One of the first and most popular questions I am asked is, “When is the best time to visit Disney world?” The answer to the question depends on bit on what is most important to you. Are you asking when the least crowded time is at the parks, the best weather, or the most special events? Wonder no more as I walk you through each topic so you can pick and enjoy the best time for you and your family!
If you want to know when the least crowded time to visit Disney World is, we have good news as there are many different times during the year you can choose from. Generally and historically speaking the off season times to visit the Disney World are January, early February, late April going into early May, September and very early November. During these off peak months you will experience lighter park attendance which means shorter wait times in the ride queues.
You will want to make a note that long weekends such as Presidents day weekend and popular school break weeks such as the week of Christmas are one of the most crowded park times in the year so you want to plan accordingly if that is the only time you can go. If you want to ride the rides and skip the longer lines regardless of the time you go, contact us as this is what we do!
Anyone who has visited Florida in the summer time knows that it can feel like you are vacationing on the sun’s surface. If this is your favorite time of year to vacation, we have a blog post here with tips on how to beat the heat. If you are like most people who want to plan for a less extreme heat we suggest early December, January and early February. These times have an extra bonus as you read previously these dates are also less crowded times to go. If you do prefer a warmer time to go, then spring and early fall would be great choices.
One tip to remember is that in Florida there is always a chance of rain. It is best to bring ponchos for everyone in your travel group so you are not caught by surprise. I always suggest finding some off amazon or at target as you will pay ten times more for one in the parks. Personally, I love it when it rains because most people will retreat inside while you have the park almost all to yourself!
Epcot is home to some amazing festivals throughout the year and these festivals are some of my favorite times to visit. Festivals come with lots of fun extras! You can expect to find added food and beverage booths scattered around the world showcase that will offer a unique menu that you cannot find the rest of the year. I have experienced the most delicious foods I have ever tasted while here. You have the opportunity to try foods and beverages from around the world in one convenient location. These booths are a great place to use your snack credits with the Disney Dining Plan.
The Epcot festivals also bring added entertainment and limited time only merchandise. My favorite items to bring back always involve Figment which can be difficult to find but is usually in abundance during Festival times. During the Flower and Garden festival, you will find immaculately themed topiaries that make for gorgeous photo backgrounds. These topiaries are placed around the entire park, and many are groomed into full on Disney characters!
Each Festival has a complimentary passport with details about the festival which includes food and beverage menus so you can confidently plan your visit. Festivals typically run in these seasons:
International Festival of the Arts: January to late February
International Flower and Garden Festival: early March 3 to early July
International Food and Wine Festival: mid August to mid November
International Festival of the Holidays: mid November to end December
If you love the holiday season as much as we do, consider planning your family’s Disney world vacation during this time. It’s like an extra dose of pixie dust on top of the usual magic!
Starting in early September and until the end of October, you can experience Halloween at the Magic Kingdom. You will find detailed theming and Halloween décor throughout. You will also be able to find Halloween themed treats and merchandise that you can only get during this time.
The best part about Halloween time at Magic Kingdom is Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This special ticketed event occurs after Magic Kingdom closes for the day, usually from 7pm to midnight. You will get to experience limited capacity during the party, trick or treating throughout the park with all of your favorite Disney characters, special treats and drinks and a Halloween themed parade and fireworks. The best part is you can dress up! This is the only time adults are allowed to wear costumes at the park, which is a fun bonus.
Starting very early in November the park transforms from Halloween décor to a Christmas wonderland. For me, there is nothing quite as magical as Disney is during Christmas time. Not only are the parks decorated but the resorts are as well.
One of the most festive resorts to stay at during the holidays is the Grand Floridian. When entering into the grand lobby, guests are greeted with an impressive 40 foot tall Christmas tree decorated in the theme and style of the resort. You will also find a life size gingerbread house, which gives off a cinnamon aroma that fills the air.
Much like for Halloween, there is a special ticketed event after park hours. This version called Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. During this limited ticketed event, you will enjoy a celebration filled with Disney characters in holiday attire, holiday treats and specialty eats, attractions opened during the event and a Christmas parade that includes the one and only Santa Claus. And perhaps the most magical feature is the Christmas snowfall on Main Street each party night!
Want to give the gift of a Disney World vacation for the holidays? The gift of travel is one of the very best gifts you can give. We have lots of ideas ideas on how to surprise your family with this gift and our team of experts would love to help you plan it!
Ready to pick the best time of year to plan your Walt Disney World visit? Contact us today so our team of Disney travel experts can help you plan your best vacation yet. Less stress, less lines, more fun!
Authorized Disney Vacation Planner | Disney Earmarked Gold Level
Since 2012, the Enchanted Traveler has become the go-to travel agency for moms and dads who want to save time and relieve the stress of planning a family vacation to Disney destinations and beyond.