How to Survive Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Disney World!
Christmas and the holiday season at Walt Disney World is an amazing sight to see! It is also the most crowded and busiest times of the year!
THE best advice that I can give is make sure to pack your patience! And just remember that everyone is going to have the same mindset as you; avoid the crowds, see all the shows and fireworks, eat at the best restaurants, meet all the characters and ride all the rides!
Let’s just get real, you are not going to be able to avoid the crowds all together! So if you are really not a “wind through the crowds” type of person I would strongly suggest you not go during the Holiday season. Although, there are a few things that you can do to make your vacation a little less of a headache.
Get to the parks super early! Meaning get to the park an hour to 30 min before park open. That means whether or not the park is offering Extra Magic Hours that morning!
Reserve FastPass+ and Dinner Reservations ASAP! Once you book your trip calculate what day is your 180 days out mark and 60 days out mark. Make sure to be up at 7:00 am eastern time to select your restaurants and FastPass+!
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! This separate ticketed event let’s those that have purchased tickets to this party into the Magic Kingdom at 4:00 pm on party nights. Only those that have purchased tickets are allowed into the park from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am on party nights. Which means only a select few will be in the Magic Kingdom to enjoy the special shows, character meet and greats and shorter lines for the rides. For more information onMickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, click here!
If you are going to the parks during the holidays and your main interest is seeing all of the shows and fireworks that are unique to this time of year, I would suggest not worrying too much about the rides. Make your FastPass+ selections for the rides that you absolutely HAVE to do. Pick a spot early on the parade route to get a good view of the floats and characters. There is one castle stage show during the day that is pretty cute and is a great way to see all of the characters in their Christmas best. And let’s not forget the nighttime shows and fireworks that everyone knows and loves! The best way to get a good view for the parades and firework shows would be to pick a spot that gives you a great view for both.
To make sure that you get your top pick for restaurants make sure to get your reservations in order on the 180th day out from your arrival date! Have your list ready and be sure to make reservations for the character dinning FIRST as they are the first to get all booked up!
Again if your main reason for going to Disney is seeing as many characters as you can, don’t spend too much time worrying about getting on rides. Like I mentioned before make your FastPass+ selections for the rides that you HAVE to do and then don’t worry too much about riding anything else unless the wait is low. In order to see characters you will most likely have to wait through at least one or two character meeting sessions before you get your turn to meet your character.
If you are planning to be at the Magic Kingdom on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, plan to stay there all day. It’s more often than not that the Magic Kingdom will close due to capacity on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Disney goes all out for the fireworks on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and it most definitely a must see if you are going to be in Disney World on these days. What many people don’t know is that you don’t have to be inside the Magic Kingdom to see the fireworks. If the Magic Kingdom is closed due to capacity don’t worry just hang around at the Transportation Center (TCC), you can get a great view from there and they play the music that goes along with the fireworks. You can also view the fireworks from the surrounding resorts on the Seven Seas Lagoon; the Contemporary, Polynesian Village and the Grand Floridian. Please note that sometimes the hotel security may not let you go into certain places on the hotel’s property as some of it is designated for Disney Vacation Club Members only. Also, please know that you can view the fireworks on any night from these locations as well not just on busy nights.
If you are not wanting to go to the Magic Kingdom on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the next best park to go to is EPCOT! EPCOT is so spread out and has many Christmas decorations and activities to enjoy. Although, the lines will be VERY long you will still be able to enjoy the seasonal offerings from all of the featured countries.
A very simple way to get away from all of the crowds but still enjoy Christmas in Disney World is to just stay at the resort that you are staying at. Chances are they are all decked out for the holidays and have Christmas activities planned for their resort guests. You can also resort hop. Just as the theme parks go all out for Christmas decorations, you can only imagine what the resorts do. The deluxe resorts have the most decorations, but since they are near the Magic Kingdom the traffic getting there could be a pain. My best advice for resort hoping would be to take a bus to EPCOT and ride the monorail to the TCC and then take the resort monorail around the loop and take your time to take in all of the decorations. Just remember everyone else is trying to get somewhere as fast as they can too. Just don’t be in a hurry and bring your patience!