Helpful Information For Your December 2016 Disney World Vacation

So you are planning a vacation to Disney World in December 2016?
December is a wonderful time to visit Walt Disney World!


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.


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.

Magic Kingdom Welcome ShowDecember 1 – December 3
Average Crowd Level 4.3 out of 10
December 6 – December 10
Average Crowd Level 4.3 out of 10
December 11 – December 17
Average Crowd Level 5.1 out of 10
December 18 – December 24
Average Crowd Level 8.3 out of 10
December 25 – December 31
Average Crowd Level 10 out of 10

Magic Kingdom ClockPark Hours

Magic Kingdom
Open most days from 9am – 10pm (plus Extra Magic Hours)
Open most days from 9am – 9:30pm (plus Extra Magic Hours)
Hollywood Studios
Open most days from 9am – 7pm (plus Extra Magic Hours)
Animal Kingdom
Open most days from 9am – 5pm (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.


Very Merry Christmas Party Gingerbread MenRunning through December 22, 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!

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 2016 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.


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

Magic Kingdom
No Scheduled Refurbishments At This Time

No Scheduled Refurbishments At This Time

Hollywood Studios
Star Wars Land: Opening in 2018
Toy Story Land: Opening in 2018

Animal Kingdom
Pandora – The World of AVATAR: Opening in 2017

Water Parks
Blizzard Beach: October 23 – December 24, 2016

Disney Springs
Fulton’s Crab House: May 1 – December 31, 2016

Resort Hotels
Walt Disney World Dolphin: Guest Room Refurbishments To Be Completed In 2017
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 2016, 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.
  • If 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 2016 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!

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