Questions about an October Trip

I know - I am asking a lot of questions so I will try and condense it into this thread! I am heading to Disneyland with my 9 and 6 year old boys in October (landing afternoon of the 19th - spending the 20th and 21st in parks and heading back on the 22nd).

We aren’t big into waiting in line for characters. We get a kick out of running into them at the park but aren’t keen on missing out on rides for Character meet and greets.

We are trying to do this on a tight budget (we are leaving the husband and 2 year old at home to save money and we are using his airline miles from work for airfare). We will be staying at a walking distance off-site hotel (probably Camelot).

Question 1: What is the best way to get from the airport (Orange County John Wayne) to the hotels. Uber?

Question 2: I’m thinking of passing on the Halloween Party. It looks like a blast but would be an additional $270 which seems outrageous. Looking at the crowd Thursday the 20th Disneyland is a 3 and Adventure is a 4. Friday the 21st Disneyland is a 3 and Adventure is a 5. The projected close time for Disneyland on the Thursday is 6:00pm and Friday is 7:00pm. Looking at the numbers it would appear that Disneyland is a better bet on Friday with the same crowds and the same close time but it is a Friday and there is a Halloween Party scheduled that evening (not on Thursday) so I would assume crowds would be higher later in the day and that 3 isn’t a true representation of all day. Which would be a best bet to make sure I get the most time in the parks? Which park would you recommend on Thursday and Friday.

Question 3: Do you think we would see any late night parades or fireworks?

Question 4: We like Frozen but aren’t huge fans. Is the Frozen at Hyperion worth our time? (They are boys)

Question 5: Do we need to rush to get the Fast Pass for the World of Color Show? I was planning on getting a FP for Radiator Springs which will put us in the back of the park first. The WofC show is separate from the FP system right?

Thank you all for your help!!


  1. Yes, we always use Uber. It’s usually around or a bit under $20 and takes as little as 20 minutes depending on day of the week and time of day.

  2. I’m not much help with these questions. I just pick something and go for it. Are you getting park hopper tickets? I am sort of assuming no. If that’s the case, based on your other questions it sounds like you would need to do DCA on the party day and DL on the non-party day to see World of Color and the PtN parade and Disneyland Forever fireworks.

  3. Not sure I understand what you are asking… Are you asking if you can see DL fireworks and parade on a party night without a party ticket? If so, the answer is pretty much no. You could find some alternate viewing for fireworks, either watching from the esplanade or a hotel or something but you will be herded out of the park before the parade or fireworks start. You should be able to see the night entertainment on your other non-party night at DLR.

  4. The show is really well done but lasts over an hour, requires getting a FP in advance, and returning to the FP area at least 30 minutes before the show starts so it will take a LOT of time. If none of you are really into Frozen, I would probably say skip. You could go ahead and get a FP (it’s not linked to other FP availability) and see when it comes down to it if you want to spend the time on the show if you feel you’ve covered the other things you want to see, or keep doing other attractions and give away the FP.

  5. No, WOC FP won’t run out right away. You could probably try to make it over there by noon and be ok. These FP are also independent of other attractions in the FP system.

Thank you!

You and your boys are going to love Halloween!! So glad you are making the trip. (btw Camelot is one of our family favorite off-site hotels for its convenient location no only to Disneyland, but it’s adjacent to a McD’s on one side and a great pizza place, Pizza Press, on the other).

On to your questions!

Agreed. As fun as it sounds (and we’ve done it once so it is fun) it’s hard to justify the fun for the cost.

This is totally a guess, but it could be that when Touring Plans was projecting hours before DL released party dates they slated Thur 20th as a possible party night so in the hours they set an early close but haven’t yet updated since the party nights were released (probably because there isn’t an official close time from DL for that week). @GuySelgaJr or @len maybe you can confirm? Also looks like the following Thurs, the 27th are projected hours has DL close at 6pm and it’s also not a party night.

I don’t know or recall of anything except for the Halloween parties in October that would cause DL to close so early so I’m hoping that’s the case for you.

With all that said, your assesement that DL on a Friday is my opinion as well. The reason being,
Thursday the DL side has Extra Magic Hour/Magic Morning so you would be behind the early entry crowd which isn’t a huge deal if you are going to start on the West side of DL, but makes it very hard to see the best of Fantasyland if you’re behind that crowd (as nothing in Fantasyland has a FP and queues build and hold steady till late in the day). I would expect the evening to be crowded because it’s a weekend non-party night. Also would be prepared for the the Adventure side to be crowded on Thur night with all non-party goers. I still think that your plan to forgo the party is the right one, even if you will be among some crowds on both evenings.

Unfortunately Disneyland now confirmed the end of the night parade, Paint the Night, as Sept. 5th. It was debuted for the Diamond 60th Anniversay Celebration which was slated to end on Sept. 5th but there were many hopefuls (me included) that Paint the Night would run beyond the official celebration as nothing about it was specifically 60th anniversary themed. On your Adventure night you will probably be be able to see World of Color & on your non-party Disneyland night, a short fireworks show. Disney Parks blog announced here that these shows would be returning after the end of the 60th.

I peeked at the World of Color dining package reservations available (right now only until Sept 30th) but everyday except the 15th of September is an option so it looks like World of Color is running nightly. If they are running nightly in September it would be reasonably safe to say the same for October since there are even more Halloween parties in October.

You can probably expect fireworks to only be on weekends, BUT your only option to be in DL would be Friday night so you should be safe to have it scheduled there as well. Although in my opinion, Fantasy in the Sky the least impressive fireworks show that DL has ever done and one much better enjoyed from a ride that has some cool fireworks views (Big Thunder Railroad and Storybook Land Canal boats are the ones I hear the most). We’ve watched this show from our Autopia car on the track and that was kind of fun too. The only thing is you have to time it just right to be on any of the above attractions at the same time as FWs and I’ve never heard any specific tips other than it’s mostly luck.

Agree with above poster. Get the FP and see where you are at for the day. If you’re not taking a midday break at the hotel, this would give you and the boys a good time to have a seat in a cool building, although that might lead to unintentional naps as it did for my two kiddos when we went to see it.

No rush for anything immediate but it also depends on if there are 2 shows or not. If only one show is scheduled, I might try to head back sooner than noon. Also, when getting an RSR FP be on the lookout for CMs handing out WOC FPs. We have heard that CMs have been at RSR FPs distro machines and walking along Grizzly Peak area actively handing out FPs for WOC. We ran into one right as we were passing by Soarin the last time we were in DCA. He was broadcasting that he had WOC FPs ready to hand out so we stopped grabbed ours and were on our way. It was nice not to have to stop at the distro machine (even though it was already in planned path).

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask!!! Can’t wait to see/hear how the trip goes for ya!

Yeah, that’s probably it. We’re projecting a party date, I think.

Thank you so much! This is really helpful information!

1.I don’t know about travel.
2. Last year we went during Halloween and felt the same way about The Halloween Party. My daughter was 7. I can say… After being there and missing the Party, watching people go in & out, talking to both there and after we got home we decided to do the Party instead of the Park that day. You can get in to Disneyland @3 with the Party Tickets.
We went to DCA the day of the Party and think that’s the way to go. People with park hoppers start showing up about My friend went to Disneyland without Party Tickets and said felt it was a poor decision.
3. We watched the parade near the main entrance. When daughter got bored we left with no crowd hassle. Will plan it again same way, I think…
4. We saw the brief Frozen version last year which was good. Haven’t heard enough about this one to convince me to try it over the crowd. I’d probably skip it with boys, but have not enough feeling to be adamant.
5. Rush to Radiator Springs then venture across for WOC
Use an app, to schedule rides it should include getting FP
Sorry to be long of breath, but I I studied & chatted a lot last year and need to make the most of it again!

Seeing Frozen at the Hyperion will eat up a good 2 hours at least. With only 1 day at DCA I would plan on skipping it. Ride the Little Mermaid ride, It’s Tough to be a Bug, or whatever 10-20 minute movie preview they have if you want a break from outside. Or just go sit in the lobby of the Grand Californian.