View Full Version : Bigger December crowds at WDW?

12-09-2007, 11:39 PM
We just got in about 2pm today, and it's currently 11:15pm. We went to MK to ride the TTA (our traditional first) and the park was packed. In all fairness, tonight was one of the MVMCP nights, so that's what we assumed it was.

Off we went to dinner at the Concourse Steakhouse (which was wonderful, first time there but probably the last since it's closing) and then we wanted to head over to MGM so our Star Wars infatuated son could ride Star Tours, which we had been building up for the last few months. MGM was absolutely packed as well, even though it was an Extra Magic Hours night and should have only been on-property guests.

What was absolutely insane was trying to leave MGM about 10:00. We went to the bus stop for the All Stars and found a line probably 300-400 people deep. It wound through the queue and then back past the next two stops. A bus pulls up for Epcot and we decide to head over there and try to catch a bus back to Sports. That same idea was shared by most of the rest of the people on the Epcot bus.

We've been here five times in December, all around the second or third week and have never seen crowds like this. Our last trip was in 2004. Is it because it is: A.) Sunday night and many people's last night?, 2.) poor bus planning on WDW's part?, or D.) just bigger crowds than we're used to?

Believe me, I'm not complaining because it's still WDW and we still love the magic. However, other people who have not been coming often ARE complaining. We heard one guy on the bus complaining all the way back to the resort. When we walked in from the bus stop, there were about 20-30 people at the front desk all complaining about the bus wait at MGM. What's going on?

12-10-2007, 12:14 AM
In my opinion, it's not just December. I think attendance has been steadily growing year by year.

I'm glad you had a good trip despite the crowds. Sounds like you managed them as best as you could.

12-10-2007, 12:17 AM
We got in today as well and thought the crowds at MK and MGM were heavier than expected, but here's my philosophy on why. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, which probably increased the local traffic. I've had several CMs tell me that the YOAMD celebration has been phenoomenally successful.

No matter what time of year we come, we have found MK to be busy on Sundays. I didn't think it was unmanageable at MK though, just not "light" the way we hoped it would be. I saw a lot of people with MVMCP wristbands, so I think there were partygoers coming in as soon as they were able, coupled with regular guests trying to get the most out of a somewhat shortened MK day.

We went to MGM after dinner, and the line to get in at 7 was as heavy as I've ever seen it, and this an hour before EMH. We didn't stay long (left around 9) as we had gone with only two objectives: Osbourn lights and one showing of VOTLM before it shuts down for the week. We did both fairly easily. I think MGM was busy because it was the only park open into the night, and the resort is fairly full, so onsite guests had nowhere else to spend their time. Truthfully, I'm not as big a fan of evening EMH as we can't stay to the bitter end with our little ones, and the early part of pmEMH is usually pretty crowded regardless of the park/night.

I'm hoping crowds get a bit lighter as the week goes on, but if not, I'm not going to stress about it - I've already seen too many people today who were getting irritated over the least little thing.

Hope the rest of your stay is enjoyable, too!

12-10-2007, 12:21 AM
I've only been twice in December, In 2005 and this year. In 2005 I went the 3rd week (16-22).
It was much more crowded then I expected. This time around, crowds overall seemed less than they were in 2005 BUT some lines were still much longer than I expected. I agree that overall, attendance is up. We stayed at POP and it was completely booked. In fact I think I heard someone say it was overbooked. It was a little nuts considering when we last stayed at POP in May 2004, the 90s and 80s buildings didn't even have anyone staying in them.

12-10-2007, 07:25 PM
We have been going for years. We had the light time down to a science, and since we live in Largo, about an hour away, we'd go all the time. This year has been abnormally crowded. I was wondering if it was YOAMD...hoping that the crowds will die down. I think it's also the dollar. It's much more affordable fot people from other countries to come here now.

12-11-2007, 02:29 PM
We went to MGM and the Osborne Lights on Saturday (12/8) and the crowd was horrible and got worse as the day wore on. There seemed to be more people there on this past weekend than there was for Christmas Week in 06. We still loved it, but it was a little claustrophobic during the Osborne Lights.

12-11-2007, 03:08 PM
Our experience has almost always been that Sundays are very crazy regardless of the time of year. If you look at Disney's financial reports from the parks they are also showing tremendous gains each of the last several years so that means crowds have to be up all year long. While I can't prove it, it does seem that there is a LOT more promotion of the "value season" as a time to go to avoid the crowds. It may be that there is a direct impact from that as well.

12-11-2007, 11:16 PM
I think it's also the dollar. It's much more affordable fot people from other countries to come here now.

As the week has moved on, I've noticed that this may be more true. We've met people from Scotland, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and more from countries that we couldn't understand the language. Saw a huge group (30-40) of teenagers that were from South America at Epcot today.

I think one thing that has really disappointed us is the transportation. With one bus serving all three All Star resorts, it makes for either a long line at the bus stop or an extremely crowded bus. The only place I've seen three separate buses for the three different All Stars was Magic Kingdom.

On the positive side, we rode Spaceship Earth today. I'll post that on a different thread.

12-12-2007, 12:14 PM
Is it possible there is more local traffic due to folks wanting to get a view of the new lighting on the castle?

Epcot guy
12-12-2007, 08:57 PM
you also must think of the weak dollar. People from Europe have been pouring into disney because of the cheap prices they are offering them in europe. Many people will not go to Euro-DISNEY for the simple fact its much cheaper to fly to Florida and spend an extra week here

12-17-2007, 10:31 AM
We just returned (12/8 - 12/15) and found all the parks and resorts to be very crowded. We were expecting small crowds and minimal wait times due to all the books saying this was a slower time to go. We couldn't really tell a difference between this trip and our last trip (end of June/beginning of July) crowd level wise. I was disappointed. It didn't seem like we were able to do as much this trip as the last one. By the end of the week we were tired of fighting the crowds. It seems like we spent ALOT of time waiting - for buses, for food, for attractions, for bathrooms, etc. We still had a wonderful time and have some great memories - I was just expecting lower crowds.

12-17-2007, 12:32 PM
Im DizHawk's DW and we returned from our trip yesterday. We were disappointed about the crowds but still had a great time. We decided that next time we go, we will not go in December, but in November or January. I think December has gotten a little too busy for us. We enjoyed the decorations, but would enjoy smaller crowds next time!

12-17-2007, 01:30 PM
I heard the same thing last year (about December crowds getting larger). There was a time that crowds during the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were relatively light, but people have caught on, and that no longer seems to be the case. Iím glad to see that business is good.

12-18-2007, 08:00 AM
We returned from WDW, after spending the first week of December enjoying the "World". We too found the crowds to be larger than the past December trips. (except for our trip this past August, of course.)
Our family started going to WDW in January of 2001, we noticed the crowds have gotten a bit larger since 2005. I am sure all of the factors mentioned have contributed to the increases.

12-18-2007, 10:51 PM
We just got back also...and the crowds were bigger. We were amazed at the amount of adults in the park. Looks like this time of year all the adults traveling without children decided it would be a great week. We pulled our kids out of school (ages10,11,12) but found that there were mostly families with small children and parties of all adults. We also found that the parks were extremely crowded on Extra Magic Hours...so much in fact that we changed up our park schedule and hit 2 of the parks on days without EMH which made maneuvering through the midways more bearable. Rides still took less than 15 minutes to get on though. We also met alot of people from different countries and saw alot of senior citizen groups too. I will say that everyone was very well behaved and considerate of other guests. :thumbsup:

12-19-2007, 04:39 PM
I have went either the 1st week or 2nd week of Dec in 2001, 2006 and 2007. I would guess the crowds have doubled in size since the 2001 trip.

In 1999 we went Thanksgiving week. The days prior to Thanksgiving were dead. The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving was packed.

12-19-2007, 06:17 PM
In my opinion, it's not just December. I think attendance has been steadily growing year by year.

I'm glad you had a good trip despite the crowds. Sounds like you managed them as best as you could.

This has been a record attendance year for the WDW parks...so yes, it is more crowded! Make the best of it and enjoy yourself, after all you are on vacation!:mickey:

12-20-2007, 01:31 PM
This December (12/6 - 12/17) was definitely more crowded than last December (12/7 - 12/18). Last year the weekdays had low crowds, but this year it never slowed down.

I was amazed at the number of school aged kids there, considering the Christmas break was just around the corner. Huge groups of school kids on trips, big families with 4+ kids, and I had never seen so many groups of 16+ people! The huge groups really seemed to wreak havoc on the seating at the popular restaurants.

I only got run over by one scooter, and the woman was walking next to it as she was giving it power, lost control, and ran it right into me. This pushed me over onto my DH, which almost made him fall onto a young girl standing next to him in Epcot. Got hit by several strollers, but they didn't cause as much damage as the scooter. :whew:

Overall we found the guests to me more rude than in years past. It seemed like everyone felt they were the most important person there, and a lot of people we encountered just seemed downright nasty. We did get to meet several very nice people that were a lot of fun to talk to, but they were in the minority.

We still had an incredible trip, and we would consider going again in December, but just maybe not next December.