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huzzah4
12-27-2007, 12:08 PM
After the fiascoes that are mine and my wife's families over the holidays, we have decided that it might be best to be elsewhere for Christmas next year in order to avoid the trouble of dealing with them. We normally go in October for the Food and Wine Expo, so I am a little unsure of the crowd situation during Christmas week. Is it very crowded? I know it is not listed as a peak season, but the kids are out of school and I know a lot of people do travel for the holidays. What kind of crowds can we expect if we come down to WDW to hide from the evilness that is our family?

Strmchsr
12-27-2007, 01:11 PM
If you're talking the week between Christmas and New Year's, it's the most crowded week of the year. If you're talking the week leading up to Christmas, it's crowded, but not as bad. Either way, crowds are big, but before Christmas is better than after Christmas.

#1donaldfan
12-27-2007, 01:28 PM
We were wondering the same thing......we're thinking of changing our Summer at Disney to Christmas at Disney.....I think I read somewhere that it is indeed busy, but the lines to the rides were not that bad??????....sounds a little "askew" to me.....:mickey:

mel
12-27-2007, 03:34 PM
If you go to disney during christmas hope for cold weather.. it keeps the locals away in droves.. this happened to us.. we went a few days before christmas a few years ago.. one day it got really cold.. everything was empty the next day until it started warming up...

KylesMom
12-27-2007, 05:20 PM
Over the course of the next few days, I would hop on over to the Trip Reports forum and read what others have experienced with regard to crowds and overall trip comments before you make a decision. :mickey: While some find the holiday season at WDW magical, others find that the crowds are just too much.

SpaceMtn101
12-27-2007, 08:03 PM
Christmas time is the worst time to go to disney ... it is very busy!!!!

On Christmas day Mk, MGM, and DAK will reach capacity. There will roughly be between all 4 parks about 150,000 to 200,000 ppl.
BE PREPARED for LONG lines and FASTPASS running out very early. SOARIN will be about a 2 to 3 hr wait. TEST TRACK about a 2 hr wait and SPACE MTN about a 2 to 3 hr wait. And thats just the beginning.

CaptSmee
12-28-2007, 01:27 AM
Christmas time is the worst time to go to disney ... it is very busy!!!!

On Christmas day Mk, MGM, and DAK will reach capacity. There will roughly be between all 4 parks about 150,000 to 200,000 ppl.
BE PREPARED for LONG lines and FASTPASS running out very early. SOARIN will be about a 2 to 3 hr wait. TEST TRACK about a 2 hr wait and SPACE MTN about a 2 to 3 hr wait. And thats just the beginning.

It is listed as a holiday period, which is usually more expensive than even their peak season prices. The 3 busiest of the weeks at the parks are the week of x-mas through new years, easter week, and the 4th of July. Expect long, long lines and lots of people!

SpaceMtn101
12-28-2007, 11:50 AM
Oh i know Christmas day i was yelled at screamed at and told how terrible i was since space mtn was a 2 1/2 hr wait and fastpass line was an hour wait. And if we went 101 people thought we purposely did it.

Yes and easter and 4th of july are just as bad. Wheni dont work im not in the park at those times :)

McGoofy
12-28-2007, 12:18 PM
I was there right before Christmas last week. We got there December 18 and stayed through December 22. Our first day in the parks was the 19th. We went to Epcot and felt as though we had the park to ourselves. There were people there, but lines weren't too bad. We even got to ride Spaceship Earth (there was a soft opening) with maybe a 5 minute wait. Then every day after that we saw a definite pick up in the crowds. We went to MK on Thursday, 12/20. It was starting to get busy, but still a 40-60 minute wait on Space Mountain with fastpasses available in the afternoon. Friday, 12/21, we did MGM. We could see more increase of crowds. There was a 70 minute wait on Rockin Rollercoaster, but again fastpasses were still available in the afternoon. Our last day in the parks was Saturday, 12/22. We stayed the day in AK until the parade before we drove to go home. This by far, for us was the busiest day while we were there. Fastpasses for EE were gone by afternoon, and walking around the parks was getting more difficult since we definitely could see the attendance increasing. I told my DH that I couldn't even imagine what the next few days would be like since Christmas Day was only 3 days away at that point. Overall, I would say the week before Christmas isn't too bad as far as crowds go.

DisneyFan1979
12-28-2007, 01:10 PM
We've been during Xmas week and had lots of fun. The earliest we've arrived, however, is the 27th. There are many advantages: beautiful decorations and special xmas activities, loads of entertainment options, etc.

But I don't recommend it for those who haven't been to Disney much and, therefore, need to see everything. We go every year, so if a ride's crowded we just skip it.

If you can arrive before the school vacation week starts or stay afterwards, you'll enjoy less crowds at least for part of your trip. That may be difficult next year though as xmas will fall on a Wed and therefore many schools will have the full 2 weeks off.

I would note that Disney really does their best to handle the xmas week crowds. All rides are open and and running at capacity and there is always lots of extra entertainment happening to keep the crowds happy.

MississippiDisneyFreak
12-28-2007, 01:22 PM
:secret: Sorry about the family sounds like ours...we will be at WDW Dec. 20-30, 2008

previous trips
Jan.1-7, 2003 ASM
Dec. 26, 2005 through Jan. 1, 2006-CSR

The second trip the week after Christmas was extremely packed but if you plan well you can manage...avoid MK on any actual holiday such as Christmas Eve or Day or New Years eve or Day go to a smaller park on those days....fastpass the most popular rides or go to them upon entering the park and ride them first....if you have the hopper option you can leave one park if its too busy and come back another day....I just love the atmosphere and decorations at Disney during Christmas and its worth the crowds to me.

Red Randal
12-28-2007, 03:32 PM
The week between Christmas and New Years is the busiest time of the year at WDW. It is beautful with all the decorations up and fun to party for New Years Eve at the parks and Pleasure Island but everything is inundated with guests and wait times can get quite long. Things are manageable with proper touring (like, don't show up 2 hours after opening and expect to hop on Space Mountain) but it is a FAR CRY from Food & Wine Festival crowds. It might be sorta, kinda, almost comperable at Epcot on the busist F&WF day compared to the least crowded Christmas day, but that's it. I was there in October this year and would never in a million years go again on Christmas week when I could go in October.

Now, all that having been said, Disney is amazing at Christmas and if it's the only time you can get the kids out of school, try it out. Just know that you will need to do a lot of planning to get in what you want to get done.

Space Mountain Man
12-30-2007, 09:55 PM
The parks are indeed beautiful Christmas week, but having done it once, I won't do that again. The number of people in every park, the extremely long lines, the long days, it's just not worth the cash you have to shell out. This is especially true, I think, with young kids...can't imagine subjecting them to that sort of experience.

If you're OK with the lines, can stay until midnight on some days to get all the 'fun' in you can, then maybe, but not for me. :(

Oh...and due to the Leap Year, Christmas 2008 is on a Thursday.

Meteora
01-02-2008, 11:26 AM
I was just there during Christmas week and waited in virtually no lines--however, you DO need to be willing to prioritize and skip some things. We do Christmas week by getting to the park as soon as it opens, staying for two-three hours, then leaving again for lunch and a nap when it gets crowded. Then we come back in the evening to see the fireworks/show and maybe do a few more things. You MUST utilize fp effectively to get into the most popular rides, and you also have to decide what rides are on your must-do list so that you can head straight for them before the park gets too crowded.

I'd say Epcot is actually the hardest park, because there are not as many attractions, so lines fill up very quickly.

texasteacher
01-05-2008, 12:10 PM
I just got back from my tenth trip but first Christmas/New Years trip (12/27 - 1/2). We arrived at the parks very early, rode the biggie rides first, then fast passed as many as we could, went back to Disney hotel after lunch, rested, and then visited the parks in the evening and stayed late. We had ADRS for either lunch or dinner every day which were a nice break from the crowds. We had a great time and never waited in long lines, but we had to stick to a very strategic plan which did not allow for much flexibility.
Being a teacher, the only times that I can go and stay as long as I want are Christmas holidays or summer. I usually go Spring Break but feel like my trips are too short. That is why I tried Christmas holiday this time.
I am going to try late Aug next time, and if the summer heat proves worse than the Christmas crowds, then I will go back again at Christmas!

krose78
01-05-2008, 12:21 PM
we just came back from Dec 19-27th. It definately gets busier but if you plan it right it doesn't get to bad take advantage of EMH if you are staying onsite and just go slow. If you take it easy and plan well, it won't be a problem.

Hear you on the family front though. That is why we went at this time also.

Harley-Davidson_Guy
01-05-2008, 01:29 PM
Honestly, I'd rather deal with the families than the crowds at that time of year. We have gone almost every week in December and we will only do the first week maybe the second of December. The week prior to Christmas is a mad house! Enough to drive you crazy. I've never gone the week of or after but can only imagine it to be worse. Not a happy Disney feeling! :thedolls:

Pirate Granny
01-05-2008, 08:23 PM
I went with my disney friend from Dec 26 thru Dec 29th...(after the crowds last year, Hubby refused to go). First I couldn't believe the weather...80+ every day...was worth the trip just for that. So...to be fair we never arrived at a Park before three pm...the bus lines were great...only one time we waited for a bus (AKL to EPCOT for over an hour) and we NEVER had to stand...We went with the idea that we most likely wouldn't ride any rides due to FP being gone since we get to the parks so late...but we did manage to get on rides very LATE at night, due to the Extra Magic Hours...we were at MGM until 1am; EPCOT until midnight; MK until 2:30am so...we found that you can ride quite a bit after 10pm...The decorations are beautiful and the lights on the castle were worth the trip.
So...if you go during the Xmas week...expect HUGE crowds, I mean elbow to elbow on New Years Eve, regardless which park...and leave and eat at hotels rather than in the parks and come back during the late evening hours...you will be fine...There is truly no place like Disney for the holidays. This year MK did their 'special' New Years Eve fireworks on the 29th, 30th and 31st at midnight...I kinda felt bad that we missed them as that also is very special and worth the crowds...I wouldn't do EPCOT again for New Years Eve as the fireworks were not 'special'...just a bit more at the end.
:pirate:

katzctkpt
01-05-2008, 10:40 PM
I myself was wondering just how bad the lines were during Christmas week. We are thinking of going in Dec 08 and from what several have said about arriving early and riding what you want first sounds about like we've done the past 4 yrs. We've been June July and Aug and honestly I don't think Dec could be any busier than 4th of July at WDW. The wait times sound about the same. Crowds don't bother me and since we've been in the summer I think I'd like to go and view the decor for the holidays.

Red Randal
01-06-2008, 01:43 AM
I So...to be fair we never arrived at a Park before three pm...the bus lines were great...only one time we waited for a bus (AKL to EPCOT for over an hour) and we NEVER had to stand...

I like the idea of not even bothering getting to a park until about 3 in the afternoon. When they're open until midnight or later, it's pretty much the same as getting there at 8 or 9 and staying all day.

But you waited ONE HOUR for a bus to Epcot!?! What took so long? It would have been faster to take a bus somewhere else and then catch that park's Epcot bus.

Here we go again...
01-06-2008, 05:27 AM
We went one year December 16th through December 22nd. Like McGoofy said, the first few days were great, like we had the parks to our selves. By the 22nd we had done everything we wanted to do and spent the time on Main street people watching.

Here is a suggestion:
Go a little early to beat the crowd. Once the crowd rolls in use that time as family time. Spend the time having nice dinners at different resorts and checking out their Christmas decorations. Bring a tree and Celebrate Christmas in your room in your PJs drinking hot chocolate. If you can spring for a tower room in the Comtemporary you can sit on the balcony and watch the magic in Magic Kingdom.

I would rather be with insane crowds in Disney World than be with my insane family sometimes too. :blush:

Meteora
01-06-2008, 12:15 PM
I myself was wondering just how bad the lines were during Christmas week. We are thinking of going in Dec 08 and from what several have said about arriving early and riding what you want first sounds about like we've done the past 4 yrs.

Usually, within the first couple of hours of the park opening, the lines are between 5 and 20 minutes (except for Epcot which, due to the number of rides, fills up very quickly). By 11:30-noon, the lines are going to be 40-90 minutes for every ride--we're talking over an hour's wait for Stitch. That ought to give you an idea. Lines drop off again later in the evening and during parade times, except for the most popular rides. If you want to do Soarin', RnRC, ToT, or Space Mountain, make sure you get there early. For Everest, use the single-rider line.