When in November for Christmas at Walt Disney World

When in November for Christmas at Walt Disney World

by David
(Cunningham, TN USA)

We've been to Disney several Times but never during the Christmas Season. We are thinking of either the second or third full week in November. We'll be traveling with a 10 yr old and a 4 yr old. We want to see the Christmas decorations but not the wall-to-wall crowds. Any advice? Suggestions?

You gotta see this

The Gingerbread House in the Grand Floridian

Photo by Samantha Decker

Dad’s the Earlier the Better Answer

David, two of Dad’s favorite things in the world are Walt Disney World at Christmas and Walt Disney World with light crowds. So, you’re in good hands – let’s look at when you should take your trip to maximize your holiday fun and minimize the amount of crowds you have to deal with.

Dad’s Christmas at Walt Disney World Page

First, let’s look at your timing. The third week of November will be a real Nightmare Before Christmas (pun intended) with regards to the crowds. Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest times of the year and crowds will be wall to wall. However, right up until that week, November is the perfect time to visit – super light crowds, weather that’s warm but not too warm, and holiday festivities and decorations are ramping up. A trip in the second week of November is a dream come true.

Dad’s November Crowds Page

If you want to get really specific about the crowd levels in each park each day, head on over to Touringplans.com - their crowd calendars are exceptionally detailed and accurate. You can also find tips on their website for how to save time in the parks, full touring plans appropriate to a family traveling with children, and more.

Touringplans.com Page

Visiting Walt Disney World for Christmas in early November is a great way to get the best of both worlds – low crowds and lots of holiday cheer. But be warned, while most of the special Christmas touches will be yours to enjoy, there are a few special shows (such as the Candlelight Processional and Holidays Around the World at Epcot) that won’t be performed that early, and the massive Christmas tree on Main Street USA won’t be up quite yet. But that’s certainly no reason to rethink your dates!

There will be plenty of Christmas decorations around all four of the theme parks, including beautiful trees at Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. You’ll be able to see Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights, and Cinderella’s Holiday Wish. Plus, you can enjoy Christmas treats and souvenirs galore!

If you want to experience the Magic Kingdom to the full extent of its Christmastime wonder, including all of the special holiday shows usually shown closer to December 25th, treat your family with tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. You’ll be able to see loads of special shows (including Holiday Wishes and Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade), see it snow on Main Street USA, stuff yourself with cocoa and cookies, meet characters at dance parties and special greeting stations, and play games!

Dad’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Page

Dad’s Bottom Line

David, you’ve picked a swell time of year to visit the most magical place on earth. Plan your trip for the second week of November, and you won’t need to give the crowds another thought. And if you’re looking to make the holidays really special, get tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – trust me.

Comments for When in November for Christmas at Walt Disney World

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May 28, 2012
Resort Decorations
by: Anonymous

When do the resort decorations go up for Christmas? Looking at week before Thanksgiving or after. Also, any updates on fantasy land for the holidays and if that means all nov or by thanksgiving week?

Dad's Answer

Christmas decorations go up the first week of November. The only difference between the week before Thanksgiving and the week after is the Candlelight Processional which doesn't start until the day after Christmas.

As to Fantasyland, I'd guess that the new sections that are supposed to open in November will have some "soft openings" (trial runs) the first part of the month and be open by Thanksgiving. Just my guess.

Mar 03, 2012
deals at this time
by: Linda

I have reservations for Nov 30 to Dec 8 2012 at the Polynesian. Is there a good chance that the free dining will be offered? Also, is it worth paying a bit more to stay in the Club level?

Dad's Response

Linda, yes, no, maybe. Who knows if you'll see Free Dining. Last week, I would have said no way. This week, I'll say maybe. The chances will improve greatly if Disney offers something for October. (The current Free Dining ends in September.)

About the Club Level. No, it's not worth the extra money if you are only trying to save on food. It is a magical experience and the perks are great and if you can afford it, by all means go for it. If you will be stressed by spending the extra money, don't worry about it.

Mar 02, 2012
by: Anonymous

We went from 11.30 through 12.5 last year and experienced no crowds at all (longest wait time for a ride was half an hour, but most rides we walked on to!). Great weather. No complaints at all. We are going back the same time this year as well!

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