Finding the best time to go is a big part of planning your next trip to Walt Disney World.
We all want to go during the slowest times of year and understandably that cannot always happen if you have children, work, etc. So you plan to go when you can and hopefully the crowds won’t be extensive.
What can be frustrating is when you plan to go during the slowest time and the crowd is still out of control. Disney world can be one of the most amazing places on earth, but it is all about what to expect and how to plan the best to your ability.
There are some times of year when the parks are not typically at peak capacity and it would be beneficial to look at these times of the year.
Let’s first talk about when you should try to avoid Disney if you are able to.
Mid-December through the first week of January
The holiday time in Disney World is probably the most magical time of year. Hence why it is also the most crowded.
This is the time of year when everyone has off of school and breaks from work so this is the time most families will try to visit. With all the parks reaching peak capacity most, if not all days the magic of the decorations and music can quickly fade as it can lead to very tiring, stressful days.
To go during this time, you need to expect long lines and tons of people.
Spring Break and Easter time
Make sure you pay attention to when spring break is for colleges because typically this is when the Florida kids are off of school also. Which means many Florida residents may be heading to the park. This can create almost full capacity daily.
Easter time is a high volume time also. The week before and the week after typically is the spring break for many families across the country. It is the time where the family can all travel together creating a very packed park.
June through the beginning of August is high peak. Summer break is here and people are going on vacation while school is out. On top of the high crowds, you will be dealing with the humid, hot, sticky Florida summers.
If you decide to brave it during this time, make sure you understand the parks will be crowded and very hot. Plan your days to start early, take a break mid-day, drink lots of water, and be prepared to head back to the hotel if it is too much.
Summer time also calls for afternoon severe weather. Be prepared with ponchos. One tip is don’t leave the park when a storm comes through, just find shelter. A lot of people leave when they see a thunderstorm coming to the park, which makes the park less crowded right after.
Also remember during this time it is hurricane season, so it is important to pay attention to the hurricanes. While Orlando doesn’t always get them, they can.
Any 3 day weekend can result in packed crowds and more stressful times. Caution on which weekend you pick for your trip.
There are some events that people typically don’t know about which can put a huge damper on your vacation.
Cheerleading, Twirling, and Dance Competitions
I would do a quick google search to see if there are any competitions that would interrupt your trip. While competitions like these don’t typically increase park attendance to where it is noticeable, if you plan on staying at a value resort this will significantly affect you.
These competitions usually reserve value resorts and typically result in very loud nights.
Normally the competitions are anywhere from January through April, but Pop Warner plans a week in December that brings evening crowds to the parks.
South American Tour Groups
Every January and July, South American tour groups come to Disney World. This results in a group of up to 100 kids chanting and shouting throughout the park. Typically, they don’t cause too much of an issue unless the whole group gets in front of you on a ride.
We talked about the worst times to go but when is the best time of year to head to Disney World?
After Thanksgiving through the beginning of December
This time is one of the best times to go especially if you want to see the Christmas decorations but you don’t want to see the crowds. The park is filled with beautiful trees and wreaths, the characters have different outfits, and the overall ambiance is lifted.
During this time you would think there are larger crowds due to the holiday decorations, but kids are still in school, parents typically don’t want to take them out, and people are preparing for the holiday.
If you are looking to enjoy the festivities, during the week is the best time to go. The weekends do get a little crazy.
The second week of January through mid-February
This time is great to beat the heat and typically larger crowds. Florida gets cold, but not enough to be snowing. Just enough for every Floridian to wear a winter jacket and hat. Plan your clothing accordingly.
The only thing you have to be cautious about is when the Disney World Marathon is going on. If you end up there during this week it can be pretty crowded. Always double check the marathon date before you book.
At the end of April, the Beginning of May
During this time you are looking at 2 weeks after Easter and the beginning of May. If you head to Disney World closer to Memorial day you may get more crowds. If you head to Disney closer to Easter, you will get massive crowds.
The great part about this time of year is the crowds are not terrible and the weather is not unbearable. Plus it is warm enough for the pools.
Late August through September
If you can handle the heat, this may be a good time for you. Plan to be stuck in your hotel or have a plan to escape if there is a hurricane. Also plan that the afternoon storms will come through. Remember don’t leave the park, because one the storm passes the park is usually less crowded. The Florida kids are in school during this time also which helps decrease the number of visitors to the park.
On top of this most off-site hotels will offer their lowest prices during this time due to hurricane season.
Planning your Walt Disney World trip date can be stressful, but researching when the best time of year to go will hopefully help you go when the crowds are minimal. You also should go into this vacation prepared that you may not do everything you want due to the crowds.