When is the best time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort? This is one of the biggest decisions as you start to plan your Disney vacation. There are a few factors to consider as you decide.
Take a look at some factors to consider and our favorite times to visit to help you plan!
One factor that may heavily weigh on your decision to go to the Walt Disney World Resort is the crowd level. While this is a little unpredictable at times between the global pandemic and the upcoming 50th-anniversary celebration, there are times where it tends to be more crowded at the parks.
A good rule of thumb to go by is that any time there are school breaks, anticipate heavier crowds. This does not mean, however, that you shouldn’t go during these times. It just requires a bit more planning to maximize your time in the parks. For example, some families need to go during the summer months. It is absolutely possible to visit during the summer and have an amazing experience! In order to do so, this professor suggests keeping in mind that the summer is a popular time to vacation. Utilize tips and tricks during the planning process such as making those dining reservations or utilizing the new Genie+ service.
Make sure that you have realistic expectations about your park experience. For example, if you plan to travel between Christmas and New Year’s, you should expect the parks to be quite busy and plan accordingly!
Working with a travel advisor, like our friends at Key to the World Travel, is a good way to make sure you are aware of all the strategies to navigate the parks and make the most of your vacation time.
Weather is another factor that you likely are considering as you decide when to visit Walt Disney World. The weather in central Florida can also be a bit unpredictable. Two things that you can be sure of is that the summers are hot and you should be prepared for rain regardless of the time of year.
Rain does not have to ruin your day or your vacation though! That is what ponchos are for! Throw them on and keep going because a rainy day at Disney is better than staying home! Some of my best memories visiting Walt Disney World include throwing raincoats on my toddlers and letting them jump through the puddles!
The summers will definitely be hot too. However, like the crowds, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a deterrent. There are plenty of ways to beat the heat while visiting the parks.
If the heat is a dealbreaker though, I suggest considering late fall and winter for your visit. The best strategy for the weather during these months is to dress in layers. It is often cooler in the mornings and evenings but warmer during the day.
Seasonal Events and Festivals
Throughout the year, there are different festivities and events offered at the Walt Disney World Resort. This may play a role in deciding when to visit if experiencing one of these festivities is important to you.
In the fall, the Magic Kingdom is filled with pumpkins and the Halloween spirit comes to life! In the evenings, there are special events. This year, it’s the Boo Bash After Hours event!
After Halloween, the whole Walt Disney World Resort lights up with the magic of the Christmas holiday season! In this professor’s opinion, there is nothing like the holiday season at Disney! All four theme parks are decorated and transformed with Christmas trees and seasonal offerings. Plus, this year, the Very Merriest After Hours event will offer a full parade and a special second fireworks show for guests!
At EPCOT, there are four different festivals offered throughout the year:
International Festival of the Arts
A celebration of the arts, this festival takes place in January and February. It features a variety of visual and performing arts throughout the park, along with interactive experiences and food studios with artistically designed dishes.
International Flower and Garden Festival
Known for the beautiful topiaries that come with it throughout the park, this festival typically starts in early March until early summer. It includes exhibits celebrating gardening and the outdoors. In addition, there are outdoor kitchens with deliciously and creatively prepared dishes.
International Food and Wine Festival
This festival started in mid-July and runs through late November. It is, of course, known for the food and wine choices offered. This year, the choices were expanded even more with additional festival kitchens added. Plus, live music also plays on select nights featuring local bands.
International Festival of the Holidays
This festival generally starts right after Thanksgiving and runs until the end of December. Like the other festivals, there are food booths and unique activities. There are fun things to do for all ages too. The Cookie Stroll will be returning and is a fun way to explore the World Showcase. Plus, the beloved “Candlelight Processional” will also be available to view.
Each festival offers unique experiences along with various food booths and other activities for all ages. Things are currently modified due to the pandemic but more experiences have returned throughout the year, making the festivals a must!
The 50th-anniversary celebration at the Walt Disney World Resort begins on October 1, 2021. This “Most Magical Celebration” will last for 18 months! This celebration shouldn’t be missed, with special merchandise, events, two all-new fireworks show, and more!
Favorite Times to Visit
This professor has a few favorite times to visit throughout the year.
I like this time of year for quite a few reasons! While some attractions may be closed for refurbishment, the weather is quite nice. I suggest dressing in layers as the mornings and evenings may be quite cool. Even though it’s a bit chilly, the pools are heated and ready so that shouldn’t deter you if you are looking for some pool time! In addition, EPCOT’s International Festival of the Arts is a personal favorite. In general, crowds tend to be lower as well.
This time of year is great because it’s before the summer crowds and after Easter/Spring Break. The weather is warm during the day but usually quite pleasant in the evenings. The EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival is well underway at this point too.
Early November or December
There is nothing like the Christmas season at Disney! This time of year, you can be immersed in the Disney Christmas Magic, before the crowds arrive for Christmas break! Typically, the holiday season begins in early November in the parks. Resort decor comes a little later. Depending on when you arrive, take advantage of one of two festivals in EPCOT. You may even be able to explore the holiday special events! This year, it’s the Very Merriest After Hours event.
Although these are my personal favorites, I also think that there isn’t really a bad time to go! With a good plan and realistic expectations, you can have a great Disney vacation at any time of the year!
Are you considering a trip? This is a great time to plan your perfect vacation! Having a travel advisor means someone there to have your back in any occurrence. There is no additional cost to you and you have peace of mind knowing that your vacation is in good hands.
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