Best Time to Visit Disney World

When is the best time to visit Disney World?  The choices you make can have a significant impact on your vacation.

Disney is very different in June than it is in December.  There are a number of factors we want to consider.  These factors will hopefully help you when planning your vacation.

Money is a big factor for us all.  We also would prefer to go when crowds are less, would we not?  Well these two factors go hand-in-hand.  Why?

The answer is that when school is out, people flock to Disney World, and Disney (as well as  local hotels and rental homes) adjusts by raising prices!  If you want the absolute lowest prices and lowest crowd levels, go in January or late September/early October.
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There are four time periods you want to watch out for:

  • Summer Vacation – Crowds are absolutely crazy all summer long.  Big crowds, higher prices and HOT temperatures all combine to make the summertime one of my least favorite times to go.  However, Disney adjusts in the summer and keeps the park open much later at night, allowing you to take longer mid-day breaks.
  • Spring Break – Spring break is also a very popular time.  The locals crowd the parks, and people flock to Disney for a taste of warm weather after a long winter.
  • Christmas – Christmas is extremely expensive and one of the most crowded times of the year.  That being said, many people love spending their holidays in Disney.  You will also find the weather to be phenomenal in December.
  • Thanksgiving — The week of Thanksgiving is also very crowded and expensive.  However, a hidden gem is the week just following Thanksgiving.  It is one of the least crowded of the entire year.

If you decide not to go during any of the above time periods, you will find that Disney is likely to run specials and deals, such as free dining, or discounts on resort stays.  Of course, if you have kids in school, this may not be possible.

Weather

We touched on the weather above, but we can’t gloss over it.  Weather needs to be strongly considered.  Does your family do poorly in heat?  If so, you do not need to go in the summer.  The heat and humidity in Orlando can absolutely be exhausting.  Many tourists go to Disney World in the summer and have such a miserable time that they never return.  Don’t judge Disney on the heat.  Just change the times you go!

Do NOT underestimate the Orlando heat!

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If you do decide to go in the summer, take frequent breaks, bring water with you and stay cool.  Fortunately Disney has incredible air conditioners, and you will find plenty of places to stay cool.  On a hot day, standing in line for Space Mountain for 60 minutes might seem like a relief!

The winter months are my favorite.  For about three months, highs will be right around 70, with lows in the 50′s.  You will also have days where the temperature will climb close to 80.  A welcome relief from the wintertime at home.   Some people can’t stand being cold, though, and so don’t enjoy going in the winter.  This is a personal choice, and one you’ll have to consider for your family.

Special Events

There are a few special events that may play into your decision.  There are Star Wars weekends, marathons, Christmas and Halloween parties, the Food & Wine festival, Atlanta Braves exhibition games and many more!  If any of these things sound like something you’d like to be a part of, I highly recommend checking them out.  My family loves the Food & Wine festival.  It takes place right towards the end of September and runs through October.  This also is a great time of year to be at Disney from a crowd and weather perspective.  Don’t tell anyone! icon smile Best Time to Visit Disney World

Final Considerations

  • January and February are great times to go.  However, usually maintenance is done during this time.  It is very likely you will have some of your favorite rides out of commission during these months.
  • Hours will differ greatly between the winter and summer months.  Summertime has parades every night, while the wintertime will only have them a few times a week.

Now lets head to our next article in the series:

Part 3: Resort Planning

 

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