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Old 10-06-2012, 02:24 PM   #31
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I loved it! I want to do it again, but the kids are just too little at this point. It's super crowded, worst crowds on the 24th and 25th. But it's so magical. We did Candlelight on Christmas Eve and it's one of my favorite memories ever. We didn't really even try to ride rides on those two days. We got fast passes when we could but mostly walked around and enjoyed the atmosphere.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:32 PM   #32
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I'm going to take a wild guess and say things have gotten crazier or we were just damn lucky. We went for Christmas 2004 over New Years. Honestly it is one of our fondest trip memories. We flew down very late Christmas Eve and were finally settled into our room at about 2am Christmas morning. I was working for Disney Co. at the time and had so many comp. tickets we could use. We purchase additional tickets also since there were blackout dates while we were there. However we still planned on 2 days of not going to the park.

As it turned out it was raining nonstop and was about 38 degrees on Christmas Day. We woke up let the kids open their two gifts under our little tree and decided to stay at the resort for the day and went out to dinner at DTD that evening. It was cold the first half of the week. We honestly did not find the crowds too overwhelming during the day. Comparable to mid July for the most part (during the beginning of the week). However the biggest thing we remember were the EMH in the evening. Given that we are night owls and have children with that same gene (yes we are those horrifying terrible unfit to be parents who have always had our children at the evening EMH, and DS was still never tired) ......we stayed every late EMH. I can not answer this with any kind of certainty but it seems that it was one of the first years they had hours until at least 1am. It was cold it was late and I swear GOD to everyone that it felt like we had the park entirely to ourselves. Only a few other scattered families. We literally did ALL of fantasy land ALL of tomorrow land and half of adventure land in one evening. The night before New Years there was a practice run of the New Years fireworks. It was cold and misty that evening. We stood in the center circle in front of the castle to watch and there was at least 20 feet between un and the next group of people. The other parks were not bad to us either, crowded yes but bearable. Nothing ever felt more crowded than mid summer.

NOW New Years was very different. We were told that MK had been closed earlier due to being filled to capacity. We came later in the day (early evening) and had no problem getting in. It was exactly as others have described wall to wall people. I thought DH was crazy when he booked the trip partly for this reason. We walked over the packed bridge to tomorrow land and I pulled him over and thanked him for insisting that we go. In spite of the crowd all I could do was look around and think "I'm in MK in Disney World on New Years Eve!" It still felt magical to me. We had ADR at CRT and got our faces painted. We made our way back to the front of the castle and you literally could not move ANYWHERE. DH and I stood there trying to figure out what to do. He wanted to go up main street to pick up something he had engraved earlier. I told him he was nuts we would never find him. As we were talking I look behind him and there was a roped off area and people standing there with a clip board. I asked them what this was for. They told us it was the filming area for TV (maybe some part or something like Dick Clarks countdown) They said they only allowed a certain number of people into the roped off area. I asked if they were still taking people and they told us they could take our name but were not sure if we could get in. About 10 minutes later they said they could take 6 more people in so the 4 of us and another couple went inside. We took our double stroller and with help of others folded it up and basically put it into the bushes behind those helping us (we could not take it inside) There were TV cameras on a crane and we were given instructions on what to do when the red light came on. When the camera's were not on we could literally LAY DOWN on the grass. I was floored by our luck, especially since I felt like I was beginning to come down with something. The fireworks were fabulous the people inside were especially nice and Mickey and Minnie came inside the roped area at the end of the fireworks. .........and our stroller was still there when we came out.

It was truly one of the best trips we ever had. I'm afraid if we ever returned during that time we would be disappointed. We did see the insane crowds we expected but honestly crowds do not phase us too much. As I said earlier I think we just were extraordinary lucky. It was definitely an experience I will never regret having.

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Old 10-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by DeluxePrincess View Post
If your husband's number 1 objection is crowds, then I would opt not to go. There will be massive crowds. No getting around that, unless you arrive at rope drop and leave by 10am. Having said that, if you go, you may rub elbows next to my crazy family! We are not making this trip about the rides. We are there to celebrate Christmas. If the crowds start making any of us too uncomfortable, we'll switch gears to resort sight seeing or DTD (which is probably crowded too). We know we will be back to visit Disney another time. We just may not have the opportunity to be there at Christmas time again.
That is exactly what we are doing. We have always wanted to do a Christmas at Disney... but didn't want to do it when our girls were young. They are now 19 and 24 - soon both will be out of college and on their own. So this could very well be the last time we can do this as an entire family.

We are DVC members and go nearly every year. We were just there in May - so if we don't do many rides at all - I am 100% OK with it. We want to go for the special events and the atmosphere.

Now with that said - I would never go that time of the year if doing all the rides were really important. Or even if we could only afford to go once during our kids childhood.

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Old 10-06-2012, 08:52 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Spunky946
We went December 2011 and it was nuts, crazy and someone would have to pay me a significant amount of money to go that week again. We did early mornings, breaks and sometimes went back and sometimes we just did not have the stomachs to fight the crowds again.

Let me put it this way. One day that week AK, MK and HK all closed to closures. On the same day. Insanity. We were in Epcot on NYE and during the early illuiminations at 7:30 it was shoulder to shoulder. We left right after that because the crowds were too much. The crowds were so bad they opened up the back cast member only path to relieve congestion.

Anyway we had fun, but it was crazy.

We have our next trip scheduled for 1/19-1/27. We can't wait for lower crowds and shorter wait times.

Have fun, go early and take your patience.
we LOVE January, we went that same week this past January and it was wonderful. Temps were in the high 70's/low 80's with no rain all week. If you've never been during that time, you'll be hooked on January forever! Have fun

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:20 AM   #35
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:28 AM   #36
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For our family, the answer is a thousand times NO. We did it once and never again. Walking shoulder to shoulder everywhere was a nightmare. And one thing to remember--there are not only long lines for the rides but long lines for EVERYTHING. Not just lines in the parks but lines at your resort for check in, for QS dining, long waits at TS even with ADR's. I remember wishing they had fast passes for the bathrooms.

It's too bad, really, because I get a week to two weeks off at Christmas so it would be the perfect time to go. But none of us found it to be a fun or relaxing holiday vacation.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:37 AM   #37
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I'm like the OP, I'd love to spend one Christmas in WDW. We go every Dec, but I'd love to actually be down for Xmas. I imagine getting a turkey and having dinner in our Villa. Opening our gifts, enjoying the resorts and avoiding all the family chaos at home. We always love Dec b/c we miss all the crazy lead up to Dec 24. I don't think we'd do the parks as much. We'd concentrate on the first couple of hours and enjoy other parts of the resort. If you're looking for a Disney Christmas and perhaps not a totally theme park holiday, give it a try and let me know. I'm hoping for next year.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:02 AM   #38
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We did it 2 years ago and we had a wonderful time! there were so many dance parties going on with characters throughout the park it truly broke up the time waiting in lines.

Getting there right when the park opened also was great since we had 3 hours of just walking right on to the rides before it go crowded!!

It was the best trip we did in a while and it was our Christmas present to one another
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:14 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Traveliz View Post
It is very crowded...let me rephrase that...IT IS VERY CROWDED. That said it is doable especially if you have been before and have a comfort level with the parks, the FP system, etc. And really the special displays, activities, parties, decorations, fireworks, shows and parades of the season add a whole different dimension.

I go year round and have done a huge family trip that week several times that week and we did fine. The key was park at open, leave early afternoon and be done with the parks UNLESS you need to go back for something that is only available at night (fireworks, parade, Osbourne Lights, Castle Lighting) and realize it will be almost unbearable at night.

My brother calls my plan the hurry up so we can relax later plan. We did character meals, mini golf, shopping, movies, etc at night.

I love what your brother calls it!! Sounds EXACTLY like my plan! We've done Christmas at Disney one time before and it really wasn't bad and we are the type of family that doesn't do crowds well! So we just followed our plan and had a great time! Rope Drop is key!!
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:25 AM   #40
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We go to WDW every year the last week of August! We have gone other times too but never Christmas! In 2006 we went for thanksgiving it was crazy busy! We mad e the best of it but the parks were miserable! Way too many people! I love Disney but I hate it crowded there is nothing worse! If thanksgiving was miserable Christmas can only be worse! If I were u I would go the first 3 weeks of December. We went dec 8-14th last year and it was amazing! Good luck!
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:59 AM   #41
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Disney for Christmas in the week you're thinking?

Absolutely not.

We go earlier and enjoy the Christmas decorations and atmosphere without the crowds.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:03 AM   #42
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N O W A Y Christmas.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:17 AM   #43
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Never say never right- well I am saying NEVER ! We were in MK on Dec 20th a few years ago, on the last day of a 10 day trip, the difference from Dec 10, to the 20th was astounding. I know it just gets worse, parks can and do close as early as 11, because of crowds, waiting 30 minutes for a bathroom, not for us.

If you do get free dining it might be difficult to get any ADRs, not impossible yet but difficult.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:27 AM   #44
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Ok, now I'm kind of freaking out a bit. When looking at the calendar and trying to research school breaks, etc, we opted for 12/15-12/22. Not doing a park on the 15th or the 22nd and I felt it wouldn't be that horrendous because I know many schools aren't getting out until 12/21 +/- day. However, after reading this, I'm having a minor panic attack. We are usually early risers and are at the parks early. I deliberately didn't pick Christmas week, but now I'm thinking it will be the next worst thing???
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