Christmas is such a magical time of year, and Disney makes it glisten with all of its’ splendor. Even though the crowds are high, Christmas is my favorite time of year to go to Disney. Disney goes BIG with decorations, tastes, and entertainment. Here are some of my best tips to make your Disney Christmas Trip amazing!
10 Tips for your Disney Christmas Vacation
Christmas at Disney World starts early. Decorations go up in the Magic Kingdom November 1st.
Christmastime is very busy at Disney World. Typically early November and early December have lower crowd levels. December 24th to January 2nd are the busiest days of the season and even the busiest days of the year.
1. Go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
It is a hard ticketed event, which means you just pay for the party. An additional park ticket is not needed unless you want to enter the park before 4 pm. Lots of rare characters come out for meet & greets. Other than the free cookies and hot chocolate, lots of other special Christmas treats are available. One of the best things is that it snows on Main Street.
Make sure to have a plan of characters you want to see, any rides you want to ride (lines should be small) when you want to see the parade, and of course the fireworks.
Click here to get your free Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party schedule Printable. Not only will you get access to this Disney Planning printable, but my whole Disney Planning Printable Library!
2. Spend Time Resort Hopping
All of the resorts are decked out to the fullest, even the value resorts. HUGE Christmas trees, lights, and displays galore. The Grand Floridian has a 2 story Gingerbread house. You walk in and the smell is amazing. Disney artists demonstrate some of the techniques for decorating the house. You can also have some roasted chestnuts for FREE! Closer to the holidays there are special character meet and greets as well!
Must See Resorts During the Holidays:
- The Grand Floridian
- Contemporary Resort
- Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Beach Club
- Wilderness Lodge
- Art of Animation
3. Experience the Candlelight Processional at Epcot.
Special guest narrators such as Jodi Benson (The Little Mermaid), Neil Patrick Harris, or Steven Curtis Chapman share the story of the Nativity along with a choir. It is very beautiful!!
4. Explore Christmas Traditions of other countries in Epcot.
Word Showcase dresses to the hilt for Christmas. Each country proudly showing how they celebrate Christmas.
5. Prepare for Crowds
If you are planning your trip/day at Disney during the Christmas Season, please expect to get less accomplished. Pick out the attractions that are a priority and make a loose plan.
6. Plan Early
If you want to get the dinner reservations and Fast Passes that you want, make them at the beginning of the reservation window. Restaurants, resorts, and Fast Passes fill up rather fast. Also, be advised everything is at its’ highest price. No resort discounts, the meals are higher priced as well. Like, I have said before, it is worth the trip even with the higher prices. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve are high capacity days. Plan on getting to the park VERY early and more than likely staying all day because sometimes they stop letting people in.
Be polite to others and the Cast Members. It is crowded and some people are just rude. You will encounter line cutters, people who edge you out of your parade/fireworks spot, people who can’t follow CM’s directions, and longer waits. Anticipate this and it will make your day go better. Now if everyone would remember their manners, the park experience would be wonderful.
8. Let Disney Handle the Driving
If you are staying on property, let Disney handle the transportation. Between the free boats, monorails, and buses Disney has you covered. You can also use the Disney Minnie Van Service or the cheaper alternatives like Uber or Lyft.
One year while staying on property, I decided I wanted to ride in my own car. That was a mistake! It took so long to get out of the parking lot (a couple of hours) and then several of the exits to get back to the resort were blocked off for buses only. We had to drive off the property and then circle back onto the property to get to the resort. Buses and monorails might have lines and be crowded, but it is better than the alternative.
9. Take time to check out the “Christmas” Touch on your Favorites
Last year the Jungle Cruise did a special holiday version, the Main Street performers sing Christmas songs and are dolled up in their Christmas best, the daytime Christmas parades, plus, characters are dressed in their Christmas best as well.
10. Do your Christmas Shopping at Disney
Disney Springs has so many decorations and trees to gaze at while you are shopping. Disney Springs has the largest Disney Store in the world to find a gift for everyone on your list. There are also lots of other stores to find perfect gifts for everyone on your list!
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Post Originally Published September 18th, 2014. Updated with new information and tips for 2019.