Troy81

Disneyland during US Summer Holidays

26 posts in this topic

So it has probably been asked to death somewhere in amongst these forums, which means I probably would have read about it at one time or another, however, I am wondering if anybody on here has had any experience of the California Parks during the US summer holidays.  I am in the unfortunate conundrum of wanting to take the family to Disneyland before the eldest turns 18 in August, but she now has University which means the only time that we could actually go is during these holidays.  I guess what I really want to know is if it is still worth it?  Any feedback will be appreciated and taken on board while planning.  

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G'Day Troy,

I haven't been since 2008 so my experience may be a little outdated, but I was there early-mid July and found Disneyland wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. 

We had a couple of days and got most things done. We would've probably done better if we'd worked out how fastpass worked on the first day!

In contrast, USH had massive queues for everything and had we not pre purchased VIP passes would've spent most of the day in lines.

The only other park I went to was Knott's, which I hit by myself on the day of my flight home. I got there shortly after opening and found little to no queues on most coasters and got a few rides on each, but by the time I had to go the crowd was definitely getting bigger.

I hope this helps, but I'm sure there are plenty on this forum with more (& more recent) experience who will chime in.

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I think the trick to Disneyland in Summer is to go while the annual passes are still blocked out for locals ,here's a handy link to help you: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/passes/blockout-dates/

 

I've only been able to go in peak season and found it actually pretty tolerable, no one deals with a crowd like Disney and they do it best in peak Summer season (parks are open later, pretty much everything is open and running as many cars as possible).  Go in with a game plan and get there early and you can get a remarkable amount of stuff done.  I've done WDW in the middle of winter and while obviously the crowds are lighter, honestly peak season at Disneyland isn't as bad as you may think.

 

One thing I would watch out for this year, is to make sure you're not going JUST after the Rivers of America stuff re-opens and you should be sweet as.

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I've been nearly every month of the year. August surprisingly wasn't that bad. There was one day where it was a little too much but that day doesn't compare to the park on New Years Eve (which I recommend doing... only once though).

Longest I had to wait for rides was probably an hour which was for Splash Mountain. Naturally stand by for Cars was 3 hours but that is where fast pass and single rider comes in for that particular ride. Most rides had an average stand by time of 30 minutes on the signs but took quicker to get through.

I enjoyed the atmosphere of the park in summer over the other months to be honest. 

 

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I went during the peak US summer period and managed to do all the main rides (even Rocket Rods which has since closed). I got there at 8.00 am in the morning before the park had even opened and stayed until midnight when the park closed. California Adventure Park had yet to open (under construction) so I didn't do that but the main park itself, I think there were only 4 rides that I didn't do (mainly kiddie ones). Didn't use the fast pass option, just zoomed around from ride to ride, most rides didn't have to wait more than half an hour and squeezed it all in. It helps if you are a single rider too as they try to fill up the rides to capacity before releasing so that helped me as well (my aunt went on 3 coasters with me and after that, had had quite enough for a life time!). Not sure of the hours they do now but that was hands down, the greatest day of my life (and I'm married with 2 kids!!) It truly is the happiest place on earth. Knotts Berry Farm was easy to fit all in in one day - I don't remember any queues for the rides. Don't forget Universal Studios too, can be done in a day easily.

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So still planning this trip at the moment.  Just wondering if anyone here has done the VIP experience at Universal Studios?  I am just trying to work out if it is worth it.

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I did the VIP experience at USH in 2010 I think. I really enjoyed it. From memory we spent around half the day going around the film studios, being able to walk through the New York/Chicago street and down an 'alley', and also around the famous crashed 747 set. We also walked through the prop house and into places like the sign shop etc. It was pretty good, and while it was better than the usual studio tour they put on, I probably wouldn't go back and do it again. Once is enough for me. It was better than the WB studio tour, btw.

I don't remember doing much around the theme park, besides getting a nice sit down buffet lunch and getting express passes for all of the rides and shows. If you haven't visited USH before, I would probably still want a stand alone day (or half day) to experience the park as a usual guest.

Overall I'd definitely recommend it if you have the cash to spare, but I wouldn't say it's a 'must do'.

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I am only thinking of this as an option due to the front of line passes.  Being the summer holiday period, i really don't want to queue for hours.  It does make the day at US a $2000 day though.

Edited by Troy81

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@Troy81 I did the VIP tour earlier this year and really enjoyed the studio tour, but like @ash.1111 says, its probably a do it once thing for me. It is the only way to get unlimited express passes - all other express passes only allow one use per ride, so if multiple re-rides is important then its definitely worth the price.

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49 minutes ago, ash.1111 said:

I could think of so many better ways to spend 2k... I mean I'd fly out to Universal Orlando with that money :P 

For 4 people. Including one very impatient 7 year old.

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@Troy81 I'm heading over there at the end of this month so I've been wondering the same things. I'm planning on visiting Disneyland, California Adventures, Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm, Sea World, Great America, Magic Mountain and Discovery Kingdom at this stage  

I'm pretty sure I'll need a flash pass for MM at least one day but not sure what to do with the other parks.

 

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Yeah I recommend the cash for the platinum flash pass for magic mountain. 

Check wait time on X as well and if it's high grab the hardly advertised singe ride X upgrade. A coaster everyone must experience at least once. 

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Did Magic Mountain around the end of May/early June last year, found I didn't need the Flash Pass to get things done. Also a risk of X2 not opening (as happened during my first visit) so consider that before pass purchase.

Edited by pin142

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We did mid late June and 100% needed the pass so beware mileage may vary. 

And yes check X is actually open and the wait isn't actually like only 15mins because that's sometimes a thing. 

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On 03/13/17 at 7:57 AM, joz said:

I think the trick to Disneyland in Summer is to go while the annual passes are still blocked out for locals ,here's a handy link to help you: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/passes/blockout-dates/

 

I've only been able to go in peak season and found it actually pretty tolerable, no one deals with a crowd like Disney and they do it best in peak Summer season (parks are open later, pretty much everything is open and running as many cars as possible).  Go in with a game plan and get there early and you can get a remarkable amount of stuff done.  I've done WDW in the middle of winter and while obviously the crowds are lighter, honestly peak season at Disneyland isn't as bad as you may think.

 

One thing I would watch out for this year, is to make sure you're not going JUST after the Rivers of America stuff re-opens and you should be sweet as.

And Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.

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The great thing about Disney is that, even with massive crowds like that, they always seem to manage them really well. Never been to a Disney park myself (that will change by the end of the year though ;) ) but I always hear fantastic stories about how they manage their crowds so well.

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1 hour ago, Wil_i_am_not said:

^ My thoughts exactly, was the same when I was trying to navigate my way around Magic Kingdom. What we're the lines like @jack.c?

Average of 90~ minutes on standby, approx 3-4 hours with the free fast pass. 

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As others have said Summer Holidays  (June-August inclusive) are the best times to visit Disneyland due to the vast majority of Annual Passes being blocked from visiting There are also some other factors that work in favour of a Summer visit:

- all available attractions operating with no scheduled attractions maintenance over the period June 1 - August 31.

- all available Attraction Units operating  (cars, trains, boats etc) sighting maximum capacity.

- maximum staffing working throughout the Resort to ensure all aspects 'on stage' are fully equipped to handle larger crowds.

- Extended trading hours across the resort every day throughout Summertime, allowing the entire crowd to spread across a longer trading day. I find that within the 1st few trading hours you can cover a lot of ground, ticking off some of the majors.

 

 

 

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