Disney World in December 2017

Disney World in December - Crowd Information, Ride Closure & Refurbishments and Special Events Information in one easy list.  Also includes information about Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.

Disney World in December is a season to remember! The happiest place on earth gets even better in its holiday finery, so don't let the crowds get you down. Good planning is all you need to have a great trip.

Average High: 73° f
Average Low: 50° f
Average Monthly Precipitation: 2.41"

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Disney World Ride Closures and Refurbishments in December:

  • We will update this section as more information becomes available 
  • Magic Kingdom - "Happily Ever After' Fireworks are not currently scheduled for November  9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26, 28; December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 2017.  The park will close at 7:00PM on these nights for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (November 1 only) and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parties (separately ticketed event).
  • Chef Mickey's Restaurant at Disney's Contemporary Resort - due to refurbishments, Chef Mickey's will relocate to the Contemporary Resort's Convention Center from late November through December 2017.   You do not need to make any changes to existing reservations; just appear at the temporary location at the appointed time.
  • Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed for its annual refurbishment from October 29 - January 6, 2018.   Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be open at this time.
  • Disney Springs - Cirque du Soleil - La Nouba will have its final performance on December 31, 2017.
  • Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort - Old Port Royale Food Court, Shutters restaurant, Cabana Pool Bar & the Calypso Trading Post will be closed from May 1, 2017 through Fall 2018.   Dining options will be available for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  Centertown will serve breakfast & dinner.  Grab-and-Go meals like pastries, salads, fruit, and sandwiches will be sold in the Aruba, Jamaica and Aruba sections of the resort.   In-room dining will still be available. 

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Special Events at Disney World in December:

  • Flurry of Fun at Disney's Hollywood Studios from November 9 - December 31, 2017. including Sunset Seasons Greetings, a nighttime holiday experience with projections of beloved Disney characters sharing their favorite Christmas stories .  Beautiful holiday lights and decorations on Sunset Blvd. and around Echo Lake.  
  • "Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!" at Disney's Hollywood Studios  - November 9 -December 31, 2017 Head to the front of the Great Movie Ride to see this show come to life on, above and all around the Chinese Theater with music, special effects, projections, and fireworks.  Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam! Holiday Dessert Party offered on select nights (extra cost)
  • The Magical Extras Savings Card is included in every Walt Disney World Resort vacation package and provides discounts at several restaurants, shops, and activities.  Click here for full details.
  • Parks Open Early to Everyone - The Disney World theme parks typically open to the general public at 9:00AM but there are days during the holiday season where one or more of the theme parks will open to everyone (not just guests of the Disney World hotels) at 8:00AM.   The early bird gets the shortest lines so this is a great opportunity.   The Magic Kingdom will open at 8:00AM on December 1, 2017 - January 4, 2018 / 7:00AM Extra Magic Hours (Disney hotel guests only) are offered December 1, 8, 15, and 22 - 31, 2017.   Animal Kingdom will open at 8:00AM on 8am on December 24 - 30. 2018.  Epcot will open at 8:00AM on 8am on December 27 - 31.  Disney's Hollywood Studios is currently showing regular 9:00AM openings throughout December. Disney may expand their early openings as we get closer to Christmas break. Early openings typically correspond with high crowd expectations so arrive early to enjoy the lowest crowds of the day and use a good Disney theme park touring plan.
  • Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - November 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 17, 26, 28; December 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22. / 7PM - Midnight. These specially ticketed events - you cannot use your Magic Your Way or Park Hopper Ticket - are a lot of fun for families. Ticket prices vary from $81 - $99, depending on the date and age of participant. These parties include special activities, shows, a parade, and special event fireworks. Warning: The Magic Kingdom will close to the public at 7pm on party nights and won't have a Main Street Electrical Parade or Wishes fireworks on these nights. Restaurant reservations in the resorts closest to the Magic Kingdom fill early on these nights.
  • Photos with Santa at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) - (Dates to Be Announced). Noon to 10PM.  This is a free activity.   Click here for more information. 
  • Magic Kingdom - "A Frozen Holiday Wish" -  Nov. 9 - December 31 - A show featuring Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf on the Castle Forecourt Stage in the Magic Kingdom.   Check the Magic Kingdom Times Guide for exact time during your visit.  Click here for a list of places you can see Anna and Elsa at Disney World.
  • Magic Kingdom - Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks will be presented on December 30 - 31 at 11:50PM.  The Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks display will also be presented at 7:30PM on these nights. 
  • Epcot Entertainment - Margaret Almer & The Bavarian Band / Germany Pavilione / August 31 - the Holiday Season: World famous yodler!
  • Epcot Entertainment - Bodh'aktan / Canada Pavilion Mill Stage / September 1 - December 30: This  band's combination of Quebecois, folk and polka inspired rock and dance music is a lot of fun! 
  • Candlelight Processional (Epcot) - November 24 - December 30, 2017 Performances at 5:00. 6:45 and 8:00PM; no 5PM show on December 6th. This is one of Disney World's most beautiful holiday traditions where you'll experience a wonderful retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a mass choir and full orchestra. There is no extra charge - this event is included in your Epcot theme park admission but the performances do fill early. You can reserve a Candlelight Processional Lunch or Dinner package that provides a special voucher that guarantees a spot at one of the same-day performances. Contact us for more information.  This year's celebrity narrators: Dec. 1 - 3 Whoopi Goldberg / Dec. 4 - 5 Pat Sajak / Dec. 6 - 8 Jodi Benson / Dec. 9 - 11 Kurt Russell / Dec. 12 - 14 Warwick Davis / Dec. 15 - 17 Trace Adkins / Dec 18 - 21 Neil Patrick Harris / Dec. 22 - 24 CCH Pounder / Dec 25 - 27 Jaci Velasquez / Dec 28 - 30 Chandra Wilson. 
  • Epcot - Holidays Around the World Storytellers - November 24 - December 30.  Throughout the day, storytellers in each of the country pavilions share a holiday tradition. 
  • Epcot - Fountains of Nations Stage Performances: American Music Machine (15-minute show)- A five person a cappela group who performs beloved holiday songs daily at (Dates to Be Announced) /  JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season (20-minute show) .  Typically offered several times daily but see your Epcot Times Guide (available near the park maps near the front of Epcot) for exact times during your visit, included with admission. 
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios - New Year's Eve Dance Party at Center Stage starting at 7PM with a special presentation of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks at 12:00AM (Midnight).
  • Holiday Horse-drawn "Sleigh Rides" at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground - Through December 30, 2018.  Four adults or two adults and three small children, for a 25-minutes ride. For reservations, call 407-939-7529.
  • Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail - November 10 - January 7, 2018 / 10AM - 11PM.  Twenty-five Christmas trees each decorated with a different Disney character or theme.
  • Stitch's Holiday Gift Hunt - Do your kids enjoy scavenger hunts? If so, you may be interested in Stitch's Holiday Gift Hunt in Disney Springs. Kick-start your alien adventure by picking up a pocket-sized Holiday Gift Hunt booklet containing a map, clues and stickers at any of the 16 participating locations—then let the detective work commence at each of the 12 sticker stops!
  • Photos with Santa at the Santa Chalet at the Market Place Tree Trail in Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney - November 10 - December 24, Noon to 10PM.   Meet Santa Goofy at the Santa Chalet on December 25 - 30.  This is a free activity.  Click here for more information. 
  • Disney Springs - Lego Store Events The Lego Store offers periodic activities like building events or Lego Club meetings, and special offers.    Click here for the current month and next month's calendar. 

Jump to Closures and Refurbishments / Special Events / Top

Crowd Warnings for Disney World in December:

  • Christmas Break -(dates to be announced). Christmas is insanely busy at Disney World, giving you lots of opportunity to practice your "good will to men". The great thing is that the temperatures are cool, the parks are at their festive best, and Disney always extends the hours but you absolutely, positively need a good touring plan to avoid lines that routinely are 1 - 3 hours long. Get one of our Disney-focused travel agents to help you manage all the special issues that affect this busy season. Important Tip: The lines will be shortest in the first hour or two that the park is open so plan to arrive at least 20 minutes before opening to have the most fun in the shortest time. It is better to arrive early and take a mid-day break than to arrive late and suffer through the long lines. Book dining reservations as soon as possible!  Click here to contact us today
  • Avoid Extra Magic Hours like the plague! Extra Magic Hour(s) is when one of the Disney theme parks opens an hour early or stays open two extra hours after closing for guests staying at one of the official Disney hotels. Because Disney has 33,000 hotel rooms, the Extra Magic Hour Park will always be the most crowded park of the day so please avoid the parks on these days during the crazy crowds of Christmas. Remember too that you'll have to get up early, really early, or stay up late, really late, to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours. Exception: In the first three weeks of December, the Magic Kingdom closes early for the Christmas parties on so many nights that Evening Extra Magic Hours can help you get the time you need in this wonderful park. There is also something exciting about being in the Magic Kingdom in the middle of the night so adults or families with older kids may want to give the late night Magic Kingdom Extra Magic Hours a try - just know that you're really going to feel it the next day. Important - Guests staying at a non-Disney hotel still need to know which park has Extra Magic Hours so you don't end up in line behind people who got in an hour before you. Check here to see the schedule for Extra Magic Hours during your Disney vacation.
  • Be smart about Character Breakfast reservations - I really, really want you to avoid Disney character breakfasts in December because the theme parks are at their least crowded and the lines are shortest when the parks first open for the day. Please don't sit in a restaurant when lines are short and then head out to the attractions just in time to get in a long line. Book a character lunch or dinner instead and enjoy a much-needed rest and an escape from the crowds later in the day and go to the theme parks in the morning when the lines are short. Character lunches and dinners also give you more bang for your buck when you're on a Disney Dining Plan. If you love character breakfasts, consider booking a late character breakfast seating and treat it like brunch - this will still let you enjoy the short lines at park opening. Water park days, relaxing-at-the-resort days, and departure day are also great possibilities for people who love character breakfasts.
  • Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Fantasmic! will probably have at least one performance every night in December, and there will probably be two or more performances on December 25 - 31. The later performance will always be less crowded than the first. You'll need to line up at least 60 - 90 minutes early when the crowds are high. Warning: This show is excellent but it does feature villains for a good 8-10 minutes and the lake catches fire, which can be frightening to some small children.
  • Grocery Delivery - Save time and money by having snacks, bottled water and other food items delivered directly to your resort by Garden Grocer - Click HERE for more information.

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Use the month buttons below for lists of Disney World ride closures, attraction refurbishments, special events and crowd warnings by month.  We hope this information helps you have a wonderful and memorable vacation.