Outside the Parks

Planning a Trip ⇒ When to Visit?

January

  • Pros: January is a great time to visit Disney World if you’re looking for low crowds.  Aside from Marathon Weekend and Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, this is one of the least crowded months of the year once the Christmas crowds leave.  While all the Christmas entertainment wraps up after New Year’s, the decorations usually hang around for a few weeks, so you can even enjoy a little Christmas.
  • Cons:  There aren’t many cons to visiting January.  The lower crowds could mean reduced park hours and more attractions being closed for refurbishment, so check Disney’s calendar when making plans.  It can get a little cold in the winter months, so you might want to pack some warmer clothes for the night. 
  • Seasonal Events: Epcot International Festival of the Arts
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 71° F
    • Average Low – 47° F
    • Average Rainfall – 2.9”
Illuminations - New Year's Eve

February

  • Pros: February is very similar to January in both the pros and the cons.  Expect low crowds except for the long President’s Day Weekend.
  • Cons: Like January, watch out for shortened park hours and closed attractions.  It starts getting a little warmer in February, but you should still pack for colder nights.
  • Seasonal Events: Epcot International Festival of the Arts
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 73° F
    • Average Low – 50° F
    • Average Rainfall – 2.7”
Festival of the Arts - Living Statues

March

  • Pros:  March begins the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, a beautiful display of flowers and topiaries.
  • Cons:  Many colleges have spring break during March, so crowd levels will begin to rise in March.  
  • Seasonal Events: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 78° F
    • Average Low – 54° F
    • Average Rainfall – 4.0”
Flower & Garden Festival - Snow White

April

  • Pros:  April is a beautiful time visit Walt Disney World.  The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is in full bloom.  Additionally, the other parks, as well as the resorts, will have beautiful blooming trees and flower beds.  The crowds in April will depend on where Easter falls. You’ll be in better shape from a crowd perspective if you can avoid Easter week.
  • Cons: The downside of the beauty of April is that Easter week is the second busiest time of the year after Christmas.  The crowds are slightly offset by some additional entertainment such as an easter egg hunt at Epcot, decorative Easter Eggs at the Grand Floridian and Contemporary, and the Easter Day pre-parade at the Magic Kingdom.  You can also meet Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny at the Magic Kingdom.  Overall, I’d try to avoid Easter week unless you’re constrained by a school schedule.  April is a much better month to visit when Easter falls in March.
  • Seasonal Events: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 83° F
    • Average Low – 59° F
    • Average Rainfall – 2.3”
Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny

May

  • Pros:  The beginning half of May is a pretty good time to visit Disney World while students are still in school.  The weather is also great this time of the year as it warms up heading into summer.
  • Cons:  There aren’t too many cons if you’re visiting in May.  If you don’t like the heat, it might get a little too hot for you towards the end of the month.  It can also get pretty crowded around Memorial Day, the unofficial start of Summer.
  • Seasonal Events: Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 89° F
    • Average Low – 65° F
    • Average Rainfall – 3.1”
Future World - Monorail

June

  • Pros: The main advantage of visiting in June is that it’s generally easy to schedule a trip because if you have kids they’ll be starting Summer vacation.
  • Cons: However, that pro comes with a major drawback.  The parks will be very crowded in June.  It will also be extremely hot and humid during the summer months, so you should plan for some afternoon breaks and air conditioning if you’re visiting during June through August.  June also starts the time of year when Florida gets daily isolated thunderstorms.  The rain shouldn’t ruin your whole day, but pack a poncho or umbrella for these afternoon storms.
  • Seasonal Events: None
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 91° F
    • Average Low – 71° F
    • Average Rainfall – 8.3”
Daily Poutine

July

  • Pros: Like June, there aren’t many pros to visiting in July.  The Voices of Liberty do a fantastic, patriotic show in the American Gardens Theater in Epcot.  Epcot and the Magic Kingdom both do spectacular, large scale fireworks shows.
  • Cons: Again, like June, it is going to be very hot, humid, with a high likelihood of thunderstorms.  The summer crowds are also going to reach their peak in July.  I’d avoid this month if you have any other options.
  • Seasonal Events: 4th of July Fireworks
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 92° F
    • Average Low – 73° F
    • Average Rainfall – 7.0”
American Adventure - 4th of July

August

  • Pros: The end of August brings smaller crowds as many children around the country head back to school.  Families whose children don’t go back to school until after Labor Day can take advantage of these last weeks of August without taking their kids out of school.
  • Cons:  It will still be very hot and humid in August.  The daily Summer thunderstorms continue, and there’s also the chance for Hurricanes.
  • Seasonal Events: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 92° F
    • Average Low – 73° F
    • Average Rainfall – 7.7”
Tree of Life at Night

September

  • Pros:  September is a great time to visit Walt Disney World.  It is historically one of the least busy months of the year, and you have the added benefit of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom and the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.  While there might be a slight bump in attendance over Labor Day weekend compared to the rest of September, it’s one of the slowest Holiday weekends of the year.
  • Cons:  The downside of visiting in September is that it is usually still very hot and humid with weather that is much more like Summer than Fall.  This includes thunderstorms and the chance of Hurricanes.  If you don’t mind the heat and high chance of rain, it’s a great time to take advantage of the lower crowds.
  • Seasonal Events: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 90° F
    • Average Low – 72° F
    • Average Rainfall – 5.1”
Halloween Decorations

October

  • Pros: October is similar to September in that you can take advantage of seasonal fall events at Disney World, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Food & Wine Festival.  The upside is that the weather in October is generally much cooler and drier than in September.
  • Cons: Unfortunately, October can have much higher crowd levels than in September.  This is mainly due to Columbus Day and the Jewish Holidays, but the better weather might play a part too.  Epcot can get crowded on the weekends as locals are drawn out to the Food & Wine Festival and the cooler weather.
  • Seasonal Events: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 84° F
    • Average Low – 66° F
    • Average Rainfall – 2.5”
MNSSHP - Train Station

November

  • Pros: November might be the best month of the year to visit Disney World.  If you time your trip right you might be able to hit a Halloween Party, Christmas Party, and the Food & Wine Festival.  Disney starts decorating for Christmas on November 1, so a trip this month will give a jump on celebrating Christmas.  The weather is usually pretty good in November with more moderate temperatures and a small chance of rain.  The crowds in November aren’t that bad either except for Thanksgiving.
  • Cons: While they start decorating for Christmas early, some decorations and Christmas entertainment do not begin until after Thanksgiving (like in Epcot).  Thanksgiving is crowded, but on the bright side, it’s not as bad the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
  • Seasonal Events: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (1st Two Weeks), Holidays Around the World (After Thanksgiving)
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 78° F
    • Average Low – 58° F
    • Average Rainfall – 2.1”
Grand Floridian Christmas Tree

December

  • Pros: The first two weeks of December are a great time to visits due to the lower crowds.  All the Christmas decorations and entertainment will be in full force. 
  • Cons:  The weeks of Christmas and New Year’s are the busiest time of the year at Walt Disney World.  I’d avoid these weeks if possible since the massive crowds will make the most wonderful time of the year a little less enjoyable.
  • Seasonal Events: Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Holidays Around the World, New Year’s Eve Fireworks
  • Weather:
    • Average High – 72° F
    • Average Low – 51° F
    • Average Rainfall – 2.9”
Once Upon a Christmastime Parade - Mickey and Minnie

Hopefully, all of the information above helps you decide on when you want to visit the Happiest Place on earth.  If you’re still having trouble deciding, I’ll offer the following weeks as my favorite times of year to book a vacation:

  1. Any week after Thanksgiving and before the Christmas crowds arrive (around December 15).  Christmas is my favorite time of the year, and Disney celebrates it like nowhere else.
  2. Any week in September.  September is great because of the low crowds and also getting to experience Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Food & Wine Festival.  While it could still be hot and humid, it’s much more tolerable compared to July.
  3. Any week from the middle of January through the beginning of March.  The best week for you depends on whether you’d like to see the Festival of the Arts or the Flower and Garden Festival.  January and February will have cooler temperatures and will feature the Festival of the Arts. This festival is more entertainment focused with Disney on Broadway concerts, living statues, performance art, and various bands.  March will be warmer with the Flower and Garden Festival which has less entertainment but brings out the beauty of the park through colorful flower beds and impressive topiaries. 

* All weather statistics from weather.com

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