questionshave you ever been to disney world around…

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I would definitely recommend avoiding Christmas week if you're concerned about crowds. I would also recommend checking on when Disney tapes their Christmas parade, as that also tends to be a very busy time.

I haven't been in December, but have gone in mid November 3 different times. Disney has had their Christmas decorations up each time, including the Osborne Family Lights at Hollywood Studios. November crowds have been good and the weather has been really good for us as well.

It might be a tad late for your kids, but I would also highly recommend the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise. Pick a night when they're having Mickey's Magical Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom and you'll get an extrordinary view of their Christmas Wishes fireworks show.

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We went once during about the first or second week in December, and it was a great time to go, because it was in between holidays. All of the Christmas decorations were up and everything was going on, but it was not crowded at all.

All of the theme parks have baby/small child areas somewhere that you may want to take advantage of. They're quiet indoor spots where you can take care of baby needs (including buying necessities like diapers and such, if you run short) and provide a quiet place for little guys to nap. They're great for ducking out of the noise and crowds when the kids need a break.

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We went the week after Thanksgiving in 2010 and we went the week after that in 2011. As you get closer to the 25th the busier the park gets. On Christmas Day the park usually closes at noon due to over capacity. We have been to Disney a dozen times and I have no intention on going during Christmas! Way too busy!!

The weekend after Thanksgiving is pretty busy, but by the weekend it dies out and the week is dead. Check out a site called TourGuideMike.com and TouringPlans.com they will both give you a good plan as to what days to do each park. You can start planning your dining reservations up to 180 days in advance. If you are eating in the castle or reserving a Holiday Firework Party you will want to do that as close to that 180 day as possible. They tend to book up fast. They just opened a new restaurant in the Magic Kingdom called Be Our Guest that looks incredible and they serve beer and wine (until this place it was a dry park). I can go on but I am sure I will bore you!

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Some cool holiday things to check out that wont cost you a dime:

There is a HUGE tree in The Animal Kingdom Lodge that towers over you. There is also a life size ginger bread house in the Grand Floridian you can walk in. You can hop on the monorail and visit four resorts on the monorail line and then head into the Magic Kingdom on that same Monorail. Nice and wont be very busy. Grand Floridian is one of those resorts.

My biggest piece of advice with kids that age is try to get to the parks EARLY! If you can get there before the park opens you will be able to get most of the stuff that you want to do done by noon. Then head back to your resort for some naps or some R&R by the pool. Then that evening when everyone is rested up head back out to a park. You will get there nice and refreshed where everyone else is tired and worn out from running around all day and dealing with the afternoon crowds. The Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom have a small show before the park opens which is nice.

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I want to echo what other poster have said about going early in December. Everything is decorated for Christmas, but the big crowds haven't arrived and the resort rates haven't gone up yet.

One thing I will definitely recommend you go see while you're there is the Voices of Liberty at the American Adventure in EPCOT. They're a singing group that performs just before the main show there. They dress up like Dickens characters, and their singing is outstanding.

The last thing I'll say is something you probably don't want to hear. Don't go now. Wait until your kids are older. I love Disney World, and I've been there going on 15 times, but it's a long trip with a lot of walking around and waiting in lines. Those are things little kids are really not good with. At this point, your kids will probably barely, if at all, remember that they were even there. If you wait until they're older, all of you will enjoy it much more, and your kids will get so much more out of it.

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Everyone is recommending that you go before Christmas. I want to recommend that you go about a week after Christmas. One of the best trips we ever had the WDW was right after New Year. As I recall there was a football bowl game nearby over the weekend that packed the hotels, but we arrived right after those folks cleared out. We stayed in one of the hotels on the grounds, and there were only four rooms occupied in our entire wing. On our days in the park I think we only stood in one line that took more than 5 minutes.

Another tip on going to WDW with kids. Mine are grown now, but back when they were smaller we learned that each park has a place near the entrance where you can "register" your child, providing contact information, etc. in case you are separated from them. The kids got a wrist band or badge or something. Check their website to see where these registration sites are before you go. The peace of mind is well worth it. Have fun!

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Been in the park Christmas Day and that enire week (days up to and after). Crowded at times but not ALL the time.

Really enjoyed it despite the crowds.

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Second the thought of either before or after the holiday. I have run the WDW marathon and half marathon. They used to be the first weekend after the new year, now they are the following weekend., this year Jan 10-13. The parks were not at all crowded and the decorations were still up. And the holiday stuff was on clearance. I also agree that your kids are a bit in the young side. In a few years they will get much more out of it.

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My sister and her family went when the kids were 3 and 6 and it was a disaster. The kids were a lot more interested in the hotel pool than anything else.

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@coondogg97: The "start early, take a mid-day break, and go back later in the day" advice is the best suggestion ever and one I've used ever since the park first opened. (We lived in Central Florida at the time and were therefore drafted as tour guides by tons of family visitors.) I still tell folks that if they follow this advice the rest of the tour will more or less take care of itself.

And I also agree with the suggestions of waiting till your children are a little older, especially if this is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Kids under six or so tire way too early and easily, and younger children are often frightened to tears by the adult-sized costumed characters.

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Thanks for all the responses. The plan is to go in the first two weeks of Dec. like a few of you have said. We hope to miss the crowds that way and since our kids aren't in school they don't have to miss any :)

I know our kids are young but we took my daughter for her 2nd birthday back in May and she still talks about it. We do a lot of Character greeting and they really love it. I don't think we're wasting trips on young kids :) At least they're free under three :D

@belyndag Thanks for the tip on registering, we missed that last time.

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I have always heard that the period between Christmas and New Years is a pretty dead period and is the ideal time to go. Of course it is Disney so there may never be a truly ideal time to go with minimal crowds.

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@jeremytheindian: One more thought, although it's nothing you can plan. We once stayed in a camper at Fort Wilderness. Our kids were, I think, about 10 and 14 at the time. It was springtime and it rained EVERY afternoon! That turned out to be good news for us. We went to the parks in the morning, then headed back to the camper for a nap during the afternoon rains. As soon as it started clearing up we went back to the parks which were virtually EMPTY!

The short version of this is that you shouldn't worry if you get some rain. Buy the WDW panchos, dash from covered area to covered area, stand in incredibly short lines, laugh through it all. Oh, and rainy days are great times to enjoy the rides that get you soaked, anyway!

Lordy! When I grow up I want to work at Disney World!