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  • On May 15, 2020
    Karrie from MI Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    I am planning to go to Disney World in the Fall of 2021. I'm was thinking over Thanksgiving break, to minimize the time I take my kids (will be 15 & 13) out of school. But, I have heard that the crowds are high. Is this really the case?

    Hi Karrie!

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! Thank you for bringing this great question to us.

    Since we are planning a trip for this Thanksgiving, I am excited to help you think through your trip for next year. Like you, we are trying to minimize the time our girls would miss out of school. Historically, Thanksgiving is a busy time of year for a visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, but it is certainly manageable if you plan. We visited this past December during the week of Christmas, a notably busy time of year, and we had a fabulous time.
    First, if you have not done so already, consider booking a vacation package with a resort hotel and theme park tickets. When we visit during busy times of year, we enjoy the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. We especially love being able to make our advanced dining reservations 180 days in advance for the length of our stay (up to 10 days) and FastPass+ selections 60 days in advance of our visit. We also identify a few special experiences from the Enchanting Extras Collection and reserve those in advance. Once we have dining reservations, FastPass+ selections and our special tours and/or nature experiences scheduled, I worry a lot less about the crowds!

    When we visited during Christmas week, we also chose to stay at Disney's BoardWalk Villas so that we could walk to EPCOT and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Being able to walk to those parks helped us save a lot of time waiting for transportation. For our Thanksgiving trip this year, we are planning to stay at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa so we will have access to Walt Disney World® Monorail Transportation. Being able to take the monorail to Magic Kingdom and EPCOT also saves us some travel time to the parks. And finally, in years past, we loved staying at Disney's Contemporary Resort so that we could walk to Magic Kingdom. Leaving Magic Kingdom after the fireworks and walking past the lines for transportation has always been its own kind of magic!

    Karrie, I would price out a visit during those dates this year to get an idea of what the cost might be at your preferred resort hotels. We always check prices for the year prior so that we have an estimate of how much money to save for the trip. And, if I may add, once you book that trip, consider making an advanced dining reservation at Liberty Tree Tavern. The colonial details in the architecture of this restaurant always tug at my history-loving heart. Sending pixie dust as you plan!

    Magic and memories,
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Meet the Panelist: Donyell, North Carolina

Hello from North Carolina! I am a mom of twin girls, wife, and university professor who has been inspired by the creativity of Disney for a lifetime. Since my first Disney visit when I was 12-years-old, I have been drawn to the adventures crafted by Disney Imagineers. Planning Disney vacations helps connect me to families who will find in Disney the kind of joy my family has experienced over the years. Allow me to help you map your own Disney journey so that you, too can create the memories of a lifetime! Learn More About Donyell

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