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Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice

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Brandon, Canada
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Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice

I know that I am likely planning waaaaayyy too far in advance but we're looking at going to WDW for Christmas in 2008 - we would arrive December 20th (a Sunday) and stay until December 26th or 27th (a Saturdayor Sunday) and are planning on renting a villa for 9 of us.

We are dealing with scheduling issues b/c we own a business and at Christmas it is slow enough that our schedules can coincide with our kids who are now in college. Any other time of the year that is slow, the kids would be in school....so we are stuck with Christmas dates.....

That said, the itinerary plan is to go to Epcot for the Sunday and attend the Candlelight Processional (probably with a dinner package) on the Sunday evening, which will be my daughter's 19th birthday. We will then go to the other parks for Monday (MK), Tuesday (MK), and Wednesday (MGM). Thursday (Christmas day) would be spent at the villa as downtime(because I know the parks will be NUTS that day and I'm not that crazy!) and we would visit the parks again on Friday (Epcot) again. I know that we're missing AK but I'm willing to forgo it this time (our first time at WDW).

Okay, so there are the questions:

1. Christmas falls on a Thursday in 2008. Am I right in thinking that the parks will likely be at the highest-density crowds for that week as well as the week after Christmas or would the crowds only begin to hit the World on Christmas eve????

2. I am thinking that we will be visiting only one park per day and with the parks probably at capacity that week, won't be able to park hop at all, so we will need only Magic Your Way base tickets.

3. Given the above, is my itinerary off the wall?

Please let me know what you think.


stevenage herts
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1. Re: Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice

sounds good .you have all bases covered it will be very packed at this time of year i would think but you can only make the most of it really i think you will enjoy your time as you have it well planned

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2. Re: Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice

it sounds good. i love disney world and am going in 3 weeks tme for the 3rd year in a row, but i wouldn't go when it's peak time. i think the stress of it would take the magic away a bit.

i would love to go for xmas but think i would regret it the crowds must be horrendous

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3. Re: Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice

Hi iris,

Yes it will be crowded but if it's the only time you can go, you can make the most of it if you pace yourselves and know before you start each day that you may not be able to do everything.

I don't think you will need to use 2 days for MK. I would instead, go to AK, it's really quite lovely and different then any other Park.

If once you are there and really see what the crowds are like, you can always add the Hopper if needed.

Make sure if you want any Dining Reservations you make them 180 days in advance. You can make all of them at once, so have your "must haves" planned out and have a few back-up options on the ready.

Christmas is a wonderful and Magical time to visit, I think you will enjoy all the Decorations and the Candlelight Processional is lovely.

New Orleans...
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4. Re: Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice

We loved the Xmas party at Mk (extra ticket charge). It is a really good way to do all the rides and many of the shows with almost no lines, that would free up one of your Mk days to do another park if you want without purchasing the park hopper. Snow falling on Main Street, special parade, no lines, cookies and hot choc., we felt it was well worth it.

Osborne family spectacle of lights at MGM is also worth a look , snow falls here at night too, very cool.

The candle lit processional at Epcot this time of year is very magical and the adults in our party loved it, very beauiful, you can get a dining package with any of the sit down restaurants in epcot that gives you priority entrance to this event.

Colorado Springs
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5. Re: Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice

Magic Kingdom reached capacity crowds during Christmas '06 and Disney has regained the losses that happened post Sept. 11th and is once again seeing growth. So - barring some horrible disaster - you can plan that the parks will be at capacity or near capacity.

As for your specific itinerary - it is too soon to plan that. You cannot make dining reservations until 180 days in advance so you have time. I strongly recommend using a service that will provide "Best Days" information which usually happens as soon as Disney releases their calendars (about 6 mos. in advance). www.touringplans.com and www.tourguidemike.com are both subscription sites that have great information for doing your own plans. www.buildabettermousetrip.com is a travel agency that provides custom plans for those too busy to do their own itineraries and incorporates "Best Days' information.

You'll do fine with base tickets. Avoid any park with "extra magic hours" (EMH). Disney has 33,000 rooms and the EMH parks get packed when those hotels are near capacity. You will do more attractions and not have to get up so early when you go to a less busy park. That's why "Best Days" information is so important.

Do plan on being at the park of your choice at least 30 minutes before opening. The time immediately following opening will be your most productive touring times. Get fastpasses to use later, when the crowds start building. Don't do any character breakfasts - you don't want to be sitting in a restaurant when the daily crowds are at their lowest. A sit-down lunch or dinner can be very nice for escaping the crowds later in the day.

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6. Re: Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice

Hi, we are from England and went to wdw at christmas 4 yrs ago. The weather was potty, one day warm and the next freezing. The lines for rides were ridiculous and the parks were full to capacity, to the extend that you could hardly walk without people huffing and puffing and getting annoyed with one anouther. Christmas day it was torrential rain. We love going to wdw and have been 3 times, usually in May or October, but I would advice anyone to not go christmas week.It was the worst vacation we had ever been on.

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7. Re: Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice


Hey thanks, we are going Dec 16th for two weeks.

Your post has really cheered me up-not! LOL


Manzanita, Oregon
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8. Re: Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice

December is actually one of the drier months at 1.9" average inches of monthly rain, also 6 days on average of rain in the month. Average highs of 73 and lows of 51. Unfortuently averages are averages on any given days you could have downpours or hot or cold temps.

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9. Re: Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice


We've had many Christmas visits and yes it's packed! Make sure and utilize your fast pass options and make all your disney dining reservations 180 days in advance otherwise you'll be stuck eating all your meals at counter service. We love the Candlelight Processional and usually book LeCellier in Canada or Garden Grill for a character meal. We usually spend Christmas Eve in Hollywood Studios enjoying a meal at 50's Prime Time Cafe and strolling through the Osborne Spectacle of Lights. Your itinerary looks good but I agree with Partypa, enjoy a day at AK! You don't have to make that decision now, see if you are able to get all you wanted to get in at MK in one day. I agree with your base ticket choice and simply enjoying a park a day, it's the only way to do it during peak periods! Enjoy the fun and festive environment Disney has to offer during the holidays!

10. Re: Christmas 2008 advice - park hopper and itinerary advice

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