It does! I think the last update I made to this blog was last year! There’s a reason for that, although mostly I’ve been kind of lazy, a common problem that many people will recognize. But i also haven’t had much to write about, and that can be a common problem too. But now, I have something to write about. Callie is graduating from college, and as a graduation present (self serving, I admit), we’re going to Disney World. If you’ve read this before you know that WDW is one of my favorite vacation destinations, and I would add that there are certain times of the year when WDW is a little more special than usual.
When you think about seasons that would lend themselves to WDW festivities, there are some that are unique to Disney, like Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival, which is a hoot if you like landscaping and exotic flowers, topiary, etc. (doing this or looking at it, either way). I’ve been to Epcot for this uniquely Epcot festival, and it’s definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re a gardener or just like looking at gardens–which is okay, right–no judgement!
Christmas is a FANTASTIC time to visit WDW, although the last two weeks of the year are among the busiest of the year, and although Disney ramps up big time to deal with the crowds, you’ll rarely see bigger crowds at Walt Disney World than you will those last two weeks. Some good news about this, Disney generally starts decorating for Christmas in the first two weeks of November, so you can enjoy Christmas cheer just a couple of weeks into November, and the crowds aren’t as intense then.
Incidentally, you might not change your vacation plans based on crowds, but it’s always good to know what you’re getting into. A really useful website is undercovertourist.com, where you can look at the crowd level at several parks in the Orlando area, even a couple that begin with ‘U’ for Underachiever…. Another good one is at wdwprepschool.com, which has not only crowd calendars but lots of other good information on planning your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation.
To get back to the original subject of WDW seasons, they put on a really fun Halloween party at the Magic Kingdom in October/November (maybe a couple of days into Nov). Epcot has their Food and Wine Festival in the fall, which overlaps the Halloween festivities at the Magic Kingdom.
Taking these grossly out of order, then in the spring, in addition to the Epcot Flower and Garden festival, they have some running events, like the Princess Half Marathon Weekend, and they start their Star Wars Weekends which continue into summer. For summer they have their Sounds Like Summer concert series, and of course–it’s summer! So the park can get busy with families on summer vacation. One thing that is I believe to be true, that is also kind of a consolation for those really busy days is that generally the busier the park, the more entertainment and special events you’ll see in the parks. Going on those fall days when you can’t see another guest anywhere can be fun, but you won’t see much live entertainment, and parade schedules and shows are generally cut back when they know business will be slow.
So in case you wonder what the point of all this is, we’re going to WDW for Halloween! It’s about the only time and place where adults can get away with trick-or-treating, so I’m in! Nancy is going, and we’re meeting Paula and Bob, and we’re feeling extra lucky because Paula’s daughter Donna and her family are coming up for a couple of days, so we’ll get to see family that we see occasionally and love to see whenever we can, and in the case of Donna and her clan, it’ll really be extra special since they don’t live in Orlando and so we don’t get to see them nearly as often. Anyway, it’s all very cool and fun and exciting!
So i’m warning you, I’ll post again in a few days and start talking about our planning process for WDW. Everyone probably approaches this differently, but you really HAVE TO plan to avoid disappointment and frustration. You don’t have to be crazy about it, but you need some idea of what you want to get out of the trip, and how you’re going to do that. So strictly for Callie and I, I’ll show you all of our tricks, original old-time tricks, and new tricks we’ve stolen from smart friends, that allow us to plan WDW vacations the way we like to do it. If you see something you like, feel free to use it, and if you think the whole process is crazy and overkill, well, point that out in the comments!