• On Dec 17, 2019
    Niveditha from NJ Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Planned a last minute trip during Christmas week and we aren't staying in any of the resorts...is there anyway I can manage to do the Pandora rides in Animal Kingdom? And the Galaxy edge attractions? We plan to spend one day in AK and one day in DSH.

    Hello Niveditha!

    How exciting to visit the Walt Disney World Resort at the most wonderful time of the year! The week between Christmas and the New Year is one of the most popular times to visit the Walt Disney World Resort. If you’d like to experience some of the most some of the hottest new attractions, going with a plan is your best bet.

    Check the theme park hours in advance and avoid going to a theme park that has Morning Extra Magic Hours. Extra Magic Hours are an amazing benefit of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel that gives Guests extra time in the theme parks each day. While I always recommend using those extra hours for on-site Guests, for those staying off property, avoiding Morning Extra Magic Hours means you’ll be entering the park at the same time as all other Guests.

    Then pack some extra patience, and set your alarm clock for before the sun is up! You’ll want to be standing at the entrance of your chosen theme parks well before the official park opening. Be sure to overestimate the time needed to get into the parking lots, park, walk to the entrance and get through bag check.

    For Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, an hour before the scheduled opening is what I would do. Once you are in the park, walk directly to Pandora and get in line for Avatar Flight of Passage. As soon as you are done, go right to Na’vi River Journey.

    For Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I would also arrive an hour before the scheduled opening. Be sure to have the My Disney Experience Mobile App downloaded in it’s most up-to-date version before arrival, as you will use this to sign up for a Boarding Group for Galaxy’s Edge. You’ll need your entire party to be inside the park so that you can get a Boarding Group as soon as official park opening time arrives. While a Boarding Group does not guarantee you’ll be able to experience the attraction, it is your best bet for getting on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. While waiting for your Boarding Group, I would head to other popular attractions you’d like to experience that day.

    I hope this helps you formulate your plan, and I am sending you pixie dust that you get to experience the attractions you are hoping for!

    Happy Holidays!
    - Kate
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Meet the Panelist: Kate, Indiana

"Welcome Home!" I'm Kate, a mom and nurse from Indiana. A lifelong Disney fan, Disney Vacation Club opened a world of vacation possibilities for our family. I’ve traveled with young children and those young at heart, planned romantic trips for two and made FastPass+ reservations for an entire marching band! Whether dining with Mickey, surfing in Hawaii, or relaxing around the pool we make the most of our Disney Vacation Club Membership. For this nurse, every day is better with a little dose of Disney! Learn More About Kate

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