Every Disney fan should visit the parks at least once during the holiday season. Between the stunning decorations, elaborate shows and one-of-a-kind special events, Disney World is even more magical than usual in December. Look for life-sized houses made of gingerbread, towering Christmas trees topped with ornaments the size of basketballs and meet the man of the season, Santa himself when you visit Disney in December.
December is a very busy time at Disney World. You may find pockets of low activity in the early part of the month, but for the most part expect to see some crowds.
Look for your favorite Disney characters dressed up their own festive holiday gear, and snag an autograph or holiday photo with Mickey, Minnie and friends. If you have the whole family together for Christmas in Disney World, head to one of the deluxe resorts to have a family portrait taken by a Photopass photographer.
- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (special advance ticket required)
- Holidays Around the World (Epcot)
- Candlelight Processional (Epcot)
- Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
- Festival of the Seasons (Disney Springs)
- Santa's Chalet (Downtown Disney)
Visit Disney World early in the month to enjoy the holiday decorations and festive atmosphere without the crowds. The closer you get to Christmas, the more crowded the resorts and theme parks will be.
December brings cool but comfortable daytime temperatures and chilly nights to Disney World. Bring a light jacket or sweater for mornings, and expect to don a jacket in the evening.
Many of the holiday events in December are in the evening, so come prepared.
- Take advantage of the long holiday hours to see everything you want to when you visit the Disney theme parks.
- If you are traveling with a baby or toddler, look for quiet spots for naptime on the go.
- If restaurants are crowded at lunch or dinnertime, switch your meal times to more "off" hours, and grab one of Disney's best snack offerings while you wait.
Warnings and Cautions:
- Disney resort pools are heated, but it may be too cold to swim in December.
- Allow extra time to get from place to place if you are relying on the Disney transportation system during the busy holiday period.
- Make dining reservations up to 180 days in advance of your visit. The closer your vacation dates are to Christmas week, the harder it will be to secure a table at a restaurant without a reservation.
Edited by Dawn Henthorn, Florida Travel Expert