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Old 11-21-2012, 03:20 AM   #1
Shir Kahn
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How crazy is it really at the end of December?

I found out that I'm getting a bonus some time in the next few weeks. All our bills are paid and we don't have any debt, so I'm thinking about blowing it on a surprise trip to WDW! The only problem is, the only time we'll both be able to go will be from December 26th until January 3rd. We've never been during this time but I understand it's seriously crowded. I'm not going to book until I find out for sure how much I'm getting, which will likely happen sometime around the first week of December. Do you think it will be possible to book onsite still? Are the parks packed from start to finish during this time frame? We've dealt with heavy crowds before and we've been to WDW quite a few times now, so I know we can handle it, but I'm just curious as to whether we're talking "turnaways at the gate" sort of crowds. I would really like to stay onsite but we've got several options in mind for offsite too if we must. (unless of course they're all booked up too! )
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:42 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Shir Kahn View Post
I found out that I'm getting a bonus some time in the next few weeks. All our bills are paid and we don't have any debt, so I'm thinking about blowing it on a surprise trip to WDW! The only problem is, the only time we'll both be able to go will be from December 26th until January 3rd. We've never been during this time but I understand it's seriously crowded. I'm not going to book until I find out for sure how much I'm getting, which will likely happen sometime around the first week of December. Do you think it will be possible to book onsite still? Are the parks packed from start to finish during this time frame? We've dealt with heavy crowds before and we've been to WDW quite a few times now, so I know we can handle it, but I'm just curious as to whether we're talking "turnaways at the gate" sort of crowds. I would really like to stay onsite but we've got several options in mind for offsite too if we must. (unless of course they're all booked up too! )
Yes, this can and does happen during the dates you are considering. This is the busiest time of the year for all Orlando-area theme parks.

You will typically see manageable crowds for no more than the first hour or two of any park day. After that, it is wall-to-wall people for the rest of the day--crowds of biblical proportions.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:37 AM   #3
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How crazy is it really at the end of December?
Cra-
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:37 AM   #4
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How crazy is it really at the end of December?
-zy!





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Old 11-21-2012, 06:20 AM   #5
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Seriously crazy.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:27 AM   #6
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This crazy.
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Old 11-21-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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This crazy.
Still not crazy enough.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:25 PM   #8
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This crazy.
Now that IS crazy!

It will be beyond crazy. Christmas in on a Tuesday this year. I would guess it will be crazy all week. A lot of times due to the holiday near the start of the weekend you get some days less busy, but I know if I were going I would bookend both weekends with the kids off school making it busy the entire week. I am praying that the pixies send a little dust your way and the crowds are less than maximum.
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:57 AM   #9
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Just one example of how crazy It gets...You know the bridge in Magic Kingdom on the right going to Tomorrowland.It has to be at least 15 feet wide, at night it is a wall of people smoothed together like on the subway in rush hour.You literally baby step your way through most of park.We used to always go during holiday, than it just got to be too much, so we now go early December and get all same perks, just minus horrendous crowds.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:22 PM   #10
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Just one example of how crazy It gets...You know the bridge in Magic Kingdom on the right going to Tomorrowland.It has to be at least 15 feet wide, at night it is a wall of people smoothed together like on the subway in rush hour.You literally baby step your way through most of park.We used to always go during holiday, than it just got to be too much, so we now go early December and get all same perks, just minus horrendous crowds.
This was the stand-by line for the safari on 12/20/2008. It went all the way through and out the queue, down through Africa, past the Dawa Bar and OVER THE BRIDGE!

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Old 11-29-2012, 04:39 PM   #11
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I went in 2010 the week before Christmas. The closer it got to Christmas, the more crowded it became. In general, though, tolerable crowds. The last day we toured was the 23rd.

This year we are going from January 1st through the 10th, but only touring starting on the 3rd. I'm hoping for moderate crowds like the crowd calendars suggest!
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:02 AM   #12
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Local here - everything everyone has said here is true. It's wall to wall, turn people away at the gate crazy.

I have done it all July 4th, NYE, Christmas Day. It still blows my mind every time.

You can come for "the experience" but you'll probably get a lot more done, spend a lot less money and have a more relaxing time in late winter or early spring.

Know your family. If they are upbeat have fun no matter what people? Consider. Maybe not? Try another time.

Good luck!
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:09 AM   #13
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It's crazy. Very crazy. One day last year mk, ak and Hollywood all closed to capacity.
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Old 11-21-2012, 07:57 AM   #14
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I agree with everyone else thus far. Crazy is a bit of an understatement. Rides that don't typically have a long line (like IASW) can have lines close to an hour and lines that are typically longer (like Peter Pan's Flight) have really long lines. The WS is pretty hard to navigate. It's just easier to tell whoever you are with to meet you at a specific spot and then fend for yourself. On NYE, TT and Soarin' both had wait times listed over 300 minutes and the ends of the lines for Nemo and the Character Spot basically met eachother.

However, it's a great experience and worth trying at least once. The parks are generally open longer to counter the crowds a little and the vibe in the parks is different than it is any other time of year. Also, if you are into people watching there is no better time of year to go. As long as you have a lot of patience and don't expect to get everything you want to do, don't let the crowd level scare you off.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:04 AM   #15
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It's crazy. Very crazy. One day last year mk, ak and Hollywood all closed to capacity.
I have never been at WDW the week between Xmas and NYE, but isn't it often mentioned here that while a park may close mid-morning, in many cases, they re-open by midafternoon when people begin to leave the parks?

Just trying to be fair to the OP.
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