1st DL Trip- Aug or Sept?

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by herb102211, May 14, 2012.

  1. herb102211

    herb102211 DIS Veteran

    Mar 4, 2011
    DH and I are planning our first trip to DL later this summer. We have 3 weeks that we can go but are wondering which of the 3 would be the least crowded

    August 25-29
    September 5-9
    September 14-18

    Also, when does DL begin decorating for Halloween?

    We always stay on property in WDW as we are DVC members, but VGC are sold out for all 3 of our weeks. Is it worth it to pay OOP for either the DL Hotel or the Grand Californian? We were also looking at one of the good neighbor hotels, Candy Cane Inn (any reviews?).

    Thanks for your help!
  2. blackjackdelta

    blackjackdelta <font color=darkorchid>Uncle had an "in" with Walt

    Jul 23, 2005
    I would go the 14-18th. It is worth it to us to stay at the Grand, but for many people it is not. We always go in August before the SoCal passes unblock manly due to our always changing work schedules. We could not get into the DVC this year even at 7 months out.

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  4. specialks

    specialks Quickly becoming a Disney addict!

    Apr 22, 2009
    My guess is the least busy will be Sept 5-9, HOWEVER you'll take a big trade off for those low crowds with short park hours, ride closures, and limited shows.
    I'm taking a guess that Aug 25-29 would be the next least busy??
    Sept 14th will be the opening day for Halloween season at the DLR. That will make it a fun time to visit (HM will be open with the HMHoliday overlay and SpaceM will be open as Ghost Galaxy). However, there will be an influx of increased crowds as some local AP holders (some are blocked Sun and/or Sat) come to get a look at Halloweentime decor (especially what will be new in CarsLand). However, my own guess would be that the 17th and 18th would be nice crowd park days. But, these are all just guesses.
  5. ZanderMan

    ZanderMan Mouseketeer

    Sep 14, 2011
    September 14-18 IMO would be best. Crowds levels are fairly lowest kids are back in school. Only down side some or one of the major attactions might be getting rehab for the upcoming busy season. Good luck!
  6. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2005
    First, read this thread:

    "Choosing When To Visit DLR: Summary of High and Low Season and When Each Happens" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=36509602

    FYI, HalloweenTime starts Sept 14 this year:


    Once you decide what is more important to you - longer hours and entertainment and less refurbs - or lower crowds - then that will help you decide dates.

    If you want lowest crowds then Sept 5-9 is the best choice and Aug 25-29 is the worst.

    If you want more rides operating and more entertainment options and longer hours then Aug 25-29 is best and Sept 5-9 is worst (there will be lots of rides down during that time as it is right after Labor Day weekend - the week after Labor Day and the week after New Years are probably the worst weeks for refurbs - expect 2-3 major rides down that week and several minor rides).

    Every year folks come on the forum who say they value low crowds most and refurbs are not that important. Then when the date of their trip approaches and they see all the refurbs they come back to say they had no idea that so many rides would be down during their trip and how disappointed they are. So be careful in how you choose priorities.

    Sept 14-18 will be kind of in the middle on crowds and refurbs but will let you see Halloweentime. So that may be good or bad depending on what is important to you.


  7. wannagoback

    wannagoback Mouseketeer

    Jun 23, 2008
    We went Sept 14-19 last year and it was perfect! The weather was fantastic and the wait times were even better on Wednesday and Thursday. I was really worried about it becoming busy over the weekend with the launch of the Halloween season. It was busy but not crazy. If you want to see the seasonal decorations, go for it! Otherwise, I would pick Sept 5-9. I, personally, would not go in August unless it was my only choice.
  8. Maddysdaddy

    Maddysdaddy DIS Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    For what it's worth, my family always travels to DL mid-late September. Yes, a few rides may be down, but the trade-off of minimal waits for the balance of the rides is more than worth it.

    I guess the question is whether you want:
    1. all the rides open, but get to ride fewer of them in a day due to lengthy wait times; or,
    2. have a few rides closed for refurbs, but spend most of your day actually on rides rather than waiting in line?

    I love DL, but don't think I would love it as much if I had to wait more than 10 minutes to get on a ride.

    Whichever week you choose, you should waitlist VGC. If nothing comes up, they always seem to have availability if you decide to use your points at the DLH (and I guess you can use them at GCH now too).
  9. mystic_path

    mystic_path DIS Veteran

    Jun 19, 2006
    A friend of mine goes each year during the last week of August with her family as they find this the perfect time to go. Yes the AP will no longer be blacked out, but she says the crowds are fine. Very manageable. She finds the last week to be laid back compared to peak summer crowds. She said some years are a tad bit busier then others, but even at that the wait times are very manageable and not overwhelmingly long. She also likes the fact that the park hours are longer, which gives you more time to just relax and take things in at a slower pace not having to rush and cram it all in while dealing with lines. PLUS the weather is great. Sunny, warm and perfect for that afternoon swim and rest. Another addition is that you will just miss the refurbs such as the haunted mansion or space mountain going down for the Halloween overlay. Take in mind tho that this year with Cars land and BVS opening and the black out AP holders wanting to see the new park additions, it will be hard to say what the crowd levels are going to be like. I am going at the end of August for the first time at this time of year and taking my chances.

    September I hear the first few weeks are amazing time to go as crowds diminish quite a bit due to schools being back in, but you will be getting shorter park hours and will be hitting the refurb rides. However you will be seeing some Halloween decorations going up around the park.
  10. Echo queen

    Echo queen <font color=darkcoral>I like the idea of being clo

    Feb 18, 2005
    I'm considering August 20 to 25, are there any schduled reburbs at that time? Are the open hours still long? It sounds like the weather is nice.

  11. SomeDude78

    SomeDude78 Mouseketeer

    Dec 12, 2011
    +1 vote for Sept. 14-18 here. The park is nice that time of year and so is the weather.

    For a first trip I'd say DLH or GCH are worth it. Depends how often you plan on getting out there ... if it's not often, then my general lean for vacations is to spend the money and don't worry about it. Money will come back around but time never will...

    I personally like DLH over GCH but lots feel the opposite. You can't lose either way, go for it!
  12. Feistygirl916

    Feistygirl916 Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way

    Sep 11, 2007
    I would also vote for the mid-September trip :thumbsup2

    Crowds are AWESOME in September, you get a chance to see some Halloween decorations, and the weather is amazing.

    As for hotels, the Candy Cane Inn is really nice, super close and no crossing major streets, and includes breakfast (last time I checked), but if you have more than 3 people in the room, it can be a bit stuffy. I would HIGHLY suggest staying at the HoJo, which is also really nice (albeit doesn't include a breakfast), and the rooms are HUGE! Getting an AP or ENT rate would also be a bonus :thumbsup2
  13. 3Minnies1Mickey

    3Minnies1Mickey <font color=magenta>Just wanted to add, this is no

    Apr 8, 2009
    No scheduled refurbs but the SoCal passes come back after being blocked all summer starting the 20th! :scared1:
  14. DisneytheKid

    DisneytheKid A bad attempt at Billy the Kid

    Aug 23, 2011
    I would definitely do the 14th-18th. The crowd levels should be much lower. I would just say check before hand for possible ride closures. Have a great trip!

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