December 2016 at Walt Disney World
By Dave Shute
OVERVIEW: DECEMBER 2016 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 2016 CROWDS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Early December is one of the less crowded periods at Walt Disney World. However, because of the Christmas Party you can face higher much waits if you go to the parks on the wrong days. See this for how to avoid these crowds.
Later December–beginning the 17th in 2016–is the most crowded time of the year at Disney World
On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 11/26 has a crowd rating of 3/ low, the week beginning 12/3 4/low-plus, the week beginning 12/10 3/low, the week beginning 12/17 10/higher, and the week beginning 12/24 11/highest.
DECEMBER 2016 PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Prices begin the month at the values and moderates 10% higher than the lowest of the year. At the deluxes, prices begin the month 6% higher than the lowest of the year.
On 12/11, prices increase at the values to 45% higher than the lowest of the year, at the moderates to 25% higher, and at the deluxes to 30% higher.
On 12/12, prices increase at the values to 65% higher than the lowest of the year, at the moderates to 50% higher, and at the deluxes to 55% higher, and stay at this level through the end of the month
See this for more on 2016 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.
DECEMBER 2016 DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD
Deals are available for December 2016. Details are here.
DECEMBER 2016 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 2016 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 December 22. After that date, its signature events—a special Christmas parade, and special Christmas fireworks—are available to all guests.
- 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
The New Years Eve schedule is not fully out. The Magic Kingdom and Epcot will have special fireworks and celebrations on 12/31/2016, and the same celebrations will also happen at Magic Kingdom on 12/30.
Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios New Year’s Eve offerings are not yet clear. For speculation on these, and more detail on what is known now, see this.
DECEMBER 2016 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 2016 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD BY ARRIVAL DATE
The week rankings that follow below are from 2016 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 2016 weeks (when open, keep clicking to enlarge.)
11/26/2016. Low prices at values, moderate-minus prices at moderates, low prices at deluxes. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=1. Recommended Week. Use the Basic 2016 FastPass+ December Itinerary
12/3/2016. Pop Warner Week. Low prices at values, moderate-minus prices at moderates, low prices at deluxes. Low-plus crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=2. Recommended Week. Use the Basic 2016 FastPass+ December Itinerary
12/24/2016. Highest prices at values, moderates, deluxes. Highest crowds. Crowd ranking=11. Week ranking=47. Use the 2016 FastPass+ Higher Crowd Itinerary, but watch for added morning EMH and 8a opens