4th of July Trip - Are We Crazy?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by Kevin1281, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Kevin1281

    Kevin1281 Earning My Ears

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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...
     
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  3. Robo

    Robo 1971 Castle in the Hub: Your lights are on!

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    Yes.
     
  4. KellyNY

    KellyNY DIS Veteran

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    3rd and 4th are extremely crowded but days around them are more like the rest of the summer season.
     
  5. mm1971

    mm1971 DIS Veteran

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    Yes, crowded and very expensive. We have very good friends that go around that time each year as part of several stops and are told how busy it is (and getting busier each year). MK has closed due to capacity at times. I don;t know about you, but I have no desire to be there on those days.

    Is it possible to go mid to late August before school starts? The local schools are back in session then. It is HOT, but not any worse than July 4th, but the crowds are lower, at least during the weekdays. Just a thought. I think we are going to shoot for this August as we no longer wish to pull my oldest from school.

    There are a lot of people that go then, obviously. They all seem to have a good time or they wouldn't go back. If you decide to go on July 4th week, just remember to go in with the right attitude. Your perspective can make a big difference.
     
  6. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Good Sailing Master. Average Banjo Picker.

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    1) Crazy is such a subject term.
    2) I would need more definition before a firm answer can be supplied.
    3) However, if "crazy" means
    . . . battling huge, huge, huge crowds
    . . . walking around when elbow-to-elbow with strangers
    . . . waiting in stand-by lines for hours
    . . . fighting malnutrition while standing in long restaurant queues
    . . . strolling in heat and humidity for the most of the day
    4) Then, yes.


    :sad2:
     
  7. TessieA

    TessieA Mouseketeer

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    Very crowded on 3rd and 4th. But, the fireworks at Magic Kingdom on 4th of July are awesome!!
     
  8. MHSweb79

    MHSweb79 DIS Veteran

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    If you can put your trip off until mid to late August, as the PP suggested, you can score reasonable room rates, moderate crowds and (likely) Free Dining.

    The weather will still be brutally hot & humid, even well into the night, but the lower crowds make up for that in my book.
     
  9. AuroraRora

    AuroraRora Princess

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    We were there once during 4th of July week... it was the craziest I've ever seen. I never thought I'd day this at Disney, but when I was at MK on July 4th as time went on I just wanted to leave! It was hot but I didn't find it TOO hot - the main problem were the crowds. There were times trying to get somewhere that it was so crowded that people were just literally at a standstill while CM's sorted it out. You couldn't go backwards or forward. People started picking parade/firework spots hours before and you couldn't move, as in, you literally couldn't move. One woman was trying to get out because she was diabetic and needed sugar, and even with people trying to let her out, no-one could get anywhere, another guest gave her some coke until CM's could get to her. We were there at rope drop to make sure we got in, and by late afternoon we were exhausted and wanted to leave, but we couldn't because we wouldn't get back in. I wouldn't do it again, at least not at MK.
     
  10. Princess Disney Mom

    Princess Disney Mom DIS Veteran

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    If you have to go then can you avoid the parks on the 3rd and 4th Relax at the resort. Go to the beach. Go to the parks the other days. One year we left July 2 and boy was it so crowded compared to the days before.
     
  11. sfbank

    sfbank DIS Veteran

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    Our DD and her friend that travel with us every year. Their school and sports schedules are insane. This week Wednesday and Sunday are the only days they do not have basketball games. We have gone over the 4th and found the crowds to be heavy by noon and after. We are early entry and rope droppers so we are out of the parks when the heavy crowds come in. It is hot, but we live in Iowa so I love Florida weather. Like anything else, be prepared and have a plan. Get out by mid afternoon at the latest and take a break. We prefer EPCOT in the evenings:cloud9:
     
  12. fflmaster

    fflmaster DIS Veteran

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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
     
  13. FOV

    FOV Mouseketeer

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    We're in the same situation. For many reasons July 4th is the only time we can go. What we have done to ease the pain:

    * Booked a 4-night Disney Dream cruise for the 1st part of the trip
    * Booked at the Beach Club because they have a great pool for when we need to escape the parks
    * My husband and sons plan to play golf in the mornings (more time away from the crazy crowds) Golf in FL in summer is bearable as long as you are off the course by 11am. The WP&M option includes the 9-hole golf course.

    We've been to FL in August before and to be honest, the heat did not bother us. We are from MA so we aren't necessarily used to the FL heat & humidity, but it was fine. So many WDW attractions are inside the a/c so you get plenty of reprieve. I love the warm evenings!

    On the other hand, I started researching an alternative trip to Europe - FOR THE SAME PRICE!!! Crazy!
     
  14. Kevin1281

    Kevin1281 Earning My Ears

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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!
     
  15. Kevin1281

    Kevin1281 Earning My Ears

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    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.
     
  16. FOV

    FOV Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for this post!!! It is nice to hear something positive. We will definitely avoid MK on the 4th. I was really considering canceling our trip and going elsewhere but your post encouraged me to stick with my plan. Thank you!:goodvibes

    At least I know we will be fine with the heat - been there and done that!
     
  17. FOV

    FOV Mouseketeer

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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.:scared1:

    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!
     
  18. KellyNY

    KellyNY DIS Veteran

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    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. :)
     
  19. fflmaster

    fflmaster DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  20. biondagirl

    biondagirl Mouseketeer

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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. :)
     
  21. Cals dad

    Cals dad Mouseketeer

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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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