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How to Choose the Best Time To Go To Disney World

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You can easily find crowd calendars for Disney World online. This post is not one of those. This post is to help you find the best time to go to Disney World for your family. Carefully considering your family’s interests, scheduling conflicts, and other considerations can help pinpoint the perfect time for your family to visit Disney World. Believe it or not, it is not the same for all families.

How to Pick the

How to Pick the Best Time To Go To Disney World

Before I started blogging full time, I was a teacher. I got tired of all the sites saying the worst times to go were during the summer and during spring break. Those were the only times I could go. I got married during spring break and honeymooned at Disney then. We still celebrate anniversaries at Disney and have never not enjoyed ourselves due to crowds.

Schedule Considerations

School. Like I said I was a former teacher. I am completely ok with pulling kids out for a family vacation as long as your school district allows it, if your child has the ability to catch back up, and it is not during testing.

If your child has a hard time in school and being there for the lessons is important then it may be not the best choice to pull them out. If you can meet with the teacher ahead of time and see how a certain lesson is taught and you feel comfortable enough teaching that lesson then that would be ok. Most parents won’t or don’t like that option.

Work. With some jobs, you have to accrue paid vacation time or vacation times are mandated. Go when you can. Some jobs like retail can’t take time off during the Christmas season. My husband is an EMT and scheduling a vacation can be tricky with that as well.

Budget Considerations

Various times of the year are more budget stretching than others. For my family, February and November are just big expenditure months. Holiday meal prep shopping and gift shopping makes our budget bare bones. Back to school time may be a tight time for your family.

Decide what time of the year is less constraining on your budget and figure that in the equation as to when the best time to go to Disney World is for you.

Try to save up paid vacation time if your job offers it. Lots of people live paycheck to paycheck and while you save up for the vacation, you also need to have either vacation time from your job or extra money in your Disney vacation budget to compensate for your days off.

Disney has value pricing where Disney discounts tickets in the off-season like January and off-peak days like weekdays. This is part of the reason the parks seem packed no matter what unlike in years past. These discounts are primarily for one-day tickets.

What’s Going on at Disney World Each Month

This is an important and fun thing to consider when planning when to go on your Disney World vacation. What are you into? Do you love Christmas and everything associated with it? Are you all about Halloween? Are you a foodie who would get a lot of enjoyment from Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival? Are you into flowers and gardens? All of these things have to be considered.

One of the many topiaries during the Flower & Garden Festival

If you really don’t like Halloween then going when the Halloween party is offered 3 days out of the week is something you may not want to deal with.

January

January, in my opinion, is one of the best months to go to Disney World. The weather is usually mild and maybe a bit chilly on some days. As for events, Disney’s Marathon weekend happens early in the month and at Epcot, the Festival of the Arts starts mid-January. 

Some days that may be busier than normal:

  • News Year Eve and New Years Day 
  • Disney’s Marathon Weekend
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

February

February is another great month to visit. The weather is mild and pricing is still budget-friendly for most days. The Festival of the Arts at Epcot is in full swing. 

Some days that may be busier than normal:

  • The Day after the Superbowl the Magic Kingdom will be busy for the MVP Player parade. 
  • Valentine’s Day, Disney sometimes has special character meet & greets around the parks
  • Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend 

March 

In March Spring is blooming! The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival usually starts mid-month. Starting late March you will begin to start seeing increased crowds due to Spring Breakers. 

Some days that may be busier than normal:

  • Easter Weekend (if it falls in March) 
  • St. Patricks Day, mainly busier at Epcot and Disney Springs 

April 

The Flower & Garden Festival is still going on and it is getting a little bit busier. 

Some days that may be busier than normal:

  • Easter Weekend (if it falls in March) 
  • Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend (typically the 1st or 2nd weekend) 
  • Earth Day, Animal Kingdom may be busier because of special characters and/or events. 
  • Dapper Day, usually mid to late April 

May 

Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival ends mid-May. During the summer months, there are no festivals happening at Epcot. Epcot tends to have lower crowds during the summer compared to other seasons. 

Some days that may be busier than normal:

  • Star Wars Days: May the 4th (Force) and Revenge of the 5th (Sith), typically just Hollywood Studios 
  • Cinco de Mayo, typically just Epcot
  • Mother’s Day 

June 

Some days that may be busier than normal:

  • Star Wars Days: May the 4th (Force) and Revenge of the 5th (Sith), typically just Hollywood Studios 
  • Cinco de Mayo, typically just Epcot
  • Father’s Day 

July

Some days that may be busier than normal:

  • July 4th 

August

Starting mid-August the Magic Kingdom magically transforms into fall. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parties start. Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival starts late August. 

Some days that may be busier than normal:

  • World Photography Day, the 19th. Disney usually has rare characters and special Magic Shots.  

September

Halloween Parties are still going strong and the Food & Wine Festival is in full swing. Weekends are busiest at Epcot as locals enjoy Food & Wine. 

October 

Some days that may be busier than normal:

  • Halloween
  • Disney’s Anniversary, October 1st. 2021 will be the 50th. 
  • Octoberfest 1st – 7th. Mainly Epcot and Disney Springs 

November

On November 1st it magically becomes the holiday season in the Magic Kingdom. The first couple of weeks of November are perfect for visiting. Crowds tend to be lower and you can enjoy the Christmas decor. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party starts the 2nd week of November on select nights. 

Epcot wraps up the Food & Wine Festival mid-November and then for the last two weeks of November they are getting ready for the International Festival of the Holidays. 

Some days that may be busier than normal:

  • Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend 
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Fall Dapper Days- Mid to late November before Thanksgiving 

December 

Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays is in full swing. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is offered as well. The first two weeks are not as busy as the last two as kids are still in school. The week between Christmas and New Years is the busiest week of the entire year. 

Some days that may be busier than normal:

  • Christmas Eve, Christmas Day- Mainly Magic Kingdom and Epcot

My Favorite Time to Visit Disney World

My favorite time is not based on crowd levels. My favorite times are based on the weather and Christmas.

I love visiting January, February, and March. The weather is mostly pleasant and the rainy season has not started yet. Some weeks are busier than others but you really can’t tell the difference that much since value pricing started. Tickets and rooms are a bit cheaper during the off-season.

Other than the new Epcot Arts Festival there is not a whole lot going on so you can really just explore and experience your favorite rides.

My other favorite time is Christmas and especially New Year’s Eve. These are the busiest times at Walt Disney World and you might not be able to ride all the rides but the entertainment and atmosphere more than make up for it. Christmas at Disney World is just magical.

Other than the big holidays there are other days that I love going just because special stuff happens like Valentine’s Day, Mickey’s Birthday, Star Wars Day, 4th of July, Easter and more. Disney goes big for lots of holidays and makes them all magical.

My Least Favorite Time to Visit Disney World

Honestly, there are very few times I avoid Disney but August is one of them. August is extremely hot. Plus, Magic Kingdom decorates for Halloween so early. I am sorry but 100-degree temps and fake fall leaves just don’t convey fall for me.

What’s Best For You?

After looking at all these considerations, when is the best time for your family to take a Disney World vacation? 

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Thank you for sharing!