With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, many families are starting to plot out their Walt Disney World vacations. Whether its to surprise the little ones on December 25th or plan a warm weather getaway during the Winter months, its certainly a popular time to book. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the question on the mind of a lot of vacation planners is: “When is the best time to visit Disney World in 2017?” and by “best” most of usually mean when crowds and temperatures are at a minimum.
Now, I am a huge advocate of the fact that there really is no “bad time” to do Disney. For those of you who need to visit the parks during peak times, you will still be swept away by the Disney “Magic” even if travelling during popular school breaks or public holidays. With a bit of forward planning a trip any time of year is amazing. However, for those with a bit of flexibility or looking to beat the crowds here’s 6 suggestions on best times of year to visit Walt Disney World.
1) The second half of January. Right after the holidays, things are still pretty chock-a-block at Disney. The Christmas decorations may be down but crowds will remain steady for Marathon Weekend (January 4th- 8th) and remain high in the lead-in to Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 16th). But pick the later half of the month and you’ll be blessed with smaller crowds and cooler temperatures. Visitors at this time should anticipate some refurbishments and a water park closure as the slow season is a great opportunity for routine park maintenance. However, this is a small price to pay for minimal wait times. Visitors should note though that when travelling in January its best to pack some warmer clothes as temperatures can border on the chilly first thing in the morning or late at night.
2) The first half of February. January’s trend of slighty lower park attendance continues through the first 1/2 of the month. Again visitors can expect reduced crowds and temperatures on the cooler side. However, as the month progresses the parks do begin to pick up. Valentines Day Weekend is a busy time for couples and locals as is President’s Day Weekend (February 20th). From then on in you can start to expect the much busier crowds that March is famous for as the Princess Half Marathon takes place on February 23rd coupled with Mardi Gras on February 25th (a time when a lot of Southerners who are on school break choose to visit the parks).
3) The month of May. Top of my list when it comes to fantastic times to visit the parks, May comes up trumps. With most people focused on the end of the school year or their upcoming Summer vacations, May remains a great off-peak time to go. Temperatures are starting to warm up but without reaching the scorching levels of mid-Summer. Parks boast low crowds and there have historically been some fantastic room discounts to be had. An additional perk is that Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival is still in full swing (March- end of May) but without those jam-packed Spring Break crowds. A caution to those thinking about heading to Disney World end of the month, Memorial Day Weekend ( May 27 -29) really marks a turning point when it comes to crowds. The Summer crowds start to swell and this is a trend that will continue through the beginning of June into the peak Summer period.
4) The second half of August. Though the first half of the month boasts high crowds, around mid-August the focus of most families shifts away from holiday fun and more toward the up-and-coming school year. This is perfect for late August visitors as you still get to enjoy the parks during Summer Break but without the capacity crowds. For those who don’t mind cutting it close to the school term, the end of August really is great time to visit the parks. You still get the nice (albeit sometimes hot) Florida Summer temperatures, you don’t have to deal with the closures or refurbishments found during other off-peak times and you’ll find crowds and lines are much shorter than two weeks prior.
5) The month of September. There’s a reason the month of September tops most Disney insiders’ lists of the best time to visit Disney World. With most families focusing on school, there’s not as much foot traffic. So if you are a couple looking to travel during the downtime or a family that doesn’t mind taking some time out during the first month of school, this is probably your best bet when looking for the mildest crowds you can find at Disney. Another great perk of this time of year is that you also have the opening of Epcot’s Food anf Wine Festival (usually mid September – mid November) as well as the start of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party (typically starting in early September). Guests get to enjoy all the seasonal festivities but without the massive crowds that come later in the Autumn. A word of caution though, September is at the peak of Orlando’s rainy season so have your ponchos at the ready and be prepared for inclement weather.
6) Early December. For those looking to enjoy the Christmas festivities at Walt Disney World without the capacity crowds then try to hop down to Walt Disney World the beginning of December. With Christmas just around the corner most families aren’t thinking about the beginning of the month when it comes to a destination Christmas, making it the perfect time. Plus, the Christmas decorations will be up and visitors can enjoy amazing seasonal events like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot’s Christmas Around the World and the Candlelight Processional.
2017 marks a fantastic time to enjoy all that Walt Disney World has to offer. Not only will guests experience the new rides and attractions unveiled 2016 but there is also the hotly anticipated opening of Animal Kingdom’s Pandora-The World of Avatar at some point over the course of the year.
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Are you thinking of heading to the parks in 2017? Then why not consider working with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner? As an agent with MickeyTravels, I provide a concierge-level service meaning that I can help you with everything from finding your perfect package (and time of year) to helping you nab those hard-to-get dining and Fastpass reservations. I also provide a discount monitoring service so that you are always getting the best deals out there (even after you’ve booked). Best of all my services are absolutely FREE. Get in touch at 1.800.801.4025, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow along on Facebook.
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