December 2015 at Walt Disney World
By Dave Shute
OVERVIEW: DECEMBER 2015 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.
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 2015 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Early December is one of the less crowded periods at Walt Disney World.
Later December–beginning the 19th in 2015–is the most crowded time of the year at Walt Disney World.
On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 11/28 has a crowd rating of 3/low, the week beginning 12/5 4/low-plus, the week beginning 12/12 3/low, and the weeks beginning 12/19 and 12/26 11/highest.
However, because of the crowd effects of the Christmas Party, even the first three weeks you can face higher much waits if you go to the parks on the wrong days. See this for how to avoid these crowds.
DECEMBER 2015 PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
December 2015 prices begin 10% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 8% higher at the moderates, and 10% higher at the deluxes.
On 12/11, they increase to 45% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 30% higher at the moderates and 16% higher at the deluxes.
On 12/18 prices go to 80% higher than the lowest of the year at the values, 50% higher at the moderates, and 33% higher at the deluxes.
Value and moderate prices stay at this level the rest of the month; prices at the deluxes go up one more time on 12/25 to 55% higher than the lowest of the year, and stay at this level the rest of the month.
See this for more on 2015 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.
DECEMBER 2015 DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Deals are available for December 2015. Details are here.
DECEMBER 2015 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.
DECEMBER 2015 SPECIAL EVENTS
December brings delightful Christmas festivities to Disney World:
- 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 2015, 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 typically 6p.
NEW YEAR’S EVE 2015/2016 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
New Year’s Eve festivities and fireworks will happen on December 31, 2015 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 New Year’s Eve fireworks, but will–for the first time– be offering a “New Year’s Eve Street Parti” in Africa’s Harambe Market from 3:30p to 8:30p.
Hours may be extended, but here’s what’s currently scheduled:
- 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 until 2a
- The Magic Kingdom will have Wishes at 6.30p, 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 midnight
- 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 2015 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 2015 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD BY ARRIVAL DATE
The week rankings that follow below are from 2015 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 2015 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)
- 11/28/2015 Low prices at values and deluxes, moderate prices in moderates. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=1. Recommended week. Use the Basic December Itinerary, but swap Wednesday and Thursday
- 12/5/2015 Pop Warner Week. Low prices at values and deluxes, moderate prices in moderates. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=2. Recommended week. Use the Basic December Itinerary, but swap Wednesday and Thursday
- 12/12/2015 High prices at values and moderates, moderate-plus prices in deluxes. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=3. Recommended week. Use the Basic December Itinerary, but swap Wednesday and Thursday
- 12/19/2015 Christmas week. Highest prices at values and moderates, higher prices in deluxes. Highest crowds. Crowd ranking=11. Week ranking=45. Use the FastPass+ Higher Crowd Itinerary, but swap Tuesday and Wednesday in both the itinerary and its To-Do List
- 12/26/2015 Christmas week. Highest prices at values, moderates, and deluxes. Highest crowds. Crowd ranking=11. Week ranking=47. Use the FastPass+ Higher Crowd Itinerary, but swap Tuesday and Wednesday in both the itinerary and its To-Do List
MORE ON WHEN TO GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD
- For when to go to Walt Disney World, 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
Want a second opinion? Then check out my book lol.