Holidays at Disney
For a long time, I thought that I needed to be home based for the Holidays, but more and more I love the idea of just leaving all the Holiday madness behind for a great trip away. I know that's easier said than done when your little ones are under the age of 5, but I have to tell you that it's all that you make of it. More often than not we give ourselves a lot of reasons not to do things instead of giving ourselves reasons to do the things we want; you know I am right. So for the past few years, I pack up the kids and head over to Disney World during the Holiday season, and I have to tell you I am never disappointed when I go. Whether it's during Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas, you will love the parks during this time.
Disney is a magical place in itself, but there is something about the holiday season that makes it ten times more magical. Disney always puts so many details into getting the parks ready for the Holidays, and it surely doesn't go unnoticed by the guest. My kids love the park during this time because not only do they get to be at the most Magical place on earth, but they also get to see all their favorite characters dressed in Holiday garments, carolers and much more. We surely love visiting and pretty much know how to navigate our way through the parks during one of the busiest times of the year, so I figured I share some tips below. Hope this helps when planning your trip.
TIP 1 Booking your trip:
Christmas decorations usually start right after Thanksgiving into the week after NYE so check what time to travel works best for you to go. I suggest if you have kids that are not in school go during the times when kids are actually in school vs their breaks, so you avoid crowds otherwise the busiest week is during the actual week of Christmas. Book Your Disney Dining & Resort Reservations as soon as possible. You can book Disney World dining reservations to 180 days in advance, and some locations fill quickly so reserve your dining as soon as you know which restaurants you want to eat at.
TIP 2 Book FastPasses before Arrival:
FastPass reservations can be booked up to 60 days in advance of arrival when you are staying at an official Disney World hotel or a few select "Good Neighbor" hotels. If you're not staying on property, you can book FastPass reservations up to 30 days before arrival as long as you've already purchased your theme parks tickets. Buying your tickets in advance will eliminate two lines right from the start because you won't have to get in line at the ticket booth and you won't have to get in line to get Fast passes after you enter the park. I just saved you some time, thank me later. There is a limit of 3 FastPass reservations per ticketed day; however, if you want you can add additional FastPasses in the park after you've used your first three so choose the first three wisely.
Tip 4: Know Park Hours for The Holiday Season:
Disney World theme parks usually open to the general public at 9:00 AM, but there will be days during the holiday season where one or more of the theme parks will open to everyone at 8:00 AM. If those parks have a morning Extra Magic Hour, they will open to Disney World official hotel guests at 7:00 AM. This also means longer lines due to crowds being able to start early. During the Holiday Season, The Magic Kingdom closes at 6:00 PM for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and a list will be on the site of the days these start each year. On these specific nights, there will be no "Happily Ever After" Fireworks. Remember the Christmas parties are a separately ticketed event and you cannot enter using your regular admission ticket.
Remember Disney World is huge, so knowing what you want to do ahead of time is key to having fun. Get all the hard stuff done prior to your arrival is the key.