Touring plan advice for November/ December

We are planning a trip the week after Thanksgiving. I’m struggling with my plan for Magic Kingdom during this time. We currently have a 6 day ticket. We would do two of those days at Magic Kingdom. My struggle is that with MVMCP the park closes early 4 of the 7 days we are there…leaving the 3 days it is open later with predicted high crowd levels. I know we would like to be able to see the parade and fireworks so do I plan one of our days to be a lower crowd level day and then a second day we just deal with the crowds? We don’t have the park hopper option and weren’t planning on attending the Christmas party. Or would it be worth the extra $$ to add the park hopper or Christmas Party to our plan? We’re a family of 5 so both options add up to a decent amount of money for us. Thanks!

My family will also be here this week. We have a 5 day ticket and we are doing the Christmas party one evening and then MK another day even though the crowd levels are predicted to be high. My thought is we will just deal with the crowds and have a good touring plan. Plus I know the crowds will be a little lighter during the party.

Hi, there! We were a group of 10 (5 adults, 5 kids aged 6 & under) who went to Disney this past December (11/29-12/7). We had similar issues - MK closed early multiple nights due to MVMCP, resulting in high crowds on remaining days, especially in the evening for HEA.

We did have PHs and on our Tuesday night, we did do MVMCP - this was a 3 generations, once-in-a-lifetime holiday trip and we splurged a bit. However, that said - if you have a good plan, you CAN accomplish MK if you arrive pre-RD and focus on getting a lot done in those early morning hours.

I do love the flexibility that PHs allow, but they do add up and you really need to think about how your family “does” theme parks in order to determine if they work for you. During our trip, we only used them twice - they were nice to have but probably not a “must” for the ages our kids were. If you like to do a park in the AM, have an afternoon break and then return to the parks, I might suggest that you will do better with 3 MK days rather than 2 - there’s a lot to see and Fantasyland alone can take one day with the rides & character meets!

The MVMCP was a big splurge too - for us it was worth it in the sense that I don’t know if we’ll ever do it again, but our day was rated as one of the ‘best bets’ by multiple Disney blogs (as it was a Tuesday early in December), but it sold out the night of, making it very crowded. And you can’t control that at all. I would say yes to MVMCP if this is a big, special trip, and if you do it, I might do it on a day when you have no park planned so you can sleep in & relax before heading out, in order to stay for the whole MVMCP event.

We did find that the night we chose to watch the HEA show, it was PACKED. Like - mobbed, really! We ended up watching on Main Street, quite packed in. And we didn’t realize that our children wouldn’t be able to see a thing, standing on their own, because everyone in front of them were like giants since everyone has to stand. I held my DS4 and my husband held our DD6 - not the easiest thing to do for the whole show, but otherwise I would recommend camping out perhaps 45-60 minutes closer to the Castle so you don’t run into this issue.

Were you able to see the fireworks and parade during MVMCP even with it being sold out?

Yes, during MVMCP we got in line (early) for 7Dwarfs and were about the 6th group in line. We snagged a couple of cookies from a treat stop and high-tailed it to Main Street in order to get a spot on a curb for the first parade. Since the kids in our group were all 6 or under, the first parade was a priority so no one would be asleep! Not gonna lie - first parade was crowded as heck and unless you show up pretty early, a curb spot on Main Street (where it ‘snows’) won’t happen. Probably better luck viewing it from other areas if you don’t mind missing the ‘snow’.

We had actually viewed the Holiday Wishes via a fireworks cruise on Bay Lake earlier in our trip, so we didn’t feel the need to stand in front of the Castle to watch and chose to ride rides during this time. But, you can see the fireworks whether you are standing still or walking, and if you don’t mind watching fireworks from the rear of the Castle in Fantasyland instead, it’s less crowded there.

The thing is, a sold out MVMCP is crowded but still probably less people than a MK CL8 or CL9 day, I would think. It feels most crowded at the first parade, fireworks & some of the treat stops early in the evening - because everyone is in the same place, wanting to do the same thing. But the crowd lessens and thins out the later you stay.

We’re planning a trip for the first 2 weeks of December and are planning on 2 of the shorter MK days and a third crowded day. There is no special parade until Christmas week unless you do the MVMCP, and HEA is not shown on party nights, so you’d have to do a crowded night to see HEA (Holiday Wishes is shown on party nights). Personally, we’re planning on hitting all the “major” rides on the party days because crowds are light. And we’ll save things that have higher capacity or are never crowded (PeopleMover, the carousel, Dumbo, etc.) for our CL7 day. We are planning on doing the dessert party so we don’t have to fight for a fireworks spot…it is cheaper than either park hoppers or party tickets and should help our day not feel quite so frazzled.

The Wednesday after Thanksgiving is a predicted CL6. That’s not that bad with a good TP, I’d think…

Thanks! That Tuesday/ Wednesday are really hard for me to decide what parks to do because of really good crowd level predictions and the other parks too. I also saw the Friday of that week right now says that MK is a crowd level 1??? It is a early close day but I can’t imagine it will actually be a crowd level 1.

I’ve heard that the party days make the MK have really low/manageable crowd levels. If you put things into a TP on those days you’ll notice that it predicts low wait times and that you can get a lot done. Currently with no fast passes I have 16 rides/shows, an hour lunch and a 30 minute break, and it’s all done by 4 pm on December 2nd. This is including many headliners. So I think it’s possible to get a lot done! I’ll know for sure in December!

We went during October a few years ago and had the same issue with the Halloween party. The touring plans worked really well and we were able to do everything we wanted before 4pm on a party day. We attempted to stay for the fireworks on another day but our kids were done so we ended up leaving. Maybe I will look into the dessert party for a non-party night this time!

I was thinking it was just a money-grab but…after hearing how crowded the hub is on non-party nights and combining that with the fact that it will be our last night and it’s my daughter’s birthday…we’ve decided to spring for it. It’s not cheap (will be $260 for our 2 adults, 3 kids), but I think it will make the experience better. We’re planning on watching Holiday Wishes from the beach by the Poly or the TTC one night, too.

I’ve been obsessing over this for a couple of weeks now and wanted to get an opinion from everyone on my latest option (they seem to change quickly)… I have been back and forth over whether or not it’s important to us to have a night at Magic Kingdom and see HEA. I just realized that MK is open with no party on Saturday 12/1 which would be the last night of our trip. I’m thinking that maybe once we arrive I just add a 7th day to our tickets and we plan on MK that night w/ a dessert party. Crowds will be high but by that time we would have done everything we had hoped to do and this would give us the chance to see MK at night without sacrificing some low crowd days for touring during the week. Am I crazy?

I haven’t seen HEA yet but we are going this trip with a dessert party. So if it’s in your budget I think it sounds like a good plan.

How bad is watching HEA on CL10 (in between party nights) with little kiddos (DS9, DS7, DD5)? If we’re going to try it, we’re going to be making a specific trip to MK after hopping from somewhere else, so if they’re not going to be able to see anything anyway or if we need to camp out for 2 hrs ahead of time, we’ll probably just skip it and do something else.

And if we do opt to go and there are EMH’s after, does the crowd thin out or will it still be wall-to-wall 'til midnight?

We’re actually planning on that exact dessert party (12/1) @lewismm! So maybe I’ll see you there? :smile: Haven’t been since Wishes switched to HEA, so I don’t speak from experience, but we are doing the dessert party for exactly the reasons you are thinking of it. We are doing one low-crowd party day at MK until mid-afternoon, and then coming back 12/1. We plan to RD that day, bail once the crowds build, take a long afternoon break, then come back for the the party. I’m hoping with that plan the CL9 will be manageable for us!

I saw HEA this past fall and it was amazing! Everyone in my group thought it was spectacular (disclosure though we have never seen Wishes). We went on a moderate CL day and were very happy to have the garden dessert party viewing. If you are going on a 9 or 10 CL day then I would highly recommend the dessert party if it’s in your budget. And if you have the time. The party starts 1 hr before HEA I believe and then you can (and should) go a half hour before that because they let people in early.

That day is a CL 1 because last year the park closed at 4:30pm for a private event. That event appears to have been moved to earlier in the month this year, so I would not trust that CL1 until Disney releases initial park hours.