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  1. #1

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    Our upcoming trip

    Ok, so we're going back to WDW this December, to try the Xmas stuff. We will be arriving on November 29th and will be doing 10 days of WDW, and 4-5 days of other Orlando stuff. We plan on doing 3 Character meals, with one being the Cinderellas Castle, one being the Crystal Palace and we're not sure about the other one. We were thinking of doing Chef Mickey but what do you guys think?

    Also, AllEars.net lists this as a good time to go in terms of crowds. What do you guys think about that, will it be nice and light?

    Thanks for any input you might have.

  2. #2

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    Well I haven't been to the parks during the Christmas season since 2006 or 07, it's a blur now on the amount of trips I've taken but I do know it was before the Castle got the lighting treatment.

    Wow, 10 days of WDW, my longest WDW trip was 9 days and after day 8 I was ready to go back home. ;o)

    But, like most, I'm ready for another trip during the holidays. I usually always go during the Halloween Season, crowds are light and easy going as well but its the Halloween Parties I go nuts over. Not so much a huge fan of the Christmas Party but I guess it all depends on which holiday you go nuts over more, that usually decides which party you'll have more fun at.

    Dining: A great place to eat that has a holiday feel to it is over at Epcot, the Princess Dining experience at the Norway Pavilion. I can't remember the name of it at the moment but it's similiar to the Castle environment and has this cozy castle-ish interior inside.

    Another good character dining experience is The Grand Floridian's new Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner at the 1900 Park Fare or you could opt for the Supercalifragilistic Breakfast at the same place, both with similiar characters. Now all these options are loaded with too many princesses so your other option is a non princess character experience...

    Try Cape May Café over at Disney's Beach Club Resort, breakfast experience, with Goofy and friends in beach wear attire. This is a great escape from the overload of holidays around you. Plus you can tour the Beach/Yacht Club Resort as well as the Boardwalk to view their hotel holiday decorations and candy art pieces in the lobbies. Walking around the Boardwalk during the holidays is pretty fun. A great place to walk your food off. Since I've done the Crystal Palace a number of times I tend to opt for Pooh-less characters, if you didn't know already the Crystal Palace has mostly Pooh characters.

    I had also done the Polynesian Breakfast with Lilo and Stitch characters and it was fun, the atmosphere is amazing but for some reason I won't do it again. I'm just not the biggest Stitch fan but the Hawaiian Breakfast options are goooood. I also like to recommend Resort Hotel dining experiences so you and your party can walk off your food around the resort and get a first hand experience at the resort that may be a future stay for you in the future.

    Hotel Map: Also, always grab a free hotel map at every hotel's front desk to always know where you are on property and where to find the buses/boats/monorails, if accessible. Then you can scrapbook the maps later.

    Crowds, $50: The crowds during the Holidays may or may not be bad. It all depends really on the offers the resorts and parks plan to offer during the time you stay. Example, the buy 4 get 3 free deal. They always offer very low rates for the weeks you are going and remember that what you pay today may come up at a lower rate later so be sure to track this as to save money on your vacation.

    If you have already booked the trip and are in the process of paying it off then let the travel agent know that you want to rebook under the "special" if offered later in the season but do remember that if you ever drop to a lower priced reservation that it will cost you $50 bucks for the "processing" of it. If you were ever to upgrade it's free to upgrade, go figure.

    Party & Rain: And do grab some Mickey's Christmas Party tickets for at least 2 nights, one can't do everything in one night. Plus you have to realize that it does indeed RAIN during this time. Last Christmas trip had Thunder storms and Rain fall so bad that we were trapped at the bus area for about 30 minutes trying to get inside the park for the party. I have it all on video, bad bad but we were like "WE PAID FOR THIS WE'RE DOING IT RAIN OR NOT". That was pretty much everyone's saying that night.

    Just prepare for rain during your Christmas stay. Heavy downfall is possible but only happened during one night of my 3 stays during the Christmas season. YOu just always have to be prepared.
    Last edited by Micoofy Duck; 01-22-2009 at 11:13 AM.

  3. #3

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    Re: Our upcoming trip

    We did Chef Mickey's last fall for dinner and weren't impressed with the food. There was lots of good character interaction and the characters were dressed up as chefs tho. I've heard good things about their breakfast too.

    We really enjoyed the Donald breakfast at Animal Kingdom. The food was really good and the characters all danced around to the music and were dressed in Safari clothes.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Our upcoming trip

    We always went during the first week of December and the crowds are not holdiay busy yet. That week is usually a good week to go, at least for the 4 times I went during this week. I have been to Chef Mickeys for dinner and the food was OK, but the characters were out the entire time and my son really got a kick out of it. They signed autograph books and took pictures. For Characters, it was fantastic. I also did Crystal Palace twice and always enjoyed the food. I will be doing Cinderella's table in May for the first time so no opinion there yet.
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  5. #5

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    Re: Our upcoming trip

    I've never really been big on character meals, but I have only heard good things about Chef Mickey's. If you cannot get into the castle, the Princess meal at Norway is always a good backup plan to keep in mind.

    Crowds should not be bad at all. You will be down during some of Mousefest, it might be a fun thing to participate in some meets. Overall, you have picked a fantastic time to go.

    Have fun, I look forward to your trip report.

  6. #6

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    Re: Our upcoming trip

    I agree you picked a good week, but I caution against expecting "nice and light" as you put it. WDW has gotten very good at lowering staff levels, running fewer coaster trains, that sort of thing, in the off-season, which means that for a tourist, the park "feels" as busy as always. Some attractions open late and others close early, something they didn't used to do. Plus there are rides closed (less capacity) and they are running hotel discounts (more takers) and they ramp up special events (food and wine, Candlelight, etc) so that in a very real sense, there is not an "off-season" any more.

    Of course, summer is still worse. I don't mean to imply otherwise. But the reality of a mostly-deserted park with light lines is far, far less common in 2009 than it was in 2002 (post-9/11) and even less common than 1986 or 1996.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Our upcoming trip

    When are the meets in December? I wouldn't mind having the family meet some fellow MC'ers.

    Also, the ADR for all meals is 90 days now, right?

  8. #8

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    Re: Our upcoming trip

    ^^ Probably won't know about any meets until September at the earliest.

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