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December 2017 trip, two "rookie" adults. Looking for advice!

Discussion in 'WDW Trip Planning' started by DisneyLovingFirefighter, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. DisneyLovingFirefighter

    DisneyLovingFirefighter New Member

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    Hey everyone! My wife and I are approaching our 5 year anniversary and wanted to head to Disney to celebrate. We are traveling sans kids. Our plan is to drive down from Central NC on December 17th and check into the Caribbean Beach Resort. On Monday the 18th I figured we'd do MK, Tuesday the 19th Epcot, and Wednesday the 20th at both HS and AK. On the 20th at night, we will drive to our universal resort and stay there from Wednesday night until Saturday, enjoying the parks there on Thursday and Friday. We did not book a dining plan at universal but did for Disney. So far our restaurants are
    -Be our Guest on our first day (I've already got my alarm set for 6am 180 days out to book, so I know that drill)
    -Maybe Rose and Crown or Coral reef in Epcot?
    -Then O'hana at AK

    First off, do these seem like decent choices to you all? And do you find it better to book your dining in the park that you will be in during the day to maximize time in the parks? My thoughts being we get on the buss for rope drop and don't get back to the resort until after dinner.....Thoughts? Also, I've looked the crowd calendars that state the week before Christmas isn't terrible as far as crowds, but any first hand advice is so appreciated.

    Any other tips for two 30 year olds celebrating an anniversary at Disney in December? As you can guess by my name, I'm not a high level exec who can drop thousands upon thousands but am willing to spend a bit for anything you all say is a must do. Thanks again and I can't wait to get to know everyone!
     
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  2. mouse_luv

    mouse_luv Well-Known Member

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    Be aware you are going at a busy time.
    Also, 'Ohana is at the Poly not at AK.
     
  3. DisneyLovingFirefighter

    DisneyLovingFirefighter New Member Original Poster

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    Thank you for the correction about O'hana. As I mentioned above I understand that this could be a busier time. Unfortunately our schedules don't allow to reschedule.
     
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  4. mouse_luv

    mouse_luv Well-Known Member

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    Understood. Teppan Edo at EPCOT is a fave of DBF and I, if you like good Japanese food you might think of trying that on your EPCOT day.
     
  5. DisneyLovingFirefighter

    DisneyLovingFirefighter New Member Original Poster

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    That's the thing, I like ALL food. Japanese certainly ranks near the top though! Is it a relatively easy reservation to get? Also, do you advise making dining reservations as late as possible to enjoy the park all day, hit dinner, then back to the resort?
     
  6. goofyyukyukyuk17

    goofyyukyukyuk17 Member

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    I think it's a fine idea to wait to eat late if you eat a counter service lunch. I actually disagree about it being a busy time because kids are just getting out of school when you are arriving, but I was there that same time frame in 2015, and the crowds were excellent until about 4-5 days before Christmas, so you may have some heavier crowds on your last day, but I wouldn't stress too much about it
     
  7. DisneyLovingFirefighter

    DisneyLovingFirefighter New Member Original Poster

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    Thanks goofy! The "crowd calendars" mostly say moderate crowds until our last day, then, like you mentioned, they ramp up. Another question is, and this is probably stupid......Say I score a evening reservation at B Our Guest or an even more "elegant" restaurant, will we be under dressed in our jeans and sweat shirts or shorts and t-shirts (depending on what kind of winter Orlando has)? I'm just curious if we'll need to budget time to go and change before our dinner reservations!
     
  8. mouse_luv

    mouse_luv Well-Known Member

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    It's a toss up with getting a ressie for there depending on what time you want to eat. As far as DBF and I, we usually go for 6 days so we do have time to make several ADRs and be kind of flexible with them, as far as we go we tour the one park in the morning til about mid afternoon then go back to resort to freshen up and then to another park for dinner. But if you are going to be touring the parks in commando mode and having to get things done in a limited amount of time you might want to do what you suggested.
     
  9. mouse_luv

    mouse_luv Well-Known Member

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    It's known by WDW lifers that it gets busy after Dec 14/15th. I'm not saying it's NYE crowds, but it's busy.
     
  10. DisneyLovingFirefighter

    DisneyLovingFirefighter New Member Original Poster

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    Thanks again for all of the help! I've actually gone week after Christmas as a 13 year old. I don't remember a ton but I do remember it being busy. My plan may be just to book dining as late as possible and if we need to head back to change or freshen up great, if not just stay in the park!
     
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  11. mouse_luv

    mouse_luv Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome! Just be aware that if you book Teppan Edo late you may have to miss Illuminations: ROE. It's something I don't suggest missing so you might at least want to work around that. Teppan Edo dining takes at least 1.5hrs :) Have fun!
     
  12. Reggie Colorado

    Reggie Colorado New Member

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    Skip Coral Reef. The food is mediocre for the price, seating backs up even with your reservation, and you get better views of the aquarium walking through it. Book another restaurant in the World Showcase. Biergarten is a lot of fun.

    Be Our Guest is the best of the Magic Kingdom restaurants. The theming is impressive and the food is pretty good (plus it is the only place there you can get beer and wine). Skip the character meals unless you are really into the characters. The other table service restaurants are fine.
     
  13. Dafid Duck

    Dafid Duck Well-Known Member

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    My wife and I are celebrating our 25th this same time and hopefully we will be in the World to do it. Traditionally, there is free dining offered at this time. When they announce those dates, call and have them change your reservation to include free dining. If you don't you won't automatically get it.

    It's a great time to see the decorations in the parks and in the resorts. The biggest recommendation I have is the Christmas Candlelight Processional. On the dining plan it counts as two table services, but definitely worth it (especially if you have free dining).
     
  14. DisneyLovingFirefighter

    DisneyLovingFirefighter New Member Original Poster

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    Congrats on 25 years! I've heard GREAT things about the candlelight processional, so we will likely use two dining credits for the dinner package to ensure seats for it. We're also getting a 75$ gift card every night of our stay for the renovations going on at CBR, so that will more than offset the missing meal credit. Hopefully the crowds won't be too crazy! How do I go about booking the candlelight processional dinner package? Can that be done 180 days out and if so how do I ensure I'm reserving as part of the package and not just for dinner at any given Epcot restaurant? Thanks for the help!
     
  15. Dafid Duck

    Dafid Duck Well-Known Member

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    We have gone for our 15th and 20th anniversaries from the 19th through the 26th or 27th of December. There is definitely a big change in the crowds before and after Christmas. It has been five years since we have done a Disney trip and reservations have all changed since then. We have always called to make our dining reservations. The CMs are very helpful but now internet reservations open up at 6am, phone reservations not until 7am. I was thinking about using a travel agent if we do go this year.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  16. bferrara16

    bferrara16 Active Member

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    One suggestion I would make is booking an Illuminations cruise at Epcot. We did this for my parents' 35th anniversary and it was awesome. You can arrange for them to have a cake, balloons and a banner. One of the best things I've ever experienced at WDW.
     
  17. BackOTheLine

    BackOTheLine Well-Known Member

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    With all due respect I think the Skipper Canteen has better (or at least as good) food vs. Be Our Guest. My opinion, obviously. They also have beer and wine available now. The theming at BOG is probably better but the Canteen is nothing to shake a stick at...

    Completely agree with you about Coral Reef though.
     
  18. BackOTheLine

    BackOTheLine Well-Known Member

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    Except for a few exceptions, showing up in your park gear is fine. Even in places where you'd expect a little better attire (signature restaurants, for example) it's quite common to see people who just "come as they are"....for better or worse.
     
  19. DisneyLovingFirefighter

    DisneyLovingFirefighter New Member Original Poster

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    Thanks for all of the help! Be our guest is my wife's number one must eat at restaurant, while I'd be fine to skip it. Needless to say I'm going to try to book it. Does anyone know if I'll be able to book the candlelight processional dinner package at my 180 day mark?
     
  20. Worldlover71

    Worldlover71 Well-Known Member

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    BOG books very quickly so even if you try at 6am on the day your window opens, you may not get it or at least not the time you want. However, since your are staying on-site you get 180+. This means as soon as the 180-day window opens for Day 1 of your trip, you can book for the entire length of your stay. You therefore get a jump on anyone not staying on-site.If you can't get the reservation for Day 1, immediately try for the other days of your stay. You might need to be a little flexible.
     

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