Disney World in December 2018
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"
Disney World Ride Closures and Refurbishments in December:
Magic Kingdom - "Happily Ever After' Fireworks are not currently scheduled for December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 2018. The park will close to the general public at 6:00PM on these nights for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Parties (separately ticketed event - more information available in the "Special Events" section below).
Magic Kingdom - Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party had its final performance on December 2, 2018. It will return on January 18, 2016 under the new name: Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party.
Magic Kingdom - Tom Sawyer Island closed October 14 - December 21, 2018.
Magic Kingdom - Liberty Square Riverboat closed through December 21, 2018.
Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World Railroad - the train will not be running and will be parked at the Main Street Station starting in 2018 due to the Tron construction. During this time, you will still be able to get an up-close look at the railroad and special photo opportunities will be available. The new Tron attraction will debut in 2021. Click here to read more about this new attraction.
Magic Kingdom - Tomorrowland Speedway will be closed for Tron Construction and will reopen in Summer 2019.
Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park is closed October 28, 2018 - January 5, 2019 for refurbishments. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon will be open, weather permitting, until it closed for refurbishment from January 6 to March 16, 2019.
Disney World Resort Children's Activity Centers (paid childcare) are all closing permanently at the close of business on July 31, 2018. Kids Night Out will remain available for guests looking for child or babysitter services.
Disney Skyliner construction ongoing until further notice. Construction may be seen or heard at Disney’s Art of Animation, Boardwalk Inn and Villas, Caribbean Beach, and Pop Century Resorts but noise should not be heard from guest rooms between dusk and 9:00am.
Disney's All-Star Movies Resort - Room refurbishments will begin in late February and continue through Winter 2018. Construction activities will be limited to 9:00AM - Dusk.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House - Uzima Feature Pool and Uzima Springs Pool bar will be closed for refurbishment September 2018 - early December 2018. Shuttles will provide guest transportation to the Samawati Springs Pool and Maji Pool Bar at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas.
Disney's Boardwalk Inn & Villas is undergoing some refurbishment projects across the property until further notice and guests may notice work being done through noise should not be heard from guest rooms between dusk and 9:00AM. The resort remains in full operation with pools, dining, merchandise and recreation areas all open.
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort - The Dig Site, Lost City of Cibola Feature Pool, volleyball court, playground, Iguana Arcade and Siestas Cantina will be closed September 4 - December 12, 2018. The resort is undergoing some refurbishment projects across the property until further notice and guests may notice work being done through noise should not be heard from guest rooms between dusk and 9:00AM. The resort remains in full operation with the 3 smaller "leisure pools", La Vida Health Club, Salon & Spa, dining, and merchandise areas all open.
Disney's Old Key West Resort is undergoing some refurbishment projects across the property until further notice and guests may notice work being done through noise should not be heard from guest rooms between dusk and 9:00AM. The resort remains in full operation with pools, dining, merchandise and recreation areas all open.
Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Convention Center is undergoing expansion work through Winter 2018 and guests may notice work being done through noise should not be heard from guest rooms between dusk and 9:00AM. The resort remains in full operation with pools, dining, merchandise and recreation areas all open.
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge - Artist Point Restaurant will be closed November 11 - December 15, 2018. It will reopen as a Snow White character meal on December 16, 2018.
Special Events at Disney World in December:
Flurry of Fun at Disney's Hollywood Studios from November 8, 2018 to January 6, 2019 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.
Disney's Hollywood Studios - Sunset Seasons Greetings - November 8, 2018 to January 6, 2019. Colorful projections on the Hollywood Tower Hotel and billboards. laser effects. "snow" and stories, songs and holiday cheer featuring Mickey, Minnie and Olaf.
"Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!", Holiday Nighttime Spectacular at Disney's Hollywood Studios nightly from November 9, 2018 to January 6, 2019. 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. Click here for more information.
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 15, 19, 22 - 24, and 26-31, 2018. The Magic Kingdom opens at 7AM on December 25, 2018 / 7:00AM Extra Magic Hours (Disney hotel guests only) are offered December December 22 -24, and 26- 31, 2018. 6AM Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom on December 25, 2018. Animal Kingdom will open at 8:00AM on December 23 - January 5th. / 7:00AM Extra Magic Hours (Disney hotel guests only) are offered at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park on December December 24, 29, 2018 and January 2 and 5, 2019. Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios are both showing normal 9AM openings through the Christmas holiday at this time. 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- Select nights at Magic Kingdom / 7PM - Midnight. 2018 Party dates; November 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 25, 27, 29, 30 and December 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 2018. These specially ticketed events - you cannot use your Magic Your Way or Park Hopper Ticket - are a lot of fun for families. Ticket prices start at $95, depending on the date and age of participant, when purchased in advance or $105 at the gate, if available. Some nights may cost more. These parties include special activities, shows, a parade, and special event fireworks. Warning: The Magic Kingdom will close to the public at 6pm on party nights and won't have 'Happily Ever After' fireworks on these nights. Restaurant reservations in the resorts closest to the Magic Kingdom fill early on these nights.
Magic Kingdom - "A Frozen Holiday Wish" - (Dates to Be Announced) - 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 (Dates to Be Announced) at 11:50PM. The Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season fireworks display will also be presented at 7:30PM on these nights.
Candlelight Processional (Epcot) - November 22 - December 30, 2018 Performances at 5:00. 6:45 and 8:00PM. 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. 2018 Celebrity narrators: November 22 - 23 - Chita Rivera / Nov. 24 - 25 Helen Hunt / Nov. 26 - 27 Alfonso Ribeiro / Nov 28 - 20 Robby Benson / Dec. 1 - 2 John Stamos / Dec. 3 - 6: Neil Patrick Harris / Dec. 7 - 9: Whoopi Goldberg / Dec. 10 - 12: Bart Millard / Dex. 13-14: Blair Underwood / Dec. 15 -17: Gary Sinise / Dec. 18 - 20; Pat Sajak / Dec. 21 - 23: Auli’i Cravalho / Dec. 24 - 25: Joey Fatone / Dec. 26 - 27: Jodi Benson / Dec. 28 - 30: Cal Ripkin Jr.
Epcot - JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Season from (dates to be announced). See your Epcot Times Guide (available near the park maps near the front of Epcot) for exact times during your visit, included with admission.
Epcot - Holidays Around the World Storytellers - Beginning November 18, 2018. 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 (Dates to Be Announced). 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 8, 2018 through - January 6, 2019. Twenty-five Christmas trees each decorated with a different Disney character or theme. Tree lighting nightly at 6PM
Stitch's Holiday Gift Hunt - November 8, 2018 through - January 6, 2019. Embark on a merry mission ot lacate all the items on Stitch’s lost list by picking up a pocket-sized booklet with a map, clues and stickers at any of the 18 participating Disney Springs locations and spotting the hidden stitch holding one of this presents and matching the correct sticker to the corresponding location. Once you’ve successfully completed the booklet, head to the redemption center to collect a festive surprise; one prize per completed booklet.
Photos with Santa at the Santa Chalet at the Market Place Tree Trail in Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney - November 8 - December 24, 2018; 11AM to 11PM. Meet Santa Goofy from December 24 - 30, 2018. 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.
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.