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Help with the week after Thanksgiving at WDW

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“I’m looking for advice on our itinerary for our stay. We’re staying off-site (Wyndham Bonnet Creek) and have 5 day passes, no Park Hopper. Our family consists of me, my wife, 2 boys(15 & 8) and a 6 year old princess.

We arrive on Friday afternoon, so no parks that day. I guess my question is, should we visit a park Saturday or Sunday and, if so, which one/s? I’ve heard the Thanksgiving crowds will still be there and will be quite crowded. I figure we’ll need to visit at least one park that weekend so that we’ll still have a break day the following week when, I hear, the crowds thin out a bit. My plan is to visit MK 2 times and the other parks once. I also know that the MVMCP will shorten our visiting hours and that we should stay away from MK those days.

Any, and all, advice for a first time visiting family would be appreciated! Thank You”

The Christmas Tree at Disney's Hollywood Studios is a good thing to see the week after Thanksgiving

I love the Christmas trees at Walt Disney World – Photo by Judd Helms

Thank you for the question. I love Christmas at Disney World. It’s just the best time of the year.

Dad’s Christmas at Disney World page

Right after Thanksgiving, very, very good time to visit. Prime time to visit. Thanksgiving day is one of the busiest days of the year. It’s not crazy busy like Christmastime, but it’s probably a little busier than a summer day. So Thanksgiving day, yes. The crowds will be big on Thanksgiving day. However, starting Friday, the crowds start going down.

Dad’s December Disney World Crowds page

Thanksgiving Day’s the peak point and then the crowds start going down. Friday will still be busy. Friday is the first day for the Candlelight Processional in EPCOT. Saturday, the crowds go down just a little bit more. Still be very busy on Saturday. Sunday, boom. They’re all gone and then that next week, low crowds every day.

So if you’ve got some days, Saturday would be a day that I would probably plan to be in Disney Springs, maybe even a waterpark. One of the waterparks will be open. Doing some exploring. A great thing to do during that time of year is to go look at the Christmas decorations in the resorts. Absolutely free. You can go around, use Disney transportation. If you’ve got a car, you can drive your own car.

Since you’re staying at the Wyndam Bonnet Creek you’ve got your own transportation, that’s best because driving to all the resorts will save you ton of time. We kind of mapped it out and it takes about 16 hours if you use Disney transportation to see all the decorations at all the hotels. But if you have your own car, you could probably do that in six or seven hours just because you don’t have to wait for buses. You don’t have that extra time.

Now if you want, you can go on the monorail. You do the whole monorail crawl. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful time of year to be at Walt Disney World. So Saturday, I wouldn’t try the parks. But starting Sunday, you’re fine. The crowds on Sunday, not a factor. Not a factor at all. As to which park on which day, it really doesn’t matter. The crowd levels in the parks are pretty much the same starting Sunday. Well, even on Saturday. They’re pretty much all about the same, crowd-wise. So crowds don’t really effect your park plan.

As to going to the Magic Kingdom on Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party day, during the week, I absolutely would do that. That’s gonna be the least busy part of the day because people avoid the Magic Kingdom on Christmas Party days because it closes early.

Dad’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party page

Actually, I think Monday’s the first day. Yeah. Monday, I think, is the first day of the Christmas parties after Thanksgiving. That day, there’s almost no crowds at the Magic Kingdom. So yes. I do think that you should visit the Magic Kingdom on the Christmas Party Days and then spend that evening at ‘Ohana, at a great restaurant. Have a nice evening. Go over to the campgrounds and scope out all of the Christmas decorations that the campers put up. Go to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue. Have you a nice, fun evening together as a family.

Destinations to Travel

Dad’s Bottom Line

The bottom line is if you have to go on Saturday, you could go on Saturday. If you can skip Saturday, that’s probably the best plan. Starting Sunday, the rest of the week, you should be fine.


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