Why Do So Many People Spend Christmas at Disney World?

christmas at disney world
Credit: Disney/ Canva

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at Walt Disney World, and if you’re planning on visiting in the next couple of weeks, more power to you. As you very well know, Walt Disney World, specifically Magic Kingdom, is at its peak in terms of crowds during the Christmas holiday, and this year is expected to be no different. But why, out of all the traditions and things to do on Christmas day, why is Disney World such a popular holiday travel destination?

disney castles at christmas

Credit: Disneyland Resort/Becky Burkett/Canva

Christmas at Disney World

Disney, through its international reach, has become a valuable experience over the holiday season. Disney, which many feel has become synonymous with the holidays through its extensive catalog of films and shows, takes the Christmas season to an entirely new level.

The offerings when spending Christmas at Disney World are almost countless. Guests, of course, can experience traditional Christmas decorations and pageantry around Magic Kingdom, as well as attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.

How Do They Do It: Magic Kingdom Goes From Spooky to Jolly as Christmas Officially Kicks off at Disney World

Credit: Disney/ Canva

However, each Disney park at Disney World has something unique to offer during Christmas. Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios get in on the festivities with immaculately decorated parks, special shows, and attraction offerings, including the brand-new Jollywood Nights. 

EPCOT is no slouch in the Christmas department either, as it hosts the International Festival of the Holidays around its World Showcase, providing guests with an opportunity to enjoy delicious food and drink 2from around the world. As well, EPCOT is home to the extremely popular Candlelight Processional.

At Walt Disney World, you’ll find plenty to keep you in the holiday spirit, even if you’re just handing around Disney World Resort hotels or Disney Springs. Shopping, fun experiences, immaculate Christmas trees, cookies, and even talking Douglas Firs are awaiting guests at Disney World to add a little magic to their festivities.

The Best Time to Visit During the Holidays

As soon as Halloween ends, Christmas begins at Walt Disney World. The World Showcase ends its International Food and Wine Festival in exchange for a holly jolly time, and Christmas parties go from frightening to jolly seemingly overnight.

Although turkeys haven’t even been carved yet, this is probably the best time to visit during the Christmas season if you don’t like crowds. Disney World is at its busiest during the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year, so if you want to experience the holidays without the crowds, right after Halloween is likely the best time to visit. 

walt disney world jollywood nights christmas party hollywood studios disney princesses sing

Credit: Disney

Christmas at Disney World is extremely popular. Many families consider spending their Christmas at Walt Disney World an unmissable tradition. Its popularity on Christmas day is unmatched, often forcing the huge resort to close its gates.

As Disney has mastered the ability to bring a winter wonderland to Central Florida, it isn’t hard to understand why so many people choose Walt Disney World for their Christmas tradition. The hustle and bustle of Magic Kingdom on Christmas day highlights the entire season when you think about it. We spend hours shopping in busy stores, shoulder to shoulder with others, why shouldn’t Disney World be any different?

Special Events for Christmas at Disney World

As with any holiday offering at Walt Disney World, the Christmas season comes with its own calendar of events and experiences. Unlike many places, Disney World is actually open on Christmas day, making it a desirable spot to spend your hoildays with friends and family. 

Many rides, such as the world-famous Jungle Cruise, get holiday layovers, and of course, there’s always the food! Disney, known for its culinary prowess among other theme park brands, holds no punches when it comes to their Christmas snack and dining options. 

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Credit: Disney

Special events like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, the International Festival of the Holidays, Jollywood Nights, and the Christmas Tree Stroll at Disney Springs bring guests from all over the world.

Holiday parades, lights, festive music, and much more await guests ready to stroll down Main Street USA, the World Showcase, Sunset Boulevard, and Pandora at Disney World this Christmas. 

It’s the Most Busiest Time of the Year

Holiday travel is no joke. Airports, bus stations, and trains are all packed with folks trying to make the most of their holiday. Everyone has someplace to be, and they’re trying to get there quickly.

Walt Disney World, being a premier travel destination all year long, is incredibly busy on Christmas day, seeing a huge influx of visitors and often having to stop admission after a few hours.

Elsa from Frozen Christmas Castle Lighting Disney World

Credit: Walt Disney World

Christmas at Disney World is incredibly popular. As Disney brings what we love most about the holiday and combines it with the magic and storytelling of Disney, accompanied by iconic characters like Mickey Mouse, the parks will surely be full on Christmas day this year.

Anyone who has visited Magic Kingdom on Christmas day can attest it’s a completely different experience when talking about crowds. Wait times soar; food can be hard to come by, and choke points like the walkway in Frontierland can be difficult to navigate. Yet, tens of thousands crowd to Walt Disney World for a chance to spend their holiday with Mickey.

Although many consider Christmas day the best time to visit, I’d argue that it’s likely the worst, but ultimately still a magical experience nonetheless.


About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!