Comparing Crowd Calendar levels for December

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by Tormania, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Tormania

    Tormania Mouseketeer

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    We last visited WDW in Dec 2013 (6th-13th) and enjoyed great weather, beautiful decorations, and most importantly for us low crowds (levels 3/4 most days). Those first and second weeks of Dec are nice for that which is why we planned that trip for then with tons of great info gleamed from DIS. Fast forward to this upcoming Dec 2017 and we are ready once again to visit WDW. However our son with now be in school (2nd grade) so we are contemplating going the week before Christmas instead to avoid school conflicts. This past Dec's crowd calendar showed a pretty constant crowd level of 8 for all days during that same week and should be the same for 2017 as well based on historical trends.

    For those folks that have visited WDW during both of these time frames in the past, both early Dec and the week before Christmas, can you give your view on how drastically different the crowds are for those weeks? Can smart, thoughtful planning trump the crowds and still make our upcoming trip enjoyable with the more crowded parks, or is there enough of a significant difference to warrant re-thinking going in early Dec regardless?

    TIA!!
     
  2. dreiwhit

    dreiwhit DIS Veteran

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    We were there from Nov 27 - Dec 2 this year. The crowds at MK seemed to be about the same as when we were there last Feb-Mar. At DHS, they were just a little more. Epcot was much busier, but we suspect the Candlelight Processional had something to do with that.
     
  3. Southerndisney

    Southerndisney Mouseketeer

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    I have gone both weeks and you will feel the difference. I would take a second grader out of school and go earlier in December.
     
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  5. Figmentmommy

    Figmentmommy DIS Veteran

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    I agree that while every family is different - I would not hesitate to take a second grader out of school to visit during the lower crowd early weeks of December. I just took my 6th & 8th graders out in 2015. Now that we're into high school I wouldn't necessarily do it. As far as the crowds in December, the earlier weeks will prove to be less crowded than the week before Christmas. We were there 12/14-12/21 in 2014 and found it to be not too crowded until the 20th-21st which was the last weekend before Christmas. There was a significant difference at that point compared to earlier in the week. In 2015 we visited 12/8-12/14 and the crowds were much lower than even the earlier part of our 2014 trip. Sadly they weren't December 2006 low - but definitely lower! Either way, I think as long as you're not planning for the actual Christmas to New Year's week you'll be able to manage with some strategic planning.
     
  6. Little_Miss

    Little_Miss Earning My Ears

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    We have been 5 times over the past 6 years at various times during December. The first and second week are the same with very manageable crowds and low wait times. The third week was bad last year and even worse this year.
     
  7. maryandtyson

    maryandtyson DIS Veteran

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    We were there this December 21-27. Very manageable crowds for us. Maybe we planned really well, or just got lucky, but we never saw the huge crowds we expected. Example, on 12/22 we got up early and got to MK at 7:15 for a 7:00'opening (EMH). We did 10 attractions before our 10:20 Crystal Palace reservation (7dmt, Peter, small world, tea cups, jungle, potc, big thunder, muppets, mansion, trolley show, tta) ate breakfast and did Philharmagic, big thunder again, and then left for a nap. Spent Xmas day at AK. Just a normal, busy kind of day.
     
  8. madchatter

    madchatter ...mustard? Now let's not be silly...

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    We visited 12/17-12/23 this year (2016). I was pleasantly surprised by crowd levels but I was expecting super busy and had no holiday frame of reference. We plan well and have been enough so that we done have to do every single thing every time.

    We did feel crowds building as Christmas approached but I never felt like we had chosen a bad time to visit.

    The days didn't seem any busier than a typical summer day. But it was much more enjoyable with the cooler weather. That may have made a huge difference in how we felt.
     
  9. Accident

    Accident DIS Veteran

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    I think a lot of manageable or how crowded really depends on what your used to when you visit. Also what attitude you show up with as if your expecting the worst possible crowd, anything lower is a bonus and your happy.

    historically the first week after thanksgiving is usually pretty nice crowd wise, crowded but nice. it'll just keep growing from there until after new years so each week will have smoe more than the previous week.

    I was under the weather so I didnt' get into the park to see if the changes of offering a discount the first week of december changed the crowds but sounds like @Little_Miss might have and found it similar to previous years.
     
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  10. CaitMinnie

    CaitMinnie Earning My Ears

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    I'm planning to visit Disney World December 2-9, 2017. We want the Christmas vibe but not the Christmas crowds. Has anyone ever been during this early December time?
     
  11. _auroraborealis_

    _auroraborealis_ I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.

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    See prior post:

    If you are trying to choose based on arbitrary predictions of crowd, you're liable to end up disappointed somehow. Pick based on what works for your family, make a plan, be flexible. Never expect walk-ons at headliners save (sometimes) during hard tickets or fireworks; don't expect top ADRs to be significantly easier to score. Ride throughput and number of seats in restaurants are static numbers; capacity doesn't increase when crowds do, and is a fraction of even low crowds.
     
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  12. finleyd

    finleyd DisneyFin

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    We'll be there the same week
     
  13. Tormania

    Tormania Mouseketeer

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    It's not really arbitrary predictions of crowds....it is a know fact that the week of Dec 2nd - 9th 2017 will have much lower crowds than the week of Dec 16th - 23rd 2017. You are right that capacity of restaurants and rides never changes and even during "low" crowd days it's still WDW and there are still thousands and thousands of people there. But we have been to WDW during that early Dec week and THAT is the type of crowds we can happily cope with.
     
  14. Tigger2

    Tigger2 Mouseketeer

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    Based on previous year's schedules does anyone have a guess as to when they will be filming for the parade in 2017? We are looking at 11/30-12/3 but would do the following weekend to avoid it.

    TIA
     

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