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Disneyland on Christmas Day

Discussion in 'Disneyland Resort' started by spacemt354, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. spacemt354

    spacemt354 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    This will be my family's first trip to Disneyland on Christmas. It's something that we've always thought about doing, but this year it finally became a reality! Since this is the first time our whole family is traveling out west, we will only be spending 2 days at Disneyland (Dec 25 and Dec 30) to leave room to see what else California has to offer.

    We aren't from the SoCal area but are well aware of the traffic concerns in the area. We are staying at the Universal Hollywood Hilton in LA, and Disneyland is approx 35 miles from our hotel.

    My first question: is the traffic any better/worse on Christmas? We wanted to arrive at rope drop, and were planning on leaving about 90 minutes early. Is that enough time with traffic to ensure we arrive on time?

    Also we are familiar with the what's popular (Carsland) and expect there to be very long lines. We actually aren't too worried about riding RSR. It won't be a dagger in our trip if we miss it, because we already reserved lunch at Flo's, and we'd rather see a lot than use 2 hours of our time waiting in line for a 3-4 minute attraction. So that brings me to my next question:

    Our big "must-sees" for the DLR are:
    1.) Space Mountain
    2.) PoTC
    3.) Indy
    4.) Matterhorn
    5.) California Screamin
    6.) RSR (if line is not 2+ hours)

    We've been to Disney World a lot and have noticed trends over the years in regards to the best times to ride attractions so that you have minimal wait, and that some attractions such as the ToT and PoTC, traditionally have wait times that turn out to be shorter than posted.

    Do these things happen at Disneyland? Is there a better time of the day to ride Indy for example? Or will it not matter on Christmas anyway?

    Any help would be appreciated and I thank you for reading.
     
  2. raven24

    raven24 Well-Known Member

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    Since you're coming on Christmas Day, I'd leave maybe two to two and a half hours earlier. Christmas Day in SoCal means traffic, and you're coming from Universal Studios/Hollywood. While not too far, you just want to play it safe. If you get there early, you can stroll through Downtown Disney or have breakfast. Better to be there early and be bored than to be there right on time or late and get second dibs on everything. I think you will be fine with 90 minutes, but you never know.

    I've never been to Disneyland on Christmas Day, but I've been very close to that date, and it's still crowded. I can only imagine how crowded it's going to be on Christmas, especially with all the annual passholders that will be there. I would imagine crowds may be a little lighter for Indy and all the others at night... Then again, night is the best time to get on those rides. Just try and get Fastpasses as early as possible.
     
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  3. Cosmic Commando

    Cosmic Commando Well-Known Member

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    I would probably leave two hours before the parks open. You only have two days at Disneyland. I may have misread, but I think this is your first time at DL? Imagine if a WDW newbie asked you when they should get the parks at WDW and they were only there for two days during a busy time of year. You'd probably say "Make sure you get there at opening! Make the most of your day!" Personally, I'd rather get there earlier than I needed to and walk around Downtown Disney (right next to the parks) or eat breakfast at one of the hotels (also right next to the parks!) than get stuck in traffic and get there after all the RSR fastpasses are gone. Of course, that means leaving your hotel at 6 or earlier in the morning; I'd understand if that was too much.

    I completely agree with your list of "must see" attractions. I would add one, though... World of Color. If one person gets in line first thing in the morning for RSR fastpasses and one person takes all the tickets and goes right to the World of Color FP machines, then you can probably run the tickets over to the person in line for the RSR FP. If you're not comfortable with that, you'd most likely be able to get a FP for World of Color after getting the RSR FP. You can still get a RSR FP if you have a WoC FP and vice versa. Furthermore, every time my family went in November, the RSR FP said something at the bottom like "Rev your engines! You can hold a Fastpass for Radiator Springs Racers and another attraction today!" If you see that, then you can get ANOTHER FP right away without waiting for your RSR window to come up... I'm guessing Soarin or California Screamin. Confused yet? Basically, you should be able to get FP's for RSR, WoC and another attraction within 20-30 minutes of park opening. You're probably looking at 15-20 minutes in line for the RSR FP and another 15-20 minutes in line to actually use the FP, which is TOTALLY worth it.

    Now World of Color. I stalked your profile and I saw you like Illuminations. Me, too. One of my favorite parts of that show is the giant shells that go off right over the water at the beginning. It feels almost too close to the audience, and you just don't get that from most nighttime shows (or shows in general, for that matter). World of Color feels like that to me. I was thinking about this before I read your profile; it's just lucky that you happened to like Illuminations. The water jets are pretty darn close to the audience and the show is pretty "long"; it stretches along a lot of frontage of Paradise Bay. If you stand right on the railing in the middle, the show feels like it surrounds and towers over you. I'd suggest you watch "Instant Concert... Just Add Water" during the day some time. Goofy "conducts" the fountains set to classical music during the day. It lets you see what the fountains can do and how high they can get. World of Color is Instant Concert... Just Add Water x 1,000.
     
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  4. raven24

    raven24 Well-Known Member

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    Great minds think alike!;)
     
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  5. spacemt354

    spacemt354 Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Thank you for the tips! The bolded took me a couple reads haha, but I think I got it. We just want to make the most out of our time, as it is only two days. We don't expect to accomplish everything in both parks, but if we cover all the "must sees" + World of Color, then I think we will be set.

    I've been to Disneyland before, but as a family, this is our first time out there and first time since the DCA refurb. I have a feeling my family thinks this is going to be just like Disney World. And they think the Magic Kingdom layout is the same in Cali. While there are similarities, there are a lot of differences in attraction placement and pathways. I feel like Disneyland is more of a maze compared to the Magic Kingdom. Not like that's a bad thing, just something I noticed. Of course it's going to be my fault if we all get lost haha, so I'm doing my homework. Thanks again.
     
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  6. raven24

    raven24 Well-Known Member

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    There's almost no way you can get lost at Disneyland. Everything is so close together.
     

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