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  1. #1
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    Default Ever Felt Crowds Too Large ...

    Well maybe the die hard Disney fans will disagree with me, but after a recent trip to Disney prior to Thanksgiving I have really been left with a bad feeling. It's just not fun anymore when lines take hours not minutes and fast pass does not really help much. When the kids say I can't wait that long again mom for a 2 minute attraction or 45 second ride, Can we go back to the hotel and swim? We had bought 2 days with Hoppers and left MK after half a day... never went back. I felt awful, but really nothing prepares you for disappointed kids, and no child has that much patience. After many trips I guess this was our last. The kids even said its just boring to fight crowds walking around when you feel you can't take your hands off them for fear they'll be swallowed up in a pack of people walking through the park. Lost money this trip, but had even heard similar stories of other families
    upon leaving with frowns and having to explain to a 3 yr old why he can't ride anything today, I felt bad for them. When is the crowd too large, when do they tell you before you spend the money and get through the gates to find horrific lines and extreme waits for everything. When people run through gates at opening to get to a ride, Really ? THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE ENJOYABLE FAMILY TIME !!

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  3. #2
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    I know how you feel, my mother will never go back with us during New Yrs. But my 2 DDs are teenagers, so we have to work around school. If they were younger would go doing one of the slower times instead of the main holidays. But as it is, we are going back Dec 30th thru Jan 8th, so we know just to plan on taking it slow the first half of trip until it thins out some. Hopefully next trip will be better for you.

  4. #3
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    that's pretty much the reason why I will never be at WDW on my birthday again. (im a summer baby) Way too hot, way too big crowds, long waits, crowded restaurants, just not fun at all. I wouldn't turn a free trip down, but if I'm paying for it, I'll be going another time...
    Last Ride Ridden - Test Track
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  5. #4
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    Its weird for me because we go at least once a year and have for years. My parents are DVC members and own a house in Celebration they want my kids at all the time. So for me if we go and the crowds are too bad, and the lines are crazy we just move on and do something else less popular, hidden mickey hunt, see a show, etc. We've been 4 times since Toy Story Mania went in and have only done it once because of the wait, but haven't really cared because theres this feeling we can do it in the future.
    I imagine if I am going once for the only time for 5 years or whatever and I want to do everything including the big rides I would not be happy and leave disappointed.

  6. #5
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    I try to go during the lesser busy times (not an option for everyone, obviously) for this very reason. I would wait up to an hour for something I really REALLY love, but that's my threshold. FP system helps, because you can get one and then move on so you're not waiting in line for the hour.

    That feeling that you can't breathe or scratch your arm without bumping into someone, not for me.
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  7. #6
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    So sorry your trip didn't go as planned. Thanksgiving week can be very crowded, and reports are that the New Fantasyland seems to be bringing in even more people than the normal crowded.

    There are also lots of reports of higher crowds throughout the year now. Our trip during the first week of June 2011 was considerably more crowded than our trip in June 2008 during the exact same week. Even getting to the parks right at opening, our usual touring strategy, didn't help much last year. Many people say there doesn't seem to be a "slow" time of year anymore. But there certainly are "slower" times, although I know it's hard to do when your kids are school-age.

    Your girls also seem to be at that age when the hotel pool gets just as high marks as the best attraction.

    Did you try to go to other parks besides just the Magic Kingdom? Sometimes when the MK gets to be too much, we'll go to one of the other parks for a breather.

    Hopefully you'll give it another try. Also, if you can, a trip report would be really helpful to others who might be thinking about planning a trip during the same time frame.
    Many visits over 35+ years!
    DVC member since 2004 (SSR)

    Stayed at: Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk, Beach Club, Dolphin, PO Riverside, AS Sports, AS Movies, Saratoga, Vero Beach, Hilton Head, Aulani, Disneyland Hotel, and Grand Californian.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora View Post
    Many people say there doesn't seem to be a "slow" time of year anymore. But there certainly are "slower" times, although I know it's hard to do when your kids are school-age.
    Usually once the weather gets good there is a break in the crowds from October up till the week before Thanksgiving and then it starts to clear out again the week after until about second week in Decemeber...not how it has been going! October up thru beginning of this week has been packed! Seems like it is starting to clear out a bit now. Hope so!!

    OP-Sad to hear about your experience. I must admit I am a bit spoiled in the fact that my Disney time belongs to me...no kids in tow. Keep in mind that as a few others have said, they are getting up to that age where the pool is going to beat out anything else, especially anything you might think is cool!!!!
    Maybe next year instead of focusing on the regular parks you and your family can focus on the water parks
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  9. #8
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    Sorry...we are here now and the crowds are low...that doesn't mean there aren't lines and waits...still 60 minutes for Peter Pan and space mountain.
    Pirate Granny




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  10. #9
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    I have felt this way before too, but we always had to go around my son's school schedule so Christmas break was when we had to go. However, we learned to go with a plan-certain rides we ride first and grab fast passes for others and always arrive at park opening. You may not get to ride every ride in the park but you can ride plenty of the popular attractions that way.


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  11. #10
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    My wife and I don't have children, so we're free to go whenever we want to and we realized how fortunate that is. October is our favorite month to visit. The crowds are manageable and we like to get in and get out after going on the rides that we enjoy.
    We don't go to the parks as much as we used to. We like MK and Epcot the best, but we're just as happy spending a day at a quiet pool somewhere. We're DVC members and we like to take advantage of the pool hopping perk to visit different resorts. The trips that we make these days are more about relaxation. Not the non-stop chaos that was characteristic of past visits.
    So, there's no way we would go when it's super busy. The OP is right, it's just not worth the hassle and you feel like your money hasn't been well spent.

  12. #11
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    So sorry for the OP. I can imagine how frustrating it can be! And expensive too. I have to admit, the past few years, we've only gone to MK for the parties...it just gets a little too crazy for us during the day. We LOVE Epcot and AK, and usually avoid HS. I can't even imagine MK around Thanksgiving. It must have been crazy! We love hanging out at our resort and enjoying the pools and animals (AKL). I wouldn't really say the parks are the focus of our trip anymore. We still love going, but I guess we like our downtime!
    1980-2001 CR;CBR 2001 AKL 2002 AKL 2003 AKL 2004 AKL; CB; AKL 2007 WL 2008 AKL 9/09 AKL Jambo 12/10 AKL Kidani 9/11 AKL Kidani 9/12 AKL 12/12 AKL 5/13 AKL 12/13 SS 9/14 BLT 12/14 SS 2/15 Aulani DVC 7/15 CBR 10/15 Yacht Club 12/16 DS 7/17 Aulani 01/19 POR 08/19 Yacht Club

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandmanGStefani24 View Post
    that's pretty much the reason why I will never be at WDW on my birthday again. (im a summer baby) Way too hot, way too big crowds, long waits, crowded restaurants, just not fun at all. I wouldn't turn a free trip down, but if I'm paying for it, I'll be going another time...

    Hey, I'm a summer baby too! But I agree- that is NOT the time to go! We went in June this year, and it wasn't terrible... but after going in October and having perfect weather and no lines, June is out of the question forever.

    I think a lot of it really has to go with the time you go! Thanksgiving is pretty busy from what I understand, and it can even vary during the week based on EMH. If you go at better times of year, it's much more manageable! Just avoid Easter, summer- if you're opposed to heat, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Eve! Most of the other times, it's not bad at all.

    Sorry to hear about your experience! Don't give up hope!
    "Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children." - Walt Disney

  14. #13
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    It's really simple... if you don't like crowds then don't go during a time that is widely documented as one of the busiest times of the year. And certainly don't go knowing it's a busy time, and then complain that it was busy!

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by I LoveJack View Post
    I know how you feel, my mother will never go back with us during New Yrs. But my 2 DDs are teenagers, so we have to work around school. If they were younger would go doing one of the slower times instead of the main holidays. But as it is, we are going back Dec 30th thru Jan 8th, so we know just to plan on taking it slow the first half of trip until it thins out some. Hopefully next trip will be better for you.
    Going to be there same time as you. Thinking crowds should drop dramatically after 1st or 2nd.
    We usually do early july, love the summer weather. But haven't seen the Christmas decorations since 2001!
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  16. #15
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    The touring guide suggests the crowds should start clearing out some by the 3rd. But even jammed packed I would take a day there over work.

  17. #16
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    I agree with you, OP. I can't handle crowds too well and neither can the rest of my family.

    We are ALL about doing whatever is enjoyable on any vacation we are on, though, and never feel pressured to do "x, y, or z." We sort of let the kids dictate what we do, and if that means bailing out on a crowded park in favor of the hotel pool, so be it. In fact, our resort choice centers mainly around what the pool and other recreational offerings are like. We spend a LOT of time at the resorts. Fortunately, we are of the "we'll be back" mentality, so we don't feel like we are ever missing out.

    It saddens me to see families so bent on hitting up every ride that they miss the fun of just BEING on vacation.
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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by greengeen View Post
    It's really simple... if you don't like crowds then don't go during a time that is widely documented as one of the busiest times of the year. And certainly don't go knowing it's a busy time, and then complain that it was busy!
    Not quite so simple for the OP and for many other families who have children that age -- they are bound to the school schedule and if they want to go at all, have to go during busier times.

    And for years the conventional wisdom was that the days leading up to Thanksgiving were increasingly busy but not as bad as Thanksgiving day and the weekend after. Even doing a search on these forums you will see people saying the days before Thanksgiving are "not that bad," "not too busy" and "doable." That doesn't seem to be so true anymore.
    Many visits over 35+ years!
    DVC member since 2004 (SSR)

    Stayed at: Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, Contemporary, Wilderness Lodge, Boardwalk, Beach Club, Dolphin, PO Riverside, AS Sports, AS Movies, Saratoga, Vero Beach, Hilton Head, Aulani, Disneyland Hotel, and Grand Californian.

  19. #18
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    Some people, like me, don't work well in large crowds. I don't like crowds. If my only chance to go to WDW is during high crowd times, I can manage if I have a solid plan in place and don't plan to do as much in the parks. But I still feel the effects of the crowd.

    Because I can choose when I go, for the most part, I opt to avoid the obvious high crowd times- Christmas-NYE, Easter, Thanksgiving, July 4th week. Some people don't have that luxury and sometimes crowds come unexpectedly. I guess if the only time you can go is when large crowds are expected, and you really can't cope with crowds, your option is to stop visiting WDW. I hope a better option would be available, to go at a different time of year.
    Sherri
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  20. #19
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    I cannot stand waiting in lines. It is the worst thing to have to do on "vacation". I will not wait more than a couple of minutes for an attraction. The longest would be 30 minutes with a queue to keep my DD entertained. Our solution to this is to go at the quieter times of the year, hit everything we want early, and then see what doesn't have long lines after that. Then, we go back to the resort for the pool and pool games. If we are up to it, back to the park for more fun, night time parades, and fireworks.
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  21. #20
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    Sorry you had such a bad time OP.

    We have been to WDW at almost every time of the year. We've been in late Jan., we've been in Feb. around Mardi Gras a few times, March also during Mardi Gras (MG is not the same date each year), we've been in May during Memorial Day weekend, in June several times, just this summer we were there the last week of July/first week of Aug., we've been for Halloween (on actual holiday), we've been for Thanksgiving week twice, and just last year we were there for Christmas (on the actual holiday). We have NEVER felt we couldn't do what we wanted, or that we couldn't have an enjoyable vacation, because of crowds.

    Sure some vacations were more crowded than others. However, we go into the vacation with expectations on what the crowds will likely be like depending on which holiday/time of year it is. I've warned my kids that it may be busier than we've ever seen and we may not get to do everything. I've never been caught off guard. When we expect larger crowds we get to the parks early, utilize fastpass, then break for the resort when the crowds get too thick, return in the evenings for a few more hours. It's always worked for us, no matter what holiday or time of year. There may have been trips where we couldn't ride each and every ride in each park, but we expected as much and no one was disappointed. And we've always made it a point to ride any "must do" rides first and skip rides that weren't as important if we couldn't do it all.

    As someone else mentioned we always know we will be back, and perhaps that's what makes it work for us. My family just enjoys being there. There is never any reason to "get it all done". We also stay at a resort we know we'll enjoy since my family actually enjoys time outside the parks and at our resort as much as our time inside the parks.

    Hope OP's future trips are better!
    Denise

    Resorts we've stayed at in 20+ trips: ASMo, ASMu, ASSp, PC, CSR, CBR, POR, POFQ, WL, AKL Jambo, AKL Kidani, Poly, Contemporary, BC, YC, BWV, OKW, SSR, Swan, Shades of Green, Vero Beach, Disneyland Resort

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