7 reasons to visit Disneyland before June 23

by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
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I'm going to let you in on a secret—if you love Disneyland, don't especially care about Star Wars and really hate crowds, you need to find a way to come to Anaheim in the next two weeks. The Disneyland Resort is experiencing a completely unexpected "off-season" in the wake of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge grand opening, and you want to take advantage of it while you can. And if you want to save extra money on your visit, you should buy your tickets today, June 7.

This tip is for all of you in Arizona, Nevada, and Utah who just ended the school year and haven't quite figured out what to do with the kids next week,,for those of you in Southern California who have a few vacation days to use up, as well as for everyone who put off their next Disneyland trip until 2020 because "I don't really care about Star Wars Land, and I don't want to deal with the crowds after it opens."

Here are seven reasons why you want to visit Disneyland before June 23

Reason #1 – You've never seen the park this uncrowded in June

All of the hype around the grand opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge created a ton of anticipation among Star Wars fans eager to be the very first to step foot into the new land. To help manage the expected crowds, Disney is only allowing guests with advance reservations to enter Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge now through June 23. At this time, the only way to get a reservation is to stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel.


Though fans waited in the early morning hours of May 31 to be among the first to visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge on opening day, by late afternoon the lack of crowds at the Disneyland entrance made it feel like a weekday during the off-season. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

It seems that a lot of potential Disneyland visitors took a look at all of the hype and hoopla and reservations-only requirements, and decided to avoid Disneyland for a long while, until after the Star Wars crowds die down. The result is that the Star Wars reservation-holders are enjoying their time on Batuu, Star Wars fans who couldn't get a reservation are waiting to visit, and the rest of the Disneyland resort is surprisingly and wonderfully uncrowded. It will probably stay that way for another two weeks, or until the end of the reservations-only period on June 23. In fact, Disney just lifted cast member blockouts from now through June 16—an indication that the company isn't seeing the attendance numbers they projected during this period.

Reason #2 – Disneyland Forever fireworks are back

The very popular Disneyland Forever fireworks show is back starting tonight, and will light up the skies above Disneyland at 9:30 p.m. each night through the summer. Originally created for Disneyland 60th anniversary celebration, Disneyland Forever incorporates lasers and projectors, water screens and bubble blowers, snow makers, and inflatable dancers along with the fireworks.


The "Under the Sea" section of the Disneyland Forever fireworks features bubble effects, inflatable figures, and projected animation. Photo © Disney.

Disney officials say the fireworks viewing areas at Rivers of America and "it's a small world" have been enhanced since the show went on hiatus in 2016, and offer a fresh new look for visitors who are looking for an alternative to the Main Street viewing area.

Reason #3 – All new "Tale of the Lion King" at Disney California Adventure

Fans of The Lion King should definitely check out this new entertainment offering. Disney officials say the Tale of the Lion King is an all-new production created for Disney California Adventure, with a new script, costumes and musical arrangements.

A cast of 18 performers, the "Storytellers of the Pride Lands," will use the stage in Paradise Gardens Park to present the familiar tale in a story theater style, with live drumming and vocal performances.

The Tale of the Lion King has five performances each day through the summer.

Reason #4 – Soarin' Over California is back

The original version of Soarin' has returned to Disney California Adventure through the end of June. Soarin' takes you on an aerial tour of the Golden State, from an aircraft carrier in San Diego to the snowy peaks above Lake Tahoe.


Soarin' Over California is back for a limited run at Disney California Adventure. Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.

One of the opening day attractions from DCA 2001, Soarin' was duplicated with various updates at Epcot, Shanghai Disney Park, and soon, at Tokyo Disney Sea.

Reason #5 – Summertime entertainment

There is something really special about long summer days at Disneyland, from the sounds of the All American College Band as it marches down Main Street, U.S.A., to escaping the heat by watching Mickey and the Magical Map in the shade of the Fantasyland Theater, to cheering Mickey as he battles the forces of darkness in Fantasmic.


The Mark Twain Riverboat carries a cast of familiar Disney characters during the finale of "Fantasmic" at Disneyland. MousePlanet file photo.

While the light crowds will tempt you to jump in line for as many runs through Hyperspace Mountain as you can stomach in one afternoon, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy the park atmosphere performers and scheduled shows and spectaculars.

This is also a good time to meet-and-greet some favorite Disney characters.

Reason #6 – Adult tickets at kids prices for summer travel

MousePlanet travel partner Get Away Today surprised everyone with the return of the Adults at Kids' Prices discount, their most popular promotion of the year.

With Adults at Kids' Prices, you can save up to $20 per ticket off of gate prices on 3-Day and longer Park Hopper tickets valid for travel now through September 5, 2019. You can purchase tickets separately or part of a vacation package, but tickets must be purchased by today, Friday, June 7.

Visit getawaytoday.com, or call 1-855-GET-AWAY to purchase tickets today.


Last chance for Adults and Kids' Prices from Get Away Today.

Reason #7 – Fourth night free at select Disneyland Resort area hotels

Readers who book through Get Away Today can also take advantage of a Fourth Night Free offer at select Disneyland Resort-area hotels, including some that are walking distance from the main entrance. You can also combine this offer with the Adults at Kids Prices discount. Visit getawaytoday.com, or call 1-855-GET-AWAY to purchase tickets today.

If your life circumstances allow, hop in your car or board a plane and head to the Disneyland Resort to enjoy this rare summertime off-season before Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opens to everyone on June 24. After that, all bets are off.