On a recent USA tour (From the UK) we had 2 days at Disneyland and I have some interesting observations.
We went to Disneyland park on Sunday 12th October. Got there about 9am, parking was a busy mess, with police directing traffic on roads nearby. It was Columbus holiday weekend, I was expecting it to be busy, but in all my time at Disney parks I have never seen so many people. it took 30 mins to get parked, another 30 mins just to get pushed through bag security, then 30 mins to exchange an online ticket voucher. I was annoyed because they didn't have an option to miss bag check if you didn't have a bag, so some members of the party could have queued for tickets whilst the others go through bag check. Poor Start!
Inside the park it was rammed busy, apparently there was some big hospital convention charity walk through at 5am (didn't get the full details) and they all just stayed in the park which added to the crowds. It is nice they do that, but I don't understand why Disney would hold such an event on a holiday weekend day!! Above all we had a nice time, stayed in the park 12 hours, did most of the rides we wanted (using fastpass of course) and really enjoyed the fireworks and fantasmic. I don't know if we were unlucky with crowds? or if DL is generally much busier than WDW where I usually go? but never again would I go on a holiday weekend.
On Tuesday 14th we went to DCA which was much quieter early on, it did get busy later as I think people were arriving for the halloween evenings at DL later in the day. We got there early and got fast passes for Cars easy, but were then frustrated to find that midway mania and the screamin coaster weren't open - so no chance of getting in avoiding the later queues. They said it was technical issues but it's odd how they both suddenly opened OK at about 11am. So we went over to Tower of Terror only to find half the lifts not working so long queues, oddly again by the time we came out about 11am, it was all fully working. I am suspicious that the delayed openings/operations was either a cost saving exercise or some kind of crowd management, but it was very frustrating as, taking advice, we got to the park early only to find we couldn't do that much early! Before enjoying World of Colour (from behind people's heads) we went over to DL for a couple of hours (it was a bit quieter than Sunday but filling up with halloween goers)
Despite all the issues we did have a great time,it didn't help that we tried to do so much on one day, very tiring of course, but that's all the time we had. I felt Disney fell a little short of being the 'Happiest Place on Earth' I did also notice the cast members weren't quite as happy/friendly/jolly as I am used to seeing in Florida. I saw ride operators yawning (very openly) chatting with each other not engaging with guests so much. Again, not sure if we just went at a bad time, or maybe the service isn't quite a good as in florida? or maybe standards have fallen in Florida also?
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