The Scoop on Grad Nights at DLR in May and June

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by HydroGuy, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    Updated January, 2014

    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/Events/grad-nights.html

    Here are the dates for 2015:

    May 13, 15, 16, 18, 26, 27, 29, 30
    June 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 17, 19

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


    Here were the dates for 2014:

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


    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 and 2014 it was in DCA. In 2015 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 grads 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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  3. lulubelle

    lulubelle <font color=darkorchid><marquee> I am Miss Klutz W

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    Yet another informative and useful thread from you, Hydroguy.:thumbsup2

    Thanks!
     
  4. JustAKid

    JustAKid DIS Veteran

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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. :goodvibes), 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! :sad2:

    Thanks! Once again you've saved the day! :worship:
     
  5. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    I am glad you found that self-reference rather than the ones where I say that HydroGuy is all wet. :goodvibes
     
  6. APX

    APX Mouseketeer

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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. -.-
     
  7. engo

    engo Mouseketeer

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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!!
     
  8. S. S. Columbia

    S. S. Columbia DIS Veteran

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    Great thread, HydroGuy!

    I have one minor nitpick. :goodvibes

    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. :confused3)

    Hope this helps. :earsboy:
     
  9. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    Thanks SSC for the extra info.
     
  10. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    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. :scared1:
     
  11. JustAKid

    JustAKid DIS Veteran

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    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 :rotfl:, *I'LL* be able to see them!!! Every other day I'll be back at the hotel).
     
  12. VallCopen

    VallCopen VGC Lover

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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.:eek: 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? :confused3 Thanks.
     
  13. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

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    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.
     
  14. Disney Dreams

    Disney Dreams Proudly afflicted with TDMA!

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    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.

    - Dreams
     
  15. Mrs. Toaster

    Mrs. Toaster Mouseketeer

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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!
     
  16. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    :goodvibes
     
  17. tkitty

    tkitty DIS Veteran

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    I did Grad night 1976 and 1973 (jr hi)! My favorite part of graduation.:goodvibes
    But I'm glad that I'll miss it on our May trip this year...
     
  18. Timchat2

    Timchat2 Mouseketeer

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    During the regular operating hours before a Grad Nite, are there any temporary stages, lighting, speakers, etc. set up around the park? Or, kind of like the hard-ticket after-hours events at WDW's Magic Kingdom, is there a lack of any evidence that a Grad Nite is even going on that evening at all other than the earlier closing time?
     
  19. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

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    I do not know the answer. I have never been to DLR during regular hours of grad night and when I did the actual grad night it was a long time ago...:scared1:

    I do remember there was lots of music for grad night - Kool and the Gang was there and sang "Celebration" - and thus Disney needs stages for music. However, the days before and after the grad night will be normal operation for shows, etc. So if they were to make changes to support grad night it would have to be things easily moved or removed.

    I strongly suspect you would not see much or any evidence of the grad night. Hopefully others who have gone during regular hours in recent years can help here. :)
     
  20. liesel

    liesel DIS Veteran

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    We were there June 10 2009 (a wed) during regular park hours and did not see any grad nite evidence other than people lining up outside the gates when we departed at 9:30 PM. We boarded the train at main street a little after 9 for the last round trip around the park, which was nice to see the park so quiet. It was a fun way to end the day. DCA closed at 6PM, but they were not as forceful about making people leave immediately as DL. I recommend going on a grad nite because less locals come in after work and many others are put off going due to the shorter park hours and you can get a nice full day in from 8AM to 9PM. Just go to DCA before it closes and end your day at DL.
     
  21. TeamTnC

    TeamTnC Mouseketeer

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    Hello Hydro Guy. Not sure if you will remember me or not, but I meet you as you were entering the park with your kids back in 2005. We were waiting in line for MM. Anyways, thank you for all your input on these boards. You have become quite an expert so to speak, LOL. We went back to DL in 8/07 and are planning a trip now 6/12-6/17. This is the first time we are staying at HOJO's, DL facing room.

    Anyways, here is my questions since two of these Grad nights will directly affect us. This is the first time we are going in June, is the park not open to midnight until later June typically? Now that the kids are older we should be able to stay later and Wed. is our last day in the park. But, now I see it is a grad night which means an earlier closing time. We arrive on Saturday the 12th, so maybe we should start our three days in the park on Sunday and not go on Wednesday then instead. We fly home on Thursday so no big deal there. How would you do it?

    Tom
     

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