How Busy is Disney World in December?

How Busy is Disney World in December?
This photograph was taken by Michael of Countdown to Magic

So you’ve sat down and decided you want to go to Disney World in December. All of the Christmas decorations and magic in the air. It really is a fantastic month to visit while the parks are completely enthralled with all things Christmastime. 

But what about the crowds? Will you be able to fit in all of the attractions and restaurants you would during a different time of the year?

In this article, we’re going to explain why it is indeed a good idea to visit in December. And then we’ll talk about the crowds and other notable details you should be aware of when it comes to a December Disney vacation.

So, just how busy is Disney World in December? 

Let’s dive in.

Reasons to Visit During December

If your favorite holiday happens to be Christmas, well, there’s no better time to visit!  The entire Disney World property will be transformed into a literal Winter Wonderland, right there in Southern Florida. 

Christmas trees and lights will fill the streets at every corner. Garlands will be draped across doorways and entrances all around. 

Simply put, you will have a Christmas time overload.

The Character parades will also be shrouded in holiday spirit throughout your visit. 

For you snack lovers like myself, you can expect a roll out of all new treats specifically for the winter season. These specials treats will be sure to please all.

Magic Kingdom also afters an after party event during December called Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (or Disney’s Very Merriest After Hours event).

Either way, this event requires an extra fee for admission, so this means the park will be relatively light on the typical December crowd size, so you can be sure to ride your favorite rides multiple times.

Along with low crowds, you will also get TONS of other things that you wouldn’t experience on a regular park day.

Another reason to visit during December is the special holiday themed firework shows. You can only view these firework shows during the Christmas season, and trust me, they are spectacular.

All of the main icons unique to each park (Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom or the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom, etc) will be lit up with special Christmas colors and characters reflecting the special season.

All in all, Disney World during December is a totally different atmosphere than any other time of year if you were to visit. 

So, if you want to experience the Castle lit up like never before, massive Christmas trees lit up around every corner, and spectacular lights guiding your path around the parks, then you’ll love Disney World in December

The small caveat here is you must really love the holiday season. Once you are there, you will be surrounded by it for the entirety of your vacation. So keep that in mind.

What About the Weather?

This photograph was taken by Michael of Countdown to Magic

There’s no way to avoid this question. The weather at Walt Disney World during the winter months is a bit touch and go. 

The daily average temperatures range from 50 degrees in the mornings, too low 70s during midday. 

This is great if you have visited during a summer month when the temperatures are always pushing to the 100s. 

This wide range of temperatures though can make packing for such a trip a bit difficult to finagle. Since most mornings are fairly chilly, you’ll need to bring a light jacket that you’ll likely shed by midday. 

And then again at night, you’ll be searching for that jacket once again. So make sure you keep one in your park bag at all times. 

That goes for every member of your party. 

These temperatures are only averages. It is Southern Florida, so you could potentially have a frosty morning and a blazing hot afternoon, depending on the day. I’ve seen this before, so please do a double check before heading out.

Sure, you can buy new clothes when you get there should you need it—but do you really want to fork up that kind of Disney cash when you could’ve simply added that jacket and pair of pants to your backpack

And even though it’s not nearly as bad as the spring and summer months (or hurricane season in the fall) there is always potential for rain in Disney World. 

So, along with those light jackets, throw in a few disposable ponchos into the bag—just to be safe. 

How Busy is Disney World in December?

This photograph was taken by Michael of Countdown to Magic

The crowd trends for the month of December are a bit higher than other times of the year. This is to be expected with all that the parks have to offer, as well as all of the Christmas time lovers.

But there are better weeks to visit during the month that may suit your family better off.

The first week in December is the best week to visit if you want to experience all of that Holiday magic at Disney World. 

Traditionally for this month, this is when the crowds are projected to be the lowest. 

Keep in mind that when I say that the crowds are the lowest for the month of December, that doesn’t mean they are not low compared to other times of the year. 

The parks, resorts, and attractions will still have a multitude of people bustling their way around the parks. But for the month of December, the first week is still a great choice if you are planning to visit during the holiday season.

This is a great way to avoid some of the big crowds, but bear in mind you will still be around more guests than if you were to visit almost any other time of year.

As the first week in December rolls over into the second week, the crowds will begin to gradually increase. There are several events that are the culprit behind this, but we don’t need to go into detail here because that’s not important.

What is important to know is that once it starts increasing, it doesn’t stop until the end of the month. 

Moving into the third week of December, the crowds tend to increase to an even higher level. As Christmas moves closer and closer on the calendar, the rise in guests seems to follow that trend.

The Saturday before Christmas is when the crowds will begin to peak. You can expect enormous wait times and almost impossible reservations for your favorite restaurants. 

Once Christmas is over, the crowds begin to thin only slightly as guests prepare for the new year. So it will taper off slightly, but the volume of guests will still be relatively high compared to any other month.

Should You Visit Disney World in December?

This is a complex question and can only be answered by you and your family. 

For me, however, I absolutely love to visit the parks during December. The extra touch of magic in the parks gives me the Christmas spirit that I truly crave. 

So, if you are die-hard Christmas fan, and love the seasonal decorations and events, then you should consider planning for a Disney trip in December. 

Just bear in mind that you will inevitably have to deal with higher crowd levels simply due to how busy Disney World is in December.

But, at the end of the day, if you love both Disney World and Christmas, then it’s absolutely worth it.

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