Grad nights - are they really that bad?

kikismom

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
I have been going through old threads and doing a lot of online research regarding grad nights. My question is are they really that bad? I've been to Disneyland on days it's reached capacity, I feel like that would be way worse.

I'll be there by myself with two 7 year olds if that makes any difference. Based on research it looks like there might be two grad nights during our four day trip, we will be in the parks at least three full days possibly four. I'm trying to decide if we should do four full days at DL or three days and a day at Knott's.

Was anyone there during grad nights this year? If so how was it?
 

midnight star

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
I think it depends how people perceive it. I went in May on a Saturday during a grad night. It wasn’t that bad. Just be prepared for a lot of teenagers. They will be loud, and somewhat annoying, but I’m sure I seemed annoying as a teenager to adults lol. Some had questionable behavior but overall, it was fine. I noticed that fastpasses were easy to get on that day, but lines were very long. I think they’re more likely to wait hours in the lines vs regular guests who use the fastpass system.
 

Skyegirl1999

1st pickle of the day!
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Sometimes I’m there on a grad night and can hardly tell. Sometimes it’s noticeably crowded, with packs of graduates all over. If it’s an already-crowded day, the grads showing up all afternoon and evening can push it to a tipping point of “uncomfortably crowded.”

They’re basically never there for rope drop since they’re getting bussed in and all that, and they don’t seem to use FP much. Overall, I don’t think that “grad night” is a consistent prediction metric, and now that there are difference price tiers and options and all of that, it often doesn’t make a noticeable difference at DL itself.
 
  • tarheelalum

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2013
    Honestly they are not that bad. They are kids and sometimes act stupid like kids do but in my experience it is not nearly as bad as people say. They will say the entire speech in the stretching room of the haunted mansion and scream a lot but thats what kids do. Plus Disneyland is trying their best price them out so go and have a great time.
     

    WonkaKid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2009
    ...Some had questionable behavior but overall, it was fine.
    Anytime I've been to a grad night, there's always been at least one kid/teen in attendance who's on... something and behaves inappropriately. I understand that security has to eject more people than average on such days but I'll check to verify that in a few days.
     

    tsumgirl

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2019
    I attended one grad night on my vacation earlier this year. I agree with @Skyegirl1999. The grads mainly started showing up in the early afternoon and evening, so I planned my day to leave in the late afternoon. The grads I encountered weren't that bad....they were just really excited to be there. It did help that most of the afternoon groups I saw had chaperones present, which isn't always the case. Just be prepared for a lot more teenagers than families, which can create a different atmosphere, and be aware that your kids may hear a bit more swearing than they normally do. Go in with a positive attitude and you'll have a great day no matter what!
     

    kikismom

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 15, 2019
    Thanks for all the replies! I'm not going to move my trip out then. I've been itching to go back and finally decided to book a trip for the day after my daughter gets out of first grade this next school year.
     
  • Where's Wall-E

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 19, 2017
    Honestly they are not that bad. They are kids and sometimes act stupid like kids do but in my experience it is not nearly as bad as people say. They will say the entire speech in the stretching room of the haunted mansion and scream a lot but thats what kids do. Plus Disneyland is trying their best price them out so go and have a great time.
    To be fair, a ton of adults recite the entire stretching room speech too. ;)

    We've been once during a Grad Night. They do tend to be louder on rides (and do things like take flash photos during HW). We started scouting the line if we could and spacing ourselves around more families/adults. It was honestly fine, and I am one who gets annoyed by bratty behaviour quite easily.
     

    midnight star

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2017
    Another thing. Even if there isn't a scheduled grad night, there can still be a ton of teens, students, and groups all over because many people take end of the year trips. I remember going on a non grad night and overheard a couple behind me in line mention that they triple checked the grad night schedule, and were confused as to why there were still so many kids and groups around.
     

    Indiana Scott

    Bothell Washington
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2009
    Depends on how other peoples obnoxious behavier affects you. For us, it kills the magic and we'll never do it again.
     

    momtohms

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2012
    When we went for a week in 2015, there were a few grad nights during our trip and other than a noticeable increase in groups of HS aged kids - it wasn’t a problem. We didn’t witness any inappropriate or overly rowdy behavior and it didn’t seem to add much to crowd levels. Though we were there the first full week of the 60th celebration so it was already pretty crowded to begin with :)

    We were also there for the Bat day (goth day) and we witnessed several rude groups of people then though. And these were all young adults doing things like standing around blocking walkways, swearing, etc. It certainly wasn’t everyone there participating, but we for sure saw the worst behavior that day over any of the grad night days
     
  • StarGirl11

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2012
    I was in CA for 5 days in May and I know at least two of them were grad nights. Honestly they didn't bother me much behavior wise. But it was hard to miss the crowd jumps in the late afternoons and that sometimes did get to me because I would start with it being one way and then it would be anoter.
     

    cmpeter

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2003
    There was one on our last visit this past May. Other than the lines of busses we passed in the Toy Story Lot, I didn’t notice.
     

    ray3127

    Life goal = Quarterly vacation
    Joined
    Aug 2, 2018
    We scheduled our June 2018 trip without knowing about grad nights. 3 of our 4 days at DLR were grad nights. I agree with others that say it wasn't *too* noticeable. In fact, some of the kids were truly fantastic. But the behavior/language got worse later in the day, and I'm not going to cut my park days short because it's a grad night. We also have a 5 & 1 year old, so I'm a bit more sensitive to poor behavior/language right now. And honestly, it was the language I noticed more than anything (i.e. cursing in conversation without regard to their surroundings).

    My wife and I both teach; I'm not saying all kids are terrible. Like I said, some were awesome. And please know that I understand bad behavior can come from anywhere (like these ridiculous entitled parents with a horde of unruly childre on the Disney Fantasy last February...). But on balance, groups of high school seniors are more susceptible to be less aware of how their actions impact others. I used to teach them (I teach college now), and used to be one myself. For us, it's worth it to travel during a different week and not deal with it.

    On a somewhat different note, I'll also say that on our final night there was a party of some sort set up for the grad night in Cars Land. There was a stage close to one of the big intersections, and it kind of messed with the flow, making it feel more crowded. They also didn't do the Shhh-boom light show, which was a bummer. Not sure how normal/regular that is, but if there's a special grad night event it might interfere with the regular operations? I'm not a local/regular, so I don't know this... maybe we just got unlucky last year.
     

    kikismom

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 15, 2019
    Thanks all for the replies. At this point I'm going to keep the trip booked. We might get lucky and miss the grads. It looks like historically they wrap up by the second week of June. We are leaving the Thursday the second week of June. From what I am reading I only really need to be worried about language. Maybe it will just be a good lesson for them naughty language.

    ETA, I posted top soon. Our first two nights will be grad nights. Not too bad!
     

    kikismom

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 15, 2019
    Okay I changed the trip, just out a few days and I added a day too. Might still be grads and crowds but I'm okay with that. It's nice that DL releases the dates so far in advance.
     

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