The Best & Worst Times of the Year to Visit Walt Disney World
When considering the best and worst times of the year to visit Walt Disney World, there can be multiple perspectives and factors that guests need to consider and each guest needs to decide what factors are most important to them. We broke the best and worst scenarios down based on crowds, events, and weather. You can use this information to help determine which time best meets the needs and expectations of your family.
Editor’s Note: Crowd levels during the 50th Anniversary Celebration that began in October 2021, have been very high. This is due not only to the draw of the celebration, but many guests making up for lost travel due to the pandemic. In 2022, crowd levels have been higher than many guests are used to, even during the “slower” periods (that we mention below). It’s just been really, really busy at Walt Disney World since October with no sign of slowing. However, while there aren’t any times when crowds could be called low, there are times that are normally bad and times that are really, really bad. Therefore, we continue to present the historically best and worst time to visit based on the typical crowds you can expect below. It is unlikely that you will have a day where most rides are walk-ons, but it still makes a difference when you choose to visit.
1 – January – February
After Marathon weekend (the first weekend of January) is over and before the Princess Half Marathon weekend (3rd weekend in February), the parks typically have a decent dip in attendance. This makes it a great time to take advantage of fewer crowds. This is also when some of the attractions or one of the water parks may see closures, but Disney won’t close several things at once.
2 – September
September is a great month for encountering fewer crowds. The kids are back in school, and with school just starting, many parents don’t want to take their kids out of school right away. There are also events like the Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, starting in August, so you can take advantage of those with fewer crowds.
3 – Early December
You have to stay away from Thanksgiving week and later December as it gets closer to Christmas, but the first two weeks of December actually see a dip in crowd levels. You can see all of the Christmas decorations and events with fewer crowds to fight along the way. Also, you’ll be able to enjoy Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
1 – March and April
March and April are a hectic time of the year due to the spring break season. Many guests use that opportunity to come to Disney while kids are out of school. Spring break week for Florida is also extremely crazy in the parks. The weeks before and after Easter are very busy.
2 – June – August
It is no surprise that the summer months are extremely crowded. It’s hot and sunny in Florida, and all of the schools are out for summer. You can count on high crowd levels all summer long.
3 – All Holidays
Guests love traveling to Walt Disney World to spend their holidays. The busiest week of the entire year is Christmas to New Year’s. Some of the parks are close to capacity, and the traffic is insane. Other holidays like Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Easter, Mother’s Day, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day also show a spike in attendance across the parks.
Events: This is written from the perspective of which months have the most events so that you get the most bang for your buck.
1 – September – October
It’s the heart of the Food & Wine Festival event at Epcot. You also have Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and other events occurring in later September and all of October, making it a great time to be at Disney World. The temperatures can be better than in the summer, too!
2 – December:
The parks and resorts are completely decorated for Christmas, and it is one of the most beautiful things ever! There are tons of Christmas events, meals, and more happening all over Walt Disney World that you definitely want to see at least once if you haven’t been to during this season.
3 – March-April
The Flower & Garden Festival is offered at Epcot during this time. The parks are also freshly decorated with fresh flowers and spring decorations. There are typically extra events and character experiences for the spring break crowds.
1 – January
There really isn’t much going on in January after Marathon Weekend is over with the exception of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts. The lower crowds are nice, but the parks typically close earlier than usual, and not much goes on.
2 – June & August
The summer is an extremely busy time at Walt Disney World, but there aren’t many extra events planned. Since 2020, the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival now opens in July, but for the most part, it’s the usual attractions and longer park hours to help combat the crowds.
There are differing opinions on weather and what is preferred, but this article is written in terms of the most comfortable weather and less heat.
1 – December – February
The winter months at Disney are still usually fairly warm and much more comfortable than the summer months. In the evenings, you may even want to wear pants and a hoodie depending on the temps, which can vary. The pools are heated, so you can still swim and enjoy water fun.
1 – June – September
The summer months at Disney are definitely the hottest months in Florida. It usually rains in the afternoon, which can help cool things off a little (and also make it thick and muggy), but it is extremely hot. It’s still a fun time to visit, but if you don’t like the heat, you definitely won’t like these months.
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