Best Time to Visit Disney World (By an Orlando Local)
The best time to visit Disney World, especially for fewer crowds and good prices, is in September. Summer vacation has ended and most families are back home, settling in for the new school year.
Of course, September is just one of the many “low periods” that Disney experiences throughout the year. There are some differences on the best time depending on if you are looking for great weather, short lines, etc.
I was a Cast Member at Disney for 12 years and I visited the Disney parks frequently, so I have seen how the crowds and prices can fluctuate throughout the year. In this guide, I’ll help you decide exactly when to visit Disney World for the best experience.
Table of Contents
- When is the Best Time to Visit Disney World
- Walt Disney World by Month
- Disney World Weather and Climate
- Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World
- FAQs About Visiting Disney
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When is the Best Time to Visit Disney World
September is the best overall month to visit Disney World. Other than Labor Day, there are no holidays to bring in crowds and most families have returned home for the school year. This is therefore the least crowded time of year to visit Disney World.
There is some nuance to determining the best time for YOUR Walt Disney World vacation. I’ll break down the different factors that go into determining the best times to visit Disney and give you my recommendation on the best times of the year. You can also check out my Disney World itinerary for a step-by-step daily planner.
When to Go to Walt Disney World for Good Weather
The best time to go to Disney World for pleasant weather is in March-May. April receives the least amount of rain on average. The high temperatures range from 75-85 degrees, which is perfect for walking around the theme parks or taking a dip in the pool.
October and November also offer comfortable temperatures. However, hurricane season runs through the end of November. Since most people plan their vacations far in advance, I recommend spring over fall due to the risk of tropical storms or hurricanes.
📚 Related Reading: In addition to the great weather, find out why spring is my recommended time to visit Orlando.
When to Go to Walt Disney World for Cheap Prices
The cheapest time to visit Walt Disney World is in January and February, excluding holiday weekends. By the second week of January, the holiday crowds and WDW marathon runners have cleared out. From then until spring break starts in early March, you can find hotel deals. Plus, park tickets will be at their lowest rates. Read my Disney World budget guide for more tips.
There are other affordable periods throughout the year though. The cheapest days to visit the parks or stay at Walt Disney World are Sunday-Thursday. Plan your visit when children are in school, no festivals or events are taking place, and there are no national holidays to save the most money.
📚 Related Reading: Check out my guide to visiting Orlando on a budget to read my tips on how to make your vacation to Orlando as affordable as possible.
When to Go to Walt Disney World for Sunny Pool Days
April through early October is the best time to visit Disney World for sunny pool weather. The Walt Disney World hotels and nearby hotels have some of the best pools in Florida, so I always recommend planning for some swim time.
April, May, and October average the least amount of rain, but the temperatures will be cooler than in the middle of summer. There is an afternoon thunderstorm almost every day of the summer at Disney World. Don’t let this ruin your pool plans though, because the storms typically move through within an hour.
🛎️ Want a Hotel With an Epic Pool? Check out hotels near Walt Disney World on Booking and read my article, where to stay in Orlando, to see my recommendations.
When to Go to Walt Disney World for Families and Kids
To maximize the fun for children, I recommend visiting Walt Disney World during one of the low seasons. Families can spend less time waiting in lines and therefore enjoy more attractions during their visit.
Some of these low periods include:
- January and February
- September to mid-December (excluding holidays and long weekends)
Since many children cannot miss school for a vacation, the next best time to visit Disney World for families would be on a long holiday weekend. These weekends bring in crowds, but it will not be as bad as the summer or winter holidays.
👉 Pro Tip: If you have some extra time during your trip, head outside of the resort and check out some of the fun stuff to do in Orlando with your family.
When to Go to Walt Disney World to Avoid Crowds
The most prolific crowds at Disney are during summer break and the winter holidays. Throughout the rest of the year, you’ll find the least-crowded times on weekdays when school is in session. In my experience, January, February, and November (other than Thanksgiving week) have the lowest crowds overall.
Disney hosts special events, like festivals and marathons, throughout the year. These events can draw in unexpected crowds during low seasons. I like to check out this crowd calendar. This is an unofficial calendar that uses past data, hotel and ticket prices, and event dates to estimate the crowd levels at different Orlando theme parks throughout the year.
When to Go to Walt Disney World for Adults
Many people think of Disney World as a vacation destination for families, but there are plenty of activities for grown-up kids too. Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival, which takes place in the fall, is a huge draw for adults looking to eat and drink “around the world” while touring Epcot. Thanks to the popularity of the Food and Wine Festival, Disney now offers specialty food and drink options at all of Epcot’s festivals throughout the year.
There will always be kids at Walt Disney World, but for adults looking to minimize the crying babies and over-tired children during their vacation, plan a visit while school is in session.
👉 Pro Tip: Parents are less likely to pull their kids out of school during testing weeks, so visiting Disney World during the end of school semesters often means fewer kids at the parks.
Walt Disney World by Month
- ☔ Weather – January is the coldest month in Florida, but that cold is all relative. Expect average temperatures from 50-70 degrees. There is usually rain as cold fronts move through, but you can expect sunshine on most days.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – Other than Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend and New Year’s Day, most of January will have fewer crowds.
- 💵 Prices – Again, other than the holidays, you can expect to find some deals on hotels, and theme park tickets should be near their lower levels.
- 🎉 Events – Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, Epcot International Festival of the Arts
- ☔ Weather – February is slightly warmer than January, with lows in the mid-50s and highs around 75-degrees. Sunny days are quite comfortable for visiting the theme parks.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – Some parts of the country have a week-long school break in February, known as “ski week” to some. While Florida schools don’t have this break, it can create moderate crowds in the middle of the month and near Presidents Day weekend.
- 💵 Prices – Early February and the last week of February usually have reasonable prices, but there may be some price surges in the middle of the month. The Princess Half Marathon Weekend will fill up many of the Disney hotels.
- 🎉 Events – Epcot International Festival of the Arts, Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
- ☔ Weather – March’s weather varies from year-to-year. On average, the lows are around 60-degrees and the highs are just shy of 80-degrees. However, Disney World has experienced some unusually cold and unusually warm Marches historically.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – The first couple of weeks of March have moderate crowds because universities and a few school districts have their spring breaks. By mid-March, spring break season is in full swing and the theme parks will be full.
- 💵 Prices – Occasionally, Disney will offer deals on certain dates in March based on projected attendance and room vacancy, but do not plan on it. The spring break crowds tend to fill up the parks and resorts.
- 🎉 Events – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
- ☔ Weather – The old cliche about April showers isn’t quite accurate for Disney World. April averages the least amount of rainfall by month. April brings comfortable spring break weather with temperatures ranging on average from 65 to 85-degrees.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – The first half of April is still spring break season for Disney World. Expect long wait times and lots of families.
- 💵 Prices – Once the spring breakers return home, prices tend to drop for the rest of April and until mid-May.
- 🎉 Events – runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend, Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Earth Day Celebration at Animal Kingdom, Dapper Days
- ☔ Weather – May is a beautiful month in Orlando. The rainy season usually hasn’t begun and the temperatures reach the mid-80s during the day. Low temperatures around 70-degrees create pleasant evenings.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – The first week of May is one of my favorite times to take a Disney vacation because there are no school breaks and you can enjoy lower crowds at the parks. The exception is Hollywood Studios, where Star Wars fans flock to celebrate “May the Fourth” and “Revenge of the Fifth”. Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer peak season.
- 💵 Prices – Look for vacation packages to save money before the summer months begin.
- 🎉 Events – Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
- ☔ Weather – June marks the beginning of the hurricane season, but large storms are unpredictable and infrequent. However, June is also the start of the rainy season, so be prepared for afternoon showers on most days. The summer heat has set in by this time and you can expect the high temperatures to reach approximately 90 degrees. Evenings will no longer feel as comfortable because the humidity remains high and temperatures only drop into the mid-70s.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – June starts the busy summer months at Disney World. Be prepared for long wait times at the theme parks and full pools at the resorts.
- 💵 Prices – Do not expect to find any deals on a Disney resort room or local hotel room as many families take their summer vacation during June.
- 🎉 Events – Gay Days
- ☔ Weather – July has similar weather to June. High temperatures average around 90 degrees, the humidity is high, and afternoon showers are frequent.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – If you visit Disney World in July, you will see why this is one of the busiest times to visit Disney. You’ll want to plan ahead to maximize your vacation time because there will be lines to enter the parks, for all the attractions, and even to eat at restaurants.
- 💵 Prices – The highest prices in July will be around Independence Day. There will most likely not be any deals throughout the rest of the month.
- 🎉 Events – Independence Day fireworks at the Magic Kingdom
- ☔ Weather – August continues the pattern of hot and humid summer weather in Orlando. On average, August is the hottest time to visit Disney World. Make sure you are staying hydrated and taking breaks from the sun during this time because the heat index reaches over 100 degrees most days.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – Early August is still a peak time for Disney vacations, but there can be lower crowds by the end of the month.
- 💵 Prices – If you visit Disney World towards the end of August, you may be able to find some better prices. Ticket prices will start to decrease as the summer crowds decrease.
- 🎉 Events – Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- ☔ Weather – Usually, September remains just as hot as the rest of the summer, with high temperatures around 90 degrees. Sometimes, the weather begins cooling (ever so slightly) by the end of the month.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – September is a good time to go to Disney World with fewer crowds. American students are back in school, but there are still international families visiting.
- 💵 Prices – Weekdays in September can offer great prices for a Disney World vacation. Start looking at prices approximately 6 months out for deals.
- 🎉 Events – After Hours Boo Bash (previously Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party), Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- ☔ Weather – Just like March, October weather fluctuates from year-to-year. This is the month when the weather transitions from summer to fall, but it doesn’t always happen at the same time. Daytime temperatures can reach the mid-80s and the nights begin to finally cool down below 70 degrees.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – October used to be the off-season at Disney World, but I have noticed more crowds in recent years. The combination of good weather and Halloween events bring in tourists.
- 💵 Prices – The first half of October usually has good prices. As you get closer to Halloween, Disney resort rooms and tickets increase in price.
- 🎉 Events – After Hours Boo Bash (previously Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party), Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- ☔ Weather – Compared to the rest of the country, November weather at Disney World is still considered quite warm. The average high temperature is 75 degrees and the average low temperature is 60 degrees. This is the last month of the hurricane season.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – Early to mid-November is a great time to go to Disney World for low crowds and Christmas decorations.
- 💵 Prices – Avoid Thanksgiving Week, which will have the highest prices of the month.
- 🎉 Events – Holidays at Disney Springs, Disney Very Merriest After Hours, Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, ESPN Events Invitational (NCAA Basketball), holiday entertainment and decor at the theme parks, Dapper Days
- ☔ Weather – Don’t expect a white Christmas at the Magic Kingdom. The temperatures reach the low 70s on average. The evenings cool down to a chilly but comfortable 55 degrees.
- 🧑🏻🤝🧑🏾 Crowds – Holiday-themed events and holiday decorations bring in major crowds during winter break. In early December, you can still enjoy the holiday season with low crowds.
- 💵 Prices – Theme park tickets are at their highest prices during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The major holidays also fill up the Disney resorts and off-property hotels.
- 🎉 Events – Holidays at Disney Springs, Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, Candlelight Processional, Disney Very Merriest After Hours (previously Very Merry Christmas Party), holiday entertainment and decor at the theme parks
👉 A Note on Events: Disney hosts special events and festivals throughout the year, including official and unofficial events. The event dates and names regularly change. I have listed all the events in the months that they traditionally take place. Always check Disney’s events website for the most up-to-date information.
Disney World Weather and Climate
Temperatures range from 50-70 degrees in the winter to 70-90 degrees in the summer. While the summer heat can seem unbearable sometimes, breaks at the pool and in air conditioning make it manageable.
The rest of the year is generally comfortable and you’ll see a variety of clothing choices. Locals tend to bundle up when the temperature drops below 70 degrees but visitors from up north will still be rocking shorts and t-shirts (see my Disney packing list for tips).
The summer is the rainy season at Disney World. I’m sad to tell you that rumors of the Walt Disney Company having a weather bubble around the resort just aren’t true. However, the summer showers pass quickly so they won’t ruin your whole day. Hurricane season occurs from June to November every year, but the chances of a storm directly hitting the area are low.
The humidity stays over 50% year-round and reaches the highest levels during the summer. This can be a drastic change for some people, so I recommend wearing cool and breathable fabrics.
🏰 Read Next: Best Time to Visit Disneyland
Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World
You should see my full list of 49 Disney World tips, but here are 3 essential things to know if you are short on time:
Prepare for a Crowd
The crowds at the parks fluctuate based on the season, ticket prices, and many more factors, so there is always a chance for large crowds. Be mentally prepared for long wait times so it doesn’t ruin your Disney World trip.
👉 Read Next: My Top Things to Do in Central Florida
Take Advantage of Park Hours
If you go to Disney World during the busiest times of the year, one perk is that the parks will have extended park hours. Take advantage of the early mornings and late nights when crowds are the thinnest. The late nights are one of the best times to visit the Star Wars attractions at Hollywood Studios.
Start Planning Early
You can reserve a Disney hotel room 499 days in advance, so that leaves plenty of time for planning. By doing your research early, you can book experiences and park tickets as soon as they become available. Waiting until the last minute often means that dining reservations are all taken and special events may be sold out.
If you want someone else to do the planning legwork for you, just follow one of my pre-planned Disney itineraries:
FAQs About Visiting Disney
When is the best time to visit around the holidays?
How many days do you need to visit Disney World?
To see and do everything when you go to Disney World, spend 7 days at the resort. Use four days to visit one park per day. Use the remaining days to enjoy the pool at your resort, hang out at Disney Springs, visit one of the water parks, and go miniature golfing.
Is Disney World better than Disneyland?
Disney World is a larger resort with 30 hotels, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, and Disney Springs. It offers more for families to experience during their vacation.
Which park is the least crowded?
The least-crowded park can vary from day to day based on the season and special events, but typically Animal Kingdom has the fewest visitors. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest park, which helps the crowds to seem more spread out.
How far is Universal Orlando from Disney World?
Universal Orlando is approximately 20 minutes away from Disney World by car. Many local hotels will offer shuttle services to both Disney and Universal.
👉 Read Next: The Best Things to Do in the State of Florida
No matter when you go to Disney World, you are in for a magical trip. Now that you’ve narrowed down when to visit, you can continue the rest of your Disney vacation planning.
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