Home Disney World Crowd Calendars Disney World Crowd Calendar December 2020

Disney World Crowd Calendar December 2020

Disney World Crowd Calendar December 2020

The first two and a half weeks of December are a nice time to visit Walt Disney World.  The crowds are more moderate, the weather is pleasant and the entire resort has been transformed into a Christmas/Winter Wonderland.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties runs on select nights through late December, as well as the always popular  Castle Dream Lighting Ceremony continuing throughout the month.  Holidays Around the World with the  Candlelight Processional and  Epcot Storytellers will continue through Christmas Eve. (Not available in 2020)

Jack Skellington as Sandy Claws Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2016

The weeks two and three of December are usually a great time to be at the resort, but in recent years the crowds have increased with a great deal of South American friends on their Summer vacation.  It’s still a much better choice that the two weeks of Christmas vacation.  The crowds slowly begin to increase about mid week of the third week and grow to insane levels from Christmas through New Years.

The second week of December brings in a great deal of elementary and middle school children to participate in the Pop Warner Football and Cheerleading championships.  The kids don’t affect park attendance too much, but staying in an All Star Resort could be a bit of an encumbrance due to all the cheering and laughing.

Sunday Christmas Parties are generally the best if you’re vacationing here.  The Christmas Parties allow guests to see the Christmas Parade and Fireworks as well as meet special characters.  If you’re planning to attend a Christmas Party, you should either sleep in or take a mid-day nap. (Christmas cavalcades will be offered for daytime viewing in 2020)

The final two Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas parties (Not available in 2020) are sure to sell out.  If you are planning to stay over after the final party, you really don’t need to purchase a ticket to the party.  You’ll get to see the Christmas Parade, Christmas Castle show and Tomorrowland Christmas show for free as a part of park admission.

Mary Poppins and Bert at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2016

The only benefit you would have is meeting a few rare characters and eating a bunch of cookies that are included with admission.

While the weeks of Christmas vacation are insanely busy, you can be manage them with good touring plans and Fastpass+ usage.   If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, rise early on your Magic Kingdom day and take advantage of the early opening of the Magic Kingdom.

The initial calendar doesn’t reflect the actual operating hours during the busiest time.  Including the Extra Magic Hours, the park can stay open from 7:00am until very late.  When visiting other parks, I recommend that you avoid the Extra Magic Hour parks as they will draw in more guests.

Cinderella and Prince Charming at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2016

With lower hours than normal early in the month, it may be best to spend a day in the parks and spend an evening at the resort pool.  The Magic Kingdom will only offer Happily Ever After on select nights each week.

Those park days tend to be more busy than others.  If the evening spectaculars are important, chose the day with the lowest hours or park hop into the Magic Kingdom at night.

What will the weather be like during your December trip?

  • Average high temperature:  72°F
  • Average low temperature:  51°F
  • Mean temperature:  62°F
  • Record high temperature:  89°F (2000)
  • Record low temperature:  19°F (1989)
  • Average Precipitation:  2.89 in.

December tends to begin a chilly and less rainy season in Orlando.  You’ll want to bring a jacket for the evening because 50 degrees in Orlando feels like the 30′s up north.  There’s still a chance of rain, but it’s much less than summer season.

Will the park hours for Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom be extended?

2020 has brought us shorter park hours than previous years due to the Covid recovery. Keep an eye on my Crowd Calendar for updated hours.

Should I use Extra Magic Hours privilege?

(Not available in 2020) Avoid the trap of visiting a park on its longest hours day.  More people will be there and the wait times can be 30% to 100% higher than other days.

If you are planning to use Extra Magic Hours, use the morning ones, they are a great benefit, if you leave after lunch or parade time.  Avoid the parks that offer evening Extra Magic Hours because they have large crowds at night and many rides have long lines (Hollywood Studios and Epcot).  The exception would be the Magic Kingdom late at night because most guests won’t stay up from 1am to 3am in the morning.  If you choose a Late Extra Magic Hour park, you should plan to sleep in the next day.


Special December Events at Walt Disney World

To read the crowd level, follow the DATE at the top!  The best park each day is marked in GREEN.

Lowest Crowds
Low Crowds / Best Park
Moderate Crowds / Median Park
Busy Crowds
Insane Crowds / Worst Park




Weekly view includes all entertainment options, weather and Fastpass/Dining booking dates!

Be sure to print in landscape mode with background image turned on!

If you are viewing on a desktop/laptop, you will see a week at a time with all the full details.  It is printable.  If you are on mobile, it will show in mobile format that will stream down the page.  You must subscribe to Character Locator in order to see Friday/Saturday in Mobile View.

My Crowd Calendar includes park hours, Extra Magic Hours, special entertainment options, 180 Days Dining Window, 60 and 30 Day Fastpass+ Booking Windows!

December 2020

Historic Disney World Park Hours

For a stress-free Disney or Universal Studios vacation, let the FREE expert planners at Royal Carriage Vacations take care of every detail including dining reservations, applying discounts, and onboard cruise credit.


  1. Hi Kenny,

    What do you think the second week in December is going to be like this year? I usually go mid September, but thinking December is going to be more realistic this year.

  2. Hi Kenny!
    There seems to be a lot more hotel availability mid-December than there is early December but I know crowds are lower early December…any idea what’s going on with this?

  3. We have visited WDW several times in late December. The hours listed seem short, especially at MK than in years past. Do you know if Disney could potentially release any extended hours such as until 1am, 2am, etc? (We were lucky enough to go until 3am one year.) Thank you for all the great info, year after year. :-)

  4. I was aware of all your great character information but just now discovered your crowd calendar. After working with several others over the years, yours looks like it offers massive value in comparison!

    One question. We’re going the first 10 days of December 2019. I’m booking our ADRs this week and know I will later need to select our Fastpasses 60 days out, based on the parks I choose. I also know crowds this year are a bit of an unknown, due to impact of Galaxy’s Edge.

    How often should I check back on your site to see if the “best” and “worst” days have changed? Or do you have a set schedule for publishing any revisions as more becomes known this year?

    Many thanks!

  5. It shows Dec 8 and 10 as being very heavy days but Dec 9 looks good. Is there a reason why this would be? The other crowd calendars show these days as OK. Do you know of any special events?

  6. Does Epcot typically add additional morning emh the week of Christmas? I have ppo adr on December 24 to ride soaring and I hope they don’t add emh.

    • There’s no way to predict what they will do. You can check last year to see what it looked like at least.

  7. Thanks for your site and information! We are going on our first Disney World vacation in December. What are the chances that the Star Wars Firework Show will be held on December 18th? Any idea? We would love to see it and I’m trying to figure out what day to do what! Thanks!

  8. Hi Kenny, I’ve seen youtube videos from New Year’s Eve in Epcot that appear to go past midnight, yet your posted hours have Epcot closing at 10:30pm. Can you please confirm? Thanks!

  9. You show late hours on Dec 30th but shouldn’t it be for New Year’s Eve instead? Do you know when you’ll have January 2019? Thank you for doing this!

  10. Hi Kenny! Your crowd calendar has been recommended as one of the best on fb, and I have found it to be the easiest to use, thanks for doing it! We are not going until Dec… I realize you can’t predict the future, but I was wondering if the new Toy story opening will effect the crowd levels in Dec, or if you already considered this in your new Dec 2018 schedule? THANKS AGAIN!!!!

  11. Hi Kenny! New follower here! I was wondering about EMH, I seen a post from 2015 and just wanted to confirm since its been a few years. I was wondering how likely the EMH you have listed will change at all? Planning to rope drop popular rides at Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Thanks for all your hard work! Its totally helping me plan our trip!

  12. I’m curious, why is the MK marked red on the 18th, but green on the 19th? Is something going on the 18th that is going to draw a lot more people? On the 18th it is open until 11. Seems like that would allow more time to do rides, the. The 19th, when it closes at 6. Thoughts?

    • 18th Red – Magic Kingdom on Monday. Long hours during party season. If you go, it will be one of the worst days you’ll have. Go Tuesday and find much shorter lines.

  13. With all of the 7am EMH times, are non-property staying guests still allowed in the park and held on Main Street or do we have to wait outside the park gates until 8am? Also, have you ever done a Touring Plan for those of us entering the park after an EMH? I’m assuming we would want to start in Adventureland? Thanks for all your info!


  15. Hi,

    We are looking to go Dec 13-15. I see the crowds are supposed to be light but we have a friend that works in ticketing and she is hearing it is supposed to be busy with hurricane re-bookings. Have you heard anything about that and do you still believe it is going to be light crowds?


    • If you follow my selection for green parks, you’ll have a wonderful time. If you visit red parks, you’ll see some really heavy crowds.

  16. Are there extra heavy crowds expected in the upcoming months because of rescheduling for the hurricane ? My brother just tried to book for when we will be there December 2-6 and all value resorts are booked? If that is the case I would assume crazy heavy crowds but the calendar isn’t predicting that. You think they will be heavier then you originally anticipated and why?

  17. I am going on a day when the park closes at 6 for a party. I am having dinner at Ohana and watching the fireworks from Ohana. I don’t like crowds so this is the best option for me. I can ride everything I want to ride with a good plan, selecting the right fast passes and having reasonable expectations. You may want to check the park hours, the week I am going they are now opening MK at 8 am, they just changed this a few days ago.

  18. The second week of December, I have to choose between MK listed as the “worst” park (Mon open from 9-9, Wed 9-9 + EMH which I won’t have) or MK listed as “best” park, but closed at 6 pm because of Christmas party. Which day would you choose–one where crowds are lower, but you have to leave at 6, or one that is open to 9, but heavier crowds. Also, how do they clear the park out for the Christmas Party?

    • They check for party wristbands. If it is just about rides and characters 6pm close. If you need fireworks, brave the crowds

  19. Our family will be visiting Christmas week and the kids are DYING to see Happily Ever After. Its listed as the 9pm fireworks show on the Disney pages. Is it safe to assume we will see it, or is there a chance it will be replaced by the MVMCP fireworks show instead that week?

    • In the past they showed Christmas fireworks during the 2 weeks of Christmas break. No way to predict if they will continue with that precedence.

  20. Just kinda curious, but do you think bc you have listed parks as favorable, more people will see it and they will attend that specific park which throws things off?

  21. HI Kenny – In 2016 when rogue one was released on dec 16 the studious added star wars fireworks…..this year when 8 comes out on the 15th I was thinking they may do something special so we are planning that for our HS day. Have you heard bout anything? and what are your thoughts about them adding something? TIA!

  22. It looks like the MK and Epcot shows are accurate and up-to-date. But Fantasmic is currently only listed as one show and at 7:00 PM during the week between Christmas and NYE. Do you think that will change and they will (1) add a second show and/or (2) change the time to later? Seems like that’s what they’ve done historically. Trying to make sure we book an ADR so we can either go to dinner and get back in time for the show or see a show and then go to dinner.

    Also, any idea on when fireworks for HS or ROL at AK will be announced? Thank you!

  23. Hi Kenny. Thanks for compiling this! Do you know when schedules for the shows and fireworks at the parks will be available for December 23-January 1? Trying to organize my ADRs before reservations open in late June, but it’s hard to do without knowing the show schedules. Thanks!

  24. Why does 12/4 say its a light day but the “worse” day to be at MK? What do you mean by “worse”? its a little confusing.

  25. There are no Fantasmic showtimes past December 15,2017, on your calendar. Do you expect they will have shows throughout December but have not yet posted them? It looks like Fantasmic dinner packages are available past then but no showtimes listed. thanks.

  26. One other Q: on the 22nd, MK is a recommended park but there are also EMH listed for that park; is MK recommended because it’s a party day?

  27. Hi!

    Another question. On non-Christmas party evenings, is there anything special that takes place after dark at the Magic Kingdom? If so, what time?

    I am thinking of going on 12/4 which is a Light day overall but MK is “Worst.” How bad is it?


  28. Hello!

    First, thanks for all the terrific information. I used your site last time we visited and we had an amazing time.

    I was hoping for some suggestions for character dining around the holidays. Is there anything particularly festive in the parks or at a resort?


    • Briana,
      The only meal that takes on a special holiday theme is the Hollywood and Vine lunch and dinner. The fab characters wear special costumes. Otherwise nothing.

  29. Any best guess on what times the Rivers of Light Shows will be? Are they doing it every night or select nights?

    • Yes it’s real. I don’t release information based on previous years. You’ll see that on historical calendars.

  30. Hi Kenny, could you clarify one thing for me? I see you have HS open until 8pm the first two weeks of December and have Fantasmic! listed as 8:30pm. Is this correct?

  31. We are planning on going to the dec 7th party. If it’s cancelled for some reason, can we use the tickets for the party the next day? Or are they non transferable? Thanks!

    • If they officially call the party a wash due to weather, they will grant you a new ticket for another party at guest services

  32. Our trip is scheduled Friday, December 15 through Thursday, December 21st. There are 2 Christmas parties scheduled during our trip. Would you suggest Friday, December 15 (Arrival Day-we arrive around 10 am so there would be plenty of time.) December 17th, or the 19th? We want to go on a day when we won’t be in the parks earlier that day. Our kids are 12, 14, 16 so the late night works for them. :) Help please!

    • It’s available for Character Locator subscribers. Finishing up details before releasing to general public this week.

  33. MVMCP 2017: For the options of 12/10 (Sunday), 12/12 (Tuesday), 12/14 (Thursday), or 12/15 (Friday), which would you suggest? I know all will be crowded, but is one day better than the other in your opinion? You’re the expert! Thanks in advance.

  34. It says Splash Moutain is closed December 7…but it allowed me to make a Fast Pass for Dec 15th…does that mean they expect it to be reopened?

      • Hi . We can choose either 12 or 14 Dec to see wishes fireworks. Both days the park’s are crowded but which is the better option? Thanks a stack

      • Hi again…..as a matter I interest why the 12th as opposed to the 14th for magic kingdom ? (i wont be using the emh as im not staying on disney property)I’m having a hard time working everything out . Each day has its advantages and disadvantages in my itinery…So very confused. ..

  35. Your calendar for Dec lists Fireworks at 645 and Fantasmic at 7 everyday, I’m specifically looking at Dec 10. Are the fireworks only 15 min or is it not possible to see both? I’m interested in the seeing the Jingle Bam fireworks, I’m just surprised that they scheduled them at the same time with no second options for people to see both as I think they usually do.

    • Fireworks are likely going to be about 12 minutes. Seeing both in the same day isn’t likely, unless they add a second Fantasmic.

  36. I would like someone else’s thought/opinion on this (and my husband just rolls his eyes at all my planning). We will be there the week of the 11th. My thought is Thursday at Epcot and then Friday at Animal Kingdom then to HS for the extended evening hours (we also have a full day at HS earlier in the week) since we never spend a full day at AK. However, I see that Epcot is red on Thursday. do you think it will be that much higher Thursday than Friday? (I could switch my days but doing so would decrease EMH at HS but then again it will be more crowded Friday evening because of them) So basically which would you suggest…Thursday at Epcot and Friday AK/HS or Thursday AK/HSand Friday Epcot? (And I have been enough times to know that there are ALWAYS crowds…lol.) Thanks for your help. I LOVE your site and use it a ton when planning.

  37. Thanks for all this great info, Kenny! We will be at WDW Dec 5-10. Looking to do one day in MK without park hopping. Understand Mon, Wed, and Sat are predicting heavier crowds because of Wishes and later hours, but of course we also want to see the fireworks. Which day do you recommend of those three?

    Thanks much!

  38. We are doing the Pirates & Pals Fireworks cruise on December 30…your calendar only has the practice NYE fireworks listed…the travel agent calendar has Wishes listed at 7:30 and the Disney Web site has Wishes listed at 9:00 since we are supposed to report to the Contemporary for the cruise at 7:45…I’m so confused. I’m hoping they will have the earlier 7:30 fireworks instead of doing them at 9:00 and that our arrival time will also be bumped up. Any clue?

    • My Crowd Calendar for December 30 currently lists the NYE fireworks. I just need to add regular wishes time, should be 9pm. If you are told to report at 7:45, then 9pm fireworks makes perfect sense. Travel agent calendar hasn’t been very reliable this year

      • Thanks so much. If the fireworks stay that late and do not move (I know it is subject to change) we will probably have to take an afternoon break and then just return for the cruise. We have our own car, do you think we would be able to park at the Contemporary? I don’t like using the buses, but I’m afraid their won’t be any parking at the Contemporary and would hate to get over there and have no where to park.

  39. on Christmas day for the Magic Kingdom what would be better to line up for rides or characters. I know it is going to be busy either way, but what have you seen as peoples main priority.

      • Planning to have 2 days at magic kingdom with friends and we plan on allocating 1 day to do all our favourite character photos and the other to catch rides that we want. We are breaking it into 2 days so we are not trying to rush or cram too much in 1 day. My friend and her family would like to do magic kingdom on Christmas day. What would be best to allocate on this day character photos or rides?

      • Everything will be busy on Christmas day. I avoid the MK like the plague that day. Most people rush there thinking they are filming the Christmas Parade. Park usually has some form of crowd closure. If you must attend that day, begin as early as possible and use the late hours too.

  40. I am planning to visit MK on Dec 23 with EMH listed at 8a.m. Is it possible (or likely) that it will be bumped up to 7 a.m. or is it just regular hours that are constantly updated?

  41. Thank you for all the information. Do you expect they will add extra magic hours for Animal Kingdom in December? I see on your historical calendar there were no EMH the week of Dec 6 2015 for Animal Kingdom.

  42. Can the Christmas Party fireworks be seen and the music heard from anywhere outside MK park? I know people say their favorite place to see fireworks is from the Polynesian beach. I may not be able to see Wishes fireworks and wondered if I could see the Christmas Party fireworks from anywhere outside MK. I am visiting Nov 27 – Dec 4. Will the Christmas Party fireworks be at 9:30 that week?

  43. I talked with Disney Dining yesterday, and I was told that Fantasmic will be closed for return for the entire month of December. Any truth to this?

    • I don’t really know for sure, but I do have a Fantasmic Dining package scheduled for 12/12 at Hollywood and Vine. Surely they wouldn’t have offered the package if they weren’t going to have Fantasmic.

  44. Do you ever change the park suggestions as more hours are released? This makes me nervous and feel like all this planning so far has been for nothing. So much for the PPO ADRs that I made because they probably won’t matter now. How close to December do you think they will give “official” park hours?

    • Also, the week that we are going 17th-22nd Wishes is only scheduled one night currently. Last year it looks like it was scheduled every night except for MVMCP nights….do you expect them to make that change for this year too?

    • No. I don’t change unless they change the Extra Magic Hour arrangements, which is rare. These are “official” but will be updated several times.

  45. The chart lists NONE for the parades and fireworks after Dec. 18, does this mean the Christmas parade and fireworks will be every day or not until after the Dec. 22 party?

  46. We have been to Disney every 9 to 12 months for the last 8 years. And haven’t had any trouble with dinig reservations as long as I did it at 180 days. However, I did a trial run this morning pretending today was our 180 days…everything was booked! Now I am worried about my actual 180 days out which is Tuesday morning. Is there a reason for the increase? Are they doing fewer reservations? (We have been during free dining tumes before both in September and December and even in early June where crowds are higher so I am just slightly confused. )

    • I’m sure you know but just in case, remember that you actually get 180 days+10 (so on your 180th day you will get your whole trip available up to 10 days). So what might be your first day, may have already been someone’s 4th, 5th, 10th… so it’s likely those will be pretty booked up already. That’s usually why i tend to go after the tough reservations like BoG or Cinderella towards the end of our trip, when there are less folks with access to booking those days. This last time around I got a BoG reservation for 6pm on the 5th day of our trip without any issues at all… and had no issue getting some of the “easier” ones earlier in the trip.

  47. Any guesses as to when Moana may appear? Wondering if we would see her in December since the movie comes out in November. Seems like ‘Ohana character breakfast would be a perfect fit!

    • No promises that she will. Recent trend doesn’t lend to new characters being launched in the Disney World

  48. Hey, I’m just wondering if show times also change when disney adjusts hours as we get closer… It seems that most shows are anywhere from half an hour to an hour earlier than they were last year for the dates I’m interested in (December 5-10th). Should I expect those to change or are those pretty much fixed? Thanks.

  49. I see you have crowds at yellow for Dec. 8. Why do you expect it to be more crowded that day? Do you think Christmas parade taping will be done in Nov. or Dec. this year? Our trip is Dec. 2-10.

  50. What do you think the likelihood is AK will have much later park hours than are posted for November and December? I am trying to decide if I should go to AK on my arrival day, November 27. If AK will be open later than the posted time, my arrival day would be ideal for AK, but I wouldn’t go on my arrival day if AK closes at 5. Thank you.

      • So, do they often adjust the official posted hours? My trip is Dec 10th through Dec. 16th, and the hours they have posted so far look like shorter hours than what they were open in 2015. So, is it likely they will extend the closing times? Do they ever add extra magic hours after the official schedule is posted?

      • Yes they often (usually) adjust them multiple times. Christmas week usually gets more emh added.

  51. We will be there from Dec. 11-18. Would it be better to do the Christmas party on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday? (I was guessing more locals on Friday). Thanks so much for all the hard work :)

      • Hi Kenny, thanks for all your hard work. If you have a moment please could you give me your best guess on the following.
        1. Do you expect AK to be showing Jungle Book or RoL nightly in Dec? and will the first performance likely be by 7pm?
        2. Do you think the star wars fireworks will be nightly in Dec as Disney is saying, or do you think it will only be Fri til Sun before the 19th?
        3. Do you think Disney will show the MVMCP shows free from the 19th or not until the 23rd after the last party?
        4. We are going 13th-21st Dec with 2 kids, only planning 1 day at AK & HS, we’ll see the Starwars on a seperate adult only evening. We’d like those days to have the lowest crowds possible. Was planning HS for the 14th as TP predicts CL2 but it’s not your recommended park? and AK on the 16th. Or can do AK on the 14th and HS on the 17th. We’d like to do MK on the 15th. What would you suggest please?
        5. Do you have an inside source for your Mon AK EMH prediction please?

      • 1. hope so
        2. not sure about nightly
        3. every other year has offered mvmcp shows after party concluded
        4. can’t tell you what tp does, just what I do :) I rarely have complaints or change my predictions.
        5. Disney has left it blank right now, but I believe it will become ak

      • Hi Kenny, thanks for your thoughts below. The last party is on the 22nd this year, do you still expect MK to change parades/shows on the 19th please?

  52. Really enjoy and appreciate your website. I have a few items I’m curious about.

    The MK park hours on your Crowd Calendar for December 3, 2016, shows 9am – 9pm; however, the WDW website shows 9am – 10pm park hours. The WDW website also shows MSEP and Wishes Fireworks events that evening, whereas the Crowd Calendar does not.

    The Crowd Calendar shows an 8am – 9am EMH at AK, but the WDW website does not.

    Are these typos or do you have some inside information about these times/events?

  53. Hey Kenny, I just called Disney this morning and December 2016 park hours (for the whole month) were finally released. Can’t wait to see your crowd calendar; ADRs for us are next week! Thanks for all you do.

    • I don’t see the hours yet. I only see through Dec. 4th. Is there somewhere else I should be looking besides the fi5sney website?

      • The CM provided me hours for 12/3, 12/4 and 12/5 (the prior dates I already had)…I usually take CM info with a grain of salt, but I would hope the hours she provided me are correct! She told me they were just released in their system this morning. Apologies if this info turns out to be incorrect. I don’t see the hours posted yet on Disney’s website, and I’ve read they haven’t appeared yet to Disney TAs- is the latter correct Kenny?

  54. Hi Kenny, I noticed Disney posted park hours for Dec 1 and 2, it looks like they are adding one a day.
    Would you be willing to post your prediction for the first few days of December if they continue in this fashion? I am booked Nov 27 – Dec 5, my window will be opening in a few days for dining. I am waiting for your predictions to decide what parks to visit on which days.
    Love your site.

    • I noticed that too and updated each day. I’ve done some guessing on my mobile version on Character Locator, but don’t know for sure yet.

      • Thanks for the prompt response. I checked the Park Hours/ Events/ Crowds section of your Charter Locator and the dates on the calendar are not on the correct calendar days, Dec 1 is a Thursday but it is on the calendar as Sunday. Is that the correct, updated information and you were just using your that calendar format? Was that the correct location to find your most recent predictions? Do you think you will have predictions you feel confident in by Sunday? Thanks again.

      • I’m so sorry, I was looking at May and didn’t realize when I posted last. I see you have predictions posted through Dec 3. Thank you so much.

  55. Hi Kenny, I presume that there’s still no news on the December Park Hours? ADR openings are fast approaching! Is it likely that EMH days will stay the same as November ones? Thanks.

      • Kenny – where can I find the December 2016 operating hours? Can’t seem to locate them. Thanks in advance.

      • Any thoughts on why there’s a delay? My BFF and I are trying to figure out our dining plans. Our ADR date is June 2nd, and we won’t be able to sit down face-to-face between now and then. We’d hoped to have things hammered out yesterday, when we were able to get together. We only have one or two reservations that are super time-sensitive, but still… It seems as though there’s some sort of delay at the moment.

  56. We are scheduled Christmas week for Mk 20th, EPCOT 21st, HS 23, MK 24th, AK 25th, MK 26th. Would you make any changes based on crowd calendar. ThankS

    • I think you’ve made the best of a crazy week. Arrive early, use FP+ and use some of my Character Locator touring plans!

  57. Hi Kenny, We happened to be planning our MK day for December 9th and because of ADRs, etc we can’t change it. You mentioned the parade taping will be this day… do you know what time. Trying to decide if we should embrace it and watch the parade; or if we should avoid it and ride rides…. thanks!!!

    • The parade taping is a long, boring process. It’s not a fluid parade in the typical sense. It’s much more like a staged movie set. They stop and start for retakes, prompt the crowd to cheer, etc. It’s neat to watch for a bit, but I would plan on staying away from the parade route during the taping schedule.

  58. I have Fantasmic Dining Reservations at 5:30 on Tuesday, December 22nd. My plan is to arrive at HWS around 4:45/5:00, and eat dinner. Followed by Osbornes Festival of Lights, then Fantasmic! (We are visiting the park earlier in the trip to do rides and shows.) We have never been at Christmas, so it’s all new to me. But, I’m wondering how we should approach Osbornes. Which end of Streets of America should we begin our ‘tour?” Is it even possible to choose? Which way should we head to Fantasmic? I am realistic about crowd levels and want to make sure we plan the best approach. Fantasmic starts at 8:30, and 3 hours isn’t a ton of time to have a big dinner, look at Osbornes, and make our way to Fantasmic. (Thank goodness for the passes from the dining package!) Any advise would be greatly appreciated. :)

  59. Hi! Love your site! We are planning a trip the last week in December. I know…crazy! I was looking at the parade and fireworks schedules for December 30 and 31. Every site I’ve seen shows no parade or fireworks at Magic Kindgom. I have a hard time believing their busiest days of the year have no parade or fireworks. I had hoped to go for New Years Eve for fireworks. Has this been normal in years past and have they ever added it when not appearing on the schedule?

  60. Kenny, your December calendar shows NONE for Wishes Fireworks on the nights of the Christmas Party….is this that there will be no fireworks at all, or just that it will be the Party Fireworks and you don’t yet know the time? Trying to set up a dinner at California Grill to watch the fireworks, so hoping for best guess for them? Thx

    • Party fireworks schedules aren’t on my crowd calendars at this time, but I could add them. They have fireworks during every party.

  61. We are going the week of Dec 15-19. Will any of the characters in the parks for meet and greets be dressed up for Christmas? We are not going to the Christmas party. Thanks!!

  62. Even though you can see the Christmas Parade during regular park hours of the last two weeks of December, I was disappointed that when I saw the parade that way last year, the special equestrian units were missing. This year I will pay to go to the party to see the full parade and have less crowds.

  63. So we are doing the Disney Cruise Dec 18-21 (so back the morning of 12/21 in Port Canaveral)-will be at WLV 21-25th, really just to chill but have never been to Disney during Xmas time (did see the Osborne lights in Jan one yr). We want to spend one day taking in MK and Epcot–so thinking of MK in morning early and bail once crowds are nuts and go to Epcot in evening for the CandleLight Processional/Holiday around the world/Via Napoli. Think this is doable?–if so what day would you recommend? 22 or 23rd?–or break it up over 2 days….just not interested ridiculous crowds 2 out of 5 days, just want to unwind but still exp some Christmas Park stuff. thnx!!!!

  64. My trip is from Dec 15-20th if I stay with your green colored parks does that mean that that park will not be to busy or just not as crazy as the red ones? And what part of the day is the worst? Morning, noon, evening or nighttime? Thanks

    • Yes and worst period of the day is 11am to 7pm at all parks except Animal Kingdom. It’s more like 11am to 4pm. There’s a color code guide here on the page.

  65. How does the pop warner champs figure into the Dec 2015 crowd calendar? I was going to book my trip for 12/2 through 12/9 based on your recs but my hotel is unavailable (I’m pretty sure because of pop warner which is 12/5 through 12/12) I am now thinking 12/9 through 12/15 might be better?

  66. looking at the Dec 2015 calendar – Trying to read the colors- I see colors on the calendar in more places than just on the dates headings- why are other things color coded and what do those colors mean?
    Also- how much can we bet on those being the actual EMH’s? I had another person tell me AK has EMH on Mon Dec 7 and Wed the 9th – you have Wed and Friday
    and are MK EMH’s open early at 7am or 8am- they also said 7am :(

    • There’s a color code chart on here. Right above the links. My Extra Magic Hours are correct. Park hours will update several times between now and then, but EMH should remain same. I don’t know what person told you that, but they are incorrect

  67. I see you said the Christmas parade is being filmed the 8th and 9th, do you know this for sure? Or were these last year’s dates?

  68. We are planning a trip from December 8-December 12 (checking out of the hotel on December 12). Can we qualify for free dining?

  69. Hi Kenny – your site is awesome and I’m loving all the great information! We are coming for our very first trip to WDW and UO 11/26-12/5. We figured we’d start hitting the parks on Saturday 11/28 and would love a suggestion for what would be best. I know it will be the end of Thanksgiving week and all crowd calendars show it as busy. I was thinking maybe just doing Epcot World Showcase that day and then hitting Epcot again the following week when it is not as crazy, or maybe have it as one of our Universal days. What do you think??

  70. I had my heart set on a short surprise family trip for Christmas (our longer annual trip will be in the fall). After reading different sites and forums, I’m scared. Is it really that terrible during week 4 and 5? We’ve been during the heat of summer, New Years, Halloween…..now I’m rethinking booking at all.

  71. Hello there! I’m in the beginning stages of planning a trip for December. Do you know when you’ll have the 2015 week by week calendar ready? Thanks for all your insight!!!

  72. Kenny,
    We are at the parks 12/19-26. We are staying at CSR with 3 kids- 17, 12, & 3. We want to go to MK more than once. Also have park hoppers. We plan to use EMH some days and/ or nights.

  73. Just saw your pic of crowds at MK from today (on FB). That has me totally frightened. I have not been to Disney in 20 years (since I was a child) and this is my 5 year old’s first visit. We based all our touring on touringplans.com (and made detailed plans). Now I am seeing that your calendar shows 12/17 as a red day. We have A&E and 7DMT FP already for that day. There is no turning back now. Why a 2 on one site and red on another? I am just so nervous now. That pic scared me!

    • TP listed last Sat as a 2 also and it was much worse. You’ll be fine with those FP, rope drop and my touring plans with characters.

      BTW. My crowd level that day is ORANGE, but MK is red meaning avoid because the days before and after are party days.

  74. We are planning on Magic Kingdom Wed 12/10 and you have that in red as insanely crowded….But from all I’ve read the first 2 weeks of Dec are pretty low crowds in general compared to the whole year. Is this day red just in relation to the rest of the week as in most crowded day of the week because of the electrical parade and fireworks? Not that its insanely crowded like a red day during spring break or middle of summer vacation, right? I don’t mind crowds but I was expecting it to be much better in general than summer!

    • I would trust me :) One supposed expert that even charges said the MK would be a 2 of 10 yesterday and ended up being more like a 7 of 10 on their scale. Arrive 30 minutes early and have a good plan!

  75. Hi Kenny,
    Your site is amazing. Im new to your blog- but an avid follower now. I have a question for you. I am working hard to pick the best parks to visit for our december 2-7 2014 trip. Its with our 5 kids. We are doing MVMCP on december 2nd and I managed to score 1 (hopefully more with your suggestion) Anna and Elsa Fastpass for Dec 3rd. Which leaves me with just thursday and friday left for weekday park visits. Heres my question- I have reservations at Akeshurus for wednesday dec 3 and dec 4 and I need to pick one. I am aiming towards Epcot on thursday dec 4 bc that way I can make my FP for anna and elsa on dec 2. I guess my question is your RED park crowd predictor for Epcot for the 4th scared me. Will it be crazy crowded? Will we be ok? Should I switch and forgo my Anna and Elsa FP for wednesday?
    Thanks again.

  76. So it looks like there is very little difference between the first and second weekends of December. We are thinking of taking a long weekend trip for the MVMCP and a day at Epcot. We can go either weekend but are trying to think of which would be better with crowds.

  77. Is there any way to tell if Candlelight Processional or Osborne Lights will be extended until the early part of January? I thought I had seen some dates until the first week of January for this past Christmas season…so I am trying to plan a possible trip this upcoming year.

  78. Thanks for all the great info. as I plan my trip. The 180 Days Dining and FP plus reservation dates for Dec. 29, 30, 31 don’t seem correct though.

  79. The day of the Very Merry Christmas Party are any of the characters dressed in their holiday clothes meeting before the party starts that night?

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