Hello! We’re planning a trip to the DLR this Thanksgiving week (it’s the only time we can go!) and recently the crowd calendar for that day was updated and now that week is mostly 10/10 days- yikes! We can’t change our plans to a less crowded time, so
What advice can you give to newbies (this isn’t our first trip per se, but definitely the first with kids over extended days!) for handling DL on the busiest days? We’ve been reading all we can, plan on rope drop, using maxpass, but what else should we count on?
If we leave the park for a nap/hotel break, on a 10/10 day, could we re-enter the park later in the afternoon/evening? Or should we plan on staying in the park all day?
FYI: we have 5 day park hopper passes for Sunday-Thursday of Thanksgiving week, we’re staying at the DL Hotel, we’re traveling in a party with grandparents, disabled husband that may or may not be in an ECV (we’re going to try to get DAS pass for him, but who knows if we can get one from what we’ve been reading!), an 8 year old, a 5 year old, and me- I’m probably the most mobile adult of the bunch, but even I’ve had a total hip replacement!
Thanks for any advice you can offer!
I don’t know what is to be expected now but years ago we made the mistake of going on the day after Thanksgiving. CMs told us it was (at that time) considered the 2nd busiest day of the year. It was awful! Thank goodness we had been several times before and since because we could barely move through the park and were able to ride very few rides. I will never repeat the experience.
Sorry that I can’t give more positive advice. Hopefully a good TP will help.
In 2017 we did just 2 days, day before and Thanksgiving day, on that week & it was surprisingly uncrowded and certainly wasn’t 10s. BUT this year with the opening of Star Wars, every possible break from school over the next year is going to include additional vacationers of Stars Wars & Disney fans coming for their first time to see it.
That being said rope drop & MaxPass will be huge helps to taking the stress off so you can still have an awesome time. Make sure to also adjust expectations to go-with-the-flow but still have a gameplan for each day. I would not advocate for staying in the park all day on that crowded of a day especially if arriving early.
DCA has never closed down entry for capacity issues so in the event that Disneyland does, you should be able to enjoy evenings in DCA, so another reason to keep plans flexible. However, it has become pretty rare that Disneyland closes down to capacity, usually when there’s a combination of a busy day with few/no Annual Passholder blockouts. The week of Thanksgiving looks like there’s at least one pass in one park blocked out each day with Thanksgiving having DCA & DL both blocked out to 3 levels of passes so you should be relatively safe & free from any capacity closure issues (unless Star Wars Galaxy’s edge really does change the game on this all summer- I would stay tuned to find out).
Thank you so much for the answers! I’m glad to hear we will probably be safe to leave the park midday- that was our original plan, so it makes me happy to know it will still be a good idea!
I’ll keep watching for what the summer brings!
We went this year the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before Thanksgiving and found it quite manageable. Sunday was crazy, but that was in large part due to Mickey’s Birthday celebration. Even with the chaos, we were able to pull plenty of FPs with MaxPass.
As for the DAS, if it is strictly for mobility issues, your DH won’t qualify. If there are other issues, then go ahead and check with guest services. I would avoid the Main Street one in DL and DCA and head over to the one by Jolly Holiday in DL or the one by Carthay Circle in DCA.
So I have not done DL at all, but one thing that was unexpectedly useful when I experienced 10/10s recently in WDW was just knowing my way around. I haven’t been loads of time, but because I’m a planner I look at the maps a lot before I go. I think when the crowds are that thick it is very helpful to have a plan and know where where you’re going - that way you 1) have a destination in mind and don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about where to go next 2) avoid meandering through the masses without really knowing how to get to your next attraction.
I’d start early and get a lot done before it gets extremely packed. Then take a break for lunch, even in Downtown Disney. We always take breaks, started when kids were toddlers, even now with teenagers. of course, your November weather will most likely be better than when we go in spring and summer. By the time you’re done lunching/breaking, maybe some of the crowds will have dissipated as you head back.