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View Full Version : Visitors to parks in May & June 2012: Be aware of additional Grad-Nites!


Mugglemama
01-05-2012, 07:26 PM
Just wanted to pass along this info because I saw a "May" thread the other day that didn't seem to mention it.

We are planning a trip in Mid May of this year. I discovered during the course of that planning, that Disney has added more dates to the Grad-Nite events going on during this grad season.

There are now some weeks where Grad-Nites are actually scheduled to take place for THREE days in a SINGLE week! And remember, Grad-Nites are now set up to actually involve the entire day of the event. So, during some weeks in May and June, there won't be only one, or only two, but THREE days where thousands upon thousands of teens are in the parks all day long with no supervision (oh, joy). And the tickets I saw could be purchased by students from ages 14 and up...so some of these kids are going to be middle school grads...much younger than the high school senior crowd.

I feel like this has the potential to impact our trip in seriously negative ways. If we go as scheduled, there will be 4 Grad-DAYS/nights during our trip. Ugh. And since Grad-Nite events are scheduled every week from May 1oth to June 22nd, I can't move our dates around enough to avoid them without pushing our trip forward or backward more than we'll personally be able to. :mad:

Here's the link to the dates:

http://www.grad-nights.com/gradnightcalifornia.htm

skiingfast
01-05-2012, 07:35 PM
Official site.
http://www.disneyyouth.com/grad-nite-disneyland/catalog/

DIS thread about Grad Night.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2298400

Mugglemama
01-05-2012, 08:07 PM
Thanks for posting the links, SkiingFast...the Disneyland link shows the same dates as the link I posted (and also shows the 14-18 age allowance), however unless I've missed it, that second link to the Dis thread does not reflect the fact that Grad-Nite events are actually now all-day events? I'm going to double-check to see that the info is not already included in that thread...if not, I will post the link that shows the information.

ETA: That thread does include the "all-day" info. For anyone interested, here is the link to the "Overview" page of this year's Grad Nite events:

http://www.disneyyouth.com/grad-nite-disneyland/overview/

ImTooExcitedToSleep
01-05-2012, 08:25 PM
Thanks for the info. I updated our info here on the DIS.

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disneyland/Events/grad-nights.html

starshine514
01-05-2012, 09:50 PM
Ugh! Why, oh why are they giving them admission all day too? :(

Disneylandfan1
01-05-2012, 10:28 PM
How will Grad Nights effect us if we decide to visit during these weeks?
I really dislike shorter park hours!

erocrobro
01-05-2012, 10:46 PM
Do the parks close early to regular paying guests? How can they do that? :confused3 I find this a bit frustrating because I had finally pinned down dates, checked to make sure they were AP blackout dates, reserved two rooms at HOJO with the entertainment rate (which, I believe, have a no cancellation policy), and started making final arrangements.

We want to go early in June to try and avoid the craziness of Carsland opening, but I don't want to go if we are going to be kicked out early and miss all of the nighttime attractions like fireworks and WOC, especially if we would still be expected to pay full price for tickets that don't allow for all of the benefits.

I tried to check the website, but DL doesn't have calendars up yet for that far into the year and the grad night site doesn't list times. How many extra people will this bring in to the parks, on average?

jheltz27
01-05-2012, 11:06 PM
Just great. We're going May 21-25 so we'll have 3 straight days/nites of this. I thought I read somewhere that it wasn't going to affect things this year. I guess that meant they wouldn't be closing early but they'll be there ALL DAY.

steves1bear
01-05-2012, 11:30 PM
Oh man! We're there from the 21st - 23rd. I was hoping to avoid Grad night or I guess as it is now, Grad Day. I hope we can get done majority of what we want to do the first two days because we can't change our dates.

As other have asked, any idea a rough estimate as to how many kids are allowed? I know it says sold out so I'm assuming this means there is some kind of cap?

skiingfast
01-05-2012, 11:54 PM
Everyone should read this thread that I linked above.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2298400

1. Each grad will get a 1 day parkhopper ticket good for entry any time that day. Thus grads will be mixed in with regular attendees during regular hours.

2. DL will close by 11PM on these nights for regular guests.

3. Grads can stay for the special "party" from 11PM until 3AM

4. There will be a performance of Fantasmic after 11PM only for the grads

5. Only DL park will be open after 11PM


Previously DL closed at 6 or 7 pm. MM was often moved or canceled because the parties lasted to 6am. Grads watched fireworks in the early morning which woke many guests on Harbor Dr.

*The parties are not all day long*. Now because the party hours are shorter only 11pm to 3am, Seniors also get a Park Hopper to use during the day. Keep in mind kids do have school so not everyone can go to the parks all day even with that park hopper and the busses may start showing up at 4 to 6 like in the past.

Also with the private party not starting until 11pm, this may be a positive more than negative. Previously in DL the hours in May were 10-8, or 8-9 and 9-11 or 8-12 on Fridays. Now it seems since the Seniors can come any time in the day, the parks won't need to shut down until they need to clear it for the party, this may be 10pm. So We gain a few hours instead of loosing a few because they can't just book the Seniors into the Esplanade at 8pm to wait 3 hours for thier party.

In June we may loose an hour or two.

Since the seniors get thier own private showing of F!, maybe they won't want to watch the early one with the guests as some had in the pass. Though fireworks may be more crowded, take heart there is a lot more viewing area for the fireworks than F!.


It may be a win win for seniors and guests alike.

steves1bear
01-06-2012, 12:10 AM
skiingfast - thanks for the perspective. I had it in my mind since they had an all day pass there was a chance they would either be allowed to be there all day or just skip school anyway. I imagined heavier crowds, but majority being high schoolers. Your thoughts helped clarify and see the positive of it all. Thanks so much!

HydroGuy
01-06-2012, 12:48 AM
Everyone should read this thread that I linked above.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2298400



Previously DL closed at 6 or 7 pm. MM was often moved or canceled because the parties lasted to 6am. Grads watched fireworks in the early morning which woke many guests on Harbor Dr.

*The parties are not all day long*. Now because the party hours are shorter only 11pm to 3am, Seniors also get a Park Hopper to use during the day. Keep in mind kids do have school so not everyone can go to the parks all day even with that park hopper and the busses may start showing up at 4 to 6 like in the past.

Also with the private party not starting until 11pm, this may be a positive more than negative. Previously in DL the hours in May were 10-8, or 8-9 and 9-11 or 8-12 on Fridays. Now it seems since the Seniors can come any time in the day, the parks won't need to shut down until they need to clear it for the party, this may be 10pm. So We gain a few hours instead of loosing a few because they can't just book the Seniors into the Esplanade at 8pm to wait 3 hours for thier party.

In June we may loose an hour or two.

Since the seniors get thier own private showing of F!, maybe they won't want to watch the early one with the guests as some had in the pass. Though fireworks may be more crowded, take heart there is a lot more viewing area for the fireworks than F!.


It may be a win win for seniors and guests alike.I agree with Ski's discussion. I think there is some overreaction in this thread. May and early June weekdays are typically not very busy anyways. If there is a concerns that "thousands" of HS seniors will be at DLR, there are always thousands of high schoolers at DLR and a few thousand more in addition to 30,000-40,000 regular guests (on a non-busy day) is just not that much.

Mugglemama
01-06-2012, 01:57 AM
Well, hopefully it *is* overreaction. I can hope.

And while there are always thousands of high schoolers and teens in the parks, usually the majority of them are with family. My experience has been that the vast majority of teens will act differently with parents around than they will without them, but perhaps I am mistaken (I've been a mom for a long time though, so I'm not holding my breath on that one...).

The last time we were at DLR, we encountered people doing things that definitely depleted the Disney magic, like smoking pot in the parks, making out in line, stumbling through DCA drunk, cutting in lines, etc. I'm just concerned about the potential for even more of that when it's mainly unsupervised teens (some as young as 14) in the parks celebrating graduation...I think that's a reasonable concern and prediction (I did *go* to my own Grad-Nite, so I do have some firsthand observations of what the kids are doing while there...).

I would expect MANY kids to ditch school to go early (I would have at that age). I hope very much that I am incorrect in that expectation. I guess we'll see. It does not appear that they are required to bus in as they were before...any reliable sources that show otherwise?

I don't have a choice as to our timing on this trip...I will have to go when some of these Grad events are happening, due to my daughter's college schedule this year. In fact, I'll be there for the first 4, so I will try to post here to give a rundown on what the impact seems to be.

I am REALLY glad we are getting AP's this year, so that I can have a do-over for this May trip in September.

GoofyDadude
01-06-2012, 02:48 AM
WOW, thanks for the update. Our first full day at DL is suppose to be Saturday, June 23rd..... So hopefully they will not add more days on the end of June for Grad Night :)

joelnkelly
01-06-2012, 09:47 AM
We will be making our first trip to DL in June, 9th-16th. The middle days of our trip will be grad nights, i think the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We are going to be working around those days to do other things around SoCal. Figured SUnday and Monday will be good park days, then one of the grad days possible Wednesday and Friday visiting the park. WE arent flying out until late Saturday night so all day Saturday will be a park day as well. We figured we would just make the best of it. Hopefully the seniors will respect the fact that many kids will be around so the behavior will be somewhat sub-dued during the days. If not I dont mind speaking my mind to them.

erocrobro
01-06-2012, 09:54 AM
I agree with Ski's discussion. I think there is some overreaction in this thread. May and early June weekdays are typically not very busy anyways. If there is a concerns that "thousands" of HS seniors will be at DLR, there are always thousands of high schoolers at DLR and a few thousand more in addition to 30,000-40,000 regular guests (on a non-busy day) is just not that much.

I'm going to keep my fingers crossed. I really am not as worried about the extra bodies as much as shortened hours, so if they are open until, say 11:00, that's plenty late enough for us. I'm also hoping that the addition of the extra grad nights will help spread out the numbers over several days, and is maybe an indication that Carsland won't yet be open in June. I'm not sure they would have scheduled that many grad nights when they know the crowds would already be extra heavy due to new attractions.

jacobsmommy
01-06-2012, 10:02 AM
We were planning on being at DL/DCA from June 19-22 but could change it to the following week (June 26-June 29). With grad nights happening, which would you choose?

joelnkelly
01-06-2012, 11:17 AM
maybe an indication that Carsland won't yet be open in June. I'm not sure they would have scheduled that many grad nights when they know the crowds would already be extra heavy due to new attractions.

You could also look at it in the other light, figuring this would be a great way for them to get some more exposure to Carsland, what better way to get the word out than a bunch of teens in your park expressing how great carsland really is. Who really knows what will happen, I guess only time will tell.

skiingfast
01-06-2012, 11:43 AM
We were planning on being at DL/DCA from June 19-22 but could change it to the following week (June 26-June 29). With grad nights happening, which would you choose?

I think this may be a wash.

All of those Socal Aps getting their last stab at the parks, verses, Grad Nites on days when few if any kids will be in school.



You could also look at it in the other light, figuring this would be a great way for them to get some more exposure to Carsland, what better way to get the word out than a bunch of teens in your park expressing how great carsland really is. Who really knows what will happen, I guess only time will tell.

Last summer, I spoke to a couple groups of teens who had done their Grad Nites. They came back to ride Star Tours again and brought friends who couldn't attend Grad Nite.

jacobsmommy
01-06-2012, 12:28 PM
So, would it be better to change our dates to early July when SoCal is blocked and also there are no grad nights? We haven't booked anything yet, so we are still pretty flexible.

skiingfast
01-06-2012, 01:07 PM
So, would it be better to change our dates to early July when SoCal is blocked and also there are no grad nights? We haven't booked anything yet, so we are still pretty flexible.

Maybe, but the problem is it gets very busy at the beginning of July. If you can go after the 8th, which is past the week of the fourth, Summer settles out. With everything running at a max everyday, missing weekends works well. Crowds are never slow all summer, but using early and late hours, and FP they can work out great. It's more simple to manage your trip when crowds are at a constant level, and the entertainment and parks hours are the same every day.

Mugglemama
01-06-2012, 01:18 PM
We were planning on being at DL/DCA from June 19-22 but could change it to the following week (June 26-June 29). With grad nights happening, which would you choose?

For reference, SoCal AP's are allowed in the parks June 10, 11, 12...17, 18, 19...and the 24-28th (with the 24th-28th being their last days before being locked out until late August).


So, would it be better to change our dates to early July when SoCal is blocked and also there are no grad nights? We haven't booked anything yet, so we are still pretty flexible.

From what I've read recently, DLR is expecting exceptionally heavy crowds all Summer due to Carsland (which surprises nobody, I'm sure)...so I guess it just comes down to choosing *which* crowds you prefer to deal with?....people coming in for a new land, or the 14-18 year olds there for their Grad events. Grad events could theoretically be less crowded (my Grad nite was 20 years ago, but it was almost standing room only in the park - granted, this year, the daytime hours that the Grads will be participating in are spread out over 2 parks, so hopefully that will help?), but the people who make up those crowds might be a lot less pleasant to be in the parks with than say, the crowds you're going to run into in July. I just don't think there's a way to know for sure at this point. It's a guessing game, IMO.

We are scheduled to be in the parks on May 11th for sure, and probably May 10th, as well. I will try to post here on those days to share what I notice as far as crowds, and behavior (I have trouble posting to Dis from my laptop - I have to post from my desktop, so it all depends on whether or not I have trouble posting from a cell phone, but I will test that out in the next couple of days.)

Also, at SkiingFast - I never stated that the *parties* were all day long. I know they are held after park closing. That doesn't change the fact that the kids will still have access to the parks all day long, though, and that was the info I was trying to share with those who have trips planned at that time and weren't already aware of the new arrangement.

HockeyMomNH
01-06-2012, 03:17 PM
Yep, we already booked airfare and HOJO entertainment rate for May 12-19th before they updated with new nights. Now we have three during our week. I am really hoping that the new format will work out well for the students and the rest of us.

Being on the East Coast, I don't expect we will be able to visit DL again in the near future.

Davids-Coco
01-06-2012, 03:45 PM
We too are planning to be there surrounding Mother's Day. So it looks like our arrival day and first day and then day before we leave and last day will be grad nights. With two small ones, I don't expect we would be out past 8 or 9 anyway. Thankful it is only DL since we are at VGC.

Sounds like there may be some increase later in the days but don't the kids still have to go to school during those days? So a 3:00 or later increase? They are all weekdays.

Mugglemama
01-06-2012, 03:53 PM
Sounds like there may be some increase later in the days but don't the kids still have to go to school during those days? So a 3:00 or later increase? They are all weekdays.

They are school days...whether that means that most of the kids with tickets will actually *attend* school on those days remains to be seen. I mean, just about any student can get out of school for a day....and Disneyland tickets would seem like a pretty strong motivating factor to skip...but maybe I'm wrong. I hope so!

VallCopen
01-06-2012, 05:28 PM
So I have a few questions and was wondering if anyone knew the answers. I was under the impression (from previously searching for my daughters) that single tickets were not allowed to be purchased, only school groups could purchase tickets, and as far as 14-18 I thought that had more to do with the fact that some kids graduate at a younger age not that middle school graduates were invited? Does anyone have any knowledge of this?

I also read in the brochure that all dates are subject to cancellation and it would be determined on how many tickets were sold for particular days so some dates could be eliminated? Anyone know about this? Just wondering since we will be there over several of these dates...we will have fun either way but I was just curious.

skiingfast
01-06-2012, 06:01 PM
So I have a few questions and was wondering if anyone knew the answers. I was under the impression (from previously searching for my daughters) that single tickets were not allowed to be purchased, only school groups could purchase tickets, and as far as 14-18 I thought that had more to do with the fact that some kids graduate at a younger age not that middle school graduates were invited? Does anyone have any knowledge of this?

I also read in the brochure that all dates are subject to cancellation and it would be determined on how many tickets were sold for particular days so some dates could be eliminated? Anyone know about this? Just wondering since we will be there over several of these dates...we will have fun either way but I was just curious.

Yes you need a group of at least 10 kids.

On the age I don't specifically, but do know you don't have to be a Senior.

On the dates, I've heard recently from a CM who implied that he knows, the dates are not final, and some not bookable until earlier dates fill up. Suggesting that if there is not enough interest in the early parties that later party dates may be removed.

HydroGuy
01-06-2012, 06:30 PM
So I have a few questions and was wondering if anyone knew the answers. I was under the impression (from previously searching for my daughters) that single tickets were not allowed to be purchased, only school groups could purchase tickets, and as far as 14-18 I thought that had more to do with the fact that some kids graduate at a younger age not that middle school graduates were invited? Does anyone have any knowledge of this?

I also read in the brochure that all dates are subject to cancellation and it would be determined on how many tickets were sold for particular days so some dates could be eliminated? Anyone know about this? Just wondering since we will be there over several of these dates...we will have fun either way but I was just curious.

Yes you need a group of at least 10 kids.

On the age I don't specifically, but do know you don't have to be a Senior.

On the dates, I've heard recently from a CM who implied that he knows, the dates are not final, and some not bookable until earlier dates fill up. Suggesting that if there is not enough interest in the early parties that later party dates may be removed.When I went in...ahem...1981 and since then it has been my understanding that you have to be:

A. A high school senior from a participating school

or

B. The date of a high school senior from a participating school

If they allowed folks as young as 14 I would have to assume they are there on a date with a senior.

HydroGuy
01-06-2012, 06:35 PM
They are school days...whether that means that most of the kids with tickets will actually *attend* school on those days remains to be seen. I mean, just about any student can get out of school for a day....and Disneyland tickets would seem like a pretty strong motivating factor to skip...but maybe I'm wrong. I hope so!Since the grad night attendees are there until 3AM I am doubtful you will get a very large attendance in the day. Maybe late afternoon or evening. Since this is the first time with this format no one really knows but if it was me going I would make all the mroe sure to get in a solid visit to the parks in the daytime hours. I would also plan night time entertainment the grad night days as much as possible in case attendance does swell at night. Such nights would be especially good for WOC because you have a reservation.

Mugglemama
01-06-2012, 07:22 PM
Since the grad night attendees are there until 3AM I am doubtful you will get a very large attendance in the day. Maybe late afternoon or evening. Since this is the first time with this format no one really knows but if it was me going I would make all the mroe sure to get in a solid visit to the parks in the daytime hours. I would also plan night time entertainment the grad night days as much as possible in case attendance does swell at night. Such nights would be especially good for WOC because you have a reservation.

Thanks, HG...I hadn't considered that they may not show up very early due to the fact they realize they will be up until after 3am if they stay until the end of the party. I very much hope that is the case overall! (I also have to consider the fact that not everyone is a complete Disneyland junkie like everyone in my family, all of whom would never waste a day on something so trivial as *school* if we could be in the parks instead, lol.)

Either way, we will have fun, too....although I *am* moving my dates around just slightly to add more non-GN days before the GN's begin, and stay only until about 6pm on GN days, and entirely cut out the 4th GN that we were going to be there. As always, we will be in line at the security tables an hour before opening on each day of our visit. :goodvibes

3Minnies1Mickey
01-06-2012, 07:49 PM
I would like to add these grads are not all local. Many are traveling from a distance so that'll effect what time they can enter. Also the locals may have to arrive as a group. I mean the schools are responsible for these kids while they are there. They aren't just passing out tickets and saying show up when you want, leave when you want. I seriously doubt they are being dropped off and told "see ya at 3am". They will likely have a check in at 11:00 to make sure all grads are where they are supposed to be.

When I went in late 90s only seniors from our school were allowed. No dates.