DIS Veteran and Browncoat - I have a cunning hat
- Mar 18, 2009
We did July 3- 8th this year. First time doing the 4th but we've done many holidays there including quite a few Thanksgivings, spring break, MLK a couple times, Presidents weekend a few times. The 4th was a breeze! Well HOT but crowd wise a breeze lol!Just popped in to lurk at the July experiences. I am going soon and considering finally going for my son's bday (July 5th) next year because of the bounceback out right now. Not sure I am brave enough for a holiday at wdw lol
We recently stayed at BCV (July 12-23) and our review was pretty much the same as yours on crowds. We are also use to crowds at WDW (we typically go during Easter) but found Easter more manageable to avoid crowds since the hours are longer. We are mornings/evenings park people and afternoon resort people and that strategy definitely worked better during Easter than Summer for us. I wonder if the fact free dining was offered made a difference?We just got back late last night from an 8 night stay. We had a wonderful trip! We hadn't been in 6 years, so a lot was new to us.
- YC exceeded our expectations. The Epcot resort area is beautiful and having such easy access to Epcot and Hollywood Studios just cannot be beat. I would never pay rack rate for those resorts, but we got a big discount which made us decide to splurge. I'm sure with the event of SWGE those discounts are probably a thing of the past.
- We had 2 TS meals most days, and loved all our dining experiences! Standouts were Hoop de Doo Revue (just love, love, love that whole experience), Yachtsman (YUM - delicious!), and Yak and Yeti (those eggrolls and potstickers...I'm still thinking about them.) The variety and quality of TS dining options is one of the things that makes WDW really stand out to us, and sets it apart from DLR since DLR just doesn't have nearly as much.
- We loved the DAH events at HS and AK! Low crowds, night time at the parks (our favorite), fun atmosphere, and included snacks!
- Toy Story Land! We are both big fans of the franchise and oh my we loved this land. We got to experience it at the end of a Friday night and during DAH. We didn't go back during our day time HS visit because I didn't want to spoil that great experience with crowds and heat. Loved Slinky, loved the queue for TSM (we'd never done it at WDW because DLR has it...minus the incredible queue), loved AS2. Developed a new appreciation for the aliens, who I already loved.
- FOP. Just wow. We got to ride it 3 times - twice at DAH and once with a FP. It absolutely lived up to the hype.
- 7DMT! Pleasantly surprised! This opened not long after our last trip, so it was new to us. The standby waits are ridiculous of course, but I'd gotten 3 FPs for it in case we liked it, and we used them all.
- HEA. I am a sucker for castle projections because sleeping beauty castle at DLR is too small for them. Loved that show. Glad we splurged for the fireworks dessert party.
- The weather - we were actually pleasantly surprised! Of course it was hot, but we went in expecting that and we had planned for it. It was in the 70s multiple evenings; I couldn't believe how cool it got! The strategy of morning, resort break (nap), evening really worked for us. We only had rain issues one day - it rained (light rain, mostly) the entire time we were at Typhoon Lagoon. That actually made it really fun and kept the crowds way down! We didn't experience any ride closures due to lightning - a combination of being in the right place at the right time during thunderstorms. (Usually in our room, napping.)
- We are adept at crowds; we can handle them. DLR is usually crowded when we go because I'm a teacher and off season isn't a thing for us. We're used to navigating crowds. That said, we were unpleasantly surprised by the crowds, especially at MK. Oh my gosh. The standby wait times are ridiculous everywhere. WDW's main difference from DLR is FP+ and having FP for everything, which leads to insanity like 45 min for Pooh, 60 for Buzz (seriously?!), 120 for BTMRR, 135 for Space....these are just not wait times DLR sees. At DLR, Space on a crowded day would be 60, really crowded would be 90 (like, Christmas time), and normal busy times 45. That said...
-FP+. I have a love hate relationship with this concept. On the one hand, we planned well (thanks to these boards!) and never waited more than 25 min for anything. On the other hand, there is zero spontaneity, except at DAH events. I'm so glad we threw those in there, because I don't think I could have handled the FP+ system otherwise. DLR still has the rolling FPs you can't make until the day of, and I am grateful for that.
- Villains AH. I wish this hadn't been marketed as an after hours event, because it was nothing like the ones at HS and AK. It was far more crowded. I also discovered I don't like the entire villains theme at all. I clearly wasn't the target audience. I don't regret going, but it was definitely something I'd never do again.
To sum up
Overall, we had a wonderful time. We are different from a lot of people on these boards because our WDW visits are few and far between, and we go to DLR regularly. Since we live in CA and WDW trips are time consuming and expensive, I'm happy with that balance. I also learned this trip that though I love WDW and enjoy our trips there every few years, DLR is really my first love. I think that happens for all of us - we all end up with a "home" park. We have plans for DLR in October and probably again next summer, so I'll be mostly over on the Disneyland board now.
Hope everyone had fantastic trips, and hope those who are still enjoying theirs have a magical time!
Edit: p.s. Sorry this is so long...oops. LOL
This is fascinating to me. My spring break is always the week before Easter, so I figured we'd never be able to do go to WDW during that time because of crowds. I'd love to try it because the weather is so much better, though! I'm interested to hear that maybe it's not as bad as we'd feared? DH is dead set against spring break WDW because he says it'd be way too crowded. We also avoid DLR at that time, for what it's worth.We recently stayed at BCV (July 12-23) and our review was pretty much the same as yours on crowds. We are also use to crowds at WDW (we typically go during Easter) but found Easter more manageable to avoid crowds since the hours are longer. We are mornings/evenings park people and afternoon resort people and that strategy definitely worked better during Easter than Summer for us. I wonder if the fact free dining was offered made a difference?
We are doing DLR for our vacation next Summer. The travel costs are pretty much the same for us but I like the additional options for close hotels. Not feeling the fact we can only get a 5 day ticket though. I'm interested to see how our next vacation compares to our WDW ones =)
Based on our past Easter & Summer trips it's really hard to decide which I prefer based on the pros/cons which is probably why we keep switching it up. Neither has a huge advantage over the other IMO. The weather/EMH (at 7am vs 8am) were advantages in Easter. The fact we have more flexible work schedules and save a ton of money on resorts/flights during Summer means we would probably choose Summer.This is fascinating to me. My spring break is always the week before Easter, so I figured we'd never be able to do go to WDW during that time because of crowds. I'd love to try it because the weather is so much better, though! I'm interested to hear that maybe it's not as bad as we'd feared? DH is dead set against spring break WDW because he says it'd be way too crowded. We also avoid DLR at that time, for what it's worth.
They did really seem to be pushing the summer with free dining and steep room discounts, so I guess they got the crowds they wanted, maybe?
We've never done more than 2 consecutive days for DLR (we're doing 3 this October), but if we go next summer we'll do 5. Honestly, it's probably enough. There's a lot in those parks and I love them, but with how close everything is to each other and the simple fact that there are 2 parks vs 4 (6 if you count the water parks), you just don't need as much time. If you're interested, southern CA has lots of other things to offer (like beaches!) on non DLR days. One thing about summer at DLR vs WDW - I can promise you the weather will be better at DLR.
Check out the Disneyland boards, especially if you haven't gone before - lots of info over there!