Disneyland in July

Disneyland: How are the crowds, compared with the off-season?

From amy lockland
Posted June 30, 2011 at 8:57 AM
My family goes to Disney World every year during the off season, usually October or February. We are now planning a somewhat last minute trip to Disneyland, does anyone know how bad the crowds will be? I have become accustomed to 45 min max waits. How bad are the wait times going to be???

From Tyler Stover
Posted June 30, 2011 at 11:34 AM
Pretty crowded, as is to be expected from the busy summer season. During July many annual passholders are blocked out, but there are of course the usual summer tourists. Add in the new Little Mermaid attraction and the Star Tours refresh, the new Soundsational parade, plus the smaller overhauls of Paradise Pier and Goofy's Sky School, and there are all the makings of a pretty busy summer. I was in the park this Monday, and most E-ticket attractions were in the 50-60 minute wait zone, Star Tours of course being well past that. A smart fastpass strategy can minimize your wait times though, and since the crowds will have more casual guests who might not maximize fastpass the way a veteran Annual Passholder would, there are gains to be had there. You can also use the general Theme Park Insider tips to arrive early, eat outside of peak meal periods, and buy tickets in advance to minimize the impact of the crowds. Good luck and hope you have a great trip!

From amy lockland
Posted June 30, 2011 at 11:48 AM
Thanks for your input! I figure the only other thing I may be able to do to beat the lines is plan my visit for Tuesday-Thursday. I would assume those (hopefully) will be slower days.

From Manny Barron
Posted July 1, 2011 at 12:15 AM
Yeah a good fastpass strategy will help you a lot. If you plan on trying out the new Star Tours ride, get a fastpass early since they are running out early in the day. Enjoy your trip!

From Tyler Stover
Posted July 1, 2011 at 8:13 AM
When I went this past Monday, we found a winning strategy if you want to see the two new attractions. Disneyland opened at 8:00, DCA at 10:00. We got a later start than we had hoped so we arrived in the park around 8:40. We went straight to the Star Tours fastpass and the timeframe was already up to 12:10 to 1:10. The standby queue was 90 minutes. After getting our fastpasses we went to Space Mountain and waited in the 30 minute standby queue. From there it was over to DCA. We got in line at the entrance at around 9:25 and they let us in at 9:35. The park was open for Morning Extra Magic Hours for hotel guests, but Little Mermaid was open for everyone. We practically walked on that, and were at the rope drop at Paradise Pier by 9:55. We were at the back of that crowd, but at the drop at 10:00 we made our way to Midway Mania and had a 25 minute wait. 2 parks, 3 major attractions, and fastpass for 1 more in under 2 hours. That's a plan. After that, it was back over to Disneyland for Indy fastpasses (since the new fastpass window in this case opened before our Star Tours window came up), short wait for Big Thunder, early lunch, Star Tours, Indy (both on Fastpass) then grabbed Fastpasses for Splash. From there, we had all the time in the world to wait in standby lines as we pleased and had the leisure to grab a prime viewing spot for Soundsational an hour early and just hang out in the shade. We also spent a good chunk of time sipping drinks at Trader Sams.

One last thing to consider - the crowds are more weighted towards casual visiting guests than APs this time of year, who tend to eat on site, buy more merchandise, and stay in hotels than APs. As a result, you might feel the crowds in the restaurants, stores, and hotels most of all.

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