Priority is low crowds... thinking September? A few questions

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by disneyhopeful4, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. disneyhopeful4

    disneyhopeful4 Earning My Ears

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    Hi there! This is my first post after reading on here for ages. I am hoping to go back to Disneyland in the next year and have a couple questions....

    1. DH insists on low crowds being #1 priority for him. We are very flexible on dates and I am thinking the week after labor day might be a good time. It's before the Hallowe'en stuff starts and when kids (in my area anyways) are back in school. Are SoCal schools generally back in session by then? Is there a better time anyone can think of?

    2. We are a family of 4 (kids age 5&6). When I look at hotel bookings they always ask the number and ages of children. If we book a hotel based on our family of 4, does it interfere with anything if we decide to bring our 6y/o nephew at the last minute? I have no problems with 3 children those ages sharing a bed, I just wasn't sure if it was against hotel rules to include a 3rd child that wasn't mentioned at the time of booking.

    3. I have heard talk of pincodes... am I able to sign up for the possibility of getting a pincode or do you have had to have previous bookings with DLH or something? I know you won't necessarily ever receive a pincode, but i'd like to try!

    TIA! I am sure I will have more questions but these 3 were bugging me enough that I finally registered so I could post :)
     
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  3. sherilaine

    sherilaine DIS Veteran

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    I would think any time in September after Labour Day would be low crowds, at least for a few weeks after. Although low crowds are not the same as they once were. The weather should still be great that time of year.

    The only down side of off season is shorter hours, potential for higher number of ride closures and shows only playing on weekends.

    I think it would be likely your best bet though if you are looking for as low a crowd level as can be found!
     
  4. disneyhopeful4

    disneyhopeful4 Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for your reply! We are fine with shorter hours, ride closures and less shows, so i'm not too worried about that. DH refuses to go if it's going to be busy so I focus on that. And all the talk about it always being busy is freaking me out lol! At least I can tell him I chose the least busy time! We were at DL in March 2013, and will go back again, so I won't be sad if we miss some stuff. I will be sad if we don't get to go though!
     
  5. FourM's

    FourM's Mouseketeer

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    If you can make your park days Monday- Thursday. That will really help your crowd levels. We go mid September for our anniversary and I find a huge difference between the weekend and weekdays.
     
  6. Kristina4109

    Kristina4109 Rocking my Disney side since 1976

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    Howdy! My opinions:

    1) Heck, yeah. LAUSD is back in school mid August, and I believe OC schools are on a similar schedule - might be they're back a week later, but it's August. Something to be warned about - my daughter's birthday is in September and we've gone a LOT during that month. It has the potential to be nuclear hot. Be prepared!

    2) I believe the only bump in price would be if you brought another ADULT, not a child. Many of the rooms in the 3 DL owned and operated hotels have daybeds, so keep that in mind.

    3) I have had no experience with pin codes but I'll bet some friendly and helpful person will post about that soon...
     
  7. TNDisneyNut

    TNDisneyNut Mouseketeer

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    I am with your DH with the crowds. We always go in September. When the kids were in school I would go over Labor Day. I would rather do three days small crowds than six huge crowds. I never had an issue with the park hours and we always get to see everything. The heat is a bit rough but not like summer! I think you will have a great time! We are doing the 12 through 18 this year. Hopefully we will get free dining!
     
  8. tlovesdis

    tlovesdis <font color=purple>Disneyland Obsessed!!!<br><font

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    I didn't know DL did free dining offers? How in the world did I miss that one???
     
  9. Peace.love.mickey

    Peace.love.mickey DIS Veteran

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    You might want to avoid the Mickey's Halloween party dates!!!
     
  10. crystal1313

    crystal1313 DIS Veteran

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    I've been that time of year and it's great! If you go at that time I don't think the HM and Space Mtn will be closed yet for their Halloween makeovers...but I could be wrong. Typically the Halloween parties don't start until the end of the month. But that could also change.

    I know for the DLR hotels I believe 5 is the max occupancy. We've made reservations there for 4 and then my mom came at the last minute and we added her on the reservation without issue. The off site hotels you would have to check what the max occupancy is. I think some are strict about only being 4 people due to fire regulations.

    I've heard to get pin codes you log into Disneyland website and then place your dates in you want to travel, then they will email you a pin code. I've tried numerous times and its never worked for me. Good luck!!
     
  11. TNDisneyNut

    TNDisneyNut Mouseketeer

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    Oh my goodness! I am so sorry! I wasn't paying attention that you said DL! I apologize!
     
  12. Pastalady

    Pastalady Earning My Ears

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    We went last year sept 26 to oct 1. It was awesome! Low crowds were our priority, as our daughter has autism. We got the GAC, but didn't use it once. Most we waited was 30 minutes in carsland, and otherwise a lot of 5 to 10 min waits. They did have Halloween decor up then which we loved!
     
  13. DizMe

    DizMe <font color=darkorchid>Here we gooooo...<br><font

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    That should be a good time. Just an FYI... Fall Dapper Day is Sept. 12. That weekend is likely to be busy.
     
  14. momjeeps

    momjeeps DIS Veteran

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    Free Dining is just a WDW thing. Doesn't happen for DLR to my knowledge.
     
  15. BayGirl22

    BayGirl22 DIS Veteran

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    We went the week after Labor day in 2012 and the crowd levels were very low. I would recommend arriving on Labor Day and going to the park that night or staying through Saturday so you have Friday night in the parks. That's the only way you'll get the Fireworks and Fantasmic! experience.

    I'd also temper your husband's expectations about crowds. Even in low crowd times there will be many people at DLR. Think 15-30 minute lines instead of hour+. Main street will not be empty, you'll still need to dodge people. You will still need to stake out a spot for F! and Fireworks. There is no longer a no crowd time at DL. Better to set that expectation in advance. I have found however that having a touring plan, taking advantage of rope drop, and following a lot of the advice you'll find here will minimize wait times effectively in low crowd times.
     
  16. GrandBob

    GrandBob Grand events should not go unnoticed

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    OTOH, the OP should be able to get dynamite rates for the onsite hotels then.
     
  17. Dukland

    Dukland A.K.A Mrs. Incredible

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    We are also planning on going mid-week in September. We homeschool so we can go any time. I wanted to go in November but DH doesn't want to wait until then to have vacation.

    When does Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion close for makeovers? Those 2 rides would be on our must do list and we don't want to miss them. I know my 10 year old, especially, is already talking about riding Space Mountain with me. I didn't realize it got a Halloween makeover. I thought it was just the Haunted Mansion.

    I've always insisted on 5 days, when we went in the summer. DH says only 3 days this time. Can we do it all, multiple times, in just 3 days in September? We haven't been since the summer they opened the Toy Story ride in CA.

    To the OP, we found Fastpass helped us a lot in avoiding crowds during the summer. The best strategy is to be at the park at opening, collect Fastpasses and ride rides, then take a break somewhere in the afternoon for lunch. That's when it's most crowded. Then when the parks are thinning out a little, go back and use the Fastpasses.

    But like I said, I haven't been here in a few years. I don't know if that is still the best strategy.
     
  18. sunflare

    sunflare Mouseketeer

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    FYI, fastpass times are now being enforced, so that strategy will no longer work.
     
  19. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    HM goes down in late August for 2 1/2 weeks to add its holiday overlay. It re-opens as HMH in mid-Sept on a Friday at the beginning of HalloweenTime. It remains as HMH until early-mid January. I greatly prefer the normal HM.

    SM goes down for about four days the week preceding HalloweenTime (so roughly the second week of Sept.) to prepare for Ghost Galaxy. It stays as GG until right after Halloween (like Nov 1 or 2) at which point it goes down for a couple days to remove the overlay. It is back to its normal self around Nov 4. I like GG but not as much as the regular SM.

    If you and your child like the normal Space Mtn as much I do then go after Nov 4 or before about Sept 7.

    Hard to say. A summer trip now really requires four days to "do it all" even though you will not really do it all. You can do most everything you want int hat time.

    In Sept it is hard to say. If you go mid-week most of the entertainment will be reduced and many rides will be udder refurb. So three days may be enough just because you can't do as much with less being available. Three days will work better especially on week days.


    It is not since they started enforcing FP windows in early 2013. Yes by all means get FPs. But they do not work as well when trying to plan afternoon breaks.

    :wizard:
     
  20. chrisgeronimo21

    chrisgeronimo21 Earning My Ears

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    In 2012 we went September 12-16. Even though it's September, doesn't mean it won't be scorching hot. I think when we went it was mid 90s almost the entire time.

    Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain were already converted into their respective Halloween counterparts (kind of a bummer because as much as I like the Nightmare Before Christmas, and Ghost Galaxy... I don't think that they compare to the original rides). Indiana Jones was also down for refurbishment.

    As far as crowds go... There were still crowds, especially on that Saturday (9/15). We still had to stake out a spot a few hours before the Fantasmic! Show. But September crowds are easier to manage than summer crowds.

    The longest standby wait time we had I believe was 50-60 and that was for the brand new Radiator Springs Racers. Fastpasses for that were gone by 10:00/11:00am. Ghost Galaxy had some pretty long lines. But everything else was fairly manageable.

    Regardless. Despite the heat, September is an awesome time to visit DLR... Well. I guess for us Disney fanatics there never is not an awesome to go see Mickey. Haha.
     
  21. WillowHaven

    WillowHaven Earning My Ears

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    To try and get a pincode, I would suggest ordering their free planning DVD. I did that and we have a Disney Visa and I got a pincode offer a while back. I figure it was because of one of those things. pixiedust:
     

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