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

December 2014 at Walt Disney World

By Dave Shute

December   January   February   March   April   May   June   July


December 2014 at Walt Disney World from yourfirstvisit.netThis page reviews December 2014 Walt Disney World crowds, prices, deals and discounts, weather, and operating hours; adds a few other notes; and ends with week by week summaries.

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.


Earlier December is one of the less crowded periods at Walt Disney World.

Later December–beginning the 20th in 2014–is the most crowded time of the year at Walt Disney World.

On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 11/29 has a ranking of 3/low, 12/6 4/low-plus, 12/13 3/low, 12/20 11/highest, and 12/27 11/highest.

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.

See this for more on 2014 crowds at Disney World.


December hotel prices begin the month 15% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 10% higher than the lowest of the year at the moderates, and the 10% higher than the lowest of the year at the deluxes.

Prices bump up quite a bit over on December 12 to 50% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 30% higher at the moderates, and 35% higher at the deluxes.

On December 19, prices go up again to their highest level in 2014.  At the values, they go to 80% higher than the lowest of the year, 50% higher at the moderates, and 55% higher at the deluxes.

See this for more on 2014 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.


Deals are available for December 2014. Details are here.


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.


December brings delightful Christmas festivities to Disney World:

  • 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 expected to be the first date

New Year’s Eve festivities will occur on 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 scheduled now:

  • 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 likely 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 likely have the same fireworks at the same times on 12/30. This date will likely be a little less crowded than 12/31.


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:


The week rankings that follow below are from 2014 weeks to visit, ranked in order, and are designed for first-time visitors who do not know whether or not they will return. 2014 Weeks to Visit Walt Disney World Ranked in Order v2Click the image for a calendar view of 2014 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)

11/29/2014 Prices low. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=1. Recommended week. Use the FastPass+ Basic Itinerary

12/6/2014 Pop Warner week. Moderate prices. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=3. Recommended week. Use the FastPass+ Basic Itinerary, but swap Monday and Wednesday

12/13/2014 Prices higher. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=2. Recommended week. Use the FastPass+ Basic Itinerary

12/20/2014 Christmas week. Highest prices. Highest crowds.  Crowd ranking=11. Week ranking=46.  Use the Fastpass+ High-Crowd Itinerary 

12/27/2014 New Years week.  Highest prices. Highest crowds. Crowd ranking=11. Week ranking=45.  Use the Fastpass+ High-Crowd Itinerary 


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1 Christy { 05.27.14 at 1:09 am }

I’m curious; what’s your take on why Disney is charging peak room pricing starting 12/12? Seems crazy to me. Or, like Disney knows something we don’t know, crowds-wise. I mean, if they’re having trouble filling rooms because of low attendance, raising the prices significantly on on-site rooms isn’t gonna help them fill rooms. We have a trip booked then, but might cancel under the premise that high room prices *have* to mean something.

2 Dave { 05.27.14 at 6:44 am }

Christy, this pricing has been in effect for a couple of years, and has nothing to do with crowds.

Disney pricing is complicated as some times of the year it is designed to pull people out of local hotels and out of their homes, and other times of the year it is designed to extract willingness to pay.

So you do see high prices in low crowd periods (like this week, and the first week of March) , and low prices in high crowd periods (later July and August at the deluxes, August at the values and moderates) , at least some of every year.

I’ve gt more on this here

3 Ed { 07.08.14 at 10:42 pm }

Thanks for all your work you put into the website! My family is going to Disney 1 Dec thru 6 Dec. We are staying at Shades of Green. My kids would love to go the the Mickey Christmas Party. Are there any military discounts that you know of? Also would it be better to go on an extra magic day to MK for the party or not? This will be our second trip in the last 3 years and your services saved us so much time and frustration. Thanks again!!

4 Dave { 07.09.14 at 12:36 pm }

Hi Ed, see this: Not sure what you mean by EMH/Party–do you mean shoing up for the 8a opening on 12/4 and then staying thru the party? 12/4 will be a good day at MK, but if you go that day, take the afternoon off and then return…

5 Ed { 07.09.14 at 4:31 pm }

Thanks Dave,
I was asking if the EMH on the 4th would mean for larger crowds that day, but i guess your right, there is no way my kids could stay out all day. It looks like the military discounted Very Merry Christmas tickets are only good for the November shows. I don’t mind paying full price for the party though, it looks like it will be the highlight of the trip for my daughters. Thanks again!

6 Dave { 07.10.14 at 6:19 am }

You are welcome Ed!

7 Chris { 07.26.14 at 11:00 am }

Curious about the MK christmas programs. There are no parties 12-20 through 12/25. Do they still have all the dance parties, parades, special characters, shows etc that were at the Christmas parties?
Thank you.

8 Dave { 07.27.14 at 9:01 am }

Chris, the Christmas parties are on only during low crowd periods, when it’s reasonable to close MK at 7p for them. Beginning the 2oth, the park are mobbed, os no parties the. Some elements of them are built into the post 19th program–the special Xmas fireworks and parade–but not the rest.

9 Joe Mtz { 10.29.14 at 11:39 pm }

I am going with my family Dec 14th to 19th,. we got a good deal free dining, How are the crowds during that week?

Thank youy

10 Dave { 10.30.14 at 6:53 am }

Joe they will be fine!

11 Joy { 11.02.14 at 7:49 pm }

We have tickets for Christmas party on the 9th. How crowded does it get on those Christmas party nights?

12 Dave { 11.03.14 at 7:28 am }

Joy, the streets can be crowded, but ride waits–except Anna and Elsa and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train–will be low.

13 josh { 11.18.14 at 11:33 pm }

My wife and two kids will be going to Disney World Sunday December 28th and Monday December 29th how bad will the crowds be those days. Also how long is a normal wait time for many of the rides? Thanks

14 Dave { 11.19.14 at 5:07 pm }

Josh, see this for a starting point, a screenshot from my book The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit 2015

MK Waits

It’s for crowds one level easier than you’ll see those dates, so add to it. Last year, at that time peak waits for the most popular rides at times crossed 4 hours.

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