PHOTOS: What Disney World Crowds REALLY Look Like Christmas Week

It’s officially Christmas week, and that means that guests are flocking to Disney World for the holiday season!

It’s the holiday season, and it’s about to get busy!

Many people around the country (and the world) have a few days off of work to celebrate, and they’re spending that time at The Most Magical Place on Earth to check out special snacks, holiday decor, unique entertainment, and festive “magic” all around. You may be wondering what the crowds look like during such a popular week, so don’t worry — we’ve got you covered!

Monday

Starting off on Monday, December 20th, let’s see what things are like around Disney World.

Magic Kingdom

Let’s kick things off in Magic Kingdom, the park known for its shoulder-to-shoulder crowds during the holidays. Things were already busy when we arrived this morning, with guests lining up at the entrance.

Crowds at the entrance to Magic Kingdom

Once we got on Main Street, U.S.A., things weren’t much better. It was already really packed early in the morning!

YIKES

Just see how many guests are crowding the castle hub! You may have to wait until later in the day to get those Cinderella Castle pics.

It was very busy up by the castle.

The other lands around the park were feeling the crowds as well. Even though it’s December, the line was packed for Splash Mountain. Guess people don’t mind getting wet when it’s a cloudy 75 degrees out!

The line for Splash Mountain was already busy!

Fantasyland is typically one of the places that get the most bottlenecks in the park, and today we found that to be VERY true. It gets incredibly “snuggly” when you’re in between Peter Pan’s Flight and “it’s a small world” so make sure to be aware of your surroundings when walking through here.

Check out Fantasyland!

Hollywood Studios

Over at Hollywood Studios, we ran into a similar issue. While it wasn’t as busy as Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Boulevard was still full of guests early in the AM.

It’s still busy over here.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway was pretty popular right off the bat!

Already getting a long line!

And we hope you weren’t planning on grabbing coffee this morning. The lines at the Joffrey’s stands AND at the Starbucks location were all pretty long.

Hope you didn’t need a caffeine fix.

In general, we just encountered large groups of people everywhere we went. If you’re visiting this week, make sure to pay attention to where you’re walking.

Just look out!

Tuesday

Wondering what things were like on Tuesday, December 21st? Well, it was quite the rainy day in Disney World, which had an impact on crowd levels. Here’s what we saw.

Magic Kingdom

On Main Street, U.S.A. the rain had thinned out some of the crowds, giving guests a bit more space to walk around. Just be sure to watch your step — it’s slippery out there!

More Space Here

While the crowds on Main Street weren’t bad…

Main Street Crowds

…we did see more people in other areas of the park, like over in Adventureland…

There are still plenty of people here.

…and Fantasyland.

Can’t skip a park day!

There were also some more people over in Frontierland.

Frontierland Crowds

The rain did seem to thin out those crowds pretty substantially in some parts, so if you will be visiting Disney World during a busy time when rain is expected, be sure to pack that poncho so you can stay in the park and continue to enjoy the rides and snacks!

More Space Here

Hollywood Studios

Over at Hollywood Studios, the crowd levels varied depending on where you were in the park. Over at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, there were some substantial crowds — no surprise!

Expect crowds in Galaxy’s Edge!

But even in this area, there were some spots with more pockets of empty space.

Still Some Emptier Spaces

Elsewhere in the park, we found ourselves surrounded in a sea of ponchos.

So. Many. Ponchos.

Over in Toy Story Land, there were some decent crowds as well, but still quite a bit of space.

Crowds in Toy Story Land

During rainy days in Disney World, you’ll particularly find crowds in covered areas and sometimes indoor shops/restaurants as guests seek shelter from the weather, so keep that in mind.

More Crowds

Animal Kingdom

By the time we reached Animal Kingdom, we could see some more blue skies peeking through the clouds! There were areas with more crowds, particularly on Discovery Island.

Blue Skies Ahead!

But other parts of the park had a bit more space.

Not Bad Here

Over in Pandora — The World of Avatar, there were some guests around, but also plenty of pockets of space.

Pandora Crowds

EPCOT

In EPCOT there were again some places with lower crowd levels…

Pretty Empty Here!

…and some spots with more guests.

Some More People

Over in World Showcase, there were some more crowds, as people made their way around the countries for fun, food, and more.

More People Here

There were some crowds over in the Norway pavilion near the Frozen Ever After ride, but still some space too.

Anyone Up for a Ride?

Again, being prepared for the rain can really help you take advantage of the effect it can have on crowds.

Wednesday

The rain cleared out and left us with a chilly Florida winter day for December 22nd, but that didn’t stop Disney-goers from flocking to the parks. Here’s what the crowds were like just days before Christmas.

Magic Kingdom

Just walking into the park in the morning, we knew that it was going to be packed with people because it was hard to find any open space on Main Street, U.S.A.

Main Street, U.S.A. crowds

And, a busy day it was! The spot in Fantasyland that tends to be filled with people shoulder-to-shoulder was crowded once again.

Fantasyland Crowds

But, the REAL crowds came out to Main Street for the first daytime showing of Magic Kingdom’s FULL holiday parade — Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. Just look at how many people headed to the hub in front of Cinderella Castle for the 12PM showing!

Everyone headed to the hub for the parade

The parade makes its way from Frontierland, through Liberty Square, and up Main Street at both 12PM and 3:45PM now through December 31st, but you’ll want to be prepared to be watching it with you and thousands of your (physically) closest friends.

Parade crowds in front of Cinderella Castle

EPCOT

It wasn’t just Magic Kingdom that was filled with holiday vacationers. We weren’t even inside of EPCOT yet when we stumbled upon the first long line of the day — the entrance!

EPCOT Entrance Crowds

But, as we made our way through the park, there was a bit more space to move around.

EPCOT Crowds

World Showcase by far had the most people in the park, but it was still manageable with some areas less crowded…

EPCOT Crowds

…and others more congested.

More crowds around here!

The lines for the EPCOT Festival of the Holiday food booths were pretty comparable to the crowds we tend to see on the weekends too.

Festival crowds

So, while the crowds are certainly high throughout the parks, there are still some ways to avoid them by visiting the lesser trafficked areas.

Thursday

And, things only got more congested as crowds continued to flock to the parks the day before Christmas Eve on December 23rd — here’s what we saw!

Magic Kingdom

We got to Magic Kingdom bright and early once again for another full day in the park and it turns out that everyone else did too! Main Street, U.S.A. was PACKED with people shoulder-to-shoulder making their way into the park. So, whether you looked up towards the front of the park…

…or down towards Cinderella Castle, it was just one big sea of people.

On days like this, it can be hard to find any space to relax in the park, but doing what you can to avoid Main Street for the first few hours and during parades can help to decrease the number of crowds you run into.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Things were a little more relaxed over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios when we arrived in the morning, though! There were certainly lots of people making their way in, but there was some room to spread out down Hollywood Boulevard and snap a picture.

Pretty crowded near the front!

Plus, some of the more crowded parts of the park even remained pretty open throughout the day. Here’s a look at Toy Story Land, which is one of the areas that tend to have congestion issues.

Some walking room!

There was also some room to spread out down Sunset Boulevard!

Still not too bad!

We also stopped into Black Spire Outpost in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and were surprised to see so much empty space.

Where did all the people go?

But, we really came to find that it was certain parts of the parks where you’d find bigger crowds. For example, around lunchtime, ABC Commissary had quite a few people standing around outside waiting for mobile order windows to open up.

It was busy around restaurants for lunch

And, the rest of the crowds seemed to be waiting in lines for attractions! Wait times for popular rides stayed well above 60+ minutes throughout the day and many guests were taking full advantage of their Disney Genie+ purchase.

Star Tours Lightning Lane Entrance

Disney Springs

The parks aren’t the only places that you need to worry about crowds around the holidays in Disney World — Disney Springs can also get pretty busy too! We stopped by in the morning along with all the other holiday shoppers.

Busier over here!

And, if the walkways weren’t enough evidence of the crowd levels, many stores had long lines just to get in (as capacity limits are still in place at some locations).

LONG line for the LEGO Store!

But, the sweet spot seemed to be over on the West Side. There aren’t as many shops in this area, but if you’re just looking to enjoy the Disney atmosphere around the holidays, this can be a great place to be!

Crowds near the M&M Store

We definitely saw a lot of crowds today, but there are still spaces to breathe.

Friday

Christmas Eve finally arrived! We didn’t make our way into the parks themselves on Christmas Eve but we did get a glimpse at what the Disney Springs crowds looked like.

Disney Springs

For the last shopping day before Christmas, Disney Springs was pretty empty when we visited, though we were there pretty early in the morning!

Disney Springs Crowds on Christmas Eve

There was plenty of room to walk, and while there was still a line to get into World of Disney, things weren’t too bad.

Disney Springs on Christmas Eve

Note however that this was our experience early in the day, so things may have very well gotten more packed as the day went on.

Sunday

What were the crowds like on the day after Christmas? Here’s what we saw.

Transportation and Ticket Center

The Transportation and Ticket Center had some BIG crowds when we first arrived. There was a seriously giant line of guests leading to the transportation that would get them all to Magic Kingdom, but thankfully things started to move fairly smoothly.

TTC Crowds the Day After Christmas

Ultimately, we were able to get to the Monorail without too long of a wait, so it’s possible guests were just being held or managed in a specific way that caused this long line.

Magic Kingdom

In Tomorrowland, there were some pretty open spaces this morning! It was fairly easy to get around, and wait times for attractions weren’t too long early in the day.

Magic Kingdom Crowds the Day After Christmas

Space Mountain had a 20 minute wait this morning, which is a great find on the day after a major holiday.

Space Mountain Crowds

Over in Adventureland we saw a little more congestion, but nothing terribly bad considering the other crowds we’ve seen this week.

Adventureland Crowds the day after Christmas

Lines to grab a coveted Magic Kingdom spring roll were super short! Overall, the crowds seemed to come in waves today. There were portions that would get very busy for a period of time, and then later would open up.

 

That was our experience, at least, in the morning hours of the 26th.

We’ll keep updating this post more crowd information, so stay tuned to AllEars for the latest news!

Click Here to See What Crowds Were Like During Thanksgiving!

Have you ever been to Disney World during the holiday break? Tell us in the comments!

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