February/March or November/December -- When would you go?

I’m trying to decide between two possible weeks for our next Disney trip. We’d be looking at either November 24th, 2018-December 2nd, 2018 or February 23rd, 2019-March 3rd, 2019. Which would you pick for a mother-daughter adults only trip, and why? We’ve been before in the late February timeframe and always enjoyed it, but I’ve never been when the parks and resorts are decorated for the holidays, so that tempts me. Thoughts?

I believe the February dates would be the Princess ?

I hadn’t thought of that. How much does the runDisney stuff impact the experience in the parks? Is it just that the resorts might be booked up, etc., or does it impact the whole trip?

Parks were pretty packed over Marathon Weekend last month, and crowds petered out very quickly come Monday.

I love Christmas time at WDW. If you’ve never seen it all decorated with the special events they have going on, I would definitely pick the Nov-Dec time!

All other things being equal, Christmas time at WDW is something you have to experience at least once. The decorations, the displays in the various resorts, Epcot (with the festival, Candlelight Processional, and the Peace on Earth version of Illuminations), DHS with it’s echo lake and Sunset Blvd displays, and MVMCP if you can swing it… Really a magical time there. Plus being after Thanksgiving and not Christmas week the crowds should be managable.

It also impacts your travel to the parks on race mornings, depending on where you stay.

That’s abnormal for Marathon weekend - this year was immediately after New Years, where usually there’s a weekend in between. Crowds were more likely due to peoples’ winter school breaks than due to the race weekend (I’ve been nearly every year since 2012).

@dunegirl, I would choose the Nov-Dec time frame, personally, both for the Christmas décor and the fact that there’s basically no school breaks going on at that time, whereas in Feb-Mar you may start to see staggered spring break people. Not as much as late March, but some.

@mikejs78 @FindMeAFishingSpot @MouseGirl42 I realize this is a subjective question, but is the Christmas atmosphere really that amazing? Everyone raves about it, but I’m not a super-into-Christmas person, and I’m not sure that I would get that much out of it. We’ve been to MNSSHP, which I found an underwhelming experience – it was good, but nothing I would ever pay for again. Is the Christmas party similar? I think part of my hesitation is that neither of us is a huge fan of parades or fireworks, and a lot of the ‘special’ holiday events seem to be centered around those. (On a normal trip, for example, we skip all of the parades and see fireworks one night, max).

When we went at Halloween, I found that “needing” to fit in the party made the rest of the trip feel more compressed and stressful schedule-wise, which I don’t want to have happen again. If we don’t do the party, is the rest of the Christmas still amazing/special enough to “feel” like we did Christmastime at Disney?

You can get a lot out of Christmas at Disney even without the party. The whole resort is decorated. Many hotels have impressive displays in the lobby. The Epcot / DHS stuff is really good and more laid back than the MK party. Epcot now has the International Festival of the Holidays with holiday food from around the world…

If you’re going mainly for the the rides and attractions, there’s nothing with those that are new. But the ambiance in all the parks is pretty neat.

I have never watched the Christmas parade or fireworks. But I love the atompshere and decorations at the resorts and the parks. And the stuff at Hollywood Studios last year was amazing - the projections on the Tower of Terror, the little shorts on the billboard. The whole thing just makes me happy. And the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs. It was all very magical.


I agree with @mikejs78 - you can definitely feel like you’ve “done Christmas” without needing to attend MVMCP.

Personally, It warms me to see Christmas décor still up when I go down during Marathon weekend - and I know I want more than I get even then. I would recommend (and will probably do!) an early December trip for them this year, as I’m an AP for the first time this year.

Thanks for the info, all! I think you’ve convinced me to go for the Nov/Dec week! Now to talk to my mom and see if she minds going sooner rather than later :slight_smile: