Walt Disney World at Christmastime

Tina | December 3, 2012 | 34 Comments

Christmas is a magical time of year, and according to some, there’s no better place to spend the season than at Walt Disney World! The magic of Disney combined with the joy of the holiday come together in a spectacular display, and it’s something that you should try to see at some point in your life. Here’s some of what you need to know:

  • If you are trying to avoid huge crowds, do not visit Walt Disney World from about the 20th of December until after the new year. When the kids are out of school, the crowds are immense. Going before the 20th or so, though, allows you to navigate fairly easily through the parks and also enjoy all of the festivities of the holidays; decorations are already up at the parks, so you’ll get to see some of the wonderful sights without having to deal with hordes of people.
  • If you have decided to spend Christmas Day in the Parks, plan on getting up very early. This probably won’t be an issue, particularly if you have wide-eyed, excited children in your party! Magic Kingdom may reach maximum capacity at 10 or 11:00 am, and if you arrive after the park is full, you will not be admitted entry. The other parks will still be extremely crowded, but likely will not completely fill up, at least not so early in the day. Plan on very long lines and slow movement through the crowds.
  • Between now and December 21st, you can go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on select nights. This is held at Magic Kingdom, and you will need to purchase an additional ticket to the event on top of your regular admission. These tickets sell out quickly, so as soon as you know which day you want to go, call and order your tickets! Magic Kingdom will be open to partygoers until midnight, and during that time, you’ll be able to enjoy access to some of the attractions, free cookies and hot cocoa, fireworks, live entertainment, and a special holiday-themed parade.
  • Prices for Disney resort hotels will spike right around Christmas. For example, the average per-night fee for one of the value resorts in the beginning of December is just under $120; during the week of Christmas, the fee rises to an average of just under $200 before dropping again after the first of the year.

All in all, Christmastime is a wonderful time to visit Walt Disney World if you don’t mind higher prices and very large crowds. Since my family lives in Florida, we usually go during the first half of December at some point to enjoy the decorations, the cool weather and the low crowds. My advice would be to avoid the week of Christmas if you have young children who won’t be able to tolerate long lines and a lot of people, but if you have older children who have always dreamed of spending Christmas Day in Walt Disney World, then give it a try, while preparing them ahead of time so that they have realistic expectations.

Have you traveled to Walt Disney World during the Christmas season? What was your experience like?

Comments (34)

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  1. rebeka deleon says:

    i wish i could go for christmas! but i hate florida so really, that would be the only reason i would ever go back…to bring my kids to disney world 🙂

  2. Bonnie says:

    Love to go to Walt Disney for Xmas!

  3. fran gilmore says:

    would sure love to see Disney during Christmass Holiday that would be awesome

  4. Kelvin Justine says:

    This really is a wonderful place to spend any occasion.

  5. vickie marks allbright says:

    love the tips ..i so wanna go here and i bet its beautiful during christmas time

  6. Rebecca Harlow says:

    Informative post, thanks! My family has been thinking of taking a trip out there for a few years now.

  7. San says:

    Haven’t been to Disney before, I would love to visit there one day.

  8. Rebecca Sinclair says:

    We went the first week of December last year and it was so enjoyable. The lines were tolerable and the weather was absolutely PERFECT! It is a great time of year!

  9. Jane Ritz says:

    Wow! I’d love to take the grandchildren there during Christmas sometime. I love that you have included a calendar of events.

  10. Debra Givens Wagner says:

    I went to Disneyland during the holidays and it was so busy, but beautiful!

  11. Karen Glatt says:

    This would be a great place to spend a vacation during the Holidays! I can just imagine how beautiful Walt Disney World is during the Christmas season. I would love to go here and visit this place! My family would have so much fun!

  12. Megan says:

    Love Disney, but I wouldn’t go during Christmas-New Year’s weeks on a bet – it is CRAZY!! September and January/February and sometimes May are the off season – that’s the time to go!

  13. Michelle.A. says:

    Disney at Christmastime sounds magical! Hopefully some day I can experience that.

  14. Liza says:

    We spent one Christmas at Tokyo Disneyland but we didn’t get to enjoy it very much. You are right, there were too many people and you have to spend a long time lining up for a ride.

  15. denise smith says:

    never been to disney would love to go someday

  16. Summer Davis says:

    We left Orlando about 3 years ago, and I miss Disney TERRIBLY. There really is no more magical place in the world during Christmas. The Osborne Family Spectacle of lights is amazing, and the decor at each park can’t be beat. Plus, in true Disney fashion, they always have the REAL santa!

  17. jules p says:

    I have always wanted to go to Disney but specially at Christmas time. I have heard it is super pretty this time of year.

  18. Christina says:

    Living in Florida, Christmas is my absolute favorite time to go to Disney! We also go the beginning of December. We are traveling for Christmas this year, so we’re not making it to any of the parks or MVMCP, but we did go last weekend just to enjoy the decorations and things at the hotels, Downtown Disney and the boardwalk. Love it!!

  19. Jennifer Mae Hiles says:

    I had no idea it was such a popular place at Christmas. I would not have guessed that. I bet it’s a blast! I can’t imagine Christmas without snow though!

  20. Kimberly says:

    We went to Disneyland last year and plan on going in late November next year. My sister and her family went last year the day after Christmas for a week. They said absolutely beautiful, but too long of lines for most anything. The first day they arrived they couldn’t even get into the park, it was maxed out. They were traveling with toddlers. She asked a couple of cast members and they said the same thing you did (about best time to go during the holidays)! We would love to take a trip to Walt Disney World when our children get a little bit older, since there is so much to do.

  21. samantha says:

    My husband and I are going to Japan a week from tomorrow. On the 14th, we are hoing to Disney Tokyo!!! Super excited to see the difference 🙂

  22. Amber says:

    I’ve heard that before and in fact we have friends at Disney Land RIGHT now. I think it’s a great time to avoid the crowds. Thanks for the reminder!

  23. catherine copeland says:

    i’ve always wanted to go to disney for the holidays

  24. Alex says:

    I wish I could go!! I’m going to DisneyLand in February though, for my birthday 🙂

  25. Dawn Justice says:

    I’ve been to Disney World once, and I went with my sister and her now ex-husband and his annoying friend lol. So we can just say I didn’t have as much fun as I would have had I went with people I liked. But, I would love to visit Disney around Christmas I bet the lights are gorgeous…I’d also like to visit at Halloween too 🙂 I bet that would be fun.

  26. Brenda Burgess says:

    Walt Disney World is beautiful in the summer, so I know it is awesome in the winter

  27. Irene says:

    Love to go to Walt Disney for Xmas too 😀

  28. Chelsea says:

    I would ove to go to Disney for Christmas

  29. Trish F says:

    Disney for Christmas sound like a dream but I have know people that has done that and won’t do it again. They paid large amounts of money to get in and because it took hours of standing in line, they only got to experience 3 rides. Not worth it in my book, I would wait till after the new year like you said.

  30. Jennifer Boehme says:

    I want to visit at Christmas time. I have seen the parade and been there, but the atmosphere would be so much fun to experience. My brother takes the kids every year after Christmas and send pictures.

  31. Tia Mayasari says:

    I wish I will be there someday with my family. It must be a perfect place to have fun.

  32. LAMusing says:

    I’d love to go at Christmas for all the decorations and magic, but the large crowds put me off.

  33. Tina Kohrman says:

    I have never been there and would love to take my son there someday. I bet it is beautiful at Christmastime. I would love to travel there at Christmas just to start a new tradition instead of doing the same thing every year. Thanks for the post.

  34. ANN*H says:

    my grandson went to Disney for the first time around 4 yrs of age and he absolutely loved it. I have never gone as I dont want to fly- tho my grandson did for the first time and loved it.
    I am sure Christmas time at Disney will be doubly fun to visit. How crowded will it be ? May make it abit to much for some of the family so check things out first before going. Thanks for the info on it

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