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Old 11-16-2012, 11:37 PM   #16
tiggerguy2000
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This July 4th will be our 14th Annual 4th of july trip.we have never had a problem with july.We have no problem with july and always had a great time.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:33 PM   #17
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Well, I seem to be the only one with this response - but I disagree. Like the OP, our family is an off-season-only family. We never go during holiday breaks or the summer.

But in 2011 we wanted to take a family vacation to California and I really wanted to do a few DL days while we were there. I researched on this board, and read all the comments saying it "wasn't that bad," and we went for it. We went in early August, mid-week before the blackout days ended.

It was so, so crowded. DL seems more crowded than WDW already, because of the parks' design. It was so packed to just walk around (especially in DCA) that I felt I spent all my time concentrating on just making my way through the crowds without losing my group or slamming into people. I never felt relaxed or like I could appreciate my surroundings.

Now, you can definitely still "do everything," especially if you get up early and go late at night. The smaller layout and the way so many more rides are packed into the parks helps with that. But I just felt the crowds were really a deterrent to enjoying myself. No more summers for us.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love Tink View Post
Well, I seem to be the only one with this response - but I disagree. Like the OP, our family is an off-season-only family. We never go during holiday breaks or the summer.

But in 2011 we wanted to take a family vacation to California and I really wanted to do a few DL days while we were there. I researched on this board, and read all the comments saying it "wasn't that bad," and we went for it. We went in early August, mid-week before the blackout days ended.

It was so, so crowded. DL seems more crowded than WDW already, because of the parks' design. It was so packed to just walk around (especially in DCA) that I felt I spent all my time concentrating on just making my way through the crowds without losing my group or slamming into people. I never felt relaxed or like I could appreciate my surroundings.

Now, you can definitely still "do everything," especially if you get up early and go late at night. The smaller layout and the way so many more rides are packed into the parks helps with that. But I just felt the crowds were really a deterrent to enjoying myself. No more summers for us.
Two things.

Crowded

When some people say crowded they mean, well, it feels more crowded. Other people mean the lines are especially long apart from how crowded the park feels. I think you mean the former. DLR can definitely feel more crowded than the WDW parks because they are physically smaller. However, the line lengths at DLR are consistently much less than WDW in my experience. For example, Toy Story Mania 80-120 minutes at WDW and generally 40-60 at DLR.

DCA Crowds

DCA did feel especially crowded in 2010-2012 because they were essentially refurbing the entire park. There were tons of ugly construction walls. And at times certain walkways were closed funneling people into fewer walkways. Not that the construction is done it flows much more nicely.

I am not disagreeing with your views. I am clarifying how folks use the same word to mean different things - as well as clarifying the DCA situation.

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Old 11-17-2012, 08:01 PM   #19
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We went in July this year. I was so nervous because Carsland had opened a month before. It was busy, but do-able. We hadn't been in about 5 years and could only go for 3 days. We went W-F and just made the most of it. I used the Ride Max software and that really helped! It was actually one of our best trips to DLR, probably because our kids are older than when we had been (13, 10 and 4) so they wanted to go on bigger rides and we had so much fun.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:40 PM   #20
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The only time that is really bad is 4th of July, it's the second busiest day of the year. They have been trying to encourage people to spread this out a little by having festivities a few days before and after lately, but there is still something about being there on the actual 4th that many (including myself) prefer.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:21 PM   #21
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WDW vet here that took the family to DL in July 2011. Was really worried about crowds but find it more than manageable. Key is to get there early, take an afternoon break, and stay late.

And as Hydro said, to a WDW vet, DL "feels" a lot more crowded than it actually is.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:27 PM   #22
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Quote:
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And as Hydro said, to a WDW vet, DL "feels" a lot more crowded than it actually is.
Agreed. And also agree with Hydro's mention that the construction at DCA made the situation much worse in 2011.

But for many of us, especially those who arrive early and use FP well, the worst part of crowds isn't the lines at the attractions. Those are marginalized by our awesomeness at touring.

The worst part is just the feeling of having too many people around you in every direction, at all times. For me, I spent three days feeling stressed out all day because of the hordes of people, feeling like I couldn't ever see more than two yards ahead of me. Just too much. For me (and I grew up eight miles from DL and am much more a DL "vet" than a WDW vet), feeling crowded equals being crowded and makes it much less fun.

For the record, one of my kids is on board with my impression, whereas my husband and two other kids would happily face the summer again, since all they remember is 16 hours every day to ride and ride and ride...the crowds don't bother them.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:27 PM   #23
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I can handle the crowds. I don't like the heat. Now I can handle the heat ok. It doesn't cause me any health issues but I hate it. If I can avoid being out in the heat all day than I am going to do that.

I've only been to DL in July once and that was when DGF (now my wife) and I unknowingly showed up on the DL 50th anniversary celebration in 05. It was well into the 90s and super crowded. And we had no clue how to tour DL (was my first time at DL in 20 years and DGFs first time in 10). We were complete ametuers when it came to touring the parks. But we still had a great time. But since then we have gone before the heat gets bad. Love Jan weather and also had a great time in late May this year. the Weather was fantastic last trip in the 70s the whole time. I think we hit 80 for part of one day. Not bad at all.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:51 AM   #24
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How is the last week of July with weather & Crowds vs the week of July 4th & the days after?
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:54 PM   #25
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We went July 2012. Cars Land was new so that might have helped and although the parks were hopping and busy it was so not what I thought. I thought it was going to be horrible. We stayed off site but did a package through wd travel and we went one morning early which was awesome. We used ride max and I would totally do that again. Plus the park is open so early and closes so late we did everything and more that we wanted. I was so surprised. I am totally not scared to go again in the summer. We had 4 days in the park though so that might make a difference to someone that has a day or two.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:12 PM   #26
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We went in July of 2011. We had 4 adults and 4 children and we found it fine. If you get there at rope drop and work the fastpass system it won't be a problem. We didn't wait longer than 15 minutes for any rides. However, it can feel really crowded. I would just dread it if we had to walk through Adventureland, it was always bottle neck. The good thing about July is longer hours, so we'd go for rope drop, leave around 1 or 2 when it was getting really crowded, and then come back in the evening.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:41 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by jimandami View Post

ETA: The conference is at the Disneyland Hotel, with a conference rate of $174 so a pretty good deal!
I'd be all over that rate and normally I wouldn't do summertime. Do what you said: early entry, FP, rest/swim break, go back for more in the evenings. As Hydroguy's thread will tell you, if you go off season to DL (which we do) it's trickier since a lot of the entertainment schedule is limited to weekends and the park hours are shortened which can mean not as much time to get things done. I'd make it work!
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:23 AM   #28
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We were thinking about arriving on July 5th but it being our first trip & so close to July 4th crowds, we were able to make our airline reservations at a decent price with SW rewards included from July 9th-July 16th. So it gives a few days after July 4th before we arrive. I hope we made a good choice of weeks.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:29 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magalex
We were thinking about arriving on July 5th but it being our first trip & so close to July 4th crowds, we were able to make our airline reservations at a decent price with SW rewards included from July 9th-July 16th. So it gives a few days after July 4th before we arrive. I hope we made a good choice of weeks.
We are looking at the 7th-14th right now but airfare is outrageous!! SW was $2200 for the 4 of us!
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:43 PM   #30
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July is fine. Summertime gives you the full assortment of Parades, Fireworks, Fantasmic!, and World of Color plus all the extra stuff. It does get busy in the afternoon but if you go in the morning and then take a break and come back in the evening you will be fine. Disneyland is weird in that in the morning you can accomplish all of Fantasyland before it will open to the rest of the park on Magic Mornings. It's really a different animal compared to WDW. We love Disneyland!
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