December at Disney World enjoys mild temperatures, lots of great holiday decorations, begins with light crowds and ends with the busiest crowds of the whole year.

Many consider the first part of the month to 1 of the best times to visit due to low crowds, lower prices, mild temps and holiday decor.

Although most people think low crowds = less planning, 1 thing that is more important to plan during lower crowds is figuring out the best park for each day of your trip. During busy times, the crowds are spread more evenly across the parks since nighttime entertainment is offered nightly. When traveling in the first part of December at Disney World, you should pay special attention to the best/worst parks (shown below) to avoid the busiest crowds.

The end of December has peak crowds, and good planning will be necessary to avoid lots of long lines.

Traveling during a busier time means you have to be extra diligent about having a good touring plan. As long as you're zigging while other people zag, you'll do fine.

Since temps in December at Disney World can get cool in the mornings and evenings, consider dressing in layers so you're comfortable throughout the day.

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Explanation of park recommendations and abbreviations below
In general, I recommend avoiding parks with Extra Magic Hours because they tend to be the busiest parks that day. Animal Kingdom is an exception because it's usually not too bad, even on EMH days.

Magic Kingdom usually sees a surge on Saturdays, so other parks are usually a better choice.

MK = Magic Kingdom, EP = Epcot, HS = Hollywood Studios, AK = Animal Kingdom,
TL = Typhoon Lagoon, BB = Blizzard Beach, EMH = Extra Magic Hour
 

What the dates in each day of the calendar mean
(click the + sign beside each date to add it to your calendar):
When guests can start making Advanced Dining Reservations
When onsite guests can start making FastPass+ reservations
When offsite guests can start making FastPass+ reservations
Park colors:
Suggested park
Moderately suggested park
Park not suggested

Park hours for people visiting in December at Disney World usually come out in mid-May.

Trip planning checklist

May or earlier: book your hotel, make your daily plans and choose dining options

June or early July: 180 days before your trip begins, make dining reservations (website is available at 6 a.m. eastern, phone lines are open at 7 a.m. Eastern). Use the dates on the calendar to show you when to do that.

August - October: book flights (tips on finding best flights)

October or early November: if you're staying onsite, you can start making FastPass+ reservations 60 days before your trip begins. Use dates on the calendar to see when you can start making FP+ reservations online beginning at 7 a.m. eastern time. You can also check in online for your resort room if you'd like.

November or earlier: set up Magical Express, purchase Memory Maker and order groceries

December: pack (packing list to help you) and go to Disney World!

January: finalize PhotoPass pics and order within 45 days after your trip

  Related articles

  Recent Updates

11/03/2017 - Magic Kingdom opening moved to 8am - December 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22

10/16/2017 - Magic Kingdom - park hours were extended: 1st - 9th | Animal Kingdom - park opening at 8 am instead of 9 am: 6th | Animal Kingdom - park opening 1 hour earlier and staying open 1 hour later: 24th-30th

09/16/2017 - 24-30 - Animal Kingdom - 2nd performance of Rivers of Light added

09/07/2017 - Grand Floridian Beach Pool and the Pool Bar & Grill refurbishment added (exact end date unknown)

09/01/2017 - 1st-23rd - Animal Kingdom now closing a 8pm instead of 7pm, Rivers of Light now being performed nightly

08/30/2017 - Chef Mickey's temporarily being relocated end of November/beginning of December (exact dates unknown at this time).

08/12/2017 - Rivers of Light added on select nights

08/10/2017 - Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM performances added for Dec 1st - 14th. No Star Wars fireworks those nights. Both Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular will be shown Dec. 15th - Dec. 31st. Hollywood Studios closing later 15th and 17th - 31st

06/26/2017 - EMHs changed at Epcot (PM EMH moved from 12/19 to 12/17) & Hollywood Studios (AM EMH moved from 12/17 to 12/19)

04/06/2017 - Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party dates released for December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21 & 22.

02/22/2017 - Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs expansion and construction notes added

  Refurbishment Details

October 26, 2015 - December 31, 2017 - Wilderness Lodge Construction, Hidden Springs leisure pool, resort beach, playground, fire pit, nature trail, boat and bike rentals, and spa treatments will be unavailable. The main feature pool will remain open. (Resort)

October 26, 2015 - December 31, 2017 - Wilderness Lodge Villa Construction, Hidden Springs leisure pool, resort beach, playground, fire pit, nature trail, boat and bike rentals, and spa treatments will be unavailable. The main feature pool will remain open. (Resort)

January 3, 2016 - December 31, 2017 - Cub\'s Den refurbishment, Re-opening date unknown at this time. Guests are invited to use Lilo’s Playhouse (Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort), the Sandcastle Club (Disney’s Beach Club Resort), or Simba’s Cubhouse (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge) during the refurbishment. (Resort)

January 6, 2016 - January 31, 2018 - Caribbean Beach Resort - Jamaica Pool refurbishment, (Resort)

December 31, 2016 - December 31, 2017 - Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! (seasonal show), (Attraction)

January 1, 2017 - January 31, 2018 - Runoff Rapids refurbishment, (Attraction)

January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017 - Santa Claus and Goofy Santa (seasonal), (Attraction)

January 17, 2017 - December 31, 2017 - Hall of Presidents refurb, (Attraction)

January 31, 2017 - June 30, 2019 - Coronado Springs - construction, Major construction and a reconfiguration of the resort currently under way. (Resort)

February 22, 2017 - January 31, 2018 - Caribbean Beach - construction refurbishment, In addition to extensive construction throughout the resort, Old Port Royale Food Court, Shutters, Banana Cabana Pool Bar, and Calypso Trading Post at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will all be closed starting May 1st, 2017 (Resort)

May 1, 2017 - December 31, 2018 - Old Port Royale construction and refurbishment, (Dining)

May 1, 2017 - December 1, 2018 - Banana Cabana construction and refurbishment, (Dining)

May 1, 2017 - December 31, 2018 - Old Port Royale construction and refurbishment, (Dining)

May 1, 2017 - December 31, 2018 - Old Port Royale construction and refurbishment, (Dining)

June 26, 2017 - July 31, 2018 - Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill - Opening in 2018, (Dining)

June 26, 2017 - July 31, 2018 - Jaleo - Opening in 2018, (Dining)

June 26, 2017 - December 31, 2017 - The Edison - opening early 2018, (Dining)

August 1, 2017 - December 31, 2019 - Art of Animation - Disney Skyliner construction, Construction of the new Disney gondola system known as the "Disney Skyliner" has begun at Art of Animation. During this time construction noise may be seen or heard throughout the resort, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9am. (Resort)

August 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017 - Coronado Springs - hard goods refurbishment, Hard goods within resort rooms are currently being refurbished, however, noise should not be heard between dusk and 9am. (Resort)

September 1, 2017 - December 1, 2018 - Shutters closed during Caribbean Beach refurbishment, (Dining)

September 1, 2017 - September 30, 2018 - Old Key West - room refurbishments, Rooms at Old Key West are being refurbished, however, there is no impact to amenities and while it is possible that construction may be seen or heard, noise should not be noticeable between dusk and 9am. (Resort)

September 1, 2017 - May 31, 2018 - Boardwalk Inn & Villas refurbishment, Boardwalk Inn and Boardwalk Villas are undergoing some general refurbishment projects., however, there is no impact on any of the resort amenities including dining and recreation locations. It is possible that construction may be seen or heard, but noise should not be heard from Guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am. (Resort)

October 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017 - Tarzan appearance ending on September 30th, 2017, (Attraction)

October 25, 2017 - June 30, 2018 - Woody’s Lunch Box - opening in Summer 2018, (Dining)

October 25, 2017 - June 30, 2018 - Woody’s Lunch Box - opening in Summer 2018, (Dining)

November 2, 2017 - July 31, 2019 - NBA Experience (opening summer 2019), (Attraction)

November 2, 2017 - February 28, 2018 - Pizza Ponte (dinner) - Coming Winter 2017-18, (Dining)

November 2, 2017 - February 28, 2018 - Maria & Enzo’s - Coming Winter 2017-18, (Dining)

November 2, 2017 - February 28, 2018 - Pizza Ponte - Coming Winter 2017-18, (Dining)

November 2, 2017 - February 28, 2018 - Enzo’s Hideaway - Coming Winter 2017-18, (Dining)

November 2, 2017 - February 28, 2018 - Maria & Enzo’s - Coming Winter 2017-18, (Dining)

November 18, 2017 - December 22, 2017 - Stitch closed (open seasonally), (Attraction)

November 20, 2017 - January 31, 2018 - Pool Bar & Grill refurbishment (exact end date unknown), (Dining)

November 20, 2017 - January 31, 2018 - Grand Floridian Resort - Beach Pool refurbishment (end date unknown), (Resort)

November 20, 2017 - January 31, 2018 - Grand Floridian Resort - Beach Pool refurbishment (end date unknown), (Resort)

November 26, 2017 - December 16, 2017 - Chef Mickey''s temporarily being relocated (exact dates unknown), (Dining)

November 26, 2017 - December 16, 2017 - Chef Mickey's temporarily being relocated (exact dates unknown), (Dining)

November 26, 2017 - December 16, 2017 - Chef Mickey's temporarily being relocated (exact dates unknown), (Dining)

  Available Discounts

No discounts currently available.

See the chart of past discounts for previous promotion dates.

  Special Events

December 1, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 3, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 5, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 7, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 8, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 10, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 12, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 14, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 15, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 17, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 19, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 21, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

December 22, 2017 - Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

  Crowds

December 1 - 15
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December 16 - 21
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December 22 - 31
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