Take daughter for 1st trip in Dec 2019 or Dec 2020?

We are a family of 5 and have been to Disney World once in 2014 when I was pregnant with our youngest. She turns 5 in October and my husband agrees we need to take another trip to WDW for her to experience it while she is still obsessed with princesses, Mickey and Minnie, and still believes in Santa Claus. I did book a suite at AoA for the week after Thanksgiving 2019, December 1-6, but our airline has changed their flight schedule so now I have to either shorten or lengthen our trip. Every room for 5 people under $800 per night is booked onsite and between that and my struggle to get the ADRs we wanted, I am getting worried about how crowded it’s going to be. I know it is always crowded these days but it will be especially crazy with Star Wars opening at HS. I had hoped it still wouldn’t be too bad the week after Thanksgiving but I’m guessing a lot of people have saved up and waited for Galaxies Edge to open so maybe everyone had the same idea of going that week. We had debated whether or not to take her at age 5 or wait until she is 6 and a little better about being patient. This will be our last trip to Disney World until all of our kids are teenagers so i want it to be as magical and enjoyable as possible. So if you were me, would you keep our 2019 plans or cancel and wait until 2020?

Will you be there the week of Christmas or New Years? I assume so because typically you’d still be able to find room availability other weeks in December this far out.

Personally, I would pick less busy week if you can. If you’re stuck with your current week, you might just want to go for it and keep checking availability for ADRs and hotel until you find something acceptable. There’s no guarantee 2020 will be any better, even with SWGE novelty wearing off.

Edit: Just saw you said week after Thanksgiving. I’m baffled.

We are booked for the week after Thanksgiving, Dec 1-6, which I read is usually one of the slower weeks of the year. Our airline changed their return flight and no longer flies on Fridays (Dec 6th). When I checked earlier, Saratoga Springs and Coronado Springs were the only options that came up with availability and the cheaper of the 2 was over $800 per night.

If this were causing me a lot of stress between the hotel and airplane, then I might postpone the trip. But if the real concern is the crowds, then I think I would still make the trip this year. We really don’t know how crowds will be in fall 2019 vs fall 2020. MMRR and Ratatouille will likely open in 2020 plus those who really want to ride Rise of the Resistance may wait until 2020 since the opening date in late 2019 is still unknown and impossible to plan around currently. This may lead to large crowds in 2020 too.

Caveat - If you learn that Rise of the Resistance will be opening during the days of your planned trip and you are still able to reschedule, then I would reschedule at that time. The parks will likely be even more crowded right when Rise of the Resistance opens.

I just ran a search for that week on Disney’s website and lots of options came up ranging from Value to Deluxe. What method were you looking to search? Also were you selecting any unusual filters?

Also, you may want to try calling directly into Disney or using a travel agent. Sometimes they withhold inventory from their main site.

I have never been during that time of year but have been mid-January and early February (both also considered low crowd times) and both trips felt very crowded to me because i went in expecting it to feel nice and calm in terms of crowds. If crowds are your main reason for rescheduling i’d say just go for it!! WDW does a very good job of filling the parks and i think these days they always feel crowded. Realistic expectations and a good TP trump crowd levels every time. And if you’re wanting DD5 to experience WDW while everything is still magical and princesses hang the moon I’d go sooner rather than later.

I just checked AoA availability for the rest of that weekend. They have rooms for $196. If that doesn’t help could you switch to an off site hotel to extend your stay? I have found multiple 4 star hotels on Priceline for under $100 per night during this time.

If you need to shorten your stay, when would you need to leave? How many days of tickets have you purchased? I assume you didn’t get 6 since you’d miss a day with arrival and another with departure. If you have purchased tickets for days you may not be able to go, are you arriving / leaving on day(s) with enough time to do a half day - maybe stay late for MVMCP?

Crowds - Yeah… WDW is going to be busier than normal during this time. However, it is going to be concentrated at DHS - specifically that one land. Why not just avoid DHS entirely? Spend more time in MK or AK… places that are better for smaller children.

Really, AoA has availability? The only filter I’m using is that I’m searching for a room for 5 people. I guess I could look for 2 rooms at a value?

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I was searching for a room for 2 adults and 3 children. Other than that, I did not put in any filters. I also don’t know if something has been going on with their system today because sometimes when I’ve searched it only shows me 2 options and other times there were 5 or 6. All of them were over $550 per night, though.

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I think I’ve read that there are limited options on rooms for 5, so 2 rooms at a value for one night might work out for you. I would also look into good neighbor hotels or airbnb for the first night. You won’t get the free transportation from the airport, but you might still save money if the rooms are that expensive on property.
I agree with the advice to charge ahead if it’s crowd related concerns. Have you set up any notifications on the reservation finder to try adjusting your ADRs?

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The first week of December is an excellent time to go. We are in a similar situation—our kids will be almost 3 and 6, and we will be going Dec 14 - 20. My spouse can’t get off work any earlier than that, or else we’d be going at the same time as you.

We will be waiting and watching until November. The refund policy is great, so it gives us a lot of leeway to see what the crowds are like in late fall and if TP estimates the parks will be jammed. Keep your fingers crossed!

Another factor to consider is that Rise of the Resistance should be open by the end of the year. And around Thanksgiving is a popular guess.

Whereas Thanksgiving 2020 may be a lull before the 2021 celebrations kick in. And at 6, she’s unlikely to have lost her love for princesses.

I would take a look at the packages when they come out next week, and maybe consider postponing the trip for a year.

Just going by age, I think 6 would be better than 5. She will remember it much more. At 5, any memories of the trip will mostly be from photos. Even at 6, we have found our own kids don’t end up remembering a lot.

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Have you tried modifying your existing hotel reservation? I just did a search & see AoA suite availability 12/1-12/7.

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