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View Full Version : May 13-16 AP event, grad night, crowd observations


starshine514
05-17-2012, 12:56 PM
We're just heading out from Disneyland now. We were there Sunday afternoon - Wednesday this week. On Sunday, we entered the park around 8:00 pm. We found moderately heavy crowds that subsided quite a bit after the fireworks. We walked on to the Storybookland boats a little before 11:00 pm, and stayed until just before closing with typical thinning crowds.

On Monday and Tuesday, we had moderate crowds (as expected). We stayed for the AP event on Monday and didn't notice a huge increase in crowd levels late in the evening because of it. We had a late dinner offsite with friends on Tuesday, so I am unsure of the evening crowds on Tuesday.

Wednesday started off slower than Monday and Tuesday, with lighter crowds in the morning. As the day wore on, we noticed more and more teenagers in the park. They did account for increased crowds, but most rides increased capacity to deal with them and the kiddie rides were largely unaffected in the late afternoon. When we returned to the park after dinner, there were a lot of teenagers there. We rode Space Mountain with our Fastpasses and had an inordinate amount of line-jumping occurring. I also heard a lot of bad language and saw a, um, male birth-control device laying on the ground. Crowds stayed heavy on the teenager-friendly rides. They started blocking the park over an hour early and put up grad night signage (telling other guests to exit the park) early also. Since I knew the time, I ignored the signage and crossed over to use our BTMRR FPs before park closing. The line there was moderate, mich heavier than it usually is at closing. At park closing, they began actively funnelling people out, but Main Street remained open (which I was glad for. I had been scared they might do a hard close).

In short, the AP event didn't affect crowds much, but grad night did. Grad night really affected the feel of the park, and not in a good way.

MorganM
05-17-2012, 04:18 PM
We're just heading out from Disneyland now. We were there Sunday afternoon - Wednesday this week. On Sunday, we entered the park around 8:00 pm. We found moderately heavy crowds that subsided quite a bit after the fireworks. We walked on to the Storybookland boats a little before 11:00 pm, and stayed until just before closing with typical thinning crowds.

On Monday and Tuesday, we had moderate crowds (as expected). We stayed for the AP event on Monday and didn't notice a huge increase in crowd levels late in the evening because of it. We had a late dinner offsite with friends on Tuesday, so I am unsure of the evening crowds on Tuesday.

Wednesday started off slower than Monday and Tuesday, with lighter crowds in the morning. As the day wore on, we noticed more and more teenagers in the park. They did account for increased crowds, but most rides increased capacity to deal with them and the kiddie rides were largely unaffected in the late afternoon. When we returned to the park after dinner, there were a lot of teenagers there. We rode Space Mountain with our Fastpasses and had an inordinate amount of line-jumping occurring. I also heard a lot of bad language and saw a, um, male birth-control device laying on the ground. Crowds stayed heavy on the teenager-friendly rides. They started blocking the park over an hour early and put up grad night signage (telling other guests to exit the park) early also. Since I knew the time, I ignored the signage and crossed over to use our BTMRR FPs before park closing. The line there was moderate, mich heavier than it usually is at closing. At park closing, they began actively funnelling people out, but Main Street remained open (which I was glad for. I had been scared they might do a hard close).

In short, the AP event didn't affect crowds much, but grad night did. Grad night really affected the feel of the park, and not in a good way.


Thanks for the review, we will be there for the AP event, going on monday, and the rest of the days are Grads night so I am sad that this happened and hope this does not happen to us :sad2:

Butterfly123
05-17-2012, 05:45 PM
Wow. Thanks for the report. This is a good reason to avoid grad nights if at all possible. I don't appreciate bad language and line jumping is inexcusable. The other "issue" just creeps me out. I'm glad the problems didn't affect the earlier part of your day.

Priory
05-17-2012, 05:54 PM
Yeah, when I booked my trip originally I was going to take advantage of the last "non-busy" week before the madness began. I knew Sunday would be busy and there was 1 grad night scheduled.

Now, during my 6-day trip I have a Sunday, 2 AP events, and 3 grad nights. :lmao:

Oh well, I am going to enjoy myself no matter what.

On the 1 grad night I knew about when I booked, we reserved a dinner at the Chef's Counter at Napa Rose for the 8:30 seating. At least that night will be great!

subtchr
05-17-2012, 05:58 PM
Thanks for the info. You don't mention DCA, did you visit there any grad night evening at all? Just curious if any of the grads hang out there before their late night time in DL.

OhioStateBuckeye
05-17-2012, 10:16 PM
I was just there for Friday May 11. We entered the park half an hour after opening and had no problem walking onto many rides at DL and CA, we collected a lot of fastpasses and left to take a rest at the hotel. When we returned for the fireworks at DL, the park was pretty packed.

I don't know if I'm qualified to judge crowd levels because this was my first DL visit, and our first weekend day. But the whole of main street was packed for the fireworks, and even though we had a FP for Indy, the wait was still about 20 minutes.

I also have to agree with previous posters, the language and behavior was not the best from the teens. And honestly, it only takes one bad group to kind of ruin the mood of the night. Even though a lot of the teen groups we saw were well behaved and happy and having a good time, there were a few disrespectful groups. I would say to avoid grad nights if you have a choice, and if not, make sure to collect FPs earlier in the day for that night so at least you can have short waits.

CamoMama
05-17-2012, 10:59 PM
Ugh. I didn't check grad nights when I scheduled my trip, thankfully I lucked out and my dates are bookended by grad nights, but none on the dates I'll be there.

starshine514
05-17-2012, 11:15 PM
Thanks for the info. You don't mention DCA, did you visit there any grad night evening at all? Just curious if any of the grads hang out there before their late night time in DL.

We did. We actually closed out CA before hopping back to DL last night. Between about 6:30 and close, Soarin had a 35 minute posted wait and they were running both auditoriums. Screamin had a 15 minute wait and they were running both sides. Toy Story had a 40 minute wait. Little Mermaid was walk-on. There were a lot of teens on Screamin and Soarin, but the other rides had a standard demographic mix.

Davids-Coco
05-17-2012, 11:20 PM
I have to agree with you on the grad nights. In Bugs Land, we encountered a LARGE group of them going on things like the bumper cars and screaming "this is BS!" among other things when the short ride ended. There was a lot of added franticness with the teens - running, screaming, etc. I did feel it increased the crowds.

We went to the Monday night AP event. It was a lot of people crowded onto the riverbank, but all in all pretty wonderful. We chatted with some wonderful people. My husband said that the insanity was where they were checking for bracelets... that people were going to extremes to get into it. It didn't seem to affect the crowds for us.

mbdisney
05-18-2012, 07:22 AM
We will have a few grad nights during our June trip. Our girls are young (3 and 6) - I'm uncomfortable with the exposure they may get (especially in a place where I should NOT have to worry). Do CMs ever step in with language and such?

markinmt
05-18-2012, 08:45 AM
Anyone know when the policy of Grads having to wear coats and ties, dresses etc changed? This year was the first that I can remember that the Grads were allowed in the park all day long and I'm not a fan of the change.

JadeDarkstar
05-18-2012, 11:56 AM
can any one point out where grad night list is so i can check my days?

I'm mikey
05-18-2012, 12:27 PM
can any one point out where grad night list is so i can check my days?

Jade, grad night dates can be found here.....2012 Grad Nite Dates (http://www.wdwinfo.com/disneyland/Events/grad-nights.html)

coaches24
05-18-2012, 12:28 PM
can any one point out where grad night list is so i can check my days?

You mean the grad night dates? Its in post 15 of the may countdown thread.

I think we are there the same time as you. I know there are grad nights on the 30th, 31st, and June 1.

minniecarousel
05-18-2012, 12:38 PM
We'll probably never get our older son & daughter-in-law to go with us in June ever again! They're going with us 6/18-22 - we have 2 Grad Nites! The good part is that we'll have early mornings and we're staying in a 2 bedroom Villa so at least we'll be comfortable. hmmmm....they like fine dining, maybe this is the trip we'll treat them to the Napa Rose on either Tuesday or Thursday night.

SGMCO
05-18-2012, 12:47 PM
I will be one to complain if I hear bad language or any other
bad behavier.
I don't have small kids but I don't think that it is appropriate.
I think that if there is enough people reporting that Disney may
rethink Grat nights.
There are 3 grat nights when we go, I hoping we can
get in most of the thrill rides in at the beginning of the day and then
go on the other rides that teens are not as interested in, later in the
evening.