Holiday’s are spectacular at Disney World
By: Theresa Neal
Walt Disney World can be an amazing place to visit in late December. The park is full of holiday decorations. Even the characters put on special outfits to help celebrate the season. Unfortunately, all this good cheer tends to draw a crowd. The week of Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year in the Magic Kingdom. So, how do you create the perfect holiday vacation and avoid the crowds?
Take Advantage of Fast Pass Plus
Fast Pass Plus allows you to set times to visit attractions. Each person gets three per day, allowing them to experience some of the best attractions with little waiting. Because most people think of using Fast Pass Plus and each ride has a maximum capacity each hour, book the Fast Passes the week you get your Magic Bands or tickets. If you try to book the fast passes the day before or the morning you go you will find that they are sold out.
Choose the Right Rides to Wait for
During Christmastime, ride wait times can be double or triple what they are during the off-season. Selecting Fast Passes for rides that normally have long wait times can help you make the most of your time. Because all of the rides have waits, you may want to consider selecting passes for rides the majority of your party don’t want to wait for. For example, if your three teens want to ride Space Mountain and little Timmy wants to see Peter Pan’s Flight, try Fast Passing Peter Pan’s Flight. If the teens don’t have to wait, they won’t complain about going on the ride. Or better yet, split up and take Timmy to Peter Pan while your teens go to Space Mountain and plan to meet up after to do an activity the whole family will enjoy.
Plan Your Day with Shows
Even in the winter, Florida can be exhausting. Some family members may not be able to go on ride after ride and may need a break from all the standing in line. Rather than going on all the rides at once, schedule your day to include some attractions where the family can sit. Use a park map ahead of time to figure out the best way to alternate between rides and shows. For example, in Fantasyland, you may want to go from waiting in line to see the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to Phillarmagic, even though the line for Winnie the Pooh is across the way.
One of the biggest mistakes visitors make is thinking that just because they bought Disney World tickets, they are going to get into the Magic Kingdom on Christmas or New Years. Because park tickets work on multiple theme parks and there are thousands of annual pass holders, it is difficult to tell when the park will reach capacity. For many holidays, the Magic Kingdom will reach capacity before noon. To avoid disappointment, plan to get there around opening time to make sure you are not left with a ticket that you cannot use.
Always Have a Plan B
Crowds in Orlando are rough the last week of December and the first week of January. Tourists need a plan B in case they are stopped for an hour in traffic, the park is full or they are just tired of waiting in line. Find a small local attraction or an alternative park like Sea World just in case. But again, be prepared for long lines at Sea World too. You can also try braving non-theme park activities, such as visiting the Florida Mall or the pool, if you need a break.