We are often asked when is the best time to visit Walt Disney World. The answer depends on a number of factors: whether or not you’re tied to a school schedule, tolerance for crowds, tolerance for weather, and preferences for seasonal/special events. We’ll break them down below.
First, check out this infographic estimating crowd sizes throughout the year.
The first determinant factor is whether or not you’d be bringing children in school. If not, you have the luxury of being able to plan your trip around when school is in session. If so, the lightest days will probably not be an option.
School schedules vary from region, but generally speaking they start from the 2nd half of August until the beginning of June. There are various holidays and breaks, which may include but are not limited to:
- Labor Day: the first Monday in September
- Veterans Day: November 11th, sometimes observed by schools on other days depending on where the 11th falls that year.
- Thanksgiving break: at least Thanksgiving day and the following friday. Some school districts give an entire week off.
- Christmas Break: the week preceding Christmas until the second week of January
- Winter break: a week off, usually following Presidents Day, the third Monday each February
- Martin Luther King Jr. day: the third Monday each January
- Spring Break: varies by school but occurs from late March into April
- Memorial Day: the last Monday in May.
So if you’re bringing your kids, you’d probably choose one of the above, or go during summer vacation.
If you don’t have to plan around kids, a great time would be early September, October, or in mid-late January.
The Walt Disney World area in Florida (the city of Kissimmee and other cities near Orlando) often has a humid climate with an average of 233 sunny days and 50 inches of rain each year. The summer high runs around 92 degrees and the low is 49 degrees.
The rain is atypical from other areas as it often rains in warm weather, and sometimes rains in high winds.The rainy seasons are late winter, early spring and the summer. The driest months are October and November.
Florida also can experience tornadoes, which if occur are usually in April, May and the summer. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30th. It’s uncommon for park closures to occur dues to storms, but it has happened and is in the realm of possibility. Expect summer and fall trips to Disney World to include rain, sometimes thunderstorms, and plan accordingly. The late fall and early winter are best for avoiding rain.
Walt Disney World and surrounding areas host special events year round. It’s useful to plan ahead for them, you may want to attend or steer clear if you’re not interested and crowd-adverse. Annual events include:
- New Years Fireworks
- The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend (every January thousands of runners descend on all four of Disney’s parks)
- 2019 Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival (early March to Early June)
- Atlanta Braves spring training (begins in March at Champion Stadium in Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex)
- The Star Wars Rival Run Half-Marathon weekend (April)
- Epcot’s Sounds Like Summer Concert Series (Starts in June)
- Fourth of July fireworks at Magic Kingdom (Epcot, Disney Studios, and Disney Springs also have fireworks shows)
- Epcot International Food and Wine Festival (Begins in August)
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (on select nightsin August Through Halloween)
- Thanksgiving Weekend (not an event per say, but a very popular weekend)
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (on select nights starting November through Christmas)
- Epcot International Festival of the Holidays (mid-Novemeber through December)
- Flurry of Fun (Disney’s Hollywood Studios holiday decor and shows in November and December)
Other factor to consider in planning your visit are:
Water parks are closed in the winter
Park hours are generally shorter in the winter starting in January
The lowest hotel and ticket rates are usually in September
Consider all of the above in making your choice, as weighed by your restrictions, preferences, and tolerances. Remember to plan ahead and bring appropriate clothing, layers and contingencies for inclement weather. Disney World is enjoyable and has something to offer year round.
Hope to see you here soon!
-Your friends at Resorts Near Disney
Photo Credit: Photo by
Christian Benseler / CC BY