It’s the holiday season and we are IN THE MOOD for some Christmas festivities at Disney World! It is such a fun time of year, especially when we have this gorgeous weather (honestly- this is one of the best times for weather. Almost no rain, light humidity, 50-70 degree awesomeness)
And you will WANT to be here for the holiday season because of how magical it is! The lights, the smells, the joy and kindness that people are sharing.
Plus, you can have your cake and eat it too! Christmas time at the Magic Kingdom AND doing it without spending an arm and a sleigh (pun intended!!!)
Is Disney cheaper during Christmas?
No, Disney is most expensive during the Holiday season, especially Christmas. Christmas is one of the (if not the most) busiest day at Disney World, so you are paying to deal with heavy crowds, long wait times and higher ticket prices.
Let’s dive in to the ways you can save money and make the most of the wonderful time of year and the holiday szn at Walt Disney World!
How can I save money at Disney for Christmas?
Use planning dates to your advantage for cheaper Tickets and Vacation Costs
Another thing that is essential to consider when looking at a Budget Christmas Disney is to consider the dates. Christmas season really runs from middle of November to the first week of January (many of the decorations from Christmas 2018 stayed up till the 3rd week of January 2019!).
With that in mind- the most expensive time to come is the week of Christmas through the New Years.
So if you want to experience Disney at Christmas my recommendation would be to come right after Thanksgiving through the second week of December. OR you could even come in January when the prices are lowered- it just means that you have to “reschedule” Christmas.
There’s Plenty of time to enjoy the festivities, without the insane price tag (not to mention crowds. Disney regularly maxes out the parks on Christmas Day!) and still get your holiday magic at the Happiest place on earth!
Consider Nixing Gifts
For a lot of folks, going to Disney World IS the gift. There’s been a recent trend in the past few years where Disney World is now part of the ‘and’ gifts. I blame a lot of influencers who get all these promo products and then do a trip on top of it… the truth is that gifts don’t have to be included when you are also doing a vacation.
Consider getting inexpensive gifts back home, as the Disney quality has really gone down in past years.
Or, you can bring in gifts that you’ve collected throughout the year to give while at Disney World.
Lastly, you can get use some crazy good hacks to get some item at a steep discount. Because let’s be honest. You will WANT to buy things at Disney.
So let’s do this! Obviously you can use your target redcard to get 5% off any gift cards you purchase (and i HIGHLY recommend this, I literally do it WEEKLY and it IS allowed)
Skip Mickey’s Christmas Party
One of the big draws of the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is the exclusive Characters. And yeah, I have to admit that it is fun. The overlays are really cool. The nighttime shows are awesome.
But the crowds REALLY suck. The running around to get to everything sucks. The trying to fit in everything before the kids fall asleep because you paid 100 dollars per ticket really sucks.
So INSTEAD, go here and meet all of the characters in their Christmas outfits. You’ll get a whole day to enjoy yourself without being rushed around, the lines are SO ideal, and you get so much Christmas magic! It’s a total blast.
Or Skip a Regular Day Ticket and go to the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Disney World has two holiday parties, one for Halloween and one for Christmas. Both of these parties are seperate tickets, meaning that your day to day park tickets don’t have access to the parties.
The good news is that the tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are similar to the daytime tickets- and you’ll be able to do more plus experience the Holiday festivities because of lower crowds!
This special event starts at 7 BUT you can get in as early as 4 pm. What many vacationers will do is purchase the ticket for Mickey’s Christmas, but not have another ticket for the morning time.
That way no ticket is “wasted” on a half day in one park before jumping over to Magic Kingdom for the Christmas Party.
Consider the Christmas Celebrations for Free or Low Cost
When people plan for a Disney World Vacation, they like to think that they should come to the park for 5 days if they have a 6 day vacation. And I get that. You want to squeeze everything in while your here.
But consider for a second, all of the things you can do outside of the parks that don’t require a ticket.
And then consider that when the holidays are around, you can do even MORE stuff that doesn’t require a ticket.
Here are some of the fun and free festive things to do at Disney World this year in December!
Free-The Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs
Free-The Gingerbread Houses at The Grand Floridian and Beach Club Resort
Free-The Christmas Holiday Lights at Fort Wilderness Resort (put on by the campers!)
Low Cost- Grab Hot Chocolate and watch the Fireworks from the Monorail Resorts (will require a dining reservation if you are not staying on property)
Bring in Snacks, Bottled Water, and Groceries for your Stay
The top three expenses for a Disney World trip are the Tickets, the Hotel and the Food. You can’t do much for Ticket Costs, and while the Hotel is negotiable, your biggest cost saving option is the Food.
Groceries help to buffer the sticker shock of the 3 dollar single apple and the late night ‘I-Didn’t-Eat-Enough’ quick service run that cost an extra 50 dollars for some pb&j’s and ice cream.
At Christmas time, there are lines for everything, so bringing in snacks and waters saves you time (and time is money when you are paying to be inside the parks!)
Skip Animal Kingdom
Now, I don’t say this lightly, as Animal Kingdom has one of my favorite Holiday attractions. But this attraction is very short lived and doesn’t compare to the Christmas Festivities you get at the other parks.
At EPCOT you can experience Christmas around the World and join in on the Holiday Procesional. Plus the Festival of the Holidays brings in food tastes from other cultures celebrating the Winter Holidays.
At Hollywood Studios, we’ve got a Christmas Overlay in the Frozen Ever After Show (which IS my favorite Christmas attraction of all time). And you’ll see Santa and Friends during the day on parade.
The Magic Kingdom is decked head to toe in beautiful decorations!
But Animal Kingdom, while it looks very nice at night, and has the Magic Menagerie, and has some characters in Holiday themed outfits is a skip if one park has to go!