Best Time to Visit Disney World

Walt Disney World

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Going to Disney World is probably the most memorable vacation you will ever have (in my opinion!).  You do not have to be a young child to enjoy all that the parks have to offer. When I was younger, I remember loving the parks for completely different reasons than I do now.  But the amount of fun Chris and I have each time we go depends on the weather, the crowds, and the special events that are going on inside the parks.

Cinderella's Castle at night

Chris and I have been to Disney a lot these past five years.  And we’ve been through every season so it’s safe to say we have our likes and dislikes about them all.  Want to know the best and worst times to go to Florida? You’ll find everything you need to know below!

The BEST times to go to Disney World are:

Mid-November through Mid-December:

Crowd Level: Low
Weather: Cool, bring cold weather attire because it does get chilly at night!
Our Observation: Chris and I went to Disney the week after Thanksgiving last year and it was amazing!  The Christmas decorations were up, the weather was nice and cool, and the parks were pretty much empty (except for the weekends!). They did film the Christmas Day parade while we were there in 2012 (it was done on November 30th and December 1st, but the dates change every year) so if you go during that time make sure you avoid the Magic Kingdom, it’s a mad house!

Second week of January through Mid-February:

Crowd Level: Low
Weather: Cool. You’ll want to bring cold weather attire because this time of year is the coolest for Florida.
Resort Prices: Cheap
Other notes: This is the time of year that Disney will close rides for refurbishment.

First three weeks of May: 

Crowd Level: Moderate to low
Weather: Warm but not unbearably hot (mid 80’s is usually the norm). Mid to late May is also the start of the rainy season in Florida so make sure you grab a pancho before you leave for vacation!
Resort Prices: Moderate to Low
Our observation: The crowds are not too bad this time of year and the weather is perfect. It can get a little bit cooler at night so we always bring light jackets with us just in case.

Late August through all of September: 

Crowd Level: Low
Weather: This is the time of year when Florida gets the most rain because it is hurricane season! It is also unbearably hot so visits to the resort pools or the water parks are a must.
Resort Prices: Low. Off-property resorts have the lowest prices this time of year!
Our observation: This is usually when Disney will most likely offer their free dinning plan.

The WORST times to go to Disney World are:

December 26th through December 30th

Crowd Level: Extremely high!
Weather: Cool, sometimes even chilly (especially at night!).
Resort Prices: Extremely high!
Other Notes: Kids are now out of school for Christmas break and everyone wants to come see Disney all decorated for Christmas!  The crowds start getting bad the week before Christmas and don’t go down again until New Years.  Everyone recommends to stay home this time of year. 

Mid-February through Mid-April

Crowd Level: Can be extremely high due to overlapping Spring Breaks
Weather: Mild. We went in early March this year and the weather was perfect. (especially at night!).
Resort Prices: High. This season is Disney’s second busiest time of the year (next to Christmas).
Other Notes: Chris and I went in mid-March and had no problems with large crowds or extremely high hotel prices. However, we got very lucky because that is not always the case. If you go during this time you’ll most likely run into Spring Breakers which means a pretty nice crowd at the parks. Things usually die back down after the Easter holiday. 

MidSummer: June through early August

Crowd Level: Extremely high
Weather: Horribly, horribly hot. The humidity is disgusting.
Resort Prices: High.
Other Notes: Chris and I went in August of 2011 and we were so incredibly hot the entire time. Try hitting the parks as soon as they open and take a break during mid-day. Crowds tend to die down after 4:00pm which means you’ll be able to enjoy your time spent at Disney and will (hopefully) not have to wait in ridiculously long lines.

Other Holidays (not listed above)

Crowd Level: Can be high (except for Labor Day weekend and sometimes Memorial Day weekend)
Weather: It depends on the time of year.
Resort Prices: Usually high.
Other Notes: Chris and I have been during Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving and the crowds were not unbearable during any of those times! We always tried to arrive on the holiday and leave a few days after so that probably had a lot to do with the low crowds.

Special Events

When planning a trip to Disney World always check to see if there is a special event taking place! These are the ones Chris and I love to attend:

  • Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival : March 5-May 18, 2014
    flower-and-garden-festival
  • Star Wars Weekends: May 16 – June 8, 2014
    star wars weekends
  • Epcot International Food and Wine Festival: September 27 – November 11, 2014
    food-and-wine
  • Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: Runs on select nights from September to November 1st.
    halloween-party
  • Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights: Usually runs from November to January
    spectacle-of-lights
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: Runs on select nights from November to December
    christmas-party

 You can find a list of all of the special events from the MouseSavers website. Remember, some of these special events do cause large crowds at the Disney parks!

What is your favorite time of the year to visit Disney?  Is there one season you refuse to go during?  Let me know!

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