We’re heading back to Disney for Christmas! We’re not quite as experienced as you, but this will be our 4th Christmas trip! We haven’t been to Disney in two years. We decided to take a “break” from Disney for a while. Absence makes the heart grow fonder!
Obviously it broke our hearts to find out that the Osborne Lights were discontinued. That was our favorite part of traveling during Christmas! I know that it’s for the best: Hollywood Studios will be back and better than ever in a few years, but, is it even worth going to anymore?
We’ll be at Disney from December 19th (FREE DINING!) to December 27th and we’re looking for some advice. Also, we’re staying at Coronado Springs. Any advice for that resort?
I’ll tackle the easy question first: yes, I’ve stayed at Coronado Springs. In fact, Coronado Springs was our “home” during our Disney vacations for a few years! We first stayed there in 2009, then again in 2010 and early 2012. In fact, we stayed there for a wedding in 2012—we convinced the whole wedding party to stay there! But in 2012 it became a little “stale” for us, so we opted for Port Orleans French Quarters when we booked our Christmas vacation.
It’s a large resort and probably one of the better themed moderates. I like that it has a fitness center. Don’t get me wrong—I never used it—but it was nice to know that it was there. It also has an awesome food court: probably one of the best food court breakfasts I’ve had at Disney!
You’ll want to head to the bus stops early. Because the resort is so large and has so many stops, the buses tend to get crowded. You may have to wait for the second (and sometimes third) bus before boarding. That’s the only true downfall to staying at Coronado (or any large resort, for that matter.)
As for whether you board that bus to Hollywood Studios, however, is up to you. I hate telling people how to spend their money, but we always purchase a Park Hopper with our tickets. The only time we didn’t purchase a Park Hopper is when we went for the Food & Wine Festival. We stayed at EPCOT the entire time, so we didn’t find it necessary to hop anywhere else.
During Christmas, however, it’s nice to have a hopper in case the parks get too crowded. It’s nice to know that you can abandon an overcrowded Magic Kingdom and head to one of the other three parks.
Why do I mention the park hopper? Well you can certainly spend one day at Hollywood Studios and see and do everything. My family prefers to break it up, that way we can use our FP+ on all the top attractions.
One day we’ll spend the afternoon in EPCOT, then hop over to Hollywood Studios for Toy Story Midway Mania FP+, Tower of Terror FP+ and our Star Tours FP+. We’ll end the night with Fantasmic. We used to do the Osborne Lights, as well.
Another day, we’ll start the day at Hollywood Studios, using our FP+ for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror and the Frozen Musical. We’ll wait on the standby line for The Great Movie Ride.
We love Hollywood Studios. Granted, we haven’t seen it since Christmas, when the construction was still at a minimum. My suggestion would be to at least head there for a half day—it has two of my favorite rides at Disney and in my opinion, Fantasmic is the best show. For those heading to Disney for 4 days or less, I’d skip it. There’s too much to do between the new nighttime offerings at Animal Kingdom, the new Soarin’ and Frozen ride at EPCOT and of course, two days at Magic Kingdom!