Best Trip Tips

Best Trip Tips: December Vacationers

Those of you heading down to Walt Disney World next month, you’ll either be there for one of the quietest times of the year or the busiest. December 1st- 14th is categorized as one of the slowest times of year, December 24th-31st is one of the busiest. The times in between are moderate. So you can either expect low wait times and great parade viewing spots or sheer madness. Take a look below at all the extra things that are going on during your time at Walt Disney World. This will hopefully help you steer clear of certain things and participate in things you may not have known about.

December 1st-10th

December 11th-20th

December 21st-31st

December 1st-10th

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

To attend this party you need to purchase a ticket, above and beyond your park tickets or ticket package. The party is open only to ticket holders. Anyone without a ticket will be escorted out of the Magic Kingdom at 7pm. Party goers may enter the park at 4pm. The party is taking place on

-Friday,December 1st ($95/90)

-Sunday, December 3rd ($95/90)

-Tuesday, December 5th ($95/90)

-Thursday, December 7th ($95/90)

-Friday, December 8th ($99/94)

-Sunday December 10th ($95/90)

At the party you’ll enjoy special Christmas goodies, snow falling as you walk down Main Street U.S.A. and special Christmas entertainment. Also you’ll see some of your favourite characters dressed up for the holidays. If you’re planning on attending this event you can also enjoy dining at Be Our Guest Restaurant, Crystal Palace or Cinderella’s Royal Table. All other table-service restaurants will be closed, but quick-service restaurants will be offering dinner fare. Take a good look at the dates above to make sure you are not ending your one Magic Kingdom day early on account of this party.

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

During each day of your visit, Epcot is offering something special, their International Festival of the Holidays. So while you’re enjoying your ride on Soarin’ and making your way to a delicious meal at Le Cellier, take the time to enjoy the unique offerings during this one time of year. Try delicious local holiday traditions at carts and kiosks found throughout World Showcase. Participate in Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree by watching for these sneaky chipmunks decorating trees found throughout the park. You can even pick up a map for $6.99 and collect stickers when you track down this pesky duo. JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration is performed in front of the Fountain in Future World daily. So go and enjoy Epcot in a whole new way.

Candlelight Processional

Do not miss this retelling of the Christmas story at the American Pavilion. Enjoy as a choir and orchestra perform songs while a celebrity narrator tells the tale of the season. December 1st and 3rd features Whoopi Goldberg, December 4th and 5th Pat Sajak, December 6th to 8th Jodie Benson and Kurt Russell narrates on December 9th and 10th. The same show takes place nightly at 5pm, 6:45pm and 8:15pm. You can purchase a Candlelight Dining Package which gives you reserved seating for one of the three shows. You can choose from one of seventeen restaurants. This can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner and prices vary depending on your choice. Dining plans are not accepted.

Moonlight Magic at Epcot

On December 4th, Epcot will be staying open late to DVC members. As a part of being a DVC member, Epcot will be open from 10pm until 1pm. So if you find yourself at Epcot on December 4th you won’t be ushered out early because this event happens after the park closes, but you may see people walking around with special bracelets. This is a ticketed event that is already sold out. The tickets are complimentary but only a select number are given out.

Sunset Seasons Greetings.

Stick around in the evening at Hollywood Studios for this special seasonal experience. Each night at Hollywood Studios immerse yourself in the holidays by walking down Sunset Boulevard. Snow will fall and the billboards will shine, taking you back to a different era of Christmas.

Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam!

During the month of December you can enjoy a special holiday projection show on the Chinese Theatre. This show replaces the Star Wars: A Galatic Spectacular until December 15th. This show last approximately 15 minutes. It plays nightly at 8:00pm which doesn’t give you much time to head over to watch Fantasmic! at 8:30, making Fantasmic! a good FastPass + choice if you’re hoping to catch both in the same visit. You can make enjoying this show extra special by participating in the Dessert Party.  For $79 per adult and $45 per child you can enjoy delicious cupcakes and other delicacies as well as alcoholic beverages for those 21 years and older.

Disney Springs

You don’t have to pay park admission to experience the holidays at Walt Disney World. You and your family can have a meet and greet with Santa Clause right at Disney Springs. You can also enjoy holiday beverages and food and the wide variety of dining options found at the Marketplace, Town Centre and West Side. Don’t forget the shop windows will be decorated with Christmas decorations.

Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy

Take a 3.5 hour tour and discover all that’s involved in dressing the parks for Christmas. You’ll be taken through Epcot, Magic Kingdom and discover all the magic of decorating a Disney resort. Tours can only be taken by those 12 and up, and guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. This tour costs $99 but park admission is not required for this special activity. Call (407) 939-8687 to make a reservation for you and your party.

Disney’s Holiday D-Lights

Monday December 4th- Thursday December 8th embark on a 5 hour tour, taking you up close and personal with all the lightning and magic of the holidays. Your tour guide will take you to the Magic Kingdom where you’ll learn about the lightning of Cinderella’s Castle and get a special viewing of the evening lighting. Tour members will then head to Epcot to enjoy the Candlelight Processional and then to Illuminations. The tour involves a meal at the Wilderness Lodge at the beginning of evening. Tours cost $259 per adult. Call (407) 939-8687 to reserve your spot.

Pop Warner Super Bowl

Taking place between December 1st and 9th, come watch youngsters compete in football. This big championship tournament will mean an increase in families at the parks and at the participation hotels. If your child is interested in football this is a great way to expose them and show them that football is for all age levels. These football games take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. You can get here by getting transportation from Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s All-Star Sports resort.

Pop Warner National Cheer & Dance Championship

Also going on at the ESPN Wide World of Sports December 1st to 9th is a Cheer and Dance competition. Perfect for your little performers to go and watch. Whether they’re already involved in cheer, or were years before. This could be a fun way to spend an afternoon while your staying at Walt Disney World Resort. Get transportation at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort or Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.

USSSA Holiday Slow Pitch Classic

For your baseball lovers out there, you can enjoy a game or two on your Disney Vacation by heading to the ESPN Wide World of Sports on December 9th and 10th. Get transportation from Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort or Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.

Blizzard Beach is closed during the time.

December 11th-20th

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Head to the Magic Kingdom for a night filled with holiday magic. Enjoy special entertainment, characters and dining. With complimentary snacks found around the park and unique choices for purchase, these selections are only available during the Party hours. This party takes place on the following dates and for the following prices:

-Tuesday, December 12th $95/90

-Thursday, December 14th $95/90

-Friday, December 15th $99/94

-Sunday, December 17th $95/90

-Monday, December 19th $109/104

Don’t forget you can receive a discount for select nights if you’re a DVC member.

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays

Enjoy a special holiday celebration at both Epcot’s Future World and World Showcase. In Future World you’ll find special food choices and JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration in front of the Future World fountain. Watch for Chip and Dale in the midst of the various Christmas tree, you can even make this into a bit of an adventure by purchasing a sticker chart to find them throughout the park. Make sure to check out all the special food offerings at each of the country’s kiosks and carts. Only offered during this event.

Candlelight Processional

This special retelling of the Christmas story happens every evening at 5pm, 6:45pm and 8:15pm in the America Gardens Theatre found in the American Pavilion. During these dates you can catch, Kurt Russell on December 11th, Warwick Davis December 12th-14th, Trace Adkins December 15th-17th and Neil Patrick Harris December 18th-20th. With a 50 pieces orchestra and choir, this is a beautiful event you will not want to miss.

Sunset Season’s Greetings

Nightly, throughout the Christmas season walk down Sunset Blvd and become emerged in the holidays. With snow falling from the sky, look up at the Hollywood Tower Hotel to see tales of your favourite Disney characters at Christmas time. Also watch as the billboards come to life with Christmas wishes.

Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!

Nightly, watch a 15 minute projected show on the Chinese Theatre. Featuring music and fireworks this show holds all your Disney holiday favourites. You can also enjoy this show by participating in the Dessert Party, which gives you access to a special viewing area, an array of delicious food and beverages (both alcoholic and non). From December 10th-15th the cost is $79 per adult and $45 per child. From December 17th-20th it’s $89 per adult and $49 per child. You also need a park admission.

Star Wars Galactic Night

Hollywood Studios will be ready for you to celebrate the latest Star Wars film. Come dressed up to enjoy a unique and memorable night, interacting with your favourite Star Wars characters, watching interviews with stars of the Stars Wars films and the night will end with a spectacular fireworks show. Hollywood Studios will only be open to those with tickets for this event. Tickets cost $129.00 per adult and $124.00 per child.  Of course there will also be special food to enjoy and purchase.

Disney Springs

You don’t have to pay park admission to experience the holidays at Walt Disney World. You and your family can have a meet and greet with Santa Clause right at Disney Springs. You can also enjoy holiday beverages and food and the wide variety of dining options found at the Marketplace, Town Centre and West Side. Don’t forget the shop windows will be decorated with Christmas decorations.

Disney’s Yuletide Fantasy

Take a 3.5 hour tour and discover all that’s involved in dressing the parks for Christmas. You’ll be taken through Epcot, Magic Kingdom and discover all the magic of decorating a Disney resort. Tours can only be taken by those 12 and up, and guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. This tour costs $99 but park admission is not required for this special activity. Call (407) 939-8687 to make a reservation for you and your party. This tour is offered everyday except for Sunday December 17th.

Disney’s Holiday D-Lights

Monday December 11th- Thursday December 14th embark on a 5 hour tour, taking up close and personal with all the lightning and magic of the holidays. Your tour guide will take to the Magic Kingdom where you’ll learn about the lightning of Cinderella’s Castle and get a special viewing of the evening lightning. Tour members will then head to Epcot to enjoy the Candlelight Processional and then to Illuminations. The tour involves a meal at the Wilderness Lodge at the beginning of evening. Tours cost $259 per adult. Call (407) 939-8687 to reserve your spot.

Blizzard Beach is closed during this time.

December 20th-31st

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Only offered for two nights during the end of this month, you can head to party on Thursday December 21st and Friday December 22nd. The cost of the party on these days is $109/104. All other nights the Magic Kingdom will be open to all guests. This party runs from 7pm until midnight. With the Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season and the stage show Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration. You can also expect some delicious treats around the park for purchase and complimentary. Along with unique character sightings. Those not enjoying the party will be required to leave the park at 7pm.

Epcot International Festival of the Holidays.

Enjoy a day at Epcot immersed in the holiday cheer in Future World and World Showcase. Throughout the 11 nations you can enjoy their holiday traditions and holiday eats. In Future World watch JOYFUL performed daily in front of the Future World Fountain. Participate in Chip & Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree, finding ornaments throughout the park. Pick up a sticker chart so you can have a keepsake to bring home. Enjoy the special presentation of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth as this firework and waterworks show takes on a special holiday theme.

Candlelight Processional

Don’t miss this special presentation of the Christmas story. With a celebrity narrator and 50 member orchestra and choir chimes in with beloved Christmas songs. This show takes place in the American Pavilion daily at 5pm, 6:45pm and 8:15pm. On December 21st check out Neil Patrick Harris, December 22nd-24th CCH Pounder, December 25th-27th Jaci Velasquez and December 28th-30th Chandra Wilson. Want to have a reserved seat? Purchase a Candlelight Processional Dining Package at one of 11 restaurants found at Epcot. Have a three course meal and then a reserved seat at the Candlelight Processional.

Sunset Season’s Greetings

At Hollywood Studios make your way down Sunset Blvd and watch the Hollywood Tower Hotel glow with some of your favourite Disney holiday tales. As you walk down the Blvd you’ll be covered with snowflakes and if you look up you’ll see billboards sending you Yuletide greetings.

Jingle Bell, Jingle Bam!

Nightly at 6:30pm make your way to the front of the Chinese Theatre to watch this projection, fireworks show. With combination of your favourite Disney characters, song and picture come together to create a memorable Christmas show. Take in this special presentation with a dessert party. Call (407) 939-3463 for your families reservation.

Disney Springs

Head to Disney Springs for some last minute holiday shopping and to meet Santa Claus. Expect to see windows dressed in the season and Christmas trees as well as Christmas treats. Be sure to check the stages when you arrive to ensure you don’t miss artists playing your favourite Christmas tunes.

New Year’s Eve Dining

Start the year off with a spectacular meal at one of these 9 restaurants all offering special New Year’s Eve meals. California Grill, Chef Mickey’s, Garden Grove, Il Mulino, Monsieur Paul, Shula’s Steak House, Todd English’s blue zoo Lounge, Victoria & Albert’s and Victoria & Albert’s Chef’s Table. Those restaurants that are within park will require park admission. Call (407) WDW-3463 to make your reservation.

Down in New Orleans: A Disney New Year’s Eve Dining Experience

This adult’s only event takes place in the Grand Republic Ballroom of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. At $450 per adult this event includes a delicious meal, tapas, live music and then an unforgettable view of the special New Year’s Magic Kingdom fireworks.

New Year’s at the Magic Kingdom

On December 30th and 31st at 11:50pm, there are special fireworks that light up the sky over top of Cinderella’s Castle. The fireworks are called Fantasy In The Sky and only happen these two nights of the year. Make your way to Frontierland for a fun dance at 7pm until midnight. You can expect to dance shoulder to shoulder with some characters as you ring in the new year.

New Year’s at Epcot

Steer clear of the business of the Magic Kingdom on New Year’s Eve by going to Epcot and enjoy a send off you won’t forget. Watch fireworks at 11:40pm from any area of World Showcase. You can also enjoy tunes at Future World Fountain and at the American Garden Stage.  These special offerings only happen on December 31st.

New Year’s at Hollywood Studios

Starting at 7pm you can head to the Centre Stage for DJ music and a special late presentation of Jingle Bell, Jingle Jam! The night will end with a special presentation of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. You can then dance the night away until 1am.

Pixar Party: A New Year’s Eve Celebration

Bring your family to a special memorable New Year’s Eve party with your favourite Pixar pals. The room will be decorated in Andy’s Room, The Metro City from the Incredible and the journey from Up. With a DJ spinning toons, a balloon artist, and Sarge conducting a boot camp, this event will is perfect for all members of your family. The food will be served in a buffet style, ensuring everyone will be able to enjoy something being offered. This event starts at 8pm and runs until 12:15am. It will take place at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and costs $175 per guest and is open to guests of all ages.

Disney Boys Soccer Showcase

Taking place from December 27th until the 31st you can watch top clubs participate in highly competitive soccer games. Ages ranging from 11 to 19, this is a fun way to spend an afternoon on a non-park day, especially if you have a soccer enthusiast in your group. Find transportation at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort or Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort.

There is a lot you can add to your vacation in December. Whether it’s watching a sports game or participating in some of the fun things going on at the parks. Knowing all that’s being offered before you arrive always helps make the days of your vacation better. Happy Planning Friends.