The decision to take a trip to Walt Disney World is one of the best ones you will ever make – it’s a magical place full of fun and something for everyone! It will be magical and amazing no matter when you go – but if you ask me, there are definitely some times of year that are better than others to take a WDW vacation. So if you’re not sure when to go, then read on for my tips on how to decide what time of year is best for your WDW trip:
Crowds: This is one of the biggest considerations (at least for me!) when it comes to picking a time of year to visit WDW – and it probably is high on your list, too! No one wants to stand around waiting 2+ hours for every ride, or have to literally push through a crowd to get anywhere – that is no fun for anyone! That being said – these are the busiest (and normally the ones I try to avoid the most) times at the WDW Parks: The week before and the week of Christmas through New Year’s, from Memorial Day weekend through mid-August, and the weeks of President’s Day (in the later part of February) and the week of Easter (usually falls in early April). Those are the times where you will see the biggest crowds at Disney, and should you decide to go during one of these times, you will want to be prepared with my Tips for battling the crowds at WDW.
Special Events: Disney has tons of special events they host annually – from a food & wine festival, to a flower & garden festival, running events like 5k’s and half and full marathons, Christmas parties, Halloween parties, and special events for just about any and every holiday you can think of! There’s always something special going on somewhere at WDW – check out the official special events page to learn more, and to see if you might want to head to Disney and partake in one (or more!) of these events. Some of them require advance ticket purchase – so it’s best to do this well in advance of your trip so you have everything you need ahead of time
Weather: Ah, Orlando and your weather. Such an interesting place – and for those who have never been, I can sum it up in just a few words: RAIN, and HUMIDITY. It gets HOT in Orlando, which wouldn’t be so bad in it’s own – if it wasn’t for the cripplingly thick humidity that accompanies it – that’s the worst part, for sure. The hottest/most humid months at Disney are June through October – where the temperatures will easily hit or surpass 90 daily. And most of those days at peak humidity time (usually early afternoon), there will be rain showers too – luckily they are normally brief, so as long as you bring along some ponchos you won’t miss out on any of the fun! August through November bring the added issue of Hurricane season into the mix – and while Orlando doesn’t often have actual hurricanes hit it, the rain will be more intense and long lasting during these times (again – PONCHOS – seriously). November – March tend to be the coolest months – with highs averaging in the 70’s, and April and May will start to creep up into the 80’s with plenty of sun, too (sunscreen is a must too!). Taking the weather into consideration is always a smart thing to do when planning a trip – if for no other reason than it helps you pack and be prepared for the elements
School: For those of you with school age children, you will want to take the school calendar into consideration as well. Knowing that many schools get the same weeks/long weekends off, you may be wondering if taking them out of school for a few days or a week would be worth it. And I wish I could answer that with a straight YES or NO for you – but the truth is it really depends on the school. Many will work with the parents if they have enough advance notice and get together homework/reading the child will miss so it can be done on the plane/car ride to Disney, and then some schools don’t condone pulling a child out for vacation and doing so is greatly frowned upon. Personally I think it’s worth a shot to at least ask the school, see what their policies are, and go from there
So then, you may be wondering…
What is the absolute BEST time of year to go to Walt Disney World? For me it has to be early September (after Labor Day) – the weather is still warm (but not as unbearably hot as it might be in July or August, the crowds are light as the majority of schools have just begun the school year and parents won’t generally be comfortable pulling them out for vacation yet, and best of all – the FALL decorations will be up for your viewing pleasure (Mickey pumpkins and wreaths as far as the eye can see!). Alternately, anytime in September will be pretty light crowd wise, as would the month of May (before Memorial Day Weekend) – I would recommend any of those times to someone who is looking to avoid the crowds. But – everyone is different – so hopefully these tips can help you pick the best time to visit with your family!
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