Managing Disney Worlds Christmas Crowds



The Holidays at Disney mean one thing:  crowds! While the crowds have seen an uptick year round, this is especially true at the Holidays. Unfortunately, school and work schedules for many mean that a visit to the park’s during this time is unavailable. So what do you do when you’re just trying to have a fantastic holiday but find yourself in a sea of people?


Arrive Early
Rope Drop
This is the single most important piece of advice I can give you. Especially if you’ve got your heart set on a specific park.  On the very busiest day, Magic Kingdom and Epcot could fill up quickly and close, meaning late arrivals would be turned away. Arriving early helps increase your chances of making it through the gates. Even if the Park doesn’t reach capacity though, an early arrival just makes sense- the parks are least crowded during the first hour they are open. Less crowded = getting on more attractions!

Be FastPass Savvy
When the Parks are at their most busy, we have seen lines in excess of one hour that typically never have waited at all! This is where your FastPass comes in handy. While you still will likely have to wait even with a FastPass, utilizing it will significantly reduce your wait times. There are two ways you can do this: go for the most popular rides, to reduce the time you’ll wait (you will still encounter a wait,  just not as much of one) OR go for the least popular rides so that you don’t spend valuable time waiting for them. Either way is a good move during the busiest times.

Manage Expectations
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The parks are gorgeous during the holidays but Christmas week is by far the busiest week of the year. It simply will not be possible to see and do everything. Even as a seasoned veteran of the parks I cannot get everything done when the parks are at their most crowded. Make a list of your “must-dos” and make sure you focus on that. Then if you have time,  start working on everything else. By doing this you’ll be sure to avoid any FOMO.

Have a Plan…
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Just like your list of “must do’s”, having a plan and being organized will help you get the most out if your day. When the crowds are shoulder to shoulder, crisscrossing parks will just lead to frustration and wasted time. If you’re a park veteran, you probably have a preferred order in which you tackle the parks, but if you’re a newbie study the park maps and familiarize yourself with the way each park is laid out. Go about your day by tackling each area as you get to it (For example: I like to start in Adventureland and make my way clockwise ending in Tomorrowland).

…But Be Flexible.
winging it
At the same time, when the crowds are out if control it is important to remain flexible. Things come up, rides go down, and unexpected events occur. If you can simply roll with it and keep going you’ll have a much more enjoyable time.

Keep Your Cool 
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Unfortunately, crowds often = stress. If you go in with that understanding you’ll find yourself better able to handle it. Everyone wants the perfect Disney Vacation but all too often our own attitudes can make or break that. Example: we missed a bus on our last trip and we’re late getting to a Dining Reservation. That was frustrating and we were on edge. I remained calm but my husband allowed it to sour his mood. Now when we think back on the trip I hardly recall the inconvenience, I remember what a great day we had. My husband, on the other hand, will tell you about “the bus nightmare”.  It seems like such a simple thing but staying calm really does do wonders for dealing with the crazy crowds.

Often the advice is to stay away from the Parks during the holidays. I’ve given this advice myself. Christmas week will never be the first week I recommend to anyone. That doesn’t have to be a bad time to go-  A Disney Christmas can be one of the most memorable Disney trips you’ll ever take.

Ready to start planning your next vacation? Contact me today! I’m a Travel Agent with Pixie Dusted Dreams Travel and Events, the official Travel Agency of Chip and Co. Find me on Facebook or Instagram or email me at for your free quote! My services are completely free and I can’t wait to help you turn your Disney dreams into Disney plans. 


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