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WishUponAStar3 10-02-2012 12:35 AM

Last-minute trip advice request!
Hey DIS'ers!

I just booked a trip to Disneyland for Mickey's Halloween Party on Friday the 19th, staying overnight at the Grand Californian, followed by a day in the parks on the 20th. We'll be a pretty big group: five adults, one senior, two little kids and a toddler. I go to Disneyland often so I'm not set on hitting all the rides (I don't do roller-coasters or intense thrill rides anyway) but it's my boyfriend's mom's first-ever Disneyland trip, so I really want her to have the best time!! I'm just getting kinda nervous with all the talk of heavy crowds on party days, plus we want to check out Cars Land the day after the party and I've been hearing how crowded that's been too. Does anyone have any tips for how to make the most of the Halloween party day and the following Saturday?

We're only getting park tickets for Saturday, so the plan for Friday is to head into Disneyland at the 4pm entrance time and try to hit some rides- but since I've been hearing how crazy the overlap hours are, I'm wondering if we should just do a nice early dinner at Napa Rose instead, and wait till the party starts to go to Disneyland?

For Saturday, any tips on how to hit all the best (kid and senior-friendly) attractions Disneyland and California Adventure have to offer? We can probably all get up and get going on the early side, but we will have to drive back to LA in the early evening, probably no later than 6-ish.

SO many thanks in advance for your help!

theluckyrabbit 10-02-2012 02:36 AM

That weekend should be pretty crowded. It is UEA (Utah Educators Association), so many families from Utah head down to DLR. What sort of person is your boyfriend's mom? Is she a rides/thrill rides person or a shows/attractions person or a stop and smell the roses kind of person? For example, if you know she's not that into thrill rides, then you can skip those and focus on things that really appeal to her (shows? parades? shopping? etc.). Just the Halloween Party alone will have lots of things to make her first visit great. Some people are saying to do some of the big rides (Space Mt., HMH, etc.) during the overlap hours so that you can spend the party hours focusing on the party itself. But, then again, dinner at NR sounds great, too. Which do you think she would prefer? Use your DLR knowledge (fastpasses, etc.) to get organized ahead of time and to deal with the crowds. Since you are staying on property, you will have EMH at DL on Sat., so use that hour wisely -- it could really help you -- maybe do Fantasy Land for the kid/senior friendly rides? Your tickets will all be activated by the time DCA opens, so maybe you or your boyfriend could be the FP runner for RSR?

jkattk 10-02-2012 11:42 AM

FYI, it is also MEA that weekend (Minnesota Educators Association). Lots of Minnesotans go to WDW instead though since we're not really closer to one or the other.

WishUponAStar3 10-03-2012 11:53 PM

Thank you both so much for your replies! Eek, I'm even more concerned about our trip dates now knowing there are two conventions that weekend- but we already bought our party tix and planned with another family, so probably too late to reschedule. Does anyone have any more suggestions on how we can still enjoy these two days to the fullest?? I'd soo appreciate it! None of us need to do the E-ticket thrill rides, especially since we have a senior and three little kids in our party. We want to hit all the best light-thrill rides (HMH, Soarin, TSM, Cars Land rides?) and experience the best of the parks' Halloween offerings! :)

theluckyrabbit 10-04-2012 06:43 PM

Since both parks will be crowded during your visit, talk with all the members of your party and decide ahead of time what your top priorities are. You probably won't be able to do everything that you want to do (which just makes an excuse to plan another visit in the future!), so focus on doing only the most important things this trip. That will make things much more pleasant for everyone and avoid the misery that can come with pushing too hard in heavy crowds. Search the threads here on the things that are most important to you. You'll find so much helpful info.

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