Christmas at Disney 2011

Discussion in 'Canadian Trip Planning & Community Board' started by ♥Tinkerbell♥, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. ♥Tinkerbell♥

    ♥Tinkerbell♥ Earning my wings

    Dec 12, 2010
    Hey everyone....

    I know that Christmas is still 4 months away.. but I just confirmed our vacation days with work and am getting in the planning stages now!!!!

    We went down last year at total last minute (2 -3 weeks notice).. and honestly it was the BEST trip I have ever had to Disney... and most of it has to do with all of the last minute information I got from this forum!!!... So useful I tell you... we got to spend a wonderful holiday season down there and we were there for New Years Eve as well...

    This year we have decided to go down for Christmas Eve and Day staying until New Years day....

    I was just wondering who else was going down at Christmas (or has) and what are your favorite memories, activities and any tips...
  2. ccudmore

    ccudmore DIS Veteran

    Apr 9, 2009
    No real tips other than get to the parks well before rope drop and be prepared for huge crowds. It's the busiest week of the year (see picture below of MK during Christmas week) and you'll need to have things well planned out. Not sure if you'll be able to get any ADRs still but it's worth a try.

    Also, check out the various resorts that are all dressed up for Christmas.

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  4. grantclaire

    grantclaire DIS Veteran

    Sep 23, 2007
    We are going Dec 29 to Jan 6th. Planning to avoid the parks until Jan 2nd! Flying down on WJ, going to stay offsite for part of the vacation, hoping for a room only PIN and stay onsite for the rest!
  5. dis_guy

    dis_guy DIS Veteran

    Aug 26, 2008
    Us too. Having gone Dec 21-31 in 2009, this year we have the opportunity to go later so will be staying Dec 31-Jan 7. The crowd calendar says all should be good after Jan 3. :)
  6. nepean

    nepean Mouseketeer

    Sep 23, 2000
    We arrive December 18th and leave to come home Jan 8. We will stay out of the parks from Christmas Day until New Years. DH is running the 1/2 Marathon on Jan 7th.

    We were there two years ago for Christmas and we went to Epcot Christmas Eve and to the Candlelight Processional. It was wonderful. Christmas Day we ate at Trail's End in Fort Wilderness. It was quiet and relaxing. AFter dinner we took the boat over to Magic Kingdom and then the monorail to the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and checked out the Christmas decorations. It was a nice ending to the day watching the fireworks from the beach at the Polynesian.

    Last year we arrived Dec 28th and stayed out of the parks until New Years.

    We love being in the area for Christmas. We go to Downtown Disney and enjoy the smaller things.

  7. saskdw

    saskdw DIS Veteran

    Feb 7, 2011
    We're going Dec 14th-28th. It's the 3rd time we've gone at this time. The first week the crowds are great, we hit the parks hard the first week and then relax the 2nd week when the crowds are crazy. It's a great time of year to go, very beautifully decorated and great atmosphere.
  8. ABCanada

    ABCanada Mouseketeer

    Mar 5, 2007
    We are scheduled for Dec 15th - 24th. I am second guessing myself and wondering if we should have scheduled for Jan 1-8th. Christmas breaks seem to really vary this year so I am not certain whether the week before Christmas will be better or worse than the week after NY.

    They do take the decorations down quickly so by the first week of Jan most will likely be gone so I am currently sticking with the week before.

    One relaxing thing to do is the wagon ride at Fort Wilderness. It takes you around the camp ground and the decorations are amazing. It is a couple of dollars pp and when we took it it left from across from Pioneer Hall. Check the websites for times.

    Check out the Gingerbread houses in the various deluxe resort lobbies.

    Agree with the PP that you need to do the parks first thing.
  9. iluvtheworld

    iluvtheworld Mouseketeer

    Feb 6, 2010

    Will it look like that on January 1st? We arrive on Dec. 31st but are avoiding the parks that day. We have ADR's at Crystal Palace on the 1st for dinner though. Will we have to be in the park at rope drop on the 1st or do people sleep in that day? That picture is scary!
  10. Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina

    Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina DIS Veteran

    Sep 12, 2008
    We have the very same concerns, as we are in Orlando from December 31st to January 7th.

    Now this trip isn't a Disney vacay for us (we did Disney and only Disney in January 2009, so we've opted for "the other side of Orlando" on this getaway) so we've decided to book Discovery Cove for the New Years Day holiday. Its pricey but very highly rated, plus we're guaranteed no crowds. I honestly don't think I'd be able to take the mobs of people as seen in that photo :scared1: .

    Seaworld and Universal will be our destinations once the local Florida kids go back to school on January 2nd or 3rd.
  11. bababear_50

    bababear_50 DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2007
    We are flying in DEC 31st till Jan 7th also.

    We are planning a quiet day Sunday 1st--booked breakfast at Ohanas--non park--then plan to enjoy the resort for the day.(swim and resort activities, OKW).
    Grand-daughter is looking forward to meeting the characters at Ohanas

    Monday 2nd we plan to try and visit DHS to see the Osborne lights before they are taken down on the 3rd.

    Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th we are going over to the Dark Side
    Universal Orlando resort. Booked a hotel room to make use of the perks.
    Have to try the Butter Beer.

    Thursday 5th back to OKW (Old key West resort) and plan to hit DTD --maybe a movie--relax at the pool.
    I'm planning a small scavenger hunt for DTD for my adult sons and grand-daughter.

    Friday 6th we have early morning reservation at MK --Cinderella's royal table.
    Meeting the Disney princesses is a special treat for my grand-daughter.
    Still waiting to get Wishes Dessert Party for this night.

    Sat Jan 7th --pool--Last minute shopping and departure day!

    A bit more planning this time of year but well worth it.

    have fun planning everyone.

    Hugs Mel
  12. stefanospops

    stefanospops DIS Veteran

    Mar 27, 2009
    We're flying in on Jetblue from Buffalo on Dec 31st until January 14th. We have a 5 day cruise in the middle. I am preparing for the worst for the first few days, but looking forward to a week of low crowds when we get back from our cruise.
  13. tgropp

    tgropp DIS Veteran

    Jan 3, 2007
    We have had many family Christmas vacations and now that the children are older and have spouses (and our first grandchild), they often talk of their past WDW Christmas vacations as their most memorable. We had a family trip last year and it was great. I think the kids would go every year...... as long as I pay for it.

    Some memories:

    Candlelight processional on Christmas eve or Christmas night. Very moving.

    At one time, the hotels used to have lots of entertainment on Christmas eve. One year at WL they had a brass band, 3 country singers playing acoustic guitars, and Victorian carollers all singing Christmas carols in the lobby at various times. There was also santa Claus and lots of Characters roaming around. This lasted from 6PM to 10 PM. We then would head over and close the MK.

    I'll never forget my childrens faces when they opened up the front door off the room and saw Christmas stockings full of candy etc. This was done by the hotel but they no longer do it

    Walking and watching the Osborne lights on Christmas night is so magical.
    So is spending Christmas day at a water park (weather permitting)

    We always went for a week at WDW and left to go to the beach around the 26'th or 27'th. Just to crowded after Christmas day but the 2 or 3 days leading up to Christmas day....well, its hard to describe. people are all so friendly but that all disappears on Dec 26. Have Fun!!!!!
  14. ccudmore

    ccudmore DIS Veteran

    Apr 9, 2009
    Magic 8-ball says... not sure.

    However any crowd calendar site I've seen shows the crowds starting to ease on the 1st from the 10/10's every day the week before.
  15. DIS Veteran

    Feb 22, 2006
    we'll be there for christmas as well! we are driving from ns to maine and departing one day sooner from maine than our check in at blt(were dvc members). so we'll add on a day at a value. so we now arrive the 22nd-jan6. so not my idea! lol as much as i love disney, i know and am prepared for how crazy it's going to be. we were scheduledto go in feb for our two week school break- as in booked it july last yr....29 days to go and the military cancels hubbys leave. we did get to go for 8 days, so as our bribe hubby pitched xmas. i personally think he's nuts and have warned him, esp after showing above picture, i do not want to hear a single complaint from him! lol

    i'm prepared for the crowds, and have told the kids it will be super busy and that we may only get a few rides done each day and they've been lucky they got three trips this year. theyre 6 and 4....we'll see how well it goes over! lol but still, for the amzing once in a lifetime experience why not?

    there is a december christmas group on fb, but i believe it's a closed group. pm me and i can send you the link. sorry just not sure if we can post fb pages on here.
  16. ♥Tinkerbell♥

    ♥Tinkerbell♥ Earning my wings

    Dec 12, 2010
    You know we went last year and had the most wonderful time during Christmas... it was our 6th time at Disney and honesty was the BEST time I have ever had down there...

    And yes I have been in the slow months before when there was not much crowds or line ups... but really for being the busiest time of the year I didnt really notice... *shrugs*... maybe it was the Christmas Spirit or something but everyone was having a great time and we got to see way more this time then we ever have...

    Mind you it was the first time that I actually did SOME planning... and I found Disboards just 2 weeks before we left and was able to figure out the best places to go and what times was good for some things...

    The one BIG suggestion I have too is if you want to spend NEW years at MK... do it on the day before... cause they show their "Fire in the Sky" new years fireworks on both days... totally amazing....
  17. canadianmom2three

    canadianmom2three DIS Veteran

    Feb 29, 2008
    Glad to hear all the good reports of Christmas trips!!! We are driving down from SW Ontario and staying at POR Dec. 17 - 26th with free dining and 8 day park hopper passes. We just booked, so I am still working on the ADR's although I do have some of the main ones done.
  18. sandraB

    sandraB Mouseketeer

    Jan 14, 2005
    OK....that picture has scared me to death!!!!!! We have a family trip for Dec 26-Jan3rd with my sisters family all planned, and we are ready to cancel based solely on that picture!

    I have been to Disney before, but never during Christmas. I am worried the crowds will ruin the experience. We have two teenagers, but my sister has very young kids, and we are worried about how it will be for them. Will this trip be crazy? We are staying on property to avoid driving, and being able to go back to the room in the afernoons. We also have the dinning plan, and have all our ADR's already booked.

    I guess I am just looking for any can be honest, that's what I am asking for!!!!
  19. mtmbyck

    mtmbyck I AM Canadian eh!

    Jan 2, 2005
    I'm guessing this photo is accurate Christmas Eve Day at 1pm. If you get there for rope drop and get out by noon you won't see that. But don't try coming back that day (we did and lines were 90 min on everything and no fast passes left and it was this way at 11pm). Parks reach capacity most days (not an issue for those staying onsite). It's a wonderful time of year but better if you've been before, know how to work the fast passes, and don't care if you only get on half the rides.

    The resorts offer some fantastic actinides and sights - worth a visit to all of the deluxe ones!

    For someone who loves Disney, you have to go at Christmas just to say you did it!
  20. ♥Tinkerbell♥

    ♥Tinkerbell♥ Earning my wings

    Dec 12, 2010
    OMG... only another month now before the TRIP and I am getting SUPER EXCITED..... doing my touring plans again and trying to find out where all the character spots are now that toontown is closed...

    Does anyone know a website that has the most up to date character spots for MK and the other parks actually... I had a good website last year when we went but now I forget where it was...

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