Vacation Tips

When to Visit Walt Disney World

A question that is often asked when planning a Disney vacation is, “What time of the year is best to go?”  There is no simple answer to this one.  People prioritize different events and situations so the answer will change for each group or person.  In this post, I will go month-by-month writing about the pros and cons of going to Walt Disney World during that time.  I’ll also include our advice on each individual month and the average temperatures for each month at Disney World via this website.

No more crowds!  Well, less crowds than usual, I should say.  January will have some of the lowest crowds of the year at Walt Disney World (aside from the first week of the month).  It is also much cooler in January than it is just a few months later.  For the claustrophobic and heat-sensitive people, this is one of the best months to go.  Some of the Christmas decorations will still be up during this time too which could be a positive or negative.  I put it in the pro section because guests can see these beautiful Christmas-laden parks without the huge crowds that come in November and December.  But, it could also feel like a bit of a letdown or hangover with all of the Christmas decor up when it’s still about 350 days until Christmas.  Marathon Weekend is usually in early January, which is fun to take part in but may increase the crowds some.  If you aren’t interested in participating or watching, then avoid that weekend.  There is a hotel room discount offer that generally runs through most of the year, aside from the very busy times like July, August, and holiday weeks.  As long as you book far enough in advance, that discount will probably be available throughout the year.  Last but certainly not least, Epcot starts their Festival of the Arts which is our favorite festival of the year.
Cons:  Cold weather and ride refurbishments.  While Florida is still pretty warm in January, it’s not always the warm-weather getaway that cold-weather city folks crave in winter.  If you are looking for that, I suggest going a month or two later.  Also, this is the time of year where attractions get their yearly tune-up.  This is a real letdown for some, especially those who mainly go for the attractions.
Our Advice:  January is a tricky time to go for many people as schools have started back up from winter break and everyone goes back to work.  But if you can get away with going, January is one of the better months to visit Disney World.  It doesn’t have the intrigue of the holidays or the beauty of springs but that’s made up for with a lack of crowds.  Just pack warmer!
Average High Temperature – 72 degrees
Average Low Temperature – 48 degrees

BTMR train around corner MK

Pros:  This is basically an extension of January.  The Princess Half-Marathon is in late February.  There will be less crowds than most other times of the year and the weather will be fairly nice (a little warmer than January).  Having said that, Presidents Day weekend and school’s Mid-Winter Break have made the middle of February a very popular time to go in the last few years.  That makes the beginning of the month much more inviting if you have the option.  The weather is slightly better in February than January.  Festival of the Arts continues at Epcot.  There are generally hotel-room discounts offered by Disney.
Cons:  There aren’t many cons here aside from the ride refurbishments and Presidents Day week crowds.  Granted, those are pretty big con.
Our Advice:  If you can avoid Presidents Day week than February is a great option.  If not, then we’d probably recommend passing as this has become one of the busier weeks at Walt Disney World.  Of course, you won’t be sweating as much and that’s always a bonus.
Average high temperature – 73 degrees
Average low temperature – 49 degrees

Pros:  The weather is about perfect at this point.  While the crowds are growing from January and February, there aren’t huge crowds early in the month if you try to avoid the spring break rush.  The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival starts in early March and that is a beautiful time to see the parks.  There is no extra cost to see Epcot during this time.  Room discounts are what is typically offered at this point in the year.
Cons:  As I mentioned above, crowds are starting to pick up.  If it’s an option, I’d probably avoid the last few weeks of this month.  There are some ride refurbishments still going but generally less than there are in the first 2 months of the year.
Our Advice:  If you can figure out how to avoid the spring break rush than March is a beautiful time to visit Disney World.  Unfortunately, avoiding that rush can be difficult.  Consult crowd calendars and school schedules to do so!
Average high temperature – 77 degrees
Average low temperature – 53 degrees

SDD start DHS

Pros:  The Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot continues.  There are also some Easter festivities around the parks and resorts that are pretty fun and interesting.  The end of this month is a pretty decent time to avoid huge crowds.  The weather is still really nice during this month.  The parks are beginning to run close to full steam aside from some longer ride refurbishments.  Hotel room discounts are generally available.
Cons:  The early part of this month is a time that I would probably avoid.  The spring break rush is still going through then and the parks are going to be quite busy.
Our Advice:  The end of April is perfect time to go, as you’ll be treated to warm spring colors and low crowds.  We do not recommend going early in the month though.
Average high temperature – 82 degrees
Average low temperature – 58 degrees

Pros:  The Flower and Garden Festival goes through the first part of the month.  The crowd levels in early May are fairly low.  Once in a while, attractions open in May before the summer rush.  That is something to think about if you go to the parks every few years.
Cons:  The cons for the next few months are pretty simple, it’s really hot and crowded.  If you go to Walt Disney World over Memorial Day, there will be lines galore.
Our Advice:  Early May is a very good option if you can swing it, although that time of year starts to get hot.  Memorial Day, and the weeks surrounding it, have very high crowd levels.
Average high temperature – 87 degrees
Average low temperature – 64 degrees

Morocco Pavilion night Epcot

The parks are running just about full speed as Disney World gears up for summer.  If summer is the time that you can go with your family, then June is probably the least crowded and not quite as hot.  Over the last few years, summer has had somewhat unpredictable crowd levels at Disney World and we expect that to continue in 2019.  Room-only discounts are the main discount offered.
Cons:  It’s still crowded and hot.  While it’s not as crowded as Memorial Day weekend, it is probably more crowded than the rest of May at Disney World.  Rain storms have started to become the norm in the afternoon at this point in the year, as well.
Our Advice:  June isn’t quite as insufferable in regards to the heat as July and August.  The crowds are kind of a toss-up at this point too.  We don’t really recommend June but don’t find it to be terrible.
Average high temperature – 90 degrees
Average low temperature – 70 degrees

Pros:  There are some special events for the 4th of July (mostly special fireworks at every park but Animal Kingdom).  Those are supposedly fantastic.  The parks are running at full steam and with longer hours.  Often times there are additions made to the parks by this month.  In 2019, free dining is offered after the Fourth of July.  Crowd levels were down in July 2018 and we expect the same for this summer.
Cons:  The heat is intense.  Fourth of July can be extremely crowded and some parks may reach capacity.
Our Advice:  What we said for June can be applied here.  Crowd levels are unpredictable in 2019 for the summer (we expect them to be lower) so if you can stand the heat then there are worse times to go than mid to late July.
Average high temperature – 92 degrees
Average low temperature – 72 degrees

Harambe Port AK

While August is still a busy month at Disney World it’s no July.  If you are able to go in late August (maybe your kids start after Labor Day), you’ll be able to avoid some of the crazy summer crowds.  Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (absurdly) starts at the end of the month and Free Dining continues through all of August in 2019.
Cons:  You exchange fewer people at the parks for more heat.
Our Advice:  We’ve actually traveled to Disney World several times over Labor Day weekend (and the week before) and find it a good time to go.  The downside is that there is so much sweat!  Be ready to take afternoon breaks but otherwise this isn’t a terrible month to go.
Average high temperature – 92 degrees
Average low temperature – 72 degrees

Other than a slight Labor Day rush (which really isn’t that bad), this might be the best month to visit the parks, crowd wise.  In the end of September, the crowds will probably be as low as they are all year.  The free dining continues through September.  Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival generally starts this month, as well.  If you can go to Food & Wine on a weekday it’s a pleasant experience, the weekend is a different story.  There will also be Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Parties in Magic Kingdom (these are not included with regular park tickets) throughout the month.  The Parks will also start to add their Fall/Halloween decorations
Cons:  It’s still pretty hot, especially early in the month.  There may be a few rides that go down quickly before they ramp back up for the holiday season but that doesn’t happen much if you look at Disney World’s history.  Hurricane season is in full swing at this point and can have an effect on some vacations.
Our Advice:  September is a nice mix of low crowds and somewhat lower temperatures.  This has made it one of the best times to go for the last decade at least.  People are catching on to that sentiment but it’s still a very good time to go to Disney World.
Average high temperature – 90 degrees
Average low temperature – 71 degrees

Halloween ghosts MK

Food & Wine, Free Dining (sometimes), and the Halloween Parties continue at various frequencies.  It also cools off by about 6 degrees on average from September to October.  This is an eventful month at Disney World.
Cons:  Over the last few years, crowd levels have gone way up in October.  While the parks aren’t overrun with people early in the month, it gets very busy towards Halloween.  The weekends especially are busy with Food & Wine in full swing.  It’s also hurricane season.
Our Advice:  If you can go in September instead of October, you’ll save yourself some headaches.  The two month offer essentially the same thing but September has smaller crowds.
Average high temperature – 84 degrees
Average low temperature – 65 degrees

This month has a bit of everything.  Food & Wine continues through the first week or two of the month.  Free Dining is generally offered at various lengths throughout the time.  Christmas Parties start in Magic Kingdom.  There are some Thanksgiving festivities around the parks and resorts.  Christmas decorations start to go up and festivities generally begin the week or two before Thanksgiving.  There is the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in the first week or two of the month.  There are also a few less busy periods in the week before Thanksgiving and the week after.  It really cools off if you are trying to stay away from the heat.
Cons:  The crowds come back during Thanksgiving week and Veterans Day.  It also starts to get pretty chilly in the evenings.  While it’s a magical time at Disney World, it’s definitely a more busy time.
Our Advice:  If you can schedule a vacation around the busy times of the month (mostly Thanksgiving) then November is a wonderful time to go.  Disney World around the holiday season is spectacular and worth having slightly higher crowds for.
Average high temperature – 79 degrees
Average low temperature – 57 degrees   

Christmas Tree lightburst Wilderness Lodge

Pros:  CHRISTMAS IS EVERYWHERE!  Disney does the holidays very well with special events all over the parks.  There’s the Christmas parties in Magic Kingdom, decorations and a show or two at Hollywood Studios, and Candlelight Procession and Festival of the Holidays at Epcot.  The resorts are decorated beautifully (especially Wilderness Lodge).  New Year’s Eve also offers special fireworks in every park aside from Animal Kingdom.  The first few weeks don’t have huge crowds this month.
Cons:  While the first few weeks don’t have tons of people, the last two are probably the busiest weeks of the whole year.  It’s hard to get to half the amount of attractions as you could in January or September.  It’s also one of the coldest months at Disney World.
Our Advice:  The first few weeks in December would probably top our list in times to go to Disney World.  You can escape some crowds, the weather is manageable and the Christmas festivities add so much to the parks.  We wouldn’t recommend going over Christmas or New Year’s, especially to first timers.  The crowds are just too high.
Average high temperature – 73 degrees
Average low temperature – 50 degrees

A Few More Quick Thoughts

  • Being in Florida rain is an issue.  While it doesn’t really affect my vacations, some people might not enjoy getting soaked.  Historically October-April is the best time to avoid the rain. Also, be aware of hurricane season.  Although it won’t likely affect your vacation, there’s a slight chance.
  • While bringing up cool temperatures in Disney World is a bit of a laughing matter, I do think it’s pretty important.  While a high temperature of 72 sounds great to most of us in the winter, it does make what to wear and packing a bit more complicated.  While it’s not a big deterrent for me, some might not want to go when they have to deal with some cool nights.

SSE blue hour Epcot

If you have any questions or things to add about when to go to Disney World, please put them in the comments and we will get back to you.  Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney, if you enjoy what you’re reading please subscribe to the blog and like our social media pages.  You can do both of those things on the right side of this page.  Have a great day!

4 replies »

  1. We love going to Disney World in November because the temps are cooler, and it’s not as crowded. We love going to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, and seeing all the Christmas decorations around the parks. We also enjoy the Food and Wine Festival. But…I will warn that in 2013, we did have one day that was pretty cool and windy during the day, and down right cold at night. We had to bundle up with layers that night. That one night wasn’t much warmer than our temps back home in Illinois.

    • I’m always surprised by how cool it can get at night. Maybe it’s something in the air that makes it colder at 60 degrees than it does other places in the U.S. But yes, if going in the winter months people definitely need to pack warm! Do you think the Food & Wine gets too crowded in November? I’ve never been that month and was wondering if that’s the case.

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