Walt Disney World Holiday decoration on Main Street
  • On Jan 25, 2023
    Andrea from IL Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Hi! We are planning of traveling this Dec 2023 from 16-21, how early should we make our park reservations? We’re traveling with a two kids 13 and 3. Thanks! What is the best order to visit parks considering the length of stay without park hopping. Thanks!

    Hi Andrea! Welcome to planDisney!

    I'm excited to hear about your upcoming trip to the Most Magical Place on Earth later this year. Visiting Walt Disney World around the holiday season is one of the best times to do so. The parks are decorated with festive décor and there are plenty of holiday treats to try out. Your kids are going to have a magical time!

    I have great news for you, Andrea! You can start making your park reservations now for your trip later this year! You can always modify it as you get closer to your arrival, but once a park becomes unavailable on a certain date, it will rarely open back up. To make these reservations, log in to your My Disney Experience account and select "Park Reservations." Click on "Make a Park Reservation" and follow the steps to secure which parks you want to visit on select dates.

    Now, let's discuss the order! I'll start by saying there is no right answer to this. It will mostly depend on your family's likes and interests. Based on your travel dates, it seems like you have at least a 4-day park ticket. This will allow you to visit each of the four theme parks once. While park hopping is a nice addition to have, I find it more relaxing to only visit one park per day since you don't have to account for any additional travel on your day. You can fully enjoy the park you are at without wondering when you plan to leave for the next. 

    Many Guests like to start with the Magic Kingdom since it's home to the iconic Cinderella Castle and it's what most think of Walt Disney World to be. If this is your first visit, I do recommend starting with this park. It will get the trip started on the right note and should be enjoyable for everyone in your party. Next, I would plan on an EPCOT day. This will be a lower-key day for your 3-year-old since there are not as many attractions here as there are at the Magic Kingdom. There are however plenty of character meet and greets and everyone should have a great time exploring the World Showcase. The third day can be a visit to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. This park is completely different from the rest since it is both entertaining and educational. There are plenty of opportunities to learn about the animals on site and see many of them on the safari. There are also a few shows to catch that I believe the entire family will enjoy. Lastly, Disney's Hollywood Studios can be the last stop on your journey. This park has evolved over the years and has become a family favorite of ours. With the additions of Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, there is so much for children of all ages!

    If you happened to have one additional park day, I would end it with the Magic Kingdom! I usually try to bookmark our stay by starting and finishing with this park. It's just tough to try and fit it all into one day. 

    Any order you decide to visit the parks will end up being a great choice. I would continue checking what other events are happening during your visit as well. There will likely be a Christmas party happening at the Magic Kingdom during the time you are there. If this is the case, the park does close early on certain nights. You may want to avoid this park on those dates to avoid having your day cut short.

    Andrea, stop back anytime to planDisney as more questions pop up! We'll be happy to help!

    Happy planning!
thumbnail image for Greg

Meet the Panelist: Greg, South Carolina

Hello friends! Greg here from Charleston, SC. I am a Disney-loving husband and dad to two wonderful daughters. Walt Disney World Resort offers everything you want in a vacation and touches all the senses. From the sights to sounds and even the smells, there is something for everyone to enjoy! When our family is not riding "it’s a small world" or going on a Journey Into Imagination With Figment, we are readily planning our next Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Learn More About Greg

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