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Lou’s Inbox: Timing a Holiday Walt Disney World Trip

Editor’s Note:  Lou’s email inbox is often full to overflowing with questions from listeners.  As such, he has enlisted the WDW Radio Blog writers to assist him in answering some of your questions.

epcot christmas - disney

Hi there, readers – Aly Miller here, coming to you from San Antonio, Texas.  I’m here to answer a listener question from Lou’s Inbox today!  Jon writes:

Hey Lou,
I’ve been listening for a year (thanks for all the content) and have been waiting until I had a good question to email you, so here it goes. My family and I are new DVC members and have a trip scheduled Dec 4-9 at our home base, the Polynesian! We’ve never been around the holidays so we’re going for the decorations, party and everything else. But looking at the Christmas party schedule I see there’s one on Tuesday, November 15th which happens to be my 34th birthday! That would be the ultimate bday party. ALSO, if we got there on the 13th we could do the last day of food and wine on the 14th, which we’ve never done. Everyone’s fine switching the dates but before I do, I wanted to ask about the level of decorations in the resorts and parks in the middle of November. I know they will be there but will there be more in December? Basically, I’m asking which week you would pick and why. Thanks again for everything! – Jon

Jon, I love Lou’s content, too!  I often go to Walt Disney World in early December because I love the holiday parties, decorations and the slightly lighter crowds at that time of year.  My honeymoon in 2005 was the first week of December, and we could throw a churro from Frontierland to Liberty Square without hitting a tourist.  Crowds aren’t that light these days, but it’s still a great time of year to go – especially if you come from an area with Elsa-worthy winters!

I also went to Walt Disney World the week before Thanksgiving in 2014, so I’ve seen November in the parks as well.  There’s a joke that goes around that Christmas comes November 1 in Walt Disney World, because once Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party ends, the conversion of the park for the holiday season begins.  That being said, a decoration effort of that scale and size does not happen overnight – or even over a couple of weeks.  When we were there the third week of November, we did see holiday decorations – the tree was up outside Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Santa was preparing to greet guests at Disney Springs.  However, many of the decorations were not out yet, or were not complete.

My suggestion would be to determine if holiday decorations or the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is more important to you.  If the Christmas decorations are really important to you, then I would suggest going after Thanksgiving when they are more complete.  Crowds are pretty comparable on both dates in my experience, and there are Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party dates that cover both. That means whichever you choose you can rock your birthday in Magic Kingdom. I hope you have a great trip and a very happy birthday!

(Image ©Disney)

Aly Miller is a lifelong Disney fanatic. She recently discovered the WDW Radio Podcast  and became a member of the WDW Radio Nation. When she isn’t obsessing over all things Disney, she and her husband run Chad Miller Auto Care, an independent full service automotive repair shop in San Antonio, TX.