First time visit: trying to figure out everything?

We are a party of 11 (2 adults and 9 children: 16, 14, 13, 12, 10, 9, 7, 5, 4) taking our first trip to Disney Nov 26- Dec 9. We have 6-day passes and have planned 2 days in MK, 2 in Epcot, 1 in HS, and 1 in AK. I am working on touring plans. I think I have MK mostly figured out. We are not doing MVMCP but wonder if that will effect the times we have in the park.
At Epcot where does Holidays Around the World take place? Is it in the pavilions or some place else? I am trying to arrange it so that we are able to do just about everything but it’s difficult.
Haven’t started on HS or AK yet! So much work!

MVMCP will mean on party days the MK closes at 7PM for non-party goers (i.e. you) and will be fairly crowded from 4PM on as party goers arrive and mix with the regular crowds. If you have park hoppers, going on a party day early can be good as fewer people go given the shorter hours so you can have a good morning at MK and then bail mid afternoon and hop to another park. If you don’t have park hoppers, I’d target MK on non-party days to maximize potential hours - especially if you’ll split up your group so the 4 year old could go back to the resort to swim/sleep while the teenagers do a late night at MK. If you will bail as a group when the 4 year old is tired, it may not matter as much as if you rope drop MK the youngest will likely be getting burned out by 7PM if not by 4 when the park gets crowded…

Holidays Around the World is in World Showcase - there’s a special holiday show at each country basically.

Wow! Where/how are you staying? I can’t even fathom how you function on a normal day - much less at Disney! Make sure to download the Touring Plans WDW Lines app to be able to have access to line wait times. The schedule for the Holidays around the world was also hard for me to find…and now cant find it again. Sorry. I’ll keep looking.

you have a long vacation and it is relatively inexpensive to add extra days to your tickets as you move passed that 5 day mark. It might be worth adding a few days and having 1/2 day options for some of the night time activities. If you are needing to stick to the 6 days I think your 2MK, 2EP, 1AK, 1HS is a good plan.

Also you might want to crunch the numbers for one of you getting an AP for the memory maker benefits and the discounts. Depending on your dining plans the Tables in Wonderland might be worth looking into.

I actually like hitting MK on the party days. The crowds seem lighter to me until about 4pm. Of course that means you miss some night times activities. But the days without parties during party season are packed so it is a bit of a balancing act.

This is a first timer TRAP. Don’t ask how I know. You can’t get to everything and you will stress yourself and your family out trying. Just pick a handful of must do’s, another handful of would like to do’s, and everything else you get in is bonus! You picked a great time of the year to go!


Don’t know what an AP is but I plan on getting the memory maker at some point before we leave. I have looked into Tables in Wonderland but we don’t qualify.

No park hopper…thought it would be too difficult to jump from park to park with the amount of kids we have. I didn’t know party goers arrived before 7 but I am glad I asked about that. Our first day at MK is a party day but the second day is a nonparty day but the crowd level is a 7 on that day.
So should I plan to attend each country’s pavilion and the Holidays Around the World for each country separately?

We are staying off property. Haha…normal day I got down…Disney on the other hand I am not so sure. LOL I have the app and do plan to use it. I am mostly looking for the location for the Holiday’s Around the World as I don’t know if we need to try to go to each country’s pavilion and a separate Holidays Around the World event for each country or if just visiting the pavilion will cover the Holiday’s Around the World part of it. It’s just all so confusing. LOL

Sorry AP is annual pass. It will qualify you for the Tables in Wonderland. But you will have to crunch numbers to make sure the upfront cost will save you money on the back end.

Each country has its own holiday event. You could spend all day in the world showcase and not ride anything! I usually do 1/2 world showcase one day and 1/2 the 2nd Epcot day.

Annual pass will also get you parking for free. Another consideration as you crunch numbers.

I agree with this decision! First time with a big group of children, one park a day will be plenty to take in. Park hopping uses a chunk of time especially with multiple littles.

Oh yeah I looked into the annual pass already and it’s too much more. Maybe I will try the 1/2 and 1/2 idea? I am just really confused about how Epcot is going to work. I am trying to make my own touring plan and it’s proving much more difficult than MK was.

Try starting with the touring plan pre-made one for two days. I think it is easier to tweak theirs than to start with a blank page. Epcot is hardest for me too! Hang in there.

I took the tween one and the small children one and mixed them together then added the Holiday one for small children. And trying to split it up into 2 days! And I deleted all duplicate attractions of course.

Oh and just to be clear I was only recommending one AP for one adult in your group. I hope you did not think it was an AP for everyone! Parking $20 per day, Memory Maker $149, 10% and 20% dining discounts and 20% merchandise discount.

Some EP Comments:

I have never really done a TP for WS. I start in Mexico and work my way around. Most of WS is shopping and dining. If your group is not interested in looking around the shops, WS will take less time. Some of the best in-park dining anywhere in WDW is in WS; you might want to consider one of them.

The only 2 pavilions with rides are Mexico and Norway. Mexico’s is fun, but not essential if it’s more than a 10 or 15 min wait (it usually isn’t), then skip it. The Frozen ride in Norway is immensely popular, and without a FPP (which you likely will not be able to get for a large group 30 days out) the line will be LONG; unless you have a serious Frozen fan, I’d skip it.

China and Canada both have “Circlevision” movies. China is prettier, Canada is more fun; neither rarely have a long wait. France has what might be the most beautiful film in WDW, set to classical music; again, rarely much of a wait. The American Adventure is one of the best theater shows (combining audio-animatronics and film) in WDW. I consider it a “must-see”. While waiting you can listen to the Voices of Liberty perform; the best live act in EP.

I’m not sure if it’s even possible to do ALL of the Holiday story times in one day. I’ve never been fortunate enough to be there in December. You might want to focus on 4 or 5 that sound the most interesting to you and if you catch others, so much the better. Another possibility might be to catch half on one day and the other half on your second day.

I’m not sure if you’re considering the Candlelight Processional. If you are, a dining package is the only realistic way to get a seat - but that will get pricey for a group of your size. You CAN hear it, even if you’re not in the seating area.

Other parks:

On your MK day that has a party, don’t expect to do a lot of rides after 4:00 unless you have FPPs - at least not the headliners. The one time I was there on a party day, all FPPs in the park were gone by 2:30, so getting “extras” may not be an option. You definitely want to plan on leaving not later than 6:00, or you will be waiting forever for the monorail or ferry.

I think a full day should get you to at least most of the best that DHS and AK have to offer. At DHS, some splitting up may work for you; the teens may not enjoy some of the “princess” shows, but the younger ones may not want to do the “thrill rides”. Because of timing, you’ll have to choose between Fantasmic and Jingle Bell Jingle Jam. Don’t have advice here other than Fantasmic is 25 minutes in a seated amphitheater and is a true “Disney classic”. JBJB has never been seen before, but if it follows the Star Wars show model, it will only be about 10 min, and will require finding a standing spot well in advance. For Fantasmic, if you don’t want to queue about an hour in advance, a dining package is the recommended method of seeing the show. This is not cheap, but if you plan on a TS meal in DHS anyway, it’s not a huge add-on.

By the time you go, Rivers of Light should be playing at AK in the evenings. This is expected to be spectacular and not to be missed - but it may be very difficult to see without a dining package (which may or may not be available). Keep tuned in here and you’ll get info as soon as it’s released. Even without RoL, you should definitely plan on staying at AK until after dark.

Well, that’s a lot to digest in one post. Standing by to answer any specific questions you might have.


At HS You will now be able to see both Fantasmic and Jingle Bell Jingle Bam, as timings have been updated. But that depends on whether your family would be up for both.

I echo what others are saying. Work out what are your ‘must dos’ in each park and plan around them. Allow for down time. Be realistic, if you aim to be there for park opening then you’ll likely need a break if you also want to see the night-time entertainment too. Especially if you want to be up agin the next day to ‘rope drop’ again.

This is from last year, but it gives you an idea of the storytellers’ schedules.

Looks like most of them perform every 50-60 min…