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Disney World in December

Walt Disney World: I have been to WDW last August(2011).

From B Higgins
Posted May 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM
So I booked a trip to WDW and am staying at the Pop century hotel with my wife. We got a really good 10 day deal so thats why we are staying there.

As I mentioned above. My wife and I went to WDW last summer(2011) and we just had a blast.We actually stayed for 14 days and only did all the WDW parks not any non Disney parks.

Now I need peoples advice about 'managing' this trip in December(2012).

We got a 7 day hopper, waterpark pass. I did do some research and it seems that Disney closes down one waterpark for maintenance and lets the other stay open during the winter months. Is this true?

Secondly, we will be heading to Orlando(Dec 1) and coming back on Dec 11.
Basically we have Dec 2-Dec 10 to do stuff in WDW(7 day park hopper/waterpark) and 2 days extra to do what? We love rides and am wondering if Universal would be a great place to hit for one day? Also we are interested in going to the ocean to swim, is the water really cold? What other parks are in the vicinity that have great rides?

Thirdly, to travel outside of WDW do they have shuttles that take you from the Disney resort to other non Disney theme parks? We rather not rent a car but it is not top priority.

We are not into sight seeing but more into fun/thrills.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:15 AM
Geography is far from my strong suit, but I'm pretty sure you've got a bit of a hike if you want to swim in the Atlantic or the Gulf Of Mexico (not an ocean, but a very reasonable substitute.)

From Skipper Adam
Posted May 14, 2012 at 9:24 AM
It will be a long day trip to the ocean, and yes it will be cold.

Yes, one water park closes every winter, but I can't remember which is closing this year.

Sea World is closest to Disney. Universal is a jaunt down the interstate. Both are great experiences. I can do what I think are the best rides in both Universal parks in one day.

There are no buses or shuttles other than city buses and taxis to outside of Disney. In reality, Disney doesn't not want you to leave property at all, so they don't make it easy.

From Justin M
Posted May 14, 2012 at 10:22 AM
In 2011 they closed down Blizzard Beach in the Winter. Not sure if they rotate which one they close, Typhoon Laggon is better IMOP.

From Sylvain Comeau
Posted May 14, 2012 at 3:57 PM
If you went in hot, muggy, crowded August, you'll think you died and went to heaven when you get there in December. Moderate temps, slim crowds. Enjoy!

From TH Creative
Posted May 15, 2012 at 3:33 AM
That first week in December is a great choice! Mild weather and lower than average crowds in all the parks.

I would disagree with those who talk about a long hike to the ocean. It's worth every minute of travel.

If I had a choice, I would get up early and be on the road to the Gulf of Mexico by 730. I-4 west to I-75 south to the exit for Brandenton/Anna Maria Island. It's a 2-1/2 hour drive to Holmes Beach ... but it is the most beautiful slice of beach in the state. And depending on where you are from, no, it won't necessarily be too cold to swim.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted May 15, 2012 at 6:16 PM
Good weather!

Disney is a great time for the Holidays. One thing my family enjoys is visiting the resorts and looking at the trees. This is both unique to each resort and completely free! Grand Floridian is the best IMO.

As for the other parks, I would rent a car. Its likely not to be extremely expensive (for FL, which is saying alot) plus you have the flexibility to leave and enter the parks as you please (you should get free parking during your stay)

From Mitchell Botwin
Posted May 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM
The best time of the year to come to the parks. All the Holiday decorations are up but most of the people are not there. The 1st 2 weeks of Dec. have the lowest attendance which is why we loved coming during those weeks. The lines are short. Each of the resorts looks great and I agree it makes more sense to save time by having a car instead of using the buses.

From Justin M
Posted May 16, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Agreed you should visit the ocean its well worth the drive. The best beach though is Siesta Key beach in Sarasota. It was rated the #1 beach in America.

From Marie-Eve Landry
Posted May 22, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Going to Universal for 1 day-park-to-park is a great idea... especially if you buy the Express Pass! (Worth the price!) We loved it as much --if not more!-- than Disney.

It's not easy to get there from Disney (you can pay from 60 to 100$ for a cab, book with Mears for a 19$ per person round-trip --we didn't because we heard mixed reviews-- or go to Disney's transportation center, take the 111 Lynx Bus to the Florida Mall, then the 37 to Universal... it's gonna take 1hour45mins to get there but you will only pay 2$!! (That's what we've done and we're still glad we saved our money!...) With any option you choose, it's gonna take at least 30 minutes or more to get there.

But totally worth it!

From Scott B
Posted May 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM
I cannot over state this enough, car rentals at Orlando Airport are some of the cheapest in the country. I am going next week and I think we got a deal for a mid-sized car, $250 for 10 days! Shop around and look around for deals on the Internet, it is worth having a car at your disposal. Especially if you you are going to be there for over a week.

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