Can you believe that it’s already DECEMBER?!
Well, ya better believe it, because it’s here, folks. The last month of 2022 has arrived, and with it, it’s brought one of the most exciting times at Disney World! There is so much to do this month in the parks, and we’re here to map it all out for you — let’s check out the BEST things to do in Disney World in December!
Celebrate the Holidays
It’s been the holidays season in Disney World for a while now, but December is when everything is happening in FULL FORCE! There are decorations all over the parks, hotels, and Disney Springs, and a bunch of fun things to do. The Christmas Trees are up everywhere, and you can see Santa Claus in every park!
Animal Kingdom has special celebrations like the Merry Menagerie, Hollywood Studios has a holiday cavalcade and a holiday addition to the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, EPCOT has a holiday overlay on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Magic Kingdom has Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! You can read all about our experience at the Christmas Party right here, but do note that it is completely sold out.
There are also special activities and decorations over at Disney Springs, like the Christmas Tree Stroll, where you can check out a bunch of different trees themed to things like Disney movies and rides! You can also eat breakfast with Santa Claus at Maria & Enzo’s, or check out the holiday overlay at Jock Lindsey’s Holiday Bar.
Speaking of overlays, don’t miss out on the holiday overlay happening in Magic Kingdom at Jungle Cruise, which becomes Jingle Cruise for the season!
You can also find special decorations in the hotels, including some AWESOME gingerbread displays. Disney’s Grand Floridian has a GIANT gingerbread house that you can actually buy treats out of, Disney’s Contemporary has a gingerbread castle (and more treats!), and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club has a gingerbread carousel themed to the Disney princesses.
There’s also festive food sprinkled ALL around Disney World! From sweet treats to savory items, it’s hard to keep up with everything offered right now, but we sure are trying! You can check out all of our reviews for this year’s food right here.
Finally, don’t forget to check out the special merchandise available for the holidays! It can be found in most of the main stores around property, and we’ve already seen some fun things like Spirit Jerseys, Minnie Ears, and more.
Visit EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays
The 2022 EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays is underway and there are a bunch of festive things happening for the celebrations! One of the main parts of the festival is the food at all of the Holiday Kitchens. You can find themed food around the park for the festival with items like Spiced Pumpkin Punch, Cheese Fondue in a Bread Bowl, Pastrami on Rye, a Sushi Christmas Tree, and more. We ate all around the festival, and you can check out the BEST items right here!
There is also a bunch of entertainment at the festival, like the Holiday Storytellers. These are placed around the World Showcase and will share the stories of their country’s holiday traditions! And, you can meet Santa Claus over at the Odyssey Pavilion.
You can also check out the Candlelight Processional, which is the telling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator accompanied by a choir that happens every night. You can check out the full list of narrators right here, and learn more about the dining packages right here.
Want an activity to do? Check out the Cookie Stroll! Eat all of the cookies on the stroll and you’ll get a prize at the end. Or, participate in Olaf’s Holiday Tradition Expedition Scavenger Hunt, where you look for Olaf around the park and once you find all of the Olafs, you will get a prize!
Dress Up for Dapper Day
Dapper Day is an unofficial event in Disney World where guests dress up in their fancy vintage clothing and take to the parks! These happen a few times a year at Disney World and Disneyland, and in December, there are 2 special Holiday Dapper Days!
So, dress accordingly if you want to participate! There will also be a pop up shop in Disney Springs that weekend. Remember that you will still have to have a park ticket and park pass reservation to get into the parks on these days.
Enjoy Extended Hours at Hollywood Studios
Extended Evening Hours are a perk offered to people staying at qualifying Disney World Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts (along with a few non-Disney owned hotels on property). These hours let you stay in the parks 2 hours after they close, meaning there are usually MUCH shorter lines.
This perk is usually only offered at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT regularly, but they have very rarely been available for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, too. And, in December, they’re coming back to the park! Extended Evening Hours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will happen on December 15th and December 22nd. They will take place after the park closes to regular guests from 9PM to 11PM.
The rides that we’ve seen stay open during this time in the past at Hollywood Studios are:
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
- Toy Story Mania!
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Do note that most restaurants are NOT usually open during these extended hours, so plan on eating beforehand and mainly focusing on the rides that will have shorter lines and checking out those holiday decorations!
For more on Disney World, check out how you could get to your Disney World hotel from the airport for LESS, the best Disney World restaurants for kids, and your complete guide to celebrating New Year’s Eve in Disney World.
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Are you visiting Disney World in December? What are you the most excited about? Tell us in the comments!