Resort Hopping at Christmas?

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spodie
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Resort Hopping at Christmas?

Post by spodie » Jul Sat 26, 2008 10:30 pm

So we're going down to WDW in December (our first December trip) and I have heard that it is a must to check out the decorations at all of the resorts. Is it better to go during the day or at night?
I would like to stop by all of the resorts to see their decorations, but what is the best way of doing this? Is it best to drive around to them (because I know that you have to go through security to get into them) or would it be best to just take a bus from a park to a hotel and then come back and do it again?

Basically, I just want to know how you guys do it. Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks! :D
~Ashleigh :minnie:

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Post by jcodirewolf » Jul Sun 27, 2008 12:26 am

Most of the resorts are about the same day or night. They have displays in the lobbies. I would say the GF is one you'd want to do in the evening, big tree, music, gingerbread house...

As far as visiting, you don't say how many days you'll be there for. But I doubt you can do it in a day using Disney Transportation (my rule of thumb is it takes an hour to get anywhere, maybe a little less because you aren't having to deal with park security, but you do have always make a transport -> transport connection.) I would do it by visiting the resorts associated with the park I'm going to, so for instance MK I'd go there and walk from the MK bus stop to CR and ride the resort monorail around. EPCOT I'd do the boardwalk resorts etc...

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Post by kcarts » Jul Sun 27, 2008 6:53 am

When I go at Christmas, I spend a day going to the resorts. To me they are a must see. I guess how you do it depends on your preference. I stay at the Boardwalk usually so I can see the Beach and Yacht club along with the Swan and Dolphin almost anytime I want. That makes my planning a bit easier. The only one that is really out of the way for us is the AKL. We'll do that one when we visit the AK.

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Post by Blackie Pueblo » Jul Sun 27, 2008 9:24 am

I love resort hopping, especially at Christmas! I can tell you this much, we always use the buses. But jcodirewolf is correct it can take some time. But I take it because I kind of hate dealing with the Security. December can get cold (for Florida and Floridians anyway heh) but I do like to take the long walk as well from Disney Hollywood Studios all the way to the Boardwalk. You pass the Swann and Dolphin I believe as well.

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Post by spodie » Jul Sun 27, 2008 10:25 am

jcodirewolf wrote:As far as visiting, you don't say how many days you'll be there for.
johno
Right now, we will be leaving on December 13th, but we are extending our vacation when we learn when our last final for the semester is. We will be checking out on the 20th, hopefully missing the crowds.

Does anyone know how busy it will be that week? I think when we are going is the week before most public schools get out for their winter break, but since I've never been this time of year, I'd like to know how busy it will actually be.
~Ashleigh :minnie:

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Post by js3901 » Jul Sun 27, 2008 1:41 pm

we were going to go Resort Hopping when we went in December 2006. we were down there for a week, but never got around to it. too much we wanted to do in the parks.
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Post by bbowen13 » Jul Sun 27, 2008 3:12 pm

The week you are going should not be very bad as far as the crowds. We generally go around this time in December as well and don't really have a problem with the crowds. As far as resort hopping we usually go at night and use Downtown Disney as a source to go from one resort to the other. Of course we use the monorail for the Contemp., GF, and the Poly. :mickey:

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Post by boilerbabe » Jul Sun 27, 2008 4:52 pm

The crowds will be minimal when you're there! It's great!!! I agree with kcarts, go according to what park you are visiting that day! We stayed at the Poly when we went in Dec. so it was easy to see the GF and Contemporary. I would not miss the Boardwalk! GF I would say is my favorite though! Have a great trip! It's fun to see the different trees each resort has and the parks too! It's such a magical time! :D
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Post by DisBeamer » Jul Sun 27, 2008 8:12 pm

If you want to see the more out of the way resorts (AKL comes to mind), I'd say drive over there. But for the MK area resorts, my plan would be bus to MK -> boat to WL -> boat to Contemporary -> monorail around to the Poly and GF. For the Boardwalk resorts, I'd go on a day you were already at Epcot (since the walk from the bus/monorail to International Gateway is quite a haul), or at MGM, and then it's pretty easy to walk around Crescent Lake and hit all those resorts.

One other tip - and more of a 'my opinion' thing - I'd skip the moderate and value resorts unless you're really bent on checking them all off. Since they're spread out between different buildings, the decorations tend to be kinda sparse.

One other thing, not related to your question directly but something we experienced last year! :) 'Holiday pricing' comes into effect for certain restaurants, mostly the buffets, the week before Christmas. Last year we were there the 12th to the 18th, and the price of the same buffet breakfast was about $5 more per person on the morning of the 17th than on the morning of the 13th. Our server explained it was the 'holiday pricing' kicking in. I'd never been at WDW close enough to Christmas for that to be a factor before (apparently they've been expanding it in recent years too). Anyway, something to be aware of.

Crowds-wise it was full-ish but not crowded. I think the only waits we saw consistently longer than an hour were Peter Pan, Soarin' and Test Track, and I'm pretty sure the waits there are longer than an hour even when the parks are closed. ;)
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Post by spodie » Jul Sun 27, 2008 10:21 pm

DisBeamer wrote:
One other thing, not related to your question directly but something we experienced last year! :) 'Holiday pricing' comes into effect for certain restaurants, mostly the buffets, the week before Christmas. Last year we were there the 12th to the 18th, and the price of the same buffet breakfast was about $5 more per person on the morning of the 17th than on the morning of the 13th. Our server explained it was the 'holiday pricing' kicking in. I'd never been at WDW close enough to Christmas for that to be a factor before (apparently they've been expanding it in recent years too). Anyway, something to be aware of.
Thanks so much! We usually mainly do counter service meals when we go to WDW just because we don't want to spend 1-2 hours in a restaurant, but since we're going to be there longer this time, we were going to eat at one or two restaurants during our stay. I'd rather spend $5 less on a meal any day!
~Ashleigh :minnie:

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Post by Soarin08 » Nov Tue 18, 2008 12:01 pm

We'll be paying a visit to GF for sure (my mom says Christmas Eve, not sure yet though) and prolly Coronado Springs for nostalgia's sake (our favorite resort- haven't been there in ten years, though). What are some other resorts that go all-out at Christmas?
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Post by SimonTemplar » Nov Tue 18, 2008 1:29 pm

We have friends going down Dec. 21-23 on their way to see family for Christmas. They heard the crowds may be overwhelming since it's Christmas week, because they were told that week is among the busiest of the year. They're trying to decide if it's worth the money they'll spend if the crowds are that bad. Any thoughts?
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Post by Soarin08 » Nov Tue 18, 2008 1:54 pm

SimonTemplar wrote:We have friends going down Dec. 21-23 on their way to see family for Christmas. They heard the crowds may be overwhelming since it's Christmas week, because they were told that week is among the busiest of the year. They're trying to decide if it's worth the money they'll spend if the crowds are that bad. Any thoughts?
We'll be there the 23rd-28th. We've actually got a "must-see" list that's pretty limited to save time. Plus I'm going to review (for the millionth time) with my dad how to best utilize Fastpass so that'll help- he and I are spending next week reviewing the "Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2009" (best guidebook on the market) so we can be sure that we make the most of our Christmas stay.
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Post by snugglyevil » Nov Tue 18, 2008 5:26 pm

I love resort hopping! Thing to remember is, not every resort has a Christmas display. If memory serves, the Contemporary will have a display this year but the Polynesian will not. The Grand Floridian always has a wonderful display. Animal Kingdom Lodge does not have a display this year. Of course this is going based on what a worker at the AK Lodge told me back in 2006. He said they have displays every other year and that is the same for all but the Grand Floridian. I'll be there from the 20Dec till 2Jan. I hope to get to more resorts this year and check their decorations out. I've also seen the Travel Channel's specials on Disney during Christmas. Because of this, I plan to drive around Fort Wilderness to check out the decorations the guests put up.

Also...take note to the value resorts. I have seen people put little Christmas trees in their windows over at Pop Century.
Last edited by snugglyevil on Nov Tue 18, 2008 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by spodie » Nov Tue 18, 2008 5:26 pm

SimonTemplar wrote:We have friends going down Dec. 21-23 on their way to see family for Christmas. They heard the crowds may be overwhelming since it's Christmas week, because they were told that week is among the busiest of the year. They're trying to decide if it's worth the money they'll spend if the crowds are that bad. Any thoughts?
Maybe a current or former CM who has experienced this can shed some light on it as I have never actually been there over Christmas - this is just what I have repeatedly heard:

I don't want to rain on your parade, but I've never heard anyone say that the crowds were even remotely managable during that week. In fact, I've even heard that MK usually reaches capacity at around 10 AM on Christmas day. Maybe this year will be different with the way the economy is, but it will still probably live up to it's name as "the busiest day of the year at Disney." And unfortunately, the crowds usually stay through the New Year, so there won't be much relief throughout your trip.

Yes, you will be missing out on the magic of Christmas at Disney, but you may have a more enjoyable experience if you save the trip for the summer (I have found the crowds in June pretty managable).
~Ashleigh :minnie:

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