The impossibility of planning a trip in December

In a final act of brutality to my credit card, earlier this year I booked a second trip to Orlando for this December.

Naturally my ADR 180 day point has been and gone so I’ve already had to have some sense of which parks I’m going to be in on which days.

To which I’ve added some upcharge events: two MVMCPs, Candlelight Processional dining package, and a version of DAH at Universal Studios.

I came up with a plan that I was pretty happy with.

Until I started thinking about SWGE.

I probably don’t care about Smuggler’s Run. I’ve seen a POV video and it’s kinda cool, but it looks like Star Tours on steroids and if you’re not in the front seats it might be a bit lame. And I’m not really any kind of fan of Star Wars.

Rise of the Resistance is probably going to be very cool. But really, I just want to enjoy the theming of the area and maybe get something to eat and drink. Hopefully I won’t get the opportunity to make a lightsaber because they’re very expensive and I know I’ll want to do that whole thing. Ditto the robot thing.

The frustration, of course, is that we have zero information about how any of this is going to work. How much time do I need allot to it? Do I need to brace myself for huge long lines just to get in?

I became panicked when I saw the Touring Plans crowd level predictions. I booked for the second week in December because historically that’s been pretty quiet. But DHS is a 7 on my first full day, a 9 the following day, then 10’s for the rest of the stay.

I had originally put DHS at the end of my stay thinking about the 60+X FPP advantage of an onsite stay. Now I’m thinking maybe it should be at the beginning of the stay, assuming FPPs aren’t a thing at SWGE.

But that means messing with the plans I’ve already made. Some of the plans can be changed, some — the DAH at UOR, for example — can’t. Even this far out I’ve found the ADRs I’ve booked aren’t so easily movable. Seems like it might be a busy week.

The whole ethos of this trip is about soaking up atmosphere, so I’m not going to be very ride-focussed. It would be helpful, Disney, to know what the procedure just for getting into SWGE and wandering around will be.

I’ve tried to make my plan flexible. For example, my Epcot day starts at Trattoria al Forno and ends with the late showing of CP. Originally I was disappointed to get the late showing, but it may work to my advantage. That day could easily be TAF — SWGE — CP rather than the current plan of TAF — Epcot — CP.

But my desire to lock-in a plan and then forget about it is being thwarted by the silence coming from Disney about how SWGE is going to work.

Oh, and this is all before I start worrying about getting a reservation at the new Space restaurant at Epcot, and how the Skyliner is going to work. As I’m staying at Pop, it’s a big part of my planning.


Disney after hours at Universal Orlando Resort? I’m confused or just missing something.

Hopefully you’ll get some good info about SWGE soon so you can solidify your plans and never change them :wink:

I said

It’s an event which is the exactly equivalent. Except it’s longer and has free food.


Is December an absolute must? Or would it be possible to bump it back to January?

I see that now. Apparently I did not read completely.

that’s now how it works. He’ll just plan another trip :grin: Hopefully for fall to give a review of Halloween Horror Nights at universal so I can get his take on that.


Yes. I’m all about this:


Ahhh… I see. Well, despite the 10 CL days… I think you should book SWGE at the end of your trip… it’s POSSIBLE that there could be FP for Smuggler’s Run by then. And even possible that there will be reservations for Savi’s and the Droid Depot if you are thinking about those. I think I read that Disneyland was starting to do advanced reservations for Savi’s at least.
At the same time, maybe there will be EEMH for SWGE, and you can just take advantage of that any morning you want to?

My plans at present are pretty flexible. My 60 day FPP window is some way off. I’d just like more information now.

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I feel your pain… The uncertainties are unnerving…

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There will almost certainly be the extra EMH when Rise of the Resistance opens, unless it’s a complete disaster operationally in September.

And there almost certainly won’t be FPs for either ride.

I think you’ll just have to be patient and see what happens in a few weeks time. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but :woman_shrugging:

The opening date is the 5th. Just for clarity.

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It will hopefully make the other parks lower crowd level? I imagine once how they see this opening going they will set out plans for the second opening.

I agree that it is very frustrating to not know anything about how SWGE will be handled. I’m planning our first family trip in 4 yrs and seeing TS land is high on our list, plus having my kids do the thrill rides they were too young for before. The change in FP tiers upset me a lot at first b/c I it means my kids won’t get to ride much at HS, probably. I got over it…just a few rides after all…but we also have a friend going with us who really wants to just walk through the SW area and I don’t know how to plan that for him. We’re Thanksgiving week. I’ve been uncertain how to plan dining and FP given that I don’t even know how long it might take to get into HS. My plan is to plan to change all my plans at a moment’s notice to fit the situation, which is not how I roll. :wink: I’m even willing to pay the missed ADR penalty if we have to just get out of there b/c too many people. Too big a WDW for worry about doing every little thing in one park.


I just re-read your original post. Yes! Exactly how I feel about a trip just slightly earlier. I’m hoping that a few weeks after they open SWGE they might make their system known. But since my FP window is late Sept it can’t be too late…

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I’m there the week before you…they open RotR while I am there. I 100% feel your pain.


Yes, all the uncertainty is frustrating! Our FP day is Sept. 3rd for an early November trip. We’ll arrive the last day of the currently scheduled EEMH, but too late in the day to take advantage of it. At first we were assuming they’d extend EEMH or at least add park hours during our trip, then Disneyland happened and now who knows. I understand that Disney probably hasn’t made all those decisions yet and so can’t announce anything, but it’s frustrating that they lock us into things 180 and 60 days in advance and then make major changes. The announcements will probably come after our FP day, potentially leading us to want to change what parks we do each day. Grrr…

The one advantage to doing HS earlier in your trip is that if you absolutely LOVE SWGE and want to come back and see it again, you would more time to do that than if you put it at the end of your trip.

I am surprising my kids with a three night (2 park day) trip in September and have opted to skip HS all together because 1) I don’t want to spend an entire day in lines trying to get in to ride a single ride SWGE and then other Tier 1 rides, and 2) there is no way that I won’t have disappointed kids on my hands when I tell them that we are not buying a $200 lightsaber! Of course…this could all change after it opens in August and we hear some early reports from guests. The reports out of Disneyland have not given me a sense of urgency to be there in September.