Hiyah, pals! Guru Joey here to help you navigate one of the most important aspects of planning a Disney World Vacation: When to go. If you are going to drop the dollars on a Disney trip, you will want to pay close attention to this aspect of planning. It could mean the difference between comfort, cost and short waits versus discomfort, high prices and lots of line time.
Its not always easy to plan trips that do not fall on a holiday or normal “time off” periods, but this is why those times are considered “Peak” by Disney. So, if you can manage pulling the kids out of school and scheduling an unconventional vacation time, you will save yourself in both time and money.
Below is a chart of times or the year to visit Disney World from best to worst. Keep in mind that weekends will always be a little worse than weekdays, which are traditionally the best. Click on the specific time period to get a more in-depth description of the pros and cons of each.
|Times to Visit||Crowds||Weather||Prices||Other Details|
|First 3 Weeks Of May||Light – Moderate||Warm but not overly hot;
Expect some rain
|Low – Moderate||Memorial Day weekend
|Mid Nov – Mid Dec||Moderate||Cool, some jacket weather
in the evening; Mostly dry
|Low – Moderate||Christmas decorations, Comfortable weather|
|Jan 7 – Feb 15||Light – Moderate
With some Heavy
|Low||Some ride closures;
Can be cold
|Last week of Aug – All of Sept||Mostly Light||Hurricane Season;
Hot, Hot, Hot
|Low||Weather is Iffy and it is HOT! Hydrate!|
|Feb 16 – 15 Apr||Light – Heavy
but mostly Moderate
|Cool – Warm||Low to Moderate with some High||Spring Breaks|
|June – Aug 20||Heavy||Hot and Wet||Very High||Hot and long wait times|
|First Week of January||Moderate – Heavy||Cool – Cold||Moderate||Christmas Break Leftovers|
|Thanksgiving Weekend||Heavy||Cool||Very High||Familys|
|Dec 22-31||Heaviest||Cool – Cold||Very High||Busiest time in my opinion|
First 3 Weeks of May:(Back to top)
If warm pleasant weather is your cup of tea, then this period is perfect for you! It is usually warm enough to visit some of the water parks but not so warm you have to go. Because schools are not yet finished for the year and there is only one major holiday, crowd sizes and, therefore, wait times for rides are generally low. During the weekdays you may even be able to just walk on to some of the rides.
You can usually find discounted park tickets during this period, and the hotels/restaurant prices are low to moderate. Sometimes packages have been purchased with free or highly discounted meal plans. If you can carve out a time during this period to get away with the family, you will not regret it!
This does not count for Memorial Day, though, crowds can be quite heavy.
Mid November – Mid December (Minus Thanksgiving of course):(Back to top)
This is my personal favorite time to go! Because it is between two major holidays, pretty much every ride is open. Post-Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas crowds are generally low to moderate and wait times during the week are usually 10-15 minutes on average.
The weather is pleasant, too! You can expect cool days that can get just the slightest bit chilly in the evenings. Hotter weather can sap your energy, and if you are looking for longevity, this time is the best!
Resort hotels have some of their lower prices too! That means some of the largest discounts of the best accommodations. In my opinion, nothing beats Disney World in December. Just not Christmas.
Jan 7 – Feb 15:(Back to top)
As far as crowds go, this could be one of the best times to visit. Due to the low crowds and cool to cold weather, however, you will find the largest number of ride closures due to repairs and maintenance.
Low resort prices, low ticket prices, and low restaurant prices combined with short wait times makes this a good time to visit, but cooler weather and down rides makes us rate it just a bit lower than the rest.
Last Week of August – All of September:(Back to top)
After the summer blitz, park attendance drops off dramatically. This is one of the lowest attended periods. You will find the best prices for tickets, hotels, and food with even a number of free dining packages. But there is a reason why.
It is HOT, HOT, HOT. You will be the most uncomfortable in the mid-afternoon, and oftentimes it can be unbearable. Little children do not do well in this temperature. Early mornings and late afternoon/evenings are the best at this time. When the sun is the hottest, try out the two water parks!
This is also peak hurricane season. You take a risk traveling to Florida during this time. Disney usually prepares well for this time of year, but who wants to endure a hurricane on their vacation?
Feb 16 – April 15 including Easter:(Back to top)
Because some schools get a whole week before or after Easter, this tends to be one of the busiest times in the park. High wait times and prices are what you can expect.
Presidents day also falls within this period, which, like other holidays, translates to busy, busy, busy.
Add in Spring Breaks, and what you have is long stretch of generally packed parks.
Weather is the only redeeming factor. Temperatures are pleasant and your family will last longer without getting beat by the sun.
June – Mid to Late August:(Back to top)
If you ask me, this is the absolute worst time to visit the park. Hot weather AND huge crowds make for a lest than magical trip. The prices are also at their highest, but it does happen to be very convenient for vacations.
If you do decide to travel at this time, plan on early mornings/late afternoons as the temperatures will be better. Try out the resort pools in the afternoon or just plain take a nap. That sun will drain away your life!
First Week of January:(Back to top)
Crowds are still pretty heavy from post-Christmas/New Year’s travelers. Weather is cool to cold and some rides begin to close, but prices remain high. I would wait a week.
Thanksgiving Weekend plus or minus a few days:(Back to top)
Very busy. Most people get time off for Thanksgiving, and due to the nature of the holiday, Disney plays well into Thanksgiving breaks. Better to avoid the parks at this time, as you will pay the most and, in my opinion, get the least.
The weather is pleasant though, and the Christmas Decorations are usually up and make the parks look fantastic. There are also a lot of fun holiday events during this time of year.
Christmas Week plus or minus a few days:(Back to top)
People love Disney during Christmas, and it shows. Crowds are at their highest as well as prices. The only redeeming factor is its Christmas. The decorations are spectacular, and the parades and shows are the best. But you can get all that a few weeks before if you can manage the time off.