Welcome to TouringPlans’ Walt Disney World December 2016 preview – we hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Who’s with us and ready for December? The holidays, which started as soon as the Halloween decorations came down are in full swing. We’ve got food booths at Epcot, Christmas parties, and TENTS.
Ready for more? Read on.
Average Weather for Walt Disney World in December
December is a great month weather-wise to visit Walt Disney World. When you’re down here, you totally understand why people choose to spend months in Florida during the winter. Pack layers because there are some wide swings in temperature. One day you may want a light jacket, the next you’ll wish you had shorts.
Upcoming Live Chats for December
Walt Disney World December 2016 Park Crowds
December starts off with crowds just as manageable as its weather. These are great days for a trip, it’s really and SWEET CHRISTMAS! DO YOU SEE THE END OF THE MONTH?!!! Go forth, get there early, bug out early and have a plan if you’re going to be in the parks at this time. The Magic Kingdom will reach capacity during the holidays. We have a whole page on the site dedicated Disney’s capacity closure procedures.
In 2015, some kind of capacity closure happened at Magic Kingdom on December 24, 25, and the 28th – 31st. We’ll address New Year’s Eve crowds and tips in the Special Events section.
For day by day park recommendations for travel during December, check out our Crowd Calendar.
Special Events at Walt Disney World December 2016
On the heels of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, we get Holidays Around the World, with cultural exhibits, entertainment, and, yes, food and beverage kiosks.
For many guests, the Candlelight Processional is a highlight of the holidays at Epcot. The dates are November 25 to December 30. Details and a list of this year’s narrators are on our Candlelight Processional page. Some narrators (we’re looking at you, NPH – Nov 28 to Dec 1) are extremely popular, and guests who have not booked a dinner package with guaranteed seating will line up hours in advance for the show they want to see.
The nighttime spectacular, Illuminations, is even more spectacular during December with the famous “holiday tag.” The holiday tag is an extra ending to the show with fireworks that can probably be felt all the way to Ocala. It’s a don’t miss.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party runs through December 22. Remember Magic Kingdom will close early (7:00 PM) to day guests on party nights. The Christmas party includes Holiday Wishes fireworks and the Once Upon a Christmastime parade. Guests who wish to see these without the hard-ticket upcharge will be able to from December 23 to December 29. On December 30, the Christmas parade will run, but Holiday Wishes is replaced with the trial run of the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Cinderella Castle is particularly beautiful during the holiday season with the yearly Castle Dream Lights, which make it look as though it’s covered in icicles.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Guests can experience the Jingle Bells, Jingle BAM! projection and fireworks show in front of the Chinese theatre throughout December.
Disney Springs offers a meet and greet with Santa (Santa Santa though the 24th and Santa Goofy from the 25th to 30th), the Christmas tree trail, and the Starlights drone show that runs through January 8th.
New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World
December 31st is incredibly busy at the parks. If fireworks are your thing, this is the time to see them. The smart money is on remembering that trial runs are done on December 30. It will still be crowded, but not insane. Remember that viewing locations outside the parks, such as from the beach at the Polynesian Resort will be restricted to hotel guests on these nights.
All theme parks but Animal Kingdom are open until 1AM for New Year’s Eve. Animal Kingdom closes at 8:30PM, Disney Springs at midnight, and Typhoon Lagoon at 5 PM. Party favors like hats and horns are distributed to guests after dark.
New Year’s Eve is the one night of the year that dinner at California Grill will set you back more than at Victoria and Albert’s. However New Year’s Eve packages at both are sold out. If you want a dining reservation in a park or at a Disney hotel, you need to look now and be prepared to compromise on time or restaurant. Counter service is an option in the parks, but expect long lines. Pretty much the time to get in line is before you’re hungry.
For that matter, the time to line up at the restrooms is well before you think you should (personal experience here),
Discounts at Walt Disney World December 2016
What’s New at Walt Disney World December 2016
This week there have been cast previews of Rivers of Light. The show is still in a test and adjust phase, and we’re not sure if it will open to the public in 2016.. For any updates on Rivers of Light follow us on Twitter.
Cabanas for the rich and weary opened by Space Mountain last month.
Tiana’s Riverboat Party and Ice Cream Social debuted November 29. Watch the blog for a review.
DINOSAUR at Animal Kingdom Park reopened in November after a refurbishment.
Generally because of the holiday crowds, Disney will not open new attractions, shows, or restaurants in December.
Refurbishments at Walt Disney World December 2016
|Blizzard Beach Annual Refurbishment||10/23/16||12/24/16|
|Wilderness Lodge ongoing construction||complete 2017|
Blast from the Past – Previous Blog Articles to Enjoy While You Plan Your December 2016 Trip
Your Walt Disney World December 2016 Trip Checklist
- Created a trip in our trip planner to get news that impacts your vacation dates?
- Used our Ticket Calculator to get the best prices on park tickets?
- Used our Room Request Tool to find and request the best hotel rooms at your resort?
- Booked any special dining?
- Planned your days to get the most out of your time?
TouringPlans subscribers have access to all this and more and get timely reminders when they create a trip on the site. And it’s all easy to find on your Personal Dashboard, a central location for all your travel plans that all subscribers see when they log in. It even has a checklist, so you’ll know what you’ve crossed off and what’s left to do before your vacation.
We hope you have a great vacation. Let us know how it went when you get back by taking our user survey. It helps travelers just like you know the best (and the rest) of what to do, see, ride, and eat at Walt Disney World.
Thanks for reading this month!