Major Holidays at WDW

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ScottFL's picture
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Major Holidays at WDW

The Spouse and I had a 'difference of opinions' last week concerning Easter at MK.

In a previous life, I had a true customer service job (at The Land of the Eternal Bluelight) that required me to work nights, weekends, and most major holidays (we were closed Christmas Day, and that's it). I especially loved the people who would comment, "It's so horrible that they make you work on a day like today!" while they were paying for their items at the checkout line.

When I left 15 years ago, I made the conscious decision to avoid all of that on major holidays - I don't run to the store, stop for gas, go to the movies - anything that would require someone to work a nonessential job. Now I get that fires have to be put out, lives need to be saved, and water needs to come out of the tap. But I just feel that everyone deserves to be with their families on a few special days out of the year.

His response was, "Yeah, but we paid for these annual passes, and they're open..."

So is this something that crosses anyone else's mind when you make plans? Or am I just way out in left field by myself?

Allie's picture
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I totally understand your sentiment. Stores will continue to be open on those holidays as long as there is a demand for it.

Eeyore's picture
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I don't visit stores on holidays, but I've visited WDW on holidays, including Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day (not really a "holiday"), and July 4th. It never bothered me going, actually the only thing I was concerned about was crowd level.

I look at it like this: If you don't want to work holidays, then don't work at a company that is open on holidays. I used to work at Best Buy during college so I get it, but I knew that was not in the cards for me forever. Now, I get a spring break the rest of my life and couldn't be more happier! laugh

crazycatperson's picture
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This is exactly why I don't shop on major holidays. As you mentioned, people who provide essential services do need to work holidays, but store clerks are not among that group. I don't care what kind of overtime pay they're getting, I can wait a day to buy stuff.

However, I have done some holiday travel - Thanksgiving at Colonial Williamsburg on two separate occasions, although we cooked our own holiday dinner in our timeshare kitchen and had minimal impact on people's ability to spend time with their families. Doing something special and fun on a holiday is part of the holiday celebration for many people and IMO not on the same level as running to Wal-Mart Thanksgiving day because you just can't wait till Friday morning to begin the orgy of commercial excess. As for travelling to WDW on any major holiday, that will never happen for me because I'm not getting anywhere near those holiday crowds. Yikes!

Bottom line, I guess you both need to figure out which of you needs this more, and the other one should graciously concede the point.

Princess Cupcake's picture
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I work holidays all the time. It doesn't bother me anymore. I have come to learn that there are all different kinds of families, and all different kinds of holidays, and all different kinds of ways to celebrate those holidays. If that means my children and I open presents on Boxing Day instead of Christmas Day, then so be it. If we have Easter egg hunts a day early, that's okay too. Turkey dinner at a restaurant because I had no time (or inclination) to cook up a turkey dinner because of my work schedule, I will not complain! I suppose it is because of this outlook that I have no problem going out on the holidays I have off (either to celebrate, or to get some groceries), whether someone might consider that essential or not. So to sum up: party on for holidays at WDW!

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There is also the fact that not everyone celebrates the same holidays as you do, especially if they are religious holidays.

Zz.

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AnnielovesDisney's picture
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It doesn't bother me a bit to go to WDW on a major holiday. Everyone who works for WDW, in any capacity knows what their schedule is like. It's the same as the real world where people ask off work for the days they want off.

I also think that some people may gravitate towards a job at WDW because they don't have family, or even friends, of their own to celebrate things with. It might feel less lonely to have 1000's of people to talk to and interact with, if you're all alone in the world. It's the happiest place on earth for different reasons, to different people. I feel pretty certain there are some people that work at Disney world, and the only family they have, is their Disney family. For them, working holidays would be their only opportunity to celebrate "with family."

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Everyday is a holiday at Disney World for someone!

jw24's picture
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No way in heck would I ever want to force and subject myself to the large and massive crowds during the major holidays. No chance! It's not worth my spending money and it's not worth all that trouble! If I'm only given the busiest times of year, I'm picking Spring Break every time because like I've always stated, it's crowded but manageable plus I have the experience in that. But again, I'm not going to force myself to go to WDW if I really don't want to.

Having said all that, I understand for some occupations, you do unfortunately still have to work during the holidays. But again, as stated earlier, as long as the demand is there, it won't change. I also understand that there some occupations that do not grant such flexible vacation times like being a teacher and that really makes the situation worse. Instead of getting the days you want, you're basically stuck with all the worst possible options. Christmas and New Years break, Spring Break or summer break. But alas, any job has its pros and cons so it's really up to the individual to make the final choice and accept the responsibilities they need to do which may come at their own expense...or they could always switch but in a tight economy, not always that simple.

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Magic Days's picture
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I try very hard to not support retail being open on holidays. I'd rather be with my family and allow others the same opportunity. I specifically spend money at places that have decided to close on Sundays as well. I hate that we as a society have forgotten to respect time for faith and family. I spent decades in retail and am so great full to now have the chance to set time aside for the most important things to my set of values. We all have decisions to make. I love going to disney during the holiday season but come Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter I will be at home baking a feast for my loved ones and hoping some day we will return to a set of values that makes the next persons holiday freedom as important as our own.

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Allie's picture
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Very interesting thread. I don't have a really strong opinion either way, but there were some interesting points made! awesome

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Magic Days wrote:
I try very hard to not support retail being open on holidays. I'd rather be with my family and allow others the same opportunity. I specifically spend money at places that have decided to close on Sundays as well. I hate that we as a society have forgotten to respect time for faith and family.

Do you also not support businesses that are open on Fridays? After all, there are many of different faith than yours that consider Friday as a "Day of Rest", but are forced to work.

Zz.

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SpamGoddess's picture
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Ehhhh even as a retail employee (though my company closes the stores on Easter and Christmas, and most of Thanksgiving day), I think a vacation destination, especially theme parks like this, are different than retail stores being open. People are going to go to Disney World when their children are out of school. Some wait until Christmas to do it. If they're staying on property, you need resort and restaurant cast members to be working anyway because that kind of stuff can't close for a holiday, so why not the theme parks too? At least give the families staying there something to do.

I think when you go to work for Disney, you already know EVERYTHING is open during that period and that those weeks of major holidays will be some of the absolute busiest so you have to have everyone on board and working. I think if it that isn't understood from the beginning, you're going to have problems working for the company anyway.

But I have a friend that is a cast member (she did the college program twice and is now at Liberty Tree Tavern full time), and her family all lives in Wisconsin and one year she was actually glad she was working Christmas day because it gave her something to do instead of thinking about how much she wished she was with her family. So you do have to look at it from that perspective as well.

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Eeyore's picture
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ZapperZ wrote:
Magic Days wrote:
I try very hard to not support retail being open on holidays. I'd rather be with my family and allow others the same opportunity. I specifically spend money at places that have decided to close on Sundays as well. I hate that we as a society have forgotten to respect time for faith and family.

Do you also not support businesses that are open on Fridays? After all, there are many of different faith than yours that consider Friday as a "Day of Rest", but are forced to work.

Zz.

And that's why I continue on with normal life as scheduled. Not everyone celebrates Christian holidays and people have to remember that. If I need to shop on a holiday, I will. If I don't, then I won't.

EmFord's picture
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My cousin is a full time cast member at Disney and he always works holidays. I used to always get upset that he couldn't come celebrate with us but he explained it to me like this.. Getting days off at Disney is not hard once you have been there for a while, and you give proper advance notice, but getting consecutive days at Christmas is a little tougher. He would rather save his vacation days for time in the summer when he can relax with the family at the shore rather than trying to fly home on a whirlwind two day trip for Christmas and not have any time to relax. Plus if Disney employees work on Christmas I'm pretty sure they at least get time and a half if not more depending on how long they've been there. So hey, if they have to be away from their families at the holidays better to work and make extra money than sit at home alone.

Also on that note, he's sent me pictures of the traffic trying to get into MK on Christmas Day.. you have to have a special kind of patience to wanna deal with that.

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Eeyore wrote:
ZapperZ wrote:
Magic Days wrote:
I try very hard to not support retail being open on holidays. I'd rather be with my family and allow others the same opportunity. I specifically spend money at places that have decided to close on Sundays as well. I hate that we as a society have forgotten to respect time for faith and family.

Do you also not support businesses that are open on Fridays? After all, there are many of different faith than yours that consider Friday as a "Day of Rest", but are forced to work.

Zz.

And that's why I continue on with normal life as scheduled. Not everyone celebrates Christian holidays and people have to remember that. If I need to shop on a holiday, I will. If I don't, then I won't.

awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome

That's a very difficult thing to get people to remember.

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There is a huge difference between major holidays - both secular days like Thanksgiving and New Year's Day and religious holidays like Christmas or Passover - and the weekly holy day of any religion. IMO the really major holidays should be respected; there's no reason why anyone can't wait until the day after Thanksgiving to go shopping. As for religious holidays, every company I've ever worked at, including those owned and operated by non-Christians, observed Christmas as a company holiday, and that was it - no other religious holidays were officially observed, not even the Jewish holidays at companies owned and operated by Jews. However, every company I've ever worked at has allowed non-Christians to take "floating" holidays or other leave to observe their own holidays. No questions asked. "Bob, I need a couple of days for Passover." "No problem, Judy." This has been standard operating procedure everywhere.

As for weekly holy days, I don't expect businesses, especially retail businesses, to observe any of them. If some people can't work Sundays, schedule the people who can work. Same with Fridays and Saturdays and any other day of the week that's holy to some religion. If Jews and Adventists need to leave early Friday to get home before the Sabbath begins at sundown, let 'em go and make up the time some other day of the week. This also has been standard operating procedure everywhere I've worked.

Bottom line - every individual's expression of faith should be respected and accommodated, and observance of major secular holidays should also be respected. So I still won't go shopping Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day, or New Year's Day.