Disney for Christmas? Yay or Nay?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by Dimples1973ca, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Dimples1973ca

    Dimples1973ca Mouseketeer

    Mar 25, 2008
    Ok my fellow Disers, I need an honest answer. How crowded is Disney at Christmas? We looked out our Christmas budget, based on previous spending etc and we would spend about the same amount on each other (me , DD and DH) as it would cost to do Disney for the week Dec 20-27. We don’t need any more “stuff” and DD has more unopened toys than you can shake a stick at. I am so close in convincing hubby that we can do it. He is worried about the crowds. We have only been to WDW during the last week of August where crowds are manageable.

    What would you all do?

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  3. Traveliz

    Traveliz DIS Veteran

    Aug 8, 2000
    It is very crowded...let me rephrase that...IT IS VERY CROWDED. That said it is doable especially if you have been before and have a comfort level with the parks, the FP system, etc. And really the special displays, activities, parties, decorations, fireworks, shows and parades of the season add a whole different dimension.

    I go year round and have done a huge family trip that week several times that week and we did fine. The key was park at open, leave early afternoon and be done with the parks UNLESS you need to go back for something that is only available at night (fireworks, parade, Osbourne Lights, Castle Lighting) and realize it will be almost unbearable at night.

    My brother calls my plan the hurry up so we can relax later plan. We did character meals, mini golf, shopping, movies, etc at night.

  4. Tltorrez

    Tltorrez DIS Veteran

    Nov 5, 2010
    Is that the only time you can go? Earlier in Dec will get you all the benefits of a holiday trip with lower crowds and lower costs.
  5. Kbendig

    Kbendig Mouseketeer

    Jul 9, 2012
    We went to Disney for Christmas when I was 14, 21 years ago, and I still remember the trip. Now, we had a great time and loved it so much my parents bought a timeshare and we went back almost every year. Just, never again at Christmas.

    I am not claustrophobic, I remember not being able to breathe watching a parade. My sister got so overwhelmed in a crowd at one point a CM helped her find a place to go sit and got her water. Wait times were insane. It's very very crowded.:crowded:

    Now, a few things.

    1. We spent most of our time at MK, I would imagine other parks (and this was before AK too) wouldn't have been as bad. Still crazy busy, but not THAT crazy busy.

    2. There are ways to handle the crowds that we didn't know then, it was our first time in Disney. Go early and leave when it gets bad, things like that.

    3. While it was crazy, and while we had a great time I will always remember how scared I was at the parade, I won't hesitate to take my son at Christmas. There is something amazing about being there, even with all the people, on Christmas. I won't do it until he is older, as for me it's a once in a lifetime (well, I guess twice. But one time with your mom, what he does as an adult is on him!) thing.

    4. If you could take the trip a week before, or some time in January I would say to do that if the crowds are the issue. We went in Jan last year and pretty much walked on everything. The one day it was around 1 pm at MK and we realized we did everything we wanted. We didn't rush, there was just never a wait. We went the second week in Jan and the decorations were still up the first part of the week.
  6. disneyfan2kids

    disneyfan2kids DisneyFan3Kids now, but I can't change my name.

    Oct 12, 2005
    We did it for the week between Christmas and New Years (including NYE.) Glad I did it...had fun... never (I repeat) NEVER again.

    Dead serious..imagine walking shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers smushing into you...for the entire travel experience thru MK. It was awful. There were times when I was genuinely in fear of my kids being trampled on and I wouldn't be able to prevent it. At times, people were yelling... very few were happy...it was just awful.

    Now the "other" stuff - resorts, fireworks (from boats/beaches/etc), meals, sight-seeing... THAT was fun..but the parks? Never EVER again (with children.) My 2 cents.
  7. LSUfan4444

    LSUfan4444 DIS Veteran

    Feb 9, 2005
    I'll relate it like this. If we compare it to weather, the last week of August is like the end of April, maybe start of May. Christmas is like the middle of August, with no shade, no wind and you're wearing a wool coat while running a marathon.
  8. Dimples1973ca

    Dimples1973ca Mouseketeer

    Mar 25, 2008
    DH is a teacher so we are very limited as to when we can travel. It will take me days to convince him to leave the day school lets out for Christmas break. Also if we arrive on the 20th of December, we can still get free dining so that would be bonus. :thumbsup2

    I would avoid the park on Christmas Day and if my in laws join us we will get a suite or a Wilderness Cabin so we can have a bit more room.

    I am just in the talking stages with DH but I have butterflies in my belly. Disney at Christmas, I can hardly contain myself. :cheer2:
  9. Seahunt

    Seahunt DIS Veteran

    Jan 19, 2002
    I hope you get to go, but didn't the Free Dining offer expire on September 29? Or is there a different Canadian offer? :confused3

    If you missed it, you can blame your husband for taking too long to decide :)
  10. chalee94

    chalee94 <font color=green>I thought all sand was ground up

    Aug 14, 2006
    11 out of 10. i love going to wdw in nov and early december. but never, ever the week of christmas.

    but if you are determined to face it, read this thread:


    lots of good tips in post #3. lots of great pics of the holiday decorations and experiences...and a few scary pics of the giant crowds of people:

  11. Sammy

    Sammy DIS Veteran

    Jan 10, 2000
    You know the massive crowd that is trying to get out of the MK after Wishes? That's what the Christmas crowds are like all.day.long. We went once. Had a ball and loved seeing all the Christmas decorations, but as others have said, "never again".
  12. sharadoc

    sharadoc Visiting Disney World since 1986, happily driving

    May 6, 2008
    Do you mean Christmas Day or every day that week? Thanks for the really descriptive answer. We've been thinking about this week too. Great thread!!
  13. hakepb

    hakepb DIS Veteran

    Apr 19, 2008
    It sounds like the entire week can be insane. Last year's Christmas week resulted in DAK reaching capacity one day. It sounds like the busiest week of the year. I would love to try it some time, but it would have to be one of several WDW trips that year. I wouldn't expect to do a bunch of rides that week.
  14. RMulieri

    RMulieri DIS Veteran

    Jul 5, 2001
    It is beyond crowded.EVERY DAY THAT WEEK .It doesn't let up till after New year, and even then that depends on when schools are back in session.It is so crowded that MK can and does close to capacity on and off that week.Wait times for attractions are well over an hour, and sometimes over 2 hrs.It can be done with a HUGE dose of patience, realizing it is going to be extremely busy with wait times for food and bathrooms as well as the rides, using fastpass when you can and getting to the parks for opening.You can get more done in the first couple of hours than you will be able to the rest of the day
  15. Spunky946

    Spunky946 DIS Veteran

    Aug 9, 2011
    We went December 2011 and it was nuts, crazy and someone would have to pay me a significant amount of money to go that week again. We did early mornings, breaks and sometimes went back and sometimes we just did not have the stomachs to fight the crowds again.

    Let me put it this way. One day that week AK, MK and HK all closed to closures. On the same day. Insanity. We were in Epcot on NYE and during the early illuiminations at 7:30 it was shoulder to shoulder. We left right after that because the crowds were too much. The crowds were so bad they opened up the back cast member only path to relieve congestion.

    Anyway we had fun, but it was crazy.

    We have our next trip scheduled for 1/19-1/27. We can't wait for lower crowds and shorter wait times.

    Have fun, go early and take your patience.
  16. GaSleepingBeautyFan

    GaSleepingBeautyFan DIS Veteran

    Aug 12, 2007
    I would love to go at Christmas but my husband couldn't handle the week before easter spring break crowds so I know he won't be able to handle christmas.

    And he's already said no christmas trips.

    Since you have been in August, you would be in for a huge shock going at Christmas. I've read threads at that time of year that talked about claustrophobic crowds.

    You need to read the thread that chalee94 posted. I remember reading that and it has some great info in it.
  17. DeluxePrincess

    DeluxePrincess DIS Veteran

    Jul 5, 2005
    If your husband's number 1 objection is crowds, then I would opt not to go. There will be massive crowds. No getting around that, unless you arrive at rope drop and leave by 10am. Having said that, if you go, you may rub elbows next to my crazy family! We are not making this trip about the rides. We are there to celebrate Christmas. If the crowds start making any of us too uncomfortable, we'll switch gears to resort sight seeing or DTD (which is probably crowded too). We know we will be back to visit Disney another time. We just may not have the opportunity to be there at Christmas time again.
  18. erineab

    erineab Mouseketeer

    Jan 6, 2012
    Might it be an option to go the week after Christmas (Dec. 30th-Jan.8th)? I am a teacher as well and our Christmas break runs from December 21st-January 9th. We have been during this week in the past and, while undoubtedly busy, we found it manageable when arriving at rope drop. Definitely better than the "official" Christmas week.
  19. GusGusGirl

    GusGusGirl Earning My Ears

    Oct 2, 2012
    My family and I went on almost your exact dates a few years ago. The days leading up to Christmas were very busy, but doable. The 26th, 27th, and (for us) the 28th were just crazy. My husband and I did okay when we were on our own. We could make last minute decisions and get through the crowds okay. When we were with the whole family (10 of us in all) it was really hard to get through the parks on the last few days.
  20. deltadisney

    deltadisney Mouseketeer

    Oct 23, 2011
    How is it the few days before Christmas - like the 19 - 23rd? Does this time have the same sort of crowd levels experienced right after Christmas or do the bulk of people arrive on or after Christmas day. If so, is this time slightly manageable?
  21. Jozymouse

    Jozymouse Disney Character Fanatic

    May 19, 2006

    We are booked from Dec 16-23. I thought i read somewhere that the xmas entertainment starts the day after the last MVMCP (dec 21), is that correct? When i look at the WDW calendar for Dec 22 and 23 it doesnt mention anything about the xmas parade, just the regular 3pm parade. Can anyone help? We're just debating on wheter or not to buy MVMCP tickets...... THANKS!:)

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