PDA

View Full Version : Alternatives To Crowded Parks?



Beccaberry
27-10-2011, 04:05 PM
So, I'm not delusional. I know going at Christmas we are likely to face the largest crowds we've ever faced at Disney, and that's ok. We've been eleventy billion times and we'll likely be back ;) so I don't have to "do it all". We're just there to enjoy ourselves as a family and have some fun.

Having said that...what are you best onsite tips, tricks and hints to avoid/beat/tolerate the crowds? Where do you go, what do you do? Spend a day at the pool? Hit DD? Cruise the Boardwalk? Tour the resorts?

I've got my pencil ready to start making a list and checking it twice!

Watchinherskip
27-10-2011, 04:32 PM
We seem to always be there with a holiday so we have experienced big crowds. You know not to let them deter you. That being said, we like to get away to the resorts and enjoy the public areas. The GF is beautiful that time of year and there always seems to be good traffic. It is wonderful to sit in the lobby and watch the world go by.

Beccaberry
27-10-2011, 06:02 PM
Funny you should say that, guess where my daughter cannot WAIT to go? Yep, the Grand Floridian. She had an encounter with the lovely "poodle lady" last time we were there, and has wanted to go back since the moment we left...that's all she talked about for days!

Mari
27-10-2011, 06:07 PM
I love a day at the resort... a day at DTD checking out shops and buying cute stuff

having ADRs also makes being in the crowds doable since YOU KNOW you have somewhere to eat and will be able to relax a bit at the restaurant

Using fast passes for must do rides

Leaving the parks early, since most crowds seem to increase right around lunch time

getting a Margarita at Epcot and sitting down to people watch ;)

going to places that arent as popular ;) like the Imagination pavillion at Epcot

catrancher
27-10-2011, 06:54 PM
So, I'm not delusional.

Really? :unsure:

Who knew? :ROFL:


I know going at Christmas we are likely to face the largest crowds we've ever faced at Disney, and that's ok.

Seriously, don't forget that on days like Christmas day, the park is going to be mobbed and they'll probably close the park early. If you're not in by then, you're not getting in. You'll need to be in there early and plan on staying all day and into the evening. Once you leave, you're totally and completely out and won't be able to get back in.

Now having said that, I think I'd be a big fan of just doing the hotel tour. Go from one to the other and just drink in the decorations and the ambience.

But that's just me. :shrug:

Tom (:macwave:... generally crowdphobic...)

lisaw
27-10-2011, 07:01 PM
Funny you should say that, guess where my daughter cannot WAIT to go? Yep, the Grand Floridian. She had an encounter with the lovely "poodle lady" last time we were there, and has wanted to go back since the moment we left...that's all she talked about for days!


The poodle lady? Is that the lady who is all dressed up and sits in the lobby with a basket? She was there on numerous evenings we were at the GF in August and we wondered what the story was as she was always sitting in exactly the same place just dressed differently!

Beccaberry
27-10-2011, 07:30 PM
The poodle lady? Is that the lady who is all dressed up and sits in the lobby with a basket? She was there on numerous evenings we were at the GF in August and we wondered what the story was as she was always sitting in exactly the same place just dressed differently!

Yes, that was probably Ms. Lynn. I don't know *much* about her, all I know is that she is a widow and she visits the GF often to listen to the live music, something she and her husband used to do. That is about the sum total of what I know, except to say she really made an impact on Baleigh!

Beccaberry
27-10-2011, 07:33 PM
Really? :unsure:

Who knew? :ROFL:

Shhhhhhhhhhh I'm trying to keep that on the d/l.






Now having said that, I think I'd be a big fan of just doing the hotel tour. Go from one to the other and just drink...

You had me at drink ;-)

lisaw
27-10-2011, 07:40 PM
Yes, that was probably Ms. Lynn. I don't know *much* about her, all I know is that she is a widow and she visits the GF often to listen to the live music, something she and her husband used to do. That is about the sum total of what I know, except to say she really made an impact on Baleigh!

Awww, the pianist was playing each time we saw her so it must have been Ms. Lynn. She had a big basket of what looked like plush toys with her but we didn't like to stare, just found her fascinating with how she was dressed.

Mari
27-10-2011, 08:11 PM
I had never heardof Miss Lynn

foreverducky
27-10-2011, 09:11 PM
I went for Christmas once and yes, it was very busy.

However, what I enjoyed the most was touring the hotels and seeing all the decorations. They were so pretty. Definitely go to the WL (my favorite resort), as they really know how to have that Christmas feel.

disney-fan
27-10-2011, 11:48 PM
Haven been to disney at christmas many times .If your staying on property
take advantage of extra magic hours .the crowd leaves after the fire works .
Head over to Fortwilderness camp ground for a sligh ride through the camping loops.The campers decorate there sites . You can see video on You tube. Get on the
monarail and go hotel hopping. Also remember the christmas day parade has been taped for TV weeks before

Johnie
28-10-2011, 02:15 AM
Oh you know what would be fun? Afternoon tea and resort hop to see the decorations.

If you can get away, you SO NEED to go on the Christmas tour. It is awesome!

Kate
28-10-2011, 06:35 AM
We usually go around thanksgiving time, its usually busy over that weekend but id imagine nowhere near as busy as christmas day!
We dont ever stay on site, but on that weekend we usually do waterparks, dtd, crazy golf etc - by the time the monday comes around we are all desperate to do some coasters! :lol:

Isafari
28-10-2011, 07:30 AM
We've been Christmas day the past 9 years and get to the park early and stay until closing. We did miss out on Mk one year as we didn't get there until around 10am and the park had closed. We ended up at Epcot which was fine, we were still at WDW - however, it wasn't very Christmassy at Epcot.

The parades and shows make it for me above the rides so we just go with the crowded flow and don't expect too many rides. We fastpass a couple and just watch the entertainment etc. Actually, around 7pm last year, there was only about a 10 to 15 minute wait on rides in Tomorrowland. The rest of the day you were looking at 90 minutes plus.

Tink
28-10-2011, 09:24 AM
We are ones who find EPCOT to be our favorite park on Christmas Day (there's a surprise). :lol:

We love making it a point to listen to the "Santa" stories that we haven't heard that year, and the stories of other countries too. :yes:

We love the lighting of the huge tree in the crossover. :yes:

Sometimes, if it's too silly crowded we'll go in the morning, have a walk around the world showcase when it opens, oooooh and ahhhhhh at the trees, and then leave. We then may go back to our resort and have a nice lunch (remember, we're DVCers) and poke around the resort. Often there is a special event for Christmas at the resort. Remember the IG for the WS. The WS doesn't open until 11:00 so that gives us a good space of time to have a leisurely breakfast and open any little gifties that Santa left for the Faeries to deliver. :yes: Oh, what? You didn't know that? Oh yes. Disney is so large, Santa just drops the gifties to the faeries and they take over. :yes:

Then we'll decide which resorts we want to visit. Fort Wilderness is awesome. The campsites are decorated six ways to Sunday and there is really so much to do there. Be sure to visit the animal area, especially the horse barn.

If elegance is more your thing, well you know where to find that!

We try to catch the electrical water parade, too. :yes:

Mostly we just "be" together. Loving life, and basking in Disney.

A word of caution though. It is at Christmas time when we've had our worst experiences with mass transit. We've been pushed off the trams (literally pushed, as in hands on shoving) by others at two different Christmases. (Both at MK). We try to avoid that now. It really can ruin the entire darn day.

Watchinherskip
28-10-2011, 01:09 PM
Hope I am not getting too far afield here, but on our very first visit we stayed at the Disney Inn (Shades of Green now). It was the most magical trip...maybe because it was our first, or maybe Disney used to be more magic.

We checked into our room, went out and had a great day at MK. The resort only had minimal Christmas decorations. We came back later that night and turned in for the night. In the morning we woke up, and I went to get the paper (yes they used to give you a newspaper) and I couldn't believe my eyes. In the hall right near our door was the most beautiful Christmas tree! The eleves must have come out that night and just went crazy. Now the whole resort was decked out. It was really magical.

We walked over to the Poly and the same thing happened there. Over the years we have visited over Thanksgiving, but most of the decorations were already up. Never had a repeat of that wonderful event...but hey it happened at least once.

Beccaberry
28-10-2011, 01:47 PM
We are ones who find EPCOT to be our favorite park on Christmas Day (there's a surprise). :lol:

We love making it a point to listen to the "Santa" stories that we haven't heard that year, and the stories of other countries too. :yes:

We love the lighting of the huge tree in the crossover. :yes:

Sometimes, if it's too silly crowded we'll go in the morning, have a walk around the world showcase when it opens, oooooh and ahhhhhh at the trees, and then leave. We then may go back to our resort and have a nice lunch (remember, we're DVCers) and poke around the resort. Often there is a special event for Christmas at the resort. Remember the IG for the WS. The WS doesn't open until 11:00 so that gives us a good space of time to have a leisurely breakfast and open any little gifties that Santa left for the Faeries to deliver. :yes: Oh, what? You didn't know that? Oh yes. Disney is so large, Santa just drops the gifties to the faeries and they take over. :yes:

Then we'll decide which resorts we want to visit. Fort Wilderness is awesome. The campsites are decorated six ways to Sunday and there is really so much to do there. Be sure to visit the animal area, especially the horse barn.

If elegance is more your thing, well you know where to find that!

We try to catch the electrical water parade, too. :yes:

Mostly we just "be" together. Loving life, and basking in Disney.

A word of caution though. It is at Christmas time when we've had our worst experiences with mass transit. We've been pushed off the trams (literally pushed, as in hands on shoving) by others at two different Christmases. (Both at MK). We try to avoid that now. It really can ruin the entire darn day.

I just printed this entire post to add to my itinerary :D

This line sums up our entire trip, "Mostly we just "be" together. Loving life, and basking in Disney." (and made me a little weepy)

I'll definitely warn the troops to beware the transportation grubs.

Fantastic suggestions and tips everyone, thank you soooooo much!

Beccaberry
28-10-2011, 01:48 PM
If you can get away, you SO NEED to go on the Christmas tour. It is awesome!

OOH! You know how Jon loves his tours!!! I wonder if they'll make fun of me on this one? ;-)

Tink
28-10-2011, 02:08 PM
'Skip, you are right. Disney was more magical in many ways, "back then." Their overnight transformations were legendary and were so darn powerful!

Back in early 90's... there was a frost that hit early in the night. By the next morning Disney had REPLANTED everything! (Or so it was sure made to look)l Now they put up signs apologizing for Jack Frost. :sigh:

Anyway, all is still well but the old memories are powerful.

Watchinherskip
28-10-2011, 03:55 PM
'Skip, you are right. Disney was more magical in many ways, "back then." Their overnight transformations were legendary and were so darn powerful!

Back in early 90's... there was a frost that hit early in the night. By the next morning Disney had REPLANTED everything! (Or so it was sure made to look)l Now they put up signs apologizing for Jack Frost. :sigh:

Anyway, all is still well but the old memories are powerful.

Oh great! I am glad I wasn't losing my mind. Thank you. They did do more magic in the day:tongue: