When is the best time to visit Walt Disney World? This is a question that guests who are planning a trip ask nearly every day! The answer is simple……anytime!
While there are factors to crowds and weather, you can’t go wrong with any season at Walt Disney World. I am excited to share tips for each season with you today.
Winter – Early November to February
To most, “winter” at Walt Disney World is late November through probably February. During this time of year, the weather is ideal! Walking around the theme parks during this time is so pleasant. It is sunny and the climate is nice and steady.
During the early part of this time frame you can enjoy the Christmas holiday happenings in the parks. For those who love Christmas, this is the time to go!
The parks are decorated for Christmas, as are the resorts. You can also find the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs. This makes for a great “non park day” activity! Not only are there exclusive holiday decorations, but also treats and merchandise!
EPCOT and Magic Kingdom are the best parks, in my opinion, to visit if you are there during the Christmas festivities. EPCOT offers Christmas festivities from around the world. Each country in World Showcase has its version of Santa and the pavilions are just bursting with cultural fun.
Magic Kingdom is beautifully decorated, and it snows on Main Street USA. This is also where you will find quite a few of the amazing holiday treat offerings! Visiting both these parks during Christmas also puts you in easy proximity to resorts to visit and enjoy their decor.
Keep in mind that traditionally, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is the absolute busiest time to visit Walt Disney World. However, if this is the only time you can visit, go for it! You will just want to have a good park plan and be flexible.
January and February are both great times to visit in terms of crowds. By this time, most people have returned home from their holiday break and are settling in for the winter. There are the Martin Luther King, Jr. and President’s Day long weekends to contend with. But overall it’s pleasant.
The parks can be enjoyable as far as wait times go. January and February also play host to some of the best RunDisney events. Be sure to congratulate any runners you see in the parks! They work hard to earn their medals!
EPCOT also hosts Festival of the Arts during January. This festival is one of my favorites! Artisans of all types, along with food booths, take up space around World Showcase. Visiting the artists and seeing their amazing creations is so fun!
Spring – March to May
Spring at Walt Disney World comes in March and lasts until late May. The Disney parks are literally blooming with beauty during this time!
Guests who choose to visit in Spring will be treated to the gorgeousness that is the Flower and Garden Festival at EPCOT. This is the time when Disney has planted gorgeous flowers in all shapes and sizes in the park. Guests can also find the beautiful, detailed topiaries around the park. Favorite characters take on the form of topiaries, and make for great photos!
With the addition of the outdoor food kitchens to Flower and Garden, planning 1.5 to 2 days for EPCOT is a good idea. This allows you to enjoy the attractions AND the amazing food booths without feeling rushed.
During this time, crowds pick up in late March and around Easter. These are both prime time for Spring Break travelers. Due to this, be sure to have a plan to arrive at the parks early in the morning, and utilize Mobile Order as well as a good park plan to maximize your time.
While the weather is still very pleasant and low humidity, it does get rather warm in the afternoons as Florida moves through March and into the later spring months.
Summer – Late May to Mid August
Walt Disney World is the perfect place to spend your summer break. Summer at Disney is late May through mid August, and it is quite toasty! However, choosing a resort with an amazing pool is a great choice when traveling to Disney in the summer months.
Summer tends to be rainy, so be sure to pack a poncho and extra shoes. Taking a midday break at your resort is ideal for changing clothes and/or shoes, and getting a break from the heat. Along the lines of handling the heat, I highly suggest planning to eat light while you are visiting Disney in the summer months. Plan a late afternoon/early evening dinner to sit down and get a break in the AC, but eat light the rest of the day! And, always hydrate!
During Summer, guests who visit in May will catch the tail end of the Flower and Garden Festival. Once that has moved out of EPCOT, there are not any more festivals until fall. This makes it a bit easier to plan your EPCOT days since you can just focus on attractions.
Early mornings and late nights are your friend if you travel during the summer. Getting to the parks at Rope Drop is key to starting your day successfully. This allows you to be ahead of the crowds and accomplish some attractions before going to the resort for a break. Secondly, the heat of the day comes in the afternoon. So if you visit early in the day and then at or after sundown, you won’t be so hot!
Summer is the time to see the shows at Disney. Adding some of the shows to your touring plan – whether they are the outdoor shows or indoor – serves a few purposes. First, it gets you off your feet and forces you to sit down for about 30 minutes. Second, during this time you can regroup a bit and make some plans for your next few attractions. Finally, this allows you to possibly take advantage of some air conditioning if you choose indoor shows.
Fall – Mid August to Early November
Fall comes early at Walt Disney World, arriving in mid August and continuing through early November. Fall is my absolute favorite time to visit Walt Disney World! The colors, character costumes, and food make it amazing!
Guests who visit during fall will enjoy the first of the “low crowds” at Walt Disney World. The caveat to this would be October. Many schools experience a fall break in early to mid October, so keep that in mind. September really is the best time of the fall to visit in terms of crowds.
Weather in fall can be touchy. It is still very hot and it can be extremely humid. However, as we inch into November, the temperatures become somewhat moderate and more bearable.
Typically guests can enjoy Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This is a special ticketed event that takes place at the Magic Kingdom. However, if these tickets are not in your budget, no worries! The fall décor is still magical, and they often spread the exclusive Halloween foods and merchandise out over the four parks. However, if you do have the chance to enjoy the party, I highly recommend it!
Fall can also be very rainy, as it is hurricane season. While it takes a very powerful hurricane to move toward and affect Orlando, the rains can affect the area. So it’s good to be prepared with ponchos and plenty of extra shoes and clothes.
EPCOT hosts the famous Food and Wine Festival in the Fall months as well. Can you tell EPCOT likes its festivals? This is probably the most popular festival. If you choose to visit with your family, try going during the week. The weekdays are more “kid friendly” in terms of crowds. The weekends can be somewhat busy and the atmosphere isn’t as family friendly.
Side note, Hollywood and Vine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios hosts Minnie Mouse and her friends for lunch and dinner. Depending on the season, you will see them in seasonal costumes. This is a great dining reservation to book since it gives you a unique character experience depending on the season.
Overall, visiting Walt Disney World during any season is awesome! It is good to know what to expect so you can plan accordingly. I am of the mindset that if you are there during a special event, you should go! There is plenty of magic to be found year round. What is your favorite season to visit Walt Disney World?