Planning what to pack for Disney World (or which cute outfits to bring on the vacation) can be tricky, especially when dealing with unpredictable weather in Orlando. But oddly enough, December is one of the best months in terms of weather in Disney World.
Temperature are milder and more consistent and much more bearable while walking around the parks every day. On average it warms up to the mid to high 70’s during the day and cools off to somewhere in the 50’s and low 60’s at night. However, it is central Florida after all, which means weather can be a little unpredictable. And that of course makes it tricky to plan what to wear in Disney World in December.
Disney World Packing Essentials
Bringing a light to medium jacket that is water-resistant is key to staying dry and giving you a little warmth for when the temps drop down in the evening. This will ensure you’re prepared while walking around or waiting in an outdoor line, and for when you’re waiting for fireworks or a parade and can’t escape indoors.
When planning your trip to Disney World in December, you need to keep in mind that this will not be a trip where you can throw shorts and t-shirts in a suitcase and call it a day. You’ll be packing a lot of extra clothing items and bringing a bigger suitcase. Doing this may seem excessive, but with the weather changes and so much to do in the parks, plus being in the parks from morning until late at night, extra clothes so you are more prepared is a great idea.
The best part about planning a trip to Disney World in December is the Extra Magic around the parks. I love visiting around holidays because Disney does not scrimp on the decorations. They transform the parks and I feel as though it adds so much to your Disney trip that doesn’t cost you any extra.
I love visiting the Disney World parks in December because of the extra events going on that month. I love the special Christmas party, which has a special Christmas-themed parade, fireworks, and cookies with hot cocoa offered throughout Magic Kingdom. This event adds to a magical time of year in the most magical place on earth. There are also special treats available to purchase at the bakeries around the parks and lots of special edition merchandise available for that special time of the year.
Bringing kids to Disney World in December adds to the excitement surrounding the holidays and enhances your Disney experience. Celebrating the new year in Disney is also a magical experience you surely don’t want to miss out on. The lines for the rides in all four parks are a bit shorter this time of year due to the holidays.
But do keep in mind, with school vacations, and it being Disney, you’ll still be waiting in a decent line for your favorite rides. I love that the characters are dressed up special for the holidays which will give the children an extra boost of excitement. This is also a great time of year to visit before the holidays so you can grab some special gifts for family and friends. With so many extra merchandise items fit for the holidays, you’ll be sure to find something for everyone on your list, and they’ll be even happier that you brought something back from your vacation for them.
What to Pack for Disney World
Disney is one of the top destinations for a big family vacation, which means different age groups, different interests, different packing lists. When planning what to wear in Disney World, everyone will have the same list for the staples-t-shirts, shorts, long sleeves, pants, swimwear.
When there is so much to offer at Disney for each age group, you should consider how you envision spending your days when planning what to pack for Disney World. If you are hitting the parks daily and will be doing a lot of walking and standing in line, make sure the shoes you bring are very comfortable.
Bring multiple shoe options to keep your feet in different positions, this will help alleviate some of that pressure. Make sure you are bringing shoes that are completely comfortable and worn in to avoid blisters and an unpleasant walking experience. Wearing layers will also be helpful because you’ll be warm walking around, but waiting and standing you’ll want a long sleeve or t-shirt.
I suggest bringing a light blanket that you can fit in your bag to the park. Wearing a pair of light pants or capris and a tank top or t-shirt with a jacket or sweatshirt to throw on is the best option for clothing in Disney in December. Layering is a great way to stay on top of the weather changes. This will ensure you’re warm and comfortable sitting waiting for a parade, fireworks, or even when you are standing in line.
Whether you are a grandparent, parent, teen, or child, pack a pair of comfortable sneakers and a pair of comfy sandals. No matter what your Disney plan is, you can be sure to get all your steps in. Your feet will thank you for the comfort and support. Throw in one or two sweatshirts, one lighter and one a bit warmer. This way if you enjoy spending time in all the shops you won’t be too cold with the AC, or in the evening waiting for a parade or the fireworks to start.
A poncho and rain jacket are a must so you aren’t sitting in wet clothes for the remainder of the day from the wet rides, but also to protect you from the unpredictable rain. Check out these rain gear recommendations for everyone in the family. A hat and sunglasses to block you from the sun, even in December, Florida gets plenty of sun.
Don’t go crazy with the hats, grab a baseball hat for each member of the family. They are easy to pack and small enough to keep in a bag. A packable umbrella would also be a good idea to make room for in your suitcase. You’re bound to get wet even with a poncho or rain jacket, but having an umbrella to block some of the sideways rain is handy.
Keep in mind the pools at the Disney hotels are heated, so don’t forget your swimwear! Even if you don’t intend on going in the pools as I said, the days are long and the pool feels amazing after a long day in the parks. And since the pools are heated, on the days not in the parks you can still enjoy the pools and activities offered. There are lots of activities for the kids at the Disney Resort pools so I highly recommend scheduling a pool day for your trip.
I love packing and bringing everything you need with you instead of buying things once you arrive. This includes snacks and meals, bags, clothes, jackets, blankets, ponchos, toys, books, games, cups, water bottles, etc. Again, this may seem like a lot to pack in your suitcase but I find it is so much more relaxing when you get to your hotel and start your vacation and don’t have to run around getting extra things you might need. Take the relaxation while you can, because there’s not much time for relaxing once you’re in the parks.
Buying some souvenirs ahead of time I find, saves money on the trip and eliminates kids asking for things every 5 minutes when they see something new. Getting a few smaller Disney-themed items to surprise your kids with will make their vacation that much more magical and you won’t break the bank buying it all in the parks.
Something else to consider is if you run cold or hot or even if you prefer to be cold or warm. This will determine what clothing options you may want to bring with you or leave home. Kids’ clothing is a bit smaller which makes it easier to pack, and kids can be finicky on their temperature. My rule of thumb is to always pack the most for children. Having more options for them that they can take on and off and change in or out of saves you the frustration and the money when your kid is cold and needing a sweatshirt.
Grandparents tend to run on the colder side, so they may be able to leave the shorts at home and stick to a light pant option with a t-shirt and sweatshirt to throw on. I recommend bringing warmer socks to wear. Your toes will stay warm and dry and you can wear them with a lot of slip-on shoes.
What to Pack from High End Disney Restaurants
Most of Disney is pretty casual as far as restaurants are, but there are some great higher-end restaurants as well. For women and girls, a dress and cardigan, skirt and blouse, pantsuit, or sweater and nice pants are perfect for one of these restaurants. Don’t forget a nice pair of shoes!
For men and boys, a pair of dress pants and a dress shirt work for many of the nicer restaurants. I love packing multiple dress options for a Disney vacation. A loose casual dress is a great option to wear while inside the parks and can be paired with a lot of closed-toe shoe options and a sweater to keep you warm. But I also love dress options for a fancier dinner. There are so many dress options to choose from, even long sleeves which are great for the December weather. Adding a nice sweater and jewelry and a nice pair of shoes turns a comfortable Disney outfit into an outfit acceptable for a high-end dining out experience. This works for girls of all ages which makes it easy.
Although men are a little harder to keep comfortable and dressed up, there are so many pants options these days that look high-end but are extremely comfortable. A lot of these pants are even available at athletic stores such as Lululemon and Athleta, so you know they are comfortable! Luckily, men can throw on a button-down shirt with these pants and they are ready for dinner. This also works for young boys. A lot of pants these days are aimed at comfort. So, your kids won’t be complaining about tight pants.
Keep in mind, some of the very high-end restaurants have a specific dress code to follow. If you are interested in enjoying one of these restaurants, make sure to check your specific restaurant here so you can plan accordingly what to pack for high-end Disney Restaurants. A few shoe options that take into consideration both style and comfort are slip-on shoes, flats, and boat shoes.
I love these options because they can be dressed up without your feet screaming at you. Just make sure the shoes you choose are comfortable for a lot of walking. Jewelry is also a great way to dress up an outfit. If you are bringing something that passes the dress codes but are still afraid of it not looking fancy enough, add some jewelry to your look. It can make a huge difference.
A few of the high-end restaurants I love are California Grill, Narcoossee’s, Yachtsman Steakhouse, and Victoria and Albert’s. California Grill has amazing views of the Magic Kingdom (if you eat here you can come back and watch the fireworks from their lookout). Narcoossee’s food is amazing. The Yachtsman has a great atmosphere and good food. Victoria and Albert’s is the fanciest option Disney has to offer, but if you get the chance to visit I highly recommend it. The experience is incredible.
Disney has a ton of amazing restaurants available at all different price points to fit everyone’s needs. There are tons of restaurants to pick from inside the parks and at all of the Disney Resorts. You are bound to find multiple options that are sure to please everyone in your family.
Don’t forget about the many restaurants offered at Disney Springs. Most of the restaurants are a bit more casual but the food is amazing. If you are looking for a good barbecue restaurant on your trip, check out the Polite Pig. The food is amazing and it is not your typical sit-down meal which is nice for a casual choice.
If one of the higher-end restaurants doesn’t work for you, or you don’t want the hassle of packing those extra clothes, there are plenty of restaurants that give you an amazing experience and delicious food that you don’t need to follow a specific dress code for. Try out restaurants in the resorts around Disney property, it’s fun to be able to walk around and experience the other resorts, and arriving there is easy with the Disney transportation options, which makes it fun for the kids too!
Best Clothes to Wear in Disney
When you’re planning what to wear in Disney World in December, think comfortable and warm. The best clothes to wear in Disney are clothes that make you feel good and are comfortable to wear for those long park days. Make sure to pack capris and pants to accommodate for the slightly cooler weather, which can be paired with a T-shirt, long sleeves, or sweatshirt to fit the temperature. Capris are a great option because they accommodate both warm and cooler weather. Wearing capris can also be dressed up or down which creates a comfortable yet stylish look.
Think about packing clothes that have some stretch to them, loose-fitting, or exercise clothing. These pull-on shorts are a perfect mix of style and comfort and have options for men, women, and children. Pull-on shorts are such a great choice for a Disney vacation because they are simple for kids to dress themselves and don’t take up too much room in a suitcase. Even though the weather can be chilly in Florida in December, it still gets plenty warm for shorts.
Make sure you check the weather report before your trip so you don’t over or under-pack depending on the weather. I love wearing outfits in Disney that are stylish and look put together but aren’t uncomfortable. Loose-fitting dresses and skirts and rompers are a great option for girls.
Even in Florida, December can be chilly, you’ll be glad to have a sweatshirt when the sun sets and it cools off. If you are eating at a restaurant in the parks that you want to dress up for, I suggest either bringing a change of clothes in a bag or plan to take a hotel break to relax and change outfits then. One of the biggest suggestions I make to people traveling to Disney World for a family vacation is taking a break during the day on park days.
I know it’s hard to leave feeling like you’ll miss the opportunity to do some of the rides but you’ll be much more relaxed, your kids will love taking a quick break for a swim, and your feet will be ready to go for the rest of the day. And trust me, even though it may seem like there’s so much to squeeze into each day at the park, you’ll have plenty of time to hit everything you want, it just takes a little planning.
I suggest making a list of everything each person in your party wants to do on the trip and planning out your days to get it all done. Planning your outfits also saves time. I love to pack kids’ clothes especially in Ziplock bags marked with the specific day/park you want them to wear that outfit. It eliminates kids going through their suitcases throwing clothes around, eliminates arguing, and saves time getting them dressed each day.
Extra Clothes to Bring for a December Disney Trip
December is one of the best times of the year to visit Walt Disney World. The parks are less crowded, the weather is great, the string lights and decorations around the parks add to the magic around you, and the holidays add to the fun and excitement. Mittens and a warm hat, that Ugly Christmas Sweater, warm socks, and a scarf are all extra clothes to bring for a December Disney trip. Bringing a fun ugly sweater is a great way to take part in all of the Christmas magic going on around the parks, especially if you join in on the special Christmas party!
A light sweatshirt easy to throw on is great to pack for your trip, but a heavier sweatshirt is also a good idea for at night when the temperatures drop more. Adding a light sweater or two to your packing list is a great idea. Maybe you don’t want something heavy and bulky, but something lighter that still has some warmth will save you from shivering! Keep in mind, if you plan on wearing sweaters and heavier sweatshirts, you may not need to bring a heavier jacket.
A light jacket is still recommended because you just never know. Sometimes I’ve been chilly at night in the summer, so in December it can get cold. I have worn pants, long sleeves, a jacket, and Ugg boots to Disney in December before. So if you are thinking it will still be 90 degrees, think again and pack accordingly!
Comfortable Disney Outfits
Athletic pants/shorts, a T-shirt/long sleeve, and some sneakers make great comfortable Disney outfits. If you are looking for something less casual, there are tons of options for a comfortable yet dressed-up look. A pair of linen pants with a nice top creates a comfortable outfit that still looks put together.
These pants are a great option for men to wear to Disney in December. Joggers are a great option for kids so they stay warm and comfortable all day and night. I love linen pants or fancier look athletic pants because they can look dressed up and cute, but you don’t sacrifice the comfort.
Disney is a prime spot for taking lots of Instagram worth pictures, but it’s also where you’ll be taking a lot of pictures of your children experiencing the magic of Disney World. You’ll look back on the pictures and regret wearing clothes that are strictly comfortable and not stylish. Leave your house loungewear at home. There are so many options out there that will give you the comfort you’re looking for and still look dressed up.
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