Disneyland (CA)

School Schedules and Crowd Levels

by on August 14, 2017

Ed. Note: We frequently get questions to TouringPlans asking how we make crowd predictions. This article provides insight into one of the metrics used when formulating predictions about park attendance.

It comes as no surprise that many families with school-age children take Disney vacations, and most prefer to take their children on vacations when school isn’t in session. To account for these attendance patterns, we track over 100 public school districts. This includes the 100 largest school districts in the country, the largest school districts in each state, and school districts that are close to Walt Disney World and Disneyland. This covers 12 million students. That is more than 20% of all students enrolled in public education. TouringPlans spends a lot of time collecting the school schedules each fall and summer. We put in the effort because school schedules are one of the best indicators for predicting crowd levels. Collecting more school schedules has diminishing returns, however. We would have to collect 100 more school districts’ calendars to cover 5% more of the public school students.

National Center for Education Statistics
CCD public school district data 2014-2015, 2015-2016 school years

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Disneyland Preview – Week of August 12

by on August 11, 2017

Hey everyone, and welcome to Friday! Yet another good-looking summer week at Disneyland is upon us. Read on for more details in this week’s Disneyland preview.

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Disneyland Preview — Week of August 5

by on August 4, 2017

Happy Friday!  Yet another good-looking summer week at Disneyland is upon us!  Read on for more details in this week’s Disneyland preview!

Special Events and Notes

Disneyland Monorail

Photo: Disney

As the summer winds down, Disney is ratcheting back its special events, so there’s not that much to report for the upcoming week.  With that said, for those of you that are staying at Disney hotels, Disney is running a special promotion where Disney’s California Adventure will stay open one hour later to give you more time to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.  Think of it as an attraction-specific evening Extra Magic Hour, which happens on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Is this going to save you a ton of time? Not really, primarily because there will be plenty of people in line by the time of regular park closing hours to ensure a healthy wait for this very popular attraction. With that said, particularly if you’re showing up to experience the attraction towards the end of the extra time, you can expect to have fewer people to compete against, and therefore a relatively shorter wait.

Also, the Summer of Heroes continues at Disney’s California Adventure. As always, you should read Derek Burgan’s write-up on the event if you’ve not been before to get the most out of it.

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8 Things We Love About Disneyland’s New Rivers of America and Frontierland Expansion

by on August 3, 2017

In January 2016, Disneyland’s Rivers of America, train, and chunks of Frontierland closed to be chopped and/or reconfigured to make room for a huge Star Wars expansion. It was a long year and a half without all these wonderful and classic attractions, but we all managed to survive. Last week, all the attractions that closed last year have now reopened. While you can make an argument that the old/longer Rivers of America was better, or that you miss Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, and so on, there’s no denying that there’s a lot of great parts with the new additions. Here’s 8 things we love about Disneyland’s new Rivers of America and Frontierland expansion.

#8: No Duck Poop On Anything

Hey, I get it. Animals poop. But over the years the ducks covered the Rivers of America’s props and things with so much poop that some of them were turning white. For example, look at this Native America boy and his dog on a log–they’re so clean now! Along the river you’ll also see moose, deer, birds, and other animals and scenery. All of them are sparkling and look fantastic.

#7: Disneyland Railroad’s New Left Turn

Disney hyped up the fact that the Disneyland Railroad, for the first time ever, makes a LEFT turn while circling around Disneyland. It’s as impressive as you would imagine. If you can’t wait to experience it yourself, skip to the 1:28 mark in the video embedded above.

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Disneyland Preview — Week of July 29

by on July 28, 2017

Hey everyone, lots of classic attractions coming back in this week’s Disneyland Preview!  Let’s see what’s on tap this week at the Happiest Place on Earth!

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Disneyland Preview — Week of July 22

by on July 21, 2017

Hey folks, it’s once again time for this week’s Disneyland Preview, so you’ll know what you’re in store for when you head to the parks! Without further ado, let’s jump right in!

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In-depth Look and Review of Disneyland’s MaxPass

by on July 19, 2017

MaxPass is now available at Disneyland Resort. The $10 per-a-person-per-a-day add-on grants the user the ability to make FastPass reservations on their phone, as well as access to PhotoPass downloads taken by Disney photographers or on select rides. Is it worth it? How does it work? Take a look at our review of Disneyland’s MaxPass to find out.

When you open up Disneyland’s official app you will see an option labeled “Get FastPass.” If you do not see this option then there’s a chance your app is out of date. It’s a good idea to update the app before you leave home, just in case cellphone coverage isn’t great when you get to the parks. Also remember to have your Disney account created and your ticket or annual passport linked in the app. Before moving on, all regular FastPass rules apply to the new MaxPass system. See our Disneyland Resort FastPass page for more information.

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Disneyland Crowd Calendar Updates For August 2017 and Beyond

by on July 19, 2017

Fantasmic! is back at Disneyland Park after a year-long hiatus. Early reaction to the new features of this popular show are positive so we expect crowds to increase at Disneyland for the rest of the summer. In particular, when summer blockout dates end in August we expect a large influx of annual passholders wishing to check out the new show. So, a new update to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar is in order.

Southern California (and Southern California Select) passholders will have their first chance to see the new Fantasmic! show on August 21. The Disneyland Crowd Calendar expects crowds to be elevated at Disneyland Park between August 21 and Labor Day on September 4. Most passholders who want to see the new show will have done so by then. Crowd levels have increased for those days by as much as 6 index points. Disney California Adventure crowd levels remain unchanged.

If you have a trip planned for late August, don’t panic. Although this update represents a large increase in crowd levels on some days we believe the crowds will be mostly afternoon visitors coming in specifically to see the new show. So, if you arrive early and follow a touring plan you should be fine. It is also likely that the increased crowds will be mostly focused in Frontierland, where the show takes place.

There are very few updates to the Disneyland Crowd Calendar beyond August and almost no major changes. You will see some days change by a point or two but nothing more than that. Most days remain unchanged.


Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort Expands for 2017

by on July 17, 2017

It may be July, but it’s time to start thinking about the spookiest time of the year – Halloween. Everything pumpkin will be here before we know it, once again. And this year, Disneyland Resort will be growing its Halloween offerings!

Announced over the weekend at the D23 Expo, Cars Land at Disney California Adventure will be celebrating Haul-O-Ween. Here, Scary the Scarecar will stand guard over the entrance to Route 66. Lightning McQueen, Mater, Cruz, Red and DJ will all be dressed up for the occasion as a super hero, a “van-pire,” a pirate, a clown and a punk rocker. In addition, the citizens of Radiator Springs will be decorating their homes to celebrate the season. Visit Fillmore’s Jack-Oil Lanterns, Flo’s Spider-Car, Witchy Miss Lizzie’s shop, and the Cozy Cone will be dressed up in car-stumes! The land will truly turn to Radiator Screams!



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New Pixar Fun Coming to Disneyland Resort

by on July 17, 2017

Disneyland Resort will soon be getting lots of Pixar love.

First things first, at Disney California Adventure, Paradise Pier will become Pixar Pier as more of the Pixar stories join Toy Story Midway Mania in 2018.



This retheming will feature a brand-new look for the area. Guests will discover new neighborhoods filled with characters from The Incredibles, Inside Out and Toy Story.

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