Thanksgiving weekend crowds

fryoj

Premium Member
May 19, 2013
2,727
How bad will crowds generally be Thanksgiving weekend(Thursday to Monday)? I'm kicking around a last minute trip with the wife and am not sure what I'm getting into. I'm assuming crowded, but will it be just insanely busy and make me regret doing it? I'm tempted to do an express hotel just so lines won't be an issue, but that adds $4-500 to the cost. That takes the trip from as cheap as possible weekend to full on vacation cost, so is it really necessary?
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
17,345
Pittsburgh area
Touring Plans Crowd Calendar for those days at Universal is as follows. TP has been pretty much within one point lately. 10 most crowded, 1 least crowded...

Thursday Level 7
Friday Level 8
Sat. Level 7
Sunday Level 3
Monday Level 3

Thurs., Fri., Sat. are kind of Express needed levels, though you can get around that if you & your wife use single lines, which most major rides have.

If you want WDW too, just reply, and I'll check them out.
 
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ThemeParks4Life

Veteran Member
Nov 15, 2012
4,011
Central Florida
Touring Plans Crowd Calendar for those days at Universal is as follows. TP has been pretty much within one point lately. 10 most crowded, 1 least crowded...

Thursday Level 7
Friday Level 8
Sat. Level 7
Sunday Level 3
Monday Level 3

Thurs., Fri., Sat. are kind of Express needed levels, though you can get around that if you & your wife use single lines, which most major rides have.

If you want WDW too, just reply, and I'll check them out.
The Sunday a few days after Thanksgiving is always a great day to go. I've never had an issue with crowds at Universal on that day.
 
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fryoj

Premium Member
May 19, 2013
2,727
Touring Plans Crowd Calendar for those days at Universal is as follows. TP has been pretty much within one point lately. 10 most crowded, 1 least crowded...

Thursday Level 7
Friday Level 8
Sat. Level 7
Sunday Level 3
Monday Level 3

Thurs., Fri., Sat. are kind of Express needed levels, though you can get around that if you & your wife use single lines, which most major rides have.

If you want WDW too, just reply, and I'll check them out.
I don't think WDW will be in our plans this trip. She'll want to go over and see the fireworks and castle show one night, but it's not worth buying tickets just for that.

She won't do single lines. People tend to frown when she digs her nails into their arm. I've built up callouses, so I'm ok. lol

Right now RPR is completely booked. Would rooms typically open up closer to date to cancellations or is that rare?

I looked at the following weekend(dec 2-3) and the hotels are a lot more expensive and have less rooms available, but the crowd calendars show the park less busy. It's reverse of what you'd think. Any reason for that?
 
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UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,218
Definitely keep checking for cancellations that weekend, especially 5 days prior which is the last day to cancel without penalty on room only reservations.
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
17,345
Pittsburgh area
I don't think WDW will be in our plans this trip. She'll want to go over and see the fireworks and castle show one night, but it's not worth buying tickets just for that.

She won't do single lines. People tend to frown when she digs her nails into their arm. I've built up callouses, so I'm ok. lol

Right now RPR is completely booked. Would rooms typically open up closer to date to cancellations or is that rare?

I looked at the following weekend(dec 2-3) and the hotels are a lot more expensive and have less rooms available, but the crowd calendars show the park less busy. It's reverse of what you'd think. Any reason for that?
Parks have always been slow that week. That's the week I'm thinking of going next year. Way cheaper hotel rates ( at least last week when I checked. They had a special for the hotels so maybe they got booked up)and crowds around level 3 or 4 for most of those days after the Thanksgiving holiday week. Doesn't get real busy again until around Dec. 15th or so.
 
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fryoj

Premium Member
May 19, 2013
2,727
Parks have always been slow that week. That's the week I'm thinking of going next year. Way cheaper hotel rates ( at least last week when I checked. They had a special for the hotels so maybe they got booked up)and crowds around level 3 or 4 for most of those days after the Thanksgiving holiday week. Doesn't get real busy again until around Dec. 15th or so.
It must be the sale they did because CB is the only one with rooms available for that Saturday.

Definitely keep checking for cancellations that weekend, especially 5 days prior which is the last day to cancel without penalty on room only reservations.
Do they open up AP rooms with cancellations? If we end up staying 5 days its def cheaper to buy AP's and get the rate.
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,218
It must be the sale they did because CB is the only one with rooms available for that Saturday.
I don't know if it spills over to UOR but Pop Warner is that weekend and they always fill up WDW hotels

Do they open up AP rooms with cancellations? If we end up staying 5 days its def cheaper to buy AP's and get the rate.
They do but if you're considering RPR, the AP/FL res (if you are one) rates I see currently available for those dates aren't that far off from what Portofino is offering.

There's always Cabana too!
 
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fryoj

Premium Member
May 19, 2013
2,727
I don't know if it spills over to UOR but Pop Warner is that weekend and they always fill up WDW hotels



They do but if you're considering RPR, the AP/FL res (if you are one) rates I see currently available for those dates aren't that far off from what Portofino is offering.

There's always Cabana too!
Yeah, if I do Thursday to Tuesday(Thanksgiving weekend), I'll probably do Cabana. If I end up doing Thursday to Sunday, it's one of the express hotels. Portofino is definitely cheap. I'd like to stay at RPR though. But, as of now, theres nothing available Thursday.
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,218
There's always split stays too. You can do 1 night at Cabana and the rest at RPR or vice versa. Remember that at the Express hotels you get Express for check-in day and check-out day. So 1 night = 2 days of Express.
 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
17,345
Pittsburgh area
Yeah, if I do Thursday to Tuesday(Thanksgiving weekend), I'll probably do Cabana. If I end up doing Thursday to Sunday, it's one of the express hotels. Portofino is definitely cheap. I'd like to stay at RPR though. But, as of now, theres nothing available Thursday.
RPR gets booked up early quite often it seems.
 

UNIrd

Premium Member
Jul 18, 2008
6,218
RPR gets booked up early quite often it seems.
Yeah, RPR used to be my favorite before Cabana and I thought the addition of all the new rooms would make it easier to get into. No, not at all. It actually seems harder. :lol:
 

fryoj

Premium Member
May 19, 2013
2,727
There's always split stays too. You can do 1 night at Cabana and the rest at RPR or vice versa. Remember that at the Express hotels you get Express for check-in day and check-out day. So 1 night = 2 days of Express.
If the availability was flipped that might work. But the days I'd want express are the days they are booked.
 

k_peek_2000

Veteran Member
Jul 2, 2013
2,329
Orange County, CA
I did Disneyland on Thanksgiving last year. It was surprisingly busier than I thought (and everyone was dressed all fancy which was weird to me) but it was not jam packed like those nightmarish pictures you see. Idk, maybe Orlando will be similar?
 

Frank Drackman

Premium Member
Dec 20, 2012
2,174
SFL
Parks have always been slow that week. That's the week I'm thinking of going next year. Way cheaper hotel rates ( at least last week when I checked. They had a special for the hotels so maybe they got booked up)and crowds around level 3 or 4 for most of those days after the Thanksgiving holiday week. Doesn't get real busy again until around Dec. 15th or so.
Yeah, RPR used to be my favorite before Cabana and I thought the addition of all the new rooms would make it easier to get into. No, not at all. It actually seems harder. :lol:
I was considering moving this past trip. I find the new site and methods for checking rates difficult at best. I can’t tell what they do anymore.

I was surprised at the rates into the new year. I’m just surprised at how long they are able to stretch the Holiday spirit.

I feel, as time got closer to this week, SF and CBBR seemed to offer deals, but yeah. I do enjoy a RPR stay and I too thought all these new rooms would help, but it really feels it gets harder and harder to find a room (at least in the time frame I use to have to (not) plan a getaway).
 
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