Christmas 2019 planning

So, as seems to happen a lot around here, I was just asked to help plan a trip. December 24-27, 2019.
Okay, probably will be a little crowded, no big deal. FPP day already past, could be worse, at least it’s not inside 30 days yet!

2 adults, no kids. Reservations are already made for Boardwalk and they’re arriving late the 24th (I’m not sure how late, gotta find out if they need a dinner reservation that night).

I’ve never been to WDW at Christmas time. I’m thinking Candlelight processional (should they do a dining package?) and the story tellers around World Showcase.

I can handle the normal WDW stuff, but what holiday events should I consider? No Christmas Party those nights. Special fireworks any/all of those nights? Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam? Any Dessert Parties or other special add-ons that might be available?

I’m starting to look at what’s available as far as ADRs. Hopefully they’ll just give me an MDE login and credit card and let me do it. Would be a lot easier that way.


Yes. Unless they like really, really long lines and no guarantee of entry.

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I’m going to guess the answer is “No, they don’t like them”

Any reason (other than personal schedule) to plan for one of the timeslots over the others? Or is it based on your dining reservation?

What am I? The moms’ panel?

Darker is better, so later is better.

Not that you get a choice. Unless you call and book.

You said it, not me!


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I think the meal time is connected to the show time. When I booked online, I keep on clicking on different “lunch” times so that I could find the latest lunch and the 2nd showing. You don’t have the option to click on restaurant and showing. Then, I wanted to move the package to a different restaurant. I called and had to adjust my meal time based on when I could get the 2nd showing.

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The middle Candlelight Processional time slot is my preference. I’d call to find out what is available for the middle performance and just book the best restaurant available before the show (not after due to my next point). I think the later one got out too close to the start of Illuminations (now EF). Navigating to a decent viewing spot is much less a to do than with Illuminations though.

I’m not a fan of JBJB but I’m in the minority. Are they on the DP? If not, I’d lean towards stuff like Tiffins FOLTK package as they’d get that Tiffins meal + Safari + FOLTK.

I’d suggest a dessert party at MK. Just looked at there’s one available for 12/26.

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Excellent question, that I don’t have the answer to yet. Wife’s boss asked his assistant to plan the trip. Assistant requested my wife to see if I would do it. Money should not be an issue for him, so I figure the will be some signature dining involved. Is the FotLK package still happening? I was thinking that would be a good one with high crowds, but didn’t see it when I briefly scanned restaurant availability.

I didn’t look to see but I have it booked for the Friday before they arrive (12/20).

If money is no object, I’ll need to do some real thinking. This could be fun!

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I just checked and there are no FOLTK packages for their travel dates (nothing showing from 12/22-1/1). Not sure if they’re sold out or just not offered. Bummer.

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Now that we’re paying with funny money - things with availability during their stay…

  1. Savor the Savanna
  2. Wild Africa Trek
  3. World Showcase Destinations Discovered (only available 12/24)
  4. AK Ultimate Nights of Adventure is available 12/25

So more information is slowly making it to me. It won’t just be 2 adults, will also be 2 boys, 10 and 13, and their grandmother.

I was thinking HS might not need much attention, but with boys that age, ToT, RnRC, Toy Story Land and SWGE are going to be on the list. It’s gonna be tricky to squeeze a lot into 2 1/2 days and one evening.

Whoa, that’s a whole different ballgame. Two and a half days with kids that age I’d do HS, AK and MK as just a half day. Save Epcot for their next visit once it’s all updated.

AK Ultimate Nights is still good (not sure how GM will like it).

Sorry, I went silent for a bit there until I got more info about their plans. If you’re still willing to give me some advice, I’ll take all I can get!

They arrive at MCO 3:25PM on Dec 24th. I was thinking since they’re at Boardwalk, they should go to Epcot when they get in and ride Soarin’ and a couple others, have dinner and do the Candlelight processional, but maybe I should try to plan FPP for MK that evening and have them do dinner (maybe a dessert party) and fireworks at MK that night?

They will have full days on Dec 25 and 26. Then they leave early (I think 11AM) on Dec 27th and don’t plan to go to the parks that day. I talked them into Park Hoppers, so morning and afternoon at one park and then evening at another is possible. Star Wars:Galaxy’s Edge is their priority.

I started another thread to ask the question, but maybe you know the answer, do you think they’ll need some kind of reservation in SW:GE to get in the land? Are we expecting to go back to the boarding groups or whatever they did for the grand opening?

I’m checking to see what’s out there for FPP. It looks pretty wide open right now for Dec 25th. No FOP, SDD or 7DMT. Most everything else seemed to be available.

Okay, another question (I’m gonna be full of them today!):

I’m fairly certain of the answer to this because I think I’ve seen that other people do this, but you can book DME, let them deliver your bags to your hotel, and just Uber directly to a park, right? Because that will save a LOT of time on the arrival day. I’m thinking arrive at MCO 3:25PM, get in Uber at 3:55PM, arrive at Contemporary 4:40PM, into MK at 5PM. Does that sound doable? I was working with a 6PM arrival at the park otherwise, unless DME is quick, first dropoff, etc.

Sorry - was offline for the past few days. How dare work have the nerve to get busy!

There is nothing preventing someone from bailing on DME and taking an Uber. The bags will still arrive at the hotel. It is not how DME is intended to work but I know of people who have basically used it as a bag delivery service. You’d think Disney would get smart and simply enable that as an uncharge service.

To save time this trip we are skipping DME and I’ve booked a private car to pick us up. Sure we’ll have to collect our bags - if we end up checking any - but it should be faster than the multiple stops we needed to make last time. I’m using Transportation by Mike.

Epcot and CP or MK with dessert party? Tough choice. But considering they’ll have the boys with them, I’d go MK and dessert party (which is a great option for GM too).

If SWGE is the priority I might consider rope dropping that both 12/25 and 12/26 and then hopping elsewhere. Otherwise I’d do AK on 12/25 RD FOP and try to get NRJ on one of the drops. I’d do HS on 12/26 and I’d skip Epcot unless we had had enough and felt like hopping to it. I know that is awful to say as it’s my favorite park and they’re staying next door but FW is a hot mess right now and with 10+ crowd levels for newbies? Ugh.

Nothing posted yet on boarding groups but I still see them in MDX so I’m guessing they could come back into play.

So here’s what I’ve got so far:

MK on the 24th, arriving around 6pm. I left out the dessert party and fireworks because I thought that would take a huge amount of time out of only 4 hours.

HS on the 25th, all day. RD SW:GE. Hopefully they’ll be able to ride both rides and check out the land between RD and around 12:45PM. I’m going to try to snag them an Oga’s ADR but I think @mousematt is hoarding them all.

AK on 12/26 RD through early afternoon because I snagged them a FoP FP for 9:25am. Around 2 or 3 head to EP for dinner, CP and a couple rides and WS touring.

I’ll post some TPs when I get a chance. I’ve got another thread with a tentative MK plan that I’ve changed 5 times trying to get it right. Also a HS plan on another thread, but I’ll put them all here a little later.

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Oh, and the DME is a non issue, because they rented a car. The real problem is they waited so long to plan they did not order magic bands early enough and have to get them at check in.

To be fair to @mousematt, who isn’t hoarding Oga’s ADRs? I have two or three to drop for the previous week.

They’re going to drive to the parks? If there’a any way to talk them into a Minnie Van from BC to MK on 12/24, I highly recommend it. Just maximizes the park time and minimizes frustration.

So impressed that you got them FOP!

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Thanks! They’ll probably never understand that most people don’t get that one 49 days out.

I’ll definitely be telling them to take the bus or minnie van to get to MK. The MB issue has me concerned about them getting to MK early enough. I was going to try to send them straight from the airport.

I was just teasing about the ADRs. I’m going through the holder of the CC to get them booked. She already stopped the ball on one, but I got her to book a lunch instead of a dinner and hopefully I can modify that one. If I see an Oga’s pop up I’ll probably just book it with my CC and tell them they owe me $50 if they don’t show up.