Critique This Holiday Plan

Our family of 3 (me, DW, DD21) are planning to be at WDW over the holidays, focusing on rides we didn’t get to last year. We’re staying offsite, with 1 night onsite for the RotR $ILL. Fam are not early risers but we’ll compromise on getting to parks at ~9AM. We have 7 day PH’s w/G+ prepurchased. Looking to take 4-5 hour midday breaks. Our tolerance for waiting in line is low, ideally <15 mins, very cautious on COVID, so will buy $ILL’s to avoid long indoor waits. Ride goals below listed in descending order of priority, and also want to take in some parades.

12/27 Tues - inbound travel day. Rez: EP. Plan to spend the evening there.
Goals: GtG, TT, FEA, Remy, Mission: Space. Plan is to stack LL’s while inbound and hopefully get most of these done.

12/28 Wed (onsite) - Rez: DHS. Oga’s ADR for 12:40, for drinks.
Goals: RotR, MMRR, Fantasmic, TSM, ToT, Batuu Bounty Hunters, SDD, MFSR. Probably won’t get through this list in 1 day, but we’re coming back tomorrow. One question is whether to try for an early return time on RotR, and risk an inconvenient time shift, or try for a more predictable evening return time.

12/29 Thu (onsite) - Rez: EP w/eve hop to DHS. Space 220 lounge ADR for 11:30.
Goals: RotR, World showcase & Holiday festival, plus whatever we didn’t get at EP on 12/27 or DHS on 12/28. We want to do RotR twice and get that Star Wars itch well scratched :slight_smile:

12/30 Fri - off day, pool, shop, and/or Funspot

12/31 Sat - off during day, evening at EP. We won’t have access to internet during the day to stack LL’s.
Goals: World showcase, and possibly rides w/short SB lines
edit: changed this to DHS and will move Baatu BH and Fantasmic here from 12/28. EP Holiday Festival will already be over as of 12/30 so that makes EP less attractive on 12/31.

1/1 Sun - Rez: MK w/eve hop TBD.
Goals: HM, Tom Sawyer’s island for a chill picnic lunch, Splash, Space, Buzz, 7DMT, VotLM, Meet Princesses. Again, 7DMT $ILL return time is a question - if I get stuck with an evening time, then we’re not hopping to another park. Or is it moot bc getting all this done requires coming back to MK in the evening anyway?

1/2 Mon - off day, sightseeing day trip to Tampa

1/3 Tue - Rez: AK w/eve hop TBD
Goals: NRJ, FoP, EE, walking trails, Dinosaur. The FoP drops are pretty consistent and should net me an early return time for this $ILL at least.

1/4 Wed - off day, Universal

1/5 Thurs - Rez: AK. Outbound travel day - have to leave park at noonish.
Goals: more of the same from the AK list. We’ll do NRJ/FoP again, we’re Avatar nerds too.


That is a jam packed trip! I like the Tom Sawyer Island picnic idea. Hope you guys can pull it all off.


I don’t know that you can get through what you want with that long of a break, especially if you are staying off site.

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I think 4-5 hour breaks are totally unreasonable to accomplish that much each day during one of the busiest weeks of the year.


This. In the before times, it was normal to not get to do half of what you wanted during this week. Of course, that was pre-APR and G+ & ILL. I can’t imagine it would be much better, but it might be?

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I would try to plan my must do attractions for the days after New Years, and have very low expectations for 12/31 and 1/1.

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If we look at last year as a guide, the days of outrageous crowd levels might be better handled now with the the APR system. Dec. 31, 2021, for example, the CLs ranged from 5 to 8 depending on the park. Jan 1 was similar.

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Thanks all for the input, I appreciate the feedback that the plan is aggressive. Fyi, the goals are for the trip as a whole, not every day except for some rides we want to do twice (RotR, NRJ, FoP). We are willing to let the bottom things on our list go if necessary (SDD, MFSR, Meet Princesses etc.). We were there last year at this time and got a lot done, but I’ll look more carefully at corresponding data from last year and calculate what we could have done from our goals list with similar breaks.

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I backtested my goals using thrilldata LL availability from 2021 holidays and my list looks quite feasible with a 4-5 hour midday break (even on 1/1) subject to the following caveats/assumptions:

  1. I’m doing mostly LL’s, very little standby
  2. I can reliably get a prime LL with return time at park open to tap in and get a head start on the 2nd LL
  3. buy $ILL’s
  4. MK on Sunday 1/1 will need to be morning and evening (no hopping)
  5. SDD is a work in progress, haven’t figured out how to fit that in yet. Hopefully I will, but if we can’t do it, it’s ok.

Although nobody knows for sure just how crowds in 2022 will compare to 2021, I do know that LL availability in general has improved significantly over the course of 2022, and the recent LL price increases can’t hurt from an availability perspective. Also, I’m armed with Liner wisdom this year :sunglasses:


This will actually be an interesting experiment to watch.

I kind of think, in general, the price increases will drive some people away from G+ in general…but I’m not sure it will by a lot. But, given the holiday season has traditionally (meaning, pre-APR) been the busiest season of the year, I can see people willing to pay even MORE to ensure they can get LL access through G+. So, even if overall crowds are now lower than they used to be due to the use of APRs by Disney, you still may see more of an emotional/fear response from folks, and so G+ sales will go up significantly during the Christmas/New Year holiday period. This might make the LLs longer, and/or with less availability as a result.

This is conjecture, of course…which is why I am rather curious to see it actually played out!


Yes it will be interesting to watch, indeed.

My prediction is that as you said, those who place a premium on line skipping will feel an even greater need to buy it during the traditionally busy holidays and the price increase will not be enough of a deterrent. OTOH, I feel there is a certain percentage of guests that will buy G+ on some days, but not every day. For example, some folks feel G+ is not as valuable in AK/EP as MK/DHS, and if they’re feeling iffy about AK/EP, the price increase will nudge them away to a degree. Also, partial days (like my outbound travel day, or even inbound travel day, if you don’t know about stacking) people may be less likely to buy it b/c of the price increase, or more simply the fact that G+ hasn’t been sold as a blanket add-on for the whole trip for ~6 months now may be a factor.

I’ll be interested to see what happens for your first Epcot day.

I don’t know if the return times for some of those rides will push late enough for you to be able to effectively stack them for the evening. It will depend on when you plan to arrive at Epcot.

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It’s a fair question. We’d like to arrive at Epcot at 6pm give or take.

Looking at Epcot for Tuesday 12/28/21 as a planning baseline for Tuesday 12/27/22, I would have been able to get:

7AM-ish: TT for late
10:30AM: FEA for late
midafternoon: Mission Space for late

To your point, improved LL availability this year may actually work against me, in the sense that I may have to wait longer for return times to advance. OTOH Remy is now G+, and goes fast, so I may choose that first, and GTG $ILL is pretty easy to get and I can pick an evening time from the get-go.
Overall, I feel pretty good about my chances of stacking FEA, Mission Space, GTG and 1 of Remy or TT.

The wild card is internet access, we’re arriving via Amtrak from Miami, and Internet can be spotty. So I may not be able to make my selections at optimal times.


My family of 4 (DW, DS9, & DS8) will be there 12/26 through 1/1 (looks like we’re gonna overlap with you in EP on 12/29). We’re driving from Durham, NC on 12/26 and doing a similar EP evening for arrival day. Are you trying for a BG for GotG or just the ILL? I’ve heard that CM tend to let you in if you miss your window, but I was wondering if it’s worth trying to get a BG since we’re not going to even be able to make it to the park until probably closer to 6pm and might miss the window by several, several hours.


I’m doing $ILL for GtG. BG has more flexibility in terms of arrival time - there’s no deadline, you can come anytime after your BG is called, which sounds like an important advantage in your case. $ILL has less wait time, but does have a deadline to show up.

Figured we might as well get BGs and if they do raise a stink about how long after the BG was called, it’s no real loss. We’re staying at the Dolphin so we get after hours benefits, but I don’t know that we’ll be in the park in time for the 6pm drop, and we’re probably not going to be staying super late after driving for 10 hours or so.

Outside of that, our plans are somewhat similar outside of the fact that we’re staying onsite and planning on rope dropping every morning, along with the extra 30 minutes for onsite guests. We’re not planning on closing down any parks with an 8 and 9 year old in tow, so your evenings might be somewhat comparable to our mornings. Since we can walk to EP and HS, we were hoping for a few mid-day breaks as well, but when I worked out my plans in TP, it didn’t seem like we could lose much more than 3 hours without impacting a lot of the things we wanted to do.

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