Published: December 28, 2010 at 7:33 PMHere's one that's a bit different: Prep for one 90 minute wait.
Know that there is a show or attraction that is on your must do list but will likely involve a healthy wait. Pick the ride with the best queue or pre-show. Bring something to occupy your time (SmartPhones are the greatest kill queue time invention ever!). If allowed bring food or beverages.
If you expect to experience at least one of these substantial waits, then be prepared -- make it easier to deal with.
Published: December 28, 2010 at 7:56 PMbranch off from crowds go the opposite way it is great then you are working against the crowds and may hit some rides without wait
Published: December 29, 2010 at 9:58 AMComing from a small coal region town in Pennsylvania, I enjoy the crowds and talking to people from around the world, like you Robert. Because of that, many times I have visited WDW for the 4th of July for that reason. I don't plan to ride many rides since my grandson Zachary and I have been on all of the rides many times, so we sit around a parade route and chat with the people instead.
For those who remember my post two years ago, after my wife passed away right before out planned trip to WDW, TPI members urged us to continue the trip which we did. On that trip, we planned to release a balloon with a note attached that Zachary was sending to his beloved Nanny in Heaven.
We choose to do that right before the nightly parade. While we waited, a young woman(in her thirties) sat down beside Zachary and I. She spoke not a word of English and neither did both of her children, a boy about 7 and a girl about 8. Through another guest, he translated to me that she was from South America. Since the translator didn't know any of us, we soon became vacation friends quickly.
I explained to the woman through the translator what we were about to do with the note and balloon. After the man explained what we were going to do, she said something to here children and then began to cry. It really upset me that she was crying and then through the translator, I found out that her own mother(the childrens grandmother) had passed away just two months earlier and that what Zachary was about to do was so beautiful, it brought her to tears.
By now, atleast 50 people all around us had heard the whole story. So when Zachary released the note and balloon, everyone was cheering and clapping and I got it all on video as a keepsake we'll cherish forever. One thing I forgot to mention was that Zachary had a special necklace around his neck that was in the shape of a cross. It held some of his beloved grandmother's ashes and the people around us knew that fact also.
So you see how talking to strangers can affect someone's life in a nice way. One of these years, I'd love to take Zachary to WDW during the Christmas week Robert, just to be one of the crowd and talk to the people.
Published: December 30, 2010 at 9:56 AMAgreed with all 5 of those tips, especially #2. I was amongst the crowd on the 27th ( which was as bad as the 28th. ) While park-hopping we saw many angry people up front trying to argue their way into the park. Many were sincerely outraged that they couldn't get in. They didn't equate their own lack of knowledge/research as the chief contributing factor to their predicament.
One more tidbit I'd add to the mix is to download the app "MouseWait" if you have a Droid or iPhone. Normally I'm not one of those "phone app" people but this app is a real opinion-changer for me. It let me see the wait times of rides, monitor which ones just closed and which ones just opened. We were literally able to run into one ride line which had closed an hour ago but then re-opened to have almost no one in line.
Published: December 30, 2010 at 12:09 PMI was in the MK Christmas day. Crazy crowded. It took an hour to get from the parking lot to the main entrace. Then they had only one tunnel open because the parade had started. The attactions that usually have no one on them had huge lines. Fast pass, if you were lucky was the way to go. BTW, Robert, I was handing out candy canes to the cast members. Some were very happy to get one, others looked stunned, and some said they can't accept it. Disney policy. Is that true?
Published: December 30, 2010 at 2:07 PMYep. Disney policy is that you can't accept tips from guests, either money or gifts. (Unless you are a table service waiter, of course.)
That said, policy is one thing. Practice, often, is another. :^)
Published: December 30, 2010 at 3:53 PMOh man this week was enjoyable chaos at Disney and Universal.
On the 27th my family and I went to Hollywood studios and it was crammed. Nevertheless, with some maneuvering we rode the main attractions like the TOT and Rocknrollercoaster.The crowd was so diverse it made me realize how universal Disney's appeal is and how much patience crowds have in lines.
Speaking of Universal, on the 28th we rushed to Islands of Adventure. Again the crowd was dense and power walking was not an option. To even get into Harry Potter world I had to receive a standby ticket that didn't let me enter until 1:40. 1:39 came around and it was an ultimatum in choosing what to do in HP. I went on the HP ride, had some butterbeer, and rode the Dragon Challenge in a good 3 hours. It was packed but waiting in line for the HP attraction was so enthralling many didn't move until they got a good snapshot of the Sorting Hat or Harry and the gang.
On the 29th we thought we could go to Animal Kingdom under the impression that no one would go in 30 degree weather. We were wrong. Packed once again and the lines were winding. Nevertheless we rode Everest twice and saw several other shows.
Overall the most crowded week at Disney/Universal wasn't all that bad. I would have preferred walking without shoving or tripping over a stroller. Nevertheless, if you have children over 8 take advantage of the time between Christmas and New Years......under the condition that its the only time you can go with the whole family.
Published: January 2, 2011 at 5:11 PMWell I took my wife and kids to Sea World, Disneyland, and Universal Studios over the two week vacation in Southern California and only Disneyland was the park that was really hard to move around because of all the crowds. We are annual pass holders to all of them + Knotts Berry Farm too because it is hard to vacation when you run a small business. Knott's got dropped a lot this year because of all the accidents the park has had and I am scared to put my kids on rides that are dangerous. But back on the subject, Disneyland's payment by the month with no interest has made the park a little less desirable because of a lot more APH are buying the Premium Passes where as before, you had to pay the whole year pass up front which gives you a lot more people. Plus everyone that got passes for Christmas, even if it was a blocked day, get in the day the purchase the Annual Pass. Also since the weather wasn't the best this Christmas vacation, so the days it didn't rain, got a lot more people coming on the days it was sunny. But we still had fun at all of them and I couldn't choose more safe and fun places to spend time with my family during the holidays and the rest of the year.