Dad, Last year When we took our 7yr old we joined Disney Vacation Club. We are planing another trip at end of November through begining December. I have a few questions that are driving me nuts trying to decide.
What do you recommend 10 days in a 1 bedroom villa or 15 days in a 1 queen/1 double pull out? Our points will get us one of those.
Now for tickets, what is the best regular, park hoppers, or one with everything (hopper, water, ESPN, mini golf)? We are looking at staying at Boardwalk how entertaining is it for a 7 year old?
I know the times we are looking is during the American Thanksgiving, (we live in Canada) and I know it is going to be busy, we are thinking hotel time or Downtown Disney is best at that time, unless you know what park is slower? Also I have read that Disney does the Christmas day parade the first weekend in December, How crazy is the park, and what are the chances to see it?
You won’t want to miss this (check out the grill) – Photo by Tom Bricker
Dad’s DVC Dilemma Answer
How lucky you are to be visiting Dad’s favorite place at Dad’s favorite time of the year! Christmas at Walt Disney World – how wonderful! Choosing between spending 10 days in a one-bedroom villa or 15 days in a studio villa is an important choice to make, but you can’t go wrong either way. If it were up to me, I’d choose the extra time in the parks.
The biggest difference in your room is whether you’ll have a wall between you and your child at bedtime. Either way, your child will end of sleeping on a pull-out sofa, which kids don’t typically seem to mind, unlike dear old Dad. Since there isn’t much difference in the comfort of the room, I’d take advantage of the comfort of extra time, since there’s so much to see at Christmas, and you’ll encounter huge crowds at Thanksgiving.
If you’re going to stay for 15 days, I’d recommend getting a 10 day Magic Your Way ticket with the Water Park Fun ‘n More option (I’d throw in the Park Hopper option too), so that you can enjoy the water parks, mini golf, and DisneyQuest too. This ticket is valid for 14 days and includes 10 days of theme park admission. You’ll have enough time to visit each park for more than one day so adding the Park Hopper option isn’t necessary.
You can get discounted tickets through Dad’s Ticket Partner – The Official Ticket Center.
If your travel plans are at all flexible, I encourage you to avoid Thanksgiving at all costs, this is one of the busiest times of the year and for several days the parks will be wall-to-wall crowded. If you can’t avoid this time, consider spending these days exploring the other attractions Orlando has to offer (sorry Uncle Walt), or exploring Walt Disney World beyond the theme parks.
Dad’s friends at Touringplans.com can help you to plan which parks to visit on which days based on extremely detailed crowd projections and their Lines app will even help you navigate crowds when you’re in the parks. This tool will come in quiet handy to help you make the perfect PLAN for your family’s Perfect Vacation.
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas are perfectly suitable for your family, and your child will love that the fun of the BoardWalk and marina are just steps away. But, if you really want the ultimate kid-friendly Disney Vacation Club villa experience, consider booking Disney’s Beach Club Villas – the Stormalong Bay pool complex at this property is like a mini water park, perfect for entertaining kids for hours on end.
Finally, on to your question about the filming of the Christmas Day Parade. The filming is actually done over several days, and it’s not run like a regular parade. Each section may be filmed over and over until it’s captured perfectly by the cameras. You can’t come and go as you please if you’re watching. You’re in one place for hours – not a good use of touring time. Crowds at the Magic Kingdom may be heavy or light on these days, but part of the park will be blocked off and inaccessible to guests, so keep that in mind.
Dad’s Bottom Line
Michelle, if I were you, I’d go to Walt Disney World for 15 days and soak up all the Disney Christmas magic I could. Just be careful of crowds, and do your best to avoid the throngs over Thanksgiving!