My daughter is heading to DL and CA for Grad Nite and she and her friends have asked me to make them a touring plan for each park. I think I can do it for DL since the park is open to the public as usual that day/night, but I’m unsure about the CA part, which is a grad only event from 9PM-2AM. Also, any ideas about the ability to purchase Genie+?
The itinerary says they will arrive at approx. 2PM and start in DL. They can stay in DL as late as they want or head over to CA at any time. I think I should make the plan for 2-9 at DL and 9-2 at CA. Does that make sense? Does it seem wise? Anyone have info or suggestions for me?
Last question, do you think the Lines App will work for the private event?
I have zero experience with how grad night works once it starts in DCA but I do know from having been there on grad night days that they do offer plenty of photo ops for the grads. Genie+ won’t be available to use during the party (so after 9pm in DCA). However, if they aren’t arriving until 2pm they can’t make selections until then and they might not be able to score as many of the high demand rides (Indy, Space, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Toy Story Midway Mania). But it would help them breeze through a lot that is great in DL & if they hope to DCA before 9 there are some great ones (Incredicoaster) that tend to have decent availability for LL.
Depending on their priorities between the 2 parks, I would recommend they make the switch to DCA either by 8pm or after 9:30pm as 9 is likely to be peak time for most grads to do exactly that, switch over when the party is starting which will coincide with the time they are still trying to usher day guests out of DCA and out of Buena Vista Street so it will be the most crowded.
If they want more time in DL than 2-8pm then I would try to find one corner/area (avoid criss-crossing to end up in the crosshairs of nighttime entertainment traffic) of DL they want to spend that time until they are ready to hop after 9:30. Fireworks are usually 9:30 & will get done by 9:45 (double check though in case it’s different this year or on a grad night) and they can either plan to be at the back of Main Street to watch & quickly exit & hop then, or they can take advantage of the fact that most people will be watching and skate right on down the sides of Main St. to exit while the show is going. By then DCA should be relatively walk-up to get in & the day crowds mostly gone to enjoy Buena Vista St. photo ops a little more.
If they want more time in DCA then I would definitely recommend hopping by 8pm (sooner if they have LL’s lined up there & are done at DL) and getting up Buena Vista St before it gets more crowded. They could use this time to ride anything that they LL’s for & might not be offered for grad night (not sure if the entire park is open to grads or just most of the rides?). As for the rides during grad night, as with most party/after hour offerings it should be not long on any lines. The longest lines will likely be for Racers in Cars Land and Guardians and I would be highly surprised if they are over 30 min. Everything else would be minimal (15 min or less if not a walk-on). And they will have their own World of Color for the grads too. Not sure of the time or if it’s just one for the whole party or two showings.
Overall, I think whatever they want to do in DCA should be fairly easy to accomplish even without a set plan as long as they know what they want to do most. It will be very beneficial to have their DL time planned out though.
Hope they have an amazing time and congrats on your DD’s graduation!
Thank you, @lolabear_la! As always, your response is very thoughtful and comprehensive, and I appreciate it very much. Things sure have changed since my Grad Nite in Disneyland in 1987!
It looks like they will arrive earlier than I thought, possibly as early as 11AM, so perhaps Genie+ will be more beneficial than originally predicted. Your idea about getting LL’s for CA is a good one, too. Right now she’s trying to convince her friends to do DL her way and then she’ll do CA their way. I’m going to try to navigate remotely so that her friends are blown away by her efficiency, but I am reminded that not everyone plans the way we do, and they still manage have a great time.