December Saturday strategies

AprilOrMay

Earning My Ears
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Hello!

I’ve been invited to join family members at Disneyland on Saturday, December 7th (the date can’t be changed). I’ve been to Disneyland several times as a child, and appreciate some of the nostalgia. However, I am an extreme introvert, so I get tired in crowds very quickly. Can you please help me with some strategies?

My family already expects me to join them for a portion of the day, the go off by myself for awhile, then meet up again (& repeat). What quiet spots in the park might be out of the way to get a break? I’d be willing to spend some $ if that helps.

Do you think leaving the park and visiting a quiet corner of a hotel lobby or off-site spot somewhere for a little while would be possible that afternoon, or would I be unable to return?

I’ve never been to Disneyland during December, so I’m looking forward to seeing the Main Street decorations, Haunted Mansion, and It’s a Small World. Anything else I should seek?

My other question is in regards to MaxPass – I expect a MaxPass makes sense for me to manage the solo parts of my day. It comes with a photo pass, right? However, I don’t know if my family members will buy them as well. When I do join up with them, would we all be able to get a photo together on my MaxPass, or does everyone in the picture need one?

Thanks in advance!
 

figment_jii

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 22, 2006
Normally, Saturdays are pretty busier during any of the special "seasons" in DLR, including the holidays. Crowds have been somewhat unpredictable this year, but I would still expect some level of crowds on the weekends during the holiday season. That being said, there are a few quiet(ish) spots in the parks (although, none are really quiet).
  • End of Main Street, Near First Aid - Behind the Corn Dog cart is a kind of out of the way area.
  • End of Route 66 (Carsland), left side - There are a few benches.
  • Train - It's not really quiet, but it can feel somewhat removed from the crowds.
Usually, DLR doesn't reach capacity that early in December, so you'll probably be fine to head to one of the hotels. The GCH has a gingerbread house that's fun to see, but the lobby area will be busy with guests checking-in/out, checking out the decorations, etc. So that might not be the best option for a quiet place. I haven't been, but one of the hotel lounges might be an option.

Disneyland does not (usually) official announce the dates for Candlelight Procession (it's technically a private event that just happens to be held in the park where guests can also watch). It's traditionally held the first weekend in December. December 1 is a Sunday, so my guess is that CP will be on 12/7 and 12/8. It means that there will be extra crowds in Disneyland, primarily on Main Street, waiting for the show. It's just something to keep in mind.
 

Disney Rose

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
We go in early December every year and during the candlelight processional it’s crazy busy on Main Street and can be difficult to leave through that entrance/exit. I recommend taking the monorail to downtown Disney when you want a break. Wander around there, grab a coffee, browse the shops, then monorail back in when you’re ready. Avoid Main St and you’ll be fine.
 

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  • Plip

    Oh, bother
    Joined
    Sep 9, 2019
    As you may know, the reason you quickly get tired in crowds is because introverts struggle to filter out all of the stimulation around you. You don't intend to, but you end up trying to process every conversation and everything else that is happening around you, and the results are predictable. You can't keep up. After doing that for a period of time, you're mentally exhausted, and you feel like everything is caving in on you.

    Your strategy of finding a quiet place to escape from the stimulation is good. But be proactive. Give yourself a break before you become overwhelmed, because once you hit that point, it takes a lot longer recover.

    And here is another strategy I'd suggest. Get yourself a good set of noise cancelling earbuds. I wouldn't use them all of the time, but when you're standing in line (which may be a lot of the time), put on something that you find relaxing. Maybe music. Maybe an audio book. Maybe even white noise, although I think something distracting is probably better than just something that drowns out the noise (because there's plenty of non-audio stimulation, too). If you can escape from the extra stimulation by focusing in on an audio book, for example, you'll save yourself a lot of mental effort, and you'll last a lot longer.

    The good news about the crowds at Disneyland is that nobody except your group really expects you to interact with them (unlike at a party, for instance). And it sounds like your family is sympathetic to your challenges. So just let them know that you need to "escape" when you're in line, and if they let you do that, you'll be able "re-join" them during the actual attraction, and you'll be able to stay with them for longer.

    It's great that you're going! And even better that you're planning ahead! I hope it's a positive experience for you, and I look forward to reading your report.
     

    AprilOrMay

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2017
    Normally, Saturdays are pretty busier during any of the special "seasons" in DLR, including the holidays. Crowds have been somewhat unpredictable this year, but I would still expect some level of crowds on the weekends during the holiday season. That being said, there are a few quiet(ish) spots in the parks (although, none are really quiet).
    • End of Main Street, Near First Aid - Behind the Corn Dog cart is a kind of out of the way area.
    • End of Route 66 (Carsland), left side - There are a few benches.
    • Train - It's not really quiet, but it can feel somewhat removed from the crowds.
    Usually, DLR doesn't reach capacity that early in December, so you'll probably be fine to head to one of the hotels. The GCH has a gingerbread house that's fun to see, but the lobby area will be busy with guests checking-in/out, checking out the decorations, etc. So that might not be the best option for a quiet place. I haven't been, but one of the hotel lounges might be an option.

    Disneyland does not (usually) official announce the dates for Candlelight Procession (it's technically a private event that just happens to be held in the park where guests can also watch). It's traditionally held the first weekend in December. December 1 is a Sunday, so my guess is that CP will be on 12/7 and 12/8. It means that there will be extra crowds in Disneyland, primarily on Main Street, waiting for the show. It's just something to keep in mind.
    Oh, thank you! I’ll put your list into my phone to remind me. I did wonder about a hotel bar, but didn’t want to sound like a lush.
     

    AprilOrMay

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2017
    We go in early December every year and during the candlelight processional it’s crazy busy on Main Street and can be difficult to leave through that entrance/exit. I recommend taking the monorail to downtown Disney when you want a break. Wander around there, grab a coffee, browse the shops, then monorail back in when you’re ready. Avoid Main St and you’ll be fine.
    I didn’t know that the monorail goes between DTD and Tomorrowland. We used to go to the Disneyland Hotel when I was a kid without going into the park, but could ride the monorail around. What a great idea!
     

    AprilOrMay

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2017
    As you may know, the reason you quickly get tired in crowds is because introverts struggle to filter out all of the stimulation around you. You don't intend to, but you end up trying to process every conversation and everything else that is happening around you, and the results are predictable. You can't keep up. After doing that for a period of time, you're mentally exhausted, and you feel like everything is caving in on you.

    Your strategy of finding a quiet place to escape from the stimulation is good. But be proactive. Give yourself a break before you become overwhelmed, because once you hit that point, it takes a lot longer recover.

    And here is another strategy I'd suggest. Get yourself a good set of noise cancelling earbuds. I wouldn't use them all of the time, but when you're standing in line (which may be a lot of the time), put on something that you find relaxing. Maybe music. Maybe an audio book. Maybe even white noise, although I think something distracting is probably better than just something that drowns out the noise (because there's plenty of non-audio stimulation, too). If you can escape from the extra stimulation by focusing in on an audio book, for example, you'll save yourself a lot of mental effort, and you'll last a lot longer.

    The good news about the crowds at Disneyland is that nobody except your group really expects you to interact with them (unlike at a party, for instance). And it sounds like your family is sympathetic to your challenges. So just let them know that you need to "escape" when you're in line, and if they let you do that, you'll be able "re-join" them during the actual attraction, and you'll be able to stay with them for longer.

    It's great that you're going! And even better that you're planning ahead! I hope it's a positive experience for you, and I look forward to reading your report.
    I actually didn’t realize that’s why, so thank you for the explanation! I never would have thought of earbuds and my own soundtrack, since I prefer silence. But you’re right, my own selection of noise might be just the thing!

    I actually haven’t 100% decided to go yet, but the ideas I’ve received today have pushed me from about 60% chance to more like 90%. Thanks!
     
  • Babystitch

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 3, 2008
    I haven't been there in awhile, myself, but I actually faced a very similar situation years ago (also in December!). I just wanted to chime in and say that I was able to find quiet places, even with the holidays, to sit and just absorb the music and decorations and recharge. I ended up having a truly amazing time. It was so worth the risk. So I hope that you do consider going! I will keep my eye out when I am there and try to report back to see if the locations I loved are still viable. :) Whatever you choose, hope you have a nice holiday!
     

    ten6mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2012
    We are going the same Saturday for our traditional Christmas ornament shopping trip. Totally forgot about CP!!! Yikes!
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    If you really need to decompress and find some space away from stimulus, go to First Aid. The CMs there are all RNs, are all super friendly, and are all eager to help. You will be allowed to sit in the waiting area for as long as you need or, if you need more isolation, you can lie down in a curtained off area to be alone for as long as you need.
    The picnic area outside the esplanade can be a quiet area (if there aren't any birthday parties going on). There are tables there and hedges surrounding the area. You can get something to drink from Starbucks, find a table, and read a book for a while. (Same goes for the tables outside Starbucks, the main store, in DTD -- and there is free wifi there, too.) Some of these places may not be totally quiet, but most people won't bother someone alone at a table reading a book.
     

    AprilOrMay

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2017
    I haven't been there in awhile, myself, but I actually faced a very similar situation years ago (also in December!). I just wanted to chime in and say that I was able to find quiet places, even with the holidays, to sit and just absorb the music and decorations and recharge. I ended up having a truly amazing time. It was so worth the risk. So I hope that you do consider going! I will keep my eye out when I am there and try to report back to see if the locations I loved are still viable. :) Whatever you choose, hope you have a nice holiday!
    Thank you for sharing! I'm thinking it's probably worth the risk for me, too. I'd like to be there when the little ones experience their first visit. Thanks for planning to follow up and for the well wishes!
     
  • AprilOrMay

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2017
    If you really need to decompress and find some space away from stimulus, go to First Aid. The CMs there are all RNs, are all super friendly, and are all eager to help. You will be allowed to sit in the waiting area for as long as you need or, if you need more isolation, you can lie down in a curtained off area to be alone for as long as you need.
    The picnic area outside the esplanade can be a quiet area (if there aren't any birthday parties going on). There are tables there and hedges surrounding the area. You can get something to drink from Starbucks, find a table, and read a book for a while. (Same goes for the tables outside Starbucks, the main store, in DTD -- and there is free wifi there, too.) Some of these places may not be totally quiet, but most people won't bother someone alone at a table reading a book.
    Oh, good to know! I appreciate the locations, and the information on FirstAid. I'd hate to utilize services that others might need more, but I'm glad the RNs would be eager to help. The goal will be to pay enough attention that I don't need it, but it's nice to know it's available in a pinch.
     

    figment_jii

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 22, 2006
    I didn’t know that the monorail goes between DTD and Tomorrowland. We used to go to the Disneyland Hotel when I was a kid without going into the park, but could ride the monorail around. What a great idea!
    Just note that they make everyone get off the monorail at Tomorrowland (at least that's how it was the last time I rode the monorail). That being said, it's a nice way to get to the far end of DTD without walking if you're not on a time constraint. You do need a valid ticket to board the monorail at DTD.
     

    crystal1313

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2012
    My family and I like to take breaks throughout the day in the parks and can usually find fairly quiet spots to do so. Last year we found a table at the exit to the Tiki room and sat there and enjoyed our dole whips. The only time it was busy was when a show exited, otherwise we felt all alone up there! Also, near Harbor Galley you can usually find a quiet area. My kids really like to go to Tom Sawyer Island and we can usually find a fairly quiet spot there as well!

    DL at Christmas is pretty incredible. The decorations, music and food are wonderful. It is my favorite time to go! My favorite are the giant gingerbread cookies you can get in the Starbucks or candy stores. So yummy!

    Along with Maxpass, you can also take advantage of single rider on a lot of the attractions. Yes, Maxpass also has photopass. If you take a group photo, you all do not need Maxpass. Plus, the photopass includes ride photos too, which are pretty fun. My kids like to come up with different poses on Splash Mountain for every photo. LOL.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip! (We usually go on CP weekend and the crowds are manageable. We just go in knowing it will be crowded and go from there. It's usually not bad except the area of Main street, which still is not too terrible IMO)
     

    Skyegirl1999

    1st pickle of the day!
    Joined
    Apr 11, 2016
    The Grand Californian lobby (which does have a nice, low-key bar in addition to other seating - you wouldn’t have to order alcohol) is a nice place to relax, and the Alfresco Terrace in DCA is usually pretty chill (it’s not always open, but should be on a Saturday in December).

    The exit of Guardians also has some seating that’s rarely used (unless there’s a Pokemon raid happening; that ride is a Pokemon gym - so if a dozen people show up staring at their phones, that’s what’s happening). It’s on the left as you exit the store at the ride’s exit and it’s often deserted.
     

    AprilOrMay

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2017
    My family and I like to take breaks throughout the day in the parks and can usually find fairly quiet spots to do so. Last year we found a table at the exit to the Tiki room and sat there and enjoyed our dole whips. The only time it was busy was when a show exited, otherwise we felt all alone up there! Also, near Harbor Galley you can usually find a quiet area. My kids really like to go to Tom Sawyer Island and we can usually find a fairly quiet spot there as well!

    DL at Christmas is pretty incredible. The decorations, music and food are wonderful. It is my favorite time to go! My favorite are the giant gingerbread cookies you can get in the Starbucks or candy stores. So yummy!

    Along with Maxpass, you can also take advantage of single rider on a lot of the attractions. Yes, Maxpass also has photopass. If you take a group photo, you all do not need Maxpass. Plus, the photopass includes ride photos too, which are pretty fun. My kids like to come up with different poses on Splash Mountain for every photo. LOL.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip! (We usually go on CP weekend and the crowds are manageable. We just go in knowing it will be crowded and go from there. It's usually not bad except the area of Main street, which still is not too terrible IMO)
    Thanks! I appreciate the Maxpass info, too!
     

    AprilOrMay

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2017
    The Grand Californian lobby (which does have a nice, low-key bar in addition to other seating - you wouldn’t have to order alcohol) is a nice place to relax, and the Alfresco Terrace in DCA is usually pretty chill (it’s not always open, but should be on a Saturday in December).

    The exit of Guardians also has some seating that’s rarely used (unless there’s a Pokemon raid happening; that ride is a Pokemon gym - so if a dozen people show up staring at their phones, that’s what’s happening). It’s on the left as you exit the store at the ride’s exit and it’s often deserted.
    I just went to check the menu for the lounge at Grand Californian - looks very nice! Would probably be a good plan, thanks!
     

    Becca1007

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 1, 2016
    Just note that they make everyone get off the monorail at Tomorrowland (at least that's how it was the last time I rode the monorail). That being said, it's a nice way to get to the far end of DTD without walking if you're not on a time constraint. You do need a valid ticket to board the monorail at DTD.
    I think this is only in the first morning hours of the monorail, as they want it to go back fairly empty to pick up the large crowds entering the park. We definitely did a double loop two weeks ago.
    The train I find is fairly relaxing as well.
    As for First Aid the space is rather large and has plenty of beds, so if you need a quiet space it don't hesistate to use it.
     

    VandVsmama

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2011
    Some of my favorite spots to chill out:
    Harbour Galley next to Rivers of America
    upper level table near the water at Hungry Bear
    sitting on a park bench just about anywhere and people watching
    sitting outside at a table at Flo's V-8 Cafe and watching the cars on RSR race by
    anywhere at the French Market, even better if the jazz band is playing while you're sitting there
    Great Moments with Mr Lincoln
    GCH lobby
     


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