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Old 11-02-2012, 02:41 PM   #16
lanejudy
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I think understanding that it will be a very crowded time and being prepared to deal with / accept that concept is the first step towards having an enjoyable vacation despite the crowds. Managing expectations can make all the difference. Don't plan to do all rides, all shows. Plan some down time at your resort; plan some time to visit the other resorts and see the decorations. My responses to your specific qusetions are below in red...

Quote:
Originally Posted by biggroofy View Post

1). We have a few ADRs at MK (e.g. Lunch at CP). I bet we will take the 7:40am boat each morning at hopefully get into MK by 8:00am. We are also traveling with the grandparents. They won't come to the park until noon, what if the park is closed and they could not meet us for lunch?
My understanding is that parks will close in phases - first, closed to non-resort guests; second - closed to anyone without an ADR; third - closed to any further entry for a period of time. Your parents would need to make sure they have a printed copy of your ADR, or at least the ADR #, which could help them gain entry if a park is in a closing phase. It is possible to get into a park later in the day even if it was closed at one point; once people leave, more will be allowed entry. WDW resorts guests will always be allowed entrance to A park, though it may not be your first choice of parks.

2). One of the purpose was to see the Christmas decor and lights, and take pictures. However, if it is too crowded, or if re-admission is declined due to capacity then we may not be able to do so.
Not sure of the question here. I think it is possible to view/enjoy the decor and lights even with crowds. Take pictures when you are there. Correct that re-admission may not be allowed - see above regarding closing phases and allowing entry later in the day. Keep in mind some of the most beautiful decorations will be at the various resorts, which will NOT close to guests; though I recommend using Disney transportation as the parking lots may be full.

3). Will the resorts (e.g. WL) be extremely packed too, say the pool, playground, etc?
Resorts are built for a specific capacity and that includes the pool, playground and public spaces. Only that resorts guests can use the pool; at very busy times the lifeguards are likely to check resort IDs (KTTW) to enforce this. While it may be crowded, I don't think it would be TOO crowded.

4). On Dec 24 we plan to visit AK and have early dinner at Jiko. It's Christmas Eve but I hope AK will be less crowded. If we take Disney Transportation, how do we return to WL from AKL? Shall we take a taxi?
Can't speak for AK being less crowded or not, but it is usually the earliest park to close. To return to WL from AKL if AK is closed, take a bus to DTD and from there take a bus to WL. Taxi is another option and will likely be quicker, but you could take in the sights at DTD enroute if you so desired.

5). IF, we really postpone, and change our reservation to March 2013. What ELSE we can do in Orlando? Our airfare is non-refundable, unchangable, so need to find some alternatives.
There are lots of things to do in Orlando at any time of year. Internationally Drive has several tourist-type attractions. There is also Universal Studios and Sea World, though they might be just as crowded as WDW. I highly recommend touring the various WDW resorts to see the decorations - not all in 1 day but maybe spread it out with a few each day. Also, relaxing at the resort is a terrific idea.

Enjoy your cruise and enjoy your WDW holiday vacation!
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Old 11-02-2012, 02:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggroofy View Post
We have booked WL from Dec 22 - 26 with DD5 and DD9. WAS very looking forward to it, since I wanted my children to have a special Christmas...BUT after I read this blog http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2012/01/, I started shaking....shall I keep the reservation, or postpone it to March???

We will be getting off Disney Fantasy on Dec 22, and booked our flight back to Canada on Dec 26. While comparing the price difference between Christmas Week and March Break, I tempted to stay in WDW for Christmas, adding extra pixie dust to the Christmas travel.

After reading the above Blog from Jack, and also googled a bit about Christmas in the world, it appeared that it will be extremely packed, people are wall-to-wall, and theme parks may closed at 10am due to full capacity.....scary!

We are on Dining Plan, and lucky enough to make most of the ADRs (including dinner shows) during our stay. We only purchased 3-day park tickets since I don't think the kids will enjoy the crowd and long queues that much.

1). We have a few ADRs at MK (e.g. Lunch at CP). I bet we will take the 7:40am boat each morning at hopefully get into MK by 8:00am. We are also traveling with the grandparents. They won't come to the park until noon, what if the park is closed and they could not meet us for lunch?

2). One of the purpose was to see the Christmas decor and lights, and take pictures. However, if it is too crowded, or if re-admission is declined due to capacity then we may not be able to do so.

3). Will the resorts (e.g. WL) be extremely packed too, say the pool, playground, etc?

4). On Dec 24 we plan to visit AK and have early dinner at Jiko. It's Christmas Eve but I hope AK will be less crowded. If we take Disney Transportation, how do we return to WL from AKL? Shall we take a taxi?

5). IF, we really postpone, and change our reservation to March 2013. What ELSE we can do in Orlando? Our airfare is non-refundable, unchangable, so need to find some alternatives.

Any thoughts, comments, opinions, are welcome. I am totally LOST right now
I have never been during Christmas (though I went 2 years in a row at 4th of July), so I can't comment to crowds, HOWEVER, the fact that you have your non refundable airfare set, I say you go and make the best of it
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:11 PM   #18
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I would stick to your original plan. You know what to expect--it would've been worse if you didn't expect crowds. We went two years ago on Dec 22 and it was crowded but do-able. And the decorations at the MK are so incredible. The castle with all the lights will bring tears to your eyes. And since it was so close to Christmas they made it snow on Main Street as we were waiting for the nighttime parade to start. It was a wonderful trip!! We stayed at WL for that trip and loved it for that time of year (usually we stay at the Polynesian). I would stick to the Deluxe resort (you mentioned possibly changing). After you've been on the cruise you are going to want the space and enjoy the fact that all deluxes have a daybed so your kids won't have to share a bed (ofcourse WL we get the bunk bed so our kids don't have to share a queen bed).

Also take time to check out the resorts around the Seven Seas Lagoon, the decorations are amazing! You can take the boat over to the Contemporary and then hop on the monorail and hit the Polynesian and Grand Floridian. We always have a car since we live 5 hours away from WDW so driving around isn't an issue for us but I wouldn't recommend checking out other areas of Orlando at that time of year. If its super busy at WDW then its super busy outside the gates. You don't want to spend your time sitting in traffic just to go to outlets with millions of people. Enjoy the resorts and all that WDW has to offer.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:11 PM   #19
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We do the week before when we have gone, several times now. In all honesty, his pictures tell 2 stories. If you have never done a busy time, this looks intimidating. However (and there is always a however in life) I have been when it is MUCH worse than what he shows there. Our first time to disney we did 19-27. The 26th was so unimaginably busy i can't fathom to tell you. I would have absolutly died to have the parks empty enough to push a stroller through it like on his videos. we rode 3 rides that day, with more than a 2 hours wait for IASM. The days before christmas, even this year, will be less than the ones after. 10 isn't always 10. I guarantee that your 10 on 22 is going to be a lot more managable than your 10 on 25 or 26. Think of it this way. From saturday to the 24th is going to look like your video. long lines, some waits, FP required, but still walkable. you will still be able to get a table soemwhere. You will be able to move freely without bumping into people. Starting the 25th that won't be the case. It's a whole new level of 10.

But look at me. I keep coming back. Adjusting my dates to miss as little school as possible but still experience christmas at Disney. Just be honest with yourself, know what you are getting into, and having a lot of fun. They generally extend the hours of the parks (sometimes until 3am) during that week as well. Not setting bed times, not trying to do everything during the day, relaxing the pace and enjoying vacation, and being at disney, and being there for christmas is whats inportant. There is very little that would make me not go back the week before. I just have my expectations set.

The week after? That is pure hell and I wouldn't go back if it was free. it can take more than 45 minutes just to get up main street. you have no personal space. It's just miserable.

I can dig up some pics from last year (17-25) if you want to see them. just PM me and I'll send you some links.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:57 PM   #20
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We were there for Christmas week 3 yrs. ago and it wasn't as bad as everyone made it out to be. We got to do most of the things we wanted to do. What worked for us was using fastpass as much as we could, getting to a park within a half hour after rope drop and going to park that had emh the day before and taking an afternoon break. You should still go. Just have a plan.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:26 PM   #21
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The blogger who did that video seemed to be arriving at the park at 10:30 am. On some days during this week, MK may be opening at 7:00am. You could have ridden all your faves and more in that 3 and a half hours! During a crowded period, nothing beats getting there AT rope drop. I sacrifice some early morning sleep to eliminate possible stress later in the day. While the blogger was trudging through the crowds at 2pm, I would be enjoying an ADR. I'd stick around for the afternoon parade (Xmas edition) and then head back to the resort for a nap. I am going to be trying my own advice for the first time this year and will be sure to post my results .
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:13 PM   #22
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I would go, WL is fantastic during the holidays. There are other things to do other them parks, sleigh ride? Tour the MK resorts, GF also has wonderful decorations. So does the Epcot resorts.

You have the right idea of getting to the park early, I would arrive 30 min before opening. Take advantage of any EMH mornings scheduled, and get as much done first thing, including picking up fast passes. When the parks get too crowded, leave to do other things, like resort touring, sleigh ride? Mini golf? Pool break & enjoy WL, DTD

We stayed at AKL in August and resort was at full capacity, you'd never know it.
So I think you'll be fine with that.

Enjoy your stay.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:53 PM   #23
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I don't know anything about this week at Disney. However, you did ask about other things to do in Orlando, ICE at the Gaylord Palms was one of the best things I have ever seen or done!
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:21 PM   #24
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Thanks everyone (AGAIN)!

We may stick with our original plans, but will make some arrangements to avoid the peak hours. I guess better to alter some ADRs for that too.

ICE at the Gaylord Palms sounds interesting, but will it be hectic if we go on Dec 25? I meant the traffic in and out Disney World. I stayed at GF last time, and I remembered I have to drive pass the MK toll before I can reach GF/Poly etc resorts. If I have to get thru the same MK toll to reach WL, it may not be a wise idea to visit Gaylord Palms on Dec 25 :P
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:55 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggroofy View Post
Thanks everyone (AGAIN)!

We may stick with our original plans, but will make some arrangements to avoid the peak hours. I guess better to alter some ADRs for that too.

ICE at the Gaylord Palms sounds interesting, but will it be hectic if we go on Dec 25? I meant the traffic in and out Disney World. I stayed at GF last time, and I remembered I have to drive pass the MK toll before I can reach GF/Poly etc resorts. If I have to get thru the same MK toll to reach WL, it may not be a wise idea to visit Gaylord Palms on Dec 25 :P
Here is a Google map of the roads inside the Magic Kingdom area:
http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8...g&ved=0CH8QtgM

You don't have to go through the MK toll to travel between the WL and GF. There are internal roads, i.e. Seven Seas Drive, World Drive, that go between resorts. But you are right that going in and out of the MK toll gate would be a huge mess. The traffic will be terrible.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:54 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue M
I would go, WL is fantastic during the holidays. There are other things to do other them parks, sleigh ride? Tour the MK resorts, GF also has wonderful decorations. So does the Epcot resorts.

You have the right idea of getting to the park early, I would arrive 30 min before opening. Take advantage of any EMH mornings scheduled, and get as much done first thing, including picking up fast passes. When the parks get too crowded, leave to do other things, like resort touring, sleigh ride? Mini golf? Pool break & enjoy WL, DTD

We stayed at AKL in August and resort was at full capacity, you'd never know it.
So I think you'll be fine with that.

Enjoy your stay.
Sue M, I was trying to book sleigh ride but have to move around our ADR first. Most are fully booked except 8:00pm.

Mini-golf, do I have to book ahead of time?

If weather permits, would like to do sea-racer (?) with DD9 too
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:18 AM   #27
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We have been to Disney during 4th of July and Christmas. We always stay on property. Visiting during Christmas WITHOUT the pull to "do it all, see it all" is our motto. To be in the magic is what our family feels is the value.

We are going to WDW next Christmas (12/24 to 12/29) then taking the Disney Dream for New Year's Eve. Since we visit often, we aren't looking to get on every attraction. We will get up early and get to the parks before they open, do what we can then relax at our resort. We know that MK is the most crowded, so we will be doing that park most mornings then heading to Epcot later in the day (if they're still open).

If you plan and know what to expect, you can still have a magical and memorable vacation.

Don't let that one blog freak you out. And since you'll be staying at the WL, you can hop the bus to MK early and get a lot done in those early park hours.

Have fun and make the best of it. It is absolutely a magical time of year to visit!!!
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:34 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggroofy View Post
Sue M, I was trying to book sleigh ride but have to move around our ADR first. Most are fully booked except 8:00pm.

Mini-golf, do I have to book ahead of time?

If weather permits, would like to do sea-racer (?) with DD9 too
Haven't been at Christmas so can't help you there (I have a strict no WDW when schools are out policy ), but just wanted to say DH and DS8 did the SeaRaycers at the Contemporary on our November trip last year and my son said it was his absolute favorite part of the trip! Definitely give it a try...you can just take the boat over to the contemporary marina from WL.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:19 PM   #29
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Haven't been at Christmas so can't help you there (I have a strict no WDW when schools are out policy ), but just wanted to say DH and DS8 did the SeaRaycers at the Contemporary on our November trip last year and my son said it was his absolute favorite part of the trip! Definitely give it a try...you can just take the boat over to the contemporary marina from WL.
The Wilderness Lodge has its own marina. Boats can be rented there.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:40 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Wood Nymph

The Wilderness Lodge has its own marina. Boats can be rented there.
That is a very good point!
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