by M and Tania
(Austin, TX and Cayman Islands)
‘Twas the middle of April and here at Dad’s Guide, the questions began coming from both far and wide.
We are planning on going back to WDW later this year. We can’t decide when exactly, but we are leaning towards sometime during the last two months. We want to see the Christmas decorations but still avoid the big crowds. My husband’s birthday is December 5th, would that first week in December be a good time?
Thanks for your input!
The answer was written with oh so much care, when another arose making quite the pair!
Hi, I would like to take my 3 children to Disney World the days right after schools gets out (approx. Dec 18/19) but before Christmas Day. A 4 day trip to Orlando. Can you suggest a plan for visiting all/most of the events on your Christmas page? Should I get park hopper? Do I pay the $55 for each day? And is it worth my while to stay at a Disney value hotel? I don’t plan to do all the rides, just the ones that my kids (5,8,12) will enjoy, but we really love Christmas – lights, fireworks, songs etc.
So Dad in his wisdom decided say, he’d answer both questions together today!
Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year at Disney World – Photo by Tom Bricker
Dad’s ‘Twas the Month Before Christmas Answer
You should know that I’ve always wanted to get a note from James Bond’s Boss. I may not be 007, but I like to think I have a license to fill – up your stocking with advice for your Christmastime Walt Disney World trip (get it? Dad’s so funny!). Let’s take a closer look at the most magical time of year at the most magical place on earth.
You must have been wishing upon the right star, because you’re looking at traveling to WDW during one of the best times of the year! The first week of December is the perfect time to visit: cool weather, all the Christmas decorations are up, holiday entertainment is in full swing, and crowds are only moderate! On top of all that, you can celebrate your husband’s birthday that week – now THAT’S magic!
Your trip will shape up quite a bit differently – as you can see from Dad’s Crowd Calendar, the dates that you’re looking at range from wall-to-wall to out-of-control. But if you adjust your expectations and have a great PLAN you’ll be able to visit all (or most!) of the attractions that your children want to and still have time to see the special shows, parades, and fireworks that celebrate the holidays.
My advice to you is to go as early as you possibly can (if you can leave on December 18 instead of 19 or 20 all the better!) since the crowds worsen each day as Christmas approaches. I would highly recommend staying at a Value Resort on Disney property – it means you’ll be as close as possible to the parks, and you’ll have the advantage of Extra Magic Hours – a perk that gets hotel guests in to park for extra hours!
You don’t have to get the Park Hopper Option, but it might help you to get in some extra time at the Magic Kingdom (which is where you’ll find the most rides for your kids’ age range and where there is the most happening for Christmastime!). Its certainly something to consider if you an afford it – and the $55 fee gives you Park Hopper for your whole trip.
Merry Christmas from Disney Hollywood Studios – Photo by Tom Bricker
At Disney Hollywood Studios, be sure to see The Osborne Family Spectacle of Light in the evening, and at Epcot you can take in Holidays around the World throughout the day, as well as the Candlelight Processional at night. Animal Kingdom features Mickey’s Jingle Jungle Parade, and if you do decide to Park Hop, I’d recommend spending the night at Magic Kingdom following your day here.
In addition to all the kid-friendly rides at the Magic Kingdom, this park has an abundance of Christmas spirit. There’s no need to go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party since all of the party offerings (except free cookies and cocoa) are available daily for the week leading up to Christmas. You can enjoy Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, Holiday Wishes, Celebrate the Season, Cinderella’s Holiday Wish, and A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas at your own pace.
Dad’s Bottom Line
M. and Tania, Christmas at Walt Disney World is Dad’s favorite, and for good reason. Make sure you arm yourself with a good PLAN, and you’ll be sure to celebrate the holidays with true Disney magic!
Dad has one more thing to say after all his tips, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good trip!”