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Christmas/New Year Orlando

Belfast, United...
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Christmas/New Year Orlando

DH, DS8, DD3 and myself are travelling to Orlando on the 26th Dec returning on 7th Jan. This will be the kids’ first trip (and a Christmas surprise!). DH & I last visited in 2005 and we have never been at Christmas/New Year. We are planning to go to MK, AK, Epcot, HS, Seaworld and Universal (possibly IoA). I would be grateful for any advice for going at Christmas/New Year. I realise it is the busiest time, we are planning to visit to MK on 6th Jan to try to minimise the crowds.

Is there anything else worth visiting at this time of year that I have missed? We are planning Downtown Disney too for the atmosphere.

Many thanks!

England
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1. Re: Christmas/New Year Orlando

In regards to the parks, I have often gone to Epcot for New Years. Epcot is a very big park, and as such, its crowds tend to feel a little more spread out than they do at the Magic Kingdom for instance. Epcot has a great atmosphere on New Years eve. In regards to the other days on your trip, I would use a crowd calender such as Undercover Tourist, to make an itinerary. I will leave the link to the crowd calender below.

https:/…

In regards to where else is worth visiting during that period of year, I have a few suggestions.

First is Celebration, which is certainly worth a visit. During the Christmas period I think it is one of the most festive places in Orlando. They have snow on Main Street which drops at regular intervals. All the shops and houses are usually decorated as well. Its really nice to just get in the car and drive around taking a look at all the different decorations etc.

http://celebrationtowncenter.com/

I would also take a look at ICE, which is at the Gaylord Palms every holiday season. This is a great event I'm sure you would all enjoy. They have massive ice sculptures, an ice slide etc. Its usually a really great themed event. I went a few years ago on Christmas day and it was excellent. They hand out big jackets and gloves before you enter. Its extremely cold inside, but all good fun.

http://celebrationtowncenter.com/

Edited: 25 July 2014, 12:23
Belfast, United...
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2. Re: Christmas/New Year Orlando

Thank you so much Florida_Wizz_Kid. Celebration looks lovely and we will definitely check out ICE.

I have been looking at the crowd calender and it will be really useful in planning our trip, thanks.

Stanley, Falkland...
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3. Re: Christmas/New Year Orlando

Crowds soon die down after new year so you will have some nice quieter time.

We went to universal on the 30th (11am-5pm) and 31st December 2013 (9pm till 1am) and found the crowds busy but still managed to get on to the less popular rides with little wait times (we refused to join a queue with a wait time more than 25minutes). We choose Universal as our new years place because it was the closet to our hotel, wouldn't have been as good as Disney I'm sure but fun.

Seaworld seemed to handle large crowds well, especially if you weren't going on the big rides so might do that in the busy time, plus plenty of shows to sit down at. I also believe they do a good new years eve thing.

My worry about Disney on NYE would be having to spend teh whole day there to guarantee the midnight fireworks, could the family handle it? I would investigate what time normally the gates close to new entrants at Disney because they are at capacity. I think they also do the same fireworks on the 3oth, which apparently is a a little less busier.

I do believe Legoland do a NYE celebration at Midnight at kids standard time which is about 7pm normal time, so that might be worth a consideration and the rides there are more suitable for the ages of your kids.

Look at the planning sites, orlandoinformer and easywdw are my favorites, they will give you reports from previous christmas parade and shows.

Altamonte Springs...
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4. Re: Christmas/New Year Orlando

If you are open to non-park ideas and breaking out of the Disney bubble, then I would suggest a visit to Blue Spring State Park to see some manatees in their natural habitat. This is only possible at Blue Spring during the colder winter months. floridastateparks.org/bluespring/default.cfm This is a preview of what you are likely to see www.savethemanatee.org/savethemanateecam.html

Belfast, United...
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5. Re: Christmas/New Year Orlando

Thanks for all your advice Jasonflk and Orlando_vic

My kids would definitely not make it to midnight so NYE isn't a priority, we will leave MK until the crowds die down. We hadn't thought of Legoland because we were at the one in Denmark last year and I am not sure it would be much different. It is good to know that you can still get on some rides at Universal, we were thinking of buying the express passes if it was really busy. Do you think they would be woth it?

I will definitely have a look at blue spring park.

Thanks

6. Re: Christmas/New Year Orlando

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