Heed These WARNINGS Before Traveling to Disney World at the End of the Year

The next few days can be some of the BUSIEST of the year for Disney World!

Holiday crowds in Magic Kingdom

As we countdown to Christmas and the New Year, thousands of guests flock to Disney World for the holiday break, and there are some special warnings that you need to know if you’re amongst that group. So we’re here to bring you important advice to know if you’re visiting at the end of the year!


Let’s start with the obvious one — crowds! Disney World typically gets incredibly crowded around Christmas break because so many people have a few days off work and school this time of year. Oddly enough, we’ve seen pretty mixed and unpredictable crowds so far, but it’s possible that things will pick up closer to Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

EPCOT crowds

And with heavy crowds come higher wait times, so be prepared to wait a little longer than usual for rides. You can consider rope dropping (arriving before the park opens) and staying as late as possible to get the best “bang for your buck.” If you’ll be staying at a Disney World hotel, keep in mind that you can get into the parks EARLIER than everyone else thanks to the Early Theme Park Entry Perk. And if you’re staying at a deluxe resort or deluxe villa, you can stay in the parks LATER than everyone else on select nights (and only in select parks) — click here for that full schedule.

If you’re interested in trying out Genie+ during your visit (which could also help you skip some of those extra long lines), we’ve got a great guides to help you out for those extra crowded days!

Parking Issues

Next up, let’s talk about parking! If you’re driving to Walt Disney World in the next few days, you may have a harder time finding parking, especially at the resorts. Disney will be more heavily restricting who can park at the resort hotels due to the influx of guests expected to arrive in the coming days.

All-Star Movies Parking

If you want to park at the resorts right now, you’ll need a resort confirmation or confirmed dining reservation. Quick-service dining, even with a confirmed mobile order, will not be enough to get you in!

For the next few weeks, expect to encounter this rule even at the resorts that aren’t close to the parks.

Click here for our full post on this parking rule enforcement


Disney announced back in 2021 that parking lot trams would be returning to all four parks throughout 2022, but with just a few days until the end of the year, that may not be the case. You can ride the parking tram at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, but you’ll be taking the “heel-to-toe express” at the other two parks.

Trams at the Transportation & Ticket Center

And with more guests expected to be visiting, you may find that it’s quite a hike to get into EPCOT and Hollywood Studios from your parking spot.

Don’t forget to take a photo of the row where you parked, lest you be stuck wandering around the parking lot late at night! Remember you can also use the car locator service on the My Disney Experience app to help mark your spot. (If you forget to mark your parking spot and are a bit lost at the end of the night, find a parking lot Cast Member and tell them what time you arrived. They can help direct you to a general area where your car may be or otherwise assist you.)

Click here to learn about the car locator service!

Dining Challenges

What’s one thing you can’t do without while on vacation? Food! And if you haven’t planned your dining in advance, you may have some trouble finding places to eat during the next few weeks. Many popular dining reservations will be booked up for table service spots, and the walk-up waitlist availability could be snatched up FAST.

Crystal Palace

But perhaps the biggest problem may come in the form of Mobile Order. When the parks and resorts get crowded, Mobile Order return windows can go quickly. That means that by the time you’re ready to eat lunch, you may not be able to pick up a Mobile Order at your chosen restaurant for another hour or two.

Because of this, we recommend placing those orders earlier in the day. Yes, it might sound silly to order your lunch in advance at 9AM, but believe us, it can help! You can place your order but select a later pickup time, helping to ensure (as much as you can) that your food is ready for you when your stomach starts grumbling.

Mobile Order sign in EPCOT

Another dining struggle you may not be aware of is that some table service restaurants may change their menus on major holidays. For example, Steakhouse 71 will not be offering lunch on Christmas Day, and will instead serve breakfast from 7:30AM-11AM and dinner from 11:30AM-10PM.

Steakhouse 71

We’ve seen these kinds of alterations at other places in the past, so it might be beneficial to check the restaurant page on the Disney World website for the restaurant you’re hoping to visit before you go.

Click here to see EVERY restaurant where you can find a special Christmas Day meal in Disney World

Disney Springs

Finally, let’s talk about Disney Springs! The shopping and dining complex typically gets pretty busy on the weekends, but it’ll likely be even more crowded with holiday shoppers in the coming days. Add to that the fact that many Annual Passholders are blocked out of the parks right now, and it could become a VERY popular place to visit.

Almost shoulder to shoulder

So basically, expect every day at Disney Springs to be like a weekend evening for the next few weeks. Parking may also be a bit more of a challenge than usual due to the crowds, so take a close look at the parking garage signs that indicate how many spots are left on each floor.

Disney Springs the weekend before Christmas!

Those are some of the important warnings we have if you’re traveling to Disney World before the new year. Other reminders include:

We’ll make sure to keep you updated if there are any other important details you need to know about!

Click Here to See What Christmas Week Crowds Are Like!

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney World Fun This Holiday Season!

The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2022 is a one-of-a-kind resource that will help you get the most out of your holiday vacation at Walt Disney World. Order The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2022 now!

It includes over 400 pages of must-have information, including:

    • A full What’s New!! chapter for the 2022 Holiday Season
    • A full Monthly Schedule of Events for the Holiday Season
    • How to avoid the crowds on Disney World’s busiest days (and when Disney World closes their parks due to capacity!)
    • ALL of the events, activities, and holiday additions in Walt Disney World. ALL. OF. THEM.
    • And, of course, we’ll tell you where to eat! ;-D

    Click HERE to order your 2022 Guide now and get 20% off with code PEPPERMINT!

    As always, our e-Books are 100% guaranteed! If you don’t love it, you get your money back!

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    • The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2022
    • The 2022 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival Guide
    • The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Holidays 2022
    • Pre-Order 2023 EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival Guide
    • All Three DFB Snack Guides

    Click HERE to order your DFB Everything Bundle!

Are you going to Disney World in the next week? Tell us in the comments!

The post Heed These WARNINGS Before Traveling to Disney World at the End of the Year first appeared on the disney food blog.

source https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2022/12/21/heed-these-warnings-before-traveling-to-disney-world-at-the-end-of-the-year/

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