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Ask The Disney Experts Discuss Crowd Levels During Marathon Weekend 2011 in the Ask The Experts forums; Okay so my girlfriend and I are in the planning/brainstorming stage of our latest WDW trip. We are planning on arriving in WDW on January 1st 2011 and returning home ...
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    Crowd Levels During Marathon Weekend 2011

    Okay so my girlfriend and I are in the planning/brainstorming stage of our latest WDW trip. We are planning on arriving in WDW on January 1st 2011 and returning home the 8th. Now, in those days we want to do a day in Universal (Only for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter).

    So, this leads me to my dilemma...I keep finding nothing but contradicting information about crowd levels.

    Concern #1 - We are arriving New Years day. Chances are we are not planning on visiting the parks that day. We were thinking of burning whatever time we had after we arrived by going to DTD. Especially because we want the leftover massive crowds from New Years eve to die down. Now since we are going to universal would our first full day be the day to go there to let the crowds thin out even more at WDW?

    Concern #2 - Marathon Weekend is the 6th-9th. What kind of an effect does this have on overall crowds? I have read everything from the crowds don't change to there are crazy numbers of people and transportation is a nightmare. So if the crowds are bad during these days should we plan Universal on one of these days.

    Other than these 2 things I think this is the perfect time for us to go to WDW. I am off from school, and she is slow at work, plus it is value season. So I would hate to be put off by crowds.

    Tips, ideas, experiences, any advice at all is greatly appreciated!
    Disney World is not just a place, but an experience.


    Back in the world for the 2013 Marathon Weekend!


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    Re: Crowd Levels During Marathon Weekend 2011

    I went one year duing the Marathon in January and we noticed an increase in attendance in the parks and the resorts. It wasn't not doable, but the waits times were more then we figured for January. I think that's a great idea to stay away from the parks on New Years Day. I see that New Years Day is on a Saturday this year so the 2nd is a Sunday, parks may still be crowded or people may be heading home that day, it's anybody's guess. I think I would avoid Universal on Sunday since it seems alot of locals go there. I may plan it so that I would go to a big open park on Sunday (epcot) and then Universal on Monday and then whatever for the rest of the week, that's
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    Re: Crowd Levels During Marathon Weekend 2011

    By chance do you remember how long the wait times for any of the major attractions were?

    See the longest I have ever stayed in the Parks was for 4 days and I always felt short changed because I never got to do all of my must do's on any given trip. So I really want to be able to plan around the crowds so I can make the absolute most out of this trip.

    PS I like the idea about going to a larger park on sunday.
    Disney World is not just a place, but an experience.


    Back in the world for the 2013 Marathon Weekend!


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    Re: Crowd Levels During Marathon Weekend 2011

    Sorry I don't remember but I know we got on everything we wanted to with the fast passes. I don't belong to Touringplans.com but they have a crowd calender that may help you, I know there are many people on the boards who belong and they could give you the stats for those days as far as how crowded the parks are projected to be.
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    Re: Crowd Levels During Marathon Weekend 2011

    I've had a couple of trips over Christmas/New Years. I've found New Years Day to be the resort emptying day. This year it may be a day or so later because where it does fall but should still be on the decline. My DH gets NYEve and NYDay off, so his Saturday comp. day is Monday, Jan. 3rd since the first is on Saturday.

    With this in mind I'd gamble and head to Harry on Tuesday since locals and tourists seem to have Harry on the To Do List. Or in my opinion a better option, fly in on NY Day and check in for one night at a official Universal Hotel. Piddle around City Walk that day/night and go see Harry on Sunday. Official Hotel guests at Universal room keys are their fast pass. Not only will you by pass the regular lines for Harry but you will go to the front of the line for everything in their parks. The last time I was there there were not any come back later times. If you do not have a car, arrange for Mears to pick you up at your hotel (they will hold your luggage) and transfer to your Disney Resort after you are done at Universal. My only warning about Universal Hotels is to eat in the Parks or City Walk. All of the Hotel restaurants are beyond expensive. City Walk is a 5 minute boat shuttle ride (they don't really do buses, boats by canal.)
    They run every few minutes. The boat docks in City Walk, where by design so are both of the Park Entrances. Excellent set up!

    I found the lines at Disney to be great after New Years. Suggest you hit all the E ticket attractions, i.e., SM, Soar'n, Toy Story etc. before the Marathon guests start arriving.

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    Re: Crowd Levels During Marathon Weekend 2011

    Thanks for the great advice! Looks like we need to make a pro and con list.



    I am now at ease over the crowd levels.
    Disney World is not just a place, but an experience.


    Back in the world for the 2013 Marathon Weekend!


    WDW



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