Maybe a Christmas Trip to Disney? Dec 9-12th

We went to Disney as a family for the first time in April. Despite the crowds and staying offsite we loved it. I’ve been itching to find a way back if our finances will allow it. We have southwest points and so could fly for minimum/no cost to MCO and are considering a trip where we arrive Dec 9th afternoon/evening and leave on the evening on the 12th. That leaves all day Saturday, all day Sunday, and most of Monday to plan for.

I’m now trying to figure out where to stay/what to do. Perimeters are:

  1. Staying onsite most likely. I think offsite doesn’t make as much sense for such a short trip. Last time we also drove so we didn’t rent a car, but this time we would like to avoid car rental, unless it would make more sense financially than bus or uber/lift. I considered maybe a universal stay (cheaper) but thought it might be better to focus on one theme park for the time we have. Thinking either Art of Animation as the budget option or Caribbean Resort as the moderate option. Kids are 6 and 10. I think we would like to be on the skyliner or some other transport option besides just the buses.

  2. Very Merry Christmas Party? Is this worth it? It seems like a lot of fun but also a bit pricey. But we do really love Christmas. As for value, does the party price include getting holiday pictures/magic shots for the evening? And do you need Genie + for the party at all or is it all standby lines?

  3. If doing the holiday party, how many days for the theme parks? We all loved Epcot and are really considering doing Epcot again if we were to do only one other park. How is it for Christmas? I’m trying to decide whether to take it easy and do one park day and do the Very Merry Christmas Party with time to mosey around and see all the decorations at the resorts/disney springs/go swimming, or do a couple park days + the holiday party. Not sure how I feel about park hopping–whether it would be us dragging tired kids around or not. I think the kids got more tired of the parks than the adults :joy: so I am trying to be sensitive to their needs. We traumatized our now 6 year old going on Splash Mountain first and he has never quite recovered, although we have amazing pictures of that experience which are my absolute favorite of the whole trip (sorry kiddo).

  4. Weather–decent during this time? We had great weather for April–it wasn’t blazing hot yet wasn’t filled with rain and the two times it rained we were inside and missed the downpours.

Last time I did all the planning using this forum and guide and it was really helpful. I may farm this out to a travel agent to work out the details but I thought that I might pick your brains about what you like (or don’t like) about Christmas at Disney. I mean, it won’t be hard to talk me into doing anything, but I’m trying to consider my poor wallet as well.

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Christmas time at Disney. Ahhhmazing. The most notable park decorations are at MK and HS. The Christmas party was awesome. I guess “worth it” is based on what you expect to get from it. The parade and fireworks were absolutely worth the $$ spent. Throw in some of the other shows and meet and greets - it was worth it for me. However, if my expectation would have been to ride as many rides as possible, I would have been disappointed. There’s not a lot of time to do rides if you want to do shows/fireworks/parades. The snack options should have been better (bottled water, hot chocolate, cookies, popcorn), but that wasn’t a deal breaker. December weather is great, sometimes unpredictable. Mornings and evenings can get chilly, but daytime temps can be perfect.

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Since your trip is short, I would not do the Christmas party. You can accomplish a lot at MK on a party day even with shorter hours. You could leave MK when it closes at 6:00 and do the resort tours. MK and DHS have the best Christmas decorations and it “snows” when you leave DHS. You MUST visit the resort decorations/gingerbread displays. Christmas at Disney is incredible and amazing. Epcot has the storytellers at various countries and the Candlelight Procession. We watched the CP from outside the seated area and it was fine for viewing. Unless you need the suite, I’d stay at Pop vs AoA. The Little Mermaid rooms at AoA are far.

Decided to not to Christmas–family will be coming up etc. so it is going to get crazy. But hoping for a late January trip perhaps! I found some time that school is only going for a half day so I feel comfortable taking the kids out for a little break.

Don’t miss GF, BC, YC and WL for decorations. My favourite is the BC.

Storytellers at Epcot are cute, Italy and Norway are my favourite.