Disney World Christmas Week, Tickets, and Universal?
My wife just lost both of her parents in the last year and does not want to celebrate Christmas at home. She wants to do Disney 12/22-29. I cringed at the thought but what can I say.
It was recommended to get tickets from Undercover Tourist because we are not doing a resort package. I have a 4yr old little girl and 9 and 10yr old boys. They want to do Universal as well so we rented a house instead of staying on property.
Do you have any recommendations for how to attack the park on a crazy crowded Christmas day??..Best place to get tickets?..etc, etc..I appreciate any direction on this one. Thank you very much in advance!!
Sorry for your loss
First off, let me say I'm very sorry for your losses. I totally understand the desire to get away for the holidays.
As you probably already know Walt Disney World is crazy busy that time of year. CRAZY.
Ticket thing first
Let's tackle the ticket thing first.
We proudly recommend The Official Ticket Center for Disney World (and Universal) tickets. They are located right in Orlando about a mile from the main entrance. They are the original authorized Disney ticket reseller. They even have a terminal that's tied to the Disney ticket computer.
They just flat are the best and most experienced Disney AUTHORIZED ticket reseller.
Oh and they do Universal, Sea World, Legoland and all the rest of the Orlando area attractions too.
Christmas Week at Disney World
Christmas is really special - Photo by Brett Svenson
Welcome to the craziest, busiest, insanest week of the year at Walt Disney World. I love Christmas at Disney World, but...
So, you are arriving on the 22nd. I'd highly recommend that you try to get as much touring at Walt Disney World as you can done on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th, because come the 25th the crowds MULTIPLY and they stay HUGE until the 2nd of January.
For Christmas Day, first I recommend you arrive an hour or more before the opening time at whatever park you choose. So if the park opens at 9 be there at 7:30. Keep watch on opening time. Disney is famous for changing hours.
Which park would I recommend on Christmas Day? I always recommend Epcot when the crowds are going to be CRAZY. It handles crowds the best. I know, you want to go to the Magic Kingdom. You and about 150,000 of your closest friends.
I've been to the Magic Kingdom on Christmas Day a couple of times. It's not for me. You can expect an hour long line (maybe two) just to get a hot dog at Casey's. The Hall of Presidents will have a 60+ minute wait. It's just nuts.
Epcot won't be much better, but there will be more room to breathe.
As to how to handle the Christmas Day, Dad's Rules for Conquering the Parks are the best advice I can give.
#1 - Get to the Parks Early - essential for Christmas Day. By 10am the Magic Kingdom will be closing to offsite guests.
#1A - Have a PLAN - know what you are going to do first, second, etc. The plan might change, but it's essential with huge crowds to not spend time spinning and figuring on what to do next. Have a PLAN.
#2 - Ride the busy rides first - I'd head directly for the most important ride for your family immediately after you get into the park (one you don't have a FastPass for.)
#3 - Use FastPass
wisely. Be sure to get FastPass+ reservations. At 30 days you aren't going to have a lot of prime choices available, but do the best you can. FastPass will be your friend.
The Dark Side
I'm going to make a very unDisneylike suggestion here, but you really might consider going over to the dark side and spending Christmas Day at Universal. The last time we were at Universal we did Christmas day (it was a long time ago) and we were one of about 100 people in the park.
I don't think it's that slow at Universal on Christmas day, but I do think the crowds are much less than at WDW. Unless you just have your heart set on being in Disney on Christmas Day, I'd head over to Universal.
Dad's Bottom Line
The bottom line is I think it's a good idea to get away for the holidays. This will be a tough holiday season. Again, I'm sorry for your losses.
Get your tickets from my buddies at the Official Ticket Center and get ready. It's going to be quite a ride.
Think about that Universal thing on Christmas Day. If you're planning to go over there anyway, that's a good choice.