Will Disney World be Crowded in December?
December at Disney World is a time of changing dynamics, starting off calm but becoming more active as the month progresses. Here’s a quick overview:
- Post-Thanksgiving to Mid-December: There are fewer crowds after Thanksgiving week, creating a peaceful window for visitors. However, crowds are likely to increase after the first week of December when winter breaks begin.
- Mid-December Onwards: By the end of the second week of December, expect higher crowd levels as more families start their holiday vacations. Despite this, early to mid-December can still provide a manageable experience if you plan carefully.
- Peak Holiday Period (December 13 – January 2): This period is the peak of the holiday season, attracting the highest crowd levels seen at Disney World throughout the year. Disney World can still be enjoyable during this time, but be aware that strategies such as Disney Genie+ and rope drop may be less effective. Waits under 30 minutes will be rare, and you might encounter queues of four, five, or even six hours for the most popular rides.
- Special Events: Nighttime events like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Jollywood Nights do attract extra visitors, but their impact on daytime crowd sizes is typically minimal. These events have limited ticket availability, which often results in more favorable wait times for attractions compared to daytime hours.
See our Disney World Crowd Calendar and read our tips on avoiding Disney World lines for more information about crowds. Strategic planning with The Vacationeer can further enhance your Disney experience.
Disney World Prices in December
In December, Disney World’s prices can fluctuate from average to peak (highest of the year). The following pricing trends are likely to occur in December 2024.
- Early December: Prices generally start around the average for the year during this period. If you’re lucky, you may stumble upon some small discounts. However, these are relatively rare and should be snapped up quickly if found.
- Mid-December Onwards: As we move further into the month, prices begin to escalate dramatically, peaking during the holiday season at the end of the month. This period sees some of the highest prices throughout the year. Discounts are infrequent and, when available, tend to be minimal.
- Peak Pricing: The latter part of December, particularly the week between Christmas and New Year’s, sees the highest pricing of the year. The demand for vacations spikes during this time, driving up the costs for Disney World.
There are admittedly very few bargains to be found on Disney World tickets in December. As this ticket price graph for 2024 shows, the holidays season has some of the highest prices of the entire year.
Keep in mind that these are starting prices, which will increase depending on which park is chosen. Magic Kingdom will almost certainly be higher than the price shown on the graph, perhaps by as much as an additional $30. Adding options such as park hopping can also increase the price significantly.
Looking at specific prices, we see that the lowest price for Disney World tickets in December 2024 is $149, but that only applies to a few weekdays earlier in the month. These starting prices top out at $164 during Christmas week 2024, with Magic Kingdom being even more expensive than that.
The theme park ticket prices on Christmas Day itself range from $164-$189 in 2024. Animal Kingdom is at the lowest end of the range; Magic Kingdom is at the top end; with EPCOT and Hollywood Studios falling somewhere in the middle.
Interestingly, hotel prices in December don’t follow exactly the same pricing pattern as theme park tickets. Traveling earlier in the month can mean significant savings.
For example, a standard room at All Star Sports (a value resort) on December 5, 2024 starts at $175 a night, versus $269 a night on December 25, 2024. That’s a savings of roughly 35%. A theme park ticket comparison for the same two dates shows a savings of about 9%.
That said, December hotel prices are still significantly higher than most other times of the year.
Keep in mind the hotel price graphs we’ve shown here are the prices we found for a single type of room, and are a snapshot in time of what the price was on the day that 2024 hotel rates were first released. Rates tend to increase over time, and will also go up depending on the hotel chosen and the type of room you pick.
Planning ahead is the best strategy for effective budget management. The Vacationeer can help locate the best Disney World deals to align with your budget. For a more detailed estimate of your trip costs, try our Disney World Cost Calculator. Remember, early booking can open doors to potential savings!
December generally represents some of the highest prices of the year, especially during the middle and end of the month. We estimate that a typical Disney World vacation in 2024 (7 nights for a party of four in a value resort with base theme park tickets and quick service dining) costs about $6,559 — but December’s peak pricing means that you’ll almost certainly pay more than that for a Christmastime visit to Disney World.