Posted Wednesday, December 28, 2011 8:10 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Come New Year's Day at Walt Disney World, the lines to check out at the World of Disney, the resort's souvenir megastore, may rival any to be found at Space Mountain. The first day of the year is also the second-busiest at Downtown Disney's flagship store, which draws about 8 million people a year — more than entire theme parks at Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando. Only Black Friday is busier.
Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.
I recently had the pleasure to visit Disney at the beginning of November, and there were still a significant amount of visitors. I can't imagine what it is like this time of year around the holidays. Must be crazy.
The Magic Kingdom, Studios, and DAK all reached Phase 2 closings (meaning APs, park hoppers, and resort guests only get through the gates). In addition, Islands of Adventure reached capacity, Universal Studios came close, SeaWorld ran out of parking, and LEGOLand closed for capacity crowds today as well. Orlando is ridiculously busy this week.
I've been to Downtown Disney on New Year's Eve before, and the crowds are pretty nuts. Thankfully I only purchased beverages there, as the merchandise lines were nuts.
Very glad I'm not in O-town this week. Had thought about heading up to Legoland with our APs and am extremely happy we didn't.
I don't think I'd even consider going during the holidays. I'm in the planning stages of a Disney vacation next year, and the first thing I researched was when to (and when not to) go. Seems like the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas have the lightest crowds, so I'm thinking the first week in December would work well for us.
The end of October and beginning of November are not bad times either speaking from experience. In one day, I pretty much got to do everything in a single park. Of course, everyone has different schedules and different times when they can get away though.
I went the week after Thanksgiving in '09 and it was "dead" by Disney standards. Certain things always seemed busy, like the Osborne lights at the studios, but generally we found everything to be pretty easy to navigate. The holiday season is really lovely there, too.
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