The best time to go to Disney World resort varies depending on weather, crowd levels, and seasonal entertainment. Guests can avoid intense crowds at the Walt Disney World resort by knowing which dates to avoid. These dates often align with higher Disney World discounts but may clash with hurricane season. There is a bit of back and forth when picking the best times to visit Disney World.
Best Dates To Visit Disney World
The best dates to go to Disney World can be hard to pinpoint. When prioritizing the lowest crowd levels, I have a rough estimate for the best days each month. These are the dates I would pick as my best dates to go to Disney World:
January: 8-10, 16-31
February: 1-14, 26-29
May: 1-11, 13-23
June: 1-13, 17-30
November: 1-7, 12-27
May: 1-13, 15-25
June: 1-15, 19-30
October: 1-5, 10-31
November: 1-9, 13-22
Worst Dates To Go to Disney World
The worst dates to go to Disney World include holiday weekends, the peak of spring break, Thanksgiving week, and Christmas week. Historically, New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest days of the entire year at Walt Disney World. Guests are usually prepared for crowds on the major holidays and spring break but are often caught off guard by the three-day weekends, which include:
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- 3rd Monday in January
- 3rd Monday In February
- Last Monday in May
- First Monday in September
Indigenous People’s Day/Columbus Day
- 2nd Monday in October
- November 11th each year
These weekends can be especially crowded and are often overlooked when planning a Disney World trip.
1. Cheapest Day To Visit Disney World
Walt Disney World uses a tier system for their 1-day ticket pricing. Disney World theme park tickets range from $109-$189 for a one-park-per-day ticket. A 1-day ticket will increase depending on the park and time of year. Magic Kingdom is consistently the most expensive park. And the most expensive time of year typically aligns with holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving.
The lowest price for a 1-day Disney World ticket is for dates found in August and September. Animal Kingdom will consistently be the park with the lowest price. Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios often cost the most. EPCOT falls somewhere in the middle.
If you are looking for the best time to visit Disney World, analyze how much a Disney World vacation costs and what time of year is the cheapest.
2. Slowest Month of the Year
The best time to go to Disney World also takes into account crowd levels. Many guests want to avoid large crowds during their vacation. September is one of the best times to visit Disney World as it is one of the slowest months of the year at Disney World. September also aligns with many of the best discounts for Walt Disney World. Higher value Disney discounts are offered for slower times of the year.
The downside to visiting Disney World in September is that this month is during hurricane season in Florida. There is the possibility of an increase in rain and storms during your visit. Guests worried about hurricane cancellations should utilize travel insurance and book refundable flights.
September is pretty early in the range of what experts consider hurricane season at Disney World, so this may not be a concern. Both Walt Disney World and the nearby Universal Studios Orlando also have special Halloween offerings that start as early as August and continue through October. September also features the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. If you want to visit during the Halloween season, September is the best month.
August is also the best time to visit Disney World because this is another slow month. August is part of the summer season at the parks. Guests can enjoy longer operating hours without the higher crowds seen in June and July. But the weather will be hot and rainy. The hot weather is why guests might not consider this month the best time to visit Disney World.
3. Avoid Theme Park Crowds
Guests avoiding crowds when considering their best time to visit Disney World should avoid holidays. This does not just include holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas but three-day weekends. Three-day holiday weekends at Walt Disney World can be busy. Weekends to avoid include President’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Labor Day, and Indigenous/Columbus Day. These three-day weekends often catch guests off guard because they do not associate them with the same high-level crowds major holidays bring.
Similar crowded times of the year include the weeks of Spring Break during March and April, Christmas, and Thanksgiving. You will also see an uptick in crowds if you spend a holiday in the park, like Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day. But the busiest day of the year at any Disney Park is New Year’s Eve. Guests should avoid it if they hate Disney World crowds.
Spring break is often an underestimated, crowded time of year. Florida is a popular travel destination for Spring Break. Guests can encounter crowds the instant your plane lands. If you are looking for the best time to visit Disney World during Spring, consider visiting the first week of March or the last week of April. Spring is one of the best times to visit Disney World because of the mild weather. If you plan your dates, you can still take advantage of the pros of a Spring visit while avoiding large crowds.
As for the holiday season, a similar philosophy applies to figuring out the best times to visit Disney World. The dates to avoid for the holiday season include the last two weeks of December through New Year’s Day. Thanksgiving week is another one to avoid because many schools offer longer breaks for this week which increases crowd levels. These dates can often be some of the busiest times of the year at the Florida theme parks.
4. Avoid Hurricane Season
One concern for guests as they decide the best time to go to Disney World is the impact of Florida weather. Hurricane season at Walt Disney World often takes place from June to the end of November. This definition is vague as the weather can be predictable when considering the Atlantic hurricane season. However, it is more likely to see storms during August and September at Disney World. Hurricane season in 2023 is expected to hit its peak around September 10th.
Some guests confuse the broad term hurricane season with actual hurricanes. That is not always the case. Hurricane season can also mean more rain and wind.
So if you plan your visit anytime between June and October, you can expect to see more rain in the afternoons. The nice thing about visiting during the tropical weather season is that these rain storms move in and out quickly.
Guests avoiding tropical storms should not visit Disney World during hurricane season. The best season for mild weather at the Walt Disney World resort is March through May. April is known for receiving the least rain on average and a temperature range between 75-85 degrees. April is a perfect temperature for guests to enjoy the Disney World parks and hotel pool.
October and November are also good months for mild temperatures. But October falls during hurricane season, so there is still a potential for tropical storms. December through February will see low rainfall and the likelihood of colder temperatures. For guests looking to avoid the heat, these months are perfect for enjoying the brisk winter Florida weather.
For the best time to go to Disney World, November is a top choice when prioritizing weather. The temperature range is still warm but not sweltering hot. Rainfall in November begins to slow after hurricane season ends. November is also the best month to visit Disney World during the holiday season to avoid crowds. There is a bit of juggling priorities when picking the best time to visit Disney World based on the weather.
5. Best for Holidays
The best time to visit Disney World for Halloween is the month of September. September is part of the Halloween season and is also known as one of the slowest months. If you can handle the potential for tropical storms, this is a perfect month to visit to celebrate Halloween.
September is also the best time to visit Disney World for a budget trip. Disney releases many hotel discounts during September to entice guests to visit during this typically slow time of year. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is the main Halloween event at Disney World. This ticketed after-party takes place on select nights at Magic Kingdom.
Magic Kingdom is decorated with Halloween decor, and party guests can wear costumes and trick or treat in the theme park. But if the risk of poor weather outweighs the pros of a September trip, guests might prefer October as the best time to visit Disney World for Halloween.
Guests looking for the best times to visit Disney World during Christmas should consider visiting the first two weeks of December. This is one of the best times of the year at Disney World! The first two weeks of December at Disney will see lower crowd levels while still enjoying all of the seasonal events.
Keep in mind that the EPCOT International Festival of Holidays usually does not begin until after Thanksgiving Day. This is why many guests wait until December to visit for Christmas. But if you do not mind missing the festival at EPCOT, the best time to visit Disney World for low crowds is in November, before Thanksgiving week.
After Thanksgiving, the crowds will slowly pick up at Disney World. The peak crowd levels for Disney World Christmas usually begin in the middle of December until New Year’s Day. Some guests prefer waiting until after New Year’s Day to visit and catch the end of the Christmas celebration before it officially ends in the first week of January.
Picking the best time to visit Disney World takes into account a few factors, like crowd levels, discounts, weather patterns, and seasonal activities. Guests should consider their top priorities when planning a Disney World theme park trip.
This article originally appeared on Savoteur.