Any links in this post to a merchant may contain an affiliate link, which means that if you click on that link and then buy something, I may earn a commission from it. However, all opinions in this link are 100% mine and 100% honest. If I didn't believe in a particular product, I wouldn't recommend it to you.
A question that keeps coming up over and over again from people who are planning trips to Disney World is “when is the best time to go?” And it makes sense to ask this because everyone wants to go when the weather is perfect and the crowds are low. The problem is that this question is deceptively simple. You see, like with most things related to Disney trips, there isn’t one true answer. It is different for each family because it really is a personal decision. Therefore, in order to help you find the accurate answer for your family, let’s walk through all the factors to consider when thinking about the best time to visit Disney World.
A big factor in determining the best time to visit Disney World is the weather. Because it’s Florida, the weather is usually nice in the winter. But, it is hot and humid in the summer. So, how do you like the heat? For some people, the heat is no big deal. For others, however, the heat is too much. If you are in this camp, you will want to avoid the summer months.
Now, no one has ever said, “I want to go to Disney World when it’s at its most crowded.” But, crowds are more of a factor for some people than others. And for some, like us, crowd level is a low priority when choosing a time to go because it’s always crowded during school breaks when my husband, who is a teacher, can travel. Also, please remember, that there really isn’t a slow season at Disney World anymore. Nowadays, it’s crowded, very crowded, or unbearably crowded. Generally speaking, holiday weeks and school breaks are more crowded than other times. You can find crowd calendars that predict what the crowds will look like at various times at Touring Plans. So, while crowd levels should play a part in deciding when to go, it will probably rank lower on your priority list than some of the other factors on this list.
School or No school
If your kids are in school, you will have to decide whether to pull your kids out of school to go on your Disney vacation or whether you are going to limit yourself to school breaks. If you are willing to take your kids out of school, then you will have more flexibility to look at things like weather and crowd levels. For instance, many Disney fans say that late January or early February is the best time to go because weather is good and crowds are lower. But, because my husband can’t miss a week of school to go on vacation, January and February doesn’t work for us. So, if you like us and must go during school breaks, then those other factors will have to be lower on your priority list.
Another factor to consider when determine the best time to visit Disney World is special events. Disney World hosts various special events throughout the year. These range from runDisney races to festivals at Epcot (such as the Flower and Garden Festival), to sporting competitions such as Pop Warner football and cheer competitions. Now, when deciding when to go to Disney World, you need to consider these various special events. If you want to take advantage of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, then this will narrow down your dates. If, however, you are looking to avoid loads of cheerleaders or hordes of peewee football teams, then it’s good to know when they are there so you can plan around them.
In addition to special events, you should also consider holiday celebrations when deciding what the best time to visit Disney World is for your family. First, if you love Halloween or Christmas, consider going to Disney World during either the fall or winter to take advantage of the holiday parties and decorations Disney World puts up to celebrate these two holidays. Secondly, if you want to stay away from heavy crowds, you will want to avoid holiday weeks, especially Easter, Fourth of July, and the week between Christmas and New Years. The crowds during these weeks tend to be heavier than most.
Probably the most important factor in determine the best time to visit Disney World is your family’s schedule. As I alluded to earlier, what may be a great time to visit for one person may be a terrible time to visit for you. When scheduling your vacation, you will obviously have to consider your work schedule, your children’s school and extra curricular activities, and then pick the best time for your family to get away. So, find the times when you can take a trip and then consider the other factors to decide which is one of these times is best.
If your schedule is the most important factor to consider, then your budget is the next biggest. Your budget is important because honestly, Disney World is expensive. If you do not have the funds to pay for your trip at this point, you may need to postpone your trip for a few months or a year in order to save up some money. Additionally, Disney has recently moved to date-specific tickets. This means that the price of your park tickets will vary, depending on when you will be attending. So, if your budget is tight, you should look at the price of tickets during various parts of the year to find a price point that suits you best. To find out how big of a budget you will need, see our post about how much a Disney trip REALLY costs.
Many people ask when is the best time to visit Disney World. But, to answer this question accurately, you must look at a variety of factors and weigh them against each other based on your personal preferences and situation. So, the best time to go for one family is not necessarily the best time for another. Instead of listening to someone tell you when you should visit, consider the above factors and make your own decision. For more planning help, see our step-by-step guide, best resources, and quick tips. Happy travels!