Planning during the Christmas Season

Thanks to Hurricane Dorian, we have moved our travel plans from this first week of September to December 14-20. I had everything planned and prepared for the September crowds, and seeing dates with much higher crowds have just put me at a loss as to how to plan our trip. All of our original dining plans were lost, and I’m scrambling to come up with a schedule that will fit with the new reservations I managed to get. We have park hoppers and are not attending the Christmas party. I plan on hitting MK on party days for the lower crowds, and everything else is up in the air. HS really has me concerned, as every day is a 10 crowd level, and much of my original planning banked on us having access to the park at 6 am. We always planned our previous trips around low crowd times, and don’t know what to do when everything is busy. Where do I start? What am I just going to have to accept won’t be happening?

I am going the exact same dates. My trip has been planned since August 2018. I’m going to follow along. I know I can’t do the all the things I normally do on a trip so I’ll have everyone make a list of the top 5 things they MUST do. I plan on hitting DHS on at least two evenings and one morning. Waiting to see if the EEMH get extended.

My dates are similar but they are my original dates. You have park hoppers and EMH, so you have more options than us because we don’t have park hoppers and we don’t have 60+ day FPP reservation. We will steer clear of parks with EMH, for the most part, because they tend to be the most crowded later in the day. You have the option to rope drop the parks with EMH and then hop to another park after a few hours in the first park. Your FPPs will probably be in the 2nd park. And you will most likely get all the headliners (SDD, FOP, and 7DMT) on FPP day, if you schedule your parks accordingly. Check Dibbs before FPP day.

How many days of park tickets do you have? We have 7.

  • We will spend two days in MK (one being party day from RD to 6 PM (15th) and another day from 10ish am to 10 pm (21st), with a swim break in the afternoon) and two days in Epcot (one day from RD until about 7 (16th) and another day from 10ish am to 10 PM (22nd).

  • We have one day in AK from RD to 8 PM closing (17th).

  • HS is tentatively allotted two days but it’s so up in the air with the GE wrench. TP shows that if we RD HS, we can do everything we want to do, including the 2 GE rides by 7 PM on the 18th.

TPs, which I just did this weekend, show that we will get to do everything we want, at least once, without EMH, 60+ days of FPP reservation, and staying in the parks from RD until closing. We will do the headliners at RD once and pray for same day drops to get on FOP and SDD again. And like other people have said, good TPs will get you through any crowd level. You may have to prioritize and lower your expectations. We had to lower our expectations on getting on all of our favorite rides several times a day :unamused:

Happy planning!

SDD, FOP, 7DMT, Candlelight Processional, and MK fireworks. Can I add in lots of yummy food, too?

The timing of fast passes is really something that has me stumped. Is it better to get them for the morning park, then try for same day passes at the evening park? Or go without at the morning park, and get good ones for the evening park? We have 6 day passes- no park planned on arrival day (Saturday), and can stay until evening on our last day as we are driving home.

I don’t know much about the Candlelight Processional. Is it long?

It’s our first time to WDW for the Christmas season. Candlelight Processional is about 45 minutes long.

Did you do TPs for your September trip? If so, change your dates and times in TPs and have it optimize for you. See if you like the TPs. And once you have done that, print and post for the Forum and they can provide you lots of tips. It’s hard to provide detailed tips without having a rough idea what you would like to do, like your must dos, ADRs… Once you provide more information and draft TPs, some Forum users are even happy to put move your TPs around to optimize.