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Old 12-07-2012, 01:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Kevin1281 View Post
Funny you say that. My parents are going to Scotland the same week, and I just told them that their trip will probably be cheaper than ours.
You are right! The airfare is around $1,000/pp but the rest will be less expensive. We took our kids to England & Scotland for 10 days a few years ago and did not spend as much as we will spend on this WDW trip.

We got a discount on our BC room thru Magical Vacations Travel so that helped a little.

Good luck whatever you decide! Scotland sounds nice... Edinburgh is one of our favorite places!
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:23 PM   #17
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You are right! The airfare is around $1,000/pp but the rest will be less expensive. We took our kids to England & Scotland for 10 days a few years ago and did not spend as much as we will spend on this WDW trip.

We got a discount on our BC room thru Magical Vacations Travel so that helped a little.

Good luck whatever you decide! Scotland sounds nice... Edinburgh is one of our favorite places!
I will be out of the topic, I apologize to everyone for that, but can you please suggest some web sites or maybe travel guides about Scotland. My DD dreams of Scotland and I do not know where to even start.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:28 PM   #18
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That's another problem with the week of July 4th that I did not mention in my initial post...

I would like to make my ADRs at the 180-day mark, which would mean New Years Day if we went July 1-7.

However, the park schedule for July won't be out until January from what I have read.

I won't be able to know which park has extra magic hours on which days at the time I need to make my ARDs!
I hear you, but you should look at easywdw for July 2012 and get almost the exact schedule of park hours and EMH. Seems Disney stays mostly with the same schedule year after year.

Also everyone else is in the same boat. I have found that making ADR for July is not that hard except for the big places like CRT and Le Cellier for lunch.

Most others should be easily available to schedule later in January or even February. I have made ADRs for Ohana as late as April for my July 4th stay.

For an example, I have already scheduled (on paper) my stay for September 13'. Sucks not to go in July but taking whole extended family and July was not an option for Sister and Brother-in-law.

I know exactly what days I need to book my ADRs and where for each day. September hours are not close to being out yet, but looking back at the last few years you see that the times are very similiar across the board.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:32 PM   #19
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I'm glad you asked. We are planning on arriving on July 5th (possibly driving from Philadelphia on the 4th) and I've read things that make it seem like this isn't the best idea. We are limited now on only taking summer vacations, too. We've been there for Easter before, but usually go off season. If the week after the 4th is like Easter, I know we'll be okay. If it's worse, I'm kinda scared.
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Old 12-07-2012, 01:33 PM   #20
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Were were there for the week of the fourth this year. We did MK on the third. In the morning, we were actually wondering where everyone ones. It was a ghost town. We went back to the resort after lunch, and came back in the evening. Mainstreet was packed. It must have taken us an hour to get from the gates to Tomorrowland. We wanted to go to Adventureland, but the flow of people would not allow us to cross over that way. Once off of main street, again, it was like a ghost town. Everyone was lined up in front of the castle to watch the fireworks. We weren't worried about watching ourselves, since we would be watching from the Polynesian the next night. We might have rode a lot of attactions, but it seems that almost everything we went to get on was broken down.

That whole week, we didn't notice any huge crowds in the other parks. The bus lines were manageable. Pools at the resorts weren't too crowded. I don't know about the MK on the fourth, but if you can get there early the day before, and avoid the mainstreet/castle area after dinner time, you can actually get a lot accomplished. Save the fireworks viewing for the 4th. If you get a dinner res for someplace at the Polynesian, they will give you a wristband to watch from their beach. It is a great view, and they bring the barges from the electric light pageant over for an even bigger effect.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:05 PM   #21
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I would second a pp about seeing the MK fireworks on the 3rd, and then I would recommend going to Epcot for the 4th, they do the regular Illuminations show but then a special patriotic ending that is AWESOME! If you do decide to go to Epcot on the 4th, be prepared to stake out a good spot early. I started saving our spot by 7:30 for a 10:00 Illuminations show, and then we all just took turns saving the spot, hanging out, shopping, people watching, etc. we have been there the last three July4th weeks. We usually just get counter service supper and eat while saving our spot. We actually met a lady in 2011 who sat next to us during the pre-Illuminations wait who befriended our special needs son and now is a great family friend whom we visit every trip!!
We also love the Beach Club during July, can't say enough good things about the pool and the relaxing times we have he there over the years.
Just FYI we got to MK by 1pm and had no issues with getting in, stayed until closing. For the 4th we entered Epcot about 6 or so. It is awesome to be able to walk right into the back entrance from the Beach Club.
We love that time of year, strongly suggest a mid-day break from the heat and enjoying the parks at night, have some ponchos for those summer pop up showers, and drink plenty of fluids! Crowds are quite manageable.
Enjoy planning your trip!
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:16 PM   #22
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We've done 4th of July a few times and will be there for 2013! As our children have gotten older, the times we can go to WDW have become more limited. Our first trip, we watched the 4th MK fireworks on the 3rd from the Poly beach, then were in Epcot on the 4th. We actually were more impressed with MK's fireworks. Last time we went in 2011, we again watched the MK fireworks on the 3rd from the Poly beach, then spent the entire 4th at our resort, capping the evening at Jiko. I really don't recall the crowds being super bad, especially the rest of the week. We did some rope drops, but we got lazy our last trip and slept in, hung out at the pool in the afternoon, then went into the parks late afternoon until close. With a young one, you obviously can't do that, but I think if you do the tried and true rope drop till late morning, back to the resort for a midday break, then back to a park for evening, it will be workable.

An advantage that we like when it's crowded is that the parks have great hours, they are geared to run at full capacity and it spreads the crowds out.

Good luck with your decision. IMHO, I think you should try it for yourself once. Our mid to late August trips, for some reason, seemed to be a lot more humid and wetter!
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:08 AM   #23
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We were in the parks the 4th of July week last year and had such a great time that we are booked again this year. The biggest advice, have a plan and look at the recommended parks for each day. Last year the crowd calendars were online before the 180 ADR date so were able to plan properly. We found going back to the resort at lunch took too much time so we just made sure we had a reservation at lunch in an air conditioned restaurant and it worked perfectly.

With a good plan and use of fast passes, even on 4th we had no waits over 25 minutes. Yes it's busy but it is completely doable. We didn't even have waits for buses.

We wanted to see the fireworks on the 4th at MK but didn't want to deal with the crowds so we had dinner at O'hana and watched from the beach.

I personally think the week of the 4th is an amazing time to be in the parks!
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:27 PM   #24
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I love 4th of July at WDW.

We were there for over a week including the 4th! We had a great time. It is always hot in the summer so that isn't a big deal. I agree with a PP, I like it in summer when it is crowded and the parks are running at full speed and LATE hours.

Epcot fireworks on the 4th were worth any other hassles. I stayed at Boardwalk though, so it was nice to go back to the pool in the middle of the day for a little break.

I know MK is crazy crowded, Epcot was reasonably crowded (but not as bad as a Saturday in October during Food and Wine!!!). I wonder how DHS and DAK are on that day. I would imagine much less crowded. DAK doesn't have fireworks, so maybe it is empty?

Go for Independence Day! Celebrate with thousands of others. The American Pavilion even more special that day. It's always fun at WDW.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:43 PM   #25
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We have done the 4th, one time and that was enough. I dont regret the experience but i would never do it again. It was crowded to a degree that I was could not have believed if i hadn't seen it myself. We did not have kids then and I would not eant to go to mk with them on that day.

We have several times though showed up on the 5th and the crowds were fine
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:45 PM   #26
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We have done the 4th, one time and that was enough. I dont regret the experience but i would never do it again. It was crowded to a degree that I was could not have believed if i hadn't seen it myself. We did not have kids then and I would not eant to go to mk with them on that day.

We have several times though showed up on the 5th and the crowds were fine
Try a different park on that day. DHS has a big fireworks show too!
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:24 PM   #27
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I have to say being at Disney the last two July 4th weeks, I have to disagree with others saying it is EXTREMELY busy or crazy.

My family loves going during this week.

You WILL need to plan however. I am a big planner so that helps a lot.

You will need to have your ADRs in line and park plans as well.

I would suggest a few things:

- take afternoon breaks if you can (going to the pool or taking that baby home to cool off will be a life saver)
- take with you a couple of frogg chilly pads (they keep you cool all day long if needed)
- freeze some water and allow to melt as the day goes for drinking (if this is not an option then just simply ask for cold water during the day at the park.. its free)
- do MK on July 3rd and HS or EP on July 4th. (MK WILL be crazy as others have suggested on the 4th, so simply take in the fireworks on the 3rd instead)
- don't take anything with you into the parks that is not necessary (its a lot more comfortable in the summer when you don't have to carry a big backpack. Or simply make sure the stroller you take has a place to put your bag when walking around)
- PLAN PLAN PLAN (sorry but during the summer and yes this particular week you need to know what park you want to go each day and a good overall plan of attack)
- read easywdw and touring plans to schedule your park days (both of these places are great to look at when trying to figure out what park for each day and tourning plans even has an app to help schedule the rides for the day)
- MOST IMPORTANT HAVE FUN AND BE CAREFREE! (look people are going to be cranky and hot and some are just miserable, but if you plan correctly and take afternoon breaks to cool off the 4th of July is ausome. You just need to understand that other cranky people are not going to bother you)

Don't simply throw July 4th out because it is busy. The entire summer is busy unless you go the last week or two in August. Its hot all summer long and you will miss out on some fantastic fireworks and park events if you skip this week.

Take it from someone that enjoys going this time of the year and you'll have a great time. Just plan ahead of time.


edit: if you can stay at the monorail resorts or the Epcot resorts this will be a major plus for afternoon breaks
I agree with this post.

Our family was down for the week this year and we had a blast. Yes, you need to manage your expectations and plan ahead but there are some great benefits from going down this time of year.

1. EMH at MK where the park is open till 3am. (might be 2am with new EMH rules in 2013). This was great, being in the park this late is an experience and it really does die down.

2. The 4th of july fireworks are the best I have ever seen. Go to MK on the 3rd to get there fireworks then epcot on the 4th if you must. We went to DTD for the day as I was not going to step into a park. We where lucky enough to have a room facing epcot at BCV and watched the fireworks from our balcony. AMAZING

Tips,

Be at the parks for rope drop and get as much done in the first 3 hours of the park being open. We would leave the parks around 1pm or 2pm and spend the afternoon at the hotel pool, or exploring other resorts. Then head back to the parks after dinner.

Rent a car. The bus system is understandably crowded when the parks are busy. If your resort is an epcot or MK resort you might be able to due without.

Drink lots of water. Get a hydroflask and fill it with as much ice as you can in the morning with water. We would refill it multiple times a day and still have ice left by the end of our outings.

TAKE IT EASY. Just relaxe, grab a dole whip and watch the other people freak out at how busy it is.

Really, Disney at it worst is better then anywhere else. Just being there makes our family happy.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:27 PM   #28
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So...My wife decided she wants to treat her parents to a Disney trip for their 40th Wedding Anniversary. Being a Disney lover myself, I am all about it.

The initial plan was to go summer 2011, but my wife got pregnant (with our first!) and we decided to postpone until 2013.

Both my wife and my mother-in-law are teachers, so our travel dates are limited to holidays (where they would still have to take time off from work which they would rather not do) or summertime.

We tentatively scheduled for the week after Easter (I know the crowds are pretty brutal at that time, but figured the weather would be beautiful), but something came up and we had to nix that.

We then decided on the last week of June, right when they are done school for the summer. However, we live in the NE (my wife and I in Philadelphia and my in-laws Long Island) and hurricane Sandy has already added an entire week onto their school years! So, that was the end of that plan.

We figured we wouldn't even touch 4th of July week and do the second week of July instead. I was literally about to book the trip, when it was brought to my attention that my cousin's wedding is the second Saturday of July (they never sent Save the Dates)!

So, we are now looking at the week of 4th of July.

From my research, I have found that during this week the parks are EXTREMELY crowded, hotel and airfare is EXTREMELY expensive and it is EXTREMELY hot!

Is it really that much worse than other weeks in the summer??? The way I look at it is that Florida in the summertime is hot. Period. Whether it is 85 (June) degrees or 95 degrees (July) it is hot. Also, Disney is expensive regardless of when you go. Are prices that much more inflated during 4th of July? The crowds is my biggest concern...

We were there for 4th of July 2011. It was awesome. Yes, it's crowded but in my experience I've found Disney knows how to handle crowds well. The only time it was unbearably crowded was during the fireworks at Hollywood Studios (we did MK for fireworks on the 3rd, HS on the 4th). We worked the fast passes so we didn't have to wait in long lines for headliners and used the Lines app to find short lines for whatever was near us. I have a kiddo with ADHD and Aspergers so we can't do lines more than maybe 20 minutes with him. We stuck to that and were able to ride everything we wanted. The heat didn't bother us, but we're from Texas so those 95 degree temps were almost like springtime for us. Just stop for breaks and drink lots of water.

It wasn't so much that prices were higher on this trip, it was more that there were no discounts available to us when we went. It's hard to compare costs to our previous trips since we stayed longer but it was more overall.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:33 PM   #29
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We were there for 4th of July 2011. It was awesome. Yes, it's crowded but in my experience I've found Disney knows how to handle crowds well. The only time it was unbearably crowded was during the fireworks at Hollywood Studios (we did MK for fireworks on the 3rd, HS on the 4th). We worked the fast passes so we didn't have to wait in long lines for headliners and used the Lines app to find short lines for whatever was near us. I have a kiddo with ADHD and Aspergers so we can't do lines more than maybe 20 minutes with him. We stuck to that and were able to ride everything we wanted. The heat didn't bother us, but we're from Texas so those 95 degree temps were almost like springtime for us. Just stop for breaks and drink lots of water.

It wasn't so much that prices were higher on this trip, it was more that there were no discounts available to us when we went. It's hard to compare costs to our previous trips since we stayed longer but it was more overall.
That answers my question!
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:21 PM   #30
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We did two straight July 4th weekends, 2010 and 2011. We were much smarter in 2011, because we went to Typhoon Lagoon and had a blast. We went to Garden Grill for dinner at Epcot that night and it was perfect.

Many people would say that you can see the July 4th fireworks at MK on the 3rd as well and encourage you to go then. I would say to watch them from one of the beaches because you can't pay me enough to be in MK for their July 4th fireworks ever again. It was a nightmare and people in ECVs yelling "Fire" to get others out of their way, etc.

We have found that, after the 4th, things seem to normalize out and it's not completely out of hand. We go early, go back to our room to cool off and then get back out when it's dinner time. Very doable!!!! If you are on the dining plan that has snack credits you can use the snack credits for cold water.
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