Week after Thanksgiving

Hi all,

Looking at the Tuesday and Wednesday after Thanksgiving (28/29) to visit Magic Kingdom. Schedule is pretty open but with milder temps, Christmas decorations and hopefully lower crowds, thought this would be a good time. However, I am noticing dining is booked solid and when I called reservations, they mentioned that they are seeing lots of activity for that time period.

Anyone else planning to go or have any insight or opinion? Was hoping for a nice, quick trip without insane crowds and hoping to get at least one character dinner but I am really questioning this week now. Thanks!

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So, MK only has normal hours 3 days that week… they close at 7:00 3 nights for the Christmas party (Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday), and one day they close at 4:30 for a staff event (that’s Thursday). That means dinner ADRs are extremely limited on 3 nights, and are entirely unavailable on 1 night. That has an effect on all of the rest of the days, because they’re reducing the number of slots for the week without really reducing the number of people who want those slots… even with very low crowds characters dinners are usually pretty full. It also has a slightly lesser effect on other meals, because people who can’t get dinners are likely to go for lunches. Breakfast in the park is pretty much always full, so you probably wouldn’t actually see that effect.


Thanks! So, you are basically suggesting that I should not base my crowd fears on the dinner availability?

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I’m suggesting exactly that… Tuesday is an early close day, though, so keep that in mind. That apparently keeps crowds lower, but the Christmas party people start showing up at 4, so it may be busier than usual from then until the park closes at 7:00. I’m guessing you’re not interested in the Christmas party?

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I am thinking about the Christmas party…my son is 3 now and last year we took him to the Halloween party. He enjoyed it but it was a little much to do the park during the day and then the party at night. I am still up in the air on the Christmas party this year…

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It’s a late night for sure… we use military hoppers, so we typically don’t do a regular park day the day of a party. We just relax at the resort and have a nice long nap until 4:00 and start then. If it was just the little one (she’ll be 4 when we go this year) I don’t think we’d do it, but her sister is 10 and has been able to hang later for a few years. She’s actually really into getting to stay up until after midnight these days!

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Although this was the case last year, MK is currently scheduled to close at 6pm this year. It is unclear when “open” time for the party will be. Might not be 4pm as years passed. I would be cautious planning between 4-7 on a party night.

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I am making my second ever trip to WDW that week after thanksgiving and have been really worried about how crazy crowded it will be- originally, I expected that week to be somewhat slow and a good way for me to get reacquainted with things after 20+ years away :slight_smile: Then I had a tough time making dining reservations across all parks and resorts even at my 180 + date right at 6am. I am anticipating more problems with FPP when I get to that date. If I had it to do over again I might have chosen a different week, personally. Glad to have the expertise of all the folks on this site to help assuage my fears of seeing nothing but lines all week :slight_smile:

That’s when we are headed to WDW as well. They actually just decreased predicted crowd levels for that week, so I really think it will be okay. ADRs are difficult due to free dining as well as their glitchy system. My ADR day was 6/1 and they just released more ressies for Akershus for my trip dates this morning. Use the ressie finder to look for what you want. It’s already helped me get a couple I missed on ADR day.

We have been that week the last 2 years, You can defiantly see the crowds leave come Mon/Tuesday and from then till Thursday is pretty clear sailing. Friday you will see all of the Pop Warner crowds coming in. 2 Years ago, We decided to go 45 days out or less. I had the reservation finder churning, and we still got several meals (CP Breakfast, Coral Reef with Viewing for Candlelight processional), just had to keep it churning. The party is a long day if you start at RD and go till after Fireworks, our DD was 21 months at the time and she napped that afternoon in the stroller, did the same thing last year.

I totally did not think about early park closing impacting ADR availability! That makes complete sense! Although, they definitely did not have everything open at 180 days out.

Thanks for all of the replies. The dinner reservations are still a big challenge. We are only going to MK so trying to find a character dinner is so difficult. We did Chef Mickey’s last year and trying to get it again but so far, no dice. I was pretty excited to land a breakfast at Be Our Guest until we found out there are no characters for anything but dinner.

Anyways, we are sticking to this week but yes, ADR so hard to find…just going to keep checking it.

I called and the CM confirmed that party guests will be allowed entry at 4:00… she could not find any documentation that noted any change at all from previous years (and she looked for quite a long time) and was very confident in her answer without any of the wishy-washy “as far as I can tell…” or “I believe that…” that they sometimes will give to avoid overpromising if they’re not sure. For now I will be cautiously optimistic. I know that the ability to use it as an alternate to a full park day is a major factor in the decision to go for us, and probably for many others, so I would be very disappointed if they change it.

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I made a 4:30 dining reservation at LTT based on the assumption that we would be allowed in at 4PM, so I will be more than disappointed if we aren’t allowed in at 4!

My theory is that they are trying to wrangle up the day guests earlier, to get them out. It would be too crazy to make the MVMCP guest entrance window shorter.

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