Disney World in December 2023: Tips for the Holiday Season and What to Expect

Disney World in December is the peak of the holiday season where you can find festive holiday decor and Disney magic at its finest. But not just Magic Kingdom gets into the holiday spirit, you will see holiday magic inside each theme park at Disney World.

Everyone has personal preferences to consider when planning the date of their Walt Disney World trip- each season will have its pros and cons and guests’ choices will vary based on those. Make sure to read our Walt Disney World crowd calendar to get an idea of what to expect when picking a date to visit Walt Disney World.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about visiting Disney World in December including current events, what weather to expect, crowd level predictions, and what to pack!

Disney World Events in DecemberDisney World in December- Epcot Candlelight Processional

Here are all the current events to know about impacting Disney World in December!

Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary

Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration continues with this be the last holiday season of the celebration. Be on the watch for anniversary themed celebrations!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will take place on select dates in Magic Kingdom featuring special holiday entertainment, meet and greets, Christmas fireworks, and more. Magic Kingdom will close early on party dates so make sure you’re prepared with a park hopper ticket if you don’t have a ticket to this special event. The December holiday dates are below:

  • December: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays takes place until December 30th this holiday season. The festival is a celebration of international holiday traditions from around the world. This festival experience includes an International Yuletide Extravaganza: featuring 11 holiday traditions of the 11 World Showcase nations, seasonal food from around the world, and holiday music. This festival is also home to the popular Epcot Candlelight Processional.

Hollywood Studios Jollywood Nights

New this year is the Hollywood Studios ticketed event, Jollywood Nights, which takes place on select nights in November and December. This new holiday event takes place after park close so this is similar to an after-hours event at Walt Disney World and will feature Christmas in the style of classic Hollywood including new entertainment featuring the Muppets and characters from Nightmare Before Christmas. Here are the December 2023 dates for Jollywood Nights:

  •  December: 4, 6, 16, 18, 20

Read our comparison of Jollywood Nights and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party here.

New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World

New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World is one of the most popular nights of the year in the parks. You can expect to see great nighttime fireworks in the Magic Kingdom, nighttime spectaculars and dinners in Epcot, and a DJ dance party in Hollywood Studios. Read our full guide to New Year’s Eve at Walt Disney World to be prepared. 

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Disney World in December Crowd CalendarLittle girl with Santa- Disney World in December

The earlier in December you can visit, the better it will be when it comes to avoiding crowds. The closer it gets to Christmas the busier the parks will get. Visiting early in the month will help avoid those crowds. If you can’t visit earlier, just have a solid strategy in place for navigating crowds. Consider adding Genie+  to your daily purchases and booking advanced dining reservations, arrive early to the parks each day, and consider staying late to enjoy the parks to their fullest.

Guests visiting the Magic Kingdom in December will have to be aware of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you don’t have a party ticket, you will be asked to leave the park around 5pm on party days. It’s important to plan ahead for those dates so you have a plan in place for once the party starts. In the past the first start of the day before the Christmas party is actually low in crowd levels as many party goers don’t enter the parks until later in the day when their Christmas party ticket allows saving them the cost of a full day ticket. It can actually be a wise decision to start off the day early at the park hosting the Christmas party to beat some of those crowds.

Read our Park Touring Strategy based on our recent experience at Disney World!>

Disney World Weather in Decembermickeys very merry xmas party

The weather at Disney World in December is fairly dry with warmer days and chilly nights making it a great time of the year to visit. The average high for Orlando in December is 73 degrees with the average low being 50 degrees. Since the weather isn’t as hot, this is a great time of year to visit for those that don’t enjoy heat.

Chances of rain in December are the lowest you typically see all year with only an average three days of rain in the month. For guests that love Disney World but are not a big fan of the rain, this makes December a great time to visit.

Tips for Visiting Disney World in December

When it comes to visiting Disney World in December, we have some tried and true hacks for having a magical time on your vacation.

What to Wear 

One of the most frequently asked guest questions is: what should I wear to Disney World? Always check the weather leading up to your trip. The good news about visiting Disney World in December is that the chance of rainfall is greatly reduced making it less necessary to wear a rain poncho daily to the parks. We still recommend bringing one so you can enjoy the water rides without getting drenched. I recommend dressing in layers and come prepared for some chilly mornings. Once the sun goes down, the evenings will feel chilly (especially when you factor in humidity) so bring some lightweight hoodies or jackets. You can always rent a locker to store jackets in during the day and go back to grab them once the day cools down.

What to Pack 

Even though the average high temperatures start dropping this time of the year, the temperatures can still be pretty warm especially if you’re not used to hot climates and humidity. Because the weather can vary so much day by day, check the weather each day leading up to your trip. Come prepared based on what the forecast says. Dress in layers so you’re prepared for sunny afternoons and chilly nights.

You can read our giant packing list here to make sure you show up prepared for literally anything you need while you’re visiting Disney World.

What to Expect

There are a few things you should expect when choosing December as your month to visit Disney World:

  • Holiday Tips and Tricks- there is so much to see and do between the four theme parks for the holiday celebrations at Disney World. I recommend looking through our extensive Disney World Christmas guide to plan out what you want to see the most and make any applicable dining reservations for must do experiences.
  • Know the Christmas Party Date- being prepared for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is essential for guests looking to visit Magic Kingdom. You should plan on park hopper tickets so you can hop over to the other theme parks when the party starts if you don’t have a ticket. If you plan on attending, we recommend not buying a park ticket that day as your party ticket will allow you into the party! Party days tend to reduce crowds in the mornings before the party starts so we also recommend taking advantage of those mornings to ride those popular rides.

But most of all, remember to enjoy your time at the most magical place on earth!

Plan Your Disney World Vacation!

Keep reading our blog to keep you updated on everything you need to know to prepare for a Disney Parks vacation! We have a team of writers working hard to keep you updated weekly on events in the parks and tips for navigating the magic. Subscribe to our free deals newsletter to receive helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere. You can find more information on planning your vacation here:

Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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