4 days in a row or breaks in between? Crowds higher if we 2 & 2 it

We’re headed to DW about 10 days before Christmas. We’re going to each of the parks for a day for a total of 4 days. Looking at the crowd calendar I can see that it would be less crowded to go to all four parks in a row for the first 4 days. That’s going to wear me out! Especially since the first day is a late day at Epcot, on the second we can go to Mickey’s Party and stay late too. Seems like it would be great to take the 3rd day off to sleep in and do other things. But if I do that and we visit Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studies we’ll be at crowd level 9 for those days.

Option 1: Epcot 4 and late, DW & party late, break, break, HS 9, AK 9, break
Option 2: Epcot 4 and late, DW & party late, AK 7, break, break, HS9, break

Any opinions? I’m really just trading down from a 7 for a 9 for one park so probably not that big a deal if I use a touring plan…

We could go earlier and my kids would miss 4 days of school instead of 3 which freaks me out for a 7th grader. Then it would be…

Option 3: AK 4, Epcot 4 and late, DW party late, break, break, HS 9, break

Hard for me to tell how critical the crowd ratings are when compared to consecutive long park days. How people hit the parks like 5-7 days in a row is a mystery to me ;-).


Can I ask a few clarifying questions? You have three or four day tickets? You have tickets for MVMCP ( the last one of the season or an earlier one)? You are going to be staying at wdw for more than 4 days? You do not have park hoppers?

DW and I had our trip this year initially planned at that same time period (was originally Dec 16-23), and were in that same situation. We decided to move our dates to Dec 6-18. Much lower crowd levels. I took my kids out of school 4 times for trips to WDW in early December when they were younger- and now they are 25 and 23, and both have done very well for themselves professionally. Losing a few days of school here and there in the big picture didn’t affect their professional careers at all, and isn’t a big deal IMHO. That said, you have to do what you feel is right for you and your family. Good luck with your decision.

Break? I do not understand what this “break” thing you refer to is. Every day is a park day - you have plenty of time to rest when you are dead. :slight_smile:

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We have four days worth of tickets. One day is single park (they’re cast member gift tix from a friend). The other three I can do park hopper but on busy days the advice I read is don’t bother switching parks. And the cost of the park hopper upgrade is more than a rental car. We haven’t bought Mickey party tix yet but it’s only going two of the days we’re there - the 17th and 18th. If it was happening Christmas week we’d do the party on a separate day from touring MK but of the two low crowd days we’re there Epcot is open late and the party is happening. Leaving a park to go to the party didn’t make sense to me.

Funny, I will definitely enjoy a long break when I’m dead :smiley:

The last time we went to Orlando we were two couples. We did several days of commando with park hopper and squeezed in Disney and Universal (granted everything was smaller at all parks then). By the last day we felt like we were on some sort of mission where the point was to check off the touring tasks and not on a vacation. I swore that next time we went we’d allow a little more room for relaxation and not try to have an event involving waiting in lines every day we visited. Worked well when we visited Disneyland a few years ago. This is our boys’ first visit to Orlando but it won’t be their last so we’re not even trying to see Universal, we’re staying on property at Port Orleans, and we’re mixing in a drive to Clearwater, a day of golf, Cirque du Soleil and maybe a day at Typhoon Lagoon if the weather makes it worthwhile.

Even the thought of our first day after a long trip (we’re in Seattle) being a long one at Epcot, followed by a long day with Mickey party at MK seems a little daunting. So glad we are touring plan kind of people or we’d be sunk.

Love getting advice!

So, you have four days plus party tickets ( five days of parks total)? I must say I disagree with the park hopping. If you open animal kingdom ,you can do everything with no lines and then hop to a park with your three fast passes. I would always squeeze out my favorites at MK or HS that way. You seem to have a car, which would make moving from one park to another easy. Finally, you could even walk from EP to HS in about 20 minutes, or take the monorail from MK to EP.

PrincipalTinker - good suggestions. I’d had the impression from the crowd data and line waiting data that we won’t be able to get through AK in a half day but maybe we can. I’d also thought to spread MK out over two days - one full day with a regular ticket and another day from 4-midnight for the party. That way we could tour the park and go back another day for the party and ride what we loved. But it turns out the party is on only the first two days we’re there. Phooey, then it’s doesn’t makes sense to go to MK and the party on the say day but I don’t see how to break it up without putting the MK day on a crowd level 9 or 10 day.

I’m enjoying the story problem nature of trying to sort this all out. Today I’m working on whether the add on that covers water parks and golf make sense and whether the dining plan makes sense given we’re at the parks only 4-5 days of our 8 day stay. Sure wish they’d figure out something better. I’d rather have some mix of credits that included at least on sit down per entire stay, not per day.

A couple of questions - what days are you actually going to be there, and what are your flight arrival/departure times?

A few thoughts:
Consider extending your tickets to cover all the days you will be there. After a certain point it is a very low cost to add another day (around $10), so instead of a “break” just go to a park with a more relaxed TP (no RD, slow pace, leave early, etc.). $10 per person to be in a park, even without a “Nazi Touring Plan” (as DW calls them), is money well spent IMHO.

When we did MVMCP on out last trip we went to AK in the morning, back to the resort for a quick rest/freshen up, then the hit the party at 4:00. Essentially the party tickets allowed us to PH, so we planned the rest of the days carefully, did not get PH, and used the savings to pay for the party tickets.

A few days before you travel try to get your crew on “Disney Time” - wake up earlier and go to bed earlier, changing about a hour a day. This will lessen the jet lag when you are at WDW and make the first park day much easier.

I think I am on the same page as @brklinck. Even if you spent a day at AK it will close at 5:00. There most likely will be three parks still open. You can park hop, or go on your party day. Can we talk about Hollywood studio? Two of my favorite attractions are at the studios (RnR and ToT). I gladly save FPs for the studios…BUT…you will be there in December with all the people going to see the OL for the very last time…AND…almost everything is shut down. Hop, yes, spend a day?

Is it your first time at WDW?

I’m not personally a big fan of hoppers - it’s a big cost for a 4-5 day trip. I would pick my park for the day and stick with it.

Our first trip, we skipped AK entirely. If I weren’t madly in love with Star Tours, I’d consider that HS might be a skippable park, too. When we went in January, it was a freakishly cold day, and we’d easily wrapped up all we cared to do in HS within a few hours and got back to the hotel. When we went in June, we RD’d and had a dinner reservation, and we were just killing time at the playground and buying cupcakes waiting around for the dinner ADR, we’d “wrapped up” that park long before.

Our first trip, we had 4 1/2 days, then a cruise. We spent most of our time (including arrival day from about 7pm onward) at MK, and don’t regret it. I’d highly recommend it.

I’d seriously consider whether you need to hit every park, and if there may be one that you could skip if you’re feeling pressed for time.

I will say that the only park that really wore me out from walking was Epcot, in World Showcase. I walked a bunch on the last trip in HS, but we were just killing time, it wasn’t totally necessary. Otherwise, I don’t find 4 days in a row to be exhausting. If I were staying longer, though, I’d be looking to take a break by day 5.

We were at the parks the week prior to Christmas last year. We did what you’ve planned - a day at each park, 4 days in a row. Then we returned for Christmas Eve Day at Magic Kingdom. We made a touring plan for each day and it worked great for us. I did a trip report (you can search LoveBug53’s Disney Trip Report if you’re interested) that might give you an idea of how we tackled our days. We didn’t park hop and we used all quick service.

Whatever you decide to do, it will be magical! What a great time of year to visit! :smile:

We added an extra day at the beginning of our trip for just this reason. We will do 4 parks in a row, as well. We’ve never done that before, but the crowds demanded it. We will use HS and AK as slower days, hopefully, since they won’t last all day. We might even get in a nap. :slight_smile: