Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Disney World Tips
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read





Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 07-17-2013, 10:58 AM   #1
PlutoTheDog89
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 351

Guide to Christmas in Disney

Hey all,

For those that do not know me, my name is Pete. I've been to Disney about a dozen times, with the most recent trips being for Christmas. My first Christmas trip was back in 2009. We then went again in 2010, skipped 2011 (we went in April 2012 for a wedding), and most recently 2012.

For those that have been to Disney during Christmas, you know that it requires extensive planning. Christmas is the most crowded time of the year. With schools on vacation, families from around the country and the world flock to Disney for an extra special Christmas. It truly is an amazing experience, but because of the increase crowd levels, it can be trying on your patience.

I recently started a tumblr-style blog, but I wanted to also start a thread on DisBoards for those looking for some tips on a successful Christmas in Disney. My goal is to not only provide you with some guidance, but to realistically prepare you for a Christmas in Disney. The crowds are like nothing you have ever seen before, but with the proper planning, you can provide a memorable Christmas for your family.

I'll try and post as much as possible leading up to my (hopeful) Christmas trip. I have a lot going on, so daily posts are unrealistic. However, I am more than happy to share my experiences and tips with all of you.

Archive
How to Pack
Beating the Crowds
Crowd Pictures
Scooters and ECVs during Christmas
Christmas Decorations and Activities
Disney Dining
POA: Animal Kingdom
Disney Christmas Treats
POA: EPCOT (Part 1)
POA: EPCOT (Part 2)
POA: EPCOT (Part 3)
POV: FastPass+ and Magic Bands
POA: Hollywood Studios (Part 1)
POA: Hollywood Studios (Part 2)
POA: Magic Kingdom (Part 1)
POA: Magic Kingdom (Part 2)
POA: Magic Kingdom Part 3
New Year's Eve Tips

Christmas Week Park Hours & EMH
__________________
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.

Last edited by PlutoTheDog89; 12-23-2013 at 08:59 AM.
PlutoTheDog89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2013, 05:13 PM   #2
PlutoTheDog89
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 351

How to Pack

How to Pack



As of today, there are 23 weeks until Christmas. If you are like me and are suffering through this heat wave, you are definitely looking forward to cooler weather.

Believe it or not, Florida gets chilly during the winter. While the temperature may not dip into the frigid temperatures of the North, there will be some nights where you may need a winter coat.

This was a lesson my family and I learned on our first Christmas trip to Disney. After booking the vacation, I was so excited to spend my first winter month in a warmer climate. I immediately started to think how exciting it would be to spend Christmas in a t-shirt and shorts. After reading the weather forecast, I saw mostly 70 degree weather, with a few days in the 60s, and one or two days in the 50s. Compared to the 20-30 degree weather, it sounded pretty awesome. I packed a variety of t-shirts and long sleeve shirts, jeans and shorts, and a hooded sweatshirt (incase it got too chilly.) Fortunately, we took Amtrak down this year, so I was forced to wear a coat on the way down. This coat would be extremely useful down the line.

When we first arrived, it was sunny and mid-70s. It was everything I had pictured. The next day, it was supposed to be in the 60s, which was fine. However, it was cloudy this day and it felt pretty chilly. After two days in Disney, I caught a cold and felt miserable for half the trip. While I did not let it ruin the trip, it did put a damper on a lot of fun things. I dont want this to happen to you, so here are some tips for Disney weather in December.

- December weather in Florida is a lot like late-March, early-April weather in the Northeast

It can be beautiful and sunny, or cloudy and cold. You must prepare for both as it can be gorgeous one day, then cold the next.

- Anything below 70 during the day will result in a chilly night

It doesnt take a science class to know that the sun heats the Earth. If you check the weather and see anything below 70 degrees during the day, prepare for a cold night. Mix in a cloudy day below 70 and you better break out the gloves, too.

- UV rays can still be strong in December

All this talk about how cold it can get in December, and nothing about the warmth. Florida in December can be like a cloudy day at the beach - deceiving. While the temperature can be comfortable, and the UV rays may not be as strong as they are in July; they can still be pretty strong. If you have fair skin, it is still safe to bring some sun lotion. The UV Rays can be anywhere from 4-6 (moderate), and sometimes in the high area. While it is unrealistic to expect to come home with a beautiful tan, you may get burnt, which can have you feeling uncomfortable.

- Pack in layers

As a rule of thumb, I always pack in layers. I usually pack for three seasons when I go to Disney in December. Start with packing for spring-time weather. Pack short-sleeve shirts, jeans, light-weight shirts, etc.

Next, you want to be prepared for the cooler fall-like weather. Pack sweaters, long sleeve shirts, and a hooded sweatshirt.

Last, and hopefully least, you want to pack for winter. I have been in Disney when temperatures have hit the high 30s at night. Make sure to pack thick socks, coats, and even winter hats and gloves (it gets cold standing in line or waiting for a parade!)

So using this info, heres what you should be left with:

- t-shirts

- Jeans/pants

- long sleeve shirts

- hooded sweatshirts

- winter coat

- hats/gloves

If it is warm outside, wear a t-shirt and jeans. If it starts to get a little chilly outside, you can throw on a long-sleeve shirt. When it starts to get cold outside, you can layer any of the above clothes to stay warm. This allows you to prepare for any weather, while still packing light".

If you have any other questions about the weather, feel free to reach out! Of course, the way you pack depends on where you are from. Im from NY, so in the Northeast, 40-50 degrees is still pretty chilly. If youre from Alaska, feel free to pack some shorts!

Christmas, 2012 - Warm and mid-70s:



A few days late - a little chillier (Notice the layers)

__________________
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.

Last edited by PlutoTheDog89; 08-11-2013 at 10:03 AM.
PlutoTheDog89 is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 07-17-2013, 05:27 PM   #3
snuggly duckling
Mouseketeer
 
snuggly duckling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Drexel Hill, PA
Posts: 217

Thank you for going this! We're doing Christmas this year, and while I am confident in all I've learned on the DIS, I am also concerned about being prepared for the madness!
snuggly duckling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2013, 10:10 PM   #4
Letshavefun
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 12

Quote:
Originally Posted by snuggly duckling View Post
Thank you for going this! We're doing Christmas this year, and while I am confident in all I've learned on the DIS, I am also concerned about being prepared for the madness!
Ditto! Keep the wisdom coming!
Letshavefun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2013, 08:31 AM   #5
cheezNE1
member since 2006
 
cheezNE1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Krypton, when i'm not in NJ
Posts: 471

How is the crowd? Is it really really that bad like you will elbow everyone just walking around? i hear so many stories and its scary. Any one have pictures of just what the crowd looks like xmas week? Also, how hard is it for scooters and wheelchairs to get around during that week.
__________________
BLT-7/12 BLT-8/11 SSR-8/2010 BLT- 10/09VB & BWV- 5/09 HHI & SSR - 12/08 SSR- 3/08 Disney HK 11/07 - ASR 12/2006 - AKL- 3/2003

deep thoughts-During the Middle Ages, probably one of the biggest mistakes was not putting on your armor because you were "just going down to the corner."
cheezNE1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
wiigirl
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 15,974

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letshavefun View Post
Ditto! Keep the wisdom coming!
__________________
For the love of Disney...
wiigirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2013, 08:38 AM   #7
ffindis
Mouseketeer
 
ffindis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 190

Great tips!
ffindis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2013, 10:36 AM   #8
PlutoTheDog89
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 351

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezNE1 View Post
How is the crowd? Is it really really that bad like you will elbow everyone just walking around? i hear so many stories and its scary. Any one have pictures of just what the crowd looks like xmas week? Also, how hard is it for scooters and wheelchairs to get around during that week.
Great questions. I'll be happy to answer those coming up. I have experience with both the crowds..... and the scooter. There's a good story to go with the scooter, too!
__________________
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.
PlutoTheDog89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2013, 11:31 AM   #9
Barbydoll8
Offical Disney Dork
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West coast of FL
Posts: 209

Disney Christmas

Great post! I live here (about 65 miles west) and am at the World all the time and Dec/Christmas questions are the ones I post about the most.

I'd like to add one thing about the sun strength here in Dec. Not only should you plan on sun block but please bring a good pair of sun glasses. Ones that block both UV and UB rays. Especially for the little ones. I see many, many little ones in Disney w/o their eyes protected from the sun.

And be prepared to drink more. Please don't discredit the fact that you may not feel dehydrated or thirsty but you need to drink more here (because of the sun, warmth and added walking) and you may not realise it.
Barbydoll8 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2013, 09:43 AM   #10
PlutoTheDog89
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 351

Beating the Crowds

Beating the Crowds

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezNE1 View Post
How is the crowd? Is it really really that bad like you will elbow everyone just walking around? i hear so many stories and its scary. Any one have pictures of just what the crowd looks like xmas week?
This is a fantastic question, and probably the number one reason why people have trouble committing to Disney during Christmas. I will not try to sugar-coat anything – the week of Christmas is the most crowded time of the year. Because of this, wait times for rides can get as high as two hours or more!

When many people hear how crowded it is and how long the wait times are, the next question usually is “so why do you go?” While the wait times can escalate quickly, and park walkways can quickly become congested, there is a science to “beating the crowds.” It takes a lot of patience to get through the crowds, and is not for the weak at heart, but with a solid plan of action, you can ensure a magical time.

This post will be an overview of the crowd levels seen during the week, some tips for how to use weather and time of day to your advantage, and how to avoid “burning out” early on during your trip.

Of course, each park requires a separate plan of action. In my upcoming posts leading up to Christmas, I will make sure to highlight each park’s “POA.”

Let’s start with a trivia question – the most crowded day of Christmas week is:

If you said Christmas, you are wrong. From what I have witnessed, the most crowded day of the Christmas week is actually New Years Eve day. Think about this, if you are in the New York area, where do people flock to for New Years Eve? Time Square. What time do you have to get to Time Square on New Years Eve to ensure a fun experience and a good spot? Pretty early.

For a majority of Floridians, Disney World is their Time Square for NYE. Combine Floridians and people in that area looking to enjoy NYE with the high volume of tourists visiting Disney and you get the most crowded day of the year.

It is on this day that my family avoids the parks at all costs. EPCOT is literally elbow-to-elbow, and while I have never gown the courage to visit Magic Kingdom, I can imagine it is the same. Below is a picture from this year’s NYE day at EPCOT, when my family thought it would be a good idea to walk through EPCOT and take a boat to the Boardwalk.



Disney World does do a fantastic job at preparing for the crowd levels on NYE. They actually have another bus company contracted to increase the number of buses going between parks and resorts. Even with the increase in buses, the traffic can cause increased travel times, so it is always good to leave for your destination ~1 hour ahead of time.

To answer your question, I will first show a crowd forecast graph to give you an idea of how crowded each day gets. My family usually arrives in Disney World the day of Christmas Eve, and stays until New Years Day. Here are the crowd levels we have experienced:



As you can see, on December 24th, the crowds are not too bad, as many people are just beginning to arrive and get settled. Christmas day is when the parks begin to get pretty crowded. The crowd level on Christmas day and the day or two after may be enough to make people avoid the parks altogether. However, my family is up for the challenge and actually spends Christmas in Magic Kingdom (crazy, I know!)

As I mentioned, each park has a POA that is specific to the layout, the rides, etc. But, here are some tips to still enjoy Christmas on days where the parks are crowded.

Get to the parks as early as possible
Many people are not early birds, my family included. When we go on vacation, we always talk about how we are going to “relax.” That never happens. In order to get the best of your vacation, there are going to be some days where you have to be up early, and some nights where you will have to be out late.

Looking at the crowd forecast, I would say Christmas day is pretty packed, right? What if I told you that within three hours, you can enjoy Space Mountain, the Buzz Lightyear ride and Big Thunder Mountain? You probably would not believe me, right? Well you can.

Last Christmas, my family tried to get to Magic Kingdom on Christmas Day for the Extra Magic Hours, one hour prior to the park opening. We didn’t make it. By the time we had gotten into the park, it was just opening to the public. As people filed in, we made a B-line to Tomorrowland (we had it planned). My parents do not like rollercoasters, so my sister and I got in line for Space Mountain. We sent my parents to Buzz Lightyear to get Fast Passes. The wait time on Space Mountain was around 20 minutes, and by the time we finished, it was around 8:45am. The Fast Passes called for a return at 10:30am. We went to the “Scream Theater”, and then we enjoyed a cinnamon roll at Main Street Bakery. We still had a half hour, and there was a 30-minute wait on Thunder Mountain. We rode Thunder Mountain, and then returned to Buzz Lightyear to redeem our fast passes.

By the time we got off Buzz Lightyear, it was around 11am and we had completed three big rides. This is all part of the planning that goes into the parks. Knowing where the rides are, which rides will have the longest wait-times, and your way around the park.

Stay at the Parks as Late as Possible

This is the opposite of what I just told you. You will notice that during Christmas there are a lot of young families. If you are staying on Disney properties, use the late-night EMH to your advantage. At Magic Kingdom, usually after the fireworks and final parade it begins to clear out. Many times, they offer EMH until 2am. Now, I have never made it that late, however, around 12:30am the park is basically empty!

Leave the Parks in the Afternoon
Let’s return to my Christmas Day story (bragging) about the three attractions in three hours. A few things figured into this:
- It was early and younger families probably opened gifts first, then went to the parks
- FantasyLand had just opened, so many people went straight there

Around 12pm, the park was swamped. It was so busy that the line for “Small World” extended all the way to the Haunted Mansion. That is approximately a one-hour wait given how fast Small World moves, but you understand my point. Once you start to see this, it’s time to leave the park.

What many people forget is just how many things Disney offers other than the park, especially during Christmas. I will be sure to highlight these offerings in future posts.

Go back to the hotel and take a nap, relax by the pool, or go exploring. When the park gets extremely busy, we usually leave and return later that evening.

Use the Weather to Your Advantage

Disney World is in Florida, which means every day has a chance on rain. But, it also means that the rain usually does not last too long. Don’t let it “rain on your parade.” Some of the best times we have had in the Disney parks were during, or right after a rain shower.

When it rains, people usually run for cover. They flock to shows, take the time to go shopping, grab a bite to eat in a covered area, or even leave the parks. I remember one instance this past trip when it was pouring in them morning. Worried we would not be able to get a good day at the parks in, we ate breakfast at the hotel, and checked the weather channel. The radar showed that it would be passing by in about two hours. We waited about an hour before heading to Animal Kingdom.

As we were getting to Animal Kingdom, it was beginning to stop, and the sun was starting to emerge (which looks awesome looking at the Tree of Life.) We entered and immediate went to Mount Everest, which had a wait time of thirty minutes. A thirty-minute wait on a good day is unheard of for Mount Everest. After the ride, the wait time was back up to sixty minutes.

Another time I can think of the rain working in our favor was during Magic Kingdom Extra Magic Hours. We had eaten at Whispering Canyon, and then taken a carriage ride around the camp grounds to view the Christmas lights. It was during the carriage ride that it began to absolutely downpour. When we finally returned to the hotel, we dried up and decided to get a few hours in at Magic Kingdom, as Magic Kingdom had EMH until 3am. The rain was still pretty heavy upon arriving, so we got some pictures with Mickey indoors, then saw the Country Bear Jamboree. By then, it was reduced to a drizzle and the park was empty. We rode Big Thunder Mountain (which is awesome at night and even cooler when it is raining) and rode Space Mountain. The wait times were basically inexistent on these rides. The EMH, combined with the terrible weather, mixed for an empty park.

Normal Night at Magic Kingdom:



During EMH After a Night Full of Rain:



Purchase a Park Hopper

Adding a Park Hopper onto your ticket during Christmas week is definitely worth it. With a normal ticket, if you get to a park and it is too packed to be enjoyable, you are stuck there or lose that day if you leave. With the Park Hopper, you can leave the park and go to a less crowded park.

Get Your Fast Pass Early

Fast Passes for big attractions go fast, and even faster during Christmas week, when crowds are at a high level. I remember once, I rode Tower of Terror. We then went back to Toy Story Mania to get our Fast Pass. Well, by the time we got back there (around 11am) the Fast Passes were no longer being distributed for the day. For Toy Story Mania in Hollywood Studios, it is best to get your Fast Pass upon entering the park.

Another way to plan your Fast Pass is to try to get your time slot for 6-7pm. So, let’s say you spend your morning at Hollywood Studios and leave when it gets crowded in the afternoon. Go back to your hotel around 1pm to relax, wash up, and maybe throw on an extra layer for the night. Return to the parks around 5:30pm, use your Fast Pass, eat dinner, then enjoy Fantasmic. To me, that sounds like an outstanding day and you avoid the crowds!

Stay in a Smaller Hotel

How many times have you gone to board a bus and it was too packed. You then have to wait until the next bus, which can be up to 15 minutes. Staying at a smaller hotel, or a hotel along the Monorail line can cut down on this. Check out the occupancy and the map of the hotel before booking your vacation. The less stops, the smaller the hotel. The smaller the hotel, the faster you are able to get onto a bus and head to the park.

As a rule of thumb, the value resorts are usually the largest. The monorail hotels offer buses, the monorail (of course) and boats to Magic Kingdom. You can also get a boat from the Boardwalk hotels to EPCOT, and most Boardwalk hotels are within walking distance of Hollywood Studios.

Now, this is in no way telling you not to stay in a value resort. If you find yourself in a larger resort, try to find the first stop that buses make when picking up guests.

Enjoy Yourself

So what if it’s crowded? You are spending Christmas, the happiest time of the year, at the happiest place on Earth. Why let the crowds get you down?

Yes, it’s very crowded, and yes, the lines can get very long. But, I think a lot of people hear “crowds” at Disney and immediately think of a hot July today, surrounded by too many people and sweating their rear end off. That is not the case during Christmas. The weather is enjoyable, sometimes even cold, so the crowds do not reflect negatively on your vacation. The only thing the crowds can do is increase your wait time; but with the lower temperatures, it really does not cause a problem.

Continue to ask some great questions! In my next post, I will address the scooter/wheelchair situation during Christmas week.
__________________
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.

Last edited by PlutoTheDog89; 08-11-2013 at 10:04 AM.
PlutoTheDog89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2013, 10:23 AM   #11
PlutoTheDog89
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 351

Some More Crowd Pictures

Day Before NYE @ Hollywood Studios (Near Starring Rolls):





Christmas Night @ Magic Kingdom, Main Street:





NYE Day @ Downtown Disney, Old Pleasure Island:

__________________
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.
PlutoTheDog89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2013, 04:00 PM   #12
lswheatly
Mouseketeer
 
lswheatly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 83

I am all in!! My family & I will be visiting WDW during Christmas.
__________________
1st Visit to Walt Disney World: POP March 2011



lswheatly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2013, 01:05 PM   #13
monicajonathan
Earning My Ears
 
monicajonathan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 44

Thanks for the insight. We will be going back christmas 2014 and I need all the tips you can give. Thanks in advance.
monicajonathan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2013, 01:30 PM   #14
PlutoTheDog89
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 351

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezNE1 View Post
Also, how hard is it for scooters and wheelchairs to get around during that week.
It was December 10th, 2010 and I was at a holiday party at college the week before finals week would begin. After a night out, I went home. I was on the third floor of my college house and was thirsty. Having gone shopping that day, I left the case of waters downstairs. On the trek down the stairs, I very painfully turned my ankle.

After realizing we had no ice in the house, I resorted to frozen vegetables. The next morning, I could not put weight on my foot. It looked like I had a baseball on the side of my ankle. I had it checked out by my friend who was a nursing major, who told me to go to the emergency room.

It turned out that I had a sprained ankle and a Jones fracture (fractured small toe). I would be in a walking boot for the next 12-18 weeks. I called my parents, and my mom immediately freaked out, looking for ways to cancel the Disney trip.

After finally talking her out of it, we started to look to plan B. We called Disney and they were incredibly helpful and realistic. A wheelchair would simply not work with the Christmas crowds. They recommended an electric scooter, and after making some calls, we had one reserved.

We went with Buena Vista Scooters http://www.buenavistascooters.com/.
Buena Vista offered free drop off and pick up right to your hotel room. They also offer a 10% discount if you pickup the ECV yourself. They were awesome in bringing the scooter to the room the morning we needed it, and picking it up on our last day.

Learning to drive the scooter and maneuver the crowds took a bit of practice. By the second or third day, I began to learn.

Buses

I would say the most embarrassing part of being on an ECV is the bus. Having an ECV gets you first access to all buses, depending on availability. Unfortunately, many people abuse this privilege. This causes a bit of disdain from other guests. Being a 21 year old kid, I felt like everyone was staring at me, feeling as if I was faking it every time I went to board the bus.

Another unfortunate part of the ECV is having to back it up onto the bus perfectly with 50-100 people watching, waiting to board the bus. The pressure was definitely on, but I managed to get it down to a science after a few nights.

Overall, the buses and drivers do a great job at helping you get to and from the parks. If you are in actual need of an ECV or wheelchair, you should never feel ashamed of using it. However, I would say to try and limit the amount of people in your family. After you board the bus, your family always gets on the bus. I think people were happy to see that I was only traveling with three other people. I have seen in the past an ECV roll up with a family of ten. This is a bit unfair to the people waiting in line, especially during such a packed week.

Theme Parks

I will start by getting this out of the way  you no longer get a free pass or onto rides first with an ECV. After breaking my foot, so many people said well, at least you will get onto the rides first! This is no longer the case. Many lines have enough space for an ECV, or they have a wheelchair transfer center.

I do remember one instance at Hollywood Studios. It was toward the end of the night and the line for Tower of Terror was about a half hour long. We transferred into the wheelchair and my dad looked at the long line we would have to go through just to get to the ride. Innocently, my dad asked the Cast Member if there was a quicker way up. We would still wait our turn in line, but my dad did not want to push me through the entire line. The CM grinned and handed us two Fast Passes. This was the only real time we received special treatment on the lines. I would file this under the category of Disney Magic, however, as this really made my night.

Some Tips:

- If you require crutches or a cane, ask for the crutch holder on the ECV. Many rides offer the wheelchair transfer, however, many restaurants and attractions require you to park outside and do not. Be prepared to have to walk (limp) around some areas. Its nearly inevitable.

- With the parks so crowded, you have to be extremely careful and stay aware while driving an ECV. Christmas week means driving at slow speeds, sometimes right behind people who may decide to ::STOP:: at a moments notice to take a picture. This can result in a very painful flat tire. Also, its Disney. There are kids running around everywhere, so you need to remain very careful when driving around.

- While you must acknowledge your surroundings, many people will not acknowledge you. Just because you are no longer at eye level does not mean people can completely disregard you. While you must remain cautious, you must also be aggressive. People will not think twice about walking out in front of you or getting in your way. I remember losing my family in Animal Kingdom during a parade due to people completely surrounded me, not allowing me to move. Being cautious is great, but ECVs come equipped with a horn for a reason. Do not be afraid to sound it off if people do not see you or walk out in front of you.

__________________
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.
PlutoTheDog89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2013, 04:56 PM   #15
ngchiro
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Temple Texas
Posts: 264

DVC Gold Member
Paid DVC Rent/Trade
Gold Membership

Awesome!
ngchiro is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:27 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

You Rated this Thread: