Disney world in the summer vs December

SG_51

Earning My Ears
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
So the family is thinking about taking a trip to Disney world in 2021. We did about 5 years ago to Disney so this would be our second trip. The first trip was fun but as you know, we made a lot of those first timer mistakes... lol. So we were talking about making another trip either in July or the first week of Christmas break because obviously those are the times adults and kids both get time off. So basically the debate is, going in July means being in that summer heat. Being from Texas, the heat is nothing new, it’s just a different kind of heat. During December, oh boy, I’ve seen the videos of what magic kingdom gets like during Christmas week. We thought it’d be nice to see the Christmas decorations and to go at a time where the heat isn’t too bad. I know these 2 months have their pros and cons, but what would you do? Summer heat or Christmas week crowds?
 

loves to dive

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
I've done both multiple times, although the Christmas time was not on Christmas day itself, it was the week leading up to and we left on the 23rd one trip and 24th the next. Summer is not only hot, it's rainy, every single day there will be some sort of rain, either a light shower or a full on gully washer. December can be all over the place, one year we had to wear jackets and the next we used the swimming pool. It did seem more crowed at Christmas than in the summer but it was doable. We use the Christmas trips as mostly just seeing the parks and resorts decorated and maybe riding a few rides. The trick (for us) to summer is to take a mid day break and go back to the resort to the pool.
 

Brett Wyman

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
I hate crowds but the heat is SO oppressive in July I think I deal with the crows to have cooler temps.
 
  • The Foolish Mortal

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 28, 2017
    Honestly, neither. But if I was forced to choose, then July. I prefer hot to cold (which is rare, but can happen in Orlando in December). The crowds are worse xmas week. And since Splash is my favorite MK ride, its not as much fun in colder months
     

    BorderTenny

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2018
    If it makes any difference to you, the 50th anniversary festivities might not have started yet in July, but they'll definitely be going on in December.
     

    CarolynFH

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2000
    We’re from Texas too and refuse to go in July. Too hot and humid, not at all enjoyable. Yes, it’s hot at home too, but we can keep ourselves in air conditioning there! November through March are the months we go.
     

    SandyinMonterey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 1, 2013
    I vote for December. I live in the Southeast & the heat & humidity is unbearable. For me, dealing with that walking in the parks for hours & hours...no way. Ruins my trip.
     
  • Macprincess

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2011
    Anyway you can go over the kids spring break instead? December during Christmas break will be insanely busy, but the weather is probably going to be nice. Although, as a Florida resident I must inform you that we do on occasion get cold snaps in December that can make park touring not so much fun. July will also be busy but not quite as busy as Christmas break. It will be hot and humid. Honestly, I would do spring break as the weather is much better and why it will be busy unless your spring break is the week before or after Easter it won't be near as busy as Christmas break.
     

    sebovol

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Nov 25, 2015
    Summer- get up and get in the park that has early opening..period. Leave the park by 12:00-12:30. It will be hot by even 9-10, but not anywhere like between 12:30 and 7:00-8:00. Remember, it will be daylight (sun/heat) until at least 9:00. Yes, it is insanely busy at Christmas, but there are still people who won't get to a park until 10:30-11:00. You should do the same as in summer- get up and in the park at early opening..period. You can still have a not so crazy time to enjoy the parks if you do that. You will be leaving the park by 11:00-11:30 when many are still arriving.
     

    smshick

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2009
    Hi there. When the kids were younger, we always went in the summer when school was out, but it was very hot and we would get so tired and worn out from the heat. We went one time over Thanksgiving break, and the weather was wonderfully pleasant. After that experience, we decided we no longer wanted to go to Disney in the summer. Past few years we went around Christmas time since that is when the kids have break. For our last trip in 2018 we had two college kids and a middle schooler, so it was the perfect time to get away from the cold in Pittsburgh. And the Christmas decorations are beautiful. Got to see Magic Kingdom all lit up and tons of Christmas trees everywhere! You can just enjoy visiting the different resorts and their decorations. You just have to do a lot of planning and lower your expectations of how many rides you are able to go on. Book your hotel/resort asap. And plan your fast passes as soon as they become available. Know that there will be crowds. Sometimes Magic Kingdom had to close because they were at capacity so make sure if you want to do MK, go there in the morning before they might stop allowing folks in. Christmas Day seemed the busiest for MK, so we often would try visiting a different theme park that day. So if you plan to just walk around, enjoy the warm weather and decorations, and go on your fast pass rides, and any extra rides you get on is a bonus, then it should be a nice time. I am already working on planning our Christmas 2020 trip. Disney is a magical place at Christmas! Good Luck!
     

    DisneyMommy77

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 9, 2010
    We have done both and if I had to pick one it would be Christmas. The decorations and festive atmosphere can’t be beat! I actually got teary-eyed at Hollywood Studios the first time we visited for Christmas!

    Summer is fun too, but due to the heat it seems like less hours are spent in the park. We usually swim most of the day and then go to parks for a few hours. We have APs so only a few hours in the parks is ok with us.
     
  • tinkerjo

    Crazy Disney nut
    Joined
    Nov 25, 2005
    I have also done both and while I also vote none of the above ( late February, early March is our favorite) I would probably pick Christmas. While we didn’t get to ride as much (really lower your ride expectations) the atmosphere, weather, and overall experience felt special. We enjoyed all the Christmas decorations(RIP Osborne family lights) special parades, “new rides” changed up for the season, candlelight processional, etc. When the crowds got heavy we went back to the resort and went swimming. We are northerners and it was unusually warm that year. July is a little lower crowds but you will sweat to death, even if you go early and take a break. It’s just too hot to have fun. Just my 2 cents
     

    James From Utah

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 2, 2018
    I'd do July. While it's going to be very hot and possibly rainy you'll get to experience a lot more attractions because the parks won't be packed. Christmas week is the absolute worst. Lines are way too long.
     

    a742246

    And, and, and I caught a fish this big!
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2008
    Another vote for December, Christmas decorations can not be beat.
     

    Nick6300

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 3, 2017
    We've been during both times, and our last trip was 2 weeks ago (I lost the vote in going during Labor Day). Depending on if you're going 1st week of Dec or right during Christmas would make a difference in the decision to me. If Christmas/NY - I'd rather go in scorching heat. For us, the crowds are more of a factor.
     

    CanadaDisney05

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2017
    We go in the summer. It is definitely hot, but manageable. As you can tell by my username, we are not used to the heat the same way you would be, yet we still manage. Here is what we do....

    - We go for 10 days, but only do about 7 to 8 hours in the park per day.
    - About half the days we will arrive around 1 to 2 PM and stay till close to see the night shows
    - Other half we arrive early and leave by 4 or 5 PM.
    - We carry around a Brita water bottle, and make sure we stay hydrated
    - We wear Frog Toggs most of the day.
    - Use touring plans. Make sure during the 12 - 4 PM part of the day we are either at a restaurant, focus on indoor attractions, or attractions with longer, indoor lines.
    - Stay in the shade as much as possible.

    Yes, touring the parks is primarily an outdoor activity. However, Disney parks have so many indoor attractions that your not really outside too much.
     

    billlaurie

    Disneyfan
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2012
    We went this year June 15-21 and Dec 16-20. I would pick Dec hands down. It is just too hot and rainy in the summer, which cuts down on your enjoyment of the whole experience. Most of our time was spent trying to figure out how to get inside to escape the heat and/or rain. A lot of the park entertainment is outside so we felt we missed things in our attempt to stay cool. By contrast, the weather was perfect last week except one rainy night. Plus, we found the crowds to be lighter. The big bonus in Dec is the holiday offering. The parks and resorts are beautiful and there are special attractions that you can't get during the summer.
     

    emily nicole

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 18, 2017
    Personally, I’d choose December. I can deal with crowds as long as I’m not hot. We recently returned from our first Dec trip and we agreed it was our favorite month to go, for the decor and cooler weather.
     

    beccasmom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 11, 2003
    I much prefer cooler weather, but we do visit often in the summer due to school and work schedules in our extended family. Early December is a nice time, but the weather can be variable - we’ve experienced both temps in the 70’s and very chilly weather on different trips - not a deal-breaker, but something to consider. We will be visiting late next month and the weather looks great, but I’ll be prepared for a little bit of everything.
     

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