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I'd definitely do the cruise last, as it's more relaxing.
As to the quietest time of the year, well we were in WDW this year from 9 - 13 and 21 - 26 January (our cruise was in the middle of our stay) and it was supposed to be low crowd levels the whole time we were there. We didn't find it to be like that at all sadly. Morning Extra Magic Hour at Animal Kingdom was mobbed for example. I'm not sure if there is a quietest time any longer sadly. Disney are determined to have events on at quiet times of the year. They had the International Festival of the Arts at Epcot while we were there for example, which increased crowds there.
Like Cheryl, I would definitely put the cruise after the parks for the relaxation effect. I haven't been down in Jan. in a while, so don't know how things are going as to crowds. That being said, steer clear of MLK weekend and check for marathon and race weekends. They get busier then. As Cheryl mentioned, Disney is continually adding events to what used to be slow times to bring the people in to the parks. Weekends will be busier as locals will come in for the special activities.
....we did a WDW trip that was from Dec 26th thru the 1st week of January.
While New Years Eve was a madhouse (at Epcot ...but well worth it) ...New Years Day and the following week the place was like a ghost-town
As for the marathon races... it feels more and more crowded every year. I think it used to be runners only, but it feels like now all the runners are bringing their families, friends, and neighbors!
As far as the cruise goes, as an FYI, the runDisney folks have a money-grabbing scheme to get more runners on the cruise post-race. I don't know if you were thinking 3, 4, or 7 days, but they feature the 4 night cruise (departing on Monday post-marathon) as an extra added medal bonus if the runners participate in the 5K on Castaway Cay. I'm not sure it creates that much of a "sell-out" on the cruise, but just wanted to give you a heads up.
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