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Old 10-01-2009, 09:55 AM   #1
HydroGuy
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The Scoop on Grad Nights at DLR in May and June

Updated December, 2013

In year 2011 and before the DLR grad nights were held from midnight to 6AM and caused changes to regular hours, entertainment and Magic Mornings. Starting in 2012 this changed.

Here is a link to the grad night website: http://www.grad-nights.com/gradnightcalifornia.htm

Here is a link to a DIS page on grad nights: http://www.wdwinfo.com/disneyland/Ev...ad-nights.html

Here are the dates for 2014:

May 16, 17, 21, 22, 24, 28, 30, 31
June 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18, 19

Note that additional dates are often added as the season approaches.


Here were the dates for 2013:

May 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31
June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21


Here were the dates for 2012:

May 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31
June 1, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 19, 21, 22


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

2. Each year the late night park will alternate. In 2012 it was DL. In 2013 it will be DCA. In 2014 it will be in DCA again.

3. The park will close by 11PM on these nights for regular guests.

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

5. There will be a performance of Fantasmic or WOC after 11PM only for the grads


What does this mean for the regular guest?

o Regular guests no longer need to pay attention to early park closures or reduced entertainment or modified Magic Mornings because of grad nights. So many of the past grad night "gotchas" will no longer be an issue.

o Attendance on grad night party days will have a higher number of high school seniors there during the regular hours.

o For years where grad night parties are at DCA there will be extra noise from grads and WOC until 3AM that will mostly impact GCH hotel guests because they are closest. FWIW, most GCH guests in the past have reported - including me - that noise in the GCH rooms from the parks is not a significant issue if you have the windows closed. Light sleepers may be impacted though.


How should I modify my DLR touring if visiting on a grad night?

Grads can show up any time during the day but tend to arrive in the afternoon and evening. Reports vary but grads do contribute to extra crowding but not in any overwhelming manner. Grads are teenagers and like all teenagers they can be loud, use profanity and be especially affectionate with their dates. Some guests say they do not notice grads very much while others have reported experiences with grad significantly impacting their visit. Here are some tips:

o If you have young children who are not accustomed to some of the crude language they might be exposed to, you may want to modify the hours you visit. Arrive extra early that day and then leave early.

o Since crowds will increase a bit later in the day as grads arrive, if you want to stay in the parks that is a good time to arrange for a longer table service dinner and to see shows. So plan for Fantasmic or World of Color on grad nights. This will keep you out of some of the lines that may get longer than normal because of the grads coming in. If you are on a multi-day trip then use your evenings that are not grad nights to go on more rides.
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Last edited by HydroGuy; 05-14-2014 at 09:49 AM. Reason: added 2013
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:02 AM   #2
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Yet another informative and useful thread from you, Hydroguy.

Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:32 PM   #3
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^^^ LOVE the Buzz siggy. Totally cute!

Hydroguy Dude (It's my official name for you ever since you called yourself that in a thread. I giggle every time you post. ), you're amazing! You know, it's silly, because I know all about Grad Nites having researched it as much as possible for my own trip, and I share said knowledge in individual threads over and over and over....

You would think that I'd've made this thread myself!

Thanks! Once again you've saved the day!
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:34 PM   #4
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Hydroguy Dude (It's my official name for you ever since you called yourself that in a thread. I giggle every time you post. )
I am glad you found that self-reference rather than the ones where I say that HydroGuy is all wet.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:56 PM   #5
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I hate not being able to go to grad night, guess that is what happens when you have a little too much fun at school. -.-
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:14 PM   #6
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Hydro Guy - Thanks for the info. I'm planning to go there on May 20 and this thread is extremely handy!!
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HydroGuy View Post
... Typically on Grad Nights the parks close early - DL closes at 9PM and DCA closes at 6PM. With the parks closing earlier it also means that any night time entertainment such as Fantasmic and fireworks will probably not be scheduled. ...
Great thread, HydroGuy!

I have one minor nitpick.

There will likely be fireworks shown at 8:45pm on the following Grad Nights:

• Wednesday, June 16, 2010
• Thursday, June 17, 2010
• Thursday, June 24, 2010

That's based on previous LP calendars (June '08 and June '07).

(Note: Please disregard the LP calendar for June '09 (link). The Magical fireworks started being shown nightly on Friday, June 12, but the LP calendar doesn't list any fireworks for the entire month of June '09. )

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S. S. Columbia View Post
Great thread, HydroGuy!

I have one minor nitpick.

There will likely be fireworks shown at 8:45pm on the following Grad Nights:

• Wednesday, June 16, 2010
• Thursday, June 17, 2010
• Thursday, June 24, 2010

That's based on previous LP calendars (June '08 and June '07).

(Note: Please disregard the LP calendar for June '09 (link). The Magical fireworks started being shown nightly on Friday, June 12, but the LP calendar doesn't list any fireworks for the entire month of June '09. )

Hope this helps.
Thanks SSC for the extra info.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S. S. Columbia View Post
There will likely be fireworks shown at 8:45pm on the following Grad Nights:

• Wednesday, June 16, 2010
• Thursday, June 17, 2010
• Thursday, June 24, 2010
For those who do not pay as close attention as SSC and I please note that fireworks at 8:45pm is unusual. For most of the year fireworks have been held at 9:25pm for the last few years. That fits with many things including two Fantasmic shows (and occasionally three) in high season at 9:00 and 10:30PM. The latest sunsets of the year are in late June and so 8:45 is probably pushing it for darkness. In any case when DL closes at 9PM for grad nights and DL wants to offer fireworsk then 8:45 allows them to do it, get the park cleared out, and get ready for the teens coming in at midnight.

I feel sorry for the cleanup crew on such nights - and the next morning when the teens leave at 6AM and they try to get ready to open the parks by 8 or 9AM.
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HydroGuy View Post
For those who do not pay as close attention as SSC and I please note that fireworks at 8:45pm is unusual. For most of the year fireworks have been held at 9:25pm for the last few years. That fits with many things including two Fantasmic shows (and occasionally three) in high season at 9:00 and 10:30PM. The latest sunsets of the year are in late June and so 8:45 is probably pushing it for darkness. In any case when DL closes at 9PM for grad nights and DL wants to offer fireworsk then 8:45 allows them to do it, get the park cleared out, and get ready for the teens coming in at midnight.

I feel sorry for the cleanup crew on such nights - and the next morning when the teens leave at 6AM and they try to get ready to open the parks by 8 or 9AM.
SERIOUSLY!!! That's a lot of extra money going into keeping the parks open, what I'm sure the CM feel like, is 24 hours. CRAZY! I will say, though, that I am excited about the earlier fireworks. I know it's only a 40 minute difference, but my kids would NEVER last for the 9:25 show. Now everyone will be able to see them (forget the kids , *I'LL* be able to see them!!! Every other day I'll be back at the hotel).
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:58 AM   #11
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Hydroguy and anyone else wanting to put their 2 cents in - does grad night really not affect the parks? We just booked June 16th,17th,18th,19th and 20th and I was bummed to see your post which shows the 16th and 17th as a Grad night. We really want to go and if it isn't any busier than we will but I am wondering if we would be better to book the following week with only 1 grad night? Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:41 AM   #12
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Hydroguy and anyone else wanting to put their 2 cents in - does grad night really not affect the parks? We just booked June 16th,17th,18th,19th and 20th and I was bummed to see your post which shows the 16th and 17th as a Grad night. We really want to go and if it isn't any busier than we will but I am wondering if we would be better to book the following week with only 1 grad night? Any suggestions? Thanks.
Everything in the OP is still correct. Grad nights still do not affect crowd levels during the day. The students do not arrive until after the parks have closed. Grad nights will change park hours though and possible MM days.
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by VallCopen View Post
Hydroguy and anyone else wanting to put their 2 cents in - does grad night really not affect the parks? We just booked June 16th,17th,18th,19th and 20th and I was bummed to see your post which shows the 16th and 17th as a Grad night. We really want to go and if it isn't any busier than we will but I am wondering if we would be better to book the following week with only 1 grad night? Any suggestions? Thanks.
A Grad Night is merely a special event after the Park closes to regular guests. The only thing it affects is park hours. If there was a corporate event after theh Park closed, you would not even know about it. Samme with Grad Nights. They are completely unrelated to the normal day at DLR, except for the hours.

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Old 01-16-2010, 04:35 PM   #14
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Hydroguy- I just had to give a shout out to a fellow Grad Nighter! You have me beat though. I was 1987. Our busload of Grads drove down from Northern CA, did Disney and then drove back. It was quite a trip and an absolute blast!
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:04 AM   #15
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Hydroguy- I just had to give a shout out to a fellow Grad Nighter! You have me beat though. I was 1987. Our busload of Grads drove down from Northern CA, did Disney and then drove back. It was quite a trip and an absolute blast!
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