Okay, so what about crowd levels in...
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We usually travel in Sept, Oct, or Nov. If you stay away from Halloween and Thanksgiving you should be fine. The crowd levels are definitly lower at those times. We have gone the first or second week of Nov. and it's been great. We stay away from the parks on Sat and any holidays (veterans day or election day). We usually go at night because by then people are leaving to return home. We have gone the week after labor day and walked on everything but that was before the kids. Next year we are going to try the first two weeks in Oct.
Good luck with your planning!
I'm glad to hear that, I've been getting worried about our trip. We'll be there the first week of November and all of the Disney hotels are sold out so I've been wondering what the crowd levels would be like.
We have gone in October twice around the second week and the day after Thanksgiving once and once in late April. We haven't had a problem with any of the times except the April there were some Spring breaks and Highschool kids there to have singing competition So that was a little cramped. When we went in November it was great cause they had the christmas decorations out "BEAUTIFUL". Some of the more popular rides in October there was a little bit of a wait I don't think we waited past 30-45 minutes.
Its going to be packed from Veterans weekend until the week after Thanksgiving. I say this because we tried to book our upcoming trip between Veterans weekend and Thankgiving and could not get anything under conceirge level. So, we moved our dates up to the end of Oct.
We were at DL in 2005 the week leading up to Thanksgiving and it was a NIGHTMARE! We were only there on Monday and Tuesday but the wait times for most of the rides were at least 60 minutes long. The restaurants weren't much better including the walk up ones. However over at DCA, it wasn't as bad. Funny but I had thought that it wouldn't be so busy then because school was still in session and not out for the holiday yet.
I would not go back around a holiday ever again. We were so turned off by the crowds that it will be awhile before we go back to DL.
and look at the park hours, you can get a good idea about how high Disneyland expects crowd levels to be...the more crowded the park is, the later it's opened.
My family and I have traditionally, gone every October, but with the addition of the Halloween Time activities, each year over the past 3 years or so, the park has gotten more and more crowded. Since more decorations will be added this year, and eventually a fireworks show at the Halloween Treat party, I expect that the rise in crowd levels for October will continue...In fact, this year, the Christmas displays are being put off for an additional week in order to keep the Halloween decorations up longer.
We had originally planned to head down the first week of November, and found very little availability at the Disney hotels (only GC, only certain views) and little at the surrounding hotels either. However, park hours were 10-8 for each day we wanted to be in the park (typical off-season hours), so I'm guessing some sort of convention or something. We once were at the GC during a convention, and while the hotel was sold out and hoppin', the parks were quite manageable.
We bumped our trip up to right before Halloween, so we could see the decor, and there's a lot more hotel availability. Park hours are 9-9 and 10-8 on our days of attendance, so I'm not too worried about crowds. As long as you stay away from holidays (Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving particulary) and weekends, you should be fine. It's a great time of year to go!
I just wanted to pipe in that Disney is still offering their stay 3 get the 4th for free offer at some of their resorts as well as some good neighbor resorts. So, if you can get in on that in October, that may be a good savings to you if you haven't booked yet.
As with WDW, the key is getting to the parks at opening to relaly enjoy low crowds and that ability to see the attractions that you favor. Also, grab fast passes early on in the morning as the return times are not so far off and you can get on more of the more popular rides faster.
DW and I visited last October 18-21 and the crowds were not bad. The crowds were even rather small on the weekends, other than Main Street at parade time but that wasn't that big of a deal. The weather that time of year is nice in Anaheim. Either way you choose you'll have a great trip