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Old 10-06-2012, 09:51 PM   #1
ethanwa
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When is the best time to go to WDW to celebrate Xmas with lowest crowds?

When does MK put up all of the Christmas decorations? And when do the holiday parties/parades start?

I'm looking for the lowest crowd times but to still get the Christmas feel and spirit everywhere. Can someone tell me when? Early November or is that too early?

And what is the weather like at that time?

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Old 10-07-2012, 08:02 AM   #2
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My favorite time to go is week after Thanksgiving. The crowds are much lighter and the the holiday celebrations are in full swing. I just can't have my boys miss five full days of school anymore
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:26 AM   #3
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The week after Thanksgiving and the first two weeks of December is the best time to go. After that the crowds increase daily.

The weather really varies. You need to be prepared for warm and cold temps. Dressing in layers is best. We've even worn winter coats and gloves.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:32 AM   #4
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We went in the first week of December once and had a wonderful Christmas trip. It was't warm enough to swim (at least for me), it got to the mid 70's in the middle of the day, and was in the 60's in the mornings and evenings, but the weather was beautiful. I wore jeans the entire time, my DH did wear shorts. It's a great time of year, we didn't have many crowds and I loved seeing all of the decorations, as well as the Osborne lighs, MNSSHP, and the Candlelight Processional. I spent a day just driving to all of the resorts and taking pictures of the decorations - we stayed at AKL.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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Are ALL of the resort hotels pretty festive looking at that time? Or are some more than others?

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Old 10-07-2012, 02:46 PM   #6
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MVMCP and Osborne lights start in early Nov. The resorts get decorated overnight during the first half of the month. Disney is in full Christmas mode by Thanksgiving Day, when the Epcot Storytellers and Candlelight Processional start.

The lowest crowds are after the crazy Thanksgiving weekend crowds leave until mid-December. If you want to see all the Christmas decorations and shows, early December is the best bet. They usually film the Christmas Day parade that is broadcast on ABC sometime during that timeframe. I was in the MK once for that. They had the floats queued up by the Hall of Presidents and would send them down Main Street USA one at a time every 15-30 minutes or so. It is definitely not like a real parade you've ever seen. The magic of TV production, I guess.

In terms of resorts to see, the ones I see mentioned most often are Grand Floridian and Wilderness Lodge. GF has an amazing gingerbread house and WL just has a really cozy Christmas feel and a truly spectacular tree. I would recommend finding some time to sneak out the International Gateway at Epcot to see all the Boardwalk area resorts and do the same for the MK area resorts.
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Old 10-07-2012, 02:51 PM   #7
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Your children are still young enough that missing school might not be a problem. With that said, one year we flew in on Thanksgiving Day and spent the weekend enjoying the resort, visiting a water park, visiting the different resorts to see the Christmas decorations, watched the fireworks from Poly beach - - - and waited until Sunday to begin visiting the parks. We flew home on Wed - so the kids only missed three days of school.

If you've never been, that might not work as you may want more park days.

One year we had to make a run to the local Wal-Mart for hats, scarves, etc in early Dec as a cold front came through. Usually we start the day with a light jacket and wear shorts.

It is a wonderful time to visit.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:20 PM   #8
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We've gone the week after Thanksgiving the last two years, and it's WONDERFUL. Low crowds (though, keep in mind, shorter park hours), great weather (can get warm enough to swim but never hot, may be chilly enough for sweatshirts, but never freezing), all the decorations are up, and the prices are lower than peak season.
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klinlin View Post
My favorite time to go is week after Thanksgiving. The crowds are much lighter and the the holiday celebrations are in full swing. I just can't have my boys miss five full days of school anymore
shhh! if you keep telling people, it might stop being the best time to go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanwa View Post
Are ALL of the resort hotels pretty festive looking at that time? Or are some more than others?

Ethan
all are festive but some are more impressive than others. GF/WL/AKL/BWI/BC are tops IMO. CSR is the best of the mods.

here are pics to get an idea:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1676426

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1852086
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Old 10-07-2012, 03:40 PM   #10
Kathy Z
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Animal Kingdom Lodge is also decorated pretty for Christmas with some unique decorations that fit their African theme, including their gift shop. Basically, all the deluxe resorts are pretty well decorated but most are in agreement that the gingerbread house at GF is the most spectacular.It is almost the most crowded!

We've been both the first and second week of December. By the end of the second full week of December it became more crowded. The week after Thanksgiving is probably the very best with the next two weeks coming in second and third.

Forgot to mention, early December is when loads of Pop Warner football and cheer-leading families show up (Dec. 2 - 9, 2012). The Values will be jammed in the food courts and on the buses. The parks will be affected in the evenings but not so much during the day.
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Last edited by Kathy Z; 10-07-2012 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanwa View Post
Are ALL of the resort hotels pretty festive looking at that time? Or are some more than others?

Ethan
The deluxe resorts are always the most festive-looking! But you can always stay in a value resort and resort hop for free to visit the other resorts!
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