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Thread: a geeky question: do extended park hours make for lighter mornings?

  1. #1
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    a geeky question: do extended park hours make for lighter mornings?

    Hi Everyone,
    Since I've really only been to DLR during their low season hours (hours more or less 10-8 I believe), I have been wondering whether the mornings are actually quieter on those days when the park stayed open late the night before. I was thinking this may be the case because it's harder to get up early when you've been out in the park until 10pm. Plus, I guess a magic morning that begins at 9AM is not all that hard to catch, whereas one that begins at 8AM may pose more of a challenge.
    Of course, I suppose an overall greater number of visitors may mean busier mornings anyway...
    I was wondering if any of you who visit frequently and throughout the year have ever noticed anything along those lines.
    Thanks!
    elke


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  3. #2

    Extended park hours into the night has no bearing on morning crowds.

    Folks are always flying in and out of the resort area, so there will always be segment of fresh, full of energy visitors who are using the morning as their first visit. And then there will always be a segment of folks who are catching the 2:00 flight and are using the last of their energy for one more visit to the park

    Then there are hard core visitors like myself who rest my head on a pillow at 11:00 and awake at 6:00 to prepare for entry and the morning into the park. But I do return to my lodging in the afternoon to nap, shower and snack.

    So there will always be people in the morning. And if a rope drop is used, then folks are bunched up to give the impression that it is crowded. At rope drop it is either Peter Pan or tomorrow land that has the crush of the rope drop.

    Wednesdays. I have read here several times that it is the least busy day. I can vouch for that fact. During my December visit, Wednesday was empty till 11:00

    ROA. never has the crowds in the morning. With five E attractions built along a long walkway, visitors are spread out and you never notice folks till about 11:00


  4. #3
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    I would say that extended park hours does make a difference but I would say just the earlier morning hours. When the park opens at 10 people have slept in. When the park opens at 8, they sleep in and don't come until 10 or 11.


  5. #4
    Registered User bumblebeeonarose's Avatar
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    I think your assumption about an 8am vs. 9am early entry is correct. I was just talking to my mom about this. I mentioned that if the park opens at 8am, then her early entry would be at 7am. She said she didn't think they'd make that. LOL! I have no problem being up and out at 7am, but it's not everyone's cup of tea. I know my friends went last year and they did not prioritize the mornings either because they just aren't morning people.


  6. #5
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    Thanks for the input so far! Yes, I was thinking about earlier entry times and thus earlier Magic Morning - I think the hours when we are thinking of going (2nd week of March) are 9-10 for DL, which makes for a MM at 8 - not as hard as 7 for non early risers, but still not a time where you'd make it without some effort - and I know some people don't like to set their alarm when on vacation (same for me, with the exception of DL). Love to hear those helpful musings, thanks! Gives me hope that relatively quiet mornings will compensate for busier days overall.


  7. #6

    ! Gives me hope that relatively quiet mornings will compensate for busier days overall.[/QUOTE]

    There is always hope, just a matter of what rainbow you chase. Like for example, the rainbow that has no rope drop!!! If you can pay the dues to stand in front of the gate early in the morning, then it would be great to walk into an open park, walk the street with the music, castle photo, peter pan twice, your favorite table for breakfast. If a ROA fan, then the compensation will be GREAT!! So that peaceful morning will be the vacation.

    But the reality is, regardless of how much you planned to avoid being trapped in a busy day, the one factor that you cannot control is attraction breakdown. On a recent visit I became very befuddled when INDY, HMH, BTMRR and a Jungle Cruise without boats happened all at once. all of a sudden a walkable morning ROA became a log jam. but fortunately, due to early morning diligence, I had been on every attraction but HMH (BTMRR closed) and the JC. and my waiting on the long line on JC pushed my mental state into " it's busy" even though I had accomplished everything but HMH. I should have taken that as compensation for a great day, left for DCA with a clear head, thinking " It has been a grand day, everything else is icing on the cake."


  8. #7
    Registered User DisneyGator's Avatar
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    I just tend to skip whatever park has magic morning. First, it's impossible to get my wife anywhere early, much less the three kids. So we just hit the park that didn't have early opening and found that the crowds tended to be just fine.

    Working for Disney. No, no. Working (in a Modesto office) for (the money to take a trip to) Disney (World/Land)

    WDW Trips: June 2002, Feb 2004, Dec 2006, Dec 2008, Jan 2010, Feb 2011, Dec 2012
    Disneyland Trips: Feb 2006, Nov 2013

  9. #8
    Registered User eabaldwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGator View Post
    I just tend to skip whatever park has magic morning. First, it's impossible to get my wife anywhere early, much less the three kids. So we just hit the park that didn't have early opening and found that the crowds tended to be just fine.
    We did this one morning when we were there for Tink, though we didn't plan it. We ended up in DL when the early entry was in DCA. The lines were much shorter and the park seemed less crowded. Space Mountain had a 15 minute wait, and my girls and I hopped right on the Astro Blasters. Tink (which we usually skip, but DD was dressed up as Tink for the 5k) had only a 15 minute wait and we usually don't see the fairies because the line is too long. We tried it the next day when early entry was for DL, but it was Saturday, and DCA was still pretty crowded. I think that strategy might work better during the week, or maybe not on a race weekend, and we will definitely try it again.
    Elizabeth & Matt, established 2008 *Katie born 2/2010 *Josie born 2/2012
    AP holder since 2010, Disneyland fan since the '80s
    WDW *1984 (or maybe 1983), *2013

  10. #9
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    Good morning and thanks for all the replies!
    I have to admit, it took me a while reading all the abbreviations again - imagine me sitting in front of the screen, lips silently forming the letters H-M-H... got it! I think we'll be "Fantasyland first" people for a couple of years longer - kids still like it best there. I will say that on our most recent trip (March 2012), I did notice that the morning on non magic morning seemed less busy (especially Peter Pan) than on our Magic Morning (though still not super busy). For ROA (ok, I had to look that one up, shame on me), I noticed that the area would be pretty much deserted in the last hour (at that time 7-8pm), so I wonder how that will be when the park is open longer.
    thanks again for all the input!


  11. #10
    Registered User MadasaHatter's Avatar
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    I noticed that on this thread AND in real life it is the families that cannot get all together to enter the park early so I think the best plan to maximize your trip is TO GET UP EARLY.....the crowds are always lighter in the morning IN GENERAL.....also keep in mind that NEW ATTRACTIONS draw people away from OTHER attractions.....point in case....when FINDING NEMO opened we went to DISNEYLAND magic morning with my sis and my pal and I had already been on it. When we dashed through FL the CM's were LOUDLY proclaiming....."ALL the rides in FL are open....." when we got close to FINDING NEMO it was at least a 30 minute wait....at the peak of the day it was no longer than a 45 minute wait....SO....we opted for the FL rides. No one. I mean no one was there. We rode the tea cups and it was ONLY the 3 of us. We each took a different section so we kept spinning near each other....we were laughing so hard we couldn't even spin our tea cups and it was one of the best memories ever. As far as RSR goes in DCA ....just go. Go. Seriously: go. Tons of folks queue up for the FP returns and wait 20 to 30 minutes.....For the love of pete....just ride it....or actually don't! Then we can ride it and pound it out in 20 minutes.....

    Here is another tip. Make breakfast reservations for 10 O CLOCK at CARNATION CAFE if MM is 8am. Then you go in at 8....ride rides....keep riding rides when everything opens at 9.....then when you are jonesing for the coffee and protein, high tail it over to Carnation and sit down ALMOST immediately while you skip the 30 minute wait......love that.

    Oh and NAP. Just do it. Set a time. ANd nap......you will thank yourself for it. Ok, I'm done.


  12. #11
    Registered User jmorgan's Avatar
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    I have found over the last 10 years that the best time to go in the park is 8 to 10. You can hit all of the best rides with little to no wait. People seem to not come in the park till after 10 am. I have also found that the magic mornings are anything buy magic. Only a few rides are opened and it is very crowded. The later the magic morning, the worst it is. Last year we hit one that started at 9 am and it was terrible. Much better at 10 am when the entire park opened and the crowds spread out.


  13. #12
    Registered User bumblebeeonarose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadasaHatter View Post
    point in case....when FINDING NEMO opened we went to DISNEYLAND magic morning with my sis and my pal and I had already been on it. When we dashed through FL the CM's were LOUDLY proclaiming....."ALL the rides in FL are open....." when we got close to FINDING NEMO it was at least a 30 minute wait....at the peak of the day it was no longer than a 45 minute wait....
    This is why Peter Pan is NOT my go to morning ride. If we can't get on Peter Pan in less than 15 minutes we skip it (I might wait 20, but that's pushing it). The ride has a longer wait later in the day, but it's just not worth the prime time. Why waste half an hour (or more) of my morning time waiting for that ride when I could get on 3-5 other rides in the same time. I hate to wait 40 minutes for a ride, but I'd rather wait that 40 minutes later when all the lines are long, than wait 30 minutes in the morning when the other lines are short.

  14. #13
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    Good point about Peter Pan - that's our go to morning ride, and I have never even bothered to check how long the line was later in the day (I remember being shocked one year though when, an hour before closing time, some areas of the park were pretty much deserted, and there was a still a long line for Peter Pan). Maybe I should reconsider our morning game plan!


  15. #14

    Peter pan at rope drop is 15-20 mins and this includes the walk from the rope drop. But it is a moving line and an odd study of why the chains are not used at opening of the ride. Instead, the line files into a single straight line to the loading dock. Arriving folks tumble amidst the the strollers and stretch out down to the castle gate. Then , out of no where, a cm guides the line down the chain maze and that is when you are exiting the ride you realize how lucky you were to make this first choice as you skip off to the rest of your day elsewhere in the park.

    But there is even a great consideration about Peter Pan that makes it a first ride or never ride. The waiting area. It is the least magical. Short lines of chains. Banging up against the shoulders to the waiting guests on your right and left. Kids hanging, swinging, back and forth. All the other lines have longer lengths of chain instead of the constant switchbacks and something to watch while waiting. Dumbo flying high. Shrubs. Matterhorn. Peter Pan just edges you closer to the wall and the hydraulic pushing sound of tink's dust to make you fly


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