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Old 10-05-2012, 09:26 AM   #1
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DL trips -- when have YOU gone and...

What months have you gone to DL and what were the pros/cons you found of each trip?
Trip Report: Spring Break 2014, 5 days DL, Warner Bros Tour, Huntington Beach:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3220349

DS's Surprise 1st trip, Spring Break/March 2012 PTR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2883877

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Old 10-05-2012, 09:29 AM   #2
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DS7 (at the time) and I went the 3rd week of March this year during Oregon's spring break.

It was CRAZY. I expected busy and it was. It was the worst from 10a-3p I would say.

If you got there early and took advantage of any early entries you may have it was great in the morning though! Well except Star Tours, it gets a line quickly.

Pros...everything was running...parades/fireworks/fantasmic/woc etc. Flowers were blooming, it was just magical of course.

Would I go again at SB? Not if I could help it.

In fact, next trip will be last week of April/first week of May (Before grad nights) because I've heard they are less packed.
Trip Report: Spring Break 2014, 5 days DL, Warner Bros Tour, Huntington Beach:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3220349

DS's Surprise 1st trip, Spring Break/March 2012 PTR: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2883877

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Old 10-05-2012, 09:37 AM   #3
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I have been in January, April, May, June, October, November and December.

My favorites are early May (as long as it's not too close to Easter) and November (either early or after Thanksgiving). I love the holiday decorations, but I also love May when it is warm and sunny and the flowers are so pretty in the park and Disneyland is in it's classic decor
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Disneyland at the Holidays, here we come!
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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About 16 years ago my whole family and their spouses/girlfriends went on New Years Eve. We had to walk with our hands on the shoulders of the person in front of us so we didn't get lost from one another.

More recent, we went the last week of January 2011 and it was good. Low crowds but the weather was iffy. It rained the first day which we were prepared for and then it was warmer the next day and we were able to have just short sleeved shirts on with jeans. The rides were all open.

We went again in September 2011 just after Labor Day. The weather was really nice. We wore shorts and t shirts during the day and used jackets at night because it did cool off. We were able to go on space mountain on our first day then it shut down to switch over to halloween but opened back up on our last day. Pirates was down the whole time we were there. The crowds were good. We used fastpass for those rides that we really busy.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:08 AM   #5
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I will take a trip to DL any time of the year , with that said, my most favorite time is early December with lower crowds, chilly mornings and Christmas decorations.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:09 AM   #6
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Last few trips we took were as follows......

March 2009 - went for my 40th birthday which was on the 23rd, so we were prob there from about the 20-26th. First day in the park was fine, but each day got steadily more crowded. Easter was not near the time of our trip. We did see lots of college students there on break and there was a cheer leading competition going on, so lots of little teeny-boppers all dolled up running around in packs! It did rain one of our mornings there, so we stayed at the rented house and waited for it to stop. We used FP's every day we were there and really strategized that. We got to do most of what we wanted, but didn't feel like we got our "Disney fill" so we went back again that same year in November.

Nov 2009. - went during the week before Thanksgiving, went down on the Wed and came home Mon of Thanksgiving week. Much less crowded on this trip!! We did ride the monorail for one quick trip into Tomorrowland and back to DTD the morning we left (Mon) and the lines for some rides (Small World, Autopia, Nemo) were much longer than we had experienced. Also the Christmas decorations were up!

April 16-20, 2012. - nice week, low crowds, beautiful weather! We were there on weekdays, so limited entertainment schedule. Did get to see WOC for the first time and it was amazing!!

Going again Nov 14 - 20th but will have more days there during Thanksgiving break. I'm expecting it to be busier than we normally like but will plan our days out and just try to do what we can. Might also take a day and go to Knotts Berry Farms since we will be down there several days.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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We have only been during Spring Break - the first week of April.

DH said NEVER again!

Cons :Too busy, crowded, and crazy!
Pros : Fireworks every night, lots going on in the parks.

We are hoping our trip in February will be a bit less crowded. We can deal with no fireworks or Fantasmic - we have seen them already.
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:41 AM   #8
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I don't know that there are any good months all throughout...one person's experience on the SAME DAY can be different that someone else's...let alone the same month. Important aspects like weather can be luck of the draw.

Here are my experiences since I've been on DISboards.

2011 - Friday after Thanksgiving through Tuesday after Thanksgiving - Pros: Nice weather, medium crowds shifting to low on Sunday evening, all of Christmas decor up. Con: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Mark Twain went down for short/unannounced (as far as I know) refurbishments on Monday; short hours on Monday and Tuesday, but those were kind of a pro too because it made the trip more restful!

2010 - Mid October (1.5 days, a Friday and Saturday) Pros: Halloween decor; Halloween party is a possibility; met Duffy for the first time and also Jack Sparrow. Cons: Felt extremely crowded to me (New Orleans Square turned into gridlock); party was uncomfortably crowded at times; weather was that obnoxious weather where you're not sure if you want a jacket or not.

2010 - Early-to-mid June (right around the time World of Color premiered) - Pros: Nice weather, fairly light crowds, World of Color premiere decor the day of the private premiere, got to see World of Color's first general public performance. Cons: Short hours for Grad Nite one night (works differently now) and super-short hours for DCA due to World of Color premiere. No full entertainment until Friday; it was still "low season" on Wednesday and Thursday. (We arrived Wednesday and left Sunday.)

2009 - Early-to-mid December - Pros: Light crowds all week and weekend; all Christmas decor up; Fantasmic! ran on Wednesday and Thursday and DL stayed open til 11 even though the parks weren't that crowded. (This was likely due to early closures for Cast Member Parties, which aren't even happening this year.) Cons: It rained a LOT, which is why crowds for the weekend were light. Very difficult to find a place to eat and stay dry. One of my most annoying Disney memories comes from this trip (woman saving 2 tables for her party at Hungry Bear restaurant, and refused to allow us to sit there, though those were the ONLY empty tables in the dry area...her party didn't even come down with their food until we were literally on our last fries!).

2009 - Mid-to-late June - Pros: Long hours; was in Disneyland on my birthday. Cons: Extremely crowded (people were mooing in the herd toward Fantasmic! and Mom saw a little girl get elbowed in the face!). Lines were long. We used RideMax but the park still felt very busy and we were stressed trying to follow it. Weather felt very hot to me. I got sick so it may have been a low fever talking.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:06 AM   #9
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We went in April 2012 from the 23rd to the 26th. Since it was weekdays, there was no F! and fireworks. The only ride I remember being closed was the Matterhorn. Crowds were very low. We rode or favorites several times with little wait.

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Old 10-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by awdsmama View Post
What months have you gone to DL and what were the pros/cons you found of each trip?
Every month .... every other weekend even.
Pros - We always have fun and tend to get there early (rope drop) and leave early (1:00 ish)
Cons - We are usually only there for the day and the RSR standby line is always long.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:33 PM   #11
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I can have a blast at Disneyland any time of the year. Each season has its charms, but over the past 10 to 15 years (the time since I became a mom) I've learned to especially enjoy the summer months. For the past oh probably 6 years now we have moved our annual trip to August. I like going then because the park operating hours are long, all the shows/entertainment/parades are running full schedule, the weather is warm which makes wet rides and a midday hotel pool break more fun, there are very few attractions down for refurb, and I think the summer crowds are pretty darn manageable. The summer vacation crowds are spread over three months rather than crushed into a couple of weeks as happens at the holidays. (Though I do so love the holiday decorations and miss that element in the summer.) And in the past, not this year, there have been some good summer money-savin' promos for staying on-site. So that's all my reasons for planning a trip each August. I've got a long way until the next one but will live vicariously through the trip reports and various fun facts shared on this site.
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:39 PM   #12
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Our last trip after almost a decade was Sept 23-25, 2012 (Sun-Tue). First trip with our toddler.

Pros: it's Disneyland! Crowds were very manageable Mon and Tue, particularly in the mornings and later evenings. Weather was decent (80s) Mon and Tue as well. Sun we were able to see a bit of the fireworks show. World of Color was showing every night. Stayed at BWPPI right across the street for a reasonable rate of about $100/night. Sun DL hours were 8a-11p.

Cons: Sun was too crowded and too hot, and weather the whole time was warmer than I would have liked (and we're from Arizona!). I thought it would have cooled down more by end of Sep! I also anticipated fewer crowds during the trip, but I guess there's really never a "slow" time at DL. We will never again visit on a weekend, even off-season. Even arriving before opening on a weekday, we'd run into lines outside the gates from DL and DCA that were so long they backed into each other and overlapped each other. Park hours were only 10a-8p Mon and Tue.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:58 PM   #13
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End Sept/early Oct 2007 - Very warm but not hot or humid weather, fairly low crowds. Park closed early in the week but that was ok for us. Weather and crowd level influenced timing of our latest trip.

7th to 15th January 2011 - cool weather (which I love! hate hot weather), and very low crowds - walked onto most things all week. No complaints, except a number of rides down for maintenance (to be expected in that season). Caught IASW holiday version and some holiday decorations still up in Tontown and New orleans Square which was good, and Haunted Mansion came back from the holiday version on the last day (I prefer this version to HMH). Great time, would go then again, except the airfares at this time of year from Australia are ridiculous due to being peak school holiday season.

20th September to 3rd October 2012 - hot hot hot! and humid! And more crowded than I expected - I hated the weekends and even the weekdays were more crowded than I expected. The crowds plus heat meant we got through a lot less at the parks than I expected to, especially since we were in the parks a total of 9 days.

I wouldn't go in September/October again - next trip (not for 3 years) I'm aiming for early December, for cooler weather and holiday decorations, plus hopefully not too crazy crowds.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:19 PM   #14
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May 2000 - great weather, fairly low crowds

September 2003 - great weather, low crowds

September 2006 - great weather, low crowds

February 2007 (around the President's birthdays) - cool/slightly rainy weather, fairly crowded but not horrible

September 2008 - great weather, low crowds

Mid June 2009 - good weather (a little warm), weekends were VERY crowded but weekdays were ok

Late September/early October 2012 - HOT!!!, crowds were heavy but manageable

As you can see, I normally love going in September but after this last trip I'm not so sure. I think we have typically gone early in the month, but with the later visit and the heat wave it really was a different trip than before. I love DL and am happy to be there, but the heat just wiped all of us out. We've been home for three days and I'm still recuperating!

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Old 10-05-2012, 08:58 PM   #15
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When reading your question, I realized I have been to DLR each month except October and December. This year we are going in December, so Next year we'll hopefully get there in October!

My preferences have changed over the years. When I was younger (and my kids were younger), having long park hours and no refurbishments meant a good trip. Now, not so much. I'm okay with short park hours and don't gravitate toward the thrill rides.

If you're looking for low crowds and don't care about multiple rides being down for refurbishment, then Jan, Feb, and Sept is the way to go. If you are looking for the opposite, then spring break, summer, Thanksgiving week, and the last two weeks of the year are the way to go.
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