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View Full Version : Visiting WDW and/or DL from Australia in December - weather/crowds?


dollarmite
04-13-2010, 08:56 PM
We may possibly be travelling back to the US this coming December. I would prefer to visit WDW over DL, although both would be preferable. :cool1:

For those of you who have travelled to WDW and/or DL in December - how cold is it? What are the crowds like (say 14 Dec-4 Jan)?

My main concern is that if we go to WDW we'll get stuck in an airport somewhere due to a snowstorm/blizzard. Is this a valid concern (probabaly fly from LAX to MCO direct, although wouldn't mind some time in New Orleans).

We visited WDW and DL in Nov 09 and weatherwise it varied between very warm (short sleeved and shorts) to freezing (long pants, jackets etc). We're from Brisbane so aren't used to cold weather in December!

Crowd wise WDW was great - very little wait time. DL was a bit more crowded, although we were there over Thanksgiving. I hate crowds!

Any advice would be great! TIA.:flower3:

queenie82
04-13-2010, 09:55 PM
We may possibly be travelling back to the US this coming December. I would prefer to visit WDW over DL, although both would be preferable. :cool1:

For those of you who have travelled to WDW and/or DL in December - how cold is it? What are the crowds like (say 14 Dec-4 Jan)?

It ISN'T cold relatively speaking. Think a typical Aussie winter (in Sydney, Brisbane etc)
In fact the last December it was VERY warm and humid for most of December at WDW until a cold snap...which was still not that cold

Crowds at WDW were great first week of december and pretty good second. It ramps up a bit in the 3rd week and between Christmas and New year...bring your own space :eek: :crowded:
DL is similar crowd wise. Even Jan 1-4 it was still pretty crowded as the decorations are still up etc. Peter pan got REALLY long queues up to 70mins. Weatherwise it is a bit more unpredictable. Probably fine and sunny, but it could rain.

My main concern is that if we go to WDW we'll get stuck in an airport somewhere due to a snowstorm/blizzard. Is this a valid concern (probabaly fly from LAX to MCO direct, although wouldn't mind some time in New Orleans).
No blizzards let alone snow in LA or Orlando. This is only an issue in the North east and Chicago really.
Expect New Orleans to still be humid

We visited WDW and DL in Nov 09 and weatherwise it varied between very warm (short sleeved and shorts) to freezing (long pants, jackets etc). We're from Brisbane so aren't used to cold weather in December!Expect the same

Crowd wise WDW was great - very little wait time. DL was a bit more crowded, although we were there over Thanksgiving. I hate crowds!

Any advice would be great! TIA.:flower3:

I wouldn't advise going between Christmas and new year if you don't like crowds....it is AWFUL!!! Up until the 22nd it should be managable but the first 2 weeks are far better.

dollarmite
04-13-2010, 10:25 PM
Thank you Queenie!

Sounds like it will be pretty similar weather wise to our trip last year. Crowds might be a bit worse than then, but I have been to DL during the US school holidays before and survived, so I guess I/we could again!

I just have all these memories of the American snow storms we saw on TV last year and had visions of our cross country flights being diverted due to said stoms and being stuck in an aiport for days on end till it was safe to go again.:scared1:

dollarmite
04-13-2010, 10:29 PM
I wouldn't advise going between Christmas and new year if you don't like crowds....it is AWFUL!!! Up until the 22nd it should be managable but the first 2 weeks are far better.

Last year the kids missed 6 weeks of term 4 due to our trip. DS1 started high school this year so I was trying to minimise the absences this year, so was hoping to leave around the 9th/10th Dec. Also, his birthday is 3 Jan, and I know he would love to spend it at DL/DW, so we'd have to be there then. Maybe we could do non-Disney things during the Christmas-New Year week.

PrincessInOz
04-14-2010, 04:28 AM
Last year the kids missed 6 weeks of term 4 due to our trip. DS1 started high school this year so I was trying to minimise the absences this year, so was hoping to leave around the 9th/10th Dec. Also, his birthday is 3 Jan, and I know he would love to spend it at DL/DW, so we'd have to be there then. Maybe we could do non-Disney things during the Christmas-New Year week.

Just make sure you have accommodation booked/paid for for the 3 -4 days before Christmas AND for the week between Christmas and New Year. It's winter break for the US and most places get booked out solid....and this is for stuff that's non-theme park related. We just rocked up into a country town (on the 27th December) an hour away from Bryce NP and it took us over 1 hour of solidly calling places via the phone to finally find a B&B that had 1 room left ! It was the second last place on a list of 10 hotels, 20 motels and about 50 B&B's.

aussietravellers
04-14-2010, 07:03 AM
We went to DL this past December for two weeks.

Weather - FREEZING!!! Did I mention it was cold :rotfl: Yes, I thought Southern California was a warm place, ah NO. Although the temperatures did vary over the fortnight. On the day we arrived it was 4 degrees and it hit about 10 degrees (celcius) that day! We had a couple of days where it was 22 degrees (for about half an hour, then dropped pretty quickly :rotfl: ). The night we went to Fantasmic we had our winter coats that we wear in Europe and gloves. The day we went to San Diego Zoo it was a top of about 10 degrees but it was raining and felt much colder than that it was coat and glove weather. So I would be prepared for days of pleasant weather in the 20's but it does get down to single digets in the afternoons and evenings. I have lived in QLD my whole life and it was MUCH colder than our winter! Sometimes you would stand in the sun and think oh its not too bad but as soon as you step out of the sun it became quite chilly. The temps would also seem to change quite quickly, pleasant one minute, then about 2pm, brrrrrr. So be prepared for long sleeve tshirt one minute, coat the next minute.
I also read that shows in WDW this winter were cancelled due to the freezing weather but that may have been January rather than December. So be prepared for cool weather. But I would doubt there would be a problem with snow storms in LAX or MCO


The second week of Dec at DL, the crowds were fantastic (one day we walked straight onto Soarin), we left Christmas Eve and we could really see the difference in the park from the week before. Disneyland Park was at capacity a few times in that week leading up to Christmas, so it can get pretty busy the week before. The first two and a half weeks of December at DL would be the best crowd wise.

queenie82
04-14-2010, 08:52 AM
We went to DL this past December for two weeks.

Weather - FREEZING!!! Did I mention it was cold :rotfl: Yes, I thought Southern California was a warm place, ah NO. Although the temperatures did vary over the fortnight. On the day we arrived it was 4 degrees and it hit about 10 degrees (celcius) that day! We had a couple of days where it was 22 degrees (for about half an hour, then dropped pretty quickly :rotfl: ). The night we went to Fantasmic we had our winter coats that we wear in Europe and gloves. The day we went to San Diego Zoo it was a top of about 10 degrees but it was raining and felt much colder than that it was coat and glove weather. So I would be prepared for days of pleasant weather in the 20's but it does get down to single digets in the afternoons and evenings. I have lived in QLD my whole life and it was MUCH colder than our winter! Sometimes you would stand in the sun and think oh its not too bad but as soon as you step out of the sun it became quite chilly. The temps would also seem to change quite quickly, pleasant one minute, then about 2pm, brrrrrr. So be prepared for long sleeve tshirt one minute, coat the next minute.
I also read that shows in WDW this winter were cancelled due to the freezing weather but that may have been January rather than December. So be prepared for cool weather. But I would doubt there would be a problem with snow storms in LAX or MCO


The second week of Dec at DL, the crowds were fantastic (one day we walked straight onto Soarin), we left Christmas Eve and we could really see the difference in the park from the week before. Disneyland Park was at capacity a few times in that week leading up to Christmas, so it can get pretty busy the week before. The first two and a half weeks of December at DL would be the best crowd wise.

It is just so true how much it can vary. It's worse than Melbourne :rotfl:

In the first week of January 2010 at DL the weather was perfect. A chill at night (which is right up my alley...I'm a winter girl) but crystal clear and warm sunny days.

As for WDW and show closures! There weren't any from Dec 1-22 2009.
What did happen though is that after the stinking hot and humid (I was melting) first week and a bit...the cold snap happened which CLOSED Blizzard Beach for 2 days straight. They have a ridiculous situation where because Florida is so hot most of the time, the pipes in the water parks don't operate under a certain temperature...so while the days were still pretty warm with the sun out. They didn't bother just opening the water park a bit later....it was closed all day.


In all honesty though. I've been to WDW 3 times in December and it is generally like a Sydney winter with crisp mornings and sunny days. Most of the time I was in tshirts and long pants and then had a jacket for nightfall.

Kalice
04-14-2010, 09:23 AM
We were at Disneyland in December and I would say it was very similar to winter here (Perth), jeans and jumper. A couple of times we took jumpers off. The nights were very cold, so to watch parades etc, we went back to our hotel and put on jackets, beanies etc. We were at WDW during the cold snap, it was FREEZING. We had just been in New york and were expecting Florida to be warmer. We were so sadly mistaken, we wore thermals everyday, beanies, gloves, the whole nine yards day and night. In fact on one day we went back to the hotel as it was too cold to stay out. Many of the plants were covered with plastic to prevent them from dying from the morning frost. Although, this was a rare occurance, they were even appealing for warm clothing for children in Floriday. So, all in all I would take my chances with December/January, and hope that two years in a row is highly unlikely.

GrazingGoat1966
04-15-2010, 10:01 PM
Been to WDW at the start of December a few years back. A bit fresh around the gills in the morning but really pleasant during the day. Both water parks were closed for the week we were there, but it was a bit fresh to go swimming anyway.

But really any time is a great time to get Disneyfied.

DVCAustralia
04-15-2010, 11:28 PM
We had this exact situation last year, WDW in December and DL Dec 31 and early January.
Whilst the Christmas week can be very expensive in some places and Disney is off limits for the sane, we did Atlanta which was CHEAP!!! as it has numerous hotels but is business focused. It also has a great Citipass. Whilst we did a small driving holiday if you fly Delta I think you have to go via their hub in Atlanta anyway so it may even be a free stop.

arje
05-07-2010, 12:19 AM
I've mentioned this on another thread as well so sorry for those who read it twice. We were at WDW last December over xmas and new year. Crowds from 23rd dec to jan 3ish are ugly huge. There is people everywhere and they are all in a hurry. Awesome atmosphere but crowds are horrendous. However intelligent use of EMH will held around this.

Weather for us was record cold and we did have a snow day in Orlando. Not sure you would strike this again because it is normally like Brisbane weather in winter I believe, but we just happened to strike the cold snap. They lost all their Oranges in Florida from frost which is unheard of. However, like Brisbane, be prepared for cold and pack for both warm and cold days. Nights will always be cool.

Adrienne
05-10-2010, 11:48 AM
Went to WDW for the first time in the previous cold snap in 1984, survived my first day in MK as a 5 year old in a gingham dress and school sandals with a cardie.... my mother bought me a pair of trackies after that though.. that time the pipes all froze in our hotel.. no water!

DL i have been to in early dec 04- wasn't too cold, similar to an Adelaide winter/spring mid teens weather but a lot of rain... this was early in the week, but by the time we went to san diego for seaworld later in the week we were running around in shorts! so its variable.

Basically think Adelaide weather for DL and somewhere between Syd and Bris weather for WDW in Dec seems to be the general rule...

PrincessBelle39
05-13-2010, 04:47 PM
We went to WDW from 28 November to 26 December in 2007. We were really lucky as the weather was fantastic. We had two cold days where it rained heavily. But other than that the weather was anything from warm to hot during the day. The kids were even swimming on Christmas Day as it was about 27degrees.

Crowds were great too. It didn't really pick up and get to busy until about 2 days before Christmas. And the parks were beautiful at this time of the year.

australiankaren
05-18-2010, 05:59 AM
hey
I also have been in dec 03,06,08.......loved it. if you get there before 20 dec you will enjoy the best tme ever, no crowds, coolish weather, but take shorts as well....i went in 08 and didnt have any summer stuff for a swim, and walking the parks in jeans and skivy was not pleasent, and no disney shops were selling shorts:confused3.....I was backpacking around the northern part of the world at the time so had no reason for both seasons of clothes..........so dont be surprised if its hot one day and cold the next.

hope my 2 cents was helpful....:hippie:

Ms. Shuttergirl
05-18-2010, 05:42 PM
It sounds so heavenly at that time of year. I am thinking I'd like to be at WDW for the 2nd and 3rd weeks of December 2011. I think that would be just perfect. Fly out of there around 20-21 December and head straight to New York for Christmas.

Sigh - now to just convince hubby it's a great idea to spend 2 weeks at WDW :rotfl2:

Kalice
05-18-2010, 09:19 PM
We LOVED spending Christmas in New York. Central Park is just beautiful covered in snow. We went to Radio City Christmas Spectacular on Christmas Day, which was fantastic. The cold just meant more layers, it only rained (and snowed) heavily on one day, so we went to the Met on this day.

Ms. Shuttergirl
05-18-2010, 10:52 PM
We LOVED spending Christmas in New York. Central Park is just beautiful covered in snow. We went to Radio City Christmas Spectacular on Christmas Day, which was fantastic. The cold just meant more layers, it only rained (and snowed) heavily on one day, so we went to the Met on this day.

Kalice, that is exactly what we plan to do on Christmas day. Great minds think alike. I thought a morning wander through Central Park and then Radio City in the arvo would be heavenly. Glad to hear you loved New York at Christmas time.