Disney Parks Drowning With High Wait Times, Overcrowding as Holiday Crowds Arrive

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Large crowds entering Disneyland Park with Mickey and Minnie dressed in Holiday garments.

Credit: u/la-cazadora on Reddit / Disney World Resort

The Holidays are here, and the Disney Parks are bracing for impact as high wait times and overcrowding increase throughout Disney World and Disneyland Resort.

holiday season at Disneyland Resort in California.
Credit: Disney

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Christmas Arrives Early at Disneyland, Disney World – Disney Parks

With Halloween over and November in full swing, Christmastime has officially arrived at Disney Parks in the United States and the world. Right now, guests can experience a slew of Holiday cheer through shows, events, and more.

The 2023 holiday season at the Disneyland Resort runs from November 10, 2023, through January 7, 2024. The holiday season includes: 
  • Festive decor: Nearly a million lights decorate the park, including more than 75,000 on a 60-foot Christmas tree
  • Holiday attire: Disney characters wear new holiday attire
  • Holiday shows and parades: Disneyland’s holiday parades and shows include several classics
  • Disney Festival of Holidays: A seasonal celebration of diverse cultural festivities with music, food, and fun
  • “it’s a small world” Holiday Overlay: “it’s a small world” reopens as “it’s a small world” Holiday in Disneyland Park

Over at Walt Disney World Resort, it’s time for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on select nights through December 22. The holiday season at Walt Disney World typically begins in November and runs through early January. In 2023, the holiday season started on Thursday, November 9, and will run through early January 2024. EPCOT will begin later on November 24, 2023.

Mickey and Minnie dressed in Christmas garments during a Holiday event at the Disney Parks.
Credit: Disney

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Some holiday events at Disney World include:
  • Frozen Holiday Surprise: A stage show at Magic Kingdom that started on November 7, 2023
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: A fan-favorite party at Magic Kingdom that runs select evenings from November 9 through December 22, 2023
  • EPCOT Festival of the Holidays: Starts on November 24, 2023
  • Candlelight Processional: A celebrity narrator presents the Christmas story with an orchestra and choir
  • Meet Santa Claus: Join Santa in his snow-covered sleigh at the Odyssey Pavilion from November 24 to December 24, 2023
Other holiday activities at Disney World include:
  • Festive decorations
  • Holiday snacks
  • Life-size gingerbread houses
  • Special treats
Some say the holiday season is a great time to visit Disney World because of the weather, entertainment, and decorations. But others would recommend staying away from the parks as crowd levels rise, wait times, and more.
Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season at Disney World
Credit: Disney World Resort

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Various guests have been posting to social media, particularly Reddit, showcasing how large the crowds are getting with the official Disney Holiday season kicking off this weekend and Veteran’s Day weekend.

A user by the name of u/la-cazadora posted to the r/Disneyland subreddit page saying the following:

Long time MK/AP holder and I cannot remember the park ever being this crowded or unpleasant. In a full day, we only made it on 2 rides plus tiki room and the animation studio in DCA. There were times I felt like I would not have been able to safely evacuate in an emergency.

They then posted the following images:

Nov 10 no go
byu/la-cazadora inDisneyland

The post garnered over 150 responses from guests agreeing with the notion of the official holiday crowds arriving at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort. “That’ll happen when a holiday weekend lines up with 1st day of the Holiday season in the park, and all on a Friday…” said one guest in the comment section.

Regardless of this weekend being a Holiday, Christmastime is here, and the crowds will only get worse as time moves closer to before and after Christmas. Just be prepared and plan accordingly. Click here to read the entire Reddit post mentioned above.

So that you know, the story outlined in this article is based on a personal Disney Parks Guest experience. No two Guest experiences are alike, and this article does not necessarily align with Inside the Magic’s personal views on Disney Park operations.

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