How crazy is it really at the end of December?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by Shir Kahn, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Shir Kahn

    Shir Kahn DIS Veteran

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    I found out that I'm getting a bonus some time in the next few weeks. :cool1: All our bills are paid and we don't have any debt, so I'm thinking about blowing it on a surprise trip to WDW! The only problem is, the only time we'll both be able to go will be from December 26th until January 3rd. We've never been during this time but I understand it's seriously crowded. I'm not going to book until I find out for sure how much I'm getting, which will likely happen sometime around the first week of December. Do you think it will be possible to book onsite still? Are the parks packed from start to finish during this time frame? We've dealt with heavy crowds before and we've been to WDW quite a few times now, so I know we can handle it, but I'm just curious as to whether we're talking "turnaways at the gate" sort of crowds. :confused3 I would really like to stay onsite but we've got several options in mind for offsite too if we must. (unless of course they're all booked up too! :scared:)
     
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  3. mesaboy2

    mesaboy2 DIS Veteran

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    Yes, this can and does happen during the dates you are considering. This is the busiest time of the year for all Orlando-area theme parks.

    You will typically see manageable crowds for no more than the first hour or two of any park day. After that, it is wall-to-wall people for the rest of the day--crowds of biblical proportions.
     
  4. Robo

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

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    Cra-
     
  5. Robo

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

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    -zy!





    ;)
     
  6. Cee

    Cee DIS Veteran

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    Seriously crazy.
     
  7. Time Traveler

    Time Traveler the best around

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    [​IMG]

    This crazy.
     
  8. chicklet2

    chicklet2 Mouseketeer

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    Just one example of how crazy It gets...You know the bridge in Magic Kingdom on the right going to Tomorrowland.It has to be at least 15 feet wide, at night it is a wall of people smoothed together like on the subway in rush hour.You literally baby step your way through most of park.We used to always go during holiday, than it just got to be too much, so we now go early December and get all same perks, just minus horrendous crowds.
     
  9. cris0809

    cris0809 Might be why the rum is always gone

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    Local here - everything everyone has said here is true. It's wall to wall, turn people away at the gate crazy.

    I have done it all July 4th, NYE, Christmas Day. It still blows my mind every time.

    You can come for "the experience" but you'll probably get a lot more done, spend a lot less money and have a more relaxing time in late winter or early spring.

    Know your family. If they are upbeat have fun no matter what people? Consider. Maybe not? Try another time.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Spunky946

    Spunky946 DIS Veteran

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    It's crazy. Very crazy. One day last year mk, ak and Hollywood all closed to capacity.
     
  11. OhThePain

    OhThePain DIS Veteran

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    I agree with everyone else thus far. Crazy is a bit of an understatement. Rides that don't typically have a long line (like IASW) can have lines close to an hour and lines that are typically longer (like Peter Pan's Flight) have really long lines. The WS is pretty hard to navigate. It's just easier to tell whoever you are with to meet you at a specific spot and then fend for yourself. On NYE, TT and Soarin' both had wait times listed over 300 minutes and the ends of the lines for Nemo and the Character Spot basically met eachother.

    However, it's a great experience and worth trying at least once. The parks are generally open longer to counter the crowds a little and the vibe in the parks is different than it is any other time of year. Also, if you are into people watching there is no better time of year to go. As long as you have a lot of patience and don't expect to get everything you want to do, don't let the crowd level scare you off.
     
  12. Joseph Robinson

    Joseph Robinson Earning My Ears

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    Still not crazy enough. :rotfl:
     
  13. Robo

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

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    [​IMG]










    .
     
  14. labattblue

    labattblue DIS Veteran

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    I have never been at WDW the week between Xmas and NYE, but isn't it often mentioned here that while a park may close mid-morning, in many cases, they re-open by midafternoon when people begin to leave the parks?

    Just trying to be fair to the OP.
     
  15. Robo

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

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    I'd not say, generally, by "mid" afternoon.

    More like "evening."
     
  16. Shir Kahn

    Shir Kahn DIS Veteran

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    Whew! Now that is crazy! Haha! Thanks for the replies all, the nice thing about having gone so many times is that if we don't get to go on everything we want to, it's ok, we know we'll be back again. Plus there are other things than the parks that we like to do. We'll be driving down (2020 miles one way!) and one of our favorite things to do is to just drive around the World. There's a lot you don't get to see if you're using the buses. We'll have fun going to all the different resorts to see the different trees and decorations. It will be fun no matter what! I can't wait to see the holiday version of Illuminations again! We went last year during the first week of December and saw it. :thumbsup2

    Now, hopefully there's somewhere left for us to stay! :goodvibes
     
  17. labattblue

    labattblue DIS Veteran

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    Fair enough. Like I said, I have never been there that week, but recall many posts discussing the park closing topic.
     
  18. kjm4

    kjm4 Mouseketeer

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    We are veterans of 10+ spring break/ Easter trips. We thought we knew crazy. We decided to go last Christmas. We were WRONG! We looked at each other after the trip and vowed, "Never again!"
     
  19. saskdw

    saskdw DIS Veteran

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    We are fortunate enough to have spent 3 of the last 4 Christmas at WDW. However, we go from Dec 14th-28th. We hit the parks hard the first week when the crowds aren't too bad, after that we approach everything at a leisurely pace. On the 26th-28th we only hit the parks for 2 hours with specific things we want o do and a plan how to do them. After that we spend time at the resort, DTD, mini-golf, etc. it's an extremely fun time to be there, but the crowds are crazy starting on the 26th. I actually enjoy being at WDW at this time just not in the parks. We get the best of both with our dates, park time early in the trip and relax and enjoy the Christmas spirit at he end.

    Having said all that, if your dates were the only time we could go I would consider it. You just have to approach the trip with different expectations and try to enjoy some time outside the parks.
     
  20. Princess Disney Mom

    Princess Disney Mom DIS Veteran

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    We went New Year's Day 2009 and never again. We couldn't move. Couldn't find the ends of the line. We ended up sitting upstairs at the train station to watch the parade below. Even up there we were squashed. My son about 15 set out on his own to ride space mountain and said no way could he even make it there.
     
  21. kathy884

    kathy884 DIS Veteran

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    It's totally insane. That said though I've been this particular week five different times, so I must not have thought it was that bad as I'm a repeat visitor. Being at the parks early is really important. Those first two hours are sooo nice. I would use touring plans for the parks to help minimize wating in lines (Well worth $10 or so to subscribe to touringplans.com). Even worse than the parks are crowds for dining and driving around, around dinner time. Don't drive anywhere you don't have to. If you don't have advanced dinner resrvations, the only places that aren't crowded are places like Perkins that cater mostly to a breakfast crowd. // One place that is not crowded are the resorts. Everyone is at the park, so minimal crowds for swimming, tennis, things like that. It's nice to have a condo / kitchen and be able to do some of your own meals or order in and not have to deal with the dinne rtime crowds at resturants. Unless I have tickets to Cirque du Soliel, I avoid Downtown Disney this time of year -- That place is worse than the parks.

    Christmas is doable for a true Disney diehard. The crowds this particular week are just way to much for my husband though and I don't think we'll be down again then.

    Weather is also very unpredictable. In general it's cooler than I like. I prefef the very dependable glorious weather around spring break. One Christmas we were really lucky and had weather with highs of 78-80 (pretty unusual). I also remember a very cold Christmas week when in the evening it was down to 35 degrees in the parks around 6 p.m. I was so glad I had brought my parka along.
     

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