Disney for the Holidays

Disney for the Holidays

By: Anthony Barnasconi

Traveling to Disney World for the holidays?  Here are some things to remember and some helpful tips to help you make it through the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” at the “Most Magical Place On Earth”!

First and foremost…the parks ARE going to be crowded.  Disney’s Hollywood Studios is already blacked out to cast members and their guests from December 17th thru the new year.  Magic Kingdom has been blacked out for a while now pretty much the whole month of December and Epcot is blacked out for cast members and guests starting December 24th.  So yes, the parks will be crowded, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go there and still have a great time.  Allow yourself plenty of travel time to your park of choice for the day.  Whether you are using the Disney Transportation or your own, it will take you longer to get where you are going.  You should allow about 90 minutes travel time to and between destinations.

Disney Cinderella Castle Holiday
Disney Cinderella Castle Holiday

Second…do not be in a hurry to get anywhere specific.  You will still be able to see and do most of your favorite attractions in each park…it may just take a little longer to accomplish.  Take full advantage of the Fastpass+ system.  Book your initial 3 FP reservations for the day and then go back and get more…one at a time…per Disney Park rules.  At least one of the parks has Extra Magic Hours each day around the holidays…take full advantage of them especially if they are Magic Kingdom later at night.  Great time to see and do a lot.  Try to eat meals at off-peak times.  The majority of park eateries will be crowded around the noon hour…so wait until 2pm for lunch or eat a late breakfast and skip lunch…then have an early dinner.  Plan accordingly to your families needs but working around busy dining times can save you a HUGE amount of time and frustration in the parks.

Magic Kingdom Main Street Holiday
Magic Kingdom Main Street Holiday

Third…plan your itinerary early.  Plan your day around your Fastpass+ selections.  If there is some “must do” attraction or ride that you do not have a Fastpass for…plan to head there first after rope drop and then work your way toward your first fastpass+ attraction.  Rides like Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Hollywood Tower of Terror, Soarin…things like that usually have a shorter wait time first thing in the morning.  Again you can use Extra Magic Hours in the evening to your advantage for more popular rides and attractions.  Plan to visit less popular shows & attractions during peak hours.  Also shows that accommodate a large audience per show tend to have less of a wait time and can be a great way to regroup during the busiest times of the day.  When planning your itinerary, don’t be afraid to schedule some down time in the afternoon.  With all the Disney Transportation available, it is easy to head back to your resort and take advantage of the pool and facilities available to you while staying on property.  Relax for a while and gear back up for the evening in one of the parks.

Spectacle of Dancing Lights - Disney's Hollywood Studios
Spectacle of Dancing Lights – Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Last but not least…please don’t be “one of those guests”.  We have all experienced them…they are pushy and rude…very demanding and seem to think that they are the only ones in the park.  If you relax and enjoy the experience, everyone around you will have a better time.  Bring rude and obnoxious, or expecting things just not feasible during peak times at one of the parks only diminishes what should be an incredible experience.

Until next time…happy travels…and pin trading!

Anthony Barnasconi is the owner of Tonys Magical Travel and an independent affiliate of Ears of Experience.  Anthony is a certified Disney Destinations vacation planner and would welcome the opportunity to book and plan your next magical Disney vacation.  Please feel free to visit www.tonysmagicaltravel.com or contact him at 1-844-5-MICKEY!

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