Are you planning a trip to Orlando soon and wondering what to wear to Walt Disney World in December? December is a beautiful time of year to visit the Disney parks, as they are highly decorated for the holidays and full of good Christmas cheer. Be sure to check out this post before you head to the happiest place on Earth and be sure to sign up below for my free Disney packing list!
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Is December a good time to visit Disney World?
December is a fantastic time to visit Disney World. From personal experiences, I can tell you that it is the most wonderful time of the year to spend in Disney parks! As a travel agent, when travel clients ask me about my favorite time to head to Disney, I always include early December, along with February and early May.
Santa Claus is on Main Street, USA in the Magic Kingdom, all of the Disney resorts magically transform into winter wonderlands with Christmas trees and gingerbread, and the decorations are simply stunning. I always like to watch the show Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic on Disney+ before I go to get excited about all that we will see in the parks and resorts this time of year.
Be sure to check with your local travel agent specializing in Disney to see if any current promos are available for December. Many times, promos are released for the first few weeks of December before the school holidays begin. See if you can take advantage of these to stay in the magic at a Disney resort! It is worth it, especially this time of year!
Is Disney crowded in December?
The good news is that the Disney theme park and resorts are only moderately crowded during early December. As mentioned above, you can often find some good deals during the first two weeks of the month. As the holiday season gets closer to December 25, you will experience more crowds and long lines.
One of the most important things to remember if you travel closer to Christmas is to have a touring plan for your Disney vacation. There is a good chance that crowds will be at their peak on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. My best advice is to hit the parks early, before the official opening time. Also, if you are staying at a deluxe Disney resort, take advantage of the extended hours for deluxe resort guests. If you travel during a more crowded time, consider purchasing Genie+ and/or Individual Lightning Lanes before 7 AM on the day of your visit. This is an additional charge, but it is a great way to cut down on your time in line at the theme park.
it is also a good idea to check the My Disney Experience app for updated park hours, the latest wait times, and locations on where to meet your favorite characters. Having a plan during your Disney trip is a great way to maximize your time in the parks and enjoy your time in the most magical place on Earth!
Is Disney World cold in December?
The great thing about a theme park located in central Florida is the moderate average temperatures. Even during the winter months, Florida weather typically ranges from low temperatures of around 55 degrees F to high temperatures of 75 degrees F. Cooler temperatures typically hit in the early morning and evening after the sun goes down, making for some chilly nights.
Those from the northern United States will not consider this cold weather, but you will still want to pack some long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a light jacket as you consider what to wear to Disney World in December. It is always a great idea to check the weather forecast a few days in advance of your trip for the weather conditions during the Florida winter. My favorite website and app for weather in Orlando is Dark Sky. Be sure to enter Lake Buena Vista, Florida as your destination, as it tends to be more accurate for Disney parks than Orlando.
Does it rain at Disney World in December?
A chance of rain is always present at Disney World. Though it is not hurricane season in the winter, some rainy days can occur. It is always a good idea to bring a poncho, umbrella, or rain jacket. You can leave them in your hotel room if the forecast is full of warm weather and sunny days, but it is always a good idea to have an option for rain in your suitcase.
You can also always pack a poncho in your park bag if you want to pop it on for water rides like Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom or Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom. I keep these in my Disney box for my packing list for each trip.
This is my favorite rain jacket for the parks. It is lightweight and breathable, and it can stand up to the wind and rain you can encounter in Orlando. Add this to your what to wear to Disney World in December packing list!
Can you swim at Disney World in December?
You can swim at Disney World in December! Though it won’t be as warm as the summer months, your Disney hotel pool is heated during the winter months, so feel free to throw that bathing suit, sun hat, and flip flops in your suitcase.
In addition, one of the water parks, Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon will be open in December. Check the daytime temperatures during your Disney vacation and see if you should add the water park ticket to your park ticket.
What are Disney World hours in December?
Be sure to check Disney’s December calendar or the My Disney Experience app for the most updated park hours. Often, the Magic Kingdom will close at 6 PM, in order to host Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas party from 7-close. Magic Kingdom’s regular hours tend to run from 9 AM-10 PM. However, the good news is, even in you don’t have a ticket for special events like Mickey’s Merry Christmas Party, the Magic Kingdom tends to be a little less busy during days when parties occur at night, so you can take advantage of lower crowds.
Stop into Epcot to celebrate Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays. Epcot hours tend to run from 9 AM to 9:30 PM. Hollywood Studios current hours run from 8:30 AM to 9 PM. Animal Kingdom typically opens from 9 AM to 7 PM.
Be sure to check out Disney Springs during your Disney vacation too! You don’t need a park ticket and there are plenty of dining and shopping options! Typically Disney Springs is open from around 11 AM-10 PM. One of the most important things to remember about Disney Springs is that it gets busier on the weekends, as locals come out to wine and dine. Just keep that in mind as you plan your next visit or dining reservation.
Are there special events I should pack for in December?
If you plan to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, be sure to pack a fun holiday sweater and a pair of jeans for cool temperatures or fun themed long sleeve shirts, short sleeves shirts, or tank tops with a holiday theme for warm days. Here are my personal preferences that I am packing for my next trip during the holidays!
Another fantastic event during December is Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays. This is not a separate ticketed event at Epcot. You can enjoy all of the events with your regular park ticket. You can purchase delicious seasonal items like the holiday kitchens throughout the park, take advantage of the Holiday cookie stroll, and listen to amazing holiday music.
At Epcot, be sure to catch the Candlelight Processional, the story of Christmas narrated by a celebrity guest with a full choir and orchestra. The processional takes place nightly at 5:15, 7:00, and 8:30 at the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot.
You can also purchase a dining package for the Candlelight Processional. This guarantees that you will have a seat during the processional, which is particularly important for popular celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris. You can eat lunch or dinner and then make your way to reserved seats for the show. Featured restaurants include Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Biergarten, Coral Reef, Garden Grill, Le Cellier, Regal Eagle, Rose and Crown, and Spice Road Table.
Should I pack a coat for December in Disney World?
Typically, you will not need a super thick coat on your what to wear to Disney World in December packing list, but do check for winter weather before you leave for your trip! I usually throw in a sweatshirt or two, along with a light jacket for December weather. If a cold front is coming through, throw some gloves and a hat into your suitcase!
What should I pack in my park bag for the parks in December?
Remember your park bag for Disney! You can usually keep your bag on the rides, just tuck it at your feet, and I love having my most important supplies with me. I like a good sling bag, but you will also see plenty of Loungefly options while in the parks.
Here are my favorite things to include in my park bag:
- refillable water bottle
- lip balm
- hand sanitizer
- credit card
- photo ID
- Magic Band
- cell phone
- portable charger
What should I pack for Disney World in December?
Here’s my best overall Disney World packing list for December.
Be sure to include some short sleeved shirts, long sleeved shirts or sweatshirts and cardigans in your suitcase. As the temperatures dip, even after warm days, you may want to have an extra layer. Consider also packing a light jacket or coat for cooler days.
I usually pack comfortable jeans and leggings in December to match with tops. Remember to pack breathable fabrics that will allow you to move and walk all day long. If warmer weather is in the forecast, pack some shorts too!
Make sure to pack comfortable walking shoes for every family member! Depending on personal preferences, some prefer flexible sandals while others prefer tennis shoes. I usually pack one of each, but avoid packing new shoes. You want to make sure you are completely comfortable in your footwear, as you will log many miles in them!
If you plan to take advantage of resort pools or water parks, be sure to pack a bathing suit, cover-up and flip-flops for the pool. Towels are provided at the resorts and water parks, so save the room in your suitcase and leave towels at home. Be sure to pack sunscreen, as the sun still shines in December in Florida!
Don’t forget to pack your park bag! Remember your daily essentials like sunscreen, lip balm, cell phone, charger, Magic Bands, credit cards, photo ID, water bottle, sunglasses, and poncho.
Collect your favorite toiletry items, like contact solution, contacts, glasses, makeup, brushes, hair products, face wash, deodorant, and any essential medications for your trip. Remember, that you can also visit First Aid at all of the parks for over-the-counter medications and bandages if needed. Resort gift stores also carry many common items in stock, if needed.
I hope you have a great time at Disney World in December! Enjoy a magical time in the best season of the year and keep reading for more tips for your next Disney adventure!