Planning your December 2016 Disney World vacation

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! This guide is specifically for guests traveling to Disney World in December 2016.  December crowds are up and down all month but it’s trending up. There are pockets of higher travel times  but a few pockets of lower crowd times. Most notably, the weeks between Christmas and New Years. You’ll see the month start a little slow in terms of crowds and increase through New Year’s Eve which is one of the most traveled days to Disney World.

December weather in Disney World

According to Weather.com the average high in the month of December is 73 and the low is 52.  Be sure to check your favorite weather app prior to your departure to confirm actual temperatures before you pack. December is a very variable month from year to year. In our recent December trip, we had absolutely beautiful weather. Comfortable park touring weather during the day and we added light jackets after the sun went down!

Choosing your Travel Dates/Events to be Aware of

  • Various dates in Dec –  Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties begin (for full details, check out Tips for this special event!)
  • Dec 1 – 31 – Epcot’s Candlelight Processional which provides a little extra holiday magic with a celebrity narrator retelling the story of Christmas
  • Dec 24 – 31 – Peak holiday season – these are the largest crowds of the entire year and crowds will be busiest. Using FastPass and planning ahead are extremely important!

Many travel dates will also include an opportunity to Magic Kingdom’s special event: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! This special event is an added expense, but a fun way to get into the Holiday spirit in both November and December. Disney ends this special event just before Christmas but the parade from this special event becomes a daily show near Christmas day.

When to book dining

At the time of publication, dining is available for booking. Many of the most popular options have been booked, but pecosbillcancellations do occur. Patience is the name of the game for popular locations like Cinderella’s Table, Be Our Guest, Chef Mickey’s, Ohana and more! If you’re looking for one of these headliners, continue to check on availability as it’s constantly changing!

Promotional Offers

No current promotions available for December but some should be coming extremely soon!

Cost

So how much will it cost a family of 4 to travel to Disney World in December 2016? Let’s do the math! These prices are BEFORE the peak Holiday season begins. If you’d like to experience Christmas at Disney, you’ll spend a bit more money.

The Smith family wants a fun an inexpensive vacation and are planning 7 days and 6 nights at a value resort. I suggested Pop Century since it’s most centrally located among the value resorts. They are taking mom, dad, Susie – 13 and Jenny – 9 on their first vacation! They have decided on 5 days of base tickets to really focus on one park each day and to save a little bit of money and will pay for meals out of pocket and bring some snacks with as well, so no dining plan. $2546.46

Disney's Pop Century brings adults back to their childhood!

Disney’s Pop Century brings adults back to their childhood!

The Jones family wants a moderately priced vacation and are also planning 7 days and 6 nights, but they want to stay at a moderate resort. Their two daughters love Disney princesses so they are considering an upgrade to a royal guest room. They are also going to do 5 days of base tickets but are considering the upgrade to park hoppers to see more with their time. If the Jones family chooses the least expensive package options, their moderate vacation would cost them $3022.34. If they added park hoppers to their tickets, their vacation would cost them $3316.30. And if they wanted to upgrade to a royal room their vacation would cost them $3548.04

The Howell family wants to go all out for their two children’s first Disney World vacation and stay in a deluxe resort for 7 days and 6 nights. They definitely want park hoppers to see everything and they are considering the dining plan. Their preferred resort is Wilderness Lodge to have access to Magic Kingdom. With 5 days of park hoppers, their vacation would cost them $5678.76 If they did elect to add the dining plan, their vacation would cost them $6962.46

The bottom line

A family of 4  have a reasonably priced vacation and enjoy some lower prices and moderate crowds!

Start planning your December 2016 vacation

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2016 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

Navigating Disney parks during holidays and peak season!

Epcot ball

Happy Easter Disney fans! It’s another peak travel date in Walt Disney World and Disneyland. So for the families that don’t have the luxury of traveling during off peak travel dates outside of holidays whether you’re a teacher, your child’s school doesn’t allow you to take them out, or it’s just too difficult to take kids out of school because it would be too difficult to catch up. This means you’ll be traveling during summer, school breaks, or holidays. And that’s OK! I’m sure in 5-6 years we’ll be facing that struggle with a child in school full time and learning things every day that it would be much more difficult to miss!

So how do you navigate Disney parks during peak travel? Here are a few great tips to help save yourself time and frustration whether traveling with kids or just adults!

  • Plan ahead when possible. Book early to get the best rooms available which often gets you the best rates. If you FullSizeRender 2want to stay at Polynesian over Christmas, you should be thinking about that NOW! Disney raises rates during peak travel, so if you want to save some money, choosing one of those lower cost rooms – a standard view or a lagoon view, those will go more quickly than the more expensive club level rooms!
  • Prep everyone in your travel party for the crowd levels. Know that there will not be as much “room to roam” and less opportunity to “walk on rides”. Think about some games to play while you are in line (Heads Up!) is a popular app and easy for anyone who can read to play! Also bring some snacks and something to drink with you.
  • Think park hoppers to maximize your time. During peak travel times, park hoppers are incredibly helpful! They allow you to start your day in a park with early magic hours and then “hop” elsewhere when the crowds increase beyond a level you find manageable. Outside of peak travel time, I’m not a huge fan of extra magic hours because it increases crowds more quickly than other days so it’s not always a great use of your park time during off peak travel days.
  • Plan for mid-afternoon breaks (with an asterisk). Disney ALWAYS has the late arriving crowds and that’s what really makes the crowds increase. As those always late arriving people arrive, that’s your key to take a mid-afternoon break as noon until about 4 pm is the peak of crowds during the day! If you’d like to see Magic Kingdom’s afternoon parade, pick a day to stay but know you’ll have to find your “front row seat” early! The big asterisk here is if you want to be in Magic Kingdom on the most popular days of the year that often see closures due to park capacity – Christmas Eve, Christmas day, New Years Eve, and New Years Day. Those are the days that you need to arrive early and plan on being there ALL DAY! To break up your day, schedule dining reservations inside the park when possible!
  • IMG_6600Speaking of parades, avoiding Main Street will help lower crowds a little bit and you won’t have to arrive as early. There’s also very little shade along the parade routes, so plan “shifts” to hold spots so one person isn’t stuck in the sun the whole time! The rumor is that Disney is doing away with FastPasses for parades but I just pulled one for June 1st so they’re not a think of the past quite yet! If parades are important (especially during peak time), consider a FastPass!
  • Know the places to “rest your feet” or relax your eyes for a bit (sorry Disney)! I love most of these attractions so don’t get your pitchforks out! Magic Kingdom has plenty of options – things like Carousel of Progress, TTA PeopleMover, PhilharMagic, Hall of Presidents, Country Bear Jamboree, or find a tree at Tom Sawyer’s Island! Epcot World Showcase is full of shows but not all of them have seats so be careful as you choose your options! American Adventure and Impressions de France are both good options! Hollywood Studios & Animal Kingdom both have some great shows available throughout the day so check your times guide!
  • LIVE IN THE MAGIC! Whether this is your first time and you’re soaking it all in or your first time during peak travel time, enjoy it! This is my advice to every single guest no matter when your travel. Disney destinations are about magic. You just have to decide if you want to be a part of it with a positive attitude or worry about crowds and shut the magic out. ENJOY!
A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2016 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free cruise opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!