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December Disney World Crowds – the Agony and the Ecstasy

Dad thinks December is the best month of the year to visit WDW. Let’s take a look at December Disney World Crowds, when to go and how to deal with them when they happen to show up.

Mickey Head Christmas Wreath at the Magic Kingdom

All the parks get dressed up for Christmas in December – Photo by Judd Helms

This is going to be good.

December Disney World Crowd Calendar

The crowd pattern for December is pretty easy to figure out. The month starts out nice and peaceful and as the “big day” gets closer the crowds get bigger.


Here’s what Dad thinks the December Disney World Crowds will be.


Dad's December 2020 Disney World Crowd Calendar


Dad’s Crowd Calendar Disclaimer

This calendar is based on historical facts, as I know them today. The Walt Disney World Resort is an ever-changing environment and you might find things significantly different from what Dad predicts.


(There, Mr. Dad’s lawyer, are you happy?)

But, as nutty as the December crowds are, December is truly the best time to visit Walt Disney World.

December Crowds

December at WDW is really amazing. It all starts out so quiet. The first week of December may be the best week of the whole year to visit WDW.



The football teams and cheerleaders show up. The Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheerleading and Dance competition is typically the second week in December.


Thousands of pre-teens come to WDW to compete and have some fun. They really don’t affect crowds very much except at the Value Resorts which will all be sold out. They do tend to go to the parks in the evenings, but all-in-all it’s not a big crowd factor.


After the kids go home, things slow down for a couple of weeks. Starting around the 18th of the month, crowds start to build until…


Everyone in the whole wide world arrives at Walt Disney World for Christmas Day. (Maybe not everyone, but gazillions do.)


The week of Christmas will be very, very, very busy. We’re talking the busiest week of the year. By FAR.

Christmas Day in the Magic Kingdom – Video by iThemePark


Christmas Day will be crazy. It always is. In the past on Christmas Day the Magic Kingdom has stopped accepting any guests as early 10:00 in the morning.


The days from Christmas until New Years Eve, December Disney World crowds will be wall-to-wall.


December 31 will be almost as busy as Christmas Day. By 7pm it’s possible that the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios will not accept any more guests. There have been reports of guests picking out their spot to watch the fireworks as early as 5:30 p.m.

Dad’s Christmas Day at the Magic Kingdom page

December Events

In December, you’ve got Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party right up until the Friday before Christmas. The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays – including Dad’s favorite show, The Candlelight Processional – is on. Disney’s Hollywood Studios is having a flurry of fun, and Disney Springs has holiday happenings too – like the Christmas Tree Trail!

Dad’s 2020 WDW Crowd Calendars

Dad's 2020 Crowd Calendar

Dad’s Walt Disney World Crowd Calendars

How to avoid Disney World crowds

So, what can you do about the December Disney World Crowds? Dad has a few tips and tricks.


Yes, Disney World crowds can be avoided. It just takes some work. Dad can help you plan your day to avoid, or minimize the effect of Disney World crowds.

Dad’s Disney World Crowds page

Christmas at Disney World

What makes December so special is how Disney celebrates Christmas. Christmas at Disney World is the best celebration of the season anywhere.


Every day during the holiday season (which starts the first week of November) there are special shows, special firework shows, special meals, special parades … Christmas time is just the “most wonderful time of the year” for a Disney World vacation.

Dad’s Christmas at Disney World page

Dad’s Bottom Line

Disney World comes alive in December. It’s the best time of the year to visit. Yes, December Disney World crowds will be up this year, yes, you will have to wait in line, but it’s still the best time to visit Disney World.

Dad's Disney World home page



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