Sunday, July 15, 2012

Surprised at the Crowds . . . In a GOOD Way!!

Surprised at the Crowds . . . In a GOOD Way!!

Before Cars Land opened it was thought once is did open both parks would become so crowded that both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure would reach capacity and have to close every day during the summer. Even some mid-level management types let it slip they had been told because of this Annual Passholder prices were raised to discourage people from purchasing or renewing them. I guess it worked.

Disneyland has had to close its gates many times when the park reaches capacity. Disney California Adventure has only had to do it once, the day World of Color opened. Only once have both parks had to stop admitting people, the day World of Color opened.

I’m taking back what I said in a post a month or two ago about avoiding the Disneyland Resort for the next couple of years. I say come and enjoy but bring your patience and be ready for long lines. If you go to DCA be ready for even longer lines, especially in the Cars Land area. Radiator Springs Racers line can be a crazy 170 minutes long and sometimes longer!

So how do you survive the long lines, especially if you have kids?

1.     Let the entire family/group know the parks will be full and lines are long. This means it is no surprise when you see a line that has over a 2 hour wait. Most rides will have shorter lines.

2.    Take turns in line until you reach a cue area that you cannot slip easily in and out of.

3.    Take bottled drinks with you or a sports bottle you can refill with you so you can stay hydrated on hot days.

4.    Take a digital camera and take pictures. The cue areas of most rides are themed amazingly well and you will be amazed at the details. Enjoy them. Take pictures of each other and be silly. Keep it light and happy.

5.    Figure out games you can play in line. Word games are fun and can pass the time. Here is one I love. One person picks two words that are totally unrelated. (example: insane+flower) Then they find two words that rhyme that mean the same thing to tell others as the clue. (example: crazy+daisy) Tell the group the rhyming words and they have to guess what the real words are. The person that answers correctly first gets to pick the next set of words. iPods, iPads and hand held games can be a blessing as well but watch the batteries.

6.    Tale a break from the crowds. Go back to your hotel if you are staying nearby. Find a quiet or quieter spot to sit down for a while. Maybe instead of eating in a restaurant or near a counter service location go find an out of the way bench to eat. New Orleans in DL has some quieter spots. Paradise Gardens is an enjoyable escape at DCA

7.    Give the kids a chance to RUN and work off pent up energy after standing in line. Tom Sawyers Island and Challenge Trail are two wonderful areas with one way in and one way out. Mom and dad can wait at the entrance/exit while the kids run around.

8.    Most importantly know your limits. If a member of your family/group is ADHD/Autistic or has some other behavioral/physical limitation make sure you accommodate for it. If someone can’t stand for long lengths of time rent/bring a wheelchair/scooter. They will still have to stay in the long line but they will not have to stand. If for some real reason long lines are hard for someone in your group ask for a Guest Assistance Pass (GAP) at Guest Services (City Hall at Disneyland/Chamber of Commerce in DCA). Make sure you are clear as to why they can’t be in an overly long line. ADHD/Autism and claustrophobia are real problems when standing in some lines. This can lead to a bad day at the park if not taken into consideration. Be aware even with the GAP you will have to stand in some line and it may be as long as one hour. For some rides you may be given a time to come back later to get into a line. Still the time in line is reduced. The person with the GAP can take up to five people with them for a total of six in the group. Most rides you just go up the Fastpass line if you have the double arrow Fastpass.

9.    If lines are a big problem for you consider holding off for a time and coming to DLR during the off season. There are fewer guests in the parks September and early October then again January-May or so. The parks are by no means empty or line free but still much better.

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