Young Adults at EPCOT Festival of the Holidays
  • On Oct 29, 2023
    Jan from OK Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Plan to be at Disney World during Christmas week. How is Christmas look like at Disney? I probably will be at the resort and explore Orlando. All the restaurants and shops still open on Christmas Day?

    Hi there Jan, and welcome to planDisney!

    For a lot of first-timers to Walt Disney World Resort, choosing to visit the theme parks around Christmas could definitely feel like a challenge as holiday guests around the world descend upon Orlando during what is typically the busiest time of the year! From my personal experience, I would definitely be prepared to pack an extra sprinkle of patience and pixie dust into my presents as you can expect longer waits and possibly a trickier time securing seats or reservations at dining locations throughout the last two weeks of December.

    On the bright side, this is a fantastic time of year to witness all of the festive decorations and details that you'll find across the theme parks - especially at Magic Kingdom Park where so many holiday revelers seem to primarily flock. (This may be subject to capacity limitations so it may be a good idea to head into the theme parks earlier in the day to avoid disappointment if you intend to join the merry masses packed in like presents!) You'll be happy to hear that the Hours and Events Calendar currently confirms that theme parks, restaurants and shops do remain open on Christmas Day, so be sure to wish an extra bit of kindness and cheer to the Cast Members who will be spending their holiday at work to continue bringing the magic to all of the visiting guests. 

    In my experience, outside of Walt Disney World Resort you may encounter a number of local businesses closed or on reduced holiday hours, so many folks and families choose to stick within Disney Springs to dine, shop and explore with its own Holiday events and surprises for the season. (Offerings are always subject to availability and hours may change without prior notice, especially with third-party operators; I highly recommend making any reservations as early as possible for Christmas Day as they tend to fill up rather quickly!)

    Personally, I would recommend aiming for your few days prior to Christmas to experience the rides and attractions that you're most excited for as you may experience wait times jumping significantly higher within a matter of days. On Christmas Day, I also suggest looking to spend your evening at EPCOT where the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays will continue to be in full swing with the added bonus of Extended Evening Theme Park Hours if you'll be staying at one of the eligible Deluxe Disney Resort Hotels, or the Walt Disney World Swan, Dolphin or Swan Reserve Resorts. (So many of the Cast Members you'll encounter at EPCOT World Showcase may be far away from their loved ones in distant countries and are always eager to spread and receive a bit of extra Christmas cheer.) Be sure to come back to planDisney again for any other tips or tricks to make your holiday getaway efficient and enjoyable while you're here!

    Wishing you amazing Christmas adventures at the Most Magical Place on Earth!
thumbnail image for Prince

Meet the Panelist: Prince, Ontario

Hello, Bonjour, Aloha and Ahoy there! As a performer and world explorer who's been to all of the Disney theme parks around the globe, I'm always happy to provide my best adventuring advice and knowledge to navigate your way to all of the greatest snacks, attractions and entertainment on land and at sea. Find me featured on the planDisney Podcast and on the Disney Parks Blog, discussing Disney Eats at festivals and beyond, holiday events at Walt Disney World Resort and planning my Disney Fairy Tale Wedding! Learn More About Prince

Related Video

  • thumbnail image for Holidays at Walt Disney World | planDisney Podcast – Special Episode

Didn't find what you were looking for? Click the Ask a Question button to open the Ask a Question dialogue box. If you are not logged in a dialogue box will appear to signin in order to ask a question.

To submit your question, please log in now if you have not already done so.

Ask a QuestionOpens the Ask a Question dialog box.

Update Browser

For a better experience browsing this website, please download an updated version of Internet Explorer.

Or you can continue browsing without updating.