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

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)

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

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

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, 2017 - Old Port Royale construction and refurbishment, (Dining)

May 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017 - Banana Cabana construction and refurbishment, (Dining)

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

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

May 12, 2017 - December 31, 2017 - Wishes final performance - May 11th, 2017, (Attraction)

  Available Discounts

No discounts currently available.

See the chart of past discounts for previous promotion dates.

  Special Events

We will update this soon.

  Crowds

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