Which parks Sun Oct 23-Tue 25th with 3-day pass?

Will be taking our three very active boys (aged 10/7/4) on first trip to DLR Oct 23-25 (Sunday-Tuesday). They will be accompanied by me, my wife and two active grandparents. Staying offsite at Howard Johnson. The group will defer to me on park selection/touring plan based on past success at WDW.

Monday and Tuesday are value days so I originally planned to just purchase two one-day single park tickets for each of us. My original plan was
Mon Oct 24 DL 8am-6pm, crowd rating 4
Tue Oct 24 CA open 9am-8pm, crowd rating 3
We would avoid parks with early opening and have shorter first day since not attending Halloween party Monday night. Should still be able to see everything we want given crowd levels.

However I just realized that as Canadians we can buy a 3-day pass (not hopper) at a sale price for only $14 more in total for all seven of us ($1320.75 vs. $1306). We would get a full extra day and also get one Magic Morning option for Tue Oct 25th. However now I am very confused on which parks to attend on which days!
Sun Oct 23 - Disneyland 8am-11pm crowd level 2 or CA 9am-10pm crowd 6 (can’t do 8am CA early entry)
Mon Oct 24 - Disneyland 8am-6pm crowd 4 or CA 9am-8pm crowd 3 (can’t do 8am CA early entry)
Tue Oct 25 - Disneyland 9am-9pm crowd 3 with 8am Magic Morning or CA 9am-8pm crowd 3
One option is DL/CA/DL with 8am Magic Morning on Tue but I really don’t like idea of arriving at CA after the early entry hour when only have one day there. Or we could do DL/DL/CA and not bother with the magic morning and still be part of first group in the park each day. With three days we would pace ourselves on the DL days with some breaks under either plan.

Which of these options sounds better or is there an even better three-day plan?

As you are Canadian I am slightly lost (ha - jk).

I would do SUN - Disneyland; MON - CA; TUES - Disneyland

Very smart of you change your plan to the 3 day passes that include Magic Morning! Magic Morning is well worth it and one of my favorite times to see Fantasyland (or if you are more of a Tomorrowland person then Tomorrowland is also open).

With DCA’s early entry being available only to the 3 onsite hotel guests, it’s not as much of a disadvantage to start behind the early entry crowd. Another thing I always warn people is that lines to get into DL on a Monday morning are always so long and slow-moving. My reasoning is that Monday is usually a spillover day from the weekend for weekenders to linger an extra day and spend it in DL, plus the beginning of the week with many new arrivals who want to be in DL first vs. DCA. The combination of the two makes for long-lines and the fact that new arrivals almost always need their tickets activated & signed/pictures taken, etc. makes for the slow-moving part. So again, choosing DCA on Mon will not be a bad option at all.

Plus I see that Mon DL is closing at 6pm for a Halloween party so on that alone DCA would be a better option as you would lose evening touring time in DL if you were to do it that day. In my opinion the extra two hours you will get by doing DCA outweigh being an hour behind the early crowd, even with DCA getting busy after 6pm because anyone without a Halloween party ticket but who has a park hopper will be flowing into DCA to finish their evening.

As you get more to planning, ask away for any and all questions you have!

Warning - you can throw those crowd tracker predictions out the window! We used them in planning our trip in early October and they were totally off and useless! What a mistake, both parks were crammed full of people ALL WEEK LONG! Disney’s Halloween bashes, which happen 3 nights a week crowd both parks. If I were you I would move my trip to early November, but if you can’t, look forward to 90 minute wait times on most rides and 9 or 10 level crowds. See my post/thread “Never Again in October”.

Thanks for the warning Isamora. Our dates are not flexible so I guess I will keep an eye on the crowd tracker over the next week so see how accurate the predictions are. Still like the suggested plan of doing Disneyland Park Sun Oct 23, CA Mon Oct 24 and back to DL Tue Oct 25 with extra hour in morning, although the predicted low attendance on Sunday seems too good to be true!

Post-trip update. We did DL-CA-DL for our three day Oct 23-25 visit which worked very well. Rain on first two days seemed to cause issues at both DL & CA (Sun Jedi training and parade were cancelled, Mon RSR, CS and GRR were all closed for much of morning). We went straight to RSR Monday morning at 9am only to have it shut down while in line. Most people just walked away but we stayed for a while and were eventually given a return pass that could be used by our whole party at any ride in the park. Frozen show no longer has FP which was fine. We showed up about 10 minutes before the 4pm show and were among the last 20 people admitted and got seats in balcony. On Tuesday when I went to get first FP as 9am I realized that the woman at the DL entrance gate failed to scan two tickets properly so we had to return there to fix the issue. A few more observations:

  1. Having at least one child and some grandparents in your party can be great for the intense rides - our group of seven only had four who wanted to do SMGG or CS which meant 2-3 trips for the rest using fast passes plus the child swap pass
  2. Child swap pass process is different at each ride and each have their own advantages/quirks
  3. Single rider line at Matterhorn is amazing, CS a bit slower but still good. Didn’t try RSR
  4. We got to the DL gate just before 8am for MM on Tue and not being there earlier cost us at least 30 minutes waiting in PP lineup
  5. I absolutely love the paper fast pass process and will be less inclined to return to either WDW or DL once they have both converted to digital processes requiring significant advance planning and favoring on site accommodations. At one point on Mon I had 7 each of WoC, ToT, Soarin and CS FP due to staggered return times plus our raincheck for RSR
  6. HoJo location was perfect for our group and 2nd floor rooms adjacent to water area were big and bright

Thanks for the input from those on this board.