Disneyland wait times down, park says Star Wars land adds 20% capacity

Posted | Contributed by kevin38

Disneyland visitors are noticing something a little unusual at the popular theme park — wait times for many rides are less than 30 minutes. The park says that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge has increased the park's capacity by 20%.

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And I suppose all that will eventually even out. Not this year or even next, but eventually.

Raven-Phile's avatar

I have heard a lot of chatter relating to Disney pulling discounts surrounding the opening of Galaxy's Edge - and it's putting a lot of people off from going. They pulled the AP discounts (and others) for the Orlando hotels after August 29th - and there is wide-open availability for a lot of their properties in the weeks after. I'm going down for a halloween party in September, and I priced out a few places - the Waldorf Astoria comes in at $20/night more than Pop Century, and Bonnet Creek is $10/night LESS.

Being that I'll be attending a wedding in Charleston, SC 2 days before the party, I'll likely have to drive down because working out those flights seems like a nightmare - I'll have a car, and I can stay basically anywhere. At this point, if they don't bring back the discounts, I'll be doing either the Waldorf, Bonnet Creek or Swan/Dolphin, because I don't care how many fiberglass cartoon characters you put out in front of it - no Motel is getting $200/night from me.

I have a close friend that was at DLR with her sister the last weekend in June. Her sister is a frequent DLR visitor and was amazed at the lack of crowds. They were able to see everything and the only significant line they waited in was Smuggler's Run. I've been watching the app since Galaxy's Edge opened and, outside of the usual suspects like Peter Pan, Indy, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Splash Mountain, times are rarely over 30 minutes and even those that are still come in under an hour. I'm kicking myself. We hadn't booked a vacation until 2 weeks ago and I wish I had given DLR a shot.

Raven-Phile said:

At this point, if they don't bring back the discounts, I'll be doing either the Waldorf, Bonnet Creek or Swan/Dolphin

I've stayed at Bonnet (the timeshare towers, but it's all one complex). My experiences there have been more or less equivalent to Old Key West---some things are better at one, others at the other. My brother has a metric ton of Starwood points so tends to stay at the Swan. They love it there. The Waldorf is on my list.

Jeff's avatar

Last time I was in Swan/Dolphin, maybe four years ago, it was a dump.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

Raven-Phile's avatar

Still better than staying at an All Star or Pop Century. Those aren't my thing.

Old Key West, though - I know it's older, and far out from everything, but I'm in LOVE with that resort. It's overall so relaxing and just has a nice vibe to it - plus, Olivia's is one of the most overlooked restaurants on property - with an absolutely wonderful brunch menu.

Jeff's avatar

I've stayed at Pop Century at least three times, and I thought it was fine. It doesn't seem that different than French Quarter or whatever.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

Raven-Phile's avatar

I've stayed there once, and All Star Movies once. I don't like the exterior doors, whatsoever. It's loud, and people think that since they're outside they don't have to use their "indoor" voices when they walk past the rooms. I tried Coronado again a few months ago, and I'll likely not do that again unless I stay in the tower.

I just really like the deluxe and DVC resorts.

Jeff said:

I've stayed at Pop Century at least three times, and I thought it was fine. It doesn't seem that different than French Quarter or whatever.

For me, the difference between the Values and the Moderates is what is outside the room; the overall vibe at the latter seems more relaxing to me. But the rooms themselves are hardly different at all.

Jeff's avatar

Meh, I think what you really pay for in most cases is location. If I didn't live here I'm sure I'd be in Beach/Yacht Club a few times a year.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

Raven-Phile's avatar

We like Boardwalk most of all. We’ll be back in 9 days for a stay. Location is why I was considering Swolphin, most of all

I've stayed at the 3 levels of rooms and I would be hard pressed to stay anywhere other than Pop Century unless money was absolutely no object or the deal on something on a higher level was too good to pass up. My experience was that you're paying for location, an inside entry room, and a sleeper sofa at the deluxe and strictly location at the moderate. The room quality difference was negligible and I would even argue it was better at Pop Century on my last visit because the rooms had been recently remodeled. My one experience at a moderate was at Caribbean Beach and while the location was a little closer to the parks, the spread out nature of the resort made getting around a little more difficult. I like the more centralized nature of Pop Century with the single bus stop location at the hub building.

Raven-Phile's avatar

Ok, but I prefer the location, the level of service, the club level option, the internal doorways, signature dining, quietness, larger rooms, lounges, and more "grown-up" feel of the deluxe resorts. I'm not a park-warrior, and I prefer to relax like I'm on vacation.

Oh, and let's not forget about balconies. It's really nice having coffee out there in the mornings.

We've been in park-warrior mode on previous trips or on a short, last minute adult trip where we were keeping the cost down with the cheaper room. I can definitely see the value in what you're talking about and I could see going for Poly or Wilderness Lodge or one of the International Gateway hotels on a future trip. Part of me has trouble escaping the park warrior mentality at a destination like Disney. If I'm going for relaxation and unplugged time, I'm more likely to go to the beach or a cabin in Colorado or go on a cruise.

Last edited by bigboy,

ApolloAndy's avatar

That's me too (having only been to WDW once in the last decade). If I'm on Disney property it is strictly to facilitate going to the parks. Everything is optimized around enjoying the parks. If I wanted to hang out in a pool or have coffee on the balcony, I would get a nice room in the local hotel. But that's just me.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Raven-Phile's avatar

I went 4 times last year alone. Once was a solo trip (sans family) where I met up with a large group of friends. It’s how I do Disney now, and I’m perfectly content with it.

Having Hilton status, I've stayed at the Hilton Bonnet Creek and the Hilton in Disney Springs several times and was perfectly fine there. Especially when looking at how much cheaper those properties can be than the actual WDW resorts if you time it right.

I've even stayed at the Hyatt Regency over by the convention center and Uber'd it back and forth and it was still a ton cheaper than anything I could book on property.

My point is if you are fine with not staying in an actual WDW resort, there are multiple options on and/or near WDW property that would work perfectly fine for most people. Plus if you are part of a loyalty program, you can earn or redeem points as opposed to the WDW resorts which have no loyalty program.

Jeff and I have sparred over Swan/Dolphin. I've stayed there multiple times and have had nothing but fine experiences. In fact, dollar for dollar, I think S/D is one of the best on property options at WDW, and you can leverage your Marriott points there as well.

bigboy said:

I've stayed at the 3 levels of rooms and I would be hard pressed to stay anywhere other than Pop Century unless money was absolutely no object or the deal on something on a higher level was too good to pass up.

As a self proclaimed hotel snob who has no problem dropping $200-$300 for a decent hotel room, a few years ago I lowered myself and my standards and stayed at Pop for a few nights during a long weekend WDW trip. It was surprisingly nice and comfortable. I'd certainly stay there again. I think I got the room for less than $100 a night so it was a steal.

I lucked out and when I was there, there were no youth groups in town that weekend. I have heard that the value resorts, including Pop can be overrun with loud youth groups (cheerleading, dance, sports etc.) during certain times of the year. So I wouldn't want to be staying there during those times.....but with 10 minutes of internet research, you can figure out when those times are.

But yea, if you are on a budget, Pop is perfectly fine.

Both times I've stayed at Pop Century were smack in the middle of the busy summer, so it was people like us: folks on vacation at their room to relax or sleep. Yeah, there's a lot of kids around at the pool and at the food court, but it didn't bother me.

And I'm definitely a hotel snob on some level. You'll never convince me that a $40 room at Motel 6 is the same as the $120 room at the Holiday Inn Express across the street. Hell, I've only recently come around on accepting La Quinta, but I'm pretty picky when it comes to staying at one.

Last edited by bigboy,

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