Family With Medals
  • On Aug 26, 2013
    Sarah Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    I have planned a family vacation to Disney December 29, 2013 - January 5, 2014. How bad will the crowds be and any suggestions for making it the best possible experience for my young children?

    Hi, Sarah!  In a word, crowds at the theme parks in the week between Christmas and New Year's is going to be CRAZY!  Most families, however, will be returning to work and school right after the New Year, so you will see a noticeable difference in the crowd level once the New Year's holiday has come and gone.

    As for making the most of your time in your first few days, I'm going to use the old adage that the early bird catches the worm.  Some of the theme parks may have to close temporarily due to reaching capacity, so you will want to arrive early to avoid disappointment in the event that this happens.  More than that, though, if you are able to take advantage of the morning extra magic hours or even to be at the theme park at rope drop, you are likely to get more done in the earliest part of the day than you will as the crowds get thicker.

    Always try to have a FastPass in hand.  Get one as soon as you arrive, and before you use it, when your window of time opens up, go grab another one.

    Plan your meals for off peak times.  If you have not yet made dining reservations, make them as soon as you can.  Many of the most popular dining experiences will be booked completely.  You can make table service reservations by clicking Walt Disney World Dining Reservations.  If you are going to enjoy a counter service meal, eat early or later than a typical meal time (like 11:30 or 2:30 for lunch, or 4:30 or 7:30 for dinner).  

    It's a magical time to be at Walt Disney World, so enjoy the holiday decor while you can!

    Have an awesome time!
thumbnail image for Anna

Meet the Panelist: Anna, New Jersey

My name is Anna and I am a wife, mother to three daughters and a son-in-law, and earning my Grandmom ears. I'm a law student and former teacher. I have planned vacations for all sorts celebrations, but really enjoy DVC vacations, helping military families, and assisting those with special dietary needs.    Learn More About Anna

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