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How crowded are the Orlando Timeshares & Theme Parks

gjw007

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This Holdiay Season (Christmas & New Years week)
Marty,

I have gone on Christmas day in the past where the Magic Kingdom was closed by noon to additional customers as the park was full. There really was no chance to ride anything as the lines were too long. It really wasn't very enjoyable. I ended up leaving and just going back to the resort (with a brief stop at Epcot but it was busy as well). The other days were crowded but nothing like Xmas day. I have never been to WDW on New Year's Eve or New Year's day so I don't know how it is but I understand it is busy. Not quite the question that you asked as you referenced this year but I had been to WDW for two weeks in early December and it seemed busier than in my previous early December visits.
 
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davhu1

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Very crowded. You have to get the parks early. Two of the days both magic kingdom and epcot were closed by 11:00 am. one we we left mgm at 6:00 pm, people were lining up waiting to get. some of the favorite rides were over 2 hr wait and on of the rides the return pass were gone by noon.
 

timeos2

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Never again

Horrrible (at least in past years). It is no fun to be there at all. Even trying to see the impressive fireworks was almost impossible. I'd never do it again. On the other hand as of 1/1 the crowds are zero - walk into any attraction you want for most of January. Very nice time to be there. Applies equally to Universal for both time periods.
 

littlestar

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Our daughter went to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot on Monday. She said it wasn't as bad as last year. She said by evening time at Magic Kingdom it had really thinned out (it was pretty cool Monday night).
 

Twinkstarr

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Get to the parks for rope drop, do not dilly dally around in the morning and show up about 10am. Or you won't ride anything without a huge wait.

It works like a charm for that less crowd holiday known as Thanksgiving.


DH made me read Tour Guide Mike's advice about Xmas/New Years weeks at WDW. :eek: I think I"ll scratch that off my to do list.
 

Timeshare Von

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We're hoping that it will die down and we'll have the place to our selves on Sunday 1/4/09.
 

timeos2

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Our daughter went to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot on Monday. She said it wasn't as bad as last year. She said by evening time at Magic Kingdom it had really thinned out (it was pretty cool Monday night).
The crowds change as of 12/23 each year until 12/31. Not a good time to enjoy the parks
 

jeany1020

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can anyone comment on the weather in january. i'll be there jan 10th and hopeing its not too cool.
 

timeos2

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No telling

can anyone comment on the weather in january. i'll be there jan 10th and hopeing its not too cool.
Extremely variable. Been there when its 80 and also its been freezing or just below. Bring both warmer & lighter clothes and check the forecast each day. We've bought far too many overpriced sweatshirts at the parks because we were freezing!
 

Big Matt

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I was there for a week during mid-January and it never got above 55. It was clear and beautiful, but really too cold during morning hours (about 35) to enjoy the parks. Also remember that the days are short and it gets dark very early.

can anyone comment on the weather in january. i'll be there jan 10th and hopeing its not too cool.
 

charford

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I was there for a week during mid-January and it never got above 55. It was clear and beautiful, but really too cold during morning hours (about 35) to enjoy the parks. Also remember that the days are short and it gets dark very early.
and I was there mid-January and it was mid-80's with humidity. It was HOT!

So, yep, it's variable all right.
 

jtridle

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In '05, I took my sister and 5 year old great-nephew to WDW on the 27th and Animal Kingdom on the 28th of December. I swore that I would never go at Xmas season again. It was horrible. Elbow to elbow people. Not very enjoyable (except my great-nephew had a great time so guess it was worth it). Having said that, I know that in general I am hearing that even Disney is having less tourism because of the economy.

I've been to Epcot and WDW in february when there were virtually no lines, it was wonderful. Even this past July wasn't bad. So my advice is, dont go at Christmas time unless it's your only opportunity - or you're a masochist.

Also, a tip. We have found that the "single" lines for the Epcot rides(not all of them have them but several do) are great. We got into rides within 10-15 minutes while people were standing in the regular lines for up to an hour. You don't get to actually "ride" together with whoever you are with but you can stand in line with them the entire time until you get on the ride and the ride only lasts such a short time anyway that it just doesn't seem like a big deal to us. Sure beats standing in lines and is preferable, I think, to the Fast Passes. I understand that you might not be able to do this if you were with small children. But otherwise, try it. I don't know if WDW has these lines or not.
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
Slow Times In Florida Vacation Spots.

We started our practice of taking after-Christmas Florida vacations just a year or so before we took the timeshare plunge in mid-2002. In those years before we went timeshare, we went PriceLine.

Our last pre-timeshare vacation was in January 2002. Via PriceLine we got a reservation at FairField Inn (not affiliated with FairField timeshares) in Clearwater FL. When we got there, the location turned out to be closer to Pinellas Park FL than to Clearwater, not that there's anything wrong with Pinellas Park. The travel & vacation biz was down so far that January that when we showed up at the FairField Inn, there were only nine cars -- 9 -- in the whole parking lot. The place was nearly deserted. It was semi-spooky.

Over by Lakeland FL, it was pretty much the same story at the Baymont Inn -- not quite as deserted as the FairField Inn, but way under capacity & only a little less spooky.

Evidently early January -- after all the holiday hubbub is done -- is a slow time for Florida vacations, offseason, low demand, etc., even when the economy is booming. That suits us fine. There's plenty to do without fighting killer traffic & long lines. There's plenty of availability at the timeshare resorts -- ours (floating reservations) & other people's (Last Call & Instant Exchange reservations).

Much as I like Christmas & New Year's, this year I can hardly wait for our after-Christmas Florida vacation -- Orlando Jan. 4-11 & Sandestin Jan. 11-18.

It will be interesting to see whether the current depressed economy will slow down the early January offseason even more than it's been in recent years. Yet it's hard to imagine that the Florida vacation biz. will be as hard hit in January 2009 as it was in January 2002.

It will also be interesting to see whether current economic conditions cause the timeshare sellers to become even more aggressive in rounding up prospects for timeshare tours & even more high-pressure in applying the old hard sell.

We'll see, eh ?

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

Miss Marty

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Happy Holidays

It`s been four years since we were at Disney for the Christmas Holidays
This year we are watching the Christmas Parade on TV from the comfort
of our home. (Regis is celebrating his 18th year at Walt Disney World FL)
 

Carl D

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It`s been four years since we were at Disney for the Christmas Holidays
This year we are watching the Christmas Parade on TV from the comfort
of our home. (Regis is celebrating his 18th year at Walt Disney World FL)
Of course, that was filmed several weeks ago. It's actually a very controlled event. There are opportunities to attend the taping, but the rules are semi-strict.
 

dioxide45

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Our last pre-timeshare vacation was in January 2002. Via PriceLine we got a reservation at FairField Inn (not affiliated with FairField timeshares) in Clearwater FL.
-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
Not affiliated with Fairfield Timeshares, but they are affiliated with Marriott timeshares as Marriott owns the Fairfield Inn brand.
 

JudyS

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Horrrible (at least in past years). It is no fun to be there at all. Even trying to see the impressive fireworks was almost impossible. I'd never do it again. On the other hand as of 1/1 the crowds are zero - walk into any attraction you want for most of January. Very nice time to be there. Applies equally to Universal for both time periods.
The crowds change as of 12/23 each year until 12/31. Not a good time to enjoy the parks
Extremely variable. Been there when its 80 and also its been freezing or just below. Bring both warmer & lighter clothes and check the forecast each day. We've bought far too many overpriced sweatshirts at the parks because we were freezing!
Hey, a Disney thread on which I agree with John on everything!!! :)

As a major Disney fanatic, I have braved the Christmas crowds several times. They descend like clouds of locusts just before Christmas (the exact day may depend on where Christmas falls in the week) and shrink to practically nothing at New Year's, like Cinderella's coach and horses did at midnight.

I once went to WDW during Christmas week specifically because it was the last opportunity to see the Main Street Electrical Parade there. The parade was canceled -- the crowds were too big to fit the parade in. Seriously.

As for weather, I'd say most of the Eastern US has temperatures that fluctuate by as much as 30 to 40 degrees in January. Just as you can get highs of 10 degrees or of 50 degrees here in Michigan, you can get highs of 85 in January in Florida and you can also get highs there of 50 degrees (sometimes within the same week.) If it's only 50 during the day, it can be at or near freezing at night (although below freezing temperatures are rare in Orlando.)

On one January trip, we started off with an 85 degree day, and had lows in the 30s by the end of the week. Brrrrr! We went to Fantasmic, and the part I liked best was where the dragon sets the lagoon on fire -- I was warming my hands with the heat from the flames. Boy, those aluminum benches were cold!
 

pjrose

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Crowd Control on NY Eve was Horrible

Last year I helped chaperone a group of over 150 high school choir and orchestra students over New Year's. If we got there early enough, it wasn't too crowded. By 11 or so, the lines were long. My smaller group of ~5 did not do roller coasters or thrill rides, so we didn't have the 1-2 hour waits. The types of attractions we went to had maybe 20-30 minute waits. My small group included one teen in a wheelchair and one in special ed; for the most part, this was not a problem.

However, New Year's Eve at the Magic Kingdom was a madhouse, and I would NEVER do it again. The basic problem was crowd control - the parks let in too many people, and the staff did a poor job of keeping people moving (i.e. stay right), and people were leaving empty strollers outside blocking paths.

We got stuck in a gridlock for close to an hour - two wall-to-wall crowds of people walking into each other, and nobody could move. People had left strollers outside of a restaurant, blocking the path, and rather than an orderly (even if slow) transition with everyone staying right, everyone came to a complete stand still. We tried to get staff or security to help, but they didn't come. It was finally solved when some people grabbed the strollers and passed them overhead into someplace out of the way. This was especially difficult because I was pushing a teen in a wheelchair who was close to passing out; I also saw other disabled people stuck in it.

Then we went near the opening of the park to watch the parade and fireworks, again with wheelchair. It was practically impossible to move, the crowds were so thick, and wheelchair ramps were all completely blocked with people and parked strollers.

On the way out, it took something like 2.5 HOURS to get to a monorail, partly because the crowd control was terrible, and partly because apparently one of the trains broke down.

One of the earlier evenings, a few nights before NY eve, the special ed child in my group got caught up in a crowd surge at Epcot and was swept away from us. A teacher from somewhere else recognized the situation and immediately connected her with security and we found them within minutes - that was good, but then the staff kept us behind scenes for about an hour and wouldn't let her reunite with her parents who were just on the other side of a gate. I don't recall the details, but something about who did/did not have behind the scenes access, and it took awhile to clear up.

Bottom line - mornings were ok, afternoons and most evenings tolerable, but I wouldn't try doing the thrill rides with the big lines, and absolutely do not try the Magic Kingdom parade and fireworks on New Years Eve unless you are non-claustrophobic and have no ability issues.

PS - for the most part, the staff were great about the special needs and disability. With proper documentation we got a pass that got the wheelchair and one escort into a different line, and staff were respectful about asking if she could "transport" in and out of the rides. In only one case was a staff member rude, saying "yeah, right" when we asked for disability access - some people get wheelchairs and then just trade off who sits in them. Bathrooms were often a problem because the lines couldn't always be navigated with the chair, and the wider handicapped stalls were often in use. On the other hand most guests were good about moving off the handicapped ramps when reminded that they were blocking them. We took Disney transportation to/from the resort (Music), and the bus drivers were very helpful with loading/unloading the wheelchair and passenger and with summoning accessible busses when needed.
 
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rachel1998

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We just returned from the Orlando Area. We were at the Animal Kingdom this past Tuesday. It was horrible. We had to wait an hour or more for each ride. You could barely walk. It was bad. It was my first time there and I would never go during Christmas time again.
 

amanven

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The descriptions of the Christmas time crowds at Disney sound very much like the crowds experienced there during the last week of March when much of the US is on spring break. Is this an accurate comparison. I thought the crowds last March couldn't have been any worse.
 

Big Matt

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I've been there at Spring Break twice. The first time it was almost as bad as at Christmas. I was in Animal Kingdom and there was a "traffic jam" getting from the Tree of Life to Dinoland. The footbridge was "stuck". You literally couldn't cross because of all of the people and strollers.

The second time I went was last year, and the parks were a lot less crowded.

The only real difference is that the weather is usually perfect during Spring Break.

The descriptions of the Christmas time crowds at Disney sound very much like the crowds experienced there during the last week of March when much of the US is on spring break. Is this an accurate comparison. I thought the crowds last March couldn't have been any worse.
 

sfwilshire

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I was surprised this year at how crowded it was early on New Years day. The last time we were there over the holidays, it was dead until lunchtime. Not so this year. Busy from opening time.

We were in the parks through 1/4 and it was very busy (though nothing like NY Eve and the day prior). There were lots of foreign visitors.

Sheila
 
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