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My 7-month window opens tomorrow morning, so I need to resolve this tonite. I want to stay 3 nights. The first night is not available but the next two nights are. The online booking engine says "waitlist this entire stay". If I do that, am I waitlisting the second two nights also? Should I do that, or should I go ahead and book the 2 available nights as one ressie, and then do a separate waitlist for the first night?
Perhaps you can also help me decide if I should just bump the entire stay a day. I wanted to arrive on Wed to go to the parks Thu & Fri, avoiding Sat because I'm concerned that weekends are much busier. Would that be a deciding factor for you, or would you arrive Thu and tour Fri & Sat? (those 3 nights are all available)
If you are booking right at 7 months and the first night is not available, it will not let you book subsequent nights. You have to wait until you are 7 months out from the first available night to secure any reservations.
I would suggest entering the waitlist immediately for all nights. Then you could return the next day and try to secure available nights and adjust the waitlist.
As for crowds, it stands to reason that summer weekends would be busier. As for the degree, I'm not enough of an expert to comment on that. We've taken 5 or 6 trips to Disneyland now and I've always found it pretty easy to hit everything with sensible touring plans (get out early, use FASTPASS, etc.)
Your biggest challenge will be touring both parks in just 2 days. There may only be two parks at DL but if you really do a side-by-side list, there are nearly as many attractions in those two parks as in all 4 at WDW. Disneyland doesn't have anything to compare to Epcot's World Showcase or Animal Kingdom's savanna but Disneyland's two parks are much more heavily populated than the four at WDW.
Our last stay at the Grand Californian was 6 nights and we STILL didn't see everything. Kids were keeping count.
If two days is all your time / budget will allow, you can do a reasonable job of seeing the parks. But there's little chance of seeing everything--weekend or not. And if you do try to do as much as possible in 2 days, you'll spend so much time running from attraction-to-attraction that you won't have much time to enjoy the experience.
Thanks for the advice. This is the first time I'm booking at 7 months. I will go on tomorrow morning and waitlist the first day. It does make sense that would be the only one I can access right at the 7-month window. So, once I hit an available night, I can book the next consecuitve one, right?
Thanks also for the park advice. I've done DLR before and we are 2 adults without children so we are just hitting the hightlights for a couple of days before our trip to Aulani. I'd ideally do 3-4 at DLR but want to maximize Hawaii time.
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I took Tim's advice and waitlisted it all, then the next day was able to go in and adjust it to book the remaining nights and continue to waitlist the first night. The verbiage of "waitlist this entire stay" had me a little confused at first, but now I understand it.
The only wrinkle now is buying airfare. I think I'm going to arrive a day in advance. If the waitlist opens, great. If not, I'll do a day in Hollywood and stay "whereever" for one night.