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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:32 pm 
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Hello all---

My family is planning a trip to Orlando from 11/18-11/25. We've never been there during Thanksgiving week before, and I've heard that it's moderately crowded toward the end of the week.

I tried searching this forum, but I guess my searches were either too broad, or this topic hasn't been discussed here.

For those who visit the park more frequently that we do [this will be our first trip there in 3 years, and only our second weeklong stay], I'm hoping to get some feedback.

As I said, we'll be there the entire week, from Friday to Friday.

Which days are generally the busiest during Thanksgiving week? Do you recommend that we visit a certain park on a certain day when it might be less crowded compared with other days that week?

For that matter, during Thanksgiving week, which parks are generally the busiest on which days of the week?

Finally, I know this is probably blasphemy here on a Disney board, but my son is a huge Harry Potter fan, so we will probably spend one day at Universal for him. If anyone can offer similar feedback about days to visit there or days to avoid, I would appreciate it.

If you are aware of another message/discussion on this forum or another website that includes any of this information, I hope you'll refer me to it. Otherwise, I look forward to reading your replies.

Thanks so much for your time and help.

Regards,
matt
seabrook, tx


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:24 am 
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I've never been to WDW at Thansgiving unfortunately but in regards to Harry Potter, your best option is to get to Universal early and head straight to that area. Harry Potter is usually very busy, when we were there there were even queues to get into the shops, so during Thanksgiving I would advise you get an early start to beat the majority of the crowds.

The sites I use regularly are wdwmagic and mouseplanet. One of those should be able to offer you more information on WDW during Thanksgiving week.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:15 am 
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Thanks! I appreciate the HP advice, and I will check the sites you listed.

matt


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:55 pm 
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I've never been to WDW on holidays either but be prepared for it to be very crowded it usually is on holidays so I hear

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 Post subject: THANKSGIVING WEEK
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:21 pm 
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I have been to WDW many times during the holidays, and I did start a trip on the Friday after Thanksgiving one time. No sugar coating it - it's crowded! Not as bad as the week of Christmas or the week after, but it ranks up there as one of the peak crowd weeks during the year. When Disney posts the November operating calendar, you will notice that all four parks are open later that week than any other week of that month. For most of that week, Magic Kingdom is open to at least 12am.

That said, I would recommend purchasing one of those guide books: Unofficial Guide, Frommers, etc. and read up on their touring plans for heavy crowds. Also, I had a person recommend using "TouringPlans.com" to me. The site tracks and predicts crowd levels and recommends parks to visit and to avoid. They do charge a nominal fee to subscribe ($10.95) for the year, but provide the next 30 days free, as a sample of their product. I have never used that site so I cannot recommend it, but offer it as a suggestion to you for consideration.

Good luck.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:09 am 
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Been there, done that, never again....that week is crazy crowded...
Monday and Tuesday weren't too bad, but the rest is....
Good Luck...

DG




mkselucas wrote:
Hello all---

My family is planning a trip to Orlando from 11/18-11/25. We've never been there during Thanksgiving week before, and I've heard that it's moderately crowded toward the end of the week.

I tried searching this forum, but I guess my searches were either too broad, or this topic hasn't been discussed here.

For those who visit the park more frequently that we do [this will be our first trip there in 3 years, and only our second weeklong stay], I'm hoping to get some feedback.

As I said, we'll be there the entire week, from Friday to Friday.

Which days are generally the busiest during Thanksgiving week? Do you recommend that we visit a certain park on a certain day when it might be less crowded compared with other days that week?

For that matter, during Thanksgiving week, which parks are generally the busiest on which days of the week?

Finally, I know this is probably blasphemy here on a Disney board, but my son is a huge Harry Potter fan, so we will probably spend one day at Universal for him. If anyone can offer similar feedback about days to visit there or days to avoid, I would appreciate it.

If you are aware of another message/discussion on this forum or another website that includes any of this information, I hope you'll refer me to it. Otherwise, I look forward to reading your replies.

Thanks so much for your time and help.

Regards,
matt
seabrook, tx


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:32 pm 
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I'm probably in the minority but I have more satisfying visits during peak seasons, even though they are more crowded. I enjoy the longer operating hours and the perks that come with them.

For instance, when the MK is open from 8 AM - MIDNIGHT during a peak period, they will run the night parade (currently MSEP) twice a night EVERY night of the week instead of once a night just a few nights a week during the highly touted "slow season".

So you can walk up to the never-crowded 11 PM parade in Frontierland right as the parade is getting there, have a perfect front row spot to yourself, and interact with the various characters in the parade (because there aren't throngs of other people wall-to-wall in the streets competing for their attention).

Then, when the 11 PM parade is over, on nights when the MK closes at midnight or 1 AM, even the most popular attractions in the park will usually be a walk-on!

Compare this to the highly touted "slow season" such as in January with an 8 PM close and the parade once a night, just a few nights a week, at 7PM.

You basically have to stop doing attractions at some time during the 6 PM hour to get a good spot, and then the parade itself is EXTREMELY crowded because everyone at the resort there that week is basically ALL in the MK at that moment trying to see the parade (since it is only presented 2 or 3 times a week during slow season as opposed to 14 during peak season).

And then, after the parade, you can't really do to many attractions or else risk missing the beginning of the fireworks starting at 8 PM - park closing.

Whenever the MK closes WITH the fireworks show, no matter how "slow" the season, leaving the park is an absolute ZOO with the transportation system overstrained.

Also, when the MK opens at 8 AM each day in "peak season", it is typically less crowded that first hour than a 9 AM first hour is during slow season. This is because there are far fewer people willing to get up that early, no matter how many people are at WDW at that time. So, you have more time in the morning during "peak season" to "surf the wave of walk-ons" before the late sleepers start filling up the park, than you do during slow season.

Sure, the peak middle of the day is admitedly MUCH more crowded during peak season than slow season, but if you know how to exploit, er, manipulate, er, utilize the Fastpass system to your maximum advantage (which is free and available to ALL guests), you can easily spend an entire day in the MK during peak times and never have to wait more than 15-20 minutes for anything! (a lot of non-FP attractions, like the Peoplemover, Railroad, Riverboat, Carousel Of Progress, Tiki Room, Country Bears, etc, can be walk-ons on even the most crowded of days)

I know I get to experience more attractions per day at the MK on a peak 8 AM - 12 AM day than I can on a "slow" 9 AM - 8 PM day. I simply run out of time on the short day, whereas FP cancels out any insanely long waits that would bog down the long peak days.

The same principle I discussed above for MSEP/Spectro also works the same way for Fantasmic! at the Studios.

Think of the hassle seeing Fantasmic! can be now that they have reduced the number of shows per week during the "slow" seasons.

Like in January it may just be performed 2 nights a week, 1 show a night. So naturally, EVERYONE in WDW that week is going to be in the Studios that night, trying to see that show. With the skimpy closing time/show time of 7 PM, you will have to stop doing attractions at 6 PM just to make sure you get in the show.

Compare that to a peak season close at 10 PM with Fantasmic! presented at 9 PM and then again at 10:30 PM twice a night, EVERY NIGHT, or 14 times a week!

You can go to the Studios ANY day of the week and see the show, without having to pick the one or two nights a week it is presented.

And while most people in the park are queueing up for that first 9 PM show an hour before it starts, losing attraction time, you have the attractions virtually to yourself all the way up until the attractions close at 10! And then you can casually walk into that second show right before it starts and get a GREAT seat!

For all of the above reasons, I'll take peak seasons anyday! :)

(just an alternate viewpoint, written from the point of view of having lots of WDW experience as a seasonal local the past 5 years)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:01 pm 
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Very good points David but I feel it all comes down to planning and timing really, I have visited at both peak and slow periods and honeslty I feel we get a lot more done during slow periods even with the early closings of course we use the one night of extra magic hours and all but I felt like we had more time to experience the resort itself too since the parks were closed earlier....

I really like the way I balanced out my past trip and I didn't think it would be that easy with my four and two year old but I made the plan and we stuck to it, it was just nice being able to do everything and at the same time slow down and experince things at a slower pace for once instead of always rushing to beat the crowds.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:28 am 
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Good point, although for me as a seasonal "local", I can't do EMH as I'm not in the market for a local hotel (except when family or friends come to visit and THEY stay in a WDW hotel and I pay a small fee to be an "extra person" in their room (even though I don't actially stay in the room! ;) ) just so I can do EMH.

But usually for me an 8 PM close means an 8 PM close. Of course I could wander around the park for 3 hours just enjoying the atmosphere - Disney doesn't mind that and I've done it before - but you need to present a room key to do attractions.

So for my experience the longer "peak season" days work better. I can see how evening EMH could turn a short day in the slow season into a nice, long, one, though. But as a bigtime MSEP/Spectro/Fantasmic! fan, I really love having those presented twice nightly during the "high seasons"! Plus I'm really good at working the Fastpass system! ;)

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"How high does the sycamore grow? If you cut it down, then you'll never know"- Pocahontas
"I do not make films primarily for children. I make them for the child in all of us, whether he be six or sixty. Call the child innocence." - Walt Disney


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:15 am 
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Oh I missed that you're a local.......you are so lucky!!! Hope to be a local too someday ;)

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