J. asks from Naperville, IL on November 02, 2010
Disneyworld for Christmas
We are planning to go to Disneyworld for Christmas this year. My sister has a Disney vacation condo, and we will be staying with her...on the Disney grounds. Does anyone have any recent experience with going to Disney for Christmas. Any recommendations? Thanks for you input.
L.M. answers from Dover on November 02, 2010
Catch the characters early. Make reservations if you want to do charactere dinners. If you have girls, definately try to do breakfast or lunch w/ the princesses (either at Magic Kingdom or Epcot).
I suggest the meal plans unless you are cooking at the condo.
C.F. answers from Chicago on November 03, 2010
Do you have children or is it just adults? Either way take plenty of pictures and have a ball. Keep your camera battery charged.
R.B. answers from Dallas on November 02, 2010
Disney at Christmas-time is beautiful BUT crowded. If you go knowing that there will be tons of people, then it will make it easier when you are there.
Since your sister is a DVC member, she hopefully has already made all of the dining reservations and any extra activity reservations.
Other than that, just enjoy. There will be Christmas decorations everywhere; Christmas music will be piped all over; it's just so magical.
The pools are heated (not enough for me), but my son loves to go swimming while we are there. We do the parks in the mornings to early afternoon, and then we take it easy in the evenings.
PS As for clothing, layering is the best. It can be quite chilly in the mornings/evenings, but the daytime usually is quite comfortable.
A.S. answers from Chicago on November 03, 2010
If you haven't booked i would tell you to go before christmas! Its very insane between christmas-NYE... parks close due to max limits, places are booked months in advance (food and stuff)., etc. If you do go... take your patience :)
J.M. answers from Chicago on November 03, 2010
My family & I went for Christmas 2008. The book you need to get is called "The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2010". You can buy the book or check it out from your local library....I'm cheap so I just went to the library & took it on vacation with me. :) That book was literally a God send for the 5 days we were there. In the book they have all of the parks hours listed for that current year, even the early opening & late closings. They recommend which parks you should go to due to less crowding & on which days & why. They even have the parks broken down by rides, such as which rides to get the fast passes for as soon as you get into the park (because some have HUGE lines) & while waiting for your time slot for that ride...it tells you what other rides to go on so that you don't waste time waiting hours in line. By using that book, I would say that the longest we waited in a line was about 15-20 minutes. For that time of season, that is very good. What I did was got a little pocket notebook & for each day wrote down an "itinerary". Normally we are not this organized & just kind of "go with the flow"....but my husband & I both were very grateful this book was recommended to us. I think I would have absolutely lost my everloving mind with the chaos that a Disney World trip can turn into...and I hate waiting in lines! The kids greatly enjoyed themselves too because we weren't stressed out with following our little schedule & we got to see everything (sometimes twice). Hope you find this book as useful as we did & have an enjoyable trip!
M.D. answers from Washington DC on November 02, 2010
YEA!! LOVE Disney at Christmas...if you don't mind crowds. We went last year with our 2, 4, and 6 year olds and had a BLAST!!! But we did leave saying we would wait 5 years to go back. However, we are booked to go next October for Halloween. It really is the most magical place on Earth to be for Christmas with little ones. My kids had breakfast with the characters on Christmas morning...what could be better than that? I did miss being home for Christmas, but really, it was amazing. Definitely go, see the parades, visit the characters, and have a blast!! We were swimming outside on Christmas Eve while it was snowing in MD :o). You can't beat that!! Have a BLAST!!!!!
S.B. answers from Dallas on November 02, 2010
We spent Christmas there last year because my daughter was interning at Disney and couldn't get off for the holidays. It is a magical place, but it is very crowded-everybody wants to be there. There are a couple of "don't miss" things. In Disney Hollywood Studies they have a huge light display that goes on and off to Christmas music. It goes on for blocks. Make sure you have a good hand on your little ones. It is very easy to get involved in watching the lights and get separated. In Epcot, at the American Pavillion, they have a reading of the Christmas story and a choir made up of Visiting choirs, Disney employees and musicians who march in in a candle light procession. Each night they have a different famous actor read the Christmas story (the birth of Christ). It is beautiful. You have to get tickets for seating. Ok, what do you want to do for your meals on Christmas Day?
If you don't already have some reservations for christmas Day, you might want to have a plan. The DVC properties all have great kitchens, so you could cook there if you want. The Magic Kingdom always fills to capacity on Christmas morning - but i think you can get in if you are staying on the grounds. Each of the Disney hotels are beautifully decorated for the hotels and have different themes. One day we went to see several of them and got some wonderful family photos. If you are from IL, you have probably seen plenty of snow, but in Celebration, the little town next to WDW, they have a nightly snow fall for the kids to play in (which is free). We loved the fireworks on New Years Eve and I think the Magic Kingdom was open until 3 in the morning. Hope you have a wonderful trip- just have patience with the crowds. if you have more questions, email me.
M.P. answers from Pittsburgh on November 02, 2010
IF you want to eat at any of the restaurants go online and make your reservations today. You can always cancel but it will be tough getting in anywhere if you wait.
Get the Unofficial Guide to Disney for great tips on everything. There are also some wonderful message boards out there to ask any ?s you may have.
C.G. answers from Chicago on November 03, 2010
A couple of years ago, I was at Disney for New Years. The best advice I can give you is to make as many plans as you can in advance, including ALL of your restaurant reservations (if you plan on making any). They generally allow you to book those 3 months out, and you might seriously find that EVERY restaurant is already booked this close to Christmas. Crazy, I know.
Also, plan on getting to the parks every day as soon as they open. On holidays, the parks tend to reach their capacity limits and sometimes they are forced to shut them down. This happened to us on NYE. They closed the Magic Kingdom around noon. If you were in the park, better not leave or you won't get back in. The same thing happened with Epcot closer to 4pm. So be prepared if you plan to be there for Christmas Eve or Day. Things get nutty.
If there are any other attractions you are hoping to see that take reservations, like a princess dinner, breakfast with characters, etc., book all of that now.
Other than that, just be prepared for crowds and long lines. If you can, get a parks pass that includes Fast Track, which allows you to skip ahead of certain lines. And remember to take your patience pills while you are there, you will need them : )