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Old 07-29-2013, 04:57 PM   #16
ngchiro
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I just love Disney at Christmas!
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:38 PM   #17
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We are there from the Dec.19-Jan.4! Can hardly wait!!,,,
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:55 PM   #18
PlutoTheDog89
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 352

__________________
23 year old Disney lover. My parents began bringing my sister and me at a very young age and I fell in love with everything Disney.

Next Trip: Christmas
12/24/12 - 1/1/13

Previous Trips:

3/29/12 - 4/1/12: Wedding for family friend
A Short trip, but a memorable and enjoyable one! Played golf in Disney for the first time! A very non-traditional trip, but a fun one!

12/24/10 - 1/1/11: Christmas
[I] Our Second Christmas. We drove down to Florida. I had a broken foot, so I got everywhere via EMV. My mom got sick, then my sister, then I was sick for NYE. Missed the parks on NYE day, but I champed it out for NYE at DHS [I]

12/24/09 - 1/1/10 Christmas
[I] Our first Christmas spent in Disney. We took Amtrak down (never again). I fought a cold all Christmas, but fought through it to enjoy. [I]

Summer of 2007: We went following my High School graduation. Fun trip but it was scorching hot!

The one or two other times previous to this, but the dates don't stick out in my mind.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:02 AM   #19
PlutoTheDog89
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I would be lying if I said a ton of planning did not go into our Christmas vacation!
__________________
23 year old Disney lover. My parents began bringing my sister and me at a very young age and I fell in love with everything Disney.

Next Trip: Christmas
12/24/12 - 1/1/13

Previous Trips:

3/29/12 - 4/1/12: Wedding for family friend
A Short trip, but a memorable and enjoyable one! Played golf in Disney for the first time! A very non-traditional trip, but a fun one!

12/24/10 - 1/1/11: Christmas
[I] Our Second Christmas. We drove down to Florida. I had a broken foot, so I got everywhere via EMV. My mom got sick, then my sister, then I was sick for NYE. Missed the parks on NYE day, but I champed it out for NYE at DHS [I]

12/24/09 - 1/1/10 Christmas
[I] Our first Christmas spent in Disney. We took Amtrak down (never again). I fought a cold all Christmas, but fought through it to enjoy. [I]

Summer of 2007: We went following my High School graduation. Fun trip but it was scorching hot!

The one or two other times previous to this, but the dates don't stick out in my mind.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:23 PM   #20
PlutoTheDog89
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New Post coming tomorrow! Stay Tuned!
__________________
23 year old Disney lover. My parents began bringing my sister and me at a very young age and I fell in love with everything Disney.

Next Trip: Christmas
12/24/12 - 1/1/13

Previous Trips:

3/29/12 - 4/1/12: Wedding for family friend
A Short trip, but a memorable and enjoyable one! Played golf in Disney for the first time! A very non-traditional trip, but a fun one!

12/24/10 - 1/1/11: Christmas
[I] Our Second Christmas. We drove down to Florida. I had a broken foot, so I got everywhere via EMV. My mom got sick, then my sister, then I was sick for NYE. Missed the parks on NYE day, but I champed it out for NYE at DHS [I]

12/24/09 - 1/1/10 Christmas
[I] Our first Christmas spent in Disney. We took Amtrak down (never again). I fought a cold all Christmas, but fought through it to enjoy. [I]

Summer of 2007: We went following my High School graduation. Fun trip but it was scorching hot!

The one or two other times previous to this, but the dates don't stick out in my mind.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:37 AM   #21
HeidiGW
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LOVING your spot-on analysis! Keep up the good reports . Also think your countdown is cute, but it is making me a bit sick to think it is coming so soon!!!
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:26 PM   #22
PlutoTheDog89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeidiGW View Post
LOVING your spot-on analysis! Keep up the good reports . Also think your countdown is cute, but it is making me a bit sick to think it is coming so soon!!!
SERIOUSLY! I sat down and helped my mom book reservations last night. Not only were we shocked with how many places are booked already, but there was a point we looked at each other and said "Wow, four months!"
__________________
23 year old Disney lover. My parents began bringing my sister and me at a very young age and I fell in love with everything Disney.

Next Trip: Christmas
12/24/12 - 1/1/13

Previous Trips:

3/29/12 - 4/1/12: Wedding for family friend
A Short trip, but a memorable and enjoyable one! Played golf in Disney for the first time! A very non-traditional trip, but a fun one!

12/24/10 - 1/1/11: Christmas
[I] Our Second Christmas. We drove down to Florida. I had a broken foot, so I got everywhere via EMV. My mom got sick, then my sister, then I was sick for NYE. Missed the parks on NYE day, but I champed it out for NYE at DHS [I]

12/24/09 - 1/1/10 Christmas
[I] Our first Christmas spent in Disney. We took Amtrak down (never again). I fought a cold all Christmas, but fought through it to enjoy. [I]

Summer of 2007: We went following my High School graduation. Fun trip but it was scorching hot!

The one or two other times previous to this, but the dates don't stick out in my mind.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:45 PM   #23
PlutoTheDog89
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Christmas Decorations and Activities

In a previous post, I wrote about how crowded the parks can get during Christmas week. Because of this, I recommended arriving at the parks early in the day, and leaving around the afternoon.

While the park is where the magic truly happens, there are many activities and sights to see in Disney during Christmas. Just because the lines for rides are too long, it does not mean you cannot enjoy the Christmas spirit at the Disney parks and resorts.
Each park offers a unique experience. Lets start with the highlight of all the parks:

The Osborne Family Christmas Lights
Imagine Clark Griswalds house in Christmas vacation coming to life. Located at Hollywood Studios, the spectacle has become one of the most popular attractions during the holiday season. Initially constructed by an Arkansas businessman as a gift for his six-year-old daughter, the display is made up of over 10 miles of lights and connected by 30 miles of extension cords. Choreographed to various holiday music, the dancing segments cycle roughly every 40-60 minutes.
It truly is one of the coolest displays at Disney. Stop by at night and enjoy the show, and snow!





Main Street and Wishes
There truly is not a better place to find the magic in Disney than Main Street. A true staple at Disney, Main Street comes alive during Christmastime. Upon entering the park, you see Magic Kingdoms gigantic Christmas tree, decorated with tons of lights and ornaments.
When you arrive at Main Street, all five senses are met with a holiday overload. You see the streets filled with wreaths and Christmas decorations, and the light-filled glittering castle in the distance. You instantly smell the aroma of warm baked treats from the Main Street Bakery. The smell of hot fresh cinnamon buns reminds you of breakfast on Christmas morning. Of course, your taste buds will go crazy over the hot buttery goodness of a warm cinnamon bun! With the sound of bells and Christmas-themed Disney music, you cant help but smile! And of course, being in Disney makes you feel like a kid again!





At night, just before Wishes begins, head down to Main Street. Home of the best view to see the fireworks, Main Street has a little more magic to share with you. As you approach Main Street, you are instantly greeted with something so bizarre. But its 60 degrees, how could this be? you ask. It is snowing on Main Street. A regular occurrence each night, Main Street fills the air with tons of snowflakes just before the fireworks (and Tinkerbell) take flight. How does Disney create snowflakes on a mild Christmas night? Magic.



The Wishes Holiday Fireworks show is a lot like the original Wishes, with a holiday twist. The fireworks light up the sky and the castle comes alive. Along with the festive music, is a narrator that reminds you of your grandfather reading you Christmas stories on a cold winter night.

Deluxe Resort Decorations
While all resorts have special decorations that fit with the theme, the deluxe resorts truly go above and beyond.
Take the Monorail Tour, stopping at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary. The Contemporarys lobby could be mistaken for The Plaza hotel in Home Alone 2. The towering Christmas tree, with a backdrop of crystal chandeliers and fresh white painted walls offers a truly elegant Christmas picture. Be your own photographer, or grab a family photo from one of Disneys photographers. Make sure to stop by the giant Gingerbread house, created by Disneys top chefs. While you can not eat the house, Disney offers Gingerbread pieces, freshly baked.



As you ride into The Contemporary, look for the giant Mickey-shaped wreath. This is the first of many decorations at the resort. Walk the grounds outdoor and see the Christmas tree and Mickey-shaped poinsettias, or go inside and see the gingerbread Christmas tree display.
The dark ambience of The Polynesian resort adds to the brightness of the Christmas lights. Walk the grounds and enjoy the view of Magic Kingdom in the distance, or go inside and see the multiple Christmas trees.
Other resorts that offer great Christmas decorations include The Fort Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the Yacht and Beach Club. The Wilderness offers a multiple-story tall tree. Enjoy the tree, while smelling the amazing barbeque at Whispering Canyon. With multiple fireplaces, it really feels like a cozy cabin! The Yacht and Beach Club offer a Marthas Vineyard-style Christmas. With a nautical themed Christmas tree, you can enjoy your gingerbread with a water view. Lastly, venture over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. With their Christmas tree in the middle of the lobby, the backdrop is a floor-to-ceiling window looking out into the safari.



Fort Wilderness Sleigh Ride
Step aboard a horse-drawn carriage and tour the Christmas decorations at Fort Wilderness. Many people camp out for more than a month on the campgrounds at Disney. They decorate their campgrounds with lights and decorations, which offers a very cool experience. It is definitely something to check out at night, after you check out the Wilderness Lodges lobby!

Downtown Disney
Downtown Disney is full of decorations and photo opportunities! Stop by for some last minute Christmas shopping, a bite to eat, or just to walk the area along the water.
Stop by Ghiradelli for a hot chocolate, or to sample their Peppermint Bark. There are carolers that perform on the stage, and Santa is at the entrance by the main store.
On NYE day, walk the area over to Pleasure Island. It is a very cool environment as everywhere is being set up for the NYE festivities. They also have many picture opportunities and cutouts set up for pictures.



Parades
While you will certainly not avoid the crowds during parades, they are all Christmas themed and worth seeing! Magic Kingdom offers Mickeys Once Upon a Christmastime Parade and Mickeys Jingle Jungle Parade at Animal Kingdom are both worth fighting the crowds for.

__________________
23 year old Disney lover. My parents began bringing my sister and me at a very young age and I fell in love with everything Disney.

Next Trip: Christmas
12/24/12 - 1/1/13

Previous Trips:

3/29/12 - 4/1/12: Wedding for family friend
A Short trip, but a memorable and enjoyable one! Played golf in Disney for the first time! A very non-traditional trip, but a fun one!

12/24/10 - 1/1/11: Christmas
[I] Our Second Christmas. We drove down to Florida. I had a broken foot, so I got everywhere via EMV. My mom got sick, then my sister, then I was sick for NYE. Missed the parks on NYE day, but I champed it out for NYE at DHS [I]

12/24/09 - 1/1/10 Christmas
[I] Our first Christmas spent in Disney. We took Amtrak down (never again). I fought a cold all Christmas, but fought through it to enjoy. [I]

Summer of 2007: We went following my High School graduation. Fun trip but it was scorching hot!

The one or two other times previous to this, but the dates don't stick out in my mind.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:17 PM   #24
PlutoTheDog89
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Disney Dining

Disney Dining

Many will tell you that the Disney Dining Plan is not worth the money. I would disagree, however. The meal plan provides a sense of direction. With all meals already accounted for, the meal plan gives the feel of an “all inclusive” vacation.

During the holidays, the dining plan can be incredibly useful. With Christmas week being so packed, it is useful to have your reservations and meals in check. Not only this, but it is also more cost effective. My family books our vacations through AAA. As a result, we are allowed to pay off our vacation with monthly installments. With Christmas week being one of the more expensive weeks at Disney, the monthly installments allow us to better manage our costs. Having the meal plan be part of those monthly installments is much more effective than paying for all meals at once.

The meal plan can be used to your advantage, and wind up being incredibly valuable if used correctly. To enjoy the benefits of the meal plan, my family plans our meals accordingly:

For an eight-day trip, each family member is given one table service meal, one quick service meal, and one snack.

Not all meals and snacks are created equal, however. Sure, it may seem easy to use a snack for a soda in the park. However, you are not using the snack to the best of its ability. Compare the $2-$3 soda to a Dole Whip, which is just above $4. Or, use your snack as a meal! While my family will use a few quick services on breakfast; breakfast does not have as much value for a quick service when compared to lunch or dinner. Use a snack credit for a morning bagel before boarding the bus to the park, or sit along the water in EPCOT, while enjoying a buttery croissant from Boulangerie Patisserie in France. Couple that bagel with a coffee using your refillable mug, and you’ve got yourself a great breakfast!

Using the Quick Service for lunch or dinner is much more cost-effective. A quick service meal comes with an entree, a refillable fountain drink (to be used at the same location), and a dessert. Quick service meals usually have more of a fast food or cafeteria feel to them. However, when you are constantly on the move, sometimes a fast meal works best.

Table Service credits are to be used at Disney’s sit-down-style restaurants. At the sit-down restaurants, your meals consist of the same items the quick service does – entrée, non-alcoholic drink and dessert – just a higher quality. Table Service restaurants usually require a reservation, but walk-ins are welcome. During Christmas, however, I would not recommend chancing a walk-in. It is hard enough to get a reservation for days like Christmas and New Years Eve and Christmas day. And, with such high crowd levels, it is recommended that you set your reservation as soon as possible.

You may set up a reservation for Table Service as early as 180 days prior to the date of your reservation. If you have not yet made your reservations for Christmas week, I recommend that you stop reading this post, and do so NOW.

Made your reservations? Great, I’ll continue. My family was late to book our trip this year. With everything booked last week, we went ahead and booked our dining reservations last Wednesday night. While we are fully aware of how crowded Christmas week gets, we were surprised of just how many restaurants were unavailable on the dates we wanted them. Disney’s Signature Dining restaurants are just about booked on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. As a result, we missed out on our preference, Narcoossee’s, and had to book it for a later date during our stay.

Here is a link to all the information you need for Disney’s Dining Plan.

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/me...2013Dining.pdf

My family usually books the regular dining plan with a snack, table and quick service. I feel like the Deluxe (includes appetizer) is too much food. That’s my personal opinion, however.

Where to Book Reservations

I can go on for days recommending restaurants in Disney and explaining why I love the place. During Christmas week, however, there is a method to booking reservations. Sticking with the theme of these posts (if you have not caught on, I’m teaching you how to manage the crowds and plan ahead) I will explain how to pick restaurants.

Let’s assume for a moment that, like my family, you will be at Disney from December 24th to January 1st. When you begin to choose your restaurants, put every date out of sight and mind except December 24th, 25th and 31st. These dates require the most planning.

Get ready, I’m about to go all “R.L Stine Choose Your Own Adventure” on you…

Okay, so let’s say you get to Disney early in the day on December 24th.

Do you have park access? If so, the possibilities are endless. Choose a park you would like to go to for Christmas Eve, and book a reservation there or in the area. My family usually goes to EPCOT, and as a result will be going to Chefs de France for a nice Christmas Eve dinner. If you would like to go to Magic Kingdom, choose a restaurant there or at a nearby hotel. For example, set a reservation at The Contemporary’s “Wave”, then head over to Magic Kingdom after.

If you do not have park access, you are not only limited to your hotel. While it would work in your favor to book something at your hotel (then rest and prepare for Christmas), you can go to any hotel and eat at their restaurant. Just keep in mind going from hotel to hotel is not an easy bus ride. You must take a bus to a park or DTD, and then transfer to the hotel’s bus (unless you’re a monorail hotel.)

For Christmas day, I would recommend eating at the park or a nearby hotel. With the crowds increased, it could be hard to get around and travel times could increase. Last year, we ate at Narcoossee’s then took the monorail over to Magic Kingdom for the night. Aside from the fact that I ate so much and couldn’t move, it was an incredibly stress-free night. We went to the park in the morning, left and went back to the hotel to relax, then went to Narcoossee’s. After Narcoossee’s, we enjoyed the entire night at Magic Kingdom.

New Years Eve requires the most planning. For this night, I would recommend keeping it simple. Eat at your hotel, go to a park and stay all day (eating there), or eat nearby the park at which you intend on being. It is incredibly crowded, traffic is horrendous, and it could take over an hour to get to a park. As a result, I would first recommend eating at a park if you are brave enough to stay there all day. Last year, we did the Turf Club and got to the park much later than we wanted. We were staying at Port Orleans, so we had to transfer buses, which took much longer than anticipated. I would recommend choosing your park and either eating there or eating within walking distance.
EPCOT/DHS – Eat at park or at Boardwalk
MK – Eat at park or at a monorail hotel

We will be spending the afternoon at Downtown Disney, eating at Portobello, and then taking the bus over to the Boardwalk. After arriving at the Boardwalk, we will most likely walk through the back entrance of EPCOT. I know this sounds complicated, but given the restaurant availabilities, it was the only decision. And, we know better than to take a bus to EPCOT that late.

After that, you are free to pick your other reservations. I would definitely recommend booking those three days, then building around them. I will answer any questions you may have about reservations or recommend some good food places in Disney. I also have an upcoming post highlighting the best holiday snacks in Disney. Stay Tuned!

Almond Cheesecake at Narcoossee's



Pasta Bolognese at Tutto Italia



Napoleon at Boulangerie Patisserie (THIS IS A SNACK!)

__________________
23 year old Disney lover. My parents began bringing my sister and me at a very young age and I fell in love with everything Disney.

Next Trip: Christmas
12/24/12 - 1/1/13

Previous Trips:

3/29/12 - 4/1/12: Wedding for family friend
A Short trip, but a memorable and enjoyable one! Played golf in Disney for the first time! A very non-traditional trip, but a fun one!

12/24/10 - 1/1/11: Christmas
[I] Our Second Christmas. We drove down to Florida. I had a broken foot, so I got everywhere via EMV. My mom got sick, then my sister, then I was sick for NYE. Missed the parks on NYE day, but I champed it out for NYE at DHS [I]

12/24/09 - 1/1/10 Christmas
[I] Our first Christmas spent in Disney. We took Amtrak down (never again). I fought a cold all Christmas, but fought through it to enjoy. [I]

Summer of 2007: We went following my High School graduation. Fun trip but it was scorching hot!

The one or two other times previous to this, but the dates don't stick out in my mind.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:40 AM   #25
jb68
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Loving this thread!

We'll be visiting this Christmas and New Year, it'll be our third visit but the first at Christmastime.

129 sleeps until we arrive in FL!

Last edited by jb68; 08-14-2013 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:09 AM   #26
PlutoTheDog89
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19 Weeks Until Christmas!

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23 year old Disney lover. My parents began bringing my sister and me at a very young age and I fell in love with everything Disney.

Next Trip: Christmas
12/24/12 - 1/1/13

Previous Trips:

3/29/12 - 4/1/12: Wedding for family friend
A Short trip, but a memorable and enjoyable one! Played golf in Disney for the first time! A very non-traditional trip, but a fun one!

12/24/10 - 1/1/11: Christmas
[I] Our Second Christmas. We drove down to Florida. I had a broken foot, so I got everywhere via EMV. My mom got sick, then my sister, then I was sick for NYE. Missed the parks on NYE day, but I champed it out for NYE at DHS [I]

12/24/09 - 1/1/10 Christmas
[I] Our first Christmas spent in Disney. We took Amtrak down (never again). I fought a cold all Christmas, but fought through it to enjoy. [I]

Summer of 2007: We went following my High School graduation. Fun trip but it was scorching hot!

The one or two other times previous to this, but the dates don't stick out in my mind.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:27 PM   #27
kim175
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Awesome tips!! Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:38 AM   #28
PlutoTheDog89
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 352

18 Weeks Until Christmas

__________________
23 year old Disney lover. My parents began bringing my sister and me at a very young age and I fell in love with everything Disney.

Next Trip: Christmas
12/24/12 - 1/1/13

Previous Trips:

3/29/12 - 4/1/12: Wedding for family friend
A Short trip, but a memorable and enjoyable one! Played golf in Disney for the first time! A very non-traditional trip, but a fun one!

12/24/10 - 1/1/11: Christmas
[I] Our Second Christmas. We drove down to Florida. I had a broken foot, so I got everywhere via EMV. My mom got sick, then my sister, then I was sick for NYE. Missed the parks on NYE day, but I champed it out for NYE at DHS [I]

12/24/09 - 1/1/10 Christmas
[I] Our first Christmas spent in Disney. We took Amtrak down (never again). I fought a cold all Christmas, but fought through it to enjoy. [I]

Summer of 2007: We went following my High School graduation. Fun trip but it was scorching hot!

The one or two other times previous to this, but the dates don't stick out in my mind.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:21 AM   #29
rackerlee92
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Loving this thread!! Thank you!
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upcoming - Sunset Lakes Dec 14/Jan 15
Sunset Lakes Dec 13/Jan 14, Windsor Hills January 2013, Windsor Hills September 2012, POFQ February 2012, POR September 2010, DLR November 2009, AKL January 2008, POR October 2007
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:38 AM   #30
PlutoTheDog89
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POA: Animal Kingdom

POA: Animal Kingdom

As I have cited many times before, Disney crowds are at their peak during the week of Christmas. Because of this, substantial planning goes into the vacation, especially the parks. Parks are subject to be more crowded on certain days. And, because of attractions, there are certain ways to tackle the parks.

Between now and Christmas, I will walk through each parks Plan of Action, or POA. Each POA is designed to help you make the most of each park and plan accordingly.

I decided to start with Animal Kingdom, as it is the easiest park to cover. Animal Kingdom holds the reputation as the little brother park. I will cover one park each month, leading up to December. Next month will be either Hollywood Studios or EPCOT, and Magic Kingdom will be right after Thanksgiving.

Park: Animal Kingdom
Opened: April 22, 1998
Interesting Fact: At 580 Acres, it is the largest single Disney theme park.
Areas:
- Oasis
- Discovery Island
- Camp Minnie-Mickey
- Africa
- Rafikis Planet Watch
- Asia
- DinoLand U.S.A
Top Ride(s):
- Expedition Everest
- DINOSAUR
- Kilimanjaro Safaris

Like its counterparts, Animal Kingdom has a wagon-wheel layout. This means there is a main attraction at the center of the park, with multiple paths leading out to other areas. The park is anchored by the Tree of Life, a 14-story artificial tree with more than 300 animals carved into its trunk. The tree hosts the popular 3D show Its Tough to Be a Bug.

Unlike the other parks, Animal Kingdom does not stay open into the night. The park closes at dusk. During the Christmas season, it begins to get dark around 6pm. If Extra Magic Hours are offered, they are typically in the morning. If you are not a morning person, you will have to rely on Animal Kingdoms normal hours of operation.

We are not the biggest Animal Kingdom fans. We usually only spend a half day at Animal Kingdom, and have even considered not going at all. I understand we may be in the minority, as many people love AK, and even spend more than one day there. However, after the safari and Mount Everest, we feel that Animal Kingdom does not have as much to offer as the other parks. However, we usually arrive at the park upon its opening, go to the main attractions, and then head back to the hotel.

Upon entering the park, you are in the Oasis. You are met with a few different paths leading to the park, the lockers and restrooms, or guest services. If you continue to the park, you will cross a bridge-like path. When leaving the park at Dusk, many times the area around the bridge is packed with birds. With the sun going down and the dark sky, it almost looks like something out of a Hitchcock movie, and offers an awesome photo opportunity.

Once past the bridge and into the park, you are met with a sign pointing to different areas of the park. Here is where you need to make a decision. What ride or attraction is most important to you? If you really want to see a Bugs Life, head to the Tree of Life. However, because it is a continuous show, wait times will only be around 30 minutes. I would recommend having Everest, the Safari and DINOSAUR atop your list, as they are the most popular rides and will have the longest wait times.

Each of these three rides is in different areas of the park. As a result, it requires significant planning. The Safari usually seats a large amount of people and boards on a continuous basis. While DINOSAUR is still one of the most popular rides in the park, it is not the first destination many people head to upon entering the park.

I would make Everest your FP Ride. This is the ride you walk to immediately upon entering the park, and request a Fast Pass. If you are early enough, your FP will require you to come back within an hour or so. If it requires you to come back somewhere between 12pm-2pm, even better. Once the FP time creeps into the 3pm and later time, I would recommend checking the wait time. If the FP time is later in the day and the wait time is less than 45 minutes, I would say to wait on line. You will not see Everest or many other main rides under 45 minutes, so take advantage.

So lets assume you got to the park at rope drop. You went immediately to Mount Everest and got your Fast Pass, which requires you to return between the time of 10:30am and 11:30am. It is now 9:35am. Having securing your Fast Pass for Everest, head over to the Safari. With it still being early, I would say the wait time is between 30-45 minutes. By the time the Safari is complete, it is now around 10:30am, and time to head back to Everest. By around 11am, you have completed two of the major rides at the park.

The next move will set the tone for the rest of the day. You should head over to DinoLand and check the times for DINOSAUR. If the wait time is less than 45 minutes, go ahead and wait on line. If not, I would predict the FP time is somewhere in the mid-afternoon. Lets assume the FP time is around 3:30pm. You secure your Fast Pass, and continue to walk around DinoLand. The Primeval Whirl is a 30 minute wait, so you decide to wait and ride. After this, it is around 12:15pm, and you are getting hungry. Here is a list of the top quick service options at Animal Kingdom:
- Yak & Yeti
- Flame Tree BBQ
- Tamu Tamu Refreshments
- Restaurantosauraus
- Pizzafari

After eating, it is now around 1pm. You remember that there is a parade at 1:30pm, so you line up early and get your spot. The parade passes through around 2pm. There is still time to kill before returning for your DINOSAUR FP. I would suggest taking in a show, or seeing Its Tough to Be a Bug. The wait time for Bug is around 45 minutes, so you decide to wait. Following the show, it is now ~3:15pm. You kill some time, and at 3:30pm,, you board DINOSAUR and after the ride, youre exhausted, the kids are screaming, and its near impossible to walk around comfortably.

Now, this is how my family operates to ensure an efficient and fun time at the park. While everything sounds overly planned, it is a recipe for success. Without a plan, you wind up walking around aimlessly in the park. Then, you are discouraged when you finally find Everest and see that there are no Fast Passes left, and its a 2 hour wait.

Maybe rides are not your forte, or the reason you go to Disney. Maybe your times are better spent seeing shows, meeting the characters, or just sight seeing. If this is the case, I would recommend scheduling your day based on the more popular shows.

Festival of the Lion King is probably the most popular show at Animal Kingdom. It is a Broadway-style show that runs for 30 minutes. It usually runs every hour, beginning around 10:30am. Because it runs every hour, I would recommend getting there around 30-45 minutes early. If the line does not seem very long, you can kill some time by meeting the characters outside the show. Mickey, Minnie and all his pals are in the area, dressed in Safari gear.

Depending on your preferences, there is something for everyone at Animal Kingdom, While my family is old fashioned, and would much rather spend time at Magic Kingdom, EPCOT or Hollywood Studios, it really is a fun park.

If you have any questions about the week of Christmas, feel free to ask! Its coming up fast!
__________________
23 year old Disney lover. My parents began bringing my sister and me at a very young age and I fell in love with everything Disney.

Next Trip: Christmas
12/24/12 - 1/1/13

Previous Trips:

3/29/12 - 4/1/12: Wedding for family friend
A Short trip, but a memorable and enjoyable one! Played golf in Disney for the first time! A very non-traditional trip, but a fun one!

12/24/10 - 1/1/11: Christmas
[I] Our Second Christmas. We drove down to Florida. I had a broken foot, so I got everywhere via EMV. My mom got sick, then my sister, then I was sick for NYE. Missed the parks on NYE day, but I champed it out for NYE at DHS [I]

12/24/09 - 1/1/10 Christmas
[I] Our first Christmas spent in Disney. We took Amtrak down (never again). I fought a cold all Christmas, but fought through it to enjoy. [I]

Summer of 2007: We went following my High School graduation. Fun trip but it was scorching hot!

The one or two other times previous to this, but the dates don't stick out in my mind.
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