By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



yourfirstvisit.net—Disney World Instructions for the First-Time Visitor



December 2017 at Walt Disney World



By Dave Shute

OVERVIEW: DECEMBER 2017 AT DISNEY WORLD

This page reviews December 2017 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 has the highest crowds and prices of the year.

Park closings to additional guests are possible in this later December period, as are 8a openings and more morning Extra Magic Hours than other weeks.

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 2017 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 12/22 in 2017–is the most crowded time of the year at Disney World.

On a crowd scale of 1-11, the week beginning 11/25 has a crowd rating of 3/ low, the week beginning 12/2 4/low-plus, the week beginning 12/9 3/low, the week beginning 12/16 7/moderate+ (better earlier in the week, worse later), and the week beginning 12/24 11/highest. (Note that the 12/16 crowd level is a re-forecast.)

See this for more on 2017 crowds at Disney World.

DECEMBER 2017 PRICES AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Prices begin the month at the values 5-10% higher than the lowest of the year. On 12/10 they increase to 20-25% higher. On 12/15, they increase to 40-45% higher, and on 12/22 they hit 60-75% higher, the highest prices of the year, and stay at this level until the end of the month.

Prices at the moderates begin the month 10-15% higher than than the lowest of the year. On 12/10 they increase to 15-20% higher. On 12/15, they increase to 20-25% higher, and on 12/22 they hit 50-55% higher, the highest prices of the year, and stay at this level until the end of the month.

Prices at the deluxes begin the month at 5-15% higher than the lowest of the year. On 12/10 they increase to 20% higher. On 12/15, they increase to 25-35% higher, and on 12/22 they hit 40-60% higher, the highest prices of the year, and stay at this level until the end of the month.

See this for more on 2017 resort hotel prices at Walt Disney World.

DECEMBER 2017 DEALS AND DISCOUNTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Deals are available for  December 2017. Details are here.

DECEMBER 2017 WEATHER AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

Average temperatures trend down over December, and weather becomes quite variable.  Days can be perfect, or quite cool.

Disney World Temperatures and Percentile Distribution Click the image, or go to Weather and When to Go to Disney World, for more on typical December weather.

DECEMBER 2017 SPECIAL EVENTS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD

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 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.
  • At Hollywood Studios, a special Christmas show Jingle Bell Jingle BAM replaced the Star Wars evening show in 2016.  I’d guess it will be back in 2017.

The New Years Eve schedule: Magic Kingdom and Epcot will have special fireworks and celebrations on 12/31/2017, and the same celebrations will also happen at Magic Kingdom on 12/30. Hollywood Studios–and Animal Kingdom–may also have celebrations.

DECEMBER 2017 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. Look especially for a major update to hours a couple of weeks before the month starts.

These calendars can be found by clicking the following links:

WEEK BY WEEK COMMENTS FOR DECEMBER 2017 AT WALT DISNEY WORLD BY ARRIVAL DATE

The week rankings that follow below are from 2017 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 2017 weeks.

11/25/2017 Low prices. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=1. Recommended week. Use the Basic Itinerary.

12/2/2017 Pop Warner week. Low prices. Low+ crowds. Crowd ranking=4. Week ranking=3. Recommended week. Use the Basic Itinerary.

12/9/2017 Moderate prices. Low crowds. Crowd ranking=3. Week ranking=2. Recommended week. Use the Basic Itinerary.

12/16/2017 Higher prices. Moderate+ crowds–better earlier in the week, worse later. Crowd ranking=7. Week ranking=21a. Use the Basic Itinerary.

12/23/2017 Highest prices. Highest crowds. Crowd ranking=11. Week ranking=45. Use the Higher Crowd Itinerary but check–especially in late November–for earlier opens and additional morning Extra Magic Hours
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4 comments

1 Sherry { 06.28.17 at 1:10 pm }

We are debating between the days of August 20-24, or December 16-21. I like the idea of lower crowds in August, but we have never been during the Christmas season. However, the crowds this time of year seem very high. What are your thoughts on this? The weather in August seems sweltering as well??

2 Dave { 06.29.17 at 7:04 am }

Sherry, if you’ve been before–especially in the era of FastPass+–then you’ll be fine in December, as a good plan beats the crowds. I would vote for the December options on every dimension except for hotel prices, which will be much higher.

3 Sherry { 06.29.17 at 7:21 am }

Thank you very much! We have been before and are super excited for December! We landed a free dining promotion for December! Yay!! We can’t wait!!

4 Dave { 06.30.17 at 8:39 am }

Yay free dining, Sherry!!

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