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Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

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south yorkshire...
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Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

Hiya everyone,

I am back, hope you all had a great Christmas!

I have been thinking about this for some time, as some of you know, my boys are getting older and we are in need of a little magic at Christmas. Will we find it in Orlando?

I am in the process of getting some prices, my dates are 19 Dec - 2nd Jan, although these are not set in stone.

We would like to visit Disney ( i am thinking it will be too cold for water parks, am i right? ) Universal ans Seaworld. We will want to go out for lunch on Christmas day but haven't got a clue where at the minute so any suggestions will be much appreciated.

The question i really want to know is, are we mad?? it is going to be more about the Christmas experience but the boys will want to go on some rides, will this be possible? We visited in September and were very impressed that there were no queue's! have we been spoiled now lol.

Are crowds manageable or am i gonna spend thousands on a holiday and regret it? i am very much undecided at the moment so any info at all from people who have experienced an Orlando Christmas will be very much appreciated, while i am deciding.

Thanks guys!

Altamonte Springs...
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for St. Augustine
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1. Re: Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

Let's put it this way. The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is the absolute BUSIEST of the entire year. Often the parks will reach capacity by noon and close their gates to new guests.

Destination Expert
for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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2. Re: Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

I am assuming you mean 2013. Christmas at Disney is fun because of the lovely decorations,the special parties and parades,the Osborne Lights,Illuminations and the resorts being 'dressed up'. But yes,the crowds are virtually unmanageable, they are shoulder to shoulder. The parks often reach capacity by noon and you have to wait for people to leave before you can gt in. If you go early,use Fast Pass and have reasonable expectations,it can be a nice trip But I wouldn't choose to go then-first couple of weeks of December are just as festive and not nearly so crowded. It all depends on your families tolerance for huge crowds. We sometimes go at Christmas but spend little time at the parks. One waterpark will be closed for refurbishment but we sometimes swim-the days often get sunny enough to go into the pool

UK
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3. Re: Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

I'm here at the moment and honestly it is fine. I had read all the posts on here with dire warnings about HUGE queues, I read a few posts that said the wait times for rides would be 4-5 hours but we have not seen anything like that. Yes it is busy but to be honest it doesn't feel that much busier than it does on our summer visits. The average wait time is usually approx 20-30 mins, we have seen the odd ride with 60-70 min wait times but there are also lots with only 10 min waits. The weather is very changeable, we have had some lovely, sunny days where is has been warm enough to swim and go to the waterparks and a few days where it has been chilly, you just have to play it by ear. I would absolutely come here for Xmas again, you just have to get to the parks for opening, if you turn up at lunch it will be busy. Hope this helps :-)

Horsham, United...
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4. Re: Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

This would be the last time of year I would choose to visit. If you want to see the decorations, Christmas parades etc go early December. If you are happy to queue for 60-90 minutes for a ride then go for it, if not then avoid it like the plague.

Orlando
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5. Re: Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

I think it is crazy, but lots of people don't. The weather is very hit and miss. It isn't exactly warm today.

south yorkshire...
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6. Re: Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

Thankyou for all the replies.

Jen79UK .......hope you are having a fab time!! We have been a few times in the summer and have seen queue's around 2 hours!! your post has given me something to think about, can i ask you if you were there Christmas day and what you did?

Also, when are the parks decorated for Christmas, so when would be the earliest we could go and not miss out on the celebrations?

Surffish.....the temp is bound to be warmer than here in the UK, it is freezing, grey skies, gale force wind and rain at the moment, can you share some of your weather please! lol .

UK
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7. Re: Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

We went to MK on Xmas day, we were too tired to get there for the 7am opening so didn't get there till gone 9am. It was very busy but it wasn't horrific, main street was the worst area, once you got past that it wasn't too bad. The queue times we saw were Pirates- 10 mins, Peter Pan- 60 mins, IASW- 5 mins, Haunted mansion- 20 mins, Splash and Thunder both 70 mins. We didn't ride much as we hate queuing for more than 20 mins but it was worth going for the atmoshphere. We watched the parade, people started waiting about an hour or so before but we found there were still good places to watch it 15 mins before. If we had gotten to MK for opening we could have ridden a lot more. We went to HS yesterday and got there at opening, it seemed like there were thousands of people pouring in but once inside the parks handle it really well. The worst queue was Toy Story which was well over an hour all day and by the time we left at lunch it was two hours. We rode ToT which was 10 mins, RnR which was thirty, The Great Movie ride which was 5 mins, Star Tours 20 mins, we walked past Muppets which was showing 5 mins and the Backlot tour which showed 20 mins. When people say there are horrendous queues I can only guess that they get there at lunch by which time it is really busy but still not the 5 hour queues that I had read about on here! The temp yesterday was 21, it was cold in the early morning but then warmed up to feel like a warm UK spring day. It is supposed to be around 24 next week :-)

Watertown, South...
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8. Re: Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

Tina- we were there in December and took in the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. It took us an hour to get out of the park, and it was shoulder to shoulder. Kinda scary. The weather was cold and rainy. Every other disney vacation was during the summer months and we had a rain shower a couple of days but nothing like the December weather. The Xmas decorations were nice, but I would choose to go during the warmer months.

TreeClimber
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9. Re: Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

Out of all the parks for Christmas, I recommend Seaworld. My wife and I just took our Niece there on Christmas and it was actually very, very nice. Not crowded at all. We got to see everything. Longest wait in line for Mantra was 40 min.

Went to NASA the day after Christmas...which I can recommend too, even for the kids. I've read that the day after Christmas is the absolute worst for all the parks, and NASA made a good break from all of that.

Universal Studios on the 27th was not too bad either. Longest wait in line was 2 hours for Despicable Me, 70-90 min for others.

Disney Hollywood was by far the most crowded on the 28th.

Trick is to get there before the gates open, do the 3 most popular rides in each park, then relax for the others the rest of the day.

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10. Re: Christmas in Orlando?? am i crazy??

We are on our way home from a 5 day Christmas stay. I was very nervous after reading posts about how horrific the place would be. However, we had a great time and will probably do it again! Santa helped us surprise our children ( ages 10 and 7) with the trip. Another family also joined us. We arrived on Christmas night and didn't start visiting parks until the 26th. We avoided MK the day after Christmas. We started at AK. We had very short wait times and we even rode Everest twice. HS was next and was probably the busiest. You have Disney experience and will know how to work it. We broke MK into two days doing half the park each day. The longest wait we had was maybe 30 min as we used Fast Passes. The best part of the trip was the fireworks at MK on the 30th. They did a run through of the New Year's fireworks. It was amazing. The weather varied greatly from day to day but we have decided we like the cooler temps more than the heat! Our kids declared this our best Disney trip ever!

Edited: 31 December 2012, 16:17