Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World During the Busy Two Weeks of Christmas

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You’ve made the decision to head to Walt Disney World during the week of Christmas, or the week after. Although this year will be different than years past thanks to the parks being at limited capacity, it’s still going to be busy. Visiting during such a magical time can be a little rough without the right preparation.

Magic Kingdom Christmas Decorations at Night

Here are some tips for making the most of visiting during two of the busiest weeks at Walt Disney World.

  1. Get to the parks for “rope drop”.
  2. Be prepared to be outside more, including in extended queues.
  3. Talk to your family members, including kids, ahead of time to set expectations about masks, distancing, and other changes.
  4. Mobile order your meals well in advance. The earlier in the day, the more time slots for pick up are available.
  5. Take frequent breaks and hydrate.
  6. Don’t miss the character cavalcades in all four parks
  7. Since FastPass+ is no longer available, use our Lines app to make a Touring Plan and to know which attractions to visit when.
  8. Use our Disney restaurant ratings on our site and our Lines app to know the best places to eat.
  9. If you’re trying to snag a last-minute dining reservation, use our Reservation Finder – it’s free!
Splash Mountain Extended Queue

Getting to the parks an hour before they open may seem extreme, but Disney has a habit of opening the parks early on busy days, namely Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. You can usually get multiple attractions done in the first hour of park operations. That’s the beauty of rope drop.

Fantasyland at Rope Drop December 5, 2020

It can seem like the lines for popular rides seem endless. You’re sure to see extended queues practically everywhere. It’s just important to keep in mind that these lines extend so long because of social distancing. Here are some tips for dealing with those extended lines.

Most quick service restaurants and dining locations use mobile ordering through the MyDisneyExperience app. Make sure you’ve read our steps on how to use mobile ordering. Make sure you place your mobile order early in the day. As the day goes on the time slots book up and there can be a 45 minute to hour long wait for a time to pick up your order. Meaning, when you sign into the app to select an Arrival Time to pick up your order the available arrival times can be an hour or later past the current time.

Step 1 of Disney’s Mobile Ordering

In each of the Disney theme parks have appearances of Santa Claus as part of their character cavalcades. At Magic Kingdom and at EPCOT you’ll find festive character appearances throughout the day as well. Magic Kingdom’s cavalcades are the merriest, as they are basically the Very Merry Christmas Parade floats and costumes. Check out our tips on viewing the character cavalcades.

Santa Claus at Magic Kingdom 2020
Clarabelle Christmas Character Cavalcade Magic Kingdom

Even with limited capacity, you’re going to need a tool to help you avoid long lines. You can create your own Touring Plan, or use one of ours that is ready to go. You can also visit without a plan, but view Expected Wait Times in our app and know whether you should wait until later in the day to ride any particular ride.

Finally, the holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without some good eating. The bad news is most of the popular restaurants are already booked up for dining reservations. The good news is you can use our Reservation Finder for free. This tool will alert you when an opening at your preferred restaurant and timeslot becomes available so you can go snag that desired reservation.

Have you visited on Christmas week or the week after? What are some of your tips?

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Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando Native who loves sharing her hometown with others. She's worked in nearly all of Orlando's theme parks, on board Disney Cruise Line, and in hotel management. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @thisfloridalife

One thought on “Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World During the Busy Two Weeks of Christmas

  • December 20, 2020 at 5:54 pm
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    Are the extended queues pretty consistent in the area they begin? A list of where to go and what to look for may be helpful if they are.

    Reply

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