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Christmas trip 2023

Darth_Sidious

New Member
Hi. I am starting to budget for a trip at Christmas in 2023. We have been once before, in April 2017. It was spring break for kids, college students, and Easter then, so the parks were supposedly extremely crowded (I have no other comparison). Everything I read says Christmas will be insanely crowded. Is it really much worse than spring break/Easter?

I am thinking Christmas because I want to go for 2 to 2.5 weeks but will have a 14, 12, and 6 year old. Don’t want the older two to miss a ton of school. Also, summer is a no go. Just too hot for us. April heat was rough for us, although my kids did love water parks and won’t get to do as much water stuff in December.

I plan to have 3 days at Universal, a day at Discovery Cove (we are from the north so I think we will be okay if it’s cool weather), maybe a Sea World Day, and the rest Disney or rest days with Disney character meals.

We’ll stay at Shades of Green (except probably stay 2-3 nights at Universal at the beginning or end. My husband has PTSD and does not like crowds, but did okay and even enjoyed himself with my planning and the disability access pass last time.

So for those who have been for Christmas and Easter/spring break, should I expect it to be much worse? If the crowds aren’t much worse, I think we will be okay. I remember the parks were all predicted 8-10 crowd levels when we went.

Thank you.
 

Cowboy Steve

Premium Member
I can't speak to Christmas proper, but I have visited many times the 2 weeks after Thanksgiving. MK is always busy... but the other parks didn't seem too bad during this timeframe. I really think it is just luck of the draw on the actual holidays themselves. I have friends that visited with their daughter for the week between Christmas and New Year's... and they thought the crowds weren't that bad. Other times... swamped. That was pre-pandemic.

A few years ago we did 3 days at Universal in early December and had very small crowds. During one of the Universal parades I could have lain down on the curb and not touched another person lol. We visited Universal on a Wed-Thurs-Fri. Wed-Thurs, very small crowds. Friday... slammed. Again, this was pre-pandemic.
 
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Disstevefan1

Well-Known Member
Hi. I am starting to budget for a trip at Christmas in 2023. We have been once before, in April 2017. It was spring break for kids, college students, and Easter then, so the parks were supposedly extremely crowded (I have no other comparison). Everything I read says Christmas will be insanely crowded. Is it really much worse than spring break/Easter?

I am thinking Christmas because I want to go for 2 to 2.5 weeks but will have a 14, 12, and 6 year old. Don’t want the older two to miss a ton of school. Also, summer is a no go. Just too hot for us. April heat was rough for us, although my kids did love water parks and won’t get to do as much water stuff in December.

I plan to have 3 days at Universal, a day at Discovery Cove (we are from the north so I think we will be okay if it’s cool weather), maybe a Sea World Day, and the rest Disney or rest days with Disney character meals.

We’ll stay at Shades of Green (except probably stay 2-3 nights at Universal at the beginning or end. My husband has PTSD and does not like crowds, but did okay and even enjoyed himself with my planning and the disability access pass last time.

So for those who have been for Christmas and Easter/spring break, should I expect it to be much worse? If the crowds aren’t much worse, I think we will be okay. I remember the parks were all predicted 8-10 crowd levels when we went.

Thank you.
By Christmas 2023, the crowds should be back to pre-pandemic levels.
There is a possibility the real Christmas parties at WDW will be back?
Be sure to budget more money for Genie + and Individual Lighting Lane.
Universal is excellent at Christmastime.
SeaWorld is SUPER GREAT at Christmastime! Do try to fit that in.
 
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CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Is it really much worse than spring break/Easter?
Yes. There is no "Spring break week." Some schools have their Spring breaks as early as Presidents' Week in late February, and others have their Spring breaks as late as mid-April. So while Spring break is a busy time, those crowds are spread over roughly 8 weeks. They peak around Easter, but it's nowhere near as compressed as the two weeks of Christmas and New Year's Day, when everyone is off of school at the exact same time.

I don't know the particulars of your husband's condition, but I strongly recommend reconsidering the "summer is just too hot" position.

(Not to mention the fact that Christmas will probably cost double what you'd pay in August.)
 
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yensid1967

New Member
Your best time to go would be the first weeks of December! That time HAD the lowest crowds. I would look up undercovertourist.com for DISCOUNTED tickets...1 stop shopping for everything with tax included in final price!!
If you go to Discovery Cove admission to Sea World is INLCLUDED!
if you are not set on Shades of Green, and you want to say money, I can give you 3 star hotels for about $75/night +tax on I drive or even closer to Hotel Plaza Blvd off site!
As an example, using undercovertourist.com
I am planning a 2026 trip(using 2022 prices for 2 adults)...
Amtrak Coach, Rental Car Compact, Hotel 7 nights, 3 Day Disney, 1 Day Discovery Cove, 1 Day Sea World, 1 Day Wild Florida Sloth adventure....$1358.20 per person

If you need any help just ask!
 
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Darth_Sidious

New Member
Original Poster
I can't speak to Christmas proper, but I have visited many times the 2 weeks after Thanksgiving. MK is always busy... but the other parks didn't seem too bad during this timeframe. I really think it is just luck of the draw on the actual holidays themselves. I have friends that visited with their daughter for the week between Christmas and New Year's... and they thought the crowds weren't that bad. Other times... swamped. That was pre-pandemic.

A few years ago we did 3 days at Universal in early December and had very small crowds. During one of the Universal parades I could have lain down on the curb and not touched another person lol. We visited Universal on a Wed-Thurs-Fri. Wed-Thurs, very small crowds. Friday... slammed. Again, this was pre-pandemic.
Thank you. I’ll make sure to avoid Magic Kingdom on Christmas.
 
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Darth_Sidious

New Member
Original Poster
By Christmas 2023, the crowds should be back to pre-pandemic levels.
There is a possibility the real Christmas parties at WDW will be back?
Be sure to budget more money for Genie + and Individual Lighting Lane.
Universal is excellent at Christmastime.
SeaWorld is SUPER GREAT at Christmastime! Do try to fit that in.
Thank you so much. I think you just sealed our fate for making time for Sea World this time :)
Thanks for the suggestion about Genie + and lightning lanes. I just read up on these and I think they will help us a lot. My husband can handle a park for 4-5 hours but then he really needs to go. I think between DAS, genie + and lighting lanes, we will still be able to get most of what we want done.
 
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Darth_Sidious

New Member
Original Poster
Yes. There is no "Spring break week." Some schools have their Spring breaks as early as Presidents' Week in late February, and others have their Spring breaks as late as mid-April. So while Spring break is a busy time, those crowds are spread over roughly 8 weeks. They peak around Easter, but it's nowhere near as compressed as the two weeks of Christmas and New Year's Day, when everyone is off of school at the exact same time.

I don't know the particulars of your husband's condition, but I strongly recommend reconsidering the "summer is just too hot" position.

(Not to mention the fact that Christmas will probably cost double what you'd pay in August.)
Thank you for taking the time to reply. Shades of Green rates don’t change during peak times, so luckily that won’t be an issue, although I’m sure Uber rates and lightning lanes will cost much more.

April was too hot for him some days. I’m concerned summer will mean he doesn’t go with us at all. He does have other health conditions that unfortunately make his heat tolerance low :( He is, unfortunately, a fully disabled veteran. I do plan extra stay in the hotel days and try to plan ahead or buy upgrades that can make park days easier/shorter. I considered saving up for VIP tour but I think the length of time would just be way too overwhelming. It’s much less expensive to stay longer and break it up.

President’s Day week could be an option, but I know that’s another busy time.

I appreciate the suggestions!
 
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Darth_Sidious

New Member
Original Poster
Your best time to go would be the first weeks of December! That time HAD the lowest crowds. I would look up undercovertourist.com for DISCOUNTED tickets...1 stop shopping for everything with tax included in final price!!
If you go to Discovery Cove admission to Sea World is INLCLUDED!
if you are not set on Shades of Green, and you want to say money, I can give you 3 star hotels for about $75/night +tax on I drive or even closer to Hotel Plaza Blvd off site!
As an example, using undercovertourist.com
I am planning a 2026 trip(using 2022 prices for 2 adults)...
Amtrak Coach, Rental Car Compact, Hotel 7 nights, 3 Day Disney, 1 Day Discovery Cove, 1 Day Sea World, 1 Day Wild Florida Sloth adventure....$1358.20 per person

If you need any help just ask!
Thank you. He’s pretty set on Shades of Green though. He will be more comfortable there.
 
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Disstevefan1

Well-Known Member
Thank you so much. I think you just sealed our fate for making time for Sea World this time :)
Thanks for the suggestion about Genie + and lightning lanes. I just read up on these and I think they will help us a lot. My husband can handle a park for 4-5 hours but then he really needs to go. I think between DAS, genie + and lighting lanes, we will still be able to get most of what we want done.
Oh yes DAS. This is very helpful. I think WDW has not released details on how their latest DAS will work, but we will know soon.
Have a GREAT trip!
 
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