December 2013 at Walt Disney World
By Dave Shute
OVERVIEW: DECEMBER 2013 AT DISNEY WORLD
Early December, with lower crowds, lower prices, and wonderful Christmas decorations and events, has the best weeks of the year to visit.
Later December with Christmas and New Year’s weeks has the highest crowds and prices of the year. Park closings to additional guests are common in this period, as are 8a openings and daily morning Extra Magic Hours.
December also has a special party, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a special evening event–with its own ticket–that has become a family tradition for many.
DECEMBER 2013 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Earlier December is one of the less crowded periods at Walt Disney World. Later December–beginning the 21st in 2013–is the most crowded time of the year at Walt Disney World.
On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 11/30 has a ranking of 2/lower, 12/7 3/low, 12/14 3/low, 12/21 11/highest, and 12/28 9/high
However, even during the low crowd weeks early in the month, certain days at the Magic Kingdom can still be wildly crowded. See this for how to avoid them.
DECEMBER 2013 PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
December hotel prices begin the month 15% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 8% higher than the lowest of the year at the moderates, and the 8% higher than the lowest of the year at the deluxes.
Prices bump up quite a bit over on December 13 to 55% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 30% higher ta the moderates, and 34% higher at the deluxes.
On December 20, prices go up again to their highest level in 2013. At the values, they go to 90% higher than the lowest of the year, 50% higher at the moderates, and 56% higher at the deluxes.
DECEMBER 2013 DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Deals are available for December 2013. Find them here.
DECEMBER 2013 WEATHER AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Average temperatures trend down over December, and weather becomes quite variable. Days can be perfect, or quite cool.
Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on temperatures.
DISNEY WORLD SPECIAL EVENTS IN DECEMBER 2013
Each park has delightful Christmas festivities:
- At the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party—a special event that requires its own ticket—runs on many nights through the first two-thirds of the month. Later in the month, its signature events—a special Christmas parade, and special Christmas fireworks—are available to all guests. Christmas decor is in place by the night of the first party–in 2013, November 8
- At Epcot, the evening fireworks show Illuminations has special Christmas additions. In addition, most nights Christmas carols are sung by massed choirs in the Candlelight Processional. Many of the countries in Epcot’s World Showcase have special Christmas events as part of Epcot’s Holidays Around the World program. Epcot’s special events usually begin the Friday after Thanksgiving
- At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Christmas celebration is the Osborne holiday lights in the Streets of America area. The evening opening ceremony is 6p. These typically begin in early November
- At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the 3.45p parade is redone to a Christmas theme
New Year’s Eve festivities will happen on December 31, 2013 at Disney World’s Epcot, Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios theme parks, and also at the Magic Kingdom on December 30. The Animal Kingdom has no special events.
Here’s what’s known now (hours will be extended later):
- Epcot is scheduled to be open until 1a on New Year’s Eve; Disney’s Hollywood Studios until midnight for the general public, and 2a for Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests; and the Magic Kingdom is open until midnight (this likely will be extended later to 2a)
- The Magic Kingdom has Wishes at 9p and special New Year’s Eve fireworks at 11.50p
- Epcot has its Illuminations fireworks show at 6.30p and 11.40p, plus DJs in various pavilions.
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios will likely have fireworks at midnight, and several sets over the evening from “Mulch, Sweat and Shears,” a live band
- Note that alcohol is not available at the Magic Kingdom, but is available at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Magic Kingdom will have the same fireworks at the same times on 12/30. This date will likely be a little less crowded than 12/31.
DECEMBER 2013 OPERATING HOURS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Park operating hours vary by the day, and sometimes change without notice. It is rare for hours to be shorter than Disney has publicized, but Disney may lengthen them in response to unanticipated crowds.
The best way to keep up with operating hours is to check Disney’s official calendars, usually available six months in advance.
These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:
WEEK BY WEEK COMMENTS FOR DECEMBER 2013 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD BY ARRIVAL DATE
The week rankings that follow below are from 2013 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return.
Click the image for a calendar view of 2013 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)
12/21/2013 Highest prices. Highest crowds. Crowd ranking=11. Week ranking=45. Use the Summer Itinerary (not a typo!) but note that openings will frequently be earlier than it indicates and morning extra magic hours added
12/28/2013 Higher prices. Higher crowds. Crowd ranking=9. Week ranking=53. Use the Summer Itinerary (not a typo!) for planning, but check back here in mid-June to be sure. Note that openings will frequently be earlier than it indicates and morning extra magic hours added
MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD
- For when to go to Walt Disney World, see this
- For the next best dates, see this
- For the best and worst times to visit, see this
- For forecasting crowds at Walt Disney World, see this
- For seasonal pricing at Walt Disney World, see this
- For weather at Walt Disney World, see this
Follow yourfirstvisit.net on Facebook!