It’s not too late! There are still rooms available during the Christmas Holiday Season (early November – first week of January) at Walt Disney World.
Should you go?
Without a doubt, the holiday season is my favorite time at the World. The Christmas decorations are up. The weather is dryer. And the crowds can be at a minimum.
My birthday happens to fall in the first week of December, so for my 40th my husband suggested we go. We had been at various other times of the year, but never for my birthday. We were homeschooling our daughter, so the timing was perfect. And our youngest, adopted from Korea, hadn’t been yet. All the more reason that now was the time! We made our reservations and our countdown calendar.
And as they say, “People plan and God (or the Universe) laughs.”
We found out the spring before that I was 8 weeks pregnant. I’d be in my last trimester during our trip. After struggling with infertility for years, taking care of this pregnancy to the very end became our priority. I’d have to wait until my 41st birthday.
And so, the following year we packed up our 11 year old, our 2 year old and our 10 month old and headed for Disney World. Better late than never.
We’ve visited during every week in November and most weeks in December. We’ve learned the ins and outs to making your holiday trip unforgettable. Read on to make your trip that much easier and one you’ll remember for years to come.
Top 11 Reasons To Go To Walt Disney World During The Holiday Season
11. Timing is everything! Chose a week that does not include a major holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.) Unless you’re a seasoned Disney go-er I’d avoid visiting between December 23-January 5. There is a reason it’s the most expensive time to go – it’s the most popular time to go. Crowds will reach capacity levels. They will close the parks and you won’t be able to get in to make that precious 7pm dining reservation at Be Our Guest. Or, on New Year’s Eve, you will wait in line at Test Track for 5 hours. Five hours. (I thought it was a mistake on the sign until I confirmed it with the Cast Member.) Thanksgiving can be tricky, too, but just for a couple days. Time your trip the week before Thanksgiving or the couple weeks after Thanksgiving and you’ll be good to go.
10. Along those same lines, they will be taping the annual Christmas Parade during the first weekend in December. If you want to be on TV, by all means, visit Magic Kingdom on that day. (Check with the concierge at your resort for more info.) Otherwise, avoid the crowds and go to EPCOT, Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom and enjoy the relatively crowd free atmosphere.
9. During the holiday season there are special shows and special parades. Even Santa comes to visit!
8. Speaking of crowds, there won’t be any. Or many. As long as you schedule your visit during the weeks without a holiday in it, that is. Riding your favorite attractions two times in a row will be easy to do. Snagging a great spot to watch a parade (except for the Christmas taping) will be a cinch. Enjoy the elbow room and space to breathe. (My favorite week to go is the first full week in December, which also happens to be my birthday week.)
7. Everything will be decorated. Everything! The parks. The resorts. The restaurants. Besides the parks, you won’t want to miss the giant gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian or the mammoth Christmas trees at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Work time in your schedule to tour the resort lobbies, even if you just do a monorail crawl for the Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian. Beautiful!
6. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party shouldn’t be missed! Sure, it’s an extra expense, but the even lighter crowds, real snow, free cookies and hot chocolate, special parade and fireworks displays makes it such a treat. There’s even special edition ornament and apparel, only available during party hours.
5. Value pricing. As long as you stay away from about 4 days around Thanksgiving and December 23-January 1 you should be able to find pretty good prices for your favorite resort. Just check with you favorite Authorized Disney Vacation Planner (We love Debbie at Magical Journeys!) and they can find the best price for your budget.
4. The weather this time of year is still pleasant. It’s less humid and less of a chance that plans will be destroyed by a thunderstorm. Although it can be unpredictable. We’ve been some years when the kids have been able to swim in the outdoor pool. We’ve been other years when we’ve bundled up with jackets, hats and yes, even mittens. I’ll take dry and cool over hot, humid and sticky any day of the year.
3. Candlelight Processional features children’s choirs and celebrity readers during this celebration of the holiday season with music and verse. Our daughter’s school choir was invited one year – a special treat for us! Add a dining package at EPCOT for great seats for the show!
2. Did I mention it’ll be less crowded? This is worth mentioning twice. My husband tolerates our trips to Disney because he hates crowds. This is, hands down, his favorite time of year to be dragged along. Less tour groups. Many kids are still in school. We even get a smile and enthusiasm from him when we go this time of year.
And the number one reason to go during the holidays?
1. It’s the number one way for any Disney fan to usher in the holiday season. The lights. The music. The decorations. Special holiday shows. Yummy treats. Holiday shopping. It’s an amazing time of year to experience everything Disney!