Those Who Go for Extended Trips Before Christmas

Discussion in 'DVC-Mousecellaneous' started by DisneyStarWisher, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. DisneyStarWisher

    DisneyStarWisher Love My DVC!!!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,455
    I will be retiring in two years. My DH and I have talked about how nice it would be to take extended trips (12-14 nights) to WDW each year. One of our favorite times to go is right before Christmas. We also love WDW in the fall, so we will probably alternate between December and October/November each year, using an AP to get two trips in before it expires. I'm starting to have second thoughts about going before Christmas though. Two weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas would cause us to be away from home and family for much of the holiday season. We would only get to enjoy our own Christmas tree for a short time. That makes me a little sad actually. It's such a great time points-wise though. We are getting ready to add on some points at BRV in the very near future, which I think is the most beautiful resort at Christmas. Of course, I would enjoy it any time of the year (except summer!). Do any of you go for extended trips around Christmas? Do you like that time of year? How do you deal with being away from family during the holiday?
     
  2. dcfromva

    dcfromva No horsing around, Christmas is coming!

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,914
    I often go during that time frame. I love going to WDW for the Christmas holidays. All the parks and resorts are so beautifully decorated and there are special treats that are only sold during the Christmas Holidays (gingerbread men, gingerbread cupcakes!) I love going to see the Candlelight Processional and the Holidays Around the World. The temperature can be chilly, but it is rarely blazing hot so that is another plus.

    But, I will say that it does complicate Christmas. This year I was in FL from 29 Nov to 12 Dec (a combination of meeting a 6 day old grand niece, visiting WDW, and going along with DH who was attending a conference). It made it difficult to shop online for Christmas gifts because the shipping dates might have been the next day or 2 weeks in the future (and I didn't want to have stuff sitting on my doorstep). We put up our Christmas light display on the weekend after Thanksgiving (with the automatic on and off feature) and we waited until our DS was home to pick out the tree (as we always do), so our time away did not infringe on those activities. But, we did miss out on some special events at home because we were gone.

    If you pick a year where Thanksgiving is fairly late in November--like in 2019 when it falls on the 28th there is less time to get stuff done between Thanksgiving and Christmas. For example, if you checked in on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2019 (Dec 1) and stayed for 14 nights checking out on the 15th of Dec 2019 you would be compressing your whole holiday season back home into 10 days.

    On the other hand, this year Thanksgiving is pretty early (Nov 22nd 2018). If you checked in on the Sunday after Thanksgiving (Nov 25th) and stayed for 14 nights checking out on the 9th of Dec, you would have a few more days of your back home Christmas season (and 2 available weekends prior to Christmas when a lot of Christmas activities are scheduled).
     
  3. Avatar

    DIS Sponsor Disney Vacation Club Resales www.dvcstore.com


  4. Meriweather

    Meriweather Being a Nana is my superpower

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2002
    Messages:
    299,777
    we go every other years.....2 weeks at BR. We love it.
    We get all the decorations up before we go and then enjoy them for another couple of weeks when we get back
     
  5. CarolMN

    CarolMN DVC Co-Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 1999
    Messages:
    26,680
    It's a choice. If you visit during December, you are probably going to miss out on some activities and events with family & friends. We've come to accept that and over the years, one or two of the activities hosted by family have changed to accommodate us. We've been lucky, because the Holidays come with so many expectations from friends & family. It can be hard to disappoint them.

    Decorating and shopping can all be managed - somehow, those tasks always seem to get done. :)

    For us, spending some time at WDW over the Holidays are worth the hassle of being gone. Only you will know if that holds true for you.
     
    AnnaKat likes this.
  6. DisneyStarWisher

    DisneyStarWisher Love My DVC!!!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,455
    We have been at Christmas a few times, and we are planning on going this year. But it's always for only about 5 nights. I'm just worried that 12 nights will be too long. But I don't enjoy the actual traveling to and from WDW to make two trips in one year, plus we plan to go to HHI for about 2 weeks in the spring and will hopefully get to do a family trip sometime early fall. That decreases the availability of times to take trips. I just think that once I get to WDW, I would like to stay there for about 2 weeks. I'm just afraid of getting homesick during the holidays. I realize we won't know until we do it though. If it's not for us, we can figure out another strategy.
     
  7. mco65

    mco65 get busy living, or get busy dying!

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    923

    Sounds like a good problem to have IMO. Color me jealous! Your just gonna have to bite the bullet at least once to confirm your suspicion. We have gone once between Thanksgiving and Christmas and a couple times between Christmas and New Years.. I think i would rather enjoy a few weeks in early Dec more so than a week between Christmas and New Years! At the moment i don't live terrible close to my extended family and only see them on Thanksgiving day and Christmas eve anyway.... but its darn job that gets in the way for now! :(
     
  8. bobbiwoz

    bobbiwoz I'm happy to dance with you!

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Messages:
    90,130
    We generally go to WDW twice in December, early and then for NYE, and a bit beyond. We often end the vacation in January with a cruise, this year it was Princess partial transit through Panama Canal, next year it will be 2 DCL Cruises the first will begin NYE.

    We both love seeing the decorations and enjoy the resorts even if we do not enter the parks as often as in the past. Because we host Coast Guard recruits for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I cannot imagine being gone for those actual dates. Because we have the recruits for Thanksgiving, our Christmas decorations go up before then, so we do enjoy them at home and with guests.

    We live in NJ now, and this year in particular we were fortunate to have missed bad weather, cold and ice and snow! Once we decided not to be snowbirds, but to travel to warmer weather at this time of the year, we hare happy with that decision, and are glad to enjoy using our DVC points to that purpose. Spending some time at VB is a must.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
    AnnaKat likes this.
  9. DisneyStarWisher

    DisneyStarWisher Love My DVC!!!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,455
    We will definitely go between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We will never be away on those actual dates. And I have no desire to go between Christmas and New Years because of the crowds. We also travel 5 1/2 hours away to Atlanta each year to volunteer with the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child project. So if we go after Thanksgiving to WDW, we will stop in Atlanta on the way to do a few days of volunteer work. That will make our trip even longer. When I think about that, I wonder if a week would be the best amount of time at WDW in order to enjoy all the holiday season has to offer (i.e.-the things outside of WDW too). But when to do the other trip? BTW, we are 11 1/2 hours from WDW. I just hate the getting there!
     
  10. 4luv2cdisney

    4luv2cdisney DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,190
    What about extending it by just a few days? Go up from your 5 nights to 8-9 nights? See how it goes. Extend your other trips you mentioned by a night or 2 if you have points to burn.

    We are going for the 1st time in December this year, but only 5-6 nights. Planning on Dec 16-21 or 22. We will most likely miss the annual extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) Christmas party, but be back in time for Christmas with the grandparents, siblings, etc. (And we are traveling with our kids.)

    If the kids being in school were not a concern, I'd probably prefer the week right after Thanksgiving. I'd put up my tree, decorate and get the bulk of my shopping done by Black Friday. Leave the next day....be home by early December (though that doesn't work in 2019). By that plan in 2018, you could get there, easily stay 9 nights, stop in Atlanta on the way back, and be home by or before Dec 8th.

    We've gone over Thanksgiving week several times. Sometimes with extended family, sometimes not. (Always with our kids.) I never felt like I was missing out by missing Thanksgiving at home. I actually prefer to be gone for Thanksgiving.
     
  11. DVC Jen

    DVC Jen Wigs out even the biggest circus freaks.

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Messages:
    5,653
    DH and I have gone the past two years in early to mid December for a week. It has been wonderful as it is just him and I and not our adult daughters with us too. Completely different type of trip. The first time (2016) it was warm enough some days to wear shorts during the day and jeans at night. This past December it was very chilly - downright cold for us. We live in the Dallas area.

    We loved both trips but are not going this year. It has made Christmas that much more hectic getting everything done with less time to do it in. We will most definitely go again during that time frame - but are taking this year off and using the $$$$ we spend on the trips to do some home repairs we have been putting off. I am also looking forward to having more chill time at home for the holidays instead of feeling rushed. I can easily see us alternating years between going and staying home in December. Maybe that would be a good compromise for you?

    Oh - one more thing - if you do go in early December - please go to one of the groupie meets. I am a very shy person as is my husband. We pushed ourselves to go this past December. We met Corrine and her hubby as well as Granny. SUPER nice people. Meeting them made me feel like I belonged to the Wilderness Lodge groupies more - like I am really a part of the group/family that loves our lodge so much.
     
  12. DisneyStarWisher

    DisneyStarWisher Love My DVC!!!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,455
    I agree. The trips without the adult kids are totally different. Our adult kids still live at home and get jealous when we leave them, but we are so excited to finally get to travel on a yearly basis just the two of us.

    The way I have it figured is to go at Christmas every 2-4 years, so it's not like I will miss out on the holiday season every year. My parents, my brother and his family, and my MIL all live within minutes of us. We see each other all the time. We get together for the holidays at Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day though. I'm more anxious about being away from future grandkids! One of our DSs will probably settle close by; the other one, who knows? But I just love the whole holiday season--watching Hallmark Christmas movies, baking Christmas cookies and peppermint bark, burning Christmas candles, enjoying the decorations including my Willow Tree nativity. I guess I'm just a little anxious if I lose half the month being away from home, if I'll miss out on all of that fun.

    I think the PP who mentioned maybe doing 8-9 nights might be onto something. Maybe that's what I should start out with and see how I feel. I just don't want to have leftover points unused.
     
    keishashadow likes this.
  13. DVC Jen

    DVC Jen Wigs out even the biggest circus freaks.

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2004
    Messages:
    5,653

    You could always go for a shorter time period at Christmas and get a larger room.
     
  14. DisneyStarWisher

    DisneyStarWisher Love My DVC!!!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,455
    True. I am a person who likes a good value though. I honestly don't think I would ever get a 1 BR for just the two of us. We are perfectly content with a studio. We don't need a full kitchen or the washer/dryer, and we have a queen bed at home and always feel lost in the king bed. In fact, once our kids have families, I think we will probably go with 3 studios and stay an extra night instead of a 2 BR plus a studio. I would probably just give the points to family to use if I had any leftover and we didn't want to go.
     
    keishashadow likes this.
  15. Pumbaa_

    Pumbaa_ >Hakuna Matata!< Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2001
    Messages:
    11,296
    Oh the 1 br rocks for a couple. I love being able to sleep in while dh is an early bird. This way he doesn't have to try to be quiet for me.
     
    bobbiwoz likes this.
  16. APiratesLifeForMe2

    APiratesLifeForMe2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    1,674
    We have been several times between christmas and Thanksgiving and planning another this year. Although our trip is not extended (5-7 nights for us) we certainly get a shortened Christmas at home. A few ways to combat that are 1. Get all shopping done before thanksgiving. 2. Put up your decorations earlier than normal and consider bringing some with you for the hotel. 3. Consider inviting some family down for a few days with you. We have never regretted it and actually it's becoming more of a tradition for us now.
     
  17. Greg36

    Greg36 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    Messages:
    214
    We go for two weeks and the last few years have gone just after US Thanksgiving. We find it a great time to go. Weather is pretty reasonable, hurricane season is pretty much passed, Christmas decorations are up and Christmas entertainment is full swing, and parks are not too busy (although some days are hit or miss). Before our entry into DVC we also found Disney offered pretty decent discounts for this time of year and of course DVC points are pretty reasonable this time of year. You are right though, it does cut into time at home for enjoying Christmas activities and for just getting ready for Christmas. Last year we never even got our Christmas cards out and we felt very unprepared for our families who came to visit us from away. Nevertheless, we still had a great Christmas and loved being in Disney for the lead up... I would recommend doing it despite the challenges :-)
     
    AnnaKat likes this.
  18. bobbiwoz

    bobbiwoz I'm happy to dance with you!

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Messages:
    90,130
    One year I brought Christmas cards to write during our VWL stay. Loved doing that!
     
    Greg36 likes this.
  19. dcfromva

    dcfromva No horsing around, Christmas is coming!

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,914
    We always bring our Christmas Cards to do on the flight down. DH and I split the list in half. I love having a FL cancellation on our Christmas Cards. :) (It also makes the flight seem like it goes by quicker. )
     
    bobbiwoz likes this.
  20. keishashadow

    keishashadow Proud Redhead...yes, I have some bananas!

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Messages:
    24,638
    I feel like I'm missout out on enjoying the holiday at home when visiting WDW that time period, even though it is a special time there. We have enjoyed the first 3 weeks in December at the past @ WDW. Last year we started trip the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Our first time there that time period.

    Had thought going a bit earlier, with lower crowds, would be better alternative. Not to mention that airfare down to MCO was initially scary expensive. Wound up with big enough credit to pay for a RT in April/May this year lol.

    I found the week after Thanksgiving wound up delaying my actual holiday preparations of decorating/shopping(Black Friday/cyber monday)/etc. Have a big Thanksgiving for extended family, felt like i was rushing everything pre & post. Switched back to first week in Dec. Unfortunately, i missed the 11 month window when on another trip & have no room at the inn lol. Probably will do something via CRO or Bonnet Creek.

    IMO a week's trip (9 days with the 2 weekends) is perfect amount of time. When we cruise out of PC or TPA, we often add on another week @ WDW. I find myself worrying about my pooch even though I know he's in good hands with my DSs taking good care off him. Oh yes, i miss my adult kids too :). We vacation with them & GD typically individually/collectively each year but it is nice to have just he & me trips.
     
  21. disfanforlife

    disfanforlife DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,983
    We just booked for 11/25-12/5. This will be our first trip longer than 7 days. We aren't retired but our youngest kid will be away at college and we just want to get away for longer. I figured it would be nice to go down the Sunday after thanksgiving and still be back home before our kids have their break from college. I am looking forward to seeing all the Christmas decorations. We only went once before during December to see them. We usually go in November earlier and in March.
     
    AnnaKat and bobbiwoz like this.

Share This Page