Our family loves to visit Disney, especially when the kids were younger and all they cared about was meeting Buzz Lightyear. But as they got older (and taller!), we wanted them to experience Disney in a whole new perspective. Not only in the rides that their height gave them access to, but in all the amazing learning experiences Disney has to offer older kids.
So, when to go? Um, when it's least crowded please. Back when I was researching for this trip, many travel sites mentioned the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were relatively "light". Unfortunately, I think everyone was reading the same online sites as I was, because the parks were anything but "light." But I will say, they were completely manageable with a few Fast Passes and strategic planning.
Would I recommend Disney at Christmas time? Absolutely! And here's why:
Of course there is the obvious, the weather in December in Florida is spectacular. With highs in the 70's and lows in the 50's, you can wear jeans & t-shirts and be very comfortable. Additionally, flights to Orlando can be quite reasonable this time of year.
Also, November 30 - December 18 is considered "Value Season", where you will find the lowest prices you can get for Disney World. We opted to go the first week of December and it was perfect. As I mentioned before, with a little planning (don't go to the parks have the "Magic Hours" on that day- everyone else is there!), you will have little to no waits for most rides and attractions. As you get closer to the Christmas Holiday, the crowds get bigger. In fact, most Disney websites report that Christmas Day is the busiest day of the year. Yikes!
But those are not the real reasons one goes to Disney at Christmas. You go to see the Happiest Place on Earth all dressed up for the Holidays!!
Starting in November, Disney World quietly undergoes a major transformation at night that includes hundreds of ornately-decorated Christmas trees, miles and miles of twinkling lights, breath-taking topiaries, and more! All 4 parks get in the spirit and every resort has their own theme. Simply put - it's amazing.
Each Park has pretty spectacular attractions that are only available during the Holidays. Magic Kingdom offers "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party"(additional ticket price), seasonal characters, and an ice-covered Cinderella's Castle. Epcot hosts the Candlelight Processional, where a massive choir, 50-piece orchestra and celebrity narrator tell the Story of Christmas. It is incredibly moving. Holiday-themed parades at every park, amazing light shows, and even a sleigh ride can be found!!
One of our favorite things to do was hunt down all the amazing Christmas trees throughout the property. We loved the tree in the lobby of Disney's Wilderness Lodge with it's rustic feel, the Monorail Tree in the lobby of Disney's Contemporary Resort and the "It's A Small World" Gingerbread Tree at the Magic Kingdom.
Christmas time at Walt Disney World is an experience that will delight every family member. Come back later this week to hear about some of our favorite experiences of that week!