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Old 10-21-2012, 08:47 PM   #1
TwoCortWort
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Planning Christmas Trip

We are headed back to Disney this Christmas 12/12-12/27. The past 2 years we have been down there this time of the year and we also did Disneyland on Christmas Day in 2004. But need some help planning this out!

We hit (tradition) Magic Kingdom on Christmas Eve and then hop all 4 parks on Christmas Day. But with going for 2 weeks I am already starting to plan out a strategy on what to do each day. We plan to take 3 days off, we did 7 days straight this past week and about dropped dead by 7:00 each day at the very end. We usually leave our hotel (off-site...we don't stay at Disney hotels) before the parks open and get there at opening.

We have planned 4 Disney parks, Universal/Islands of Adventure, Busch Gardens & me doing Discovery Cove.

So I guess my question is how do I spread these out where we do each park equally? (Disney that is) We are throwing around doing Universal/IOA two days, but in all honesty I think one day is enough. I am still not sure I want to do DC again, I did it 2 years ago but we have a discounted rate from American Express and it would be going alone. (loved the experience though) We love hopping parks, we actually walked to Epcot/Hollywood Studios 3 days this past trip and will do that again most likely. So we will probably hop those two parks on the days we do either park.

It's 2 months away, but I can't wait to be back down there. Just trying to plan this out. :D Thanks!

PS: I know too well about the Christmas Day/After Christmas crowds...but last year we did Universal the day after x-mas vs a Disney park...but how are the crowds the day after at Disney? Just as bad leading up to Christmas or worse?
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:27 AM   #2
discookiemonsta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCortWort View Post
We are headed back to Disney this Christmas 12/12-12/27. The past 2 years we have been down there this time of the year and we also did Disneyland on Christmas Day in 2004. But need some help planning this out!

We hit (tradition) Magic Kingdom on Christmas Eve and then hop all 4 parks on Christmas Day. But with going for 2 weeks I am already starting to plan out a strategy on what to do each day. We plan to take 3 days off, we did 7 days straight this past week and about dropped dead by 7:00 each day at the very end. We usually leave our hotel (off-site...we don't stay at Disney hotels) before the parks open and get there at opening.

We have planned 4 Disney parks, Universal/Islands of Adventure, Busch Gardens & me doing Discovery Cove.

So I guess my question is how do I spread these out where we do each park equally? (Disney that is) We are throwing around doing Universal/IOA two days, but in all honesty I think one day is enough. I am still not sure I want to do DC again, I did it 2 years ago but we have a discounted rate from American Express and it would be going alone. (loved the experience though) We love hopping parks, we actually walked to Epcot/Hollywood Studios 3 days this past trip and will do that again most likely. So we will probably hop those two parks on the days we do either park.

It's 2 months away, but I can't wait to be back down there. Just trying to plan this out. :D Thanks!

PS: I know too well about the Christmas Day/After Christmas crowds...but last year we did Universal the day after x-mas vs a Disney park...but how are the crowds the day after at Disney? Just as bad leading up to Christmas or worse?


You will be there there almost the exact dates as us. We arrive on the 13th and leave on the 27th. Our plan is to do as much park time (we're only doing Disney with 'maybe' one day at Seaworld) at Disney at the beginning of our trip. Towards the end of our trip (I'd say the last 4 days or so) we will still be heading to a park, but by then it will be far more crowded than our first week so we will concentrate more on enjoying the parks at Christmas time, watching the parades, fireworks, soaking in the Christmas atmosphere etc.

From everything I've read about crowds, they will will be worse after Christmas than the week leading up to it, which is the main reason for doing most of the parks early on.

This is what our schedule looks like to give you some ideas...

12/14 Epcot

12/15 MK

12/16 DHS

12/17 MK

12/18 Morning off/afternoon - evening MVMCP

12/19 OFF

12/20 AK

12/21 Epcot

12/22 OFF

12/23 OFF/Seaworld?

12/24 MK

12/25 OFF (resort hopping)

12/26 either MK/Epcot/DHS

Since we have lots of park days available, not each of these parks will be from park opening to park closing. The two most important ones (because of the increase in crowd size) that will be from opening to closing will be December 24th and December 26th.

Now, just to let you know, our park days are scheduled around evening EMH so you should look at the calender for December for each park to see what would work out best for you (since you are staying offsite and can't take advantage of EMH's). From your description of your 4 park Christmas Day plan I am also assuming that you have park hoppers, which changes your planning strategy from mine, since we don't have hoppers, but it would give you a lot more flexibility in how you spend your park time.

I am not sure if you have children or not, what their ages are etc. We have 2 kids so we always plan to spend at least 2 or 3 days in MK (if not more - we just love MK!) and since we love Epcot we spend 2 days there as well. Usually AK in only a 1 day park for us and depending on the crowds, DHS is also a 1 day park for us (unless we don't get a lot done so we may go back a second time).

Do you have any plans for ADRs? Those would also influence some of your planning and park schedule!

Here is a great thread for you to join here on DIS boards -

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3007324

It's the December 2012 Roll Call thread (it's already on part 3 so it's a very active thread) Any questions you have about Christmas at Disney, you can ask there as well It would be fun for you to join us there

Anyway, I hope I have helped you a little bit...
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:02 AM   #3
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We arrive on Dec 12th -19th !

Advice stay away from EMH parks! You can ride and do SO much because the parks without EMH are almost empty,well feels empty , if you have been during the summer! Enjoy hope you have a magical vacation !

Merry Christmas!
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
rubybpc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCortWort View Post
We are headed back to Disney this Christmas 12/12-12/27. The past 2 years we have been down there this time of the year and we also did Disneyland on Christmas Day in 2004. But need some help planning this out!

We hit (tradition) Magic Kingdom on Christmas Eve and then hop all 4 parks on Christmas Day. But with going for 2 weeks I am already starting to plan out a strategy on what to do each day. We plan to take 3 days off, we did 7 days straight this past week and about dropped dead by 7:00 each day at the very end. We usually leave our hotel (off-site...we don't stay at Disney hotels) before the parks open and get there at opening.

We have planned 4 Disney parks, Universal/Islands of Adventure, Busch Gardens & me doing Discovery Cove.

So I guess my question is how do I spread these out where we do each park equally? (Disney that is) We are throwing around doing Universal/IOA two days, but in all honesty I think one day is enough. I am still not sure I want to do DC again, I did it 2 years ago but we have a discounted rate from American Express and it would be going alone. (loved the experience though) We love hopping parks, we actually walked to Epcot/Hollywood Studios 3 days this past trip and will do that again most likely. So we will probably hop those two parks on the days we do either park.

It's 2 months away, but I can't wait to be back down there. Just trying to plan this out. :D Thanks!

PS: I know too well about the Christmas Day/After Christmas crowds...but last year we did Universal the day after x-mas vs a Disney park...but how are the crowds the day after at Disney? Just as bad leading up to Christmas or worse?
I'm curious to know how the crowds were at Universal the day after Christmas?
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:10 PM   #5
TwoCortWort
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubybpc View Post
I'm curious to know how the crowds were at Universal the day after Christmas?
Oh my gosh, they were horrible last year! Quite honestly! We were there the first Saturday we got to Orlando and headed straight to Harry Potter World due to the previous year we got those passes to return at a certain time to get in, and of course they had changed that. We stood inline for over an hour for what we thought was to get into that part again, and we were inline for the Forbidden Journey ride. I was appalled at how they handled the crowds in that section alone. It was very crowded that day, like people stepping on you crowded. I will never go back there after Christmas again. Just be prepared to stand around and wait at that park particularly. But Universal Studios, the weight times were nothing and the crowd was NOT nearly as bad. Rip Ride Rockit I waited 15 and 30 minutes back to back before it broke down between 1:00 and 2:00.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:15 PM   #6
TwoCortWort
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discookiemonsta View Post
You will be there there almost the exact dates as us. We arrive on the 13th and leave on the 27th. Our plan is to do as much park time (we're only doing Disney with 'maybe' one day at Seaworld) at Disney at the beginning of our trip. Towards the end of our trip (I'd say the last 4 days or so) we will still be heading to a park, but by then it will be far more crowded than our first week so we will concentrate more on enjoying the parks at Christmas time, watching the parades, fireworks, soaking in the Christmas atmosphere etc.

From everything I've read about crowds, they will will be worse after Christmas than the week leading up to it, which is the main reason for doing most of the parks early on.

This is what our schedule looks like to give you some ideas...

12/14 Epcot

12/15 MK

12/16 DHS

12/17 MK

12/18 Morning off/afternoon - evening MVMCP

12/19 OFF

12/20 AK

12/21 Epcot

12/22 OFF

12/23 OFF/Seaworld?

12/24 MK

12/25 OFF (resort hopping)

12/26 either MK/Epcot/DHS

Since we have lots of park days available, not each of these parks will be from park opening to park closing. The two most important ones (because of the increase in crowd size) that will be from opening to closing will be December 24th and December 26th.

Now, just to let you know, our park days are scheduled around evening EMH so you should look at the calender for December for each park to see what would work out best for you (since you are staying offsite and can't take advantage of EMH's). From your description of your 4 park Christmas Day plan I am also assuming that you have park hoppers, which changes your planning strategy from mine, since we don't have hoppers, but it would give you a lot more flexibility in how you spend your park time.

I am not sure if you have children or not, what their ages are etc. We have 2 kids so we always plan to spend at least 2 or 3 days in MK (if not more - we just love MK!) and since we love Epcot we spend 2 days there as well. Usually AK in only a 1 day park for us and depending on the crowds, DHS is also a 1 day park for us (unless we don't get a lot done so we may go back a second time).

Do you have any plans for ADRs? Those would also influence some of your planning and park schedule!

Here is a great thread for you to join here on DIS boards -

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3007324

It's the December 2012 Roll Call thread (it's already on part 3 so it's a very active thread) Any questions you have about Christmas at Disney, you can ask there as well It would be fun for you to join us there

Anyway, I hope I have helped you a little bit...
Wow thanks for your post. :D It's my parents and I going, so no young children are going. We are annual pass holders, so the hopper is included. I posted on the thread you posted a link to. I am not sure what ADR stands for??? We are doing the MVMCP one night, but not sure of which one. We enjoyed the Halloween party and now anxious to see about the one at Christmas.
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:13 PM   #7
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ADR stands for Advanced Dining Reservation which is what most people make for any table service restaurants at the Disney parks or at any of the resorts.
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