Christmas Eve and Day At Disney World: How Crazy are the Wait Times?!


Updated for 2018!

Just how nuts can things get the week of Christmas? More specifically, how busy will it be on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Let’s talk about wait times, because there will be BOO COODLES of people wandering the parks and resorts, and most of that time, they will be standing in line with you, elbow to elbow, cell phone to iPad.

I wrote down wait-times during the peak holiday week at certain points during the day just to give you some perspective. Granted, this was several years ago now, but let me assure you, 2019 times will not go down. If anything, you may have to wait a tad longer. Looking at slightly older numbers will give you an accurate look at how long you may be standing in line.

Read: Holiday Wishes Dessert Premium Package: A Cheapskate Princess Guide


Christmas Eve Morning 2017

Small World 25disney-world-wait-times

Astro Orbiter 50

Big Thunder Mtn 60

Buzz Lightyear 75

Dumbo 35

Tales with Belle 60

Haunted Mansion 40

Jungle Cruise 60

Peter Pan 90

Pirates of the Caribbean 45

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 120

Splash Mountain 45

Winnie the Pooh 55

Space Mountain 110

Speedway 60

Under the Seas 30

Dinosaur 30

Expedition Everest 55

Kali River Rapids 25

Kilimanjaro Safari 50

Living with the Land 35

Mission: Space 50

Soarin’ 130

Spaceship Earth 35

Test Track 85

Seas with Nemo 35

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 125

Toy Story Mania 75

Great Movie Ride 35

Rock’n’ Roller Coaster 75

Star Tours 40

Read: Cheapskate Guide to Disney World Halloween & Christmas Parties


These people are all waiting in line just to get to the jewelry counter.

Christmas Eve Night 8 pm

Small World 30disney-world-waiting-in-line

Astro Orbiter  50

Big Thunder Mtn 30

Buzz Lightyear 25

Dumbo 20

Tales with Belle 20

Haunted Mansion 20

Jungle Cruise 35

Peter Pan 80

Pirates of the Caribbean  25

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 70

Space Mtn 90

Splash Mountain 30

Winnie the Pooh 10

Speedway 30

Under the Seas 15

Dinosaur Closed at 7 pm

Living with the Land 10

Mission: Space 45

Soarin’ 90

Spaceship Earth 15

Test Track 80

Seas with Nemo 10

Great Movie Ride 5

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 90

Toy Story Mania 85

Rock’n’ Roller Coaster 60

Star Tours 10


Christmas Day Noon – closure phase A at 10 am

Small World 35waiting-for-rides-at-disney-world

Astro Orbiter  70

Big Thunder Mtn 80

Buzz Lightyear 75

Dumbo 55

Tales with Belle 40

Haunted Mansion 110

Jungle Cruise 50

Monsters Laugh Floor 40

Peter Pan 115

Pirates of the Caribbean 35

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 150

Space Mountain 190

Splash Mountain 60

Winnie the Pooh

Speedway 60

Under the Seas 45

Dinosaur 40

Expedition Everest 45

Kali River Rapids 10

Kilimanjaro safari 20

Living with the Land 30

Mission: Space 65

Soarin’  120

Spaceship Earth 45

Test Track 80

Seas with Nemo 35

Great Movie Ride 25

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror  40

Toy Story Mania 85

Rock’n’ Roller Coaster 60

Star Tours 50

Read: Where to Find FREE Disney World Theme Parks Christmas Music

Christmas Day 5 pm – If you even got in

Typically Magic Kingdom reaches capacity between 10 and 11 on Christmas Day, where they basically will not allow any new visitors entry into the park. This link will help you understand par closures more accurately. Understanding Disney Park Closure Phases: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Small World  45

Astro Orbiter  30

Big Thunder Mtn 60

Buzz Lightyear 55

Dumbo 45

Tales with Belle  50

Haunted Mansion 60

Jungle Cruise  90

Peter Pan 90

Pirates of the Caribbean 40

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 120

Space Mtn 125

Splash Mountain 90

Winnie the Pooh 45

Speedway 50

Under the Seas  50

Dinosaur 20

Expedition Everest 35

Kali River Rapids 50

Kilimanjaro safari 45

Living with the Land 20

Mission: Space 50

Soarin’ 130

Spaceship Earth 25

Test Track 95

Seas with Nemo 30

Great Movie Ride 35

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 150

Toy Story Mania 105

Rock’n’ Roller Coaster 135

Star Tours 30


And just for kicks, I also recorded wait times the day after Christmas, because if you were going on a Disney vacation December 24th and 25th, chances are you will stick around for several more days afterward.

December 26th 3 pm

Small World  45

Astro Orbiter  40

Barnstormer 45

Big Thunder Mtn 75

Buzz Lightyear 60

Dumbo 60

Tales with Belle 60

Haunted Mansion 45

Jungle Cruise 80

Magic Carpets 45

Peter Pan 105

Pirates of the Caribbean 50

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train 110

Splash Mountain 115

Splash Mountain 85

Winnie the Pooh 55

Speedway 90

Under the Seas 60

Dinosaur 40

Expedition Everest 35

Kali River Rapids 60

Kilimanjaro Safari 45

Tough to Be a Bug 110

Primevil Whirl 30

Living with the Land 20

Mission: Space 60

Soarin’ 110

Spaceship Earth 20

Test Track 55

Seas with Nemo 15

Great Movie Ride  35

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 80

Toy Story Mania 155

Rock’n’ Roller Coaster 90

Star Tours 45

Mad Tea Party 25

Mickey’s Philharmagic 30

Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor 20

Prince Charming Regal Carousel 15

Stitch’s Great Escape 10


So that’s a lot of waiting, although the wait times will vary in length throughout the day. Obviously things are more quiet at the beginning of the day and rapidly get busier from there.

Curious about closure phases for the parks? Use this link…

Read: Understanding Disney Park Closure Phases: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

So what do you think, visit the Mouse during holidays when the kids are out of school but spend a lot of time waiting or vacation during another time of year when the decorations may not be as spectacular?


To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at




Disney World Christmas by the Numb3rs!

Disney World Chef Mickey's at Christmas

There is something truly magical about all the holiday decorations at Walt Disney World, but wow, are the crowds crazy that week after Christmas. In recent years, the Magic Kingdom has closed around ten or eleven a.m. and only reopened to new guests after 6 p.m. That’s a lot of people. The Magic Kingdom parking lot, which holds 12,000 cars, often reaches capacity during this week. Lines for roller coasters are often well over a 120 minute wait.

So for those of you that passed on the WDW crowds or didn’t have the means to take a vacation this holiday season, our Cheapskate Princess Christmas gift to you is some holiday trivia from Disney by the

So Merry Christmas!

Are You Crazy Enough to Go to Walt Disney World at Christmas?

Disney Springs at Christmas Mickey topiary

Christmas Trees

When you glance at the tree in your living room, remember that 45 to 70 foot trees are used all over the Disney World property, the tallest of which is the 70-foot tree at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Take a long time to decorate your tree? It takes 6.5 hours to set up one 65 foot Disney Christmas tree.

A total of 1,500 Christmas trees decorate the WDW property, including theme parks, resorts, and Downtown Disney.

What is the life span of a Christmas tree at WDW? Only about five to six years.

8.5 million lights are strung throughout the property, with 98 percent of the lighting used being LED lights.

Ready for Christmas at Disney? You May Need Some Advice…


300,000 yards of ribbon and bows are draped over the Christmas trees across property.

A total of nine hours of installation are needed to complete all the holiday decorations for the interior and exterior of Main Street, and it appears and disappears suddenly like Disney magic…

15 miles of garland and 3,000 wreaths are hung throughout the WDW property.

600 decorations made of popcorn are created by hand, decorated, and painted by Disney artists to be used on the different Christmas trees.

The base is on the Main Street Christmas tree in the Magic Kingdom is 26 feet wide.

The Disney World Resort with the Most Fabulous Christmas Decorations? The Award Goes To…

Mickey Mouse treats for Christmas

Downtown Disney

The wreath lighting up the Cirque du Soleil building at Downtown Disney’s West Side is 25 feet in diameter.

Guests can shop for holiday merchandise at Disney’s Days of Christmas shop 365 days of year.


54,000 square feet of warehouse space is used for the holiday services facility, with one room in this warehouse set aside for storing all the ribbon.

25 full-time Cast Members work in the holiday services warehouse facility year round, and the number quadruples when they go to install the decorations. (Let me just say that THIS is the job I want to apply for – Disney holiday decorator!)

40 trailers are loaded for the installation, and these trailers will be returned more than 150 times before the decoration process is completed  for 24 resorts, four theme parks, Downtown Disney and other locations.

Ten days are needed to remove all the holiday decorations at the end of the season.

Why Take A Disney Vacation During Christmas? The Holiday Decorations Are Better Than Yours!

Hollywood Studios

There are ten miles of twinkling rope lights in the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Floral Decorations

200 holiday topiaries are used to decorate the Walt Disney World resort.

100,000 poinsettias are used to decorate all of WDW landscape. 8-foot towers of poinsettias, which resemble big red Christmas trees, have been a traditional favorite of guests for years.  It takes 170 poinsettias to create each big red Christmas tree, and it takes two Cast Members an entire day to assemble each of these poinsettia Christmas trees.

Speaking of poinsettias, 30 to 40 are used to make just one of the poinsettias balls you will see hanging all around WDW.

Disney World Grand Floridian at Christmas

Can a Cheapskate Afford to Stay at Disney World During the Week of Christmas?

Grand Floridian Resort

Often referred to as the flagship hotel of the Walt Disney World Resorts, just standing in the Grand Floridian five-story lobby is a journey into opulence and splendor.  There are six restaurants to choose from. Pull up a chair and listen to the frequent musical entertainment,  which ranges from a pianist seated at a grand piano to a Disney big band playing Christmas favorites.

A massive 40 foot tree decorates the lobby, twinkling with more than 45,000 lights. This tree is erected all in just one night.

A 16-foot-high by 18-foot-wide gingerbread house is built each year in the lobby of the Grand Floridian for the holiday season. It occupies 200 square feet of lobby space, and it will take ten men a total of six days to create the gingerbread house. The list of ingredients is enough to make any pastry chef nervous with anticipation.

  • 1,050 pounds of honey
  • 600 pounds of chocolate
  • 800 pounds of flour for the honey dough
  • 180 pounds of apricot glaze
  • 35 pounds of spices

Once all these yummy ingredients are combined into the 2,000 pounds of gingerbread, it will take 400 hours to bake the 10,000 individual pieces.  As far as decorating, 140 pints of egg whites are used to create 500 pounds of royal icing.  And a whopping 600 pounds of powdered sugar are used to dust the gingerbread house to make it look like snow.

Can a Cheapskate Afford to Stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort During Holiday Season?!

Disney World Main Street at Christmas

Wilderness Lodge

Consistently rated as one of the top authentic-themed lodgings in Orlando, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort is like stepping straight into the Old West.  Tall pines, thick forest, and a 450-acre lake all add to the feeling that you have left sunny Florida and magically traveled to Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Inn, one of several rustic landmarks used as inspiration for Wilderness Lodge.

Wilderness Lodge has five restaurants that offer everything from fine dining to quick counter-service snacks from breakfast through dinner.

Wilderness Lodge’s soaring six-story lobby is decked out for the season with festive wreaths and garlands.

A 60-foot Christmas tree adorned with nature-themed decorations and 60,000 twinkling lights are the focal highlight of the Lodge’s holiday décor.

Take a seat in one of the rocking chairs by the 80-foot-tall fireplace, which depicts a built-to-scale replica of the Grand Canyon’s rock layers.  Warm your hands by the fire, and look around the gift shop in an equally warm and cozy shopping environment.

Can a Disney Princess Afford to Stay at the Contemporary Resort at Christmas?


And there you go, a little Christmas present just in time for those of you missing your time in Orlando.

Thanks to Disney by the Numb3rs for their always entertaining Disney facts. Stop by their site for some fun Disney trivia, and tell ‘em a Cheapskate Princess sent ya!

Disney World Christmas

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess


Disney’s Cheapskate Princess


Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at