June 27 - July 5 : I hope your trip has low crowds too. :)

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by S. S. Columbia, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. S. S. Columbia

    S. S. Columbia DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2007
    Thank you, DISers. :goodvibes

    We visited DL/DCA from Saturday (June 27) to Sunday (July 5), with 6-day parkhoppers.

    I thought we were supposed to avoid weekends at DLR? :)
    Both Sundays of our trip (June 28 and July 5) had surprisingly low crowd levels.
    And there wasn’t a single moment during our entire trip where we saw crazy crowds.

    Enchanted Tiki Room
    It was nice to see the original. Last year at MK we saw the Iago version. :upsidedow
    The lines to buy Dole Whips are much shorter on the Tiki Room side (and not the
    Adventureland side), and you can take the Dole Whip into the Enchanted Tiki Room
    if you want to.

    Aladdin’s Oasis
    Aladdin’s Oasis was being used as a Meet & Greet for Jasmine and Aladdin.
    (With a PhotoPass photographer.)

    Electrical Parade
    We enjoyed it! They supposedly made changes to the soundtrack,
    but it still sounded good to me.

    Haunted Mansion
    Madame Leota’s head was stationary.
    At least it makes it easier to videotape her.

    Magic Morning
    Magic Morning on Thursday (July 2) was super. We arrived at the security tent
    at 6:30am, and the MM had low crowds. Peter Pan was a walk on, and we waited
    half a cycle for Dumbo. Then we visited Alice, Matterhorn (TL-side), Mad Tea
    Party, Mr. Toad, Pinocchio, and the King Arthur Carrousel. (Snow White was still
    down for refurb that day -- otherwise we visited every Fantasyland attraction
    that was available during MM.) When the rest of DL opened at 8:00am, we first
    rode Casey Jr., then we only waited a few minutes for Storybook (because we
    missed the first boats of the day). And then we went to IASW and we had our
    own boat. We entered ToonTown when it opened at 9:00am, and (after waiting
    a couple of minutes) Mickey greeted us at the front door of his house for autographs
    and photos – although there was no PhotoPass photographer. We walked on to
    Gadget’s Go Coaster, and we walked on to Roger Rabbit twice. DL was nice and
    cool at 7:00am, even in the summertime.

    Billy Hill
    We finally saw the Billy Hill show! It’s a fun show, and the Golden Horseshoe
    is a nice place to cool down in the summertime. We went to the 2:35pm show. When we
    arrived about 30 minutes early there were plenty of seats, but I observed that
    most seats were taken about 15 minutes before the show started. We saw the
    show again on Sunday (July 5) –a very slow day -- and some tables were still available
    at show time. The GH seemed to be two-thirds full, but Billy Hill seemed a bit embarrassed
    that the show wasn’t completely full.

    The Billy Hill show’s schedule wasn’t included in the Times Guide, but its show times
    are 11:15am, 1:00pm, 2:35pm, 4:00pm, and 5:15pm.

    Pixie Hollow
    On Thursday (June 2), Pixie Hollow only had a 30 minute wait at 12:30pm.
    DD6 met Fawn and Tink, and they were very friendly.

    Pixie Hollow at night
    Pixie Hollow at night: “Meh.” Maybe I missed something, but IMO Pixie Hollow at night
    had nothing “-tastic” about it – it was just some colored fountains. I’m glad they
    did it, but to include it with the new flying Dumbo and the (alleged) new 40-foot
    Fantasmic Dragon seems like Marketing Gone Wild.

    Breakfast in DL
    We had breakfast at the Carnation Café. The computer was down when we checked-
    in for our 10:00am PSs, but we were still able to be seated in a few minutes.
    And it was a pleasure to meet Oscar again.

    We also had breakfast at the River Belle Terrace at 9:30 one morning.
    Gotta have some Mickey Mouse pancakes. :) And we also ordered the Mark Twain.
    It was a slow morning, so having breakfast at the RBT was really easy.
    The outdoor seating at the RBT has a great view of Frontierland and New Orleans Square.

    Blue Bayou
    On Sunday (June 28), our PS time for Blue Bayou was 11:30am.
    I checked-in at the front of the restaurant at 11:20am.
    I politely asked for a Waterside Table, and it worked out very well.
    I enjoyed the Monte Cristo, even though I couldn’t finish it.
    DS7 and DD6 had the roast beef from the children’s menu.
    And they loved the Cookie Boat dessert.
    The Blue Bayou has been getting some negative reviews,
    but I liked the service and the food! (I’m glad I didn’t cancel. :) )

    Toy Story Zoetrope
    We finally saw the Toy Story Zoetrope in DCA’s Animation Building
    (Character Close Up). It only take a couple of minutes to see,
    and it’s very interesting. It’s definitely worth a look.

    Celebrate “Parade”
    In 2007 we saw the Parade of Dreams and it was excellent.
    Celebrate A Street Party is… not.
    The CMs work hard, and there are many characters.
    And some of those outfits, in the summertime, must be just plain hot.
    But Celebrate is just o.k. Even DD6 mentioned that she liked the PoD better.

    Magical : Remember = Celebrate : Parade of Dreams
    (Magical is to Remember as Celebrate is to Parade of Dreams.) :)
    I enjoyed the Magical fireworks, but they lacked the “Wow” that Remember had (has).

    On Tuesday (June 30) at 5:00pm a couple of people had started to wait for the
    9:00pm Fantasmic show. Completely on a whim, at 5:00 we sat down at the rail
    that’s next to the Rivers of America – directly in front of the Fantasmic stage.
    At 5:00 the area was still wide open, so DW held the spot and I had no problems
    taking DS7 and DD6 to ride PotC and HM. I went to the Stage Door Café and picked
    up some basic grub – fried mozzarella sticks w/ marinara sauce; fish and chips;
    chicken strips, etc. The time flew. IMO sitting right next to the rail wasn’t necessary,
    as the rail can slightly block your view of the show. Everyone in our area stayed
    seated throughout the show, and I think that any spot in that general area would
    have been very good; and getting a spot farther back would have been easier
    to get. When our section was full the CMs blocked off the area, which was great.
    Believe it or not, our seating area was full, but it didn't feel packed.

    At the beginning of Fantasmic, when Mickey raises both arms, Mickey’s arms (hands)
    didn’t spray out any “sparkles.” Oh well. And as expected, there was no dragon
    – just “Maleficent on a stick.”

    Although the projection screens weren’t changed, the projection screens looked
    larger because of the new digital projectors; the projections used to have more flickering.
    The projections definitely looked better than two years ago.

    After watching Fantasmic, we didn’t move and we stayed in the Fantasmic area
    to watch the Magical fireworks. The view for the fireworks was excellent, and they
    played the fireworks soundtrack in the Fantasmic area. The only downside was
    that we couldn’t see Tink or Dumbo fly.

    I think the middle tower trick would have worked that night. About 15 minutes
    before the 9:00 show, the people standing behind the middle light tower were only
    “one deep” and there were still open spots behind them.

    Both times we saw Soarin’ we were offered seats in section C,
    but we politely asked to sit in section B.
    We sat in section B-2, although we could have sat in B-1 if we wanted.
    The waiting time for Soarin’, using FastPass, seemed to be too long (30 minutes).
    I think it would be quicker to see it between 9:30 and 10:00am.

    Big Thunder BBQ
    Lunch at the Big Thunder BBQ wasn’t cheap, but we enjoyed the experience.
    If you are expecting the world’s greatest barbeque, or you’re from Texas, you might
    be disappointed with the BBQ; but I thought the ribs, chicken, cole slaw, corn,
    baked beans, corn bread, etc., were very good. They put on a small show with
    Sasparilla (sp?) Sam playing piano. But I do have a bone to pick with the way
    the PhotoPass photographers are set up. At Big Thunder BBQ the PP photographer
    will take photos of DS7 and DD6 with Woody (or Jessie, I guess), but the photos
    will only be added to your PP card if you buy the ~$29 photo package. Considering
    the prices at the BBQ, you would think that they would cut you some slack with
    photos. (We did pay the $$$$, and later we went to the Kodak Photo Center on
    Main Street and had the photos added to our PhotoPass card (it’s easier if you
    bring the receipt). Unfortunately they did the same exact thing at Lilo & Stitch’s
    character meal at the PPH.)

    Disney Visa Card
    I got the Disney Visa credit card a couple of years ago, and I used it to get
    two free stroller rentals each day! (This is only true for DLR, not WDW.)
    I didn’t think that I had used the card that much – I did use it for a few business trips –
    but at Guest Services (to the left of the DL turnstiles) I got a
    Disney Visa Rewards Card worth… drumroll please… $100. One hundred smackers!
    And spending the $100 using the Disney Visa Rewards Card was easy –
    the reward card was accepted at many places inside DL.
    I bought DS7 a very nice Indiana Jones hat with part of the $100.

    Howard Johnson
    We really enjoyed our stay at the HoJo, building #2, for eight nights.
    We got the Entertainment Rate ($69 + 15% tax) for five of those nights
    and the other three nights were $75.66 (+ 15% tax)
    so the entire stay was $660 for 8 nights.
    DS7 and DD6 loved the Garden Pool and the Pirate’s Cove water play
    area. Pirate’s Cove is much better than the photos.
    And yes, the front desk asked to see the Entertainment Card.
    (The Entertainment Card was $2.99 on eBay.)

    FWIW, here are some of the fairly low wait times:

    Sunday (June 28):
    BTMRR ………………….… 5 minute wait @ 2:00pm (standby)
    Mad Tea Party ……….. 3 minute wait @ 3:00pm
    Matterhorn …………... 20 minute wait @ 3:00pm

    Tuesday (June 30)
    Screamin’ …………... 15 to 20 minute wait @ 11:00am
    Toy Story Mania …... 30 minute wait @ 12:00Noon

    Thurs (July 2)
    Pixie Hollow w/ Tink. 30 minute wait @ 12:00Noon

    Friday (July 3)
    RRCTS…………………….. 5 minute wait @ 11:00am
    Pixie Hollow w/ Tink. 30 minute wait @ 11:00am

    Sunday (July 5)
    BTMRR ……………………. 5 minute wait in the middle of the afternoon (standby)

    We visited A Bug’s Land on Friday afternoon (July 3). DS7 and DD6 actually like
    the Tuck & Roll’s buggies, so that was a 10 minute wait, and the rest of the rides
    in bug’s land were 5 minute waits that afternoon. Not bad at all.

    A CM told me that DL was super-crowded on Friday (June 26) because it was the last
    day for some of the SoCal APs (before the summer blackout).
    The CM said that DL had 64,000 Guests on Friday (June 26).

  2. goofyfordisney

    goofyfordisney DIS Veteran

    Aug 1, 2001
    What a great trip report! :thumbsup2

    Thank you very much for taking the time to post such great info!

    I was thinking that going the week leading into the holiday would have been a nightmare--from what it sounds like, it was a great time to visit!

    Thanks again!
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  4. disneydreamer74

    disneydreamer74 DIS Veteran

    Jun 27, 2008
    thank you for the detailed report! As always you have provided great information!!:thumbsup2

    I am pleased beyond words that the crowds are not unbearable! I am crossing my fingers that they remain that way, our trip starts in 5 days! Woo hoo!
  5. Eeee-va

    Eeee-va Happiest robot on Earth

    Feb 18, 2009
    What a fun trip! I'm so glad the crowds cooperated and stayed away, for the most part. :) Madame Leota's head was stationary on 6/20 as well...I wonder if it will be down (literally!) until the Haunted Mansion overlay. :(

    Did you stay for the "show" at Pixie Hollow at night? It was nothing amazing--just a very small water/light show--but I found it somewhat enjoyable. Of course, between the crowds we'd faced during the day and standing through the fireworks show THREE TIMES before we finally saw Dumbo fly, a little show that runs more or less on schedule looks a little better. :) If the park had been a little less crowded, though, I reckon I would've felt like I was cheated out of time to do other things, true enough. ;)
  6. magicallyDisney001

    magicallyDisney001 DIS Veteran

    Mar 24, 2009
    Thanks for the info! I'm glad you had fun! :goodvibes
  7. LuLusApple

    LuLusApple DIS Veteran

    Feb 27, 2009
    What a great trip report :) I really appreciate the format very easily read! Love it. :thumbsup2
    Sounds like you had a memorable trip. :wizard: got to love the low crowds on weekends too :)
  8. Bunchkin

    Bunchkin DIS Veteran

    Jan 22, 2001
    Thanks for sharing!!

    Please tell me about this 'middle tower trick' you spoke of for Fantasmic. I'm not aware of this.
    Thanks! :goodvibes
  9. andee2000

    andee2000 Mouseketeer

    Jun 22, 2009
    I love your review! I'm glad you had good crowds. We missed so much last summer due to only having a day and a half at DL and one at DCA. Next summer we are staying 4 or 5 days for sure.
  10. pinkblush

    pinkblush Mouseketeer

    Jun 1, 2009
    Your trip report was great - I really enjoyed reading it and it had a lot of great information! :)
  11. DLR29

    DLR29 We create happiness

    May 30, 2006
    Yep, we were there on Friday and it was PACKED! I'm glad you had a wonderful time and very nice report!
  12. DisneyMomma81

    DisneyMomma81 DIS Veteran

    Aug 18, 2007
    Great report ~ I'm glad you had a good time!

    Hmmm perhaps DD will get to vist DLR for her B~day at some point (her BIG day is 7/3) maybe we'll plan an early July visit next year (but bummer her B~day will be on a Sat. next year).
  13. Hound 109

    Hound 109 <font color=teal>So non-screamin' family members c

    Oct 10, 2006
    Lots of good info in this report.....thanks for posting this S.S. Columbia. :thumbsup2

    Comments in post below:

    Thanks for all the great info S.S. pirate:
  14. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2005
    Thanks for the report SSC. I cannot believe the wait times you saw, especially on BTMRR. Wow!
  15. PinkBudgie

    PinkBudgie DIS Veteran

    Jul 3, 2008
    We were there on Sunday June 28th too. And I couldn't believe how light the crowds were! The Wed, Thurs, Friday before that were packed so Sunday was great. It was our best day there, even better than the following Monday, Tues or Wed. I still can't figure out why that was, but it was great!

    Guess I missed you there too! Sure were a lot of Diser there at the same time and I never spotted another LGMH. :confused3 Glad you had good time. :thumbsup2
  16. DisneyIsMagical

    DisneyIsMagical Mouseketeer

    May 21, 2009
    I totally agree, VERY easy to read! Thank you, seems like you had a great time!:banana:
  17. S. S. Columbia

    S. S. Columbia DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2007
    Here are a couple of photos of the middle light tower:

    Before Fantasmic starts the middle light tower is at ground level, and most Guests won't stand behind it since they expect the light tower to block their view. But a few minutes before Fantasmic starts, the middle light tower is raised, and the view is very good.

    This is a standing spot, so it isn't as good for younger children.

    In early-August '07 the Fantasmic viewing area was jampacked, but we still managed to find a spot there about 30 minutes before the show.

    Here's a photo of the light tower that's in front of the River Belle Terrace:

    Here's a photo of the light tower that's on the other side:

    HTH :earsboy:
  18. LuckyMamaInDE

    LuckyMamaInDE DIS Veteran

    Oct 3, 2004
    Thanks for the details :) We're hoping to get back to California next summer with a few days at DLR (I haven't been since the mid80s!). Our trip days will be dependent on what I can get at Yosemite in June/July---the teens refuse to stay in a tent cabin again...LOL. I think I'll pay attention to the AP black out dates, based on your posts and others I have read over the last few weeks.
  19. S. S. Columbia

    S. S. Columbia DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2007
    The SoCal APs are blocked out from June 27 to August 15.

    (And our trip started on June 28. :) )

    I’m sure the blocked-out APs helped with the low crowds.

    Yes, we missed “the first boats” for Storybook.

    But we got in line for Storybook at 8:08am* and the wait was only 5 minutes.

    Sorry, I didn’t notice when the line started for Storybook.

    * After Casey Jr. we dawdled and took a few photos. :earsboy:
  20. disneyscootergal

    disneyscootergal Have you all got anmesia?? He never got out of the

    May 22, 2007
    I really really enjoyed reading this report! Thanks a bunch for posting it...I leave in 20 days!! You got me all revved up!!
  21. HydroGuy

    HydroGuy DIS Veteran

    Jun 5, 2005
    SSC, I think it would be a GREAT IDEA if you would take this post with pictures and make a whole new thread on the "Fantasmic Light Tower Trick". I am forever trying to explain it to people in words and in the future I will just give them a link. The photos are great!

    FWIW, we have never needed to use the trick but I always keep it in mind just in case. :)


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