Hi Liners, Looking for advice as I am a WDW frequenter but have never been to DL! My DH has business trip to Phoenix is August and kids & I are tagging along… trying hard work out a road trip over to DL for 1 1/2 - 2 park days since we are so close and would probably be our only opportunity to ever get over there (we are east coast) … our options are Sat 8/10-Sun 8/11 in parks or Sun & Mon 8/12 in parks? Suggestions?? Not sure whether to go by crowd calendar at all based on GE crowds still unfolding… (are weekends better based on AP blockout dates?? I seem to find Friday & Sat night hotel reservations easily, but not as much for Sunday nights). Thanks for your input!
My vote is for Sat/Sun! Those pass blockouts do wonders to helping lower CLs. Monday’s tend to be just as busy as a weekend with less staffing/sometimes shorter hours that inflates the crowd level.
Be forewarned tho that the CLs even when low at DL will still feel like many more feet on the ground even tho the wait times are so manageable resulting in a great CL. A lot of this is due to the fact that much of DL’s crowd is comprised of local/repeat visitors who are more apt to spend their time enjoying food/snacks/atmosphere/shows maybe getting in ride 1-2 rides so not spending a proportionate amount of time in line where CLs are calculated from vs the time they spend occupying space doing the rest of the activities in the park that aren’t measured.
Thanks for the input… that definitely makes sense! So much of what I have learned thus far about DL seems almost counterintuitive to what I know to do for WDW! (For example, it gives me anxiety not having fastpasses and my game plan lined up ahead of time! Those days at WDW feel like a distant memory! We’ve done Orlando in summer and spring break crowds, so even it feels above average crowds “on the ground” that won’t bother me as long as I have a good TP! Do you think with limited 2 days we can still cover a lot of ground if we focus on the things that are the most unique to DL and avoid rides that are basically duplicates? (Although I read here on forum that some of same rides are slightly different from each other)
Unless your kids are tiny, I think you could do both parks in two days if you work agood TP. Max pass would be worth the extra $15 to save time (and get photos). Did you check the crowd levels? Sat is 5/10, Sun 3/10, Mon 8/10.
With 2 days I would absolutely recommend MaxPass! The exception: If any of the kids aren’t big enough for most the rides with height requirements (40" tends to be the magic number) & will sit most of them out. In that case you’ll have a built-in FP runner, so if the adult staying back with non-riding kid(s) is happy to be the go-getter & taking the extra steps to grab the next FP, it’s an easy way to save some $$ to put towards snack/souvenirs. In this case you would also get to use Rider Switch for the non-riding parent to get a turn (and would get to take 2 other rides with them who could include anyone from the 1st group that would get a 2nd ride in, those lucky ducks!). Rider switch will slow you down if both parents want to do everything but if you have more questions on this, ask away!
I also recommend arriving as early as you can. At least 45-60 min before rope drop (park opening) to take advantage of the lower crowds in the mornings. You have until about 10am before crowds start coming in so hitting the parks hard for that prime early morning touring gives you a huge leg up. Leaving you the rest of the day to use up FPs and if time allows enjoy show/atmosphere.
I once upon a time made a list breaking down Disneyland attractions in categories of their must-do’s bc they are Unique comparing them largely to WDW. You can find that in my response here (the lists starts mid-post so scroll down to Must-Do’s Unique to Disneyland Resort to get started on it).
So if you haven’t already come across that, take a look. My responses to all of it are still current (the only minor update is that we have tried Jessie’s Critter Carousel now as it was open on our last trip & as I expected my kids did love it).
ETA: I scrolled through the list and I do mention Soarin’ Around the World BUT the version that will be playing on your dates is Soarin’ Over California which is a throwback to the older version of the ride & one of my all-time favorite attractions so having it be this limited-time version puts in the Must-Do category (for me). I like the newer around the World version just fine, but don’t love it the way I did the original California version & it’s nice to have it back, even if just temporarily.
Finally had a chance to sit down and click the link to look through your comparison list… so helpful! I am printing out all those notes to show my kids… they are older (DS18 & DD12) so they will appreciate the subtle differences and be able to prioritize the ones that are same ride but slightly different from WDW (DS18 is a big blog/vlog/ podcast follower and had already said PoC was a must do since better in DL!) They also know the value of rope drop so we will go full speed in the am! I have very fond memories of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and going on that with my brother a zillion times in WDW as kids (along with If You Had Wings ) so can’t wait for my own kids to finally experience that!