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!

Planning your November 2016 Disney World vacation

 

This guide is specifically for guests traveling to Disney World in November 2016. For other months…

November crowds are up and down all month. There are pockets of higher travel times  but a few pockets of great low crowd times. Most notably, the week of Thanksgiving is a very popular option. The weeks prior are less busy but this month has becoming a great time for families looking for cooler temperatures and holiday decor but still the opportunity to get away from the “winter weather” that might be at home!

November weather in Disney World

According to Weather.com the average high in the month of November is 79 and the low is 57.  Be sure to check your favorite weather app prior to your departure to confirm actual temperatures before you pack. November is a very variable month. In a recent trip, it was 80 degrees to start our trip and then highs dropped into the low 50s during the day with wind. November is not a rainy season, but still be prepared for a bit of sprinkles during your stay.

Choosing Your Travel Dates/Events to be aware of

  • Nov 1 – 14 – Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival Concludes
  • Nov 6-12 – Jersey Week (not a huge change in overall crowds, but this week will have droves of guests form New Jersey traveling to Disney due to a week off of school)
  • Nov 7 – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties begin (for full details, check out Tips for this special event!)
  • November 19-26 – Thanksgiving week (a peak travel week for 2016)

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. Limited options are available the week of Thanksgiving.

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

Disney is currently offering a room promotion to help save you money off of your resort stay! For full details check out Back to School offer for dates and available resorts included. This promo ends November 5th and a new offer should be available very soon!

Cost

So how much will it cost a family of 4 to travel to Disney World in November 2016? Let’s do the math!

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. $2285.48

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 $2798.48. If they added park hoppers to their tickets, their vacation would cost them $3092.44. And if they wanted to upgrade to a royal room their vacation would cost them $3352.26

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 $5022.98 If they did elect to add the dining plan, their vacation would cost them $6306.68

The bottom line

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

Start planning your November 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!

Planning your September 2016 Disney World vacation

 

Are you looking to travel to Disney World in September of 2016? This guide is specifically designed for you! It’s all about the month of September and what you need to know!

The rest of the year is coming soon. (See already completed January 2016, February 2016, March 2016. April 2016, May 2016, June 2016, July 2016, August 2016)

September brings the return of value season at Disney. Crowds are the lowest at any point of the year at the beginning of September and then slowly begin to build throughout the month. Looking specifically at crowds, this is the absolutely best month to go to Disney World as rarely do crowds get over a 3 or 4 out of 10 each day. In 2015, there was a bit of a shift and increase in crowd over previous years trends. Many experts believe that this was a fluke year. Toward the end of the month, you may see an increase in crowds with many school systems going to a week long fall break (and with all school breaks come guests flocking to WDW!)

September  weather in Disney World

According to Weather.com the average high in the month of September is 90 and the low is 72/  Be sure to check your favorite weather app prior to your departure to confirm actual temperatures before you pack. Stay hydrated during hot days! Make sure you pack your sunscreen, take frequent breaks, and take advantage of your resort’s pool. This is also the beginning of fall hurricane season. If you are planning on traveling, adding the optional travel insurance might be a good option! Plan on rain during your stay. It’s often a welcomed feeling given the high temps.

Choosing Your Travel Dates

Below is the predicted crowd calendar for September 2016. Not bad in comparison to many other months. The most green you will see in any month throughout the year.

(Click to Enlarge)

(Click to Enlarge)

Disney World Special offers for September

Early fall offers are typically released on mid or late Spring (think late April or early May!) I’ll be back to update as more information becomes available!

Free dining is something on everyone’s mind. To get my take if free dining will happen and to be notified of any future promotional offer, visit Free Dining 2016!

Refurbishment

  • Wilderness Lodge & Villas at Wilderness Lodge refurbishment (large scale changes similar to 2014-2016 Polynesian refurbishment)
  • Flying Fish Cafe (through Sept 30)

When to book dining

Disney allows their resort guests to book dining reservations for their entire trip 180 days from their arrival, a benefit that will give you a leg up to get some of those hard to make reservations. If you don’t have a reservation or are staying off site, you can make any dining reservation 180 days prior to your arrival, but don’t expect some of the best places to have prime time offerings! Click the chart below to enlarge to see what your magic number is.

(Click to Enlarge)

(Click to Enlarge)

Cost

So how much will it cost a family of 4 to travel to Disney World in September 2016?

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. $2081.10

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 $2692.00. If they added park hoppers to their tickets, their vacation would cost them $2964.64. And if they wanted to upgrade to a royal room, their vacation would cost them $4203.52

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 but with the construction scheduled for all of 2016 (and through part of 2017), they want to try out the newly renovated Polynesian resort to have access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. With 5 days of park hoppers, their vacation would cost them $4680.24 If they did elect to add the dining plan, their vacation would cost them $5919.12.

Remember, these are all non-discounted prices, so there is some potential to fit in more magic at a lower cost!

The bottom line

September is some of the most off peak time you can travel to Disney World!  A family of 4  can have very reasonably priced vacation and enjoy some of the summer-like activities like Water Parks, Disney’s Pools, and clear skies!

Start planning your September 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!

Planning your August 2016 Disney World vacation!

 

Are you looking to travel to Disney World in August of 2016? This guide is specifically designed for you! It’s all about the month of August and what you need to know!

The rest of the year is coming soon. (See already completed January 2016, February 2016, March 2016. April 2016, May 2016, June 2016, July 2016)

August continues the the summer season at Disney. Expect temps to continue to be hot, hot, hot! Don’t try and book too much as you won’t be able to move incredibly quickly around the parks and still feeling good at the same time. Take it a bit slower! Toward the end of the month as kids go back to school, crowds will begin to lighten up.

August  weather in Disney World

According to Weather.com the average high in the month of August is 92 and the low is 73. Be sure to check your favorite weather app prior to your departure to confirm actual temperatures before you pack. Stay hydrated during hot days! Make sure you pack your sunscreen, take frequent breaks, and take advantage of your resort’s pool. Expect a threat of rain every day during your stay. It’s probably welcomed due to the high humidity levels!

Choosing Your Travel Dates

Below is the predicted crowd calendar for August 2016. There’s a clear definition of when many children start to return to school as crowds lighten up quickly!

(Click to Enlarge)

(Click to Enlarge)

Special Offers/Promotions

Save up to 30% on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights June 12-Aug. 25, 2016 when booked by June 10, 2016.

Plus, you can receive an exclusive “Awaken Summer” graphic MagicBand when they upgrade to a room and Theme Park package with a minimum 2-day Magic Your Way® Ticket.

Important Details

  • Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room.
  • The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited.
  • Moderate and Deluxe suites may be available at a lesser discount.
  • Additional per adult charges may apply if there are more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts.

Like all promotional rates, there are exclusions which include the usual suspects – Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation, Bay Lake Tower, Villas at Grand Floridian, the campsites at Ft Wilderness, and all 3 Bedroom Villas. In this promo specifically, French Quarter is also excluded.

Full full details, visit the summer offer page

Refurbishment

  • Wilderness Lodge & Villas at Wilderness Lodge refurbishment (large scale changes similar to 2014-2016 Polynesian refurbishment)
  • Soarin’ (through “summer”)
  • Flying Fish Cafe (through Sept 30)

When to book dining

Disney allows their resort guests to book dining reservations for their entire trip 180 days from their arrival, a benefit that will give you a leg up to get some of those hard to make reservations. If you don’t have a reservation or are staying off site, you can make any dining reservation 180 days prior to your arrival, but don’t expect some of the best places to have prime time offerings! Click the chart below to enlarge to see what your magic number is.

August 2016-dining

Cost

So how much will it cost a family of 4 to travel to Disney World in August 2016?

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. $2165.50

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 $2753.80. If they added park hoppers to their tickets, their vacation would cost them $3026.44. And if they wanted to upgrade to a royal room, their vacation would cost them $3348.26

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 but with the construction scheduled for all of 2016, they want to try out the newly renovated Polynesian resort to have access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. With 5 days of park hoppers, their vacation would cost them $4680.24 If they did elect to add the dining plan, their vacation would cost them $5919.12.

Remember, these are all non-discounted prices, so there is some potential to fit in more magic at a lower cost!

The bottom line

August is a popular time to travel to Disney World!  A family of 4  can have a reasonably priced vacation and enjoy some of the summer-like activities like Water Parks, Disney’s Pools, and clear skies!

Start planning your August 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!

 

Important Benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World resort

The Important benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World resort

I obviously have a bias toward Disney World resorts, but the benefits and experiences truly make it a worthwhile and immersive experience. While some benefits are time saving, some are money saving, and others are just nice perks, all of them amount to a worthwhile consideration for your vacation!

  • Free airport transportation.  Flying into the Orlando International Airport? Great, Disney can pick you up and drop you off and even handle your luggage to and sometimes from property. No car necessary!
  • Free parking. Driving your own car? You’ll have free parking at not only your resort but all of the theme parks as well. Talk about cost savings!
  • Free park transportation. If you don’t want to drive your own car (or you don’t have one), let Disney do the driving. Sit on one of their many buses and enjoy the ride. Disney will drop you off and pick you up right near the park entrance, saving those steps for the theme parks!
  • Free MagicBands. These pretty little babies come with any Disney World vacation big or small and have some mighty MagicBandspowers! They hold your Magical Express boarding pass, your room key, park tickets (and any special event tickets if applicable), dining plan, If you choose to stay off site, you may purchase them online or at one of the Disney parks. Cost is $12.95 per person (plus tax and shipping). Plus your MagicBand is personalized with your name (or nickname on the inside)
  • First access to FastPass+ and dining reservations. This is a big one for me! With an active Walt Disney World resort reservation, you can make dining reservations for your entire stay at the 180 day mark prior to your arrival. off site guests, can book one day at a time (180 days from Monday, 180 days from Tuesday, etc.) This is a huge bonus to grab the best times for locations like Cinderella’s Royal Table, Be Our Guest, Chef Mickey’s and Ohana which are always the first reservations to go! As an on site guest with valid theme park admission, you get to choose FastPass selections 60 days in advance of your arrival (and again for your entire length of stay). Off site guests only get to make their selections 30 days in advance and again one day at a time). Another huge advantage and the best (and sometimes the only) want to get a FastPass to meet Anna & Elsa, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • Extra Magic Hours. These are extended park hours available ONLY to active Walt Disney World resort guests. Your MagicBand is again your key to get you in the door. Each day, at least one theme park opens early or stays open laten (see the daily schedule for details, subject to change). This means, you’ll have access to some of the park’s most popular attractions while day guests or guests staying off site won’t have!
  • Resort Entertainment. Things like themed resorts, themed pools, fantastic water slides, unique character
    experiences, movies under the stars, campfires, and poolside activities are just some of the unique opportunities.
  • Staying in the middle of the magic. This one doesn’t have any sort of monetary value to it, but it’s an incredibly important piece of the puzzle. Depending on your resort choice, you can choose to be fully immersed in a princess themed room or take a break from it all at the rustic Ft. Wilderness Cabins. You can also watch animals from your balcony, relax in front of a giant fireplace in a cozy rocking chair, or stick your toes in a white sand beach while you watch fireworks with loved ones. Disney resorts allow you  all sorts of unique possibilities once you return “home”. Additionally, you won’t be spending a long time to get you to and from the parks each day. Disney buses have access to different roads and you’re dropped off right in front of the park gates!
  • Disney’s dining plans. You can choose from one of 5 Disney dining plans available to guests staying at a Walt Disney World resort. This is the ONLY way to take advantage of a helpful and money saving piece of your vacation package!
  • Priority theme park admission. When Disney’s parks start to restrict admission due to heavy crowd levels (typically due to safety and security of the guests), on site guests often have priority over day guests. When traveling over the holidays, this is something important to consider! Be aware that there is a plan in place if the crowds get to full capacity. Cast members have the right to turn any guest away due to crowd capacity. Again, this is 100% related to guest safety which is always Disney’s biggest concern!
  • Free package/merchandise delivery. If you purchase anything inside one of Disney’s theme parks or Disney Springs, you can have your package delivered right to your resort at no additional charge. If you are staying club level at one of Disney’s deluxe resorts, your items will be delivered right to your room!
  • On site concierge for all guests/24 hour access to cast members. No matter what resort you choose to stay in from value all the way up to deluxe villa, you will have access to a concierge to help with your plans. Whether it’s an issue with your MagicBand , help adjusting FastPasses, a general question, or help making an additional dining reservation! This is incredibly helpful as the MyMagic+ system still has its bugs! Disney’s front desk is staffed 24/7, so if you have questions, concerns, or issues, there will be someone there to help!!

There are other ever changing benefits staying on site at a Walt Disney World resort, but these are the biggest and most important. It’s truly important to review these sometimes undervalued benefits if you are considering on site vs. off site. While on the surface, hotel cost apples to apples likely can’t compare, the cost savings for 5 days of parking at the theme parks, renting a car from the airport, purchasing your own MagicBands, and the time lost getting to and from the parks as well as waiting in line for some of the most popular attractions because FastPass is unavailable, it’s well worth the extra few dollars!

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)

Interested in experiencing a Disney World vacation in 2016?  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 vacation 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!