds. Also, we had record HIGH temps all three days we were there. It was between 85-90 degrees each day. There were high winds at night which cancelled F! on one of our nights and also delayed the removal of the tree overnight on the 7th. They ended up taking it down the night of the 8th.

DisneySuiteFreak
08-20-2007, 10:46 AM
You sure we were there the same year? ;)

Our first day was the 7th and it was the last day of the holiday season. We walked into the esplanade so I didn't see any capacity signs, but we did not experience anything close to peak crowds. Also, we had record HIGH temps all three days we were there. It was between 85-90 degrees each day. There were high winds at night which cancelled F! on one of our nights and also delayed the removal of the tree overnight on the 7th. They ended up taking it down the night of the 8th.

I left early in the AM of the 7th. There may not have been signs out that day. My post was meant to address the original poster's concern about crowds the first week of Jan, and in Jan '07, the first week of the year Su-Sa was Dec 31-Jan 6. I would imagine that most people who would plan a trip at that time are doing it because they want to see the Holiday :santa: decor and want to be able to ride as many rides as possible, so they tend to not go during the 2nd week because that's when the facade starts to come down and the rides like HM and IASW shut down to remove the decor.
We also had high winds when we were there, and it was bone chilling cold. It was completely unexpected as we are usually comfortable with gloves and a jacket at night, but fine during the day with nothing; and we were not prepared. It was freezing during the day. I had left my enclosed shoes and gloves at my hotel room in Vegas. (We keep the room when we go to DL because we're comped.) I've left my gloves in the past and didn't need them -- I'd stick my hands in my pockets and it would be fine -- but not last Jan. I spent our entire first day looking in every store in the park for enclosed shoes, socks and adult sized gloves, :crazy2: and I saw a lot of others looking for gloves as well. I sucked it up until early evening when I finally caved and bought a kid's pair from the Emporium. There were a lot of adults doing the same that night -- it was that cold. After 2 days of this weather, I made my DH take me to Macy's to buy enclosed shoes. Fireworks were canceled every night we were there. I believe they canceled it on the 6th as well, but could be wrong. After waiting every night despite the announcements that it may be canceled, on our last night there, we didn't bother. We rode all the rides we wanted and checked out DCA. Since we'd already seen F! numerous times we didn't bother in January so I don't know if they canceled or not. We were either on the other side of the park or in DCA.
As I said earlier, the 1st week of Jan (or last week of holiday decor) wasn't as busy as the last 2 weeks before NY, but it was still busy if you're not used to it, and don't know how to utilize FP, SR and/or don't understand how the CM's utilize crowd control measures -- because that is an excercise in frustration by itself! :confused3 :faint:
I remember my first trip during the last week of Dec I was pulling my hairs out in frustration because I could see my son on the other side of Main St, but couldn't get to him because of the crowd control measures. :scared1: (He had been waiting w/me for Fireworks and I had to go potty. He saved our spot. The CMs let me leave to go potty, but no one told me before I left that I would not be able to get back in unless I went around the entire backside of the park! :eek: That took an additional 20-25 minutes at least, and by the time I got back, fireworks were starting.) I had to go all the way around Fantasyland, behind BTMRR, and back through Frontierland, only to be told I was going the wrong way and that to get to Main St I had to go through Adventureland -- all the while fighting the crowds from F! that were trying to shove their way in to see the fireworks too. I made it to the edge of Adventureland, and they weren't letting any more people into the area. :confused3 Luckily my son was already a preteen at that time so he didn't panic or anything, and he had a cell phone so I could tell him what was happening. I could see where a lot of parents and adults that don't know what's happening, or why it's happening, or who don't understand the layout of the park, would get aggravated.:headache: In addition, the CMs were frustrated, screaming at the top of their lungs at people who just ignored what they would tell them and duck under the ropes anyway. :rolleyes1 It's not fun,:sad2: especially when you don't know what to expect. As you probably know, during peak crowds this happens at least 3 times a day due to the 2 parades, F! and Fireworks, because they want one side to be incoming guests and one side to be outgoing guests. But, if you've never been to the park during peak capacity, how would you know that? :confused: Oh yeah, and when the above happened, we had the Enhanced FP, so going on rides wasn't even an issue for us. Imagine all the above and you don't know how to maximize FP & SR. :scared1: It's one of those things you learn from experience, and I think a lot of people get so turned off by it, they never want to go back. I have a friend who experienced exactly the above and now she hates DL :furious: and refuses to to back. :sad2:
All I can say is, although it wasn't as busy the first week of Jan as I've seen it during the last 2 weeks of Dec, I've seen a lot of people on a lot of different message boards who were there the same week as me who complained about the crowds being at peak capacity. I remember being surprised when I read that the first few times thinking, "They haven't seen peak crowds until they've been there during the last 2 weeks of Dec!" It's all a matter of perception and what we make of the experience... :santa: So anyway, my post was just meant to help and inform the original poster of our experience in DL...:flower3:

DisneySuiteFreak
08-20-2007, 10:54 AM
Disneysuitefreak: thank you for taking the time to post this info. for me! DH and I are going to do some serious talking and finalize our plans ASAP. I am soooo overanylzing this trip b/c it is out of my comfort zone. However, DH did remind me that we will be going to San Diego in Feb. of 2009 and we can always add on a few days to return to DL and see things that we might miss during a Jan. 2008 trip. I had forgotten that his convention would be back in CA so soon so that does give us the opportunity to take the kids out of school for a few days and make it a family adventure. I was looking at the january trip as the only time that we would ever go to DL so it takes some pressure off to know that we will indeed be able to return only one year later.

We do already have ressies at WDW for NYE thru the 7th so if we dont change to go to DL at least we will be in the middle of Disney magic no matter what!:banana:

Thanks again!!
Elizabeth

Good luck! I'm sure you'll have fun in either place!:dance3:

global_mom
08-20-2007, 11:40 AM
So anyway, my post was just meant to help and inform the original poster of our experience in DL...:flower3:

It did exactly this! :thumbsup2 THank you again. I am pricing flights in Jan. and in March as we speak. We will get there eventually.

Cannot_Wait_4Disney
08-20-2007, 02:24 PM
My take is that unless you're phobic of crowds in general or don't want to get up and don't want to plan, then just go on those January dates, or whatever dates you choose and have a good plan. We went in July which is supposedly one of the big no no times to go. Yes. it was crowded. Very much crowded. And Evenings did not let up from the afternoons except at DCA. But we got there early, had a good working knowledge of ride priority, and we didn't wait in a single line over 15 minutes except twice when I messed up. I darn well know better too. Those were an AGONIZING 20 minutes and 25 minutes respectively. Oh poor spoiled us. Most were under 10 minutes. And we really didn't have to scramble around all over the place for fast passes nor criss cross the park uber touring to get it done. We were able to tour quite orderly, got in a ton of attractions, were able to stop and smell the flowers any time we wanted, and had a blast. There were certainly times where we were able to be quite spontaneous.

Some people just hate crowds. Others don't want to get up early ever and don't want to plan. If you're that type, crowded times simply aren't for you. I only hate crowds when I have to wait behind em. And fortunately, with a good plan, I didn't have to.

global_mom
08-20-2007, 03:14 PM
. Others don't want to get up early ever and don't want to plan.

We are the "up at 5am" types who "hyper plan"!!!:cheer2:

fairycat
08-20-2007, 11:36 PM
I think everyone has warned you enough my only other advice is if you do go to DLR in January make sure you get to the parks early as the DL and later DCA filled up to capacity for days last year but if you have already been in the parks then you are allowed to reenter otherwise you might be limited to one park or not able to get in at all.

To add another wrench I have to say if you end up at the parks in May go for Mother's Day Brunch at DLH. :eek: OMG! We have done the Easter version of this brunch several times and it is AMAZING!!!! That is from some one who hates buffets. The food, service characters everything was wonderful and worth the money.

yipee
08-21-2007, 11:06 AM
Okay, I know what EE and FP mean, but what is SR?:confused3

Thanks!

DisneySuiteFreak
08-21-2007, 11:12 AM
Okay, I know what EE and FP mean, but what is SR?:confused3

Thanks!

Single Rider... In Disneyland I think the only ride to offer it anymore is Splash. In DCA, I know of Screaming and Soaring, and I've heard the Mullholland Madness has it too, but haven't ridden it SR... :coffee: