Here is a list of tips to help you survive holidays at Walt Disney World. If you have to travel to this magical place during the holidays these are things to remember before you go:
- Prepare for big crowds. Whether you go at Christmas or 4th of July there are going to be crowds that you could not imagine. The parks fill to capacity most of the days just before and on the holiday itself. The lines will be longer than normal and tempers could be a little hot.
- Be sure to plan everything ahead of time. There are several ways to plan before even leaving your home. You can make dining priority seatings and if you receive the Magic Wristbands you can pre book Fastpasses. Sit down as a family and make a list of what is important to do for each family member and try to pick the most important to make sure you get to those items. If the rides are important you can plan for that or if seeing the decorations at each resort is important try to work that into your schedule. If you pick a few things from each person you will sure to have a vacation that everyone will remember for years to come.
- Arrive at the parks at opening each day. The parks fill to or close to capacity near the holidays so to make the most of your days be sure to arrive at the park of choice for that day when the park opens. There is an opening ceremony for each park and that will be special to see, especially if this is your first trip. There are always “extra magic hours” each day and some of them are for morning hours. The “extra magic hours” are for resort guests.
- Pick the rides you NEED to go on. With the long lines there are always going to be rides that you will not be able to go on so if this is your thing plan ahead. There is the FastPass+ if you have the MagicBands or the paper FastPasses in the park. Choose the rides for that day you must enjoy and get the FastPass for those, if available, and while waiting for your return time you could enjoy a near by ride.
- Plan to eat at the “off times”. For lunch go before 11:00 or after 3:00; for dinner go between 3:00 and 4:30 or after 8:00. You could bring some snacks, like granola bars, to keep the kids satisfied between times.
- Get to the parade route early. We used to make snack time around the time of waiting for the parade to begin. You can reserve your place of the curb and send one out to get the snacks at a near by stand or store. The kids will get preoccupied with the snack and you will have some time to rest and not be on your feet. The parade route and firework viewing fill up during the holidays so planning ahead will be your best plan for everyone being able to see all the characters.
- Schedule some “down time”. There are several ways of doing this: you could pick a resort that you would like to tour, you could go back to your resort and take part at some of the on-site activities they have or you could go to Downtown Disney and look through the shops. Sometimes getting away from the parks and having “other” fun will be good for everyone. The parks can get overwhelming and taking some time to see other things around the Disney complex is just as fun and something that not many think of. There is a list of “free or nearly free” things to do while still on property that you could check out for “non park” fun.
The most important thing to remember is that you are on vacation and you are there to have fun and make memories with your family. We have been to the parks on many holidays and have survived with special memories that the kids still talk about.