Planning for december - time to start freaking out

In january I was certain it’ll be a couple of years before we’ll be in WDW again, but turns out we are going after all, for a few nights on dec 15th-18th :star_struck:

I’m trying to be a bit more prepared than last december as it got a bit stressful

I currently have multiple hotel bookings and this is where I’d appreciate some opinions

We were at Poly for the first time on our previous trip, and it was amazing. It obviously has a ton of perks including one of the best locations on property, but one of the biggest things was the view and being able to see fireworks from our room. both of my kids absolutely loved this and they really don’t enjoy them in the park. This made all of our nights magical and I want to go back just because of this.

I have both regular and CL theme park view rooms booked and I’m trying to decide which one to keep. The cost difference wont kill us for 3 nights if CL is notably better, but I don’t want to pay extra if there is no major difference as there are fewer CL perks these days. The Tuvalu building (non-CL) seems more secluded and it’s right on the water, but there is the DVC construction going on right next to it. I don’t know if this will bother us as we are up at 6am due to jetlag any way. The buildings are nearly the same distance from the lobby and I can’t tell if one really has better views than the other. Any thoughts? which would you pick?

My idea as of now:

Dec 15th - late arrival - I know my kids will be asleep early because of jetlag so there is a small chance of me going to Epcot solo to catch Harmonious for the first time.

Dec 16th - This is Christmas Party day so MK closes early. Fine for us, because we are jetlagged and wont be in the park beyond 6pm - a good day to hit MK, right? No extra hour in the morning which we could easily utilize, but on the other hand a more quiet day, I imagine. Is Enchantment on at the regular time on MVMCP days?

Dec 17th - Based on previous trips, the second day is often stressfull and by the end of it we are very tired, so I want to try something different and take it easier. I’m thinking about hanging around Poly, going to the pool if it’s warm early in the day, and going to a park in the afternoon. Possibly Epcot.

Dec 18th - Park day from RD to 6pm

We might do just 3 parks this time and most likely skip AK. I need to figure out which park to do the afternoon half+ day at and which one for the longer day. Here are our must-do’s at each park:

spend a couple of hours at WS

spend an hour in GE

I plan on using G+ and ILL for GotG and RotR. I am thinking we can knock out Epcot in a shorter time, right?

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There should be the daily 30 minute Early Theme Park Entry time, at every park, but probably not a full hour. If they did the same pattern as last year, that full hour would start the Sunday after you arrive.

No, there is no regular fireworks show on party days, since the park closes so early. That’s a big reason the daytime crowds are so low. There are only the special party fireworks, which you can still view from the Poly.

I am sure others will disagree with me. I have stayed in CL rooms at YC, BC, AKL, WL and Poly. I don’t think Poly CL is “worth” the extra money. The lounge area does have a fireworks viewing area. The rooms are no different than any other building and the food is just not great.

Yea I think this should be the case!

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Yea CL in itself is not quite worth it. I have used the lounge plenty when staying CL before, but you can get endless amount of food elsewhere with that $. I suppose I’m mostly thinking if there is any major benefit of either building in terms of location, quietness, view etc.

The lounge has a straight on fireworks view. Would you be guaranteed 3rd floor (balcony)? The lounge is on one end of the building.

The Hawaii building is centrally located (right next to the main pool and the Oasis pool) but I don’t know where the other rooms are located?

Edited to add: there are some CLs I will book again. Poly is not one of them for me.

Good point re balcony

I think all the other / non-CL theme park view rooms are in the Tuvalu building.

I found these old images in my folders, these seem to match with TP room finder. Hawaii has 37 rooms classified as theme park view, out of which 16 are on the 3rd floor. Tuvalu has 21, 10 on the top floor. The statistics nerd in me says I have a higher chance of getting through a request for 3rd floor room in the Tuvalu building

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Continuing with planning our trip, I currently have parks reserved as follows: Dec 16th MK, 17th HS, 18th Epcot

Random questions:

  1. Is it currently possible to buy a same day ticket in evening? I recall reading that this is possible when park capacity permits, but now I can’t seem to find the info. I won’t know what time we arrive in WDW until we are there and if time permits, I could try to go to Epcot in the evening. But it might be 5pm, it might be 9pm, so I wouldn’t want to risk buying a ticket beforehand.

  2. What is the current best way to get on GotG - VQ or ILL? Is there basically zero control for the boarding time with either one?

  3. I wanted to get an ADR for Ohana but of course, I remembered this way too late (it’s now 54 days til our trip). I’m a total noob when it comes to ADR’s. Do I keep checking back? Is the TP reservation finder reliable for this?

And a follow up to the last set of questions… Is there any chance of Ohana taking same day reservations? walk-ins? Anything?

You can only buy tickets if there are APRs available. You would also want to go into the app and add the day to your current tickets (cheaper).

Get a VG using BG1, and if you want get an ILL at 7 (VQ first). You can pick an ILL time or be hours late for a VQ.

Ohana: set up dining alerts in as many places as possible. Often, ADRs open up the night before. You can also try the waitlist (if available) in MDE.

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Thank you

When or how much in advance can I do this?

I believe it is day of and you should be in the area. In the parks you can see the dining list on the dining tab of the tip board. For example, I see this right now:

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Follow up question on the same day ticket purchase. If it’s possible to park hop, is it also possible to buy a new ticket + make a park reservation for that park? Or does there have to park availability for that day to begin with?

If anyone can advice on this, would be greatly appreciated! I can’t seem to be able to google this right

The question is, if the day is initially sold out but park hopping becomes available, can a ticket be purchased?

I suppose it’s possible the 15th wont be sold out any way, seems like last year Epcot had same day availability until the 18th if TP has the correct data

Am I remembering correctly that you could not buy multi-day tickets last years because there were sold out days? Park hopping was available then, and you could not purchase tickets.

Yea thats correct, some parks were sold out though eventually there was availability.

But in this case I’m wondering if I can buy tickets the same day, after the 2pm park hopping window. ie do they become available after people leave the park?

This might all be unecessary pondering if the date in question doesn’t sell out, but I’m curious

You can buy a ticket if there are APRs. I don’t think they add APRs at 2?