December 2014 Disney World Crowd Calendar, Fastpass+ Booking and Dining Windows and Best Times to Visit Disney World
The first two and a half weeks of December are an awesome time to visit Walt Disney World. The crowds are low, the weather is pleasant and the entire resort has been transformed into a Christmas/Winter Wonderland. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties runs on select nights through December 19th, as well as the always popular Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights and the Castle Dream Lighting Ceremony continuing throughout the month. Holidays Around the World with the always popular Candlelight Processional and Epcot Storytellers will continue through Christmas Eve.
December 5 & 6 are the likely dates for the pre-recording of the Disney Christmas Parade that is shown on Christmas Day on ABC. It doesn’t affect the wait times of the Magic Kingdom very much, but it does create a bit of a log jam in the hub and down Main Street. It’s great fun to see celebrities sing and Disney characters parade past, but requires you to stand in one position for several hours.
The weeks two and three of December are usually a great time to be at the resort, but in recent years the crowds have increased with a great deal of South American friends on their Summer vacation. It’s still a much better choice that the two weeks of Christmas vacation. The crowds slowly begin to increase about mid week of the third week and grow to insane levels from Christmas through New Years.
The second week of December brings in a great deal of elementary and middle school children to participate in the Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading championships. The kids don’t affect park attendance too much, but staying in an All Star Resort could be a bit of an encumbrance due to all the cheering and laughing.
Mid-week Christmas Parties are generally the best if you’re vacationing here. The Christmas Parties allow guests to see the Christmas Parade and Fireworks as well as meet special characters. If you’re planning to attend a Christmas Party, you should either sleep in or take a mid-day nap.
The final two Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas parties are sure to sell out. If you are planning to stay over after December 19th, you really don’t need to purchase a ticket to the party. You’ll get to see the Christmas Parade, Christmas Castle show and Tomorrowland Christmas show for free as a part of park admission. The only benefit you would have is meeting a few rare characters and eating a bunch of cookies that are included with admission.
While the weeks of Christmas vacation are insanely busy, you can be manage them with good touring plans and Fastpass+ usage. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, rise early on your Magic Kingdom day and take advantage of the early opening of the Magic Kingdom. The initial calendar doesn’t reflect the actual operating hours during the busiest time. Including the Extra Magic Hours, the park can stay open from 7:00am until 3:00am. When visiting other parks, I recommend that you avoid the Extra Magic Hour parks as they will draw in more guests.
With lower hours than normal early in the month, it may be best to spend a day in the parks and spend an evening at the resort pool. The Magic Kingdom will only offer Wishes and Main Street Electrical Parade on select nights each week. Those park days tend to be more busy than others. If the evening spectaculars are important, chose the day with the lowest hours or park hop into the Magic Kingdom at night.
What will the weather be like during your December trip?
|Dec||72°F||51°F||62°F||2.89 in.||89°F (2000)||19°F (1989)|
December tends to begin a chilly and less rainy season in Orlando. You’ll want to bring a jacket for the evening because 50 degrees in Orlando feels like the 30′s up north. There’s still a chance of rain, but it’s much less than summer season.
Should I use Extra Magic Hours privilege?
Avoid the trap of visiting a park on its longest hours day. More people will be there and the wait times can be 30% to 100% higher than other days.
If you are planning to use Extra Magic Hours, use the morning ones, they are a great benefit, if you leave after lunch or parade time. Avoid the parks that offer evening Extra Magic Hours because they have large crowds at night and many rides have long lines (Hollywood Studios and Epcot). The exception would be the Magic Kingdom late at night because most guests won’t stay up from 1am to 3am in the morning. If you choose a Late Extra Magic Hour park, you should plan to sleep in the next day.
What are the hours for Disney Quest and Cirque du Soleil?
- Disney Quest – 11:30am to 10pm Daily
- Cirque du Soleil – 6:00pm & 9:00pm Tuesday-Saturdays
What attractions will be CLOSED for refurbishment during your December trip?
Do you need to know what activities will take place at your Disney World during your December trip?
Updated at the first of each month!
Special December Events at Walt Disney World
- Free Dining Plan – December 12-23 (Be sue to book your Table Service meals in advance!)
- Probable Walt Disney World Christmas Parade filming – December 5 & 6
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – December 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, & 19
- Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights and Cinderella Castle Dream Lighting begins – all of December
- Holidays Around the World at Epcot with Epcot Storytellers and Candlelight Processional begins – through December 24
- Meet Special Characters at Walt Disney World resorts – dates will be announced in early December.
Do you need a great map that includes attractions, restaurants, Fastpass kiosks and characters?
Typical Best Days to Go
|Magic Kingdom:||Friday and Christmas Party Days|
|Epcot:||Monday and Saturday|
|Hollywood Studios:||Tuesday, Thursday & Friday|
|Animal Kingdom:||Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday|
|To read the crowd aspect, follow the DATE at the top!|
|Low Crowds /
|Insane Crowds / Worst Park|