Unblocked days in June '18 causing higher crowds?


#1

Hi,

Our family has a trip to DLR planned from Thursday June 14 - Saturday June 16 2018 buying a 3-day pass without hopping. When we planned the trip, the crowd calendar was showing decreasing crowds from an 8 on Thursday to a 6 on Saturday, likely because of pass blockouts.

Now Disney just announced they removed virtually all of the AP blockouts for the next two weeks, and checking wait times today (the first day of the unblocking) they look to be almost double what they were predicted for an 8 day…

  • any ideas what we should expect for the end of the week, or if the crowd calendar will be updated to reflect the lack of blockouts?
  • Saturday was the least crowded day before, but would you expect either Thursday or Friday to be the least crowded now?

We have a 6 year old and a 2 year old so will be staying away from most of the headliners and will try to rope drop, but any other tips to beat the crowds would be great!


#2

Hello,

How exciting to have a trip planned for Disneyland! With your children’s ages, the magic will really come to life for them & you are doing a great service by knowing more information before you go.

It looks like yesterday (the first day of lifted blockouts) ended up being a 9 in both parks so yes, I would consider that quite busy! However, because you are here, informing yourself & planning you will already be better positioned to navigate crowds.

My best advice is to get there early & power through the mornings with your must-do rides only stopping if there are must-do characters that you happen upon, then use afternoons/evenings for a more relaxed pace of characters, shows, parades & what you can get a FastPass for.

The crowd calendar has been updated to show that there are no blockouts but I don’t think that the crowd levels have been adjusted, but I haven’t been paying attention to those dates specifically so I’m not certain. Yesterday was predicted to be an 8 in both parks and so ending up at a 9 isn’t too far off so hopefully you’ll only see 1 point in CL differences like that, at most.

Looking at the crowd calendar, Sat does have the lowest pass (SoCal Select) blocked but is also the day most of the Deluxe & Socal (regular) passholders are probably available to go. On the other hand, they are familiar with the structure of not being able to go on summer weekends so they may already have other commitments/plans, so it’s really anyone’s guess. There’s no real precedent for this (that’s documented by TouringPlans) so it may open the floodgates, or by having multiple options of days, it could disperse the crowds of APs coming for lifted blockout dates.

It sounds like you already know that rope drop will give you a a leg up on the crowds, but just wanted to re-iterate how really, truly effective it is b/c less people in general (locals & tourists alike) are up & ready to go for the start of park operations. The crowd-friendly tips I can give are to be prepared with patience (especially if you will have a stroller for those little ones, crowds & strollers are a tough combo), and know that you can always take a break at the hotel in the middle of the day at the peak of crowds & heat & come back refreshed for evening touring (usually between 1-3pm crowds hit their peak so if you go back to your hotel for that period you aren’t missing a lot).

Lastly, if you really just want to spend as many of your minutes in the parks, there’s plenty of spaces that offer some break from the crowds. In DL: Opera House (has the Disney Gallery and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln), Main St Train Station (take a loop or two on the train if you want changing scenery as you rest), Fire station, Main St Cinema, Tiki Room, Golden Horseshoe (time with the cute Laughing Stock show performed inside), ride the Mark Twain & stay on a lower shaded deck while the beautiful rivers float past, Tomorrowland Theater (currently showing preview for Ant-Man and the Wasp), Star Wars Launch Bay, also shows like Mickey & the Magical Map & Storytelling at the Royal Theater can give you a seat in at least a shaded area, even if not air-conditioned. There’s also shaded seating at some quick service restaurants namely, Rancho Del Zocalo in Frontierland, Hungry Bear in Critter Country, and tucked behind the Turkey Leg cart next to the Matterhorn. Also, Winnie the Pooh usually has short waits & is a great break for some dark/AC if in need. And in DCA: Animation Building (has Turtle Talk with Crush, Anna & Elsa Meet & Animation Academy or just sit in the lobby & enjoy the reel of Disney movie clips/artwork/music being shown), Sunset Showcase Theater (currently showing extended preview of Incredibles 2), Flo’s Cafe either inside on the Doc Hudson side for air-conditioning or outside on the back patio with a view of RSR is beautiful, Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Also, Ariel’s ride in DCA is similar to Winnie the Pooh in DL with short waits & a nice break of AC and a seat, but with the benefit of usually having even less of a line & a longer ride. Lastly, Frozen Live at the Hyperion is a great show & can offer a reasonable break but it does take a large chunk of the day (show itself is an hour long & you’ll need to show up at least 5-10 min before to get a seat, 30 min if wanting a lower level ie less stairs to climb) so only unless you really need the break & won’t be going back to your hotel would I use this on a short trip. So plenty of places to get away from crowds, some off your feet while still enjoying the parks, if you want to maximize your park time.


#3

@lolabear_la, You are an amazing wealth of knowledge!


#4

Aw, thanks @carthy15! You have quite the abundance knowledge yourself :smile:

I have a tad Disneyland obsession combined with a love of reading that results in me wanting to just talk & talk & talk about all things Disneyland lol


#5

We suffer from similar afflictions!


#6

We went Monday, a trip planned before the blockouts were lifted.

The difference Monday VS last Friday was HUGE.

Monday was way more crowded than we dreamed, and the heat was pretty intense. I truly think there were many MANY people there that wouldn’t have been otherwise.

We still had a wonderful time, use MaxPass and get there at park opening. Locals aren’t keen on early mornings (specifically anyone more than 20 minutes or so away due to traffic!), and so the first two hours are usually quite magical!

I think the key is to expect large crowds, plan for them, and plan to take a break at some point. Lolabear is such an incredible wealth of knowledge, especially when it comes to Disney with smaller children! My kids are at the age where I send them off and see them later.

Oh and remember, it’s Disneyland! Enjoy the magic of being in the parks and soak it all in. And eat lots of ice cream, it’s quite warm so far this June!

:slight_smile:


#7

we have been to DL twice the last two weeks and found the crowd predictions very inacurate … both days … a weekend and during the week were very crowded. We have been to DL every year around the same time in June and this year it is way more croded !! I second the above advice to get there early … don’t forget the feed the kids right before rope drop and ride all favorite rides in the first 2 hours. Have snacks and drinks in your backpocket and make it through these crucial hours doing as many rides as possible because after about 10.30 ish … there will be loong lines everywhere. When it is crowded … smell the roses, take breaks,
and relax … I am not sure what happend to the crowd calendar this year and why it is not getting updated … take the 23 rd of June when the pier is opening … there is NO WAY crowd levels will be a 5 … they have been betweet 8 and 9 most days this month and will be off the charts that day. The un- blocking led to a much busier park especially combined with Pixar fest … Be prepared for very busy days


#8

I think the unblocking of APs caused an algorthorism nightmare.

It’s just been a strange year, crowd wise out here. Hard to figure it out.

We just go and try to have a great time no matter how many strollers I get run over by. I have some really crazy bruises on my legs from our last few day trips to Disneyland.


#9

Hi everyone, thanks for all of the helpful tips! We read them all, just too busy at DLR to reply! It definitely was busier than predicted, but still manageable.

As mentioned, being there for rope drop at 7am on Thursday was key. It was a bit difficult to get up that early, but we were there and hit all of the slow-loading attractions we wanted to see before 10am that day, which then let us spread out the remaining attractions over the next couple of days and take things easy. We packed up and went back to the hotel about 1pm each day and then didn’t come back until late (after 7pm)… the kids had long naps in the afternoon that let them power through.

We didn’t end up getting MaxPass as our kids are a bit too young for most of the headliners, although we did use Fastpass with child swap a few times (such as for Indy). Small World and Buzz both had immediate fastpasses for most of the time we were there; since we weren’t saving fastpasses for headliners that was a great way to skip a few lines. The Lines app worked pretty well; once it got enough actual wait times in the morning to seed it, it seemed to sync up with our actual waits in line for the rest of the day.

Thanks for the great tips on diversions – we had built some of them into our touring plans already (like Storytelling at the Royal Theater, Flo’s, Tiki, Winnie the Pooh) but we added in the Animation Academy which our oldest loved and took a peak in the Main St Cinema to get out of the parade rush.

Thanks again!


#10

I know exactly how that goes! :wink:

Thank you for reporting back afterwards though!! So glad you were able to make use of early mornings, rider swap & FP even without MP and midday breaks! It sounds like you guys still had a great time & so glad you explored into some of the diversions- you hit up a few of my favorite (Royal Theater & Animation Academy) :slight_smile:

Hope you have a chance to plan your next countdown to alleviate re-entry to the real world!