Helpful Information For Your December 2015 Disney World Vacation

Christmas

So you are planning a vacation to Disney World in December 2015? December is a wonderful time of year to visit Walt Disney World. There is nothing quite like Disney World during the holidays!

Weather

The weather in Disney World during December is cool and fairly dry. The average high is about 72 degrees, the average low is about 51 degrees and the average rainfall is about 2.89 inches. It can sometimes get chilly especially during the evenings, so be sure to pack a few clothes for cooler weather, too.

Crowds

The crowds in December normally start out light and become extreme by Christmas week often causing temporary park closures due to reaching capacity especially at Magic Kingdom.

December 1 – December 5 – Average Crowd Level 3.0 out of 10
December 6 – December 12 – Average Crowd Level 3.7 out of 10
December 13 – December 19 – Average Crowd Level 5.6 out of 10
December 20 – December 26 – Average Crowd Level 9.4 out of 10
December 27 – December 31 – Average Crowd Level 10 out of 10

Park Hours

Magic Kingdom ClockThe Parks continue to be open several hours per day during the holiday season.

  • Magic Kingdom: Open most days from 9am – 10pm (plus Extra Magic Hours)
  • Epcot: Open from 9am – 9:30pm (plus Extra Magic Hours)
  • Hollywood Studios: Open most days from 9am – 8pm (plus Extra Magic Hours)
  • Animal Kingdom: Open most days from 9am – 6pm (plus Extra Magic Hours)

For specific hours on each day during December, please click this link. Remember that park hours are subject to change and are often adjusted two weeks prior.

Events

ChristmasRunning through December 18, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will be held on select nights at Magic Kingdom. This party is a festive and heart warming experience for the entire family. There is a special holiday parade, entertaining shows, spectacular fireworks, hot chocolate and cookies, character dance parties, and even snow on Main Street! For more information including dates and pricing, please click here.

Disney World Holiday DecorationsEvery year at Epcot, the holiday season is celebrated with a special event called Holidays Around The World. This year the festive happening will be held through December 30. It is filled with yummy food, joyful music and wonderful traditions from countries around the globe. For more information and reservations, please click here!

Osborne Family SpectacleOn display throughout the holidays, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights features millions of dancing lights, plus animated displays and 3-D effects perfectly synchronized to electrifying holiday tunes amidst snowfall. The rich tradition takes place on the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Candlelight ProcessionalThe Candlelight Processional at Epcot is one of the most beloved holiday traditions at Disney World, with the joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and glorious mass choir. Performances are held three times nightly throughout the holiday season at the America Gardens Theatre. For more information and reservations, please click here.

Christmas Tree CupcakeOn Christmas Day, several Disney World restaurants serve a special holiday meal. No details have been released for 2015 yet, but check back often as I will update this post as soon as any new information becomes available. If you have your heart set on eating at a particular restaurant for Christmas, be sure to make your dining reservation right away, because holidays do fill up quickly. Disney World dining reservations can be made by clicking here.

New Years 3If you’ll be visiting Disney World for the ringing in of 2016 there are plenty of fun-filled options available to celebrate the holiday including special entertainment and dining. For more information about celebrating New Year’s in Walt Disney World, please click here.

Refurbishments

Periodically throughout the year, Disney closes attractions for refurbishments and enhancements. Here are the scheduled closures during December (subject to change without notice):

Magic Kingdom

  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover: December 7 – December 10, 2015

Epcot

  • Frozen Ever After: October 5 – May 1, 2016
  • Sum of All Thrills: November 30 – December 4, 2015

Hollywood Studios

Animal Kingdom

Water Parks

  • Blizzard Beach: Park Closed October 4 – January 2, 2016

Downtown Disney

  • Downtown Disney is undergoing a major transformation to become the reimagined Disney Springs. Construction will be finished in phases with the final completion date set for Fall 2016.

Resort Hotels

  • All Star Sports: Grand Slam Pool October 26 – December 18, 2015
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge: Uzima Pool December 14 – 16, 2015
  • Boardwalk Inn: Exterior Painting August 17, 2015 – May 5, 2016
  • Polynesian Resort: Polynesian East Pool To Be Completed In 2016
  • Pop Century: Computer Pool November 30 – December 3, 2015, Bowling Pin Pool December 7 – 10, 2015
  • Port Orleans French Quarter: Kiddie Pool September 8 – December 23, 2015
  • Walt Disney World Swan: Ongoing Guest Room Refurbishments To Be Completed In 2015
  • Wilderness Lodge: Hidden Springs Quiet Pool, Resort Beach, Playground and Fire Pit To Be Completed In 2017

Planning Tips

If you are traveling to Disney World in December 2015, your planning is probably well under way at this point. Here’s a checklist to make sure you are on track:

  • Make sure you have created your My Disney Experience account. If you haven’t, click here to sign up now.
  • If you haven’t already made your dining reservations, be sure to make them now by clicking here, especially if you are trying to book a special dinner for Christmas.
  • Christmas Magic YOUR BandIf you are staying on site, be sure to customize your MagicBand on your My Disney Experience account by picking the color and adding your name. And if you really want to make your MagicBand special, personalize it with your own custom designed MagicBand Skin from Magic YOUR Band. Click here to get started!
  • Now is a great time to research what attractions you and your family would like to see at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Because Walt Disney World is so large, it is very difficult to see everything during one trip, so be sure to get everyone’s top priorities. This is also a great time to begin looking at menus for counter service restaurants so that you have an idea of which locations serve foods that your entire family will enjoy.
  • Whether you are staying on site or off-property, be sure to purchase your admission tickets and link them to your My Disney Experience account.
  • 501 WaysOnce your tickets are linked and at exactly 60 days in advance of your check in date (midnight EST time) if you are staying on site or 30 days in advance for all other guests, login to your My Disney Experience account and book your Fastpass+ reservations.
  • If you are staying on site, be sure to check in online at 60 days out from your arrival date.
  • Double check your flight times and if you will be using Disney’s Magical Express for your airport transportation make your reservation at least 60 days in advance by clicking here.
  • It’s never too early to start creating a packing list so that you don’t forget anything.
  • Need more help planning? Please check out my new book 501 Ways to Make the Most of Your Walt Disney World Vacation, for hundreds of insider tips and secrets for having the most magical Disney World vacation possible!

Special Offers

If you haven’t already made your December 2015 reservations, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save money:

Join The Fun

Next Disney VacationDisney Vacation Planner Jennifer Hardy and I have teamed up to create a new Facebook Group called Next Disney Vacation! It is the perfect place to talk about your next Disney vacation, ask your questions, get them answered, and share the magic. Everyday you’ll find posts, photos, trivia, tips, and more that we find all throughout the Disney Universe. If you’re counting the days until your next Disney vacation or just dreaming of one, we would love to have you join in the fun! Please click here to be a part of our group!

Have a magical vacation!

4 comments on “Helpful Information For Your December 2015 Disney World Vacation

  1. Do you have any idea why the Disney website shows all Value and Moderate resorts, as well as some of the Premium resorts fully booked for the week of 12/2 to 12/9 which is supposed to be a lightly crowded time?

    • Hi Tom – There are a few reasons why you might be finding limited availability between December 2 and December 9. First, the Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Dance and Cheer Competitions are going on in Disney World from December 5 – December 12 which tends to fill a lot of the value and moderate resorts. Secondly, many resorts are full over the weekends during the holiday season when locals visit to enjoy all of the festivities. Since you are booking a Wednesday to Wednesday, if a hotel is full over the weekend, it will not show up in your search. Lastly, Walt Disney World attendance has increased significantly in the last few months, and with this being the final year for the Osborne Lights, they are seeing record bookings for this holiday season. I hope this information helps! 🙂

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