The Ultimate Guide: Best Times to Visit Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is a magical place, but planning your trip can be overwhelming. One of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing the best time to visit. This guide will help you navigate the crowds, weather, and special events to find the perfect time for your Disney adventure.

Walt Disney World experiences varying levels of crowd sizes throughout the year. Peak seasons, such as summer and major holidays, tend to be the busiest, with larger crowds and longer wait times for attractions. Moderate seasons, like spring and fall, offer a balance of manageable crowds and favorable weather. Low seasons, such as early winter and late summer, typically have the lowest crowds but may coincide with less-than-ideal weather or refurbishments.

To help plan your trip, I offer guidance based on known scheduled events that may affect crowd levels. Events to consider include; holidays, cheerleading competitions, Run Disney races, holiday parties, and more.

Regardless of when you visit, there are strategies to help manage crowds and maximize your time in the parks. Utilizing Disney's Genie and Genie+ system, making dining reservations in advance, and arriving early or staying late can all help you make the most of your visit, even during peak times.

Expert Tip: "Rope Drop" means arriving to the park before opening. Arriving to the park prior to opening is the best way to visit the most popular attractions with the lowest wait time. I suggest arriving to the park 30 minute prior to opening and taking a mid-afternoon break. Take some time to visit the pool, take a nap or just relax during the hottest and busiest time of the day. Head back to the park in the early evening to enjoy cooler weather, lower waits, and evening entertainment like fireworks.

Florida's climate is known for its warmth and humidity, with temperatures typically ranging from the 70s to 90s Fahrenheit throughout the year. However, the state also experiences distinct seasons, with cooler, drier weather in the winter months and hotter, more humid weather in the summer.

Florida's rainy season typically runs from May through October, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. While these storms can be intense, they often pass quickly, and rain showers are usually brief.

Hurricane season in Florida runs from June through November, with the highest risk of storms occurring in August and September. While Walt Disney World has comprehensive hurricane preparedness plans in place, it's important to be aware of the potential for severe weather and to plan accordingly.

Understanding Crowd Levels

Weather Considerations

Expert Tip: Summer at Disney is doable! Here's what I suggest making your park days comfortable.
~ Cooling Towels are a great way to keep cool during the hot summer months. Get them wet at night and stick them in your room fridge. When you need them, they will be the perfect temperature to cool you down. You can reuse many times during the day. Just get them wet, ring them out and wear around your neck!

~ Neck Fans are another must-have during the hot summer months. These provide just enough air flow to make standing in line a little easier. Make sure you pick an option that is rechargeable!
~ Take advantage of indoor shows & entertainment! Do all kids love Hall of Presidents? No...but it is air conditioned!
~ Ice water is always free! At any quick-service food location or stand that serves drinks, you can always ask for a cup of ice water at no charge to you. We like to bring a Brita water bottle with a filter to refill throughout the day.

* I may receive a small commission when you purchase through the clickable links above.

Special Holidays and Events

Walt Disney World offers a variety of special events throughout the year, including festivals, parties, and celebrations. From the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival in the fall to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the winter, there's always something special happening at Disney.

Visiting Walt Disney World during the holidays is a magical experience, with festive decorations, special entertainment, and holiday-themed attractions. Whether you're celebrating Halloween, Christmas, or another holiday, Disney goes all out to create a memorable experience for guests of all ages.

If you have a specific event or festival you'd like to experience during your visit, be sure to check the event calendar and plan your trip accordingly. Some events may require separate tickets or have special requirements, so it's essential to do your research in advance.

Expert Tip: Parks with events will usually close early. These can be great days to visit as the crowds will be lower.

Budget-Friendly Options

If you're looking to save money on your Disney vacation, consider visiting during the resort's value season. Typically occurring during the least crowded times of year, value season offers lower prices on accommodations and tickets, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers.

Walt Disney World frequently offers discounts and promotions on accommodations, tickets, and vacation packages. By keeping an eye out for these special offers, you can save money on your trip and make your Disney vacation more affordable. A trusted travel agent (that's me!) will always monitor discounts and apply them to your package if applicable, saving you time and money!

In addition to taking advantage of discounts and promotions, there are several other strategies you can use to save money on your Disney vacation. These include staying at a Disney Value Resort, bringing your own snacks and drinks into the parks, and using Disney transportation instead of renting a car.

Expert Tip: Your travel agent is an excellent resource for all of the above! For even more value, ask me about my exclusive booking bonuses!

Choosing the best time to visit Walt Disney World is a personal decision based on a variety of factors. By understanding crowd levels, weather patterns, special events, and your own preferences, you can make an informed choice that ensures a magical experience for you and your family. Whether you're looking for the lowest crowds, the best weather, or the most festive atmosphere, there's a perfect time to visit Walt Disney World waiting for you.

Run Disney Races

Disney Marathon - January
Princess Half Marathon - February
Springtime Surprise - April
Wine and Dine Half marathon - October/November

Dates & Events to Consider...

EPCOT Festivals

Festival of the Arts (January - February)
Flower and Garden Festival (February - May)
Food and Wine Festival (August - November)
International Festival of the Holidays ( November - December)

*Months shown are typical but will vary

Magic Kingdom Holiday Parties

Mickey's Not So Scarry Halloween Party (Mid-August - October)
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (Early November - December)