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Thanksgiving crowds?

Discussion in 'WDW Parks General Discussion' started by pittdisneyfan, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. pittdisneyfan

    pittdisneyfan New Member

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    We're going to the Magic Kingdom on the Friday after Thanksgiving and may end up going Saturday as well. How crowded should we expect it to be? We're doing the rest of DW on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, when I'm told the crowds should be lighter. Any advice on that and whether to avoid any parks that with Extra Magic Hours? Thanks!
  2. MissM

    MissM Well-Known Member

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    Touring Plans lists Thursday, Friday and Saturday as a "7" (@ MK: Peak waits of 65 - 74 minutes) on a scale of 1-10 where 1 is nobody and 10 is capacity. Sunday is listed as a "4." (@MK: Peak waits of 35 - 44 minutes) I've been the Saturday after Thanksgiving before and it was pretty busy. A lot of people take advantage of the weekend and will use Friday and Saturday to go to Disney. But by Sunday, they're usually heading home. Sunday is a MVMCP night though so MK will close at 7pm.
  3. hemloc

    hemloc Member

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    Ouch... The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest, if not THE busiest(i.e., WORST) day of the year to go....
  4. lbrad

    lbrad Well-Known Member

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    MK may be "light" crowd on Friday after Thanksgiving this year...as it is the first night for Osborne Spectacle of Lights @ DHS that night. You may be in luck as hopefully everyone will go to DHS to see the lights:shrug:
    Thats where I will be:sohappy:
  5. hemloc

    hemloc Member

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    Ummm, all 4 parks will be insanely crowded...
  6. Philo

    Philo Active Member

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    Yep, busy busy busy.

    However, that won't stop you having a good time as long as your ready for big crowds. Plan your day, get FP tickets as soon as you can and, whilst others may argue, I would suggest staying in an EMH park in the evening as the crowds will start to get shorter as the night goes on (tired kids and plenty of off-site people).

    You absolutely must get to the parks early - ideally around 45 mins before opening but earlier if possible as this will give you a chance to ride a few things before the crowds get crazy, pick up FP tickets and, most importantly, actually get into the park. Once your in, do not leave that park because I imagine the parks will be operating a one-out one-in system pretty early on in the day.

    Disclaimer - i've never been when it's crazy busy so this is just some advice I've picked up
  7. PhilharMagician

    PhilharMagician Well-Known Member

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    Touring plans had Thanksgiving time frame at a 9 last year and now down to a 7. I can say that over the past few years the MK has been insane. Get there early, really early and open the park. Hit some rides early and plan to people watch unless you like 60+ minute waits. Even counter service restaurants seem like a 30-45 minute wait in line. Hopefully it will be slower this year for you, but plan on a very busy park. In 06' we had a room issue in OKW and they could not give us another room because they were fully booked and according the the manager overbooked by 2. There wasn't a single room on all of WDW property for us to stay in and finally they found us a room CBR from a cancellation. That is how busy it can get for Thanksgiving week.
  8. Glasgow

    Glasgow Well-Known Member

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    Doh! We'll be there on the Sat and Sun as well, so I'm not particularly looking forward to the crowds. The weather looks to be just about perfect though so we'll be taking it easy for those days!
  9. hwdelien

    hwdelien Member

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    That week the crouds gradually build. If you were going Monday, for example, the lines are reasonably short, but Friday, they are terrible. Traditionally, any day/week that kids are off school are bad. Locals show up and a four day weekend, people will travel. It has been 9 years since I was there over Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving day was moderately busy, but Friday was insane even though we decided to go to MGM that day, the lines were long. Having said that, it was as much fun as I have ever had. Everything was extra magical for me and my family. If you are going to ride, avoid traditional days off. You're better off pulling the kids out of school in the middle of November or January and you can practically walk on to most rides. Most schools will allow it as an excused absense for educational purposes. One of my kids teachers even gave her an assignment for an essay about some of the cultures in epcot. We took pictures on some of the countries focusing on architecture and culture and included them with the essay. She got an A+.
  10. PhilharMagician

    PhilharMagician Well-Known Member

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    If you have never been during the insane times it can actually be educating. You may see some of this.

    • The HM uses it extended queue which runs down by the river and over by the Riverboat landing.
    • Spash Mountain will have a full queue out by the stairs if it is warm.
    • Space will be queueing in Tomorrowland.
    • TTA will be queueing in Tomorrowland with a CM directing at the escalator.
    • Last time the line for Columbia Harbor House QS restaurant was out the door and around all the way to HoP.
    • Pirates full queue used and temp set up in the walkway in Adventureland.
    These are the times that make me appreciate the slow times more. I can't even imagine Christmas and Easter.
  11. Glasgow

    Glasgow Well-Known Member

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    Thanks -- that is a good point about the additional crowd control functions. I will be curious to see the differences as the last 3 years we have been in Feb or Sept. Going with a 2 1/2 year old though we won't be pushing it - will just go at our own pace :) Luckily we will be at WDW through the following Thursday so I think the crowds will drastically decline. I'm curious to see the difference in crowds from the end of November to the beginning of December ..
  12. PhilharMagician

    PhilharMagician Well-Known Member

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    The crowds will drop off by Monday, Dec 1st. What I have noticed over the past few years is that the immediate week after Thanksgiving used to be really quiet, now it seems to still stay fairly busy. I would say a 5 - 6 last year for crowd level. The Christams parade taping typically happens the Friday and Saturday on the week after Thanksgiving. Stay away from MK on those days!!!

    This year we will be home for T-day, so have a little extra fun for us.:wave:
  13. pittdisneyfan

    pittdisneyfan New Member

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    Thanksgiving crowds

    Thanks to everyone for your tips on contending with post-Thanksgiving crowds on Friday and Saturday. We've been to DW two times but never during such a busy period. We're planning on visiting a park after we arive Friday at 1 p.m. Any suggestions? I thought Animal Kingdom might be the best bet until 8 p.m. when it closes (based on touringplans.com) followed by a few hours at the Magic Kingdom for a few late night rides. I'm using a rental car intead of relying on packed Disney buses.
  14. Todd L

    Todd L Well-Known Member

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    How about the week following Thanksgiving? nov 29th-dec 6th?
  15. PhilharMagician

    PhilharMagician Well-Known Member

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    AK would be a good shot. Bring your poncho's because Kali River usually clears out after dark and the temps drop. When you get in the park get a FP for a ride. Check the board on the right just as you enter Discovery island and see what has FP's still available. Then going to MK late will be much better than going when you first get there, but it will be still busy. See if there are any FP's left and then think about hitting the typical short line crowd eaters like COP, Country Bears, TTA, Philharmagician and maybe Tiki Room. Just be mentally prepared for crowds and you will have fun. Maybe with the way the economy has been the crowds will be lighter.


    It does slow down, but it has become a quite a busy time of year. For DVC members it is the value season and that keeps the DVC resorts full. Again be prepared for moderate crowds. Be prepared and use EMH.

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