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Old 05-19-2012, 02:46 PM   #196
SL30
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So no one in our family has ever been and I thought end of January would be the perfect low crowd time but now I am nervous about such short operating hours and making the wrong ADR's on the wrong days in case it causes us to miss Electrical parade..etc...

Convince me it is a good time to go with 2 little boys!

Will the info that comes out next month on easywdw be accurate as far as which night the electrical parade, etc is scheduled or will Disney change it as we get closer??

Do I need to pay attention to the crowd calendar or does it really matter during value season?
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:33 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by SL30 View Post
So no one in our family has ever been and I thought end of January would be the perfect low crowd time but now I am nervous about such short operating hours and making the wrong ADR's on the wrong days in case it causes us to miss Electrical parade..etc...

Convince me it is a good time to go with 2 little boys!

Will the info that comes out next month on easywdw be accurate as far as which night the electrical parade, etc is scheduled or will Disney change it as we get closer??

Do I need to pay attention to the crowd calendar or does it really matter during value season?
First, January is a wonderful time to go, esp with young children b/c the parks aren't open that late, so you aren't missing that much. In fact, you may be able to stay to actually see the parade, fireworks/Illumination, Fantasmic, etc, whereas going in summer they are at 9pm and 10pm and I know my youngest won't make it that late.

We found that the shorter hours worked perfect for us...it helped get the kids back earlier, more rested and they were more likely to get up earlier in the AM, too. It also provided DH and I a nice break, too, to come back to our room and relax, have some wine and snacks on the balcony, etc.

Older kids & adults can still go to DTD and shop/eat, go over to the boardwalk area, play video games, swim (if warm enough), explore resort, etc if they aren't ready for bed at 9-10pm or so.

The important thing is to try to get to WDW for RD or within 30 minutes of opening if you can. Explore for a few hours and then if the boys need to go back to the room for naps, do so. Then come back around 5pm for a few more rides and the parades/fireworks.

You'll find that January is a great time to go with generally less crowds. Also, stay for EMH if you can either AM or PM or stay in the park until it actually closes b/c we found they were not crowded at all then.

The last 45 minutes of the night at AK were EMPTY!! They let us ride Primeval Whirl and Tri-Spin 3x in a row without ever getting off. When we left about 10 minutes after park closed, it was weird-eery b/c it felt like we were the only ones in the park.

As far as crowd calendars, it is less vital in January (unless you are going over NYE or MLK weekend). We do a basic plan and then when the schedule came out or was updated, we just went on-line to adjust our ADRs if we needed to. Now that Disney charges $10/pp for no-shows, we have severely limited our character meals and no longer plan our vacation around TS meals. If we can get in a restaurant, fine. If not, no worries. We can find good CS food, too, and we've also started making more simple meals in our kitchen at DVC, which we also enjoy.

So for us, we've found January to have lots of advantages.

Disadvantages can be the cooler weather and refurbs going on.

However, my parents just got back from WDW 4 days ago and complained about all the refurbs going on now and rides that closed temporarily. So it's not just limited to January.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:32 PM   #198
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Marsha thanks for th auto train breakdown, since we don't rent a car while at Disney and just bought into BLT to avoid some of the buses I can't get the numbers to work for us for auto train. I think the kids would love the experience though.
One more question..."do you know if they still have the Disney junior dance parties during hs emh?
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Old 05-20-2012, 10:37 PM   #199
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Marsha thanks for th auto train breakdown, since we don't rent a car while at Disney and just bought into BLT to avoid some of the buses I can't get the numbers to work for us for auto train. I think the kids would love the experience though.
One more question..."do you know if they still have the Disney junior dance parties during hs emh?
yeah, w/o renting a car it or paying for gas (if we'd drive), it's harder to make the numbers work. Then, we go into the "put a price on convenience and adventure" to justify!

We just love the train for our family right now.

Yes, as far as I know, they still have the Disney dance party at HS EMH PM (Monday night).

I'm proposing that we have a DISMeet there for those that are interested. It worked out nice this past January. I'll send out more details closer to the date but we'd be there either/both Mondays -- January 14 and 21.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:27 AM   #200
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I think I have everyone updated on the first page.

danjo-- my DD6 and I are staying at the Royal Rooms in July -- I can't wait! I'll definitely let you know how we liked them.
How exciting!! My DD will be 7 in June and she saw them online and was like, "yes Mommy thumbs up, I wanna stay there!" Yes please let me know
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:35 PM   #201
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I'm going! I think I'll be there from 1/1/13-1/24/13 (this is a guesstimate...but what I'm aiming for! I may end up being there before the New Year )

Offsite.

This will be my chance to really explore the World!
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:07 PM   #202
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This is getting so hard to keep a secret from my daughter!!!

She thinks we might go to WDW next summer but I am surprising her with this trip in January. I want to tell her so bad. She thinks we are flying to see my parents. My parents are driving separately to Disney to join us so she still gets to see them. I've covered all my bases (I think) so that there's no disappointment and she gets to help plan since she thinks we are are going in the summer. I hope the next 7 months goes by quickly.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:46 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by Marshay View Post
yeah, w/o renting a car it or paying for gas (if we'd drive), it's harder to make the numbers work. Then, we go into the "put a price on convenience and adventure" to justify!

We just love the train for our family right now.

Yes, as far as I know, they still have the Disney dance party at HS EMH PM (Monday night).

I'm proposing that we have a DISMeet there for those that are interested. It worked out nice this past January. I'll send out more details closer to the date but we'd be there either/both Mondays -- January 14 and 21.

I would have loved to take part in a DISMeet that would have been my first, but we won't be at WDW during your stay. I am going to look into HS EMH PM for our September trip and then for our January trip. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:20 AM   #204
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Hi all! I've tried to plan a January trip for 3 years in a row now, and it keeps getting cancelled however, as of yesterday, we have decided we are going to make this trip happen this year, no matter what! I just read this whole thread and it is just making me more and more excited!

We know we want to go for a week, but we're torn on dates though... We like the idea of January 2-9 because we could maybe still catch some decorations and the Osborne lights and there may be less refurbs(?) but it will also be more crowded and more cold (?). Alternatively, later in the month for less crowds.

Any advice? We'll be doing 5-6 days in disney and *whisper* 1-2 days in Universal. If we go during the marathon we figured we'd spend marathon day in Universal.

Oh, and, we want to see if Free Dining or any other deals will be available, but does that mean we have to wait until October or so to book?? It seems that's when the deals were released last year...

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Refurbs are well.. January is VERY well-known for them. You might miss a few, but for us, in 2011, Star Tours was down, as was Splash (and this is one that goes down nearly every January), and I know a few others. This year, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was down (but! Splash Mountain was open, which was SUPER exciting), the Main Street Electrical Parade, Fantasmic, and a few other things. People were unhappy this year because they felt too many things were closed. I think you'll be safe on HM (though, knock on wood )... I know my husband would be really sad if HM was down because it is his favorite attraction.

Oh, and I don't know if you care about water parks but usually one of the water parks is also closed in January... It's pretty much a guarantee.

Glad you've joined this thread! It's such torture having to wait though, I agree!
Yikes! This scares me! The parade and Fantasmic were closed? We'd be heartbroken if Fantasmic was down, that's our very favorite....
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Old 05-24-2012, 12:26 PM   #205
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Oh, and, we want to see if Free Dining or any other deals will be available, but does that mean we have to wait until October or so to book?? It seems that's when the deals were released last year...


Yikes! This scares me! The parade and Fantasmic were closed? We'd be heartbroken if Fantasmic was down, that's our very favorite....
You can go ahead and book now, and when/if a free dining promotion comes around you can call back and have them apply it to your reservation. But be flexible, you may have to switch your dates or hotels depending on the details.

And we've gone every January for a long time, and I've never seen Fantasmic bc it's seems to always be down while we're there. That or we've never really tried to make it there. We did see the MSEP last few years, I believe it went down a few days after our trip last year.
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Old 05-24-2012, 03:26 PM   #206
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From what I remember from last year's refurb schedule they didn't take Fantasmic off until after the Marathon. I think you would be safe going January 2-9. We are going January 2-8 and hope to see the Osborne Lights too. This will be our second January trip and are looking forward to it after the holidays.
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:18 PM   #207
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Jan 10 - 20. We are excited to go back. . . we only stayed six days
last time, and felt so rushed, so we decided to make it longer and
take our time.

the park hours are shorter in Jan? How much so?
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:34 PM   #208
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We are planning our first every trip Jan 26-Feb2 staying at AOA over ds 3rd birthday! Very excited, nervous, overwhelmed with the planning!!!
we will be there same time, same resort! I also have two little boys! 5 and 2!
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:14 PM   #209
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the park hours are shorter in Jan? How much so?
Usually MK will be open until 9 or 10pm, Epcot always 9pm, HS will more then likely close at 7pm, and AK at 5pm.
That is for "normal" days. If you're going over MLK weekend, MK will stay open until 11pm or midnight on that Friday/Saturday. But the rest of the parks will still stay with the above.

In about 2 or 3 weeks, we'll know for sure when Disney will releases the TA park schedule. Woo Hoo!
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:44 AM   #210
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we will be there same time, same resort! I also have two little boys! 5 and 2!
Very cool! Our will be 6 and turning 4 while we are there! Funny I just realized my original post said turning 3! oops he will be turning 4! where does time go?
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