A trip to Walt Disney World can be overwhelming before ever getting on a plane and heading to Orlando. The planning that can go into the trip is often exhausting and frustrating, with far more steps than most would imagine. Blogs like this exist to help you along the way! The first step to take when planning a trip is, obviously, when to go. In this post, we’ll go through each month and rank them based on when the best time to go to Walt Disney World is.
Everyone’s taste is different so taking my rankings as a hard and fast rule isn’t the way to go. Instead, take this post as a recommendation. Another way to look at this post would be to try to stay away from the bottom 3 or 4 months, the middle grouping would be a fine time to travel and the top 3 or 4 would all be excellent. Of course, a trip to Walt Disney World during the worst month would still be better than no trip at all and not everyone will have flexibility in when they can go on a trip. That said, we do think there’s quite a difference between the top and bottom of our list. I mean, that’s why this post exists!
I considered a few things when ranking the months to travel to WDW – weather, crowd levels, prices and events going on. The crowd calendar is constantly in flux, especially considering the last few years of park operations. But I’m giving it my best guess based on the patterns of the last few years. In 2022, visiting the parks on weekdays has proven more beneficial than it has historically thanks in large part to Disney World’s reservation system and the resort becoming more locally driven.
Alright, let’s get to it! From worst to first, here’s my ranking of the months to visit Walt Disney World.
July is the one month that all schools across America can agree on to have a summer break. With that in mind, July has historically been the most crowded month at WDW. Adding to the bad news, the weather is also sweltering. The heat and humidity make showering a moot point since you’ll likely be drenched in sweat within half an hour of stepping outside. There are a few positives to consider. Outside of the Fourth of July holiday, the parks won’t be quite as busy and if you are there on the Fourth then there will be special entertainment! Over the last few years, summers have become less busy at Walt Disney World and I’m interested to see if that trend will continue. If it does then going in July (or the summer) isn’t quite as painful as it used to be. For now, we’ll keep the park at the bottom but I’m not sure we can consider July to be the busiest month at this point.
The most tolerable of the summer months from a weather perspective is hard to figure out crowd wise. It’s still not a great time to visit but if the summer is a must then I’d shoot for early June. Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot continues through this month, at least in 2021. June travelers may also see the opening of some new attractions as this has been a common time for Disney to open new rides and shows. Thunderstorms in the afternoon are the regular for most of summer and spring, but that seems especially true in June. Maybe that’s just my personal experience though.
August is very similar to July, especially the first two weeks of the month. In fact, it can be even hotter. Why it ranks above July is because the last week or two, leading into Labor Day, is fairly dead and a decent time to travel there if you can handle the heat. Food & Wine Festival at Epcot generally gets going during August. I’d certainly stay away from the first few weeks in the month though.
March is now in the running for the busiest month of the year at Disney World. Spring breaks across the country fill the entire months and long lines are the standard. Early March can be a very nice time to visit though and the temperatures (historically a 78 degree high) are some of the best of the year. March sees the beginning of the Flower & Garden Festival.
April is big step up from the summer months in terms of weather, dropping nearly double digit degrees in average temperature. It’s also quite pretty, with all of the flowers in bloom. The problem here is that you run into spring break and Easter crowds which are as high as the summer months and sometimes exceed those crowds. Later in April is a nice time to travel to WDW though if you’re considering a spring time trip, and will be like the latter part of August but with better weather.
Stay away from Columbus Day and Thanksgiving and then November is a wonderful time to visit. The temperatures are low, Christmas décor is going up, Food & Wine is ongoing before giving way to Festival of the Holidays and crowd levels are some of the lowest that you’ll find throughout the year. The problem is that Columbus Day and Thanksgiving both take up a week each so there’s not much wiggle room. All this said, the week prior to Thanksgiving is one of the best weeks of the year to visit.
Outside of Memorial Day weekend, May offers a beautiful month to go. If you can get there in the early parts of the month then the temps aren’t dreadfully high. The flowers will be in bloom, making this one of the prettier months of the year. It doesn’t rank higher simply due to the temperature and the crowd levels aren’t quite as low as some of the following months. Flower & Garden Festival continues.
February is another month where there’s a week to stay away from thanks to Presidents Day but then the rest of the month is a great time to visit. The weather has a 74 degree average high for the month and the humidity is much lower. Epcot will have Festival of the Arts going, our favorite of the Epcot festivals. Crowds are low and so are prices, as long as you stay away from Presidents Day. Also, be on the lookout for Princess Half Marathon Weekend as that can drive up crowds and prices, although it’s a spirited time to visit!
All of the top 5 months have qualities that could put them at number one. For October, that quality is the Halloween décor and parties, mixed with average crowds and decent temperatures. The closer the month gets to Halloween, the more crowded the month can be. But going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party close to Halloween is an excellent experience. Food & Wine rages on and there are Autumn decorations throughout the parks.
September offers nearly the same thing as October but with lower crowd levels throughout the month. I value that over slightly lower temperatures, that’s why it ranks just above October. Undoubtedly, the month is less festive than October but there are still Halloween Parties and Food & Wine throughout. There aren’t many holidays to avoid here, as Labor Day doesn’t really boost the crowd levels as much as you might expect.
This might be my most unconventional pick but I love WDW in the early months of the year. Early January still offers the beautiful Christmas decorations and then the rest of the month is as quiet as Disney World gets throughout the entire year. I love the colder weather, making me rank this higher but I can understand why some would want a higher temperature. Festival of the Arts starts in January and the prices are relatively low once you get past the New Year’s rush. I highly recommend late January.
We all know that Christmas week at WDW is absolutely bonkers. But those first few weeks in the month are much more pleasant in terms of crowd levels and the parks are as pretty as anytime of the year. I love the décor and there’s more special entertainment than any other time at WDW. Not to follow the clichés but the parks are more magical during the holidays. While the first few weeks in December aren’t quite the hidden gem they used to be, they still offer low enough crowds to put this month in the top spot.
What are your favorite months to visit Walt Disney World? Let us know your thoughts, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below! Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Check out our Disney World Trip Planning Guide to help you out. If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!
Categories: Vacation Tips