Ok guys! I have avoided this site since the return of our June trip. I couldn’t bear the exposure to all the wonderful conversations about trips when mine was devastatingly over; the jealously seeped too far into my daily perspective and I had to walk away cold turkey. BUT GUESS WHO’S BACK IN THE GAME??? I have been given the all clear to begin plans for a trip the week of Christmas 2019. We have always gone in the summer, so I am a total newbie to planning for the crazy that is Christmas at WDW. I know with help from all of you, I will be prepared!! I am just beginning to research stuff. All I know is that we would like to try and rent DVC points for a week stay, and we want the dining plan. SOOOO…hit me with all you’ve got!! There will be my family: dh, myself, ds-17, dd-15, dd-4 for certain. Also 50/50 shot that my oldest ds-24 may join us and my parents. However, I am not including them currently in the planning because they have not committed yet. If they join in the fun later I will do what I can at that time to include them, but you snooze you lose when it comes to WDW planning!! Thanks in advance for any advice or direction you can point me!!
That’s great news, nothing nicer than having a WDW trip to plan. We were there 13-22th Dec 2016. Our last couple of days were super crowded everywhere, even at the deluxe resorts. Does it have to be Christmas week? Where are you wanting to stay? The DVC studios are the most popular, so can be harder to get, which might make the addition of your parents quite useful. If just DS24 comes then you’d need something bigger than a studio or standard room.
Unfortunately, our dates aren’t really more flexible because of my son’s school schedule. He is in duel credit classes, and therefore can’t just “make up” missed days if we were to try and pull him out earlier. I wish we could!!! I really don’t even have a resort picked out yet; I was kinda thinking we may not have the ability to be especially picky because of the time of year. From looking at the crowd calendars in the past, anything Christmas day through New Years is solid 10 for every park. We could go the week after Christmas (like leave the day after) and stay through New Year’s but I don’t know that from what I have seen it would matter much for the crowd situation.
The elephant in the room is SWGE, which is expected to open sometime in Nov or Dec. This will be a massive element for planning and surviving, but no one can really guess just how much an effect it will have on WDW as a whole (just accept the fact that DHS will be a shoulder to shoulder nightmare - for at least a year).
I’ll be there either the first or second week of Dec, and have no idea how to plan. I’m hoping that there will be more definitive info as the time gets closer. But the general guidelines always help: RD (EMH), solid TPs, a LOT of patience, and lowered expectations as to how much you will be able to accomplish…
I’m going this upcoming holiday season between christmas and nye, there are a few thoughts in my old thread here: Wdw in dec 26-28 - will I be trampled?
One thing to note is that there is some variance between crowd levels and wait times between the days during the holiday season, including the days on and between christmas and nye. Magic Kingdom seems to be nost crowded on christmas day and the 31st. If you want to avoid the most crowded days (it’ll be crowded anyways, but slight difference), you may want to look at TP crowd calendars and wait times (you can view both upcoming estimates and previous years) to figure out which parks to pick for specific dates.
This is so true!! I may be biting off more than we are ready to chew on with my family, attempting the busiest time of year with the biggest expansion opening ever on top of it. Hmmm. Maybe we need to look at WDW 2020 and do something else for 2019.
Good tips, thanks! I am wondering now though, like bswan was saying, how do you factor a wild card as huge as SWGE?? I guess I kinda thought it would be like TS opening, which didn’t seem too awful. However, SWGE will be much larger and at the busiest time of year… I dunno…
Remember that not all 10s are created equal. The 10s the week between Christmas and New Year are typically worse than the 10s leading up to Christmas. Still crazy…but not the same level of crazy.
I can’t comment on the Christmas rush, but I just rented DVC points for the first time. Here are my thoughts for a fellow DVC rental newbie.
Decide if you want to go through a broker or through a private rental. If you’re going private, be very very careful of scams. They seem to be on the rise, and some of the scammers are very savvy. (Some scammers don’t own points but have managed to get a DVC reservation made that shows up in MDE under the renter’s name, and then after the renter has paid the scammer, the reservation disappears.) Beware any price that seems like it’s too good to be true. You can look on the mouse owners forum for tips on how to vet potential owners.
If you think you might want to rent privately through the mouse owners forum, hop on over, create an account, and start to post actively there. It seems like owners are more comfortable renting to people who are active on the board and have a real post history.
Don’t try to wait for the lower prices at the 6-month mark. Especially if you’re going through a broker, the only thing you’re likely to get at that 6-month mark is SSR or really pricey rooms at other resorts, even at slower times of year. For a Christmas stay, I’d advise that you try to book as close to the 11-month mark as possible.
Maybe this is OTT, but I made a back up room-only reservation at POR for our trip. I plan to cancel it about 30 days before the trip. My understanding is that DVC points that have been used to book a room lose most value at the 30 day mark (something about points in holding) so they’re not of much value to the DVC owner at that point. Renting DVC points always has some risk, but the risk of an owner cancelling the reservation drops at the 30 day mark. (Though as long as you’re dealing with a legitimate DVC owner and hold up your side of the deal, I don’t think that risk is very high to begin with.)
Thank you for the info!! All good tips!