December Planning

When do schedules for events usually come out for December? We are considering a dessert party for HEA. Do those schedules usually come out before the 180 days for dining ADRs? I want to plan my days around the dessert party.

They tend to come out closer than 180. Not sure how much after that though.

To clarify, do you mean the schedules come out after the 180 days?

Yes. Within under 180

That makes things very difficult to plan around. I guess that I will hope there is a dessert party for HEA on December 26th, and schedule around that. If there is a party, great; if there isn’t, oh well. There’s always next year.

I’ve made the executive decision that the 26th will be our only Magic Kingdom day. Our DH turns 17 that day, and she wants to eat at Crystal Palace for her birthday. :slight_smile:

Thanks @OBNurseNH!

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In booking this past trip I would say they came out closer to 90 day mark but possibly for prime season they will be earlier.

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The HEA dessert parties are now bookable at 180 from what I’ve read. My 180 is this week. I used last year’s calendar to get a feeling of what the hours may for our trip while I was planning. If you are using MDE, you can add parks to your itinerary at about 185 days from check-in and see what Disney releases for park hours initially. You can then see if the park will be open until 9:00, which given the week you are going, I’m sure it will be. Last year MK was open 8:00 am - 12:00 am on Dec. 26th. I think you can surely plan for the HEA dessert party on that day, but be sure to try to get the reservation on day 180. I can see how that may sell out fast.

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Thanks. That is maddening.

Thanks for the tips! That sounds more like it!

If I was going the week before I am, I could book the HEA dessert party for Nov. 1st. I don’t want to click it, because I don’t want my cc charged. I’ll let you know if I get it this week for the day I want on my trip, which is Jersey week, not as busy as Christmas. I would think MK is busiest on Christmas day, so the day after sounds like a good plan. I hope your daughter has the happiest of birthdays!

Thanks! I don’t want to be anywhere near Magic Kingdom on the 24th or 25th due to those crowds. My DH and I don’t like crowds too much, especially in Magic Kingdom. (Why are we going at Christmas time?!?!?!? We must be out of our minds!). We absolutely HATE the bottleneck that is Main Street. We’d ride the train to a different spot, except that we will be in ECVs. ECVs and Magic Kingdom don’t mix too well, either. That’s why we are only there one day this time. If I can get a dessert party for HEA, I’ll watch it. Otherwise, it’s a great, big, fat NO. You couldn’t pay me to be in the massive crowds in front of the castle.

Disney really needs to open up some walkways before Main Street.

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Yes, you can book them at 180 days. But only if they are bookable. From experience, they are not always bookable at 180 days, in that the schedules aren’t always finalised by then.

The desert parties, special dining packages, Hoop de Doo and dinner at MK during party nights are all events that are usually not finalised until later than 180 days. Sometimes as little as 3 months out, or even less.

And make sure you keep looking, because they will book up very quickly, especially desert parties and Candlelight Processional dining over the Christmas period.

For planning purposes, I just want a schedule before the 180 day for planning purposes, I could live with reserving later. I already know that I am arriving after the Christmas party, which is fine.

Are you looking for a desert party on a party night? I’m not sure whether or not they do the desert parties then.

@OBNurseNH, @PrincipalTinker - any ideas?

No. Christmas parties are over by the time I get there, as far as I can tell. Just want to plan around the dessert parties…

Ah, OK.

In that case, you might want to factor in a few other things which will almost certainly happen but won’t be confirmed until much closer.

Starting Christmas Eve (or the day after the last party night), the afternoon parade will be the Special Christmas one. And it will run at either noon or 12:30 and again at 3 or 3:30.

Festival of Fantasy usually returns on Jan 2nd or 3rd.

For the week between Christmas and New Year, EMH will be 7am, with normal park opening at 8am every day for MK. Other parks may open slightly earlier, I remember 8:30 for DHS and FW at Epcot. Those times may not be confirmed until a week or two before, so don’t plan PPO breakfasts at MK particularly.

New Year’s Day itself is a breeze at MK, since anyone out the night before probably won’t have got back until around 3am! Until about 11am, MK will be walk-on to most rides.

Opening hours at the parks after New Year revert very quickly to a 9pm close most nights, other than EMH.

The Holidays around the World in Epcot, Candlelight Processional and most other special Christmas stuff finishes on the 30th, as they get ready for the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Do not even think about trying to drive anywhere on the 31st. The roads will be grid-locked. Buses have alternative routes in some cases, cars don’t. I speak from experience, as DH couldn’t get back to Bay Lake to meet me, and ended up at DS instead!

Good to know. Do you think the road situation will be similar in other parts of Orlando? We are thinking of going to UOR either a couple of days before checking into AKL on 12/23 or for a couple of days after we check out on 12/28.

Traffic is going to be a bear the whole time we are there… :frowning: and crowds are going to be as well…

There are dessert parties on party nights. Waste of your party time IMO, but it’s an option if you want it.

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Thanks! Good to know, though I agree that it seems like a waste of time when there’s so much else to do.