When Should You Go To Disney?

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

I go to Disney World at least a couple times a year.
My dad took a job rotation in Orlando when I was 12
And ever since then we've had annual passes or some form of tickets.

I get a lot of questions about how people should plan their Disney trip,
So in honor of 3 days until my next trip this post will be about when you should visit Disney World!

The first thing you have to ask yourself is can you handle the heat?

My family generally won't travel to Orlando between the months of May-September.
It gets incredibly hot, and that's also when the year round school kids are all there
So it's very hot and its very packed.
If you're not from the South you also may not understand that this heat is thick and sticky and humid heat and its a lot more wearing on you than a dry heat.

You also need to ask yourself if there is anything in particular you want to see?

Disney hosts a plethora of events throughout the year on top of normal park events
We have a couple things that we like to hit if we can including:

The Epcot International Food and Wine Festival!

Source (and more info on the Food and Wine Fest)

This ran from late September to Early November.
Avoid the first and last weekends, this is when all the cast members like to go.
If possible avoid during the weekends.
Friday and Saturday afternoons are so packed and the atmosphere isn't exactly family friendly anymore!

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

That's me as Anna at the event last year!

Also known as MNSSHP (if you're searching on Instagram)
This is a great experience if you can make it!
You literally get to trick or treat in Magic Kingdom with a greatly reduced crowd.
Buy your tickets well in advanced and make sure you note that some weekends are more expensive than others.
The nights are almost always a Friday or Sunday from mid September to Halloween or a day or so after... so keep that in mind!
Magic Kingdom will also close early to the public on these days so if you aren't going it's still good to know!
The Fall decorations are my favorite so if you're just after that, its a good rule of thumb that as along as Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is happening, Halloween decorations will be up!

Christmas Time

This is a great time of year for a number of reasons...
The parks are decorated beautifully and the weather is usually pretty mild!
There is also a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (that I've never been to)
And I've heard really great things!

They used to have the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights!
Unfortunately this year was the last year as they are rumored to be making room for Star Wars Land in Hollywood Studios.

The best time to go for the lights, weather and crowd is between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Most people don't take their children out of school between these big breaks so crowds are smaller!

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

The Flower and Garden Festival will be between March 2 and May 30th this year!
Epcot is covered in flowers and some of the food stands from the Food & Wine fest come back around!
Your favorite characters are even scattered about the park made of flowers:

If you don't like crowds here are also some good times to avoid:

-Look for popular college spring break times (Certain times in March and maybe April).

-The whole week of Christmas, Week between Christmas and New Years, New Years Eve, Easter, Thanksgiving, and most long weekend holidays get pretty crowded. The big holidays Magic Kingdom will actually reach capacity and you will not be allowed in. It's not fun for anyone involved.

-Avoid Race Weekends! The race weekends get super crowded, hotels are more expensive, and your fun level goes down. For example, the Princess Race Weekend (usually held on my birthday weekend which keeps me from going ON my birthday) is a pretty big one held in February. The weeks before and after races can get pretty crowded too from people attending the races.

If your goal is to ride everything in an empty park the best times for low crowd are:

I should preface this by saying, based on information from cast members, there isn't really a slow time at Disney World anymore. Thanks to crowd checker apps and blog posts people found out about the slow times and the days of "5 min wait time" for every ride during these lulls doesn't exist anymore. Regardless of this, there are still slower times where you can have fun with a smaller crowd!

I have a couple friends who work for Disney and they've told me September is the best month to go for crowds! It makes sense, school has just started up and no one's really interested in taking their kids out. Its also still pretty hot and nothing is really going on (unless you hit the first weekend of food and wine/ MNSSHP)!

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas (but not the weekend before Christmas or Christmas week). Good rule of thumb for this time frame: if schools are out during a normal year round calendar then its probably going to be crowded.

Early November! I was able to hit the Food and Wine Festival and would have been able to hit Mickey's Christmas party had I stayed one more day all in the same weekend. Most people don't think Christmas party in November and Food and Wine is kind of simmering down (still avoid on weekends if possible and the last days) so these events are less crowded. Sometimes they even do the filming for the Christmas Party the first weekend they have it! You could be a star! That picture is actually me this November in a very empty Magic Kingdom!

Early February (avoid race weeks/weekends) has been slower in the past. I'm going February 5th weekend so I'll have to let you know how that goes!

Time to start planning your next trip!

Xo, Kasi

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts