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Old 02-17-2014, 10:19 PM   #1
StephL
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Fireworks - worth the crowds?

Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster

We are going to Disneyland for the first time the week of March 3rd. Fireworks will only be playing on the Friday night while we are there. We purchased 3-day one park per day tickets, and plan to go to DL on Monday, DCA on Tuesday, tour around LA/Anaheim on Wednesday, and then we have a choice.....

Head back to the park on Thursday, and simply watch the fireworks from an off-site location on Friday night.... OR .... go to DL on the Friday and brave the crowds, but get to see the fireworks as they were intended.

We're travelling with a 5 year old and a 21 month old.

Any advice would be appreciated! Are they worth it? TouringPlans has DL as quite busy on the Friday, but pretty clear for the preceding days of the week.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephL View Post
Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster

We are going to Disneyland for the first time the week of March 3rd. Fireworks will only be playing on the Friday night while we are there. We purchased 3-day one park per day tickets, and plan to go to DL on Monday, DCA on Tuesday, tour around LA/Anaheim on Wednesday, and then we have a choice.....

Head back to the park on Thursday, and simply watch the fireworks from an off-site location on Friday night.... OR .... go to DL on the Friday and brave the crowds, but get to see the fireworks as they were intended.

We're travelling with a 5 year old and a 21 month old.

Any advice would be appreciated! Are they worth it? TouringPlans has DL as quite busy on the Friday, but pretty clear for the preceding days of the week.
The fireworks are great but I'd watch them from my hotel if I was there with kids that age. They're not worth a grumpy 5 year old, IMHO
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:34 PM   #3
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Absolutely yes! They are worth it. For us, no Disney trip can be complete without Disney Fireworks! Isn't only the actual fireworks, it's the music playing on those awesome sound systems, the ambience, etc. Actually I would pay full price ticket just for a Disney fireworks show. Simply you can't get this show from outside the park.

I think that in your case, the fireworks would be a wonderful way to close your first trip to Disney. We usually try to schedule fireworks for our last day (even if we saw then some day before). It's our perfect way to say goodbye and see you soon to Disney :D I'm sure we are not alone doing this.

Good luck and enjoy your trip!
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:19 PM   #4
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My first response is to say watch from inside the park. It's one of the best parts of the day at Disney. With that being said, how does your 5-year-old handle fireworks? I've had a couple of trips where one of our girls were really upset by the sound and had to duck in a store and miss the whole thing. Kind of a bummer.

If the older one is frightened by loud noises, I would say maybe watch from the outskirts (or duck in a store if you don't mind missing the action). Another option I wish I would have known about were noise reduction headphones. I've seen kids wear those at the parks and thought it would be worth the hassle of hauling around to watch the fireworks.

If he/she is not bothered by the noise, definitely stay inside and watch! If anything both may be exhausted and asleep, and you can just revel in the magic.

ETA: As to the crowds, we usually park ourselves towards the end/beginning (?) of main street closer to the Emporium. The view isn't the best; consequently, it's less crowded. Fine by me because the view is still a nice one even if it is not prime.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:54 PM   #5
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For us the fireworks from the hub/main st is an integral part of our trip so we would (our kids are currently 2&4 and we have done it each trip however they are on a very different time zone and happy to be awake late)
You can see them from outside the park but it is not the same, you miss so much.
When our oldest was just shy of 3 the noise terrified her so we bring in headphones (like you would wear when lawn mowing) so they can be worn if people are frightened by the noise.
If it is in the budget you could upgrade to a 4 day hopper for $25 a person and go in the evening for the fireworks and a couple of rides....
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:03 AM   #6
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If financing are not a big issue - then I'd suggest getting the 4 day ticket if you could. Then you could enjoy the lower crowd levels on Thursday and if all you wanted to do was go in Friday morning for some rides and then leave and return for the fireworks in the evening, it would likely not be so bad.

My second question is - are you going to use the MM that comes with your 3 day ticket? That can get you some great low crowd time, especially in Fantasyland with kids that young. If you are planning on using it, it is only valid Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.

By the way, we will be there the same time, hoping you are right about the week days being un-crazy!
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:11 AM   #7
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I'm going the same dates as you but coming in Sunday afternoon so we can see them Sunday night and then mon, tues, wed in the parks. I've never seen them before so I planned out trip so we could this year.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:12 AM   #8
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I love the fireworks at Disneyland and they are one of my favorite parts of a trip to the park. You can see a lot of the show from outside of the park (the fireworks themselves), but you'll miss out on the effects on the castle (including some low level fireworks and castle projections). Under most circumstances, I'd say that seeing fireworks is a "must do" for a trip.

However, in your case, I would consider a couple of things:
  • As others have said, how well do you children handle fireworks and crowds? The fireworks bursts are loud (this can be some alleviated if you use earplugs or muffs) and there will be crowds.
  • What do you plan to do during the day? Friday crowds will be higher than Thursday crowds, but it's still a work day/weekday. Based on what I've read by HydroGuy (and my own experiences), I wouldn't put too much emphasis on TouringPlans at DL. I think you'll be okay during the day, but crowds will pick up in late afternoon/evenings. If you're rope drop people, you'll still get a lot done before the crowds arrive.
  • Finally, if the only reason you're going to go Friday is the fireworks, it's worth noting the fireworks are often cancelled at DL due to weather. High winds in the upper levels will cause fireworks cancellations with little to no warning. When I was there in December, fireworks were cancelled two out four nights of my trip. The weather at ground level might seem great, but if it's windy higher up the show will be cancelled.

I guess, if you have other reasons to go on Friday, then I'd go on Friday and hope for the best in terms of fireworks. If fireworks are your only reason to go on Friday and everything else says to go on Thursday, I'd probably go on Thursday and find an off site location to watch the show from on Friday.

HydroGuy's take on TouringPlans: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3196851
HydroGuy's Fireworks Rule: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199851
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:56 AM   #9
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I wouldn't just go for the fireworks with kids that age. I have a 5 yr old and an 18 month old. We tried to do the same thing a few months ago and the kids were wiped out by the time we got to the end of the trip and the younger one wouldn't stop screaming when we got in the park. Had to turn around and leave. If you do go, my favorite spots with kids are on the train platform and where they rope off the walkway in front of the camera shop. Then the kids can see. Just ask a CM where the ropes go.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:07 AM   #10
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If you don't go in the parks Friday, a nice spot to watch is sitting on the pavers between the parks. The view might not be the best, but you can hear the soundtrack. We saw lots of people doing this last August (people passing through or who just left DCA and either didn't have a park hopper pass or knew they couldn't get in and find a spot to sit down to view the fireworks).

When our kids were 5 1/2 and 23 months we stayed up to see the Electrical Parade in DCA, but I recorded that we went back to the hotel all the other nights a few rides after dinner.

Last August we were there with our 24 month old nephew and he fell asleep before the fireworks started every night. Touring DL is exhausting, even if you ride in a stroller all day.

If your kids get tired and this isn't the only time you'll ever visit Disneyland, then don't feel bad about going to the parks Thursday when the crowds are lower and see the fireworks next time. They are magical, but only if you're awake to see them and not over-tired and grumpy.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:14 AM   #11
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I agree with the previous poster that said to upgrade to a 4 day ticket for the best of both worlds, it's only $21 more, you'll get a lot more done on a Thursday with smaller crowds and the Disneyland fireworks are absolutely amazing and a must see.

The music and theme songs are an integral part for me and they also shoot some of the fireworks from the buildings surrounding the hub so by watching from the park you are completely surrounded by fireworks at times, it's awesome.
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Old 02-18-2014, 01:27 AM   #12
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The fireworks are AMAZING and worth being in the park.
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Old 02-18-2014, 10:57 AM   #13
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I'm a rare breed who isn't impressed with fireworks. Yes they are pretty and everything and its nice at DL, but to me... ehhh I'd rather take that time to do rides. I see fireworks like that every year on 7/4, so its not a big deal to me. So personally I'd say skip the crowd. DS was 5 when we went last time. He liked them, but got bored after a few minutes.
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:12 PM   #14
StephL
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Thank you all for your advice!

My 5 year old has seen fireworks up fairly close before, at a fireworks festival last year, and did pretty well with them (wasn't bothered by the noise, etc). The little one didn't realize fireworks were actually happening....lol

They are usually pretty good about staying awake late on the odd occasion that it has happened, but I imagine they'll be pretty tired by the end of that week!

We will be at our hotel on the Sunday evening (checking in, then having dinner at Goofy's Kitchen to take in some Disney without being in the parks!), so maybe what we'll do is wander over to the pavers between the parks and catch the fireworks that first night. Then if the kids are just not going to make it on the Friday, or the weather is bad, at least we'll have 'seen' them and not feel pressured to go back on the Friday.

I really can't imagine NOT seeing them in the park, as it is such an iconic part of the Disney experience (they show fireworks bursting above the castle during every Disney film!!), and I teared up watching them on YouTube last night....so I think we'll end up going
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:17 PM   #15
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We watch from the end of Main Street, just past the Emporium. When they are over, we just walk out ahead of the crowd.
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