2018 Grad Nites

I didn’t consider Grad nites when planning. How bad is it?
Grad Nite events scheduled for 2018 in May: May 4, 5, 11, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, 29 and 30.
We are supposed to be in CA from 13-19. Of course I’d pick the week that almost every night is a grad nite. Also, I think I read that it’s being done differently than in previous years (not sure what that means since It’s been 17 years since my last visit).
I’ve heard from more than one person about the type of crowd grad nites bring. Obnoxious, rude, some drunk, making out teens. We will have a 5 yo, 2 yo and 19 yo with us.
Is it worth it to go or should I pay the airline fees to move our trip dates? Thank you!

So, I don’t know how it has been changed, but usually Grad Night is only in DCA and at night, so DL gets better at night. I have been on days when it is grad night and it is not usually that bad; they do not show up early in the morning.

I went during grad night last year, and the crowds were noticeably bigger. If you can avoid it, I would, if not just make sure to go as early as you can.

Hi ifraha,
Noticeably bigger than when? The only other time we can go is in June when the summer crowd will be there. Is it more crowded during grad nites than summertime?
What did you think of the behavior of the teens? Thank you!

Hi lbellemare,
What did you think of the behavior of the teens? I’ve heard some will be drunk and rude, and PDA. Someone even said they didn’t feel safe with their baby.
Thank you!

I did not think it was that bad! Most of them were very excited to be there. I don’t remember seeing anyone being drunk or inappropriate. They were loud and taking a lot of place, but they were teenagers celebrating the end of high school, so I would expect that. About the drunk part: Disney is very strict on those nights, so the teenagers are not allowed to drink on the side. They also check the bags very carefully to make sure they are not bringing alcohol.

I think the Saturday night is probably the busiest one, so I might try to skip that one. The crowds in May tend to be very good; when I went with my parents, years ago, we were able to get tons of rides done because the crowds were not that big.

However, I don’t have children so I can understand some people might feel more protective with young children.

Luckily, Saturday is not in our plans. Thanks for your input.

I went for 2 days, so noticeably bigger than the day before which was not a grad night. The kids weren’t being rowdy or anything, the issue was the crowds.

Ok. Thank you!

We have done 3-4 grad nights (some of them unknowingly) and I feel like the unannounced middle school aged groups that come all spring are a lot more difficult to manage crowd-wise than the grads. There was only one grad night that was tough - I left truly wanting to punch a teenager because we had run into a lot of inconsiderate ones, including one who literally attempted to hurdle our stroller as she was running through a crowd to catch up with her friend who ran in front of our stroller. She did not make it. But that was definitely a one-off and the younger ages of kids that show up have proven to be a lot more difficult in terms or awareness of where they are standing/clogging up walkways & general teenage obnoxiousness. But never have we seen excessive PDA or drunkeness. I would go on a grad night again if it worked for me schedule. We have 3 small kids too (6,4 & 5 months and have been taking them to Disney since the oldest 2 were 23 months & 3 months old). Never did I feel my kids were unsafe in a grad night crowd- the girl who hurdled our stroller definitely got more hurt than either of our kids. I would say to exercise more caution with your kids walking around on their own but that is common sense for any busy crowd environment, grads or not.

Lastly, this year Disney changed up their offering for grad nights and there are 3 different tiers: cheapest one is for the evening & grad night party only at DCA, middle is for DCA only and is all day, most expensive one is for both DL, DCA & good all day. It’s unknown the effect on crowds with these new tiers but in years past hitting the parks early and starting in DCA until the grads start to filter in & then hopping to DL and spending the evening there has always been a great strategy.

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