Sunday, August 26, 2007

Best time to visit Disneyland

Figuring out when to visit a park that's open every single day of the year can be overwhelming. Most people consider the obvious, the crowd conditions, but fail to recognize other factors: Events held around Anaheim, the schedules of local school districts and even events occurring in the park itself.

Summer is one of the busiest times of the year, making entering the park a challenge itself. My picture, 2007.

It is widely assumed that summer is the busiest time at Disneyland, which is only partly true. Many estimates, including the Disneyland Linkage, place the weeks surrounding Christmas and New Years at the top of the list for most crowded.

New Year's Eve is infamous for the amount of people it attracts, and it is often reported that Disneyland simply begins refusing entrance to new guests. The maximum capacity for the park is around 85,000, and if you think of how small the walkways are in "normal" conditions, imagine it with 25, 30 thousand more people!

No matter how unbelievable it sounds, there are plenty of benefits to visiting Disneyland during the peak season. In spirit of the holidays, the park is given a complete makeover during the winter season, a main factor in drawing crowds. Even if you can't sneak onto Indiana Jones Adventure or the Matterhorn Bobsleds, it's worth a visit simply to witness the "snow" fall around Sleeping Beauty Castle and warm holiday tunes playing in the background.

The castle gets all decorated for the holiday season. s0nginmyheart on, 2006.

You simply can't say the same for July and August, however. These months are also noted as some of the busiest, often ranking in at 55,000 visitors. Pair that with the beating California sun (average temperatures for the summer season range from 70-100 degrees Fahrenheit), and you've got both long lines and cranky guests surrounding you. It's also more common for groups to "cut" in front of you while waiting in summer's infamous lines: During my trip in early August, a group of around 20 managed to cut in front of my family while in the queue area for the Hollywood Tower of Terror.

Hour long waiting times and soaring temperatures are two things you have to be willing to accept if you visit in summer; they're both not going to change anytime soon. If you think past the rude people and sweat rolling down your face, you can have a pretty nice time. Just remember to ride some of the more popular rides, like Indiana Jones and Splash Mountain, in the wee hours of the morning and late at night. And don't even bother with Finding Nemo unless you've got a spare two hours on your hands.

You may be wondering about the so-called "off seasons" often mentioned with Disneyland fans. This phrase simply refers to the quieter, less crowded periods of time at the park, generally during the following: January, early and mid-February, September through October (excluding Columbus Day), November (also excluding the days around Thanksgiving, which are very busy), and the first two weeks of December.

If you visit during the off season, chances are you'll get a view similar to this. Arrowfanman on, 2007.

In short: January, February, September, October and early December are best for visiting. March, April, June, July, August, November and late December are worst when it comes to crowds. May would probably be categorized in "worst" if anything, but most of the time it's sort of a neutral month.

Take this guide with a grain of salt as there are always exceptions, such as various school holidays, events taking place around the park and sudden changes in Disneyland's schedule. For the best trip possible, always make reservations months ahead of time and pay attention to what's going on in terms of events. And of course, consult the Disneyland Expert if you've got other burning questions!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Disney Gallery

Taken by me on August 9

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Firework spectacular

Day two ended with a bang, literally! My family enjoyed the Disneyland fireworks from our hotel room balcony instead of fighting the large crowds in the park. In this picture, taken by my dad, you can see what a great view our room provided.

Breakfast this morning took place at Carnation Cafe, where I ordered Mickey Mouse waffles. Otherwise, today has mainly been a day for California Adventure, not Disneyland, though I hope to visit later on in the day. Tonight we're going to the local Medievil Times, a dinner/entertainment event.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Day two

Day two at Disneyland is halfway over, unfortunately! My mother and I woke up at about 6:50 this morning to go on the Grand Californian Hotel's fitness walk, where participants walk in an empty, closed Disney's California Adventure.

After the 30 minute walk, we had breakfast at La Brea Bakery Cafe in Downtown Disney, a fun experience once you got past the bees buzzing past your head. We practically inhaled our food in order to enter Disneyland as fast as possible!

I have to say, Disneyland is really busy in August. In fact, the infamous line for the newly opened Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage nearly reached "it's a small world" late yesterday evening!

My family ate lunch at our hotel's White Water Snacks and returned to our hotel room, where we currently are. In a few minutes we'll head out to Adventureland, where we'll use our Fastpasses to get on Indiana Jones Adventure. See you all later!

Monday, August 06, 2007

View from our hotel room

Quick update

Blogging from Disneyland! I just wanted to post a fast update telling you all my family has arrived safely at the Happiest Place on Earth. Somehow my camera's battery was drained and as a result I have to recharge it, so no photos yet. Stay tuned, however, as we're just getting started!

P.S., our room at the Grand Californian Hotel is great! We've got a fantastic view of Downtown Disney and part of Disneyland itself. I'll take photos, of course!

See you!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Updates from inside the park

Photo courtesy of Disney.

Beginning Monday, August 6 and ending Friday, August 10, I will be on vacation in Disneyland. As a way of continuing to provide readers with the latest Disney news, I will update this blog at least once a day with new photos and information. Stay tuned as I am notorious for taking plenty of pictures wherever I go!