View Full Version : What time to start at the parks??

10-17-2007, 04:21 PM

After reading a few threads on the forum I see that some people were saying things like "we were up at 7am" or "we were up at 6am".

It's just there is 13 of us travelling and I can't honestly see anyone (including the kids, they love their sleep) getting up at 6 or 7 in the morning.

What time would you recommend we be at the park for?

Also, would you really spend all day at the parks? Going to the Village to eat, or would you go back to the hotel, rest and go back to the parks in the evening?


A Small World
10-17-2007, 04:30 PM
When are you going and where are you staying?

If you are staying in a Dis hotel and so qualify for EMH it is really worth trying to be in the park for 8.00 as you will get loads done in those 2 hours before the parks get really busy.

If it is low season the parks may not be as busy but they will also close a lot earlier- sometimes as early as 7.00 so you need to spend as much time as poss in the parks and then the evening in the Village/hotel etc

It also depends how old the children are. Again EMH is worth the early mornings to avoid queues- eg Peter Pan can have a 90 minute queue during the day. We rode it 4 times in a row during EMH with no one else in sight.

It may seem a long time to spend in the parks but you will be surprised how quickly the time goes. I would recommend being there as near opening as possible.

I would say make a list of what you definitely want to do/see and try to fit these in then go with the flow and see how much you want to do

10-17-2007, 04:37 PM
We are going October 28th until November 1st and staying in the Holiday Inn (Can't wait ,but so nervous in case we get lost at airport - going to attempt to get the TGV to Disney)

There are 7 kids ages 12,10,7,6,5,5 & 10 months. Well I suppose there are 13 kids if you count the grown up ones that are going!!!

Of course, now I have only just thought....... where should we eat with a 10 month old. Stupid question as this is, but can you buy baby food there, she still eats pureed food and yoghurts.

Oh god, I should have said nothing and just gone with my original plan, me and 3 kids (the older ones), but the other 9 decided to follow us. I feel responsible now if anything goes wrong. Don't want the baby to starve.

10-17-2007, 04:41 PM
The Sunday will likely be busy as will Halloween - remember though it's a holiday. If you end up in the park for lunchtime everyday it's going to be busy but if you're there for 10am then it shouldn't be too bad. With that number of people staying in one group and deciding what to do will be the big factor - some advance planning about what you really want to see and do would be a good idea.

Have a fabulous time.:wizard:

10-18-2007, 02:13 AM
We were there at the same time last year and with bank holidays in France and Germany and school holidays in the UK and Germany the resort will be more than crowded.
We had waiting times for POTC for more than 60 minutes, BTM 135 min, Phantom Manor 60 min Buzz more than 60 min and so on.
The only think I can recommend to you is: Be there when the park opens and try to do as many attractions in the first 90 minutes. For the rest of the day you will experience the above waiting times. And if you are 13 people in your group you should also reserve a table at the restaurants you would like to have dinner/ lunch at. Because if you show up with 13 people during this time of the year you will never get a table.

Nevertheless with all the Halloween decoration and Halloween itself during your trip you will have a great time.

Here is a quote from my trip report:

After the ride we wanted to enter Saloon Mickey but the crowds were so immense that we needed more than 10 minutes to reach the entrance of the Saloon and when we knocked on the door we learned from the CM that the Saloon Mickey is closed for the moment as to many shareholders wanted to access the Saloon.
After waiting 10 more minutes we finally get into the Saloon and had our free drink and some sweets and relaxed a bit from the crowds. We expected that the resort would be crowded but not like that!

And here is the whole trip report:





10-19-2007, 01:08 PM
We went a couple of weeks ago and didnt get to the parks early on any day we were there - mostly arriving around 10.30-11.

The parks were so quiet weds - friday it wasn't worth the hassle and we were all tired from being in the parks from that time till around 7pm! The children would have been v grumpy had we evicted them from their beds before they were ready and it was nice not rushing around in the mornings and having a leisurely start to the day

The weekend we would have benefitted from the EMH as the parks were busy - but weds- fri was absolutely fine!

:) Sadie

10-20-2007, 04:40 AM
@Obscure You can't compare low season mid week (like a couple of weeks ago) with peak season from end October - beginning of November (including a bank holiday in France and school holidays in UK and many other European countries) when gcmcmsa wants to visit the resort.

Both parks will be stuffed 60 minutes after they have opened. You should be there as early as you can. Just have a look at my trip report we were there last year at the same dates. :)

10-20-2007, 05:00 AM
ahh right - so I guess it'd be more like the weekends were when we were there.

In that case I'd be inclined to shift the day by a couple of hours and get to the parks early for the EMH and just leave a couple of hours early - or get back to the hotel for a rest in the middle of the day and enjoy the quieter times later in the day as well as the EMH.

Unfortunately we were all wiped out (yes me and DH aswell as the kids LOL) after the full days in the parks so trying to get out for the EMH would have been a struggle and we were there to have a good time...

:) Sadie

10-20-2007, 02:22 PM
Hi gcmcmsa

I think you'll just have to guage it yourselves by your first couple of days. I think it will be busy - you are there in the week of Halloween, which is a big occasion at DLP, so I'd expect there to be crowds.

We were only there for 2 nights and 3 days early this month, my DD is not normally an early riser, but she got up with very little encouragement at 7.15 (ie 6.15 GMT) both mornings we were there, to make the most of EMH. If you have the option of EMH, it really is worth getting up for, in my opinion. You get so much more done in those 2 hours before the park opens to other guests.

We were however, more than ready to leave the parks for the day around 5pm having done EMH in the mornings.



A Small World
10-20-2007, 02:39 PM
As you are staying at Holiday Inn (I think you said) you wont be entitled to EMH unless you have dream Annual passes which is a shame as it really is worth getting up early for. You get loads done in that 2 hours. Failing that I would really recommend being there for park opening to be in with a chance of getting on some rides without too much queueing. In Summer they were letting people into the park at about 9.30 even though it didnt open til 10.00. This will give you chance to get through the turnstiles and down Main street where youwill then have to wait at the rope until official opening.

I would say definitely have a plan of which rides you are interested in doing otherwise you will waste time deciding or wandering alimlessly as well.

If you want Fantasyland rides you will need to wait at rope drop directly in front of the castle, For Discoveryland rides to the right as you face the castle and for Frontierland if BTM is your aim to the left.

As there are quite a few children in your group with quite a wide age range it may be a case of splitting up for the first part of the day and then meeting up after a couple of hours.

You can also send one person to collect fast passes for the whole group as long as they have all the park passes.

10-20-2007, 04:53 PM
If you really don't want to be getting up mega-early in the mornings, you could just skip breakfast at your hotel, and get up say 9ish, to be at the Parks for around 9.45? That way, you'll still be at the entrance to the "land" of your choice for rope-drop at 10, or at the Studios for opening time (or thereabouts).

Eat on the hoof (borrowed that expression from Jillrobinson - love it :lmao: !) in the morning, then sit down altogether for lunch maybe in the Village, or at the likes of the Lucky Nugget in the Park. Then when you're fully refreshed, get back out to the main business of lapping up all that DLRP has to offer :goodvibes .

By the way, I know that Cafe Mickey and the Rainforest Cafe, at least, offer jars of baby food, so I would think most of the sit-down restaurants would do something similar.


10-21-2007, 04:39 AM
I don't think that it is a good advice to skip a free breakfast if you have 13 people in your group. Especially the children will get hungry and then you have to pay a lot of money to get something to eat at the parks.

I would do it this way: Start your day early with the free breakfast at your hotel. Try to eat as much as you can, and then try to skip lunch, and go for a good and ealry dinner in the evening.
Be in the park for rope drop and split your grop if you like to do this.
Make a 2h break in the afternoon in your hotel and then be in the park until closing time.

I always say Disney vacation is not a holiday to sleep off every day and to relax. :rotfl: I want to do and see as much as I can. But as you have many young children in your group you will do this differently.

Have fun. :thumbsup2

10-21-2007, 05:13 AM
I agree with you Marcus - we get up much earlier while at DLRP than we would normally. And with children, its not a relaxing break - theres so much you want to see and do while you are there.

But as the original poster said she didn't think all her party would want to get up early while in DLRP, I was suggesting another option for them :) .


10-21-2007, 05:38 AM
Make a 2h break in the afternoon in your hotel and then be in the park until closing time.

Have fun. :thumbsup2

Good idea marcus, I think we may do that. Get up early as we can, head to the parks, come back to the hotel for a break later in the day and to back for the evening.

I'd say we are going to get a shock at the amount of queueing we will have to do. I have warned everyone. The group may split into 2, but some of the kids are going to have to queue for 2 hours just for the adults to go on a ride as we can't send all the kids with one adult to the kids rides.

I just looked at the forecast on accuweather and day before yesterday it showed sun and clouds, now it shows rain on the monday & tuesday that we will be there. Great!! just to add to the anxiety of the whole trip.

10-21-2007, 05:42 AM
Thanks everyone for your replies.

One of the other adults in the party said that I am over thinking the whole trip, to just go with the flow. Yeah right. I need to have everything planned, because you can be guaranteed if anything goes wrong, I will be blamed (even the weather - I'll be told "you should have know the weather would be bad in October")

I think I will try to switch off over the next few days and try to enjoy the build up.

I have done up packs for all the kids (a travel journal for every day, trivia quiz, word search, etc.) obviously not for the baby. They will be a lovely thing to look back on. Although all some of the other adults going could think of was "god, do we have to fill these in". I swear I can't win.

Anyway we are going next Sunday, can't believe it's here already. But I will be sure to write a report here when I get back.

10-21-2007, 05:59 AM
Breakfast isn't necessarily included in the price for the Holiday Inn. If it is then Marcus is absolutely correct, take advantage of it. If it isn't, it seems to be a matter of opinion whether it is worth paying for or not - if you think not, then Elaine's suggestion will allow you to get a bit more sleep and still benefit from more time in the parks.

However, (and I know we're all different) I could sleep for Europe, rarely getting up before 9.30 on weekends, but when I'm somewhere like Disney, the excitement has me awake in the wee small hours (like a kid on Xmas morning). The last time we went I was awake before the kids and we were all fed, watered and standing in line at 8.15am.

Except for the Wednesday (8pm), Disneyland Park stays open until 10pm during your stay, so you have a few more hours than if you'd visited a week or so earlier or later. Don't know whether the crowds will cancel out that advantage, but previous posters suggest that ride queues tend to be shorter in the last hour or so of the day.

Don't feel responsible for everything, you'll stress yourself out. I'm presuming that the children who aren't yours are accompanied by adults. Let the adults make their own decisions. Tell them what you are planning to do and if they want to lie-in, then meet up in the parks later. If you all have mobiles, it's easy to split up and regroup, and allows everyone to get 'their' best out of the trip.

Not long to go now - have a great time.

10-21-2007, 07:05 AM
Here is how we used to do things and how we plan to do our next trip

1) Get up (early as poss)
2) Get clean (dont be the BO problem in the park)
3) Get fed (big breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day)
4) Get to the park for the rope drop
5) Either tough it out all day or if busy back to the room for a snooze
6) Be there for the end and if possible and if they have one be there for the Goodnight kiss.

Now that was before we had a 2 year old so I imagine all these things will change. The below is how I imagine our up and coming trip going.

1) Get up early, like we ever have a choice "Josh go back to peepys" - "No" - end of argument time to get up
2) Get clean (so much more difficult with curious 2 year old climbing in and out of shower/bed/drawers.
3) Get fed (he is normally pretty good for breakfast and will have what we have, I don't mean he wants the same I mean he wants ours)
4) Get to the park for the rope drop (he will be strapped into his pushchair and I will be using it snow plough fashion)
5) I have no idea how long he will last at the parks (I have a feeling he will be like most children and will start out on a massive high and then crash in the afternoon, in which case we will either snooze or grab a beer somewhere (for us not him))
6) Will stay as late as he wants to be there (I refuse to be one of those parents who drag there screaming half asleep children around the park)

All these things however could change and I think you just need to be flexible.

10-21-2007, 07:13 AM
Lojo is right regarding the breakfast. But if the breakfast is not included in your package than the Holiday Inn breakfast is not worth the extra cost. (we have stayed there 5 times now)
It is great if you have it for free.
I think you have to pay up to 15 per adult for the breakfast.