Monday, December 9, 2013

It's A Crazy World After All

Christmas is just around the corner, and with that said, there is a week off of school and work for the holidays. Some people use this week to take a trip to Disney World. This would be the busiest time of the year to go to the world, so today I would like to give some advice to make the most out of your trip during this time.

1. Because of the crowds, you will want to get to the parks early.
    With everyone being out of school and work, a lot of people will take advantage of the week off and go on vacation to the Orlando area. The parks will close through out the day because of reaching capacity.  Disney has a system for closures, and they are as follows:

Phase 1 Park Closing
Guests with 'Magic Your Way' base tickets, or a '1-Day 1-Park Ticket', Guests without an admission ticket, and Cast Members using Main Gate & Silver Passes will be turned around at the parking lot booths.

Phase 2 Park Closing
Admission is limited to:
Disney Resort Guests (including the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, and guests arriving by bus from the Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels)
Annual and Premium Annual Passholders
Guests with Hopper tickets coming from another park
Guests re-entering the park
Guests with dining reservations
Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League
Guests using Walt Disney World Resort Transportation will be admitted.

Phase 3 Park Closing
Admission is limited to:
Disney Resort Guests (including the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, and guests arriving by bus from the Hotel Plaza Boulevard hotels)
Annual and Premium Annual Passholders
Guests with dining reservations
Magic Kingdom Guests with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League

Phase 4 Park Closing:
Closed to all guests.

When it comes to the closing, I would also recommend that you plan to stay in the park that you have reservations in. For instance, if you are eating dinner at Be Our Guest, plan on getting to the Magic Kingdom and staying in the park for the day incase of a phase 4 closing. 

Also, take advantage of the Magic Hours, if you can get in a park early go for it. This will guarantee  that you are in the park that you want to be in, on the day you want to be there.

Definitely make sure that you are in the park you want to be in for New Years and arrive as early as you can. In the past Magic Kingdom has closed first, then Epcot and Hollywood Studios. They all have fireworks for the New Years celebrations. Magic Kingdom closes before lunch on New Years, with the others soon after. Don't plan on going to Animal Kingdom and then leaving at the park closing to get in to another park for New Years, you will be disappointed. I will talk about New Years planning a little later.

2. Make your Fastpass+ before you go.
    Like I stated, it will be packed, and every onsite hotel has the Magic Bands, so you will have access to the Fastpass+ system. The lines will be long at most attractions, and legacy fastpasses have been going fast in the past weeks. You don't want to plan to get to DHS at rope drop and grab a fastpass for Toy Story Mania, an they be out before you make it back there. Its better to have a late fastpass, than to risk not getting one at all and waiting 120 + minutes in line for a ride.

3. Be patient.
    There will be a lot of people, have I stated that yet? Some people will be at WDW for their first time, others don't speak much English, so you may be stuck in long lines, or behind a group of people  that have no idea how to get to a certain ride. The stores will be crowded, and hard to get around in. Even getting around Downtown Disney can be a hassle because of constant bottlenecking. To reduce going through bottlenecking areas, try to avoid construction areas (between Mad Tea Party/ Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh/ and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train) it will be harder at Downtown Disney because of the Disney Springs Construction.

4. Bring Snacks 
    Even if you are on the Dining Plan, you should bring something to snack on. Take an early lunch, because with as many people that are in the parks, the lines for quick service meals will be long and hectic. You bring the snacks in so that you can carry over for supper. DO NOT USE YOUR SNACK CREDIT FOR A DRINK!!!!  This may tempt you, but why waste it when you are able to bring in your favorite non alcoholic beverage into the park?  

5. Plan on getting to parades/ fireworks/ New Years early.
    Everyone wants to be up front for the parades, the hub or main street for the fireworks and New Years. People will stake our their spots for the parades an hour before the parade starts. If you don't get to the parade route early enough, you may be in the back. You also need to remember that this will be the Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, which starts to be the daytime parade on December 20th, after being and exclusive parade for the Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. 

   The fireworks and nightly shows are the same. While Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios has 2 shows, you will still want to get to the entrance as soon as you can so that you can get the seats that you want. If you want a good viewing area for Epcot's Illuminations, you will want to find a spot about an hour before the start of the show, as all the spots on the railing will be taken pretty fast. The Main Street Electrical Parade, Celebrate the Magic, and Holiday Wishes all take one after another, so once you get the spot for one, don't move.

  New Years is another beast. I can honestly say that I have not experienced  another park than Magic Kingdom for New Years. We made camp on Main Street about 500 feet from Main Street Ice Cream Parlor at about 6 p.m. and there were people that had sat down earlier than that. We saw the Electrical Parade 2 times, and the projection show 2 times also. By 10, the street had filled up, and we had become sardines because of the people trying to pack Main Street. We loved it non the less.

6. Have Fun!
   No matter how long you are waiting in lines, how frustrated you may get because of rude people, how tired you get from being in the park for 15 hours, have fun. It will all worth it because of the family time and memories you are making. 

I hope these few suggestions help you out for your trip in the coming days. Do you have any suggestion that need to be mentioned? Comment below!

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