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Should we go in September or December?

Spanish Fork, Utah
2 posts
2 reviews
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Should we go in September or December?

We are planning our first trip to Disney World next year and I'm trying to decide when would be best. We are out on the west coast so Disneyland is our usual. Given that I will be doubling our usual Disney vacation budget to go to Orlando I want to get my money's worth. I really like the idea of going the first couple weeks in December since we've never experienced Christmas at Disney, however I have been reading and although "experts" say it is one of the top times to go, I have also read that it can be incredibly busy.

Hoping for opinions on both the good and the bad during December and September.

Thanks!

Chickamauga, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Orlando, Walt Disney World
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40,193 posts
89 reviews
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1. Re: Should we go in September or December?

There are no longer any "unbusy" times to go to WDW, but there are times when it's busier than others. Early December is much busier than it once was, as more folks are traveling now than ever before. September is also busy now due to the almost annual offer of "free dining" at the Disney resorts for stays during that month.

Having been at both times of the year myself, I would say it all depends on your budgetary considerations and how much your desire to see Xmas decorations rates. September will be less costly for lodging and you have a good possibility of getting free dining if you stay at a Disney resort hotel. Early December may have a free dining offer as well, but lodging will be slightly higher cost than September. However, the Xmas decorations are really amazing both at the resorts and the theme parks.

Weather is another factor. September will require only warm weather clothing as it's hot, humid, and stromy in the afternoon/evening hours. Swimming will be a definite possibility in September as well. December will require all forms of clothes, with the key being layers. You'll need everything from shorts and t-shirts to heavy coats, hats, and gloves as the temperatures can range anywhere from 75F all the way down to below freezing...and can drop 30 degrees in one afternoon as we found out in Dec. 2009. Swimming in December is a may-be at best...might be warm enough, but might not.

You have an opportunity in September to attend the Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights at Magic Kingdom should you wish, but in December you can attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmast Party nights as well.

Only you can decide for sure which time would be better for you. I really like both times as long as the weather doesn't turn too cold in December.

Edited: 07 July 2014, 17:09
Wisconsin
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1,668 posts
36 reviews
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2. Re: Should we go in September or December?

Being from WI, we thought September was way too hot! But that's us. We really liked going the first few weeks in December. The crowds are not horrible at all and we were able to eat free dining the second week in December. The weather in December is quite tricky though, 80 on day and 40 the next. The Christmas decorations make it worth it for us though.

Valley Stream, NY
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54 reviews
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3. Re: Should we go in September or December?

We love the heat so prefer Sept. but if we want to see the Christmas decorations then beginning of December it is. Weather can be iffy, but we're going because of the Christmas stuff. So you have to decide what you're interested in.

Metro Orlando
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for Daytona Beach
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4. Re: Should we go in September or December?

Whether the first few weeks in December are slow or not as slow as they once were, they won't be nearly as bad as the last week in December that you've been reading about so I wouldn't worry about that. Weather on the other hand may be anything from sunny and 82 to cold and 40, all in the same visit. The last few years have been pretty darn nice in December, but the two years before that were insanely cold (I even started wearing long pants to work).

September also will probably be slower, although maybe not as slow as it used to be. It will be warmer, although the temps should be down a bit from Summer. There's also the hurricane wild-card, although we actually haven't been hit in 10 years, and I think it was decades since the last time before that. Interestingly, Disney likes to close at the last possible moment and re-opens before the winds even die down.

5. Re: Should we go in September or December?

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