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Old 12-01-2012, 10:29 PM   #1
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When should we go?

Hi! I'm new to the boards and am planning our first ever trip to Disney World!!!!

I have a pretty good idea on when we should visit. I'm thinking Fall 2013. I was dead set on traveling around October 11th 2013 so we could be there on our son's 6th birthday. I have this grand idea in my head that we would surprise him at his birthday party with the trip and I would get the Mom of the Year award.

I've done TONS of reading on which is the best time to visit. I think Veteran's Day weekend will be around my son's birthday and I've read that that weekend can be pretty busy. So if we don't go then, I was thinking in September or November.

If we don't go for his birthday, I'd love my first visit to be while the park is decorated for Christmas. Does anyone know when they have it decorated? Or, I was thinking sometime September because I read that can be a good time to visit.

I'm also looking for the best time to visit with the best possible deals. We'll be doing the dining plan and I would love to get the free dining plan..lol. Is free dining typically offered in the fall? I'm thinking we are going to stay at a value hotel but realize we may need to upgrade to get free dining. I'm so confused!

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts. I've done so much reading on the subject that it's starting to get mixed together. I figured it's best to go right to the best source: people that have visited..lol. Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:32 AM   #2
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After Labor Day time will be cheaper and less crowded. If you want see Xmas decorations staying the first 2 weeks in December is the best. You can always add any deals such as free dining that may come up AFTER you book you trip. Just keep in mind when school is out it will be busier and more expensive.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:13 PM   #3
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Not sure if you have school restraints but like the previous poster mentioned, after labor day in September is about as good as it gets crowd wise. October has picked up in attendance and I would avoid Colombus day weekend if possible. We have found later October to be better crowd wise. Also, the week after thanksgiving and the first two weeks of December are not bad either. Around the 10th or so of September the Halloween decorations go up and the Halloween parties start. It's a fun time.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:05 PM   #4
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Veteran's Day is in November. Did you mean Columbus day? I think October sounds like a great time to go, but I'm no expert. Maybe you could come up withe an excuse to have his party early so you can be there for his birthday, but have it be at the end of your trip instead of the beginning?
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:58 PM   #5
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After Labor Day time will be cheaper and less crowded. If you want see Xmas decorations staying the first 2 weeks in December is the best. You can always add any deals such as free dining that may come up AFTER you book you trip. Just keep in mind when school is out it will be busier and more expensive.
We love October. You get the Halloween decorations and MNSSHP. Just avoid Columbus day weekend and the crowds are usually not too bad. We love the CHristmas decorations as well, but feel Disney does Halloween better than any other holiday due to the natural story lines of good vs. evil.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:04 PM   #6
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Thanks! yep, I did mean Columbus day.

Sounds like I have some thinking to do..lol. We will be in school, but it's kindergarten so I'm too worried about him missing a few days of school.

That is a good idea about being there when his birthday is at the end of our trip. Going during Halloween sounds like a good idea as well because he's been really getting into that holiday the last couple of years.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:29 PM   #7
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We've gone Columbus Day week the last three years and we were very disappointed in the crowds this year. We used crowd calendars to avoid them and parks that should've been a 3-4 were clearly much higher (with 45 minute waits for things like the Winnie the Pooh ride, which have always been walk-on in years past during that time).

I also noticed that party days (historically dead in MK during the day) were very crowded, even though the crowds had to leave at 7:00. A lot of schools in the south have their Fall Breaks that week, so (aside from Halloween week) it is the most popular week in October.

I would recommend late September or the first week in October, if you can pick your dates.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:34 AM   #8
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Just my two cents, but I would pick the first full week after Thanksgiving. Least crowded and least expensive. The Christmas decorations will be up by then too!
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:53 PM   #9
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Just my two cents, but I would pick the first full week after Thanksgiving. Least crowded and least expensive. The Christmas decorations will be up by then too!
That is kind of the dates I'm leaning for. Thanksgiving will a week later than this year so it will be more December. I was thinking maybe Dec. 2nd through the 7th? That is the first full week. As a plus, I get my vacation days on Dec 2nd so I wouldn't have to save the days I just got back yesterday..lol.

I did the math and our cost, if we pay for the dining plan, doesn't really change much based on the dates I'm thinking. Kind of wish it did, it would help make this decision a little easier.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:39 PM   #10
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We've been in September and October and I would pick September. The weather is warmer and I find the parks to be open a bit later then October but I could be wrong. MK in late Sept and October closes often early(around 7pm) for the Halloween party which you would need to buy extra tickets to go to if you want but it's lots of fun to treat or treat there.The crowd is also lower in September.

We are aiming to go around beginning of December to see the lights but I don't think it will be any time soon. the girls are too often sick and miss losts of school and they can't afford to miss planned days for a trip KWIM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:11 AM   #11
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Just my two cents, but I would pick the first full week after Thanksgiving. Least crowded and least expensive. The Christmas decorations will be up by then too!
We are in Disney now - crowds are low, decorations are up, Christmas party is going on. I would definitely travel again during this week.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:40 PM   #12
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It kind of seems like it as long as we go in the fall or early December, we should be good.

Part of me still wants to be there on Jack's 6th birthday. I want him to have the memories of being at Disney World for his birthday. Maybe it's because I never had that and always did..lol. Kind of like a double bonus of memories..lol.

But I'm wondering if we wait until crowds are low, that it will allows us to have a better time in the parks.
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