"Hello Dad and happy Father's Day. We will be making our first trip to Disney at Christmas this year."
"Due to work schedules, our trip falls December 17th through December 22nd. Our flight lands on the afternoon of the 17th. We would like to attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. I have Tuesday, December 19th in mind as I speculated that the lower price of December 17th and the proximity of the holidays and school breaks on the 21st and the 22nd would draw more crowds to those dates. Knowing that this is the busy season, we're going to make the party our Magic Kingdom visit of the trip.
"The idea was to sleep in Tuesday then make our way to the park shortly after 4:00 p.m. after visiting some of the decorated resorts on the monorail loops. We'd use our three FastPasses between 4:00 and 7:00 and then stay and enjoy the party until the crowds get to us. If we switch to Sunday there'd be no sleeping in, no resort decorations, and maybe no FastPass time depending on how fast Disney transit runs. Our plane lands at 2:00. That's important. What are your thoughts?
Thanks so much."
Lauren, first you're going to Disney World. Yay! Congratulations that's so cool. Second, I just love Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. It's just great. The snow on Main Street, the fireworks, the parade, it's just magic.
Now let's talk about the dates that you want to go. Let's start with the 17th which would be the first date you could go. I'm going to kind of disagree with you a little bit about this.
The 17th will probably be the least busy day of those dates you mentioned. Least busy, but it's the cheapest, yes it's the cheapest. That's why it's the cheapest. People just aren't at Walt Disney World on the 17th to come to the party. Sunday night is not usually a busy night for the parties too. So the 17th is probably going to be the least crowded of those times.
The Grand Floridian is really SPECIAL at Christmas - Photo by Wayne Wood
Let's talk about the 19th. The 19th is probably when I would suggest for you to go. Why not the 17th? That's the day you arrive. Your plane gets in at 2:00 p.m. What if you get delayed? What happens if your plane gets delayed and you don't get to Orlando until 4:00 or 5:00? Also, if you land at 2:00 you're going to get to your hotel probably close to 4:00 and then getting from your hotel to the park, you're probably not going to be to the Magic Kingdom until at least 5:00.
With this year, another big thing; this year the park closes at 6:00. Not at 7:00, but at 6:00. They changed that this year for the parties. The park closes at 6:00 so you only have 4:00 to 6:00 for those FastPass+ times and if you don't get to the park until 5:00, then you've only got an hour to do those FastPasses. This is the only day you're going to the Magic Kingdom so I would definitely probably stay away from the 17th just because there are too many variables about when you're going to get to the park.
Now we're not going to even talk about the 21st and 22nd because those will sell out. Those will be the busiest dates of the whole season because those are the last two parties of the year. Just stay away from those, so we're back to the 19th. The 19th will probably be the best day for you to go. I do suggest that ... I do like the idea of you going around on the monorail and checking out all the resorts. I love the Christmas decorations. I say it all the time. I just love Christmas at Walt Disney World. It's just the best time of the year to be at Walt Disney World and the Christmas decorations at the hotels are just magical so it's a good idea.
Don't just limit yourself. Since you're going to be there all day, you might want to run over to the Wilderness Lodge; very, very beautiful Christmas tree. Beach Club, Yacht Club, the Yacht Club has the horse carousel, horse Christmas decoration with the chocolate horses; just amazing decorations all around Walt Disney World.
So don't just limit yourself to the monorail resorts although those are pretty cool. There are great things to see all around Walt Disney World. If you have some time and you get some after dark time, go over to Fort Wilderness camp grounds and just kind of take the bus through and look at what all of the campers have done because the campers decorate the camp grounds. Just a beautiful time to be at Walt Disney World.
Dad's bottom line is that I would suggest that you go on the 19th. That would be the day I would suggest. I would guess that that party will be a sellout, but so get your tickets a little early, at least a month early. Don't wait until you get to Walt Disney World because that party probably will sell out. Even with a sellout, they don't sell enough tickets to make it really, really busy. The 19th is probably the best date for you to go.
If you were getting there earlier on the 17th, I would say go the 17th. If you were going to get there by noon, but 2:00 that's just too late. All right, hope that helps.