Off Peak WDW
December 15, 2019 at 2:01 pm #121861
I had the opportunity to go to WDW December 7-9, 2019. I saw that it was “off peak” for crowds, although I know these days there really aren’t any non-busy times at WDW any more. (How is it simultaneously so freaking busy and so freaking crowded?)
My mom and I went and didn’t want to do all of the obscene amounts of pre-planning you need to do before a trip to WDW these days. I long for the good old days when you could just go to a park and not have to plan what rides you want to do to the minute. I figured I’ve been to WDW about two dozen times, I’m not going to cry if I don’t get to ride on Space Mountain. We are big EPCOT and Magic Kingdom fans. There’s not enough at Animal or MGM (or whatever they call it these days) to entice us into an entire day at those parks, or the upcharge for a park hopper ticket.
I have to say, the crowds were definitely minimal in Future World in EPCOT, and very manageable in Magic Kingdom. Saturday (EPCOT) we did future world with no fast passes, and no lines on any ride. We walked on to Soarin’ (10 minutes), Living with the Land (10 min), Spaceship Earth (walked right in). Once World Showcase opened we went over, and found the crowds. The lines for Mexico and Norway were unbelievable. We couldn’t even get into the Cava del Tequila because the queue was practically out of the pavilion door. It’s hard for me to find dining because I’m vegan and we didn’t think we needed reservations. We got the worst table and even worse service at the only restaurant in WS that would seat us without a reservation, I think it was Tutto Italia in Italy. As we sat there miserably eating plain spaghetti with marinara (we never got the bread that was supposed to come with our meal) I made reservations for the next two days. Lesson learned. I really liked that the Odyssey building was open, I haven’t eaten there since the late 80s, and although I thought the presentation was more flash than substance, I loved the posters for all my old favorite rides and bought an EPCOT shirt.
Magic Kingdom on a Sunday was also very manageable. The only Fast Pass we did was for Small World. (Yep, I’m a grown woman and I still love the singing dolls. Sue me.) The only ride we missed out on was Haunted Mansion. We walked right on to Pirates, Tropical Serenade (while eating our Dole Whips :dole:), I had a 20 minute wait for Splash Mountain (unprecedented in all my trips to WDW), the carousel in Fantasyland, Carousel of Progress, and Wedway Peoplemover. Our longest wait was Jingle Cruise at about 30 minutes because people are too busy taking selfies in the queues to figure out that the line is moving. We ate at Plaza Restaurant but there were many open tables and I don’t think that my reservation was strictly necessary. Dinner that night was at the Contemporary’s California Grill where we got to see the castle light up for the Mickey Christmas Party. It was amazing!
Back to EPCOT on Monday, and the crowds were much the same as Saturday, and easier to deal with in World Showcase. I even got to go to Cava del Tequila finally. We did an after sunset Living with the Land, which was my first time seeing it at night. I guess it’s only open during Christmastime. Totally worth it. We rode the Skyliner for fun and really enjoyed it. I walked right on to Mission Space (hadn’t been on it since 2003), the only Fast Pass we did was for Test Track. My mom hadn’t been on it in years, since before you could design the car you compete with.
While I’m disappointed that EPCOT Future World has almost nothing going on these days, and I’m excited about new stuff coming, I’m disappointed to think that it will be thrill rides about movies I have no interest in watching and will probably drive crowds up. I wish there were a happy medium. I hope this was a helpful review of my trip.December 19, 2019 at 3:52 pm #122119
Thank you for sharing your trip and report!December 19, 2019 at 5:25 pm #122125
Thanks for the trip report…. my wife and I are planning to go to WDW 2020 in that same timeframe. I’m with you on the least amount of planning as possible…. the only thing that is a must is dining reservations…. it’s easier to cancel than to try and get a reservation while you are there…December 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm #122183
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