Do you have questions? We have answers! Each week, a Diva or Devo will share some of our best tips with you as we answer five of your questions. This week, Pixie Dusted Diva shares with you her tips on five of your questions!
1. I have never been during Christmas time. I am a teacher so our trip cannot be during the first two weeks of December as advised by others. My question is crowd comparison. Is it more crowed than summer during Christmas break at WDW? Also is it worth the extra ticket price for all the Christmas extras Disney does in the parks? Thanks ya’ll are the best!!
Planning around school vacations can be tough, but for some (as in your case) there isn’t much you can do. While I have been to Disney in December we have followed the advice and crowd calendars and gone in the beginning of December. I personally would love to experience the Disney magic to actually be there during the holidays and experience Christmas time and the holidays in Disney, but I also do not think I could deal with the crowds. From about December 20 through the New Year of about January 3 you will find peak peak crowds at Disney. I would recommend planning your vacation as soon as school gets out in June or right before your head back to school in August. However, there is plenty to do at Disney during the holiday season should you choose to travel at this time. Follow the number one diva park tip and get to the parks early, take advantage of extra magic hours and be patient with the crowds and you will have a great time. After all, you are in Disney!
In regards to the extra ticket price, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) is a great experience just like the Halloween Party, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. You’ll have cookies and hot chocolate while snow falls on Main Street watching the same parade the rest of America watches on TV on Christmas Day. Don’t forget though there are also free things to do and see at Disney at this time of the year such as the gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian and the marvelous christmas tree displays at the resorts. Visiting the resorts are favorite activity of mine while at Disney and the holidays are an even better time to do this!
2. Can you use Disney gift cards at Walt Disney World?
Yes! Disney gift cards are accepted almost everywhere on Disney property. The best way I have found to use our gift cards is to charge everything to the room account using our Magic Bands. I stop at the Front Desk periodically to get a print out and verify the charges. When I say everything, I mean everything. We do not make any cash purchases while at Disney. The night before we check out I bring all my gift cards down to the Front Desk and pay off the balance. I find this the best and most convenient way because we are not carrying around the gift cards (or cash) at the park. We are able to keep everything safely in our room, so nothing will get lost.
Dining reservations are strongly recommended for any sit down table service restaurant on Disney property regardless if you are staying on property or off or if you have the dining plan. Anyone can make dining reservations 180 days in advance by calling 1-407-WDW-DINE or on Disney’s website. If you are unable to obtain the dining reservations you want on the first try, do not give up. Disney does have a cancellation policy and requires a credit card at the time of booking. Reservations must be canceled at least one day prior to avoid the $10 cancellation fee and/or no show fee. Reservations may open up prior to your trip because of cancellations so you may be able to obtain a dining reservation closer to your trip.
Now, you can even make dining reservations for Be Our Guest quick service break and lunch. This is the only quick service on Disney property which takes reservations.
4. My daughter’s actual birthday falls when we are in Disney. What can I do to make her day extra special?
We actually visit during my daughter’s April school vacation, which happens to be her birthday as well. There are a number of things you can to do celebrate.
First, I would make sure the celebration is noted on your resort reservation and on all dining reservations.
Make sure you get a birthday button at the Front Desk or Guest Relations. Other members of your party can also get an I’m Celebrating button. Every and anyone will wish her a “happy birthday” and you never know what Cast Members may do if they know it’s her birthday!
You can arrange with Disney Florist to have an in room celebration. You can even ask the Front Desk if they have latex balloons and can do something much more simple, but a nice surprise while you are away at the park. A little pixie dust goes a long way!
Disney Cakes can make you a custom cake to be delivered to your dining reservation. We celebrated my daughter’s 6th birthday at Cinderella’s Royal Table and I worked with the Magic Kingdom Cakes Guest Services (who were wonderful) and we arranged a surprise for my daughter. There was a princess balloon at the table upon arrival and a white chocolate slipper was delivered to the table for dessert.
The Castle Couture gift shop at the Magic Kingdom will sprinkle free pixie dust on guests.
5. How do I get to my dining reservations if the buses do not run from resort to resort?
Playing the bus hopping game is always fun. You should always allow plenty of time when traveling around Disney property (including time waiting fo buses), they say to allow at least 1.5 hours for Disney transportation. If you are going from your resort to another resort you are going to want to take a Disney bus from your resort to the park nearest to the resort you are trying to get to. For example, if you are leaving in the morning to get to any of the popular breakfast character breakfasts such as Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary, Ohana at the Polynesian, or 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian you are going to take a bus to the Magic Kingdom and then take the monorail to the resort your reservation is at. If you are going to Chef Mickey’s you can even walk there once you get to the Magic Kingdom. If the boat service is running there are small ferry boats that also run from the Magic Kingdom directly to the resorts listed above.
If you are going to Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can take the bus from your resort to Animal Kingdom park and then take the bus from Animal Kingdom to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
If you are already at a park, you would then take one of Disney transportation modes to get to the resort from the park you are at. If you are leaving Hollywood Studios and have dinner at Cape May at the Beach Club you may ride a friendship boat from Hollywood Studios to the Beach Club for your dinner reservation. Now getting back is tricky as well. Depending on the time of night, you may want to take a bus to Downtown Disney and then to your resort. Otherwise, you would take a bus to the park that is still open and then a bus to the resort you are staying at.