How bad is it really during Grad Nights?

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by Pamela M, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Pamela M

    Pamela M Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Hello,

    I'm planning on an April or early May trip to Disneyland. I'd REALLY like to be there during my birthday - May 6th. Looks like Grad night is the 4th & 5th and also the following weekend.

    How bad are the crowds with Grad night really?

    I went in September when the park hours were from 10am - 9pm and it was AWFUL (with Maxpass we barely made it on all the fastpass rides in Disneyland). If Grad nights are that bad - I'll go the last week of April and hopefully Disney will still let me get the Birthday button.

    My plan is to be there for 5 days so I can take LONG breaks in the afternoon and do things I haven't done ( like the parades, maybe some of the shows that are meant for kids that I've never seen). A more relaxed pace.
     
  2. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    Messages:
    1,748
    It really depends. On the date as well as the schools visiting. Some will show up and use the whole day, so you have crowds of kids all over the place. Other schools won’t show up until closer to the evening. Last year it seemed to be especially bad because it coincided with the last few weekends where SoCal residents could take advantage of the great discount ticket offer.

    This year may be different, depending on general crowds, as well as a different format and tickets for schools (cheapest are party+few hours only, then party+DCA, and most expensive are party+park hoppers). Schools may try to save money by going with the cheapest or middle options, so Disneyland itself may not be too bad. Again, we don’t really know though.

    If you are doing 5 days then you should have enough time to do everything you want in a relaxed pace even with grad nights. So I would go with the most convenient for you.
     
  3. Avatar

    Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  4. smartlabelprint

    smartlabelprint DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,622
    You can get the birthday button anytime. Go the end of April! 2 grad nights would be the turn off for me. I could tolerate 1. But I haven’t been to one in like 5 years. I bet it’d be worse now that crowding has increased.
     
  5. PinkHelloKitty

    PinkHelloKitty Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2017
    Messages:
    30
    We were there this May during the week and ended up experiencing a grad night and while it was definitely busy for a Monday night we didn't feel overwhelmed by the crowds. I'd say it was a typical weekend crowd amount. And Disney lets you get a birthday button whenever you want! They said last time we asked that "any day you wish to celebrate your birthday is fine with us"
     
    kenthanson likes this.
  6. Pamela M

    Pamela M Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2016
    Messages:
    74
    Thanks for all the responses. I think I'm going to go during my birthday which will include 2 grad nights. Being that I plan on being there 5 days I think I'll be ok. I'll just do things the grad kids won't - like pay for Maxpass one day, fantastic dining package and a WOC dessert package, watch the parades. Plus I'll be solo so it should be much easier to move around - if it gets to crazy I'll just call it for the evening.
     
    smartlabelprint likes this.
  7. tarheelalum

    tarheelalum DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,587
    Most of the grad nights this coming year will be at DCA. Disney increased the pricing for those who go into Disneyland to push more over to DCA only.
     
  8. LYSE

    LYSE Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    Messages:
    454
    Honestly if my dates fall on grand nights I move my dates.

    Really not worth it if the dates are flexible imo.
     
  9. CayBoo

    CayBoo Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2017
    Messages:
    45
    Last year I went during a grad night event. Though I would have never known if I hadn't been in DCA. All I really saw were what appeared to be a bunch of high school seniors with bright pink wristbands everywhere. We had park hopper tickets, so we just went over to Disneyland and saw no one there. I can see how DCA is probably cheaper, and with that park usually closing an hour or so before Disneyland does, it gives more appeal to schools wanting to give their grads that afterhours experience. But really in all honesty, it wasn't any different crowd-wise having the grads there.
     
    Iceman93 likes this.
  10. MacMama0930

    MacMama0930 I've Found My Laughing Place

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Messages:
    819
    I was there during a grad night this last May and while I don’t remember it being more crowded, it was a different vibe than other days. Groups of high school kids are a lot different than families. I experienced a lot of relatively obnoxious behavior in certain lines (like CA Screamin, that is probably more appealing to teenagers than Dumbo) like horse playing and cussing. I wasn’t overly concerned with it - I mean they are teenagers after all, but it was a little annoying. But some were also very sweet and talked to my kids about their favorite rides and stuff. I wouldn’t rearrange my dates simply because of grad night, especially if you’re solo and have that kind of flexibility.
     
  11. ChurroNS

    ChurroNS Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    We went in June 2015 and we honestly didn't notice a difference in crowd levels on grad nights. The groups of grads didn't show up until later in the day, so what we did is we rode everything we wanted to during onsite EMH throughout early afternoon, then we took an afternoon nap/break at our hotel (like you plan to do), and when we got back in the evenings we mainly just strolled around and enjoyed the shows and ambiance :). Originally we were concerned about crowd levels too before we went but we wouldn't even have noticed it was a grad night if we didn't know about them before.
     
  12. sherilaine

    sherilaine DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,862
    We have only experienced two grad nights - one we barely noticed anything was different and the other it was awful - and this was in DL not DCA. It will depend but if you are by yourself and have lots of time it should not make much difference.
     
  13. VandVsmama

    VandVsmama DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,780
    We've been to DL on 3 separate trips during Grad Nights. We've never run into any problems. I would totally go during Grad Nights again.
     
  14. surfmontana

    surfmontana Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    Messages:
    110
    We are planning a trip in June. How do you know what nights are grad nights?
     
  15. Amw1064

    Amw1064 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    810
    Friday, May 4, 2018
    Saturday, May 5, 2018
    Friday, May 11, 2018
    Saturday, May 12, 2018
    Tuesday, May 15, 2018
    Wednesday, May 16, 2018
    Friday, May 18, 2018
    Saturday, May 19, 2018
    Tuesday, May 22, 2018
    Wednesday, May 23, 2018
    Tuesday, May 29, 2018
    Wednesday, May 30, 2018
    Friday, June 1, 2018
    Saturday, June 2, 2018
    Tuesday, June 5, 2018
    Wednesday, June 6, 2018
    Friday, June 8, 2018
    Saturday, June 9, 2018

    Grad days for 2018

    This is the list I saw posted.
     
  16. TikiThunderPirates

    TikiThunderPirates Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    19
    I found Grad Nights to be a bit of a hassle if your trying to move around the esplanade during the evening. The busses are unloading tons and tons of kids and they can be everywhere. Other Grad Nights we noticed the crowds of high school students arriving late in the afternoon/early evening. We were headed out and it didn't matter much to us. I'd be worried more about Spring break in April vs Grad Nights in May.
     
    tzeitel likes this.
  17. Gretchen1973

    Gretchen1973 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Messages:
    79
    We have been multiple years with Grad Night dates. It is certainly noticeable. It makes an impact crowd wise, but more than that are large groups of kids unattended by adults. One group was really swearing in line ahead of us, but when I mentioned to them there were little kids around they were apologetic and stopped. They are all having a great time and of course it's a fun time for all of those kids almost done with school. We haven't really experienced any truly bad behavior, just lots and lots and lots of groups of kids.
     
    tzeitel likes this.
  18. surfmontana

    surfmontana Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    Messages:
    110
    THANK YOU!
     
  19. Ahhhhshley

    Ahhhhshley Disney Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    147
    We went during grad nights in 2016 and didnt have any issues. Some nights there were a few more kids around but it wasn't crazy. Its slow enough that time of year that the extra people don't effect it. Unless we just got lucky....
     
  20. coasternut22

    coasternut22 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    Messages:
    132
    We’re thinking of doing a Carthay World of Color package for a grad night. I understand it will be packed, but that would be a good time for us to go. Well probably just go bar hopping afterwards in DTD. Would the general public be allowed to see WOC?
     

Share This Page