So,like so many people my little family of three (Husband 35, me (wife) 35, and son 6) have chosen to take advantage of Christmas falling early in our winter vacation. We will be arriving on December 29th and leaving on January 6th. Like a good Disney girl, I have been tracking my days and watching the crowd calendar. And I know that with so many days at 10 and above it’s going to be crowded. Husband and I have talked at length about taking things slower and remembering that this is not the last time we will ever be in Disney.
With all that said. Are there any park recommendations or do’s and don’ts in regards to the super packed days?
Do make good touring plans.
Do get to the park early to avoid the worst crowds
Do Not feel like you need to marathon the parks all day.
Do take breaks when the crowds get bad - except for a couple days, (like NYE), crowds should start to ebb after dinnertime.
Do plan to experience MK NYE fireworks on Dec 30 - lower crowd for the same fireworks (I’m sure someone will correct me if that’s changed).
I’d recommend EPCOT fireworks for NYE proper, if you’re staying up. it has the biggest capacity and will be able to accommodate you entering the park late in the day/after a break.
Thank you so much! My husband and I thought about doing Mickey’s Backyard BBQ on the 31st to avoid crowds. He also suggested seeing the MK fireworks on the 30th.
I know this sounds crazy, but we just went on Memorial Day and we got there for rope drop and went and did everything that everybody else wasn’t doing. There was a race to Seven Dwarfs and we went to Space, then Buzz, then Pirates, then Thunder, and then Splash. We got all of those done before 10:00 a.m. Then we had fast passes for Space, Thunder, and Splash for the middle of the day so we did those and we felt like we had had a great day by the time 2:30 rolled along.
I went with my family last holiday season. Insanity is a nice way to put it but as long as you are mentally prepared for the craziness then it really can be a great time with all the holiday magic! Good personalized touring plans were EVERYTHING
NYE in Epcot is nothing like I’ve experienced…World Showcase was shoulder to shoulder people, very loud, and kept growing as it got later into the night. We arrived at 7pm for a dinner reservation at Via Napoli and entering wasn’t an issue, just mildly crowded. Once it hit 9/10PM…wow. We had to slowly shuffle from country to country. Worth doing it once in your life I suppose but definitely would consider it mainly for adults. I don’t have children myself but I can’t imagine trying to navigate it with a tiny human.
Checked out MK on the 30th and it was pretty packed on Main Street when I got there around 11PM but I don’t believe there were any capacity issues, I walked right in. Would recommend staking out a spot REAL early though. People were just standing around mostly and it was a full hour before the fireworks.
Everywhere else, the crowds will be crazy starting late morning but going for RD was essential. It made all the difference and we were able to full enjoy and experience everything we wanted to with minimal amount of people to compete with (and I made a pretty full itinerary!). We never stayed in the parks much past 1pm if we went to RD and would take a break for a few hours at our resort then head back for dinner or a bit after. Night time was still considerably more crowded compared to RD but it was a heck of alot better midday!
Thank you both so much! We are still trying to figure out what day will be spent at what park. We have always taken a mid-day break before with our son because he was napping. However, he no longer takes naps. This will be his first trip walking though. I like the idea of leaving after a couple of mid-day FP+ though! That could help us plan those in October. Only 183 to go and that means dinning reservations! So that will also determine what park what day… I love planning for Disney and having been using Lines since 2013 (I foolishly went without lines from 2009-2012), but this trip has me a little nervous!
My family and I are going to brave the crowds the week after Christmas as well this year! I’m nervous, yet very excited. Trying to mentally prepare all of us for how crowded it will be. We have been several times so our focus is on doing a few favorites, checking out toy story land and soaking up everything holiday related. I see your son is 6 so I wanted to point out that they do the NYE fireworks at MK 4 times in total I believe based on my research. Twice on the 30th and twice on the 31st. First at 6:30 both days and then again at midnight both days. While there is no official announcement, I believe it will be the same this year as I was able to book the fireworks dessert party for the 30th and there were two times provided. I elected for the 5pm dessert party so we could see the 6:30 fireworks. My 7 year old princess turns into a pumpkin when it gets late so I’m happy we get to see the nighttime spectacular before she tuckers out. I just thought this might help you out a little
We are going the week of Christmas and I’m still wondering what has possessed me to choose that. I could always change it to some later time next year, but I would lose the free dining plan.
We just called Disney today to see if there was a fireworks dessert party for the 30th and plan on booking it…in three days! The waiting is so tough!!
How is everyone doing!
I have booked my first adult trip to Disney Dec 29-31st. My parents live in FL and my boyfriend and I are visiting them for the holidays. We like to plan mini getaways during our visits for a little us time. I have heard the decorations and NYE fireworks are amazing so we decided to spend the 30th at MK. (sidenote my neice is 2 so we will be planning a big family trip in a few years to see all of the parks - for this trip we are just concentrating on MK during Christmas and the fireworks).
We are 100% planning for huge crowds and are doing Rope Drop to Kiss Goodnight. We know it will be a super long day but we dont ahve to worry about doing another park the next day. Our day in MK is full of ADR for meals as well as Dessert party for the 2nd fireworks. We figure its worth the money to be able to sit and rest a few times during the day.
- The park hours currently are 9-12am with EMH from 12-2am. This is different than years past (8am-1am with EMH from 7-8am and 1am-3am). Any idea if they are going to adjust the hours as things get closer?
- When do they release the events and activities for the day? Right now it only lists the fireworks and the one parade
- Has anyone done the parade with the dinner package at Tony’s. We already have lunch reservations at BOG but I was wondering if the parade package was worth it for the reserved viewing location. We just want to limit frustrations with crowds as much as possible. Also - we were able to book our reservation for the Dessert Party but I dont see anything for the parade package… any insight?
Thank you all and looking forward to celebrating the holidays and new year in the most magical place on earth!
176 more days!
They frequently change the hours when it gets closer and increase them. I have heard the theory it is because if they don’t have enough people booked in the hotels and for ADRs/extras’ they can’t shorten them later. Which make sense although I have seen them increase summer hours every year for at least the last 3, and I can’t imagine that NYE week is going to be different.
Not sure what events/activities you are looking for, but I have seen a lot of things tend to get listed about 3 months out.
They may not be doing the Tony’s package then. My friend went Easter week last year and they didn’t offer it because of the crowds
Thank you for the extra information. I booked a PPO breakfast at BOG just in case they dont do the morning EMH. I figured I can cancel it if they do adjust the hours.
I was looking for a schedule of shows, character interactions ect. Hoping to have an idea of things before I book my FP. I am a super planner. My excel sheets make me look a little crazy.
If anyone has feedback on whether or not they are going to offer the Tony’s package the week between Christmas and New Years, that would be great. I am checking every morning looking for reservations. I have found people who have said they have gotten tickets for it in the past - shrug.