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Old 07-07-2011, 09:46 PM   #1
Avalon_toon
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Advice for 1st timer arriving 12/25

So, my sister and her DH are taking their kids (13 & 15) on their first non-camping style vacation - a 7 day cruise to Mexico, followed by 2.5 days at WDW. Their boat docks in Tampa December 25th, then they have to drive to Orlando, and leave on the 28th.

She's never been to WDW, doesn't know the parks, the rides, can't seem to wrap her head around the sheer size of WDW, and wants advice. The only thing she is sure she wants is a Turkey dinner on Christmas day, and to see the Christmas parade in the Magic Kingdom. I suggested she make a ressie at the Liberty Tree Tavern, since I know they did a Turkey dinner there last Christmas, but does she even have a chance to get into the MK after 1pm on Christmas Day, or will it be filled to capacity by then? Is the parade on Dec. 25th the Christmas parade (like the one at MVMCP?) or the regular MK parade? If the park is filled, do they still let people with dining reservations in?

Any advice for a complete newbie, who only has 2.5 days to see the World, at Christmastime?

TIA!
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:13 AM   #2
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She needs to come here and do lots of research!! This is a very, very crowded day. Without doing the homework and having a plan they won't get to see much of anything.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:24 AM   #3
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More than likely by 1 on Christmas Day MK will be at capacity. And it will be completely overwhelming to a first timer. Just imagine wading thru wall to wall people on Main Street and find your way to LTT. Maybe try to get an ADR at Artist Point at WL they have a special Christmas dinner as do some of the other resorts.

When MK starts closing they do it in phases. I am assuming they are offsite and/or may not have tickets already so they will fall in Phase 1 or Phase 2.

Phase One:
Day Guests who have not already purchased tickets and Cast Members using their Maingate & Silver Passes will be turned around at the Auto Plaza. Guests meeting this criteria are told the Park has reached capacity.

Phase Two:
Currently, admission is limited to Resort Guests, Premium and Annual Passholders, crossovers and other Guests re-entering one of our Parks today. Guests using WDW Resort Transportation and Guests in taxis, will be admitted. Guests not meeting the above criteria are told the Park has reached capacity.

Phase Three:
The theme park is only open to Resort Guests using Disney transportation from their Resort or other theme parks or Annual and Premium Passholders. Shades of Green and Downtown Disney Resort Area Guests using their respective transportation will also be admitted. Guests not meeting the above criteria are told the Park has reached capacity.

Phase Four:
Closed to all Guests and Guests are told the Park has reached capacity.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:26 AM   #4
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She may not get in. Show her this http://allears.net/tp/h_christmas.htm maybe she can come up with a plan after seeing this. Good luck. There is no way I would think about going Christmas week, too crowded, and you don't get to see or do nearly as much during the earlier part of December.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:28 AM   #5
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Yeah...getting into the Magic Kingdom that day will be hit or miss, especially if they're not staying on the property. Even if she makes an ADR at LTT, it doesn't guarantee her entry into the park. Depending on the level of closure, and where she's staying, they might not even let her into the parking lot...

The other place that she could try for her "turkey dinner" is Garden Grill at Epcot. It tends not to close quite as early as the Magic Kingdom. They still do the Christmas Parade throughout the week after Christmas, so they could get up early and go to the Magic Kingdom on one of their other days and stay through the parade if that's what she really wants to do.

Are you sure she's referring to the MVMCP parade? She might be referring to the parade that is taped at the beginning of December, and aired on Christmas Day. If that's the parade she's aiming for, she's going to miss it.

Honestly, Christmas Day for her is going to be pretty much useless, since they won't be arriving until after noon. All the FPs to the major attractions likely will be gone, and the stand by wait times will be through the roof. I'm talking 3 hour waits in some cases. If they're staying on property, they can take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours to make up for some of the time, but they likely won't get very much done in 2 days during that time of year.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:37 AM   #6
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Having an ADR does NOT guarantee you admission into a park that's closed for capacity.

She should probably give up on the idea of getting into MK on Christmas Day since she won't be arriving until afternoon. It's likely to be closed.

I second the idea of finding dinner at one of the resorts. Also, she may need to adjust her expectations and give up on the idea of a turkey dinner, and just be open to whatever she can get.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:40 AM   #7
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Are the other parks crazy crowded on the 25th and 26th? What if I suggest she go to AK or HS for the afternoon on the 25th? She'd probably be willing to do this, if she can still see the MK parade on one of her other days. I've been telling her for years how wonderful WDW is, and now she's going to go on the busiest day of the year - talk about the potential for a bad first impression!
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:56 AM   #8
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Easy WDW is suggesting DHS or AK on the 25th. We went to DHS on the 25th in 2009 and it wasn't bad. I have also heard that AK isn't too bad on Christmas Day. Check out WCC she might be able to get turkey there on Christmas. I think their skillet is different on Christmas Day. Have her make her ADRs now!!
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PIRATEGIRL007 View Post
More than likely by 1 on Christmas Day MK will be at capacity. And it will be completely overwhelming to a first timer. Just imagine wading thru wall to wall people on Main Street and find your way to LTT. Maybe try to get an ADR at Artist Point at WL they have a special Christmas dinner as do some of the other resorts.
This. I was there once on Christmas day, and even as someone who has been to Disney many times, it was overwhelming. I actually felt claustrophobic there were so many people packed in the streets...it was hard to walk. I was there for about 3 hours, did one attraction, and I was done. I couldn't take being there anymore. It was a very stressful atmosphere in my opinion rather than being cheerful and jolly and Christmas-y. Just way, way too many people.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:55 PM   #10
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I have been in the MK on Christmas day and honestly, I would rather have my fingernails pryed off one by one with a crowbar than ever have to do that again.

My advice would be to head to the boardwalk area or DTD. Both very festive and not nearly as crowded. She could also go resort hopping and view the beautiful decorations each resort have. Have a nice Christmas dinner in the WL or the GF.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princesspiglet View Post
I have been in the MK on Christmas day and honestly, I would rather have my fingernails pryed off one by one with a crowbar than ever have to do that again.

My advice would be to head to the boardwalk area or DTD. Both very festive and not nearly as crowded. She could also go resort hopping and view the beautiful decorations each resort have. Have a nice Christmas dinner in the WL or the GF.
I just read your post aloud to my coworkers! I think it's funny because, despite all recommendations, I'm going to MK on Christmas Day! But I do plan on getting there at rope drop. I've done Disneyland on Christmas Day so I kinda know what to expect. I'm scared though.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:57 PM   #12
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Okay, I called her and gave her your collective advice to skip the Magic Kingdom on Christmas day, she was a bit disappointed but willing to listen to the experts. Anything else I should pass along?
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:08 PM   #13
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If she goes during this time, staying onsite and getting to rope drop is a must. The reason I am saying stay on site, the busses take you right to MK and not TTC. This will get her to MK the quickest. Next she needs to know that lines will be long (even with fast passes).

I would make a top 5 things you want to do in that day and shoot for doing them. This is what we have done and it takes some stress off.

Also, I would show her the pictures of the crowds from here during Christmas season.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:10 PM   #14
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Can she move her 2.5 days prior to the cruise? She might have a better time.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:19 PM   #15
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Going prior to her cruise would be a fantastic idea if possible!! From my memory, even Christmas eve is not too bad. The crowd seemed to EXPLODE overnight!! We could not bear the crowds either, and my dd 3 at the time kept getting cut off from me and i was holding her hand and people were squeezing between us!!!! It was scary!!
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