Hey everyone! Tommy here again with a trip report on Disney’s Leap Day celebration. For those of you that couldn’t make it, don’t feel too bad. If I could sum up the festivities, it was like having a Grad-Night crowd without having the Grad-Night security. My brilliant plan was to arrive early in the morning after it opened, get a hand-stamp for re-entry then come back at night after work. It seems like everyone was thinking the same thing because the crowd level was very light in the morning until early afternoon. It got busier and busier as the night went on, finally forcing Disneyland to close the entry gates from 11pm to about 2 am. I just don’t think there was any way Disney could prepare for such a large turnout, but I had fun nonetheless.
I arrived at about 630 in the morning, just after the masses of people that camped out the night before were let in to the parks. They were handing out commemorative buttons when you got in the park and all the guests were greeted by a line of cast members wearing mickey gloves, which i thought was a nice touch. After I bought my Leap Day shirt, I got my handstamp and left for work.
I got back to the parks around 5pm and the crowd was still manageable. The hotel held a contest on who could take the most creative photo with one of our Hojo pirate hats on Leap Day, so I handed out hats on Main street for a little while. The contest entries can be found on our FLICKR page here.
I left at 8 for a quick nap then returned at about 11. This was when the majority of people decided to go to the parks. The streets were a parking lot and swarms of people were trying to enter. Lucky for me, I had my handstamp because they were not letting people in around that time without one. The line to get in to the parks took up the entire entry plaza and stretched all the way to California Adventure from what I saw.
After an hour or so, I finally made it back in. The lines for the rides were extremely long, and if it wasn’t for some Fast Passes that some friends gave me, I would not have gone on any attractions that night. The food lines were out of control as well. Disney had some special food items that I was really craving, but I really didn’t feel like waiting for an hour to get food. Most of my time was spent just walking around hanging out with friends and listening to the DJ at Tomorrowland Terrace.
I personally had no problem with that because people watching is pretty fun especially when you see a bunch of zombies walking around at 4 am! In any case, we topped the night off with an excellent photo op of the only characters inside Disneyland that I would wait a long, long time for - get it? =) It’s not very often that you see Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers out together taking pictures, so I just had to do it!
After that, I was feeling pretty tired, so I called it quits at 5 am. I still had fun despite the rowdy crowds, but I hope Disney can learn from this and improve it in the future.
Til next time,
OTT! = One Tired Tommy