Typically, I run the vote of the week on Friday, but since that's Christmas Day this year, I figured no one would read it. So it's coming at ya a day early this week.
And while we're on the topic of what people do - or don't do - on Christmas Day...
For those of you who have spent Christmas Day at a theme park, please share a favorite story about that experience, in the comments. And everyone else, heck, just tell us what you'll be up to this year (spend the day at home with family; spend the day at a airport or roadside shelter, watching the blizzard; movies and Chinese food; etc.).
And, again, thanks for reading Theme Park Insider. Be sure to join us next week, as we recap the year, and the decade, in theme parks. Merry Christmas, everyone!Tweet
Would I spend Christmas day at Disney again? No way.
Would I spend a few hours at another local park? Yes, a few hours maximum.
Tomorrow I'll likely spend a few hours at Seaworld or Universal with no expectations of getting on anything.
Merry Christmas everyone :)
Christmas is probably the only holiday I haven't spent at a theme park. I did start a tradition back in the day of spending New Year's Eve at Disneyland followed by New Year's Day morning at the Rose Bowl Parade. Begin pretty young, that "tradition" lasted all of two years, as I remember. Friggin' Pasadena streets are coooold that early in the morning!
Now, this is my opinion based on a small sample of visits over the years. (I live in Los Angeles, not Orlando, though I do have family in Celebration.) But I've had good luck with the non-Disney parks (SeaWorld, too) over Christmas.
I have been in a park for the 4th of July, New Years Eve, and New Years' Day
At the risk of sounding politically correct, Merry Christmas.
And there was not a soul on Main Street USA.
Just me and my Canon Sure-Shot.
Merry Christmas everybody.
Amazingly, everything worked out: our Magical Express bus left shortly after we boarded, we were first in line to check in at Caribbean Beach, then rushed over to the bus stop, and guess which bus pulled up -- Epcot! We had to stop at Guest Relations to process our annual passes, then started power walking through Future World, knowing we'd have to make it all the way to the other side of World Showcase. We kept saying, "We'll stop and look at decorations later!"
Then we got to the Lights of Winter. Our power walk simultaneously halted, our jaws dropped and we both stood there in absolute awe and wonder. We agreed it was one of the most beautiful things we'd ever seen, and slowly walked through the archway, as if in a daze... (How could Disney make the horribly misguided decision to remove this beautiful display? We consider it right up there with the Osborne Spectacle of Lights at DHS and Castle Dreamlights at MK.)
Upon reaching the other side of the archway, the urgency of our task returned, and we continued our power walk through World Showcase. We didn't make it into the CP seating area, but were among the first to line up for standing room behind the amphitheater! We had a terrific view, and were near a speaker, so we heard every word, every note! After the Candlelight Processional, the most urgent order of business was FOOD (which we'd neglected in all our rushing). This even took precedence over IllumiNations, so you know we were ravenous!
After a bite to eat at Mexico (at least hearing IllumiNations and seeing a few fireworks), we wandered toward the exit, now taking the time to photograph all the decorations. We had time to stroll, because it was an Extra Magic Hours night at Epcot! When we finally left the park a few hours later, the tummy rumblings were beginning to return, and one of the few 24-hour eateries we knew of was Capt. Cook's at the Polynesian, so we took the Monorail there (even got to ride in the cockpit)! By the time we got to our room, around 3:00 a.m., we'd had a very full but very magical Christmas Day!
I remember that we rode Kali River Rapids while the sun still shone. Unfortunately , by the time we'd been soaked through , the sun decided that it had enough for the day and went to bed. With the temperature dropping and the breeze picking up we were left scrambling around the outlets trying to get some new dry clothes before we froze. Nothing doing there. So we went into our respective restrooms and stood under the hand dryers trying to dry off. Some of the looks we got were quite funny but , we thought, this was hardly uncommon at this time of year.
This attempt at getting dry wasn't very successful so we jumped on the bus back to the Hotel , changed , and returnied for the excellent Mickey's Jammin Xmas Parade. Well worth the effort.
We learned a valuable lesson that day about taking a change of clothing with you and making use of the lockers.
I even said on the 25th this year...it may be incredibly busy, but isn't the Magic Kingdom lovely at Christmas! The tree, the lights, the atmosphere... The whole family agreed, and the parade music cd I made in the Village a few years back went on the player!
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So, no today, but yes tomorrow :).