Traveling to Disney World at any time of year is always an excited endeavor. You plan for what feels like an eternity to make sure that when you arrive at the Most Magical Place on Earth, everything runs smoothly. Even though Disney World feels like a magical place, there are plenty of ways your vacation could go astray.
One sure fire way to lessen the risk of mishaps, is through packing properly. Traveling to Disney World in December poses its own set of challenges. Being aware of the challenges and planning accordingly will help things run a little more smoothly for you.
There are so many things to consider when traveling to Disney in December. You are packing up and taking a vacation right in the heart of a holiday season. Things are bound to be crowded and a little more stressful than you may have hoped. the weather in Florida isn’t always sunshine and beautiful views. And Christmas can bring out the best and worst in all of us as we try our best to make the holiday a little extra special. All of the added pressure of traveling in December can be alleviated if you pack the essentials.
So without further ado, let’s dive into out Disney World packing list for December.
Packing the Basics
Although traveling to Disney World in December is more challenging than it is at other times, your packing list should start with the basic essentials. It is hard to decide how your activities will be changed because of the weather in the month of December, but when you’re packing, that doesn’t have to be your only consideration. At first glance, your suitcase might not look much different than it would if you were traveling any other month,
Because December is the heart of winter, and the frigid cold rules many parts of the country, it may be easy to just throw all of your winter gear in your suitcase, a no call it a day. Not so fast! Florida isn’t that simple, and the activities you will be doing in Disney World will require a little bit a variety. Instead of going to one extreme or the other, follow some of these packing tips.
It might sound a little risky to pack shorts for a trip during the winter, but days in Florida will still reach the mid 70s, and even low 80s some days. Shorts are bound to be more comfortable than heavy jeans and long pants. Walking through the parks all day will keep you warm, even If you don’t think it is exactly shorts weather.
Wearing long, heavy pants will only cause you to sweat in the Florida humidity. Of course, if you are really opposed to packing shorts capris and lighter pants will offer you some comfort as well. This is not to say you shouldn’t pack long pants. You absolutely should! Ideally, your suitcase will have a mix of long pants, capris, and shorts.
Just as it may have seemed a little odd to suggest shorts in December, a bathing suit might seem a little out of place as well. With temperatures still in the 70s or 80s, there is ample opportunity for some comfortable swimming at one of the resort pools.
The pools tend to be a little less crowded in December, so it is a good time to take advantage of the quiet time you can get there. Depending on where you are staying, you may even be able to get the pool to yourself some times.
This is unlikely at places like the All Star or resorts or Pop Century, but if you are staying at a moderate or deluxe resort, chances are good that you’ll have some solo pool time in December. Disney water parks close for refurbishment during the winter months, but that would appear to be a money saving move, rather than one based on how feasible swimming is during the off-season. Don’t miss out on the fun by leaving your bathing suit at home!
As the weather Is a little unpredictable in Florida, it is always wise to pack some ponchos. The humidity in Florida can make everything feel sticky, and frankly kind of gross! You might think a little rain will cool things off and help relieve you from the awful, sticky sensation you’re left with on humid days, but it will undoubtably make you more uncomfortable if you are soaking wet! Everyone will welcome a cool down, but wet clothes are no one’s friend.
If you pack some ponchos in your suitcase, and are sure to array them through the parks during the day, when the rain hits, you won’t be stuck waiting around for some to be selling ponchos, and getting wet in the process. Having your own already packed will keep you just a little diet than if you hadn’t packed them. Of course, there is the added bonus of them being ugh cheaper outside of the park, and who really wants to waste money on thin plastic that you can never reuse? Just bring your own. You’ll be happy you did.
While on a Disney Vacation, you will be doing a lot of walking. This is one thing that remains constant no matter what time of year you visit the parks. Everyone wants to get as many things as possible accomplished in the time they have at the parks, so there is very little sitting still. Your feet are going to hurt!
Walking more than ten miles a day will tire anyone out! If you don’t make sure you have packed the best sneakers possible, you are only going to be kicking yourself about It later. Comfortable sneakers can help prevent fatigue and pain in your feet and legs. If the sneakers you have chosen to bring with you on vacation are not supportive and sturdy, you are likely to be in a lot of pain.
One of the biggest ailments people experience from walking through the Disney parks is blisters. everyone has had a blister before, but until you have tried t walk another ten miles with a blister on your foot, you can’t possibly understand how painful they can be.
Packing for your Kids in December
Traveling with kids always requires a little extra packing. When taking your kids to Disney World, you might want to bring all of their Disney gear that they love so much, but there’s really no need for that. The best things to pack for your children are things that make them happy and comfortable, but that aren‘t cumbersome and bulky.
Realistically, your kids need a lot of the same things you do. It is understandable and useful to apply the general packing items to your children as well. Although they share a lot of the same packing needs as adults, kids have their own special needs that if packed, will make your vacation a little more enjoyable.
Kids are likely to be so excited about having the chance to interact with their favorite Disney characters, that they won’t want to take after breaks throughout the day. One way to make sure your child stays hydrated and cool at the parks, is by making sure they have water handy.
If you pack a really cool, Disney themed water bottle, your child will have hydration ready at all times, and won’t have to take too many breaks from the action to stay hydrated and healthy. Dehydration is not something a young child will deal with well in the parks, and will absolutely put a damper on your vacation.
Quarters and Pennies:
There are endless numbers of souvenir options at Disney World, and no child has the self-restraint to make it through a vacation at Disney World without asking for something everywhere you go. It’s not their fault. Disney knows kids haven’t developed the kind of self-control that even some adults struggle with sometimes.
The constant asking for things can wear even the most adamant parent down sometimes. Of course, in December, so close to Christmas, it is even more frustrating to have children asking for things, but it’s equally as difficult to tell them they ‘can’t have something they want.
Luckily, there is one thing if you are prepared for, will be enjoyable for your kids, and affordable for you. Just remember to pack quarters and pennies. Yes, seriously, pack loose change! Scattered throughout Disney World there are old fashioned pressed penny machines. These machines are great! After putting in the quarters and a penny, your child (or you!) can choose a desired design, turn the lever, and out pops a pressed penny for the collection!
Autograph Book Alternative:
Autograph books are excellent and easy watts to take a little piece of the most magical Disney character interactions home with you, but it’s also a good idea to explore some alternatives. What is your child really going to do with a book filled with signatures? Will it be something they truly cherish?
However, there are other options for you to explore. When thinking about your chi’s personality, you can start to picture what they would do with the autograph cooks. Some of them might hang on to them forever! Others might find them boring and lose them among their other books and toys. One great suggestion for an alternative, is to have the characters sign a plain white pillowcase.
Use different colors, each character adds a little piece of themselves to a unique pillowcase that your child may appreciate more than an autograph book. If you believe your child would sleep soundly, dreaming of the characters who signed their pillowcase, this might be the option for you! Of course, if this seems like too much effort, an autograph book, whether they hold onto it forever or not, will make the character interactions a little bit of a personal touch.
Letters to Santa:
If Santa Claus is a big part of your Christmas tradition, being at Disney World in December will give your child an extra chance to see Santa and share their coveted Christmas list. Santa can be found in several different spots throughout Disney World, and there is something about the magical feel to Disney World that only makes faith in Santa even stronger.
Being reassured by the big man himself outside of Cinderella’s castle will make your child even more excited for Christmas. Meeting Santa anywhere adds to the Christmas spirit, but there is nothing quite like meeting Santa at the most magical place on earth!
Your kids are getting in a little extra fact time with Santa, so it’s fair to say that Disney World in December is Christmas focused.
Christmas at Disney World is one of the most incredible experiences you can have. The decor and special events make sure Christmas is at the forefront of your mind while you are visiting Disney World. You can pack a little extra special Holliday joy into your suitcase before you leave for your vacation to make sure your own traditions aren’t lost, and you get the most amazing photographs of the entire trip.
Ugly Christmas sweaters have been an ongoing fad, and if that is something you have fun with, make sure you bring yours along! the extravagant Christmas decor at all of the Disney World parks and resorts will provide an awesome backdrop for your Christmas photos. Whether you are looking to have family portraits done, or just silly selfies, packing your Christmas sweaters will make them even more memorable.
It’s important that you remember to pack your sweaters, or you will have missed out on a great opportunity. You can add even more magical touches to your sweater by heading to a local store and buying Christmas light necklaces. These lights are similar to ones sold by vendors during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, and during parades.
They take up relatively little space, and will add a nice flair to your outfit. The sweater and light up necklace are particularly well-suited for anyone who is planning to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
Here, you will have a chance to take pictures with characters wearing their own Christmas sweaters, watch the toy soldiers march in the parade, and enjoy a little extra Christmas joy! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is an extra ticketed event, that will allow you to have extra time in the park, as well as have unique interactions with the characters.
Elf on the Shelf:
This is not a Disney necessity, so much as something you don’t want to leave behind if it makes a daily appearance at your house. This will help kids understand that just because they are away from home, it doesn’t mean the rules for behaviors don’t matter, because someone is always watching and reporting back to Santa!
Just because the parks are decorated beyond most people’s imagination, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t decorate your own space! If you are staying at a value resort, it’s almost guaranteed that you will walk past numerous windows decorated with seasonal clings, sharing their love for the holiday with everyone who walks past. This is a little bit of an extra touch, but if you want to have a more festive atmosphere in your room, this is one avenue you can explore.
We’ve talked a little bit about packing shorts, but it’s really important that you pack for the different weather possibilities. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and when packing for Disney in December, nothing could be truer. The weather is likely to vary throughout the day, so there is not one right answer to what type of clothing will be the most comfortable for you.
People from warmer climates are sure to feel the cooler evening effects a little more acutely than those from colder climates, but everyone will feel the evening chill!
Although the days are still pretty comfortable and warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, after sunset the temperature will drop. After being outside in the heat and humidity all day, being outside when the sun goes down, everyone is going to feel the chill.
Without having packed a sweatshirt, it is almost guaranteed that you will be uncomfortable. No one wants to be freezing while they are watching fireworks! Packing a few sweatshirts will help ensure you are comfortable after the sun goes down.
Should you expect there to be a freak blizzard to occur while you are at Disney World in December? No, probably not. That doesn’t mean you should overlook your winter clothes when packing.
December nights can get very cold, even if to people from the Northeast, for example, don’t think temperatures in the 40s and 50s are painfully cold, it would be a mistake to leave your hats and gloves at home. The Florida air has a lot of moisture. The same moisture that creates the sometimes uncomfortable humidity, means the cold will feel a little colder than you’d expect. There is no shame in wearing hats and gloves.
A rain coat can do double duty when there is wind at night. Even if there doesn’t happen to be a terribly wet night while you are at Disney World, this will provide you with an extra layer that is not too heavy and restrictive.
Before you head to Disney World, take note of the Disney items you already have. Have you visited DIsney World before? Were you gifted some park attire? Leaving them behind could end up costing you in the long run. There is little reason to buy duplicates of things you already own in your every day life, so it shouldn’t be any different when you are traveling to Disney World.
You don’t want to forget one of the most crucial accessories when you are headed to Disney World. When you wear your Mickey ears, you are announcing to the world that you absolutely love Disney World, and regardless of your age, you want everyone to know it.
Ears can show different sides of your personality, your interests, and can highlight your favorite Disney character. No matter how many ears you have at home, make sure you pack at least one set along with you. You’ll want to wear something for your first park day. If you have to go find a new pair, you will feel like something is missing for your first day
If you are someone who loves to collect pins while at the park, make sure you don’t forget to pack them. If you’ve never been before, but have an interest in figuring out what the pin trading phenomenon is all about, pins are easy to find being sold on the internet.
Bringing them with you will give you a starting point for the rest of your vacation. Without starting with at least a few, it will be awfully difficult to trade with anyone, and is bound to be expensive.
A Parade Blanket:
Cooler nights will make sitting out for the parade a little less comfortable for your family. If you remember to pack a light fleece blanket, you will have a little extra warmth available for you on a cool night spent watching the parade and fireworks. These are things you don’t want to miss, so it would be a shame to let the cold scare you away from seeing some of the more incredible displays that Disney has to offer.
Pack for a little bit of everything
Packing for Disney World in December can seem a little tricky. With a little planning and attention, you will be able to pack everything you will need for a comfortable and enjoyable vacation in Disney World. Don’t assume you will have any idea what the weather will be like.
Being prepared for anything will definitely be your best bet. Don’t shy away from things you think seem ridiculous. Disney World is fun! Go, relax, and be confident that by packing carefully your trip will be a great success. Remember, December is one of the best times to go to Disney World.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed our best packing list for Disney World in December!
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