So, you have decided that it is finally time for you to take your little Pirate or Princess to the “Most Magical Place on Earth”. But now it’s time for the decisions to be made.
When is a good time to go? Where to stay? How many days do I need to be there? What is there to see? Wow! The possibilities are endless!!
Never fear! I’ve come to help.
Over the course of my next several posts, I will start a series: Walt Disney World-The Basics
So, let’s start this off with one of the main questions that I’m asked….
“What time of year is the best time to go?”
Well, the answer to that is a resounding….”It depends”. What?! It depends?! That’s right. It depends.
Let’s take a look at some of the factors involved in timing the perfect trip for you and your family.
- Crowd levels, “When are the theme parks most crowded?”
- Temperatures, “How HOT does it really get in the summer?”
- Rainfall, “If I don’t get the timing right, is my time and money going to be washed away by all the rain?”
- Special Events, “Are there any special events that I don’t want to miss at Walt Disney World?”
- Holiday Seasons, “What are the Parks like during the Holidays? Does Disney do anything special?” – OK that one is a little crazy….If there is one thing that Disney does well, it’s “Special”. Especially at the Holidays!
So, let’s start with Crowds. The general rule is, if kids are out of school, expect larger crowds in the Parks. Most parents try to avoid taking their children out of school to go on vacation. OK, so that’s summer, right? Well, not necessarily. Families tend to travel any time their kids are out of school. That also means all major holidays will show larger attendance numbers.
Below is a chart showing historic crowd levels over the course of the year:
Just as you would imagine, the summer months are among the busiest. But if you look, even busier than the summer are the holidays. From President’s Day in February to Spring Break/Easter in the spring, to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, the holiday periods are among the busiest days of the whole year.
So, if you are looking specifically to avoid the crowds, and have the luxury of traveling while kids are in school, it looks like September, or early December would be right up your alley.
While crowds are a factor, how about temperatures? If you are someone who doesn’t mind crowds, but can’t stand the heat, when are the best times for you?
Well, I have you covered there as well:
If you are someone looking to avoid the heat, you will want to stick to the October – April time frame. During this period, highs are generally in the mid 70’s to mid 80’s. On the other hand, if you will be spending your evenings in the Theme Parks, or enjoy the pools or Water Parks, perhaps lows in the 40’s and 50’s might be a little chilly for you. Keep in mind that these are averages, and as a wise man once said, “Averages are only the mid-point of the extremes.” What does that mean, who knows. It sounds good though. 🙂 Actually, what it means is although these are averages, weather is unpredictable and you may be faced with an “extreme” condition. A few years back, my family traveled to Walt Disney World the first week in December. Coming from Ohio, we are used to cold winters. While attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, they were pumping in fake “snow” on Main Street. While we knew it was fake, we had to stop and think about it because we were freezing and thought for a second that it could actually be real.
OK. How rainy is it in Florida? Will all of the “magic” be washed away? As you would expect, the summer months generally see the most rainfall.
The good news is, even in the summer, the rain doesn’t last forever. In most cases, the rain passes fairly quickly and you can move on with your day. If you are looking to avoid that possibility, however, Spring, Fall, or Winter may be the time for you.
While we all know that Disney doesn’t do anything unless they can do it “special”, there are many special events that are run all year long.
Some of the special events include:
- Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – March-May
- Star Wars Weekends – June
- Sounds Like Summer Concert Series – Summer
- Night of Joy – September
- Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – October-November
The holiday season is among the most magical time to be in Walt Disney World. There are many families that plan their annual trips around the holiday season solely to experience all that Disney has to offer during this amazing time.
Disney’s annual holiday events include:
- Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – September-October
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – November-December
- The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – November-December
- Holidays Around the World / Candlelight Processional – November-December
Are you a runner? If so, Disney has something for you. Several times a year, Walt Disney World plays host to thousands of runners as they compete in several endurance challenges.
Some of the challenges you may choose to take part in include:
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend – January
- Disney Princess Half Marathon – February
- Expedition Everest Challenge – May
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend – September
- Disney Wine & Dine Marathon – November
So, all this to say, “What time of year is the best time to go? It depends.” One thing is for certain, no matter what time of year you choose for your family, there is so much to see and do. You will have a wonderful time!
Interested in hearing more about any of these events, or planning out the perfect time for you and your little Pirate or Princess to be part of the magic? Contact me today for your no obligation quote.
And, make sure you stay tuned for the rest in the series, Walt Disney World – The Basics. See you soon!