It’s about that time when everyone starts gearing up and looking ahead towards their vacations. If you are like me and plan at least a year in advance, you may have already started planning. However, if you are new to planning, more than likely you are unsure of when is the best time to visit Walt Disney World.
Now, let me just start by saying, as a Disney lover I personally don’t feel as if there is a bad time to go. It’s more rated by if it’s busy or not as busy. The best times to go also depend on your preferences. For instance, we love going during Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival which is held in April. My second favorite time to go is at the end of October beginning of November, which allows us to attend both Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, not to mention Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival.
However, if you would like to visit Walt Disney World based on crowd levels let’s dig deeper into the best and worst times to visit Walt Disney World based on statistical crowd calendars, seasonal events schedules, and park hours. These predictions are based partly on past statistics and personal preference due to a variety of factors. This list will not always be 100 percent accurate due to the constantly changing crowds and events.
Here is a list of each month highlighting the pros and cons of each month.
If you go after the New Year’s Eve crowds have gone home, you will find extremely low crowds. During the first couple of weeks of January, the decorations are still hung with care but the crowds are bearable. If the decorations are not on your must-see list, the second half of January is usually low crowds, the Christmas decorations are down, and proves to be the best chance at slightly improved weather. However, avoid MLK day. Crowds are high during this week.
February has its ups and downs, that’s for sure. In recent years, February is starting to see an increase in crowds. It may be due to the weather being cool or it may be due to guests trying to avoid the summer crowds and are now trying to go in the winter months, who knows! What we do know is that many guests visit during February for Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts that is becoming more and more popular. While February is not a good time to go in terms of seasonal events, it is a good time to see Walt Disney World in its “unblemished” state. However, be aware! January and February are often refurbishment months, which means many attractions will be down during part or all of your vacation. Plus, President’s day is termed as the kick-off day for the beginning of higher crowds for the year.
Once March hits we start looking at the Spring Break crowds. The first two weeks are still proving to be below average at the beginning of the month and above-average thereafter for crowd levels, as the bulk of the Spring Breaks fall in the second half of March. Late February through early March dates are a great time for cool weather, low to moderate crowds, and Epcot coming into bloom with the start of Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival.
April is tricky to predict. Statistics show the first two weeks of April show high crowds, making it some of the worst weeks to visit. If you are planning on visiting during April you also have to take into account Easter. Easter week is one of the busiest weeks to visit Walt Disney World. However, if Easter is in March, April leapfrogs both March and May as a better month to visit, go figure! Unfortunately, Easter will be in April every year until 2024, so plan around it!
May marks the transition to summer. During the month of May, park hours become longer and new summer entertainment debuts by or before Memorial Day. Even with Memorial Day weekend factored into the mix, crowds are below average in May due to many schools are still in session. However, the downside is that heat and humidity start to intensify in May, reaching up to 90-degrees as the humidity reaches high levels.
As we all know, June through August are extremely hot months to visit Walt Disney World. However, if you don’t mind the heat then this shouldn’t be a big factor for you to not attend. Plus, statistics are showing a decrease in crowds during these months as well. Another factor to take into account, however, is the rain. The average monthly rainfall in June at Walt Disney World is over 8+ inches, and the probability of rain on any given day is above 50%, which may result in ride closures and very wet guests. Who knows, maybe that will be refreshing with the heat. Either way, just be prepared for a lot of rain with the proper gear.
July again is hard to visit due to the heat. Crowds are moderate because of this, so again if you don’t mind the heat and you have no other choice July isn’t too too bad. However, avoid the Fourth of July week, crowds peak during this weak. High crowds and high heat can cause increased irritability and longer wait times.
I put August as one of the worst times to visit Walt Disney World for several reasons. August is a hard time to visit due to the heat alone! During the summer months, it can become unbearably hot and can become miserable if you don’t take care of yourself. However, if you don’t mind the heat, then during the first two weeks of August crowds are not that bad and can be manageable. However, the last two weeks of August are without a doubt the worst weeks to go. Everyone is getting in their last trip before school begins again, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival, plus the “peak season” ticket prices are ending resulting in lower park ticket prices.
When ranking the best and worst times to visit Walt Disney World, September is one of the better months of the year. September has proved to be relatively slow, including Labor Day, especially earlier in the month. Crowds begin to increase and become heavier towards the end of the month. The biggest downside to September is the weather, with September falling in peak storm season.
October is becoming increasingly popular. Remember when I said our second favorite time to visit is the last week of October into the first week of November? Yeah, we aren’t the only one that has this same idea! October is now the busiest month of the year at Walt Disney World in terms of average wait times. While it doesn’t see the same long wait times like New Year’s Eve or Christmas week, October is a month that is consistently busy, with no real reprieve.
We love the first couple of weeks of November. The weather is generally cool, whereas December can be cold, and the Food & Wine Festival is ongoing. The biggest downside is that not all Christmas entertainment starts until after Thanksgiving, and some resort hotel decorations are not up until then. The week of Thanksgiving statistically shows high crowds.
Oh, December. What can we say about December? December is an amazing time to visit! However, statistics are showing the increasing crowds December is starting to show. The first two weeks of December are still showing moderate crowds, but it’s hard to gauge this year since Rise of the Resistance just opened during the first week of December this year and crowds were elevated. Regardless, the last two weeks through the first of the year the crowds are incredibly high! We are talking wall-to-wall people and long wait lines. We suggest visiting the first week for the best crowds during December.
Which month is your favorite to visit?
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