December Crowds? - First timers

thor369

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 9, 2019
Hi all,

Planning to visit family in San Diego over Christmas and want to take the kids 5 and 2 to DL. We are planning to stay in a hotel outside DL and do two days in DL. Will it be very crowded? like wall to wall people?
We have never been to either WDW or DL, but hear that in WDW they give you fastpass 60 days in advance if you stay on Disney property and 30 days in advance for off property, is it the same for DL as well?

Any tips or tricks to have a great first time experience in DL?
 

gottalovepluto

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Christmas to New Years time is definitely wall to wall and the busiest Disneyland is all year long. No, Disneyland doesn’t do advance FP like WDW.

Review the threads that are stickied up top on the Disneyland Forum for tips and tricks.
 

BadPinkTink

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
As it is your first visit to ANY Disney park, everything will be new and over whelming to you. As you have never experienced any Disney park, even a light , low crowd day to regulars will feel like so.many.people to you. Just go with an open mind, that it will be ALOT more crowded and will have longer wait times than your local themepark or fair ground.

Disneyland and Disneyworld have very different systems in place. Please ONLY research Disneyland California.

Fastpasses in Disneyland California can only be booked on the day, once you have been scanned into the park

There are only 3 onsite hotels and all are very expensive, please research the offiste hotel, many different types to suit all budgets

Buy your tickets on line in advance from an authorised discount reseller, you will save approx $50 on average per ticket

Restaurant reservations are available online 60 days in advance

Download and get familiar with the Disneyland App
 
  • CanuckMama

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 15, 2019
    Disneyland and Disneyworld have very different systems in place. Please ONLY research Disneyland California.
    I am in the midst of researching for our first family trip myself, but I'd definitely echo this advice. I've looked at a few "Disney" FB groups and such, and found that a lot of the info (dining plans, advance reservations, FP, etc.) is useless because it pertains to WDW and not DL. Sometimes worse than useless actually - there's so much info to absorb, that reading and having to subsequently disregard "wrong" info can become very confusing.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    This sticky thread from the top of the first page has TONS of great information for you: * DLR Info/Links - Maps, Hotels, DISer Reviews, Hydroguy's tips, NEWBIE INFO here!.
    From that sticky:
    DLR Abbreviations List -- this can help with any confusion -- we use a lot of abbreviations around here to make typing easier!
    HydroGuy Tips Compilation -- SO many good threads here!
    "HydroGuy's Hotel Rule" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199862
    "Choosing the Right DLR Area Hotel for You" www.disboards.com/threads/choosing-the-right-hotel-for-you.3656512/
    "Maxpass/Fastpass: an overview and some strategy" by @Skyegirl1999 - www.disboards.com/threads/maxpass-fastpass-an-overview-and-some-strategy.3726246/ -- ask all your FP/MP questions here!
    OFFICIAL 2018 Christmas & Holiday Time at DLR Superthread!! -- this was last year's Holiday Time Superthread -- look through this to see what was offered, when, and how people handled the crowds. This was pre-SWGE, but the advice should still be good.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    So who's selling 2 day tickets for $50 off? The best I can find is an 11 dollar discount.
    I think the pp was referring to LMT, where discounts on multi-day tickets average around $10/day per ticket. That would mean about $50 discount on a 5 day ticket. LMT also sells 2 day tickets, most likely with a $20 discount. Check LMT for prices -- don't buy a membership, but use Google to search for a free code.
     
  • Aurora0427

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2014
    If staying at one of the Disney resorts isn’t in your budget, I highly recommend the Park Vue Inn. It’s a Disney good neighbor hotel, and as close to the parks as you can get without staying at the Grand Californian. We stayed there two weeks ago for our first trip to Disneyland, since we are now locals and can’t afford a Disney Resort every trip.
     

    tarheelalum

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 16, 2013
    Christmas crowds are the most extreme of the entire year. So much so that the Fire Marshal will often close the gates a few times around the two days after Christmas.
     

    amandacfmartin

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2018
    My dh and DK aged 7,8 and 11 were at DLR last Christmas. It was an amazing trip. We stayed offsite at the Hotel Indigo. I got a great price thru Hotwire. We were there on Dec 24, 25 and 26. The crowds got bigger after the 26th I read. We got to the parks at RD, used Fast Pass and took afternoon breaks. Did DCA after we came back. I stacked up FPasses throughout the afternoon for the evening. We went on every ride we wanted on. fP, and some more than once! Do your research and it will be great!
     

    Babe the Blue Ox

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2007
    I think the pp was referring to LMT, where discounts on multi-day tickets average around $10/day per ticket. That would mean about $50 discount on a 5 day ticket. LMT also sells 2 day tickets, most likely with a $20 discount. Check LMT for prices -- don't buy a membership, but use Google to search for a free code.
    Thanks for the info. LMT has 2 day tickets at $17 off. Best I’ve found so far.
     
  • BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    So who's selling 2 day tickets for $50 off? The best I can find is an 11 dollar discount.
    I think the pp was referring to LMT, where discounts on multi-day tickets average around $10/day per ticket. That would mean about $50 discount on a 5 day ticket. LMT also sells 2 day tickets, most likely with a $20 discount. Check LMT for prices -- don't buy a membership, but use Google to search for a free code.
    Thanks for the info. LMT has 2 day tickets at $17 off. Best I’ve found so far.
    sorry yes, I bought 3 day 1 park tickets from Last Minute Travel Club and when I price compared at the time of purchase with Disney website, the Last Minute Travel Club ticket was $50 cheaper.
     

    thor369

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 9, 2019
    This sticky thread from the top of the first page has TONS of great information for you: * DLR Info/Links - Maps, Hotels, DISer Reviews, Hydroguy's tips, NEWBIE INFO here!.
    From that sticky:
    DLR Abbreviations List -- this can help with any confusion -- we use a lot of abbreviations around here to make typing easier!
    HydroGuy Tips Compilation -- SO many good threads here!
    "HydroGuy's Hotel Rule" www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1199862
    "Choosing the Right DLR Area Hotel for You" www.disboards.com/threads/choosing-the-right-hotel-for-you.3656512/
    "Maxpass/Fastpass: an overview and some strategy" by @Skyegirl1999 - www.disboards.com/threads/maxpass-fastpass-an-overview-and-some-strategy.3726246/ -- ask all your FP/MP questions here!
    OFFICIAL 2018 Christmas & Holiday Time at DLR Superthread!! -- this was last year's Holiday Time Superthread -- look through this to see what was offered, when, and how people handled the crowds. This was pre-SWGE, but the advice should still be good.
    Thanks I will read through these threads.
     

    thor369

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 9, 2019
    My dh and DK aged 7,8 and 11 were at DLR last Christmas. It was an amazing trip. We stayed offsite at the Hotel Indigo. I got a great price thru Hotwire. We were there on Dec 24, 25 and 26. The crowds got bigger after the 26th I read. We got to the parks at RD, used Fast Pass and took afternoon breaks. Did DCA after we came back. I stacked up FPasses throughout the afternoon for the evening. We went on every ride we wanted on. fP, and some more than once! Do your research and it will be great!
    Will plan to be there before Christmas if possible and also try to do the FP. We will go with an open mind that if we can't get on the rides it's ok. but will try atleast the ones my kids will enjoy.
    Are there any dinosaur rides in DL?
     

    smartlabelprint

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 6, 2013
    Will plan to be there before Christmas if possible and also try to do the FP. We will go with an open mind that if we can't get on the rides it's ok. but will try atleast the ones my kids will enjoy.
    Are there any dinosaur rides in DL?
    No Dino rides. Be sure to stay on harbor Blvd in walking distance. Hydroguy’s thread is really good. Be sure to read.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    ... Are there any dinosaur rides in DL?
    Sort of. The DLRR has a great diorama of the Primeval World, complete with dinosaurs. A classic! The dinosaurs are between the TL and Main Street stations, but riding a full loop of the train around the park is always a treat (and a nice rest for your legs). BTMRR has a dinosaur skeleton toward the end of the ride. Youngest used to call that ride "seeing the dinosaur." You can see the skeleton from the line and boarding area (from the right side) and from the ride itself.
     

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