Christmas Parks Question..

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The Watchmaker's picture
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Christmas Parks Question..

Dear Santa..All I want for xmas ( Thats 2016 ) is a vacation at WDW..This year was our first October trip and I thought MK was outstanding with its Halloween decorations..However I'am wondering what park during the xmas season would be your vote for the most awesomeness.?...Iam guessing that it could be DHS after reading trip reports on here..And may I fling another question into Santa's sack for you good people...Avoiding December, what dates in November would you pick to visit WDW.? awesome

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I would avoid the week of our Thanksgiving (4th Thursday of November). The week before is nice usually lower crowds. The Candlelight Processional starts the week after. One of these years I will make it to it.

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The Watchmaker's picture
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JoAnn C wrote:
I would avoid the week of our Thanksgiving (4th Thursday of November). The week before is nice usually lower crowds. The Candlelight Processional starts the week after. One of these years I will make it to it.

Thanks JoAnn..Busy looking at the MVMCP for this year..Similar idea to the MNSSHP except with Santa replacing Spookie..LOL....Thinking of another 12 night vacation like this year..I think we crammed everything we would normally do in our 14 night trip into our 12... Maybe the 2nd and 3rd weeks of November....

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We saw the Christmas decor awhile ago. That turned out to be the last year for the lights at EPCOT. We went the first of January, and from walking around DHS during the day, we didn't even bother going to see Osborne lights. You could see a whole lot of broken or missing bulbs during the day, so we weren't too anxious to hop on a very crowded bus to see them. But, what we still talk about was that beautiful castle at the end of Main St. Just breathtaking. Now, would I feel different about DHS's lights if it were in the beginning of the display, rather than towards the end. Yes, probably. But Main St at night with all the decor. Oh, and the trees!

I hadn't known about the gingerbread decor at the other resorts. If I did it again, I would take the time to see those. But POFQ and POR for the holidays are also beautifully decked out.

Here's to 2016! Happy planning!

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EmFord's picture
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We're looking at going next December in order to experience the Christmas season at Disney. The plan right now is to go the week after Thanksgiving/first week in December. I've heard this is a good time to go because the crowds are still low, all of the Christmas decorations and events are happening, and its not during the Pop Warner week which I've heard can be... annoying to say the least. Just waiting till DVC points come available so we can rent. biggrin

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Allie's picture
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We're taking our first Christmas season trip the first full week of December 2015. It is rumored (STILL A RUMOR) that the Osborne Festival of Lights will be going away (at least in its current form) for the impending construction at DHS. Having no experience there myself, I'd vote for Epcot as the most festive park due to the Candelight Processional and the Holidays Around the World.

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Dont forget to tour the resorts, especially the luxury resorts. They go all out with the decorations and all of the executive chefs create ginger bread houses, many of them life size. Your beloved Wildnerness Lodge is outstanding with one of the tallest Xmas trees on property and it is right there in the lobby!! The Beach Club and Yacht Club are beautiful as well, with one of them (I think it is the Beach Club) having a gingerbread carousel (not life size). It is a most wonderful time of the year!

Santa angelwings

The Watchmaker's picture
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oHIo wrote:
Dont forget to tour the resorts, especially the luxury resorts. They go all out with the decorations and all of the executive chefs create ginger bread houses, many of them life size. Your beloved Wildnerness Lodge is outstanding with one of the tallest Xmas trees on property and it is right there in the lobby!! The Beach Club and Yacht Club are beautiful as well, with one of them (I think it is the Beach Club) having a gingerbread carousel (not life size). It is a most wonderful time of the year!

Santa angelwings

Whoo Hoo.. awesome

Magic Days's picture
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Christmas at WDW is where Disney shines for us. All the hotels decorate some. All the parks have little special touches and Christmas trees about the grounds. Our favorite is Cinderella's castle. Just stunning. The party is fun with hot coco and cookies scattered around the park for treats and special parades and shows. We really appreciate that all the parks and hotels do something. For Halloween it's unlikely you would know it was a holiday in most places at Disney. Christmas there is no doubt there is something special in the air. The candle light procession is very important in our family. Not many churches can organize all the talent disney does to present the story of Christmas so combining the presentation power with the celebration of our salvation is very moving. I cried a lot in this event. So incredibly moving. If you can do it I would say go when everything is happening.

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My favorite Christmas park is MK because they have such a diverse line-up of special things--MVMCP, Jingle Cruise Christmas overlay, Main Street decorations, Frozen castle lighting (have you seen it yet? It's gorgeous!), Monorail access to two gingerbread house resorts (CR & GF).

My favorite holiday activity is a tie between Holidays around the World at EPCOT and Osbourne lights at DHS. Personally I can take or leave Candlelight Processional. Visiting all four of the gingerbread houses is an absolute must and if you have the opportunity, visit as many of the other resorts as possible. The decorations are so pretty and are unique to each resort's theme.

If you're dead set on November, I would probably pick this week and/or next (assuming that Thanksgiving is late again next year). If Festival of the Masters is back at DTD, it has historically been the second weekend in November. Also you could catch the tail end of food & wine without experiencing too many days of increased park attendance due to the wine & dine half marathon. Another option would be to arrive at the very end of October so you could do MNSSHP and MVMCP in the same trip. They are usually separated by about a week. Just be prepared for a lot of other people to be doing exactly the same thing!

Though honestly, I would recommend traveling in December instead of November. The EPCOT festivities don't start until after Thanksgiving, so if you go in November, you miss out on the holiday storytellers and the Candlelight Processional. December is certainly more crowded than September or much of October, but as long as you leave by the weekend before Christmas, the crowds should have minimal impact on most of the days of your vacation.

The worst thing that we encountered crowd-wise in early December were the hordes of small football players and cheerleaders traveling in large groups for the Pop Warner football games. The cheerleaders were more of an issue than the football players because they seemed to be in larger groups and they skipped around the park chanting loudly with seemingly minimal supervision. Fortunately, the episodes were few and far between. This would not be a good time to check out the All-Star Sports resort.

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Trip Reports:
December 2013: 10th Anniversary, 1st DVC Stay | April 2014: Birthday on the Boardwalk | May 2014: Star Wars Weekend, Navigating WDW with a wheelchair | August 2014: Villains Unleashed | September/October 2014: MNSSHP, F&W, Tower of Terror 10-miler | March/April 2015: Disneyland and California Coastal Cruise | November 2015: Wine & Dine Half, Food & Wine, 1st Disney Cruise | February 2016: Presidential Classic Gymnastics Meet | March 2016: "Work" Trip, Tours, F&G Festival | April 2016: Conference at Disneyland | Fall 2016: Festive Fall Fun | January 2017: Festival of the Arts | May 2017: AbD Backstage Magic | July 2017: AbD San Francisco | Sorry I had to give up doing trip reports. Too many time commitments right now.

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I think for a singular experience the Osborne lights is beyond compare. (I've also heard rumors of them going away, but who knows).

But, seeing the Magic Kingdom castle all lit up, along with all the holiday decorations throughout, is equally awesome.

When we went, it was the first week of December, and crowds were quite light. Only caveat was that the first weekend in December is usually when they tape the Christmas parade, and MK can be challenging on that Friday and Saturday. We just avoided it those days and were fine.

The Watchmaker's picture
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Thanks again everyone..Great information for me to consider..And Alicemouse thanks for your input on dates...2016 is long enough away to make up my mind but I will take into consideration the possibility of an early December trip.. awesome

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I agree with those that said to really see it all you need to go after Thanksgiving. While we usually do not really plan out our days, we do for a Christmas trip. There is just so much to see and do. We do only have 7 nights compared to the 12 you are planning so you will not be so rushed to get it all in. I have also found that while the trip itself requires a lot of planning, getting our house ready requires just as much planning. Of course that would depend on how much you usually do at home to get ready for Christmas. I have a good bit of our Christmas shopping done. I will start decorating by this weekend. By the time we get home from our Disney trip there will only be two weekends before Christmas.

As far as our must sees for our trip, we have planned to do MVMCP, Candlelight Processional, Osbourne Light Show, visit all of the deluxe resorts, shopping in DTD, and if we can fit it in a Christmas Wishes cruise. We have experienced all of these before but we are traveling with friends that have never been there during the Christmas season.

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Since we will be there the day after Thanksgiving, I will let you know how the crowds are then. We are expecting a lot, but hey we will be at WDW so we can pace ourselves. We had no trouble getting the FP we wanted or making res to eat. The crowds in 2006 (our last Christmas trip) didn't get bad until lunchtime. I am hoping that is the case this trip! And you get up so early that you could get everything done, then leave when it got too crowded. We plan on visiting the resorts when it gets bad to see all the trees and gingerbread house! mickey

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93boomer wrote:
Since we will be there the day after Thanksgiving, I will let you know how the crowds are then. We are expecting a lot, but hey we will be at WDW so we can pace ourselves. We had no trouble getting the FP we wanted or making res to eat. The crowds in 2006 (our last Christmas trip) didn't get bad until lunchtime. I am hoping that is the case this trip! And you get up so early that you could get everything done, then leave when it got too crowded. We plan on visiting the resorts when it gets bad to see all the trees and gingerbread house! mickey

Cheers Boomer..Looking forward to reading about your magical adventures...Agree about getting up early..Our best photos were always early in the morning..Looked like we had the parks to ourself...

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I've just come back from WDW, having chosen the middle two weeks of November to go. It just avoids the increasing crowds for Thanksgiving and is light enough crowd wise that there isn't massively long queues for anything - 90 minutes was the longest I waited (yes, I know I could have fastpass'd if I had enough time to organise them) for The Mine Cart Ride and on some days, I was able to quite literally walk onto the ride without having to wait more than 5 minutes.

I've yet to decide whether to pull the trigger on dates that cover a major US holiday period...not sure I'd really want the crowds to be honest...!

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Well, in early November, the state of NJ has a teacher's convention where I believe in the first Thursday and Friday of November, all schools in the state are closed. I would know 'cause I was born and raised there! So if you're going that first week of November, I've heard crowds are manageable but expect lot of people from NJ there. How a family can squeeze a WDW vacation in a short amount of time and ensure their children are in school on time by Monday is insane in my book. Then again, my family never took us on 3-day or 4-day weekend trips.

But if you want to avoid "Jersey Week" badly, then the second and third week of November until the weekend before Thanksgiving should be the best times for November.

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Thanks for that info folks.. awesome