December is the Best Time to Go to Disney — Here’s Why
Updated: Jan 20
And it’s not just for the holiday decorations.
When planning a trip to Disney World, there are so many factors that go into picking a date to visit. Timing is everything when booking a Disney vacation — you don’t want to go when it’s too crowded, too hot, or too expensive. Of course, Disney is always crowded … and expensive (especially now with the loss of free FastPasses). But, there is a sweet spot time that’s perfect for a Disney trip: December.
I know, you would think December is crazy crowded because it’s the holiday season, kids are out of school, and parents are off work. But actually, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the best times to go to Disney World. Here’s why:
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. We already know that Disney does theming incredibly well, so, of course, no one does Christmas like the Mouse House. If Christmas is your favorite time of year (like me), then seeing the holiday decorations around Disney is about as magical as it gets.
Main Street is gorgeous decked out in wreaths, and Cinderella’s Castle is covered in dazzling twinkle lights — though it might be different in 2021 because of the 50th Anniversary celebration. And nowhere else in Florida can make it snow in 80° weather. Plus, if you like to hop around the hotels, it’s even better at Christmastime. Each hotel is decorated for Christmas with big trees and intricate gingerbread houses and it’s breathtaking.
Disney does food well on a normal day, but their holiday menu is extra tasty. The special food and drink carts around Epcot are *chef’s kiss.* I especially love the Holiday Kitchen in the France Pavilion for the hot chocolate martini, but you can’t go wrong with any of the Holiday Kitchens throughout World Showcase.
And, if you’re lucky enough to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party you’ll have extra-special food, parades, and firework shows that are insane and worth the December trip themselves.
It doesn’t really make sense that Disney wouldn’t be crowded during the holiday season since almost everyone is off from school and work, but it’s really not. I’m not saying Disney is completely empty, but lines aren’t too long and you don’t feel like you’re packed in like a sardine. The two weeks right after Thanksgiving are a sweet spot because you’re missing both the Thanksgiving and Christmas crowds — but once you get to Christmas week, stay away.
Unlike the rest of the U.S., the weather in Florida in December is still nice. It may be a little chilly in the morning and evening, but it can get up to 75° during the day. While the Florida natives may think it’s cold, you’ll still see people swimming in the resort pools on a December day.
One of the worst parts about Disney can be how hot it gets during the summer months. So if you’re someone who hates humidity, December is the best time to go because you won’t be sweaty and miserable all day trying to find indoor, air-conditioned attractions.
Above all, somehow the magic feels amped up during December. It’s already the Happiest Place on Earth, but now everyone is in the holiday spirit so it feels that much more magical. The characters have their holiday attire on, everything is decked out in wreaths and trees, the celebrities are narrating the Candlelight Processional, and there are so many special events. It’s almost like Disney on steroids and it’s absolutely wonderful.
So no matter if you are going for the crowds, the weather, or the holiday theming, I recommend planning your next Disney trip for December.