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When is the best time to see Disney @ Christmas

When do decorations go up?

From Steve Ward
Posted July 12, 2010 at 8:42 AM
Thinking of making the trip over this year to see Disney / Universal all done up festive for Christmas.

So a few questions :

when do they start putting the decorations up
what dates are best to go for shorter queues
whats the weather like around Late Nov/Dec ?

many thanks TPI Peoples

Steve


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted July 12, 2010 at 1:14 PM
Please do go to WDW when its Christmas Time because it is the most beautiful time with many special events including my personal favorite, Candlelight Processional.

I would go the first or second week of December. Its usually pretty cool and a bit rainy.

From David L.
Posted July 12, 2010 at 2:20 PM
http://www.christmasinorlando.com/disney-world-christmas this is a good overview of all of disneyworld's Christmas activities including Downtown Disney. Early December should have minimal crowds with lots of lights and things. they start putting Christmas things up many weeks before the events start in some places.

From James Koehl
Posted July 12, 2010 at 6:59 PM
Several years ago we arrived at WDW the day after Thanksgiving and stayed for 8 days. It was certainly not empty- turns out it was one of the warmest weeks after T-Giving in years, but the crowds were manageable and all the Christmas stuff was up and all the Christmas shows were being performed.

From Tim W
Posted July 12, 2010 at 7:51 PM
I went the first week of December last year. It was great, but still busy. Don't be fooled by thinking it will be less busy, Soarin' will stay take 100 mins, Toy Story Mania will still be over 100 mins. When you go, be sure to plan on getting tickets for the Very Mickey Christmas Party, my second favorite part of the trip. The Spectacle of Lights at DHS is spectacular and breathtaking. You'll want to just sit there for hours on end. It's my absolute favorite during the Christmas season.

Some of the drawbacks we faced were:

All Decorations were NOT up. DHS, Epcot, and Ak all had their trees up, while MK did not. I think there would probably be more decorations probably a week later.

It was crazy at any special event. The spectacle of lights were mobbed!

The weather is not the warmest; You will probably be wearing sweay pants, sweatshirts, and jackets in the morning and night. Good idea to skip Kali River Rapids, Splash Mountain, the pools, and the water parks.

Benefits:

Exclusive merchandise you can only see then. The decorations are great.

Cinderella's Castle Dreamlights, another one of my favorites!


In conclusion, Christmas at Disney is something everyone should experience at least once. It is a great time with amazing things you can't see at any other time. As for going multiple times, I probably wouldn't go more than twice. I think i prefer February and April a bit better.

From Rob P
Posted July 13, 2010 at 1:25 AM
Steve......when we went at Christmas we started with a week at the Royal Pacific at Universal on 12th December. Both IOA and Universal Studios were pretty light on crowds. Our room key fast passes were never really used until around the 17th December it was that light.
Grinchmas at IOA and Macey's Parade at the Studios were excellent and the whole area was decorated and full of the festive things you would expect at that time of year.
We moved on down to the Disney area on the 18th December and stayed until 28th.
Disney at Christmas was spectacular. Everywhere from Downtown Disney and all of the Resorts ( we spent 1 day visiting most of the Hotels ) to the Parks celebrated the holidays in true Disney style.
The Parks didn't really get any busier than the summer months until about Christmas Eve. We'd heard that Magic Kingdom gets very busy on Christmas Day so we went to Animal Kingdom instead. It was like a normal summer time day there in terms of crowds. The Parade was great and we had a marvellous time............although getting soaked through on Kali River Rapids as the sun disappeared for the day wasn't the best idea we've ever had.
The crowds at Magic Kingdom on 26th and 27th seemed fairly normal too. Busy but not oppressive.
We did go to MIckey's Very Merry Xmas Party on the evening of the 19th to get us " in the mood" and weren't disappointed. The atmosphere, shows and special firework displays were all well worth the money. So do that if you can but pre-book before you travel.
So all in all , in our experience, we didn't really experience any major overcrowding anywhere. Weather wise we hit the low to mid 70's most days with the evening's getting down to the mid 50's. The hours of sun are obviously shorter but it's mostly pleasant. Just time your water rides or take a change of clothes with you.
Christmas at Universal and Disney is something you will treasure forever.

From Steve Ward
Posted July 13, 2010 at 3:48 AM
great response guys thanks very much
will have a think about it other the weekend and most likely book up next week.
Im a sucker for Christmas as is my family / girlfriend so it would make for a great holiday

I dont really get put off by the cold, in fact i almost prefer it.

From Rob P
Posted July 13, 2010 at 3:58 AM
Have a fantastic time Steve.

We're jealous already !

From Dionne Oliver
Posted July 20, 2010 at 1:42 PM
I love 2 go 2 orlando the 1st 2 weeks in december. Its a great time 2 go. All the disney parks are decorated for xmas,& look amazing!!! The parks are quiet through the week,but can be alot busier on the weekends. Sometimes you can have long waits for rides,if u don't manage 2 get a fastpass,theres just not enough 2 go around. The weather is also nice,about 75,but coming from England thats better than my summers.In 3 two week holidays we have only had 3 days of rain,so it's not rainy & cold.. I would definatley recommed 2 go at this time. Have lots of fun

From Russell Meyer
Posted July 20, 2010 at 5:30 PM
Go the week or two before or the week after Thanksgiving. Most of the parks are all decked out by the first or second week of November, and the crowds are pretty light in the weeks around Thanksgiving. If you're interested in specific Christmas events, you should probably lean towards the week after Thanksgiving, because that's when those usually start up.

From Mary Ann Nowak
Posted July 20, 2010 at 6:59 PM
My daughter moved to Florida 3 years ago and we take a mini-Disney trip at Christmas.
The second week of December usually has the discounted room rates at all of the resorts - Value Resorts - If you are not looking for a package may only cost around $85 a night. The crowds are a little lighter and many of the Christmas items are on sale at 50% off. Check to see when the Pop Warner Cheerleading championships are held - last year it was first week of December and rooms were not readily available on property. Also make sure you see the Candlelight Processional at Epcot if you want to get into the Christmas spirit. The list of celebrity narrators is supposed to be posted in July.

From Hermione Potter
Posted July 20, 2010 at 7:09 PM
Mary Ann, the Christmas stuff isn't normally 50% off, it's just been like that the last 2 or so years because of the economy. I go every year (I've got brilliant friends who work there) and that major discount only started recently.
I agree that is the best time to go though.

From Anthony O'Neal
Posted July 20, 2010 at 9:08 PM
The last two times we've gone (2004 and 2007)have been mid-December. We left around the 17th-19th. All of the decorations are up, and while some rides have waits (Soarin', for example), I think most of them were tolerable. We went to Busch Gardens Tampa for a day, too, and were able to walk onto any rides we wanted.

In 2004, the temps were in the 60s for most of the time, and at one point, dipped into the 40s. In 2007, the first couple of days were in the 80s, and then dropped into the 60s.

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