we were at the park by 4 and walked right o many rides, all the adventurland rides, and the two coasters in frontierland, got back up to front of castle. Tomorowland side ( our fav), before 7pm and barely got a good spot. Park not sold out and yet totally oversold IMHO. Heres the problem as I believe it.
they do a new and wonderful show using the front of the castle as a movie screen, it's wonderful... BUT, NO ONE is on rides after say 8pm. and I mean NO ONE! , all are parked , standing mainly, from 7:30pm until post fireworks about 9:45. After 4 hrs of back breaking agony and testing kids to the limit, the next parade watchers is trying to more in as this huge group is trying to get out, gridlock, angry people, scared people , we saw a child get rolled over with one of those scooters, and cut badly on the leg, bloody mess and no one could get out or in to help, panicked parents, crying kids all felt awful and everyone's time was ruined, we couldn't get out of the park fast enough, and once we finally started moving, ( that took a good 30 mins and I heard later the parade was held up 15 min because of it.), NO one was in those stores,
they need much better crowd control, and a max number for that first parade and show, First come first serve, or whatever, and a good about pf castmembers directing traffic post show, also, set up more benches for this show if you're going to make the castle the center of it all.
I wish I could give advice on where to go to be safe, but I have no idea. where that would be. It was awful and this was supposed to be a quiet nite to go. there are a few benches in the center of the cul de sac in front of the castle, and a few off toward the adventure land side, if you get thereby 6:30PM you might be able to get a spot on those, and then put a stroller on the street close by... be prepared to wait there until it all starts, and if you don't have to be on the street for the parade, don't. those benches are going to be the only safe place after the fireworks and plan on staying for a while post fireworks unless they hear the MANBY complaints and do something.
The problem might not be fixed until next year as the families involved in the injuries all plan on suing... at least they were working those cell phone cameras and taking info down with art ... typically, Disney pretends nothing is wrong in cases like this. ( I bet Walt is spinning).
anyway, as wonderful as it was, if you're going and can't camp out on one of those benches, or don't care about first parade and the front of the castle, you will be good, if you think you're going to sit on the street and be ok, You're dead wrong... No one in my family will every go again, :( and we used to go every 3rd year or so... Its was just scary and sad trying to keep our kids together and safe. People were screaming at each other... ugh/... SHAME on Walt Disney world crowd management! SHAME! Oh and those magic bands... nothing magic about them. and you just paid to test a product that isn't working... you did it for free. are we all nuts?