Thinking About a Disney World Christmas? Why You Need to Start Planning Now.
We’re going to be talking Christmas today. I know it seems crazy when it’s not even Memorial Day, but since I am in the middle of planning our family’s Disney trip over New Years, Christmas vacation plans are on my mind. We have gone at this time of year several times now, and while it is not for the faint of heart, it is also fun, memorable, and well…magical. At least it can be, if you are prepared for what to expect. I thought I would take today’s post to share some things that you should know if you are thinking of going to Disney World during the Christmas holidays.
If possible, you should be getting your plans in place now. It is always best to plan a Disney vacation at least 4-6 months out, especially if you want to try to do it as affordably as possible. If you want to visit during Christmas week, it is even more important for a couple of reasons.
Disney World is Busy at Christmas…Very Busy
For starters, this is the single busiest week of the year at Disney World. Disney will not be offering any packages, room discounts, or Free Dining. If you want to go then, it will cost you more due to increased costs for airfare as well. So if you want to try to save money at Disney World as much as possible, you will need to do a good bit of research, and book early. It takes time, but it can be done!
Call Early for Those ADRs
Will you be eating at any table service restaurants during this week? While there are always some dining options that will fill up at 180 days out now matter what time of year, during this week, just about everything will be full, well before you arrive at Disney…especially for the major holidays of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Eve. So if it matters to you where you eat and what time, then you must be mindful of that 180 day booking window for Advanced Dining Reservations, and be ready to reserve the first day you can. (Keep in mind, if you are staying at a Disney resort, you can make ADRs at 180 days plus 10….so try to book all of your table service meals for your entire trip the day you call for your first one.) And as a point of reference the 180 day mark for booking Christmas Day ADRs is June 28.
Keeping it Affordable
Keeping in mind that you won’t get any savings “gifts” from Disney for this week, what is the best way then, to visit and save money? I think the major one that will help the most is where you stay. Consider Disney value resorts, off-site hotels, and even vacation homes or condos. During these very busy seasons, you may very well find these your most affordable options. Be sure to weigh any associated costs though, such as transportation from the airport if not driving, and/or a rental car, and make sure it is truly the most affordable option for you.
Making it Fun
What else is important for you to know now if you are planning a Disney World visit during Christmas week?
Honestly, the most important thing is, have realistic expectations, and make sure you will be happy visiting Disney World during this time. You are not going to see or do many/most of the rides and attractions you want to do. The crowds are unbelievable. The parks will close to new guests periodically. Fastpasses will be gone for major attractions before noon. You will stand in line for everything. You need to be ok with this.
I don’t mean to make it sound horrible, because it’s not, at least not to us. But we have the benefit of having visited Disney World for well over a dozen times and will have many more visits in the future. So we don’t get stressed out by missing out on some rides. We know we’re going to be elbow to elbow with people on this trip, and it’s ok. I guess, as the expression goes: “It’s all part of the experience!”
There is a fantastic energy and holiday enthusiasm during this week that is pretty amazing, and keeps us going back again and again. In fact, we are deliberately choosing to go over New Years this year, rather than pushing the trip back a week, so that we can experience all the fun. For us, the holiday magic at Disney World is worth all of the craziness and crowds.
So if you want a Disney vacation during the Christmas holidays then get started planning! You’ve got some work to do. It will be worth it though, as long as you are prepared. Let me know if you have any questions!