Wdw in dec 26-28 - will I be trampled?

Hi, new forum user here

Long story short, I got a chance to include WDW in my family’s travel plans this december. However, we are limited to spending a couple of days between christmas and NYE and I’m wondering what to expect. I haven’t been there during this time in 20 years and my more recent trips have all been low season.

Obviously it’ll be very crowded, but looking at the Touring Plans wait time predictions, I was surprised how tame the estimates seemed. In the past I’ve found the estimates to be quite accurate but wondering if these can be realistic? For example, Epcot on dec 27th and MK on the 28th seem reasonable considering the time (top rodes like 7DMT 80mins midday, Soarin’ 70mins)

I was thinking AK on the 26th, Epcot 27th (EMH), MK 28th (EMH), does this seem reasonable or particularly bad for some reason?

Thank you and apologies if I’m posting in the wrong place etc, my first time using the forum.

Expect a lot of people, especially at MK. I don’t know about the veracity of the wait times, though. Epcot handles crowds the best, but I imagine that with the Festival of the Holidays that WS will be pretty crowded. We’ll be there during that week, as well. I’m hoping that with our TP that we won’t miss out on the few things we are really wanting to do. It’s more of a laid-back trip for DH and I. DD16 will be more interested in riding as many rides as she can.

I’m also hoping that MK open up the walkways behind the stores on Main Street so that Main Street isn’t wall-to-wall, now that I won’t be able to take the train to another section of the park.

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Out of curiousity I went through last year’s crowd calendars and wait time observations for Magic Kingdom. I of course noticed that these are all very popular dates and they are pretty much classified as 10/10 throughout, but there is some variance in wait times. I got a bit too curious and did a quick amateur analysis of the waiting times by comparing the observed times for some popular rides and creating a sort of multiplier for each day. The base number here is the combined average wait time of this whole time period.

24th - 0.84
25th - 1.07
26th - 0.83
27th - 0.97
28th - 1.02
29th - 0.94
30th - 1.02
31st - 1.28

Based on these, it would seem clear that the 24th and 26th are slightly less crowded whereas the 25th is more popular and 31st is madness. In minutes, this would be about 10-20 minutes less waiting for popular rides on the 24th or 26th and anywhere from 20-50 minutes more waiting on the 31st. Of course, this is only based on one year’s data here on TP and it might not add up the same way this year.

I’m sure this is nothing new for experts but at least I entertained my own curiosity!


Welcime to forum @vndt! I absolutely love these multipliers!!

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Our first trip ever to WDW was last year from Dec. 22 through the 27th. I had my much-tweaked TP’s, ADR’s, and FPP’s for my family of 3. Here are three helpful hints we think are important:

  1. Rope-drop, rope-drop, rope-drop. When we rope-dropped, the rest of the day was SO much easier! Each morning, we’d usually choose something different, although we rope-dropped Flight of Passage two days in a row with great success (one of our favorite rides!). Because we were able to do so much in the mornings, we’d usually go back to our hotel in the afternoons for a rest or swimming. We’d then return to a park that night.

  2. Lower your expectations, or better yet, just don’t have any and you will have a great time! For example, I thought I was being so smart by snagging in Oct. a pre-park opening BOG reservation for Dec. 24, only to have WDW post earlier opening hours just a couple of weeks ahead of time. Now I was in possession of an 8:15 BOG res. when the park would already be open! (I cancelled). We still had an awesome day!

  3. ADR’s and FPP’s: It’s worth some time on your part right now to think about what rides you all REALLY want to go on or experiences you really want that you can get advance reservations for. We thought that buying the latest TP Guide was well worth it to help us decide (of course! :yum:). We might choose to wait 60 minutes for one key ride when we knew we had other FPP’s later on that day.

Hope this helps. And have fun, no matter the crowds!

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Rope drop is something we will definitely do, not only because I prefer to be early at the parks but we will also have a several hour time difference to our advantage when travelling, so we’ll make use of the kids waking up at 5AM :wink:


As I’m planning our trip and since I’m a statistic-geek, I had a look at wait times for Epcot for the holiday period. I checked 2017 wait times on TP and did a similar quick comparison between the stats as I did with MK before.

This is based on 8 popular rides and it’s worth noting that a few big ticket rides (Frozen, Soarin, TT) have a pretty big effect on these numbers - Test track on the 31st had a whopping 191min wait time according to TP, not sure if this is accurate or not but it was listed as the avg time. This is almost double the time compared to what is forecasted for 2018 so it’s very possible that these are not a good indicator of this upcoming season, but I thought I’d share these anyway.

Wait time “multipliers” for Epcot, December 24th-31st 2017:

24th - 0.78
25th - 0.86
26th - 0.97
27th - 1.02
28th - 1.06
29th - 1.01
30th - 0.89
31st - 1.45

(1 = average wait times for this particular week)

The stats for all dates and all parks can of course be compared on TP, for example (link is to the 31st): https://touringplans.com/epcot/wait-times/date/2017-12-31