How bad is July really?

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by jimandami, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. jimandami

    jimandami DIS Veteran

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    Hi all! We are WDW regulars but have never been to DL. Next year, we have the choice of attending a work conference either in July at DL or in early Dec at WDW. This trip would be our big family trip for the year so we can only do one or the other. For a little background, DH and I have a DS8 and DD3 so they would be 4 and 9 at the time of the trip. We have been to WDW probably 8-9 times in the last 5-6 years and we absolutely love it. We do want to experience DL at least once so this seems like a great time, but the thing that is making me hesitate is that the DL conference is in July. We are a non-peak time family (always take the kids out of school for a week so we can go at non-peak times) and truthfully, our trip this Sept to WDW was pushing it as far as crowds go. So, how busy is DL in July? I mean, I know it will be busy, but are we talking 90-120 minute waits for everything? Or is it doable if you get up early, hit rope drop and use fastpasses? Any info or personal stories would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Ami

    ETA: The conference is at the Disneyland Hotel, with a conference rate of $174 so a pretty good deal!
     
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  3. Butterfly123

    Butterfly123 DIS Veteran

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    We have been on one late June trip, twice in July, and numerous times in April. July is busy, but not nearly as bad as you might think. You have it exactly right...start first thing at opening, use the fastpass system, plan a rest at peak times, and enjoy the evening entertainment refreshed. We went many Aprils so the kids could have a fun mid-year break, but April is a very busy time now!. And with everyone older and on a different schedule, summer is now our time to go. And you know what? I love it, and wouldn't change back. The weather is beautiful, the hours are great, I don't think we waited more than half an hour for anything on our last four day trip. And with staying at a resort hotel, you"ll have early entry to the parks to take advantage of. So you should go for it, and I'm sure you'll have a great time!
     
  4. jimandami

    jimandami DIS Veteran

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    Thank you so much!
     
  5. mouseymommy

    mouseymommy <font color=purple>I love the smell of Pirates<br>

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    I agree with the PP. We were there in July and I thought it was great. I really hate crowds, and I was not bothered by them in July at all. Now our trip in October during Gay Days, Columbus Day, and Fall Break, was really difficult!
     
  6. gunka

    gunka DIS Veteran

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    Staying on property in July is not that bad - during the week. Especially staying at the DL Hotel. You can use the monorail to get in and out of the park very easily. I would suggest going as early as possible and then spending the heat of the day back at the hotel pool and then re-entering after you have cooled off and are refreshed. You will see plenty of people hot and red faced and you will be energized and ready to go :cool1:
     
  7. jimandami

    jimandami DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the info everyone! I think we may give it a shot!
     
  8. Priory

    Priory DIS Veteran

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    This year may have been a special circumstance but my July trip was one of the best ever. I guess all of the crowds were packed into Cars Land because the rest of DCA and Disneyland park were a dream. Low crowds, short waits, it was great. This was on a Friday Saturday Sunday too. I was hoping that the new DCA had changed crowd patterns permanently but when I went back in October it was horribly crowded again everywhere. Who knows what next July will be like but this past July was fantastic.
     
  9. rramstad

    rramstad Mouseketeer

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    July 2012 was great for us, we made a couple of tactical strikes into CarsLand but the rest of both parks was generally very uncrowded, considering.

    I love the weather, full entertainment schedules, opening at 8 AM closing midnight... taking breaks in the middle of the day, fast passes, getting there super early, zig when others zag, it's very doable.

    July 2011 was a bit more crowded overall because there wasn't the super attraction of CL to draw thousands away... but it was still manageable.

    I'd think the first week in December might be problematic by comparison actually as most passes are unblocked and with the holiday decorations up and it being post Thanksgiving and pre Christmas... I'd expect crowds, short operating hours, iffy weather... no thanks.
     
  10. jimandami

    jimandami DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the info! The Dec trip would be WDW and that week has traditionally had low crowds plus the bonus of Christmas stuff! The downside is the potential for no pool weather!
     
  11. Disneylovers2000

    Disneylovers2000 DIS Veteran

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    We went in July 2011 and had a wonderful trip. We had a 7 day hopper pass and found it to be great. We didn't find lines to be much longer than 40mins mostly except for Star Tours as it was newly opened!
    I fully agree with rramstad:
    "I love the weather, full entertainment schedules, opening at 8 AM closing midnight... taking breaks in the middle of the day, fast passes, getting there super early, zig when others zag, it's very doable."
    We loved it so much, we are doing it again in 2013!!
     
  12. bibbidibobbidibecky

    bibbidibobbidibecky The Fairy Godblogger

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    We also are WDW vets and visited DL for the first time last July. I have always said I wouldn't go to a Disney Park in the summer at all, but we had to! And it was fine! Feel free to read my trip report, follow the link in my signature and then go to the Disneyland section. We also stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and it was so wonderful!

    When we were there they had the extra magic hour for resort guests and this was so perfect. It was amazing how much we got done in that first hour!

    Have fun! It's quite a different experience from WDW.
     
  13. LisainCalifornia

    LisainCalifornia DIS Veteran

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    We have gone every summer for the last 12 years or so. The last 5 years, that has been both June and July. June is a little less hot and crowded than July, but it is still great! And I am not one to say that unless it is true. I went Thanksgiving week (Sun-Wed) a few years ago, and NEVER again. I will be happy to tell you that horror story, but won't bore you. Very crowded beyond all reason type thing. Same with Spring break travel. In the summer it is more spread out throughout the summer, so the crowds are not that bad. The heat is often very bareable, and very little humidity to speak of. I love Disneyland in the summer, and will always be up for a June and July trip!:thumbsup2
     
  14. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    "How bad is July really?"

    Sorry, you must be on the wrong forum. In Orlando July is unbearable.

    But this is the DLR forum. And July (and August) are my favorite time to visit DLR. So for me July is not only not bad, it is the best.

    In addition, don't be so quick to assume DLR is like WDW. It isn't. And it is.

    Offseason at DLR works differently than WDW and if you try too hard to miss the crowds at DLR you will likely miss a lot a more than crowds.

    See "What You Should Know About Off-Season at DLR" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=18462889
     
  15. Thundergod

    Thundergod Mouseketeer

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    the last three years we have gone in July and though it's busy and kinda frustrating it didn't make it any less magical.
     
  16. wbl2745

    wbl2745 <font color=blue>I've gone over to the Silly Symph

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    One of the big differences between Orlando and Anaheim is that Anaheim is a lot dryer than Orlando. If you get wet (Splash Mountain, Grizzly River...) you'll actually dry off. The heat is not as oppressive as in Florida.
     
  17. tiggerguy2000

    tiggerguy2000 Disney Veteran<br><font color=green>Isn't worried

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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.
     
  18. Love Tink

    Love Tink DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  19. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    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. :)

    :wizard:
     
  20. cfrith5

    cfrith5 Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  21. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

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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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