HELP! Need advice on dates

Hey fellow WDW fans!
I need advice…I’ve booked Poly Nov 27th-Dec 5 2016 (free dining, too) as a back up bc I was on a waiting list for DVC rental points for the Poly. Well, DVC Rental store came thru!! However, the dates are for Dec 10-18! The price savings is around $500 (calculating the ‘free’ dining offered for the Nov dates bc I will purchase the dining pckg thru the DVC owner) to go with DVC.
Here’s the question…
Which dates should we go?? Does anyone have experience going either of these blocks of time? It’s only my second time to WDW, and I just want it to be awesome for the fam! Also, it appears the DVC studios are nicer then the standard rooms at the Poly…thoughts?
One more thing, we are going to celebrate the adoption of our special need’s foster toddler who will need naps, and may not make the fireworks. This is why we are doing the Poly: Monorail and beach to enjoy Wishes.
Thanks for any and all help!

First of all, congratulations on the adoption! What a great reason to celebrate at DW. :heart_eyes:
We’ve gone during that time of year for the past 5 years and again this Nov/Dec. I will say that we have consistently seen the parks less crowded the week after Thanksgiving vs. further into December, thus making it our absolute favorite time to go. We are actually going Nov 28-Dec 3.
But as you said, the latter saves you about $500 so it really boils down to what’s most important to you! Smaller crowds are a high priority for us, but sounds like you’d be getting a good deal on a villa going the DVC route too so either way would be fun! I believe Pop Warner week is sandwiched right between your two prospective dates which is nice, you won’t have to contend with multiple large groups of teams/cheer squads around the parks either week you select.
Oh and one more thing - if you are getting the dining plan then I’m not sure how much need/use you would get out of the kitchen features in the villa and from what I’ve seen, the Poly regular rooms are pretty nice/comfortable and you get a good amount of space. Hope this was a help!


Thank you so much for your quick response:)
It does help that you’ve experienced this time of year at WDW! I so appreciate your input…LOVE that we’ll be missing Pop Warner either way lol…hmmm decisions, decisions…

You’re welcome! It’s such a nice time of year to go, we’ve stuck to it ever since 2011, lol. We were actually there during PW last year and while it was still a slower season in general, you did notice several LARGE groups of teens around the parks and while there are large groups at any given time…If I can avoid a week where there are hundreds of EXTRA large groups, I’m going to, lol.
Happy to help if you have any more questions about this time of year! I think you made a great choice with the Poly too.
Side note - LOVE the costumes in your pic!! I assume that was for MNSSHP?

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For timing, the only difference in those dates should be the crowd levels - you’re going to see everything Christmas-related up by the earlier dates. IIRC, December crowds start to pick up after the mid-point of the month, meaning you may see heavier crowds on your final weekend, but comparatively light the rest of the time.

Given that, I’d go with the DVC rental, personally. Nicer room, cheaper, and the crowd differences should be manageable.

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Haha - I hear you!! I was originally booked for the PW week and changed it the second I found out about it!!
Yes, we went to WDW for my 40th b-day (fall 2014)!! Not everyone was thrilled with their costumes, but they all obliged!! We returned home and one week later got our foster baby (who will be two y/o this fall) and officially adopted by then:):):):slight_smile: I had a BLAST at the MNSSHP!! HOWEVER, will not be going to the Christmas party-TOO EXPENSIVE for a family of 5 (plus one free tot)!!
One more question if you have time to answer…
This is my first time using touring plans…how effective are they really?? I am making mine as detailed as possible since I have teens down to tots, and want everyone to have a great time…

Thanks again!

Thanks for the input Kevin! I am a little afraid of huge crowds tho! Do you have experience navigating through a 9/10 day using a touring plan?


No, I’m afraid I rather try to avoid the CL 9 days.

For CL 4-6 days, I found the plans were a little too aggressive, time-wise, even when set to a relaxed walking pace. They’re good for figuring out the general order to do things, but be prepared to drop something if you’re falling behind - and always live in the moment rather than be beholden to the schedule.

Your big crowds should be only in the last few days, I hope. By that point in the trip, you’ll likely be looking at fitting in anything you haven’t gotten to yet and doing repeats of favorites. I suggest FP+ for the latter and for the former, try to get to the higher-demand attractions earlier in the trip so you’re dealing with the low-demand ones during the busy days.

And of course, getting there early and/or taking advantage of EMH always helps, regardless of crowd levels.

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Okay. I am going to take your advice on the touring plans…I am having fun creating them, and want the fun to continue, not come to a grinding halt to stick to the schedule!! :slight_smile:
Great tips on the FP+!! I think we are going enough days to really maximize our efforts. Also, we are morning people, and so EMH in the am should work well for us!
Thank you!!

I’d go with the DVC reservation. TP lists slightly higher crowd levels for that week - but still 4’s and 5’s which is really good! Plus - a $500 savings is pretty sweet!

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We think the Sunday after Thanksgiving through the first week in December is absolutely the best week. Best weather, best crowds, all of the Christmas entertainment, we loved all of it. The second choice still won’t be as crazy as going the week of Christmas but after that first week the crowds continually build up to that frenzy. We’re going W&D weekend this year, but only because we’re going with 40 other friends. Any other time we go back it will be that early December time frame.

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Thanks! I agree-$500 is nothing to sneeze at! It seems with good TP’s it’ll be worth it:) I like what Kevin said, do all of the heavy hitters earlier in the week, and save other things for the heavy crowd days. I could save HOP, Philharmagic, Laugh Floor, etc for Sat the 18th at MK, and still have 3 good FP+ set up! I feel like we’re going long enough to really get the most out of MK and EP (our two favs). I appreciate your feed back!!! HAVE A GREAT DAY!

Shhhh… Don’t tell anyone!!! That’s the week I’ll be down.


I’ll offer a potential counterpoint that I haven’t seen discussed. I believe the renting of DVC points is a non-refundable transaction, right? Just something to consider should your dates have to change. Either way, with a larger party travelling and the cost of a stay at the Poly you should probably be considering some form of trip insurance.

Also, if I’ve read correctly, the DVC studios have a queen, a sleeper sofa, and a pull down bunk. The standard Poly room we stayed in had two reasonably comfortable queen beds plus a flip down single sleeper. Both room styles accommodate 5 people, but just go into it knowing the the DVC room would entail a sleeper sofa in case you have some picky sleepers in your group.

Hope this helps,

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Agreed, it’s our favorite week to go! :slight_smile:

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Congratulations on your adoption!

First thing I would look at is when most schools are out for the Christmas Season :slight_smile: We went the week before the kids were out and into the first day when the kids were out of school and you could tell a huge difference in the crowds! If school was letting out during your second dates then I would say to stick with the first ones. DVC only has one block of rooms you could book! They are closer to TTC, but depending on where you would get for the standard room could mean closer to the great house :slight_smile: I have never stayed at DVC, but I know that mousekeeping doesn’t come ever day! I looked into staying DVC but could not get the room I wanted so I went with the for sure! You can look here to see what the difference is but I thought rooms were same it was just a few added perks!

I have used touring plans on several trips :slight_smile: It works great :slight_smile: One thing about it is if you need to change it, it will give you the best way to do that :slight_smile: We skipped a few rides here and there but for the most part it works well :slight_smile: What I have always done is picked a few rides that I for sure wanted to ride and each member did the same. I made sure we had those rides, broke them down for the days we were there and then we did what we could over and above that :slight_smile:

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The only visit I have ever had in December was a long weekend two years ago that started December 10th. It was a magical trip! I loved MVMCP, the decorations- everything!

That being said, that year I went to the world for F &G, end of June to July 4th and an October F & W weekend. Nothing prepared me for the crowds in December! I met a group of liners in WS on Sunday and it took us 30 minutes to walk from IG to Germany. You could not walk through the store in Japan. It was crazy! It did not impact my trip. I would do it again- I just think the earlier week may be easier to navigate- but maybe sharing the park with a crowd at Christmas makes it more magical?

I’m such a nerd because I was so excited to see you responded to my question! I have been reading (trolling) through forum posts for some time, and you are famous on this site! :wink: Thanks for your input!!!


Thanks for your tips!
Insurance is something I really hadn’t thought of…as far as sleepers, my children can sleep anywhere, and I’ll be taking the good bed:) I actually liked the pull out sofa plan because it should make for a little extra space when not in use. We’ll have a two year old with us, and that means more time in the room for naps, etc.
Thanks again,

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful responses to my question!!
Here’s the verdict: We decided to go with the DVC (Dec 10-18), and it was an arduous decision to make! It boiled down to those darn kids; School work, dance, and sports all contributed to the final choice. The good news is that, “I’M GOING TO DISNEY!” The other good news is that the dates do not coincide with school break! WOOT WOOT!! I think we can handle the crowds with strategic planning. We shall see…
I’ll post some feedback about the DVC experience when we return. Hopefully they’ll be more pros then cons;)
I am very grateful for everyone taking the time to weigh in on this wonderful 1st world problem I was facing:)