Christmas Week Strategies and Advice

BriLovesDisney

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Hello, I hope I'm doing this correctly as I'm new to the DisBoards!

My family will be spending Dec. 20-27 in Disney this year. This is the first time we are visiting in 5 years so we are all very excited. Although we have been at peak times before (spring break, summer, and Thanksgiving week) we have never been during the holidays.

I've heard a lot of crazy stories regarding crowd levels and such for this time of year and we are starting to get a little concerned. We are all adults so there are some attractions and activities that don't entice us (standing in line for characters for example).

Do any of you have any advice or suggestions for our family for our peak season trip? Thanks!
 

fla4fun

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
It will be less busy from the 20th to the 22nd, so I would try to get as much done ride wise those first three days as you can.

If you like table service dining, make ADRs in advance. There will be little to none walk in availability. Counter service will be very crowded, even at off times.

From the 23rd to the 27th, plan on staying in one park each day. The worst days crowdwise, based on my experience, will be the 25th to 27th. You will want to be in the park when it opens and not leave until you are done for the day. With Christmas being on Monday, there could be a lot of guests there for a long weekend (my office is closed Monday and Tuesday). Book your FP+!

Consider doing more of the shows on the more crowded days, as the bulk of the crowds will be heading for rides.

I went just for Christmas Day one year. I chose Epcot and was there at park opening. Did as many attractions standby for about an hour and a half, then had my three FP. Scheduled a Candlelight lunch package ahead of time, so after the lunch, I watched some live shows in WS, and went to the 5:00 CP. The park was busy, but didn’t feel busy because I had planned it out ahead of time.

Pack your patience and have fun!
 

Liz Z

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 1, 2011
Hi :flower3:
My family and i have been traveling to Disney for the last 3 Christmase:santa:s. Daughter is a teacher so this and the summer are the times we go unless we go without her. And no thank you for the summer:sad2:

I have to tell you i was scared to death of the crowds but if you plan your FP+ and ADrs and go with the flow you will be fine. Crowds seemed to be in a festive mood and really not too much pushing and shoving or stroller run overs. I had more of that on a slow week in Disney.

Just remember to stay to your right when walking down the paths LOL.:P
Also we love the weather in December. No humidity and we have been lucky enough to have days in the 80's.
Like Fla4fun said pack your patience and have a plan.

Have fun!
I know we will:yay: we're there from the 24th to NYE
 
  • CarrieR

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2008
    Go early, get out, come back in the evenings. Tour at the edges and you can get a ton done. This will require big naps and short sleeps at night... but it's astonishing how quiet the edges can be despite the midday crowds!
     

    disneygolfer1985

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2013
    We go either over thanksgiving or Christmas. Usually, we go to AK on Christmas Day but that may not be the best since pandora opened. The idea of being in Epcot on Christmas Day and going to the candlelight processional is a good idea. We usually do that on Christmas Eve. You could also eat Christmas dinner at a resort to stay away from the crowds. We are going to artist point again. I was focus on doing the storytellers in Epcot towards the end of your stay. It will be a great way to handle the crowds. Also, I would recommend bringing layers to wear since you don't know what the weather will be like.
     

    BriLovesDisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2017
    Hi :flower3:
    My family and i have been traveling to Disney for the last 3 Christmase:santa:s. Daughter is a teacher so this and the summer are the times we go unless we go without her. And no thank you for the summer:sad2:

    I have to tell you i was scared to death of the crowds but if you plan your FP+ and ADrs and go with the flow you will be fine. Crowds seemed to be in a festive mood and really not too much pushing and shoving or stroller run overs. I had more of that on a slow week in Disney.

    Just remember to stay to your right when walking down the paths LOL.:P
    Also we love the weather in December. No humidity and we have been lucky enough to have days in the 80's.
    Like Fla4fun said pack your patience and have a plan.

    Have fun!
    I know we will:yay: we're there from the 24th to NYE
    Thank you for your response and advice! Glad to hear people have enjoyed their stay during Christmastime. I am planning on just making one high priority FP+ in advance per day and making the rest as we go through the parks because I don't want to tie us down too much. Is this a bad idea?
     

    loves to dive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2011
    We were there last year from the 20th thru 24th. While it was more crowded than we are used to, it wasn't unmanageable. We go more than once a year and are two adults, myself and my son, so rides and characters are not a priority for us. We rarely if ever make FPs any more than a day in advance and never make ADRs any further in advance than the night before, more often than not the day of. Same was true for that trip. We made our ADRs day of and ate at Tiffins, Flying Fish and Mexico. We did the Dine in the Sky thing so that did have to be booked in advance. We also ate a HBD lounge and Nomad lounge with no problems. Pandora wasn't open yet so FPs weren't really a problem. We rode everything we wanted to by either booking FPs in the morning after we decided what park we wanted to go to or while standing in line. We don't ride things like Space Mountain because it's hurts my son's back but we rode BTM, EE and even FEA with just getting FPs day of. As long as you go with the attitude that it will be crowded and go with it, you should be fine.
     
  • mom22boys

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 10, 2005
    Thank you for your response and advice! Glad to hear people have enjoyed their stay during Christmastime. I am planning on just making one high priority FP+ in advance per day and making the rest as we go through the parks because I don't want to tie us down too much. Is this a bad idea?
    I would book all three in advance. You can always modify them once you are in the parks.
     

    SmallWorld71

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 10, 2007
    I would book all three in advance. You can always modify them once you are in the parks.
    I agree with this. Check out the FP+ FAQ and book what will save you time.

    Keep checking park hours as your trip gets closer. When we went Christmas week park hours were extended as our trip got closer.

    If MK opens at 7:00 for EMH, haul yourself out of bed even though it will be dark and take advantage of this. Everyone headed to Mine Train, we headed to Tomorrowland and everything was a walk on. We got a ton of things done the first two hours.

    Make sure you schedule in time to visit the resorts to check out the different holiday decorations, especially Grand Floridian.
     

    cutigerlady

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 9, 2012
    We were there last year 20-24th and I agree with all the advice you've been given. We planned for sit down lunches everyday, which took us out of the QS chaos and gave us a break to sit down. For the holiday stuff you really want to see, book the dining package or dessert party. It was worth it to not have to wait for hours.
     

    BriLovesDisney

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 9, 2017
    Thank you to everyone for your advice! I'll make sure and book more FastPasses now. We are planning sit down breakfasts and dinners every day so hopefully that will give us some reprieve from the crowds and chaos.
     



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