Q: When is the best time to visit Walt Disney World?
A: Crowd trends have been changing drastically the last few years as Disney continues to expand and roll out new attractions, festivals, and lands. It's definitely making it trickier to predict crowd levels and best travel times. Walt Disney World is a very popular place, and I'd say the true "low" season is nearly completely extinct. More and more parents are pulling their children out of school to take a vacation in the cooler months and to avoid the crowds, which is making the crowd levels more moderate throughout the year. Historically, summer months were the busiest, but we're seeing Disney currently rolling out fantastic promotions to encourage more summer travel - something we wouldn't have seen in the past.
Realistic expectations go a long way when traveling at theme parks - for both children and adults!
You WILL likely have to wait in some lines, there will be times of crowded walkways and it's Florida, you'll probably be hot at some point. I highly recommend planning your dining and very favorite attractions via Fastpass+ months in advance, and then going with the flow for the rest of the trip! There's just no way to see everything in one trip.
That said, I can only tell you MY personal favorite times to visit Disney. Our family tries to vacation in the off-seasons to save money, as well as beat the crowds and heat. Our favorite months to travel are February, May, and September through November. Be careful here to generalize too much; there are select weeks in each of these months I would actively avoid due to holidays, special Disney events and pre-planned group travel that takes place at Disney that week each year. If you're concerned your travel dates fall in an incredibly crowded week, reach out to me and I can help you figure out which dates are best.
Now let me tell you when I WON'T go to Disney. Hey, I dislike mega-crowds just like everyone else, and I don't love standing in long lines either! With any major holiday crowds will be increased, and the 'big daddy' of them all is Christmas (and New Years, too). You can count on big crowds and longer than normal wait times. In the past Disney has even had to stop allowing guests to enter the park due to being at max capacity as early as 9 or 10am on Christmas Day.
Disney World is absolutely gorgeous during the holidays, read more about Christmas at Walt Disney World here. We try to visit each year - it's magical! However, I always will suggest visiting in November or early December (TIP: they put up the holiday decor the night after Halloween!). If you absolutely must travel during the period of December 23 through the first week of January, I would set expectations that it will be crowded, but with the right attitude, it'll still be a merry time at the Happiest Place on Earth.
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