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Old 02-26-2013, 08:12 AM   #1
Dracorex5
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Braving the Storm: Disneyland in July

College is coming for me like the wolves chase the lamb, and i have chosen disneyland as my senior trip. I used to go a lot as a kid, and still love time with my family despite being a teenager-near-adult!

The catch? I cant go at our usual prime time (ie right about now)... School ruins everything! June is also packed away with preparations, and college begins in august! So that leaves July....

I have read as many summer survival threads as i can track down, and now folks i have some questions for you guys! I KNOW summers are baaaaad news, and july is one of the WORST times.... However, i feel with strategy, we can still have a great time and hit everything we can.

Details of the trek:
Staying in the Embassy Suites about 10 minutes from the park, driving, parking in the Mickey and friends lot. We will be making food reservations beforehand. We will have a week long trip, where i'd like to arrive on a sunday, going to the parks on the weekdays, secret beach on the weekends. We will go to both parks over the course of those five days. We want to ride everything, and i mean everything. We have a premium annual pass with no block out days, and we are not native to California by any means (we're traveling from Georgia!)

Things we WANT to do:
Fantasmic (do they do special reserved seating for this anymore? When i was little we used to sit on the balcony above PoC and eat dessert but that place is now a hotel room!)
World of Color
Parades

Any and all advice is great! I've been searching for the best weeks to go, block out days, holidays to avoid, all that jazz. Any ideas?

Just some questions:

Been in July?
How are....
Que lines, food services, shows, other people, bathroom populations, snack areas, sanitation, crowd control protocols, park densities

Thanks all
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
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We go every year in July from Sunday through Friday. (We are blocked out on Saturdays during the summer).

We love July because the weather is warm and morings and evenings aren't too chilly. Rides and attractions are all pretty much up and running. Shows are every night Hours are long. It is crowded, but not like during holidays. This is our favorite time to go. We've gone just about every week during July but not over the 4th since it is blocked, and we probably don't want to go during then anyway.

Arrive before gate opening. At DCA arrive at 7:15 in order to get in at 7:30 to get in line for RSR FPs. For a DL start day we arrive a little later, but before 8am.

F! does a dessert reserved seating by the water. For a WOC reserved standing area we like the WOC dinner package at Carthay Circle (second show tickets).

We stayed at Emabassy Suites South one year. You can see pics in the link in my sig. We loved it, but driving was tiring and made it harder to go back to the room for a nap.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:13 AM   #3
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Honestly, I do not know what you are talking about. Which threads have you read that says July is really bad?

By far the more common thread is after someone visits in July they post "wow, that was not nearly as bad as I was expecting. Very manageable". Typically when you do see July is bad threads it comes from folks who do all the wrong things.

- Their lodging is far away and they have to drive each day
- Because of the hassle of driving, they can't fit afternoon breaks into their schedule
- They arrive late each morning
- They stay when heat and crowds are worst
- They leave in the evening just as weather cools and crowds drop

In answer to your questions, yes they still have Fantasmic dessert packages but no longer above POTC.

WOC takes time to be done right but is otherwise straighforward.

Queues for rides in July are light in the morning, light in the evening, and fairly heavy mid-day. Space Mtn, Indy, etc. will have mid-day queues of 75 minutes. But they also have FP. Soarin and GRR will have queues of 60-75 minutes. ToT will be 45-60 minutes. The new RSR will probably still be 100+ minutes this summer.

We never ride the headliners mid-day without FP except for using single rider lines.

We have not noticed dining queues being that long. But we usually have reservations each day which helps.

Park congestion can be bad in certain areas - especially Adventureland. You learn to avoid it. The hub is real crowded for parades and fireworks. Crowd control is handled pretty well by CMs.

Bathroooms are plentiful and a non-issues.

Basically July (and maybe late June) would be my first choice of months to visit DLR. Lots of sunlight. Lots of warmth. Little chance of bad weather. One can wear shorts all day. Lots of entertainment. Zero to minimal refurbs.

HTH

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Old 02-27-2013, 06:09 AM   #4
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So it's truly not that bad? I've never been in the summer but i have been to Disneyworld in july and it was packed like a sardine can. Lots of strategy was needed in that trip!

Im just being cautious, ad my dad hates crowds and if we can be careful about it it would be best! Plus, i'd rather expect the worst and then be pleasantly surprised!

Does anyone know if the crowds for Carsland will still be dramatically severe?
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracorex5 View Post
So it's truly not that bad? I've never been in the summer but i have been to Disneyworld in july and it was packed like a sardine can. Lots of strategy was needed in that trip!

Im just being cautious, ad my dad hates crowds and if we can be careful about it it would be best! Plus, i'd rather expect the worst and then be pleasantly surprised!

Does anyone know if the crowds for Carsland will still be dramatically severe?
While nobody can know for sure, most of us expect Carsland to stay ridiculously bust this summer.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracorex5 View Post
So it's truly not that bad? I've never been in the summer but i have been to Disneyworld in july and it was packed like a sardine can. Lots of strategy was needed in that trip!

Im just being cautious, ad my dad hates crowds and if we can be careful about it it would be best! Plus, i'd rather expect the worst and then be pleasantly surprised!

Does anyone know if the crowds for Carsland will still be dramatically severe?
July will be crowded. But I have been during worse times. I don't know your dad's tolerance for crowds. If you sleep in and arrive late, you will be behind the crowds and not get as much done if you had gotten there at opening. This is why I like to stay walking distance. Driving over means you have to leave that much earlier in order to get there in time.

Expect Carsland to continue to be busy. This is why it is important to arrive at 7:15 to get get your FPs for RSR. The stand by line is crazy and I don't wait that long for any ride. Or use single rider, but we like FP so we can stay together.

The most important for July: Arrive early, us FP.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:19 AM   #7
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I think that my little sister and i are physically incapable of allowing our parents to arrive late at Disneyland. I'm a consistent morning insomniac by medical default, and somehow my sister (normally impossible to get out of bed) goes on DISNEY HIGH and is up before me! Arriving early is no trouble, and if thats the trick we'll take it! My poor parents.... Teenagers are hard enough without them being ready for action at 6 am!

What time do the parks usually open in summer? 8? 9? I know they close late at night, how are the late night crowds (9pm-12)?
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:00 AM   #8
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We went last summer in July. Wasn't too bad. Cars Land was very busy!! But....it was brand new. It could be the same this summer. Hopefully not as bad, though. I'm not sure what to think of that. Weather was great!! Nice in the evening and mornings. You will enjoy that. Crowd in the bathrooms and restaurants weren't too bad, either. Busy, but not terrible. Enjoy your time with your family before you are gone!
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:03 PM   #9
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We went on a Saturday in July last year. It wasn't bad at all. We were shocked. But most AP's are blocked on Saturdays. I'd say you need to really plan for the hot weather. And get to Cars Land early!
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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We were at this Embassy last week.The pool was under refurb but it will be fine by July.I always have a fight with wife about where to stay.I love this place.Good breakfast with bacon, omilettes, etc.They also have a great happy hour, they have pizza, sliders, finger food --for a few bucks and some snacks for free.Never forget you can order a pizza from Pizza Hut it is nearby and they deliver.That way if you are tired from the parks or need late night then will deliver to your room.

July isn't that bad,Have been on July 4th when everybody says it is horrible.Here is the "secret".If you will use the single rider lines here for Racers, Grizzly Falls, Soaring, Indy, Splash Mt, Space MT, and any of the others together with fast passes for ones that don't have single riders you can do everything a couple of time.

Spend the bucks to get a picnic to world of color with fastpass, skip that line too.You will have a great time, there are no bad times in Disneyland.There is more to do here--fireworks everynight, no ride closures, etc.I actually prefer it that way.We went in Jan and it looked like a construction site and no fireworks, fantasmic was down, etc.

And you should check into the Disney College Program, you go for a semester and you live in Disney Apartment.You work 30-35 hours and can take six hours of electives.If you love the parks its like nirvana.You get to go all the time and if you do ride operations you get to see the celebrities.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracorex5 View Post
I think that my little sister and i are physically incapable of allowing our parents to arrive late at Disneyland. I'm a consistent morning insomniac by medical default, and somehow my sister (normally impossible to get out of bed) goes on DISNEY HIGH and is up before me! Arriving early is no trouble, and if thats the trick we'll take it! My poor parents.... Teenagers are hard enough without them being ready for action at 6 am!

What time do the parks usually open in summer? 8? 9? I know they close late at night, how are the late night crowds (9pm-12)?
The parks open at 8am in the summer. Last summer DCA closed at 11pm and DL at midnight. This is why an afternoon nap is helpful (at least for your parents) because getting up at 5am so everyone can get ready in the bathroom and get down for breakfast in time to drive to the parks is really tiring. When we stayed at Embassy we just stayed in the parks all day but then just couldn't stay after 8 or 9pm. We were too tired.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:45 PM   #12
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Honestly, the longest lines I waited in during a day trip in July were the food lines! I think a nice sit-down meal in air conditioning or leaving the park (even for DTD) in the early afternoon would be best for beating the crowds and heat.

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Old 02-28-2013, 07:52 PM   #13
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We went last July and were very worried about crowds. It turned out much better than I expected. Get there before rope drop, afternoon breaks and back in the evening. One morning my daughter and I rode Toy Story Mania multiple times in a row with almost no wait (I think it was like 6 times). I did some posts about our trip if you click my name you can find the links.
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