By the co-author of the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook ever -- The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit.—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor

Christmas 2014 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute


Christmas 2014 at Walt Disney World form yourfirstvisit.netThe Christmas season at Walt Disney World includes both the best and the worst times to visit, with both prices and crowds at both lower and very high levels over the period.

Decorations, special Christmas shows, programs, and events, and Christmas trees are everywhere, making Disney World as special a place to celebrate the holidays as you can find.


December crowds at Walt Disney World begin at lower levels. They will begin to build on 12/20, and by 12/23 will hit their highest levels of the year, where they will stay until about January 3, 2015

Walt Disney World resort hotel December prices at the beginning of the month are at one of the lower levels of the year. On 12/12 they go up a lot, and on December 19, 2014, they increase to 50-80% higher than the lowest levels of the year.

December weather is cooler and variable. While the average daily high is 73, this masks tremendous variability.


Each of the parks has wonderful Christmas decorations, and most have special Christmas events, which begin in early November or right around Thanksgiving.

  • At the Magic KingdomMickey’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 2014, November 7
  • 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–in 2014, November 7 is the first date


New Year’s Eve festivities will occur December 31, 2014 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.

Hours may be extended, but here’s what’s currently scheduled:

  • Epcot will 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 until 1a or later
  • The Magic Kingdom will have Wishes at 7.30p and special New Year’s Eve fireworks at 11.50p
  • Epcot  will have its Illuminations fireworks show at 6p and 11.40p, plus DJs in various pavilions.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios will have fireworks at midnightand 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.

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1 Art h { 06.03.14 at 8:11 pm }

I spent the last three New Years eves at Epcot. As I happen to go to Disney every year for Christmas and New Years. How is New Year’s Eve at Hollywood studios? I wanna try something different this year for New Years while still being true to Disney?

2 Regina { 06.15.14 at 9:08 pm }

How is visiting in November. .I have seen conflicting information if hotels etc will be decorated fully for Christmas. This will be the first time our family will be visiting for holidays. So we need to do the most affordable way but also don’t want to skimp out….we have been waiting to see this FOREVER…thanks for all your information! !

3 Dave { 06.16.14 at 7:06 am }

Regina, on November in general see this: Hotel decorations start going up some places early in the month, but you can’t count on them being fully in place until Thanksgiving week.

4 Patricia { 07.22.14 at 9:37 am }

My favorite park to tour at Christmas is Epcot. I love seeing how all the countries celebrate the holidays!

5 Dave { 07.22.14 at 5:33 pm }

Me too, Patricia!!

6 Andrea { 08.09.14 at 10:40 pm }

I’m looking at making a reservation for the Candlelight Processional Dinner Pkg, and I’m a little confused about the cost. It appears that last year it was price fixe, but I can’t find any prices for 2014. On the reservation page, most of the restaurants are listed as “a la carte”. Does that mean we can really just order as much or as little as we want? I know last year it was billed as a 3 course meal. We’re not really big eaters, so that would be wasted on our family.

7 Andrea { 08.09.14 at 10:42 pm }

Correction, it is still described as a “3 course meal”. How do we know how much this will cost??

8 Dave { 08.10.14 at 10:05 am }

Andrea, honestly I’m not sure either. Your best bet is to call WDW dining and ask. See this: Then come back and let me know what you found out!!!

9 Andrea { 08.12.14 at 12:24 pm }

Hi Dave! I called WDW dining, and the only way to find out the cost of your meal is to speak directly with them over the phone. The person I spoke with was nice, but she didn’t seem to have a clue. Perhaps you’d like to call and find out the price of meals at each restaurant and post it for all of your adoring fans :o) Though, I’m not sure why Disney wouldn’t just put the price on the reservation page…unless they really don’t want you to know how much you’re paying until you get the bill.

10 Dave { 08.13.14 at 9:16 am }

Andrea, Disney changes prices both seasonally and ad hoc (as ingredient prices change, or it just wants to make more money). So I suspect it is trying to avoid both confusion about seasonal prices and the labor of maintaining all those prices…

11 Rosemary Lanni { 08.30.14 at 12:42 pm }

We are planning on bringing our grandtwins for their 4th birthday. We want to have a birthday party at the Magic Kingdom with family there. Can you give us any ideas on this. I know I want to take them to get all dressed up like a princess and a super hero. Would they also be able to be in one of the parades? We are thinking ahead?

Thank you.

12 Dave { 08.30.14 at 6:44 pm }

Hi Rosemary, here’s some birthday thoughts: Sadly, being in the parades is not among them…

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