- Park hours
- Special events.
Some sweet-spot times in the year are noted at the bottom of this page--- but first let's consider these four factors. You might change your mind about the best time to visit!
Extended Park Hours & Special Events
Yes, the busiest times of year are crowded, but they also have benefits: extended hours, special parades, etc.
During summer, the Magic Kingdom theme park is often open until 11 p.m. or later; during Christmas and New Year's, it will probably be open until midnight, and Epcot until 10 p.m.
Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney's Hollywood Studios are a lot of fun after dark, and you'll often find a special night parade, fireworks, and/or shows that only happen when the park is open late. For example, during a visit we made in June day-time crowds were intense but night-time in MK was delightful: no wait for rides, fireworks at 10, and at 11 pm, an extra Spectral Parade. Peak periods do have their benefits.
As for special events, many people would consider Disney Christmas -- with spectacular lights and festivities -- a "best time to visit" despite the crowds. Star Wars Weekends in June, and the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival in spring (with free Flower Power concerts) are other fun times.
For park hours, check the calendars for individual theme parks at the Walt Disney World site. For special events by month, try this calendar at AllEarsNet.com.
Expect plenty of heat and humidity during summer, which sounds horrendous with small kids and long line-ups... but for many rides, line-ups are under shade or in air-conditioned areas; plus, you can take coping measures. Ride a "wet ride" to cool down. Leave the park in the afternoon, then return for night-time.
Summertime often brings thunderstorms but the rain rarely lasts long, and cools things down. Bring plastic ponchos, or buy the Mickey poncho on the spot. Hurricanes are rarely a problem, because Orlando is inland. (See more about Florida hurricane season).
Crowds- Busiest (and Least Busy) Times
Also affecting best times to visit is visitor volume: i.e. when are the parks least crowded and most crowded? For example, the end of April, after Spring Break, has moderate attendance; January and early February, and fall months, have low attendance.
Another factor to consider regarding when to Visit Disney World is variation in the seasonal prices for Walt Disney World Resorts. Count up six different "Seasons" for pricing: Value, Regular, Summer, Peak, Fall, and Holiday. Sample dates: Value Season, January 2 to February 15, August 5 to Sept. 27; Regular Season, Feb. 26 to March 8, April 15 to May 31; Summer Season, June 1 to August 4; Fall, Sept 28 to Oct 4, Oct. 8 to Nov. 16, Nov 24 to Dec 20; Peak Season, Feb 16 to 25, March 9 to April 14; Holiday, December 21 to December 31 plus various holidays through the year.* (These are sample dates only; there are variations even within the seasons. See details at Mousesavers.com.)
Best Bets for When to Visit Disney World
Many fans have praised the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas as a top time to visit, with the parks decorated for Christmas, but not much in the way of crowds. Seems like too many people may be in on this secret, though; Mousesavers' authors have reported heavy crowds. Be aware, too, that the Magic Kingdom closes early some nights, and weather may be too cool for the water parks. Still, this remains a recommended time for enjoying the park decorations before peak season.
Other recommended times:
- January, after school starts back following the holidays.
- Late April, after spring break, until Memorial Day. This period includes Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, when you can enjoy free concerts with name bands from the sixties and seventies.
- Late August: many schools in the southeast are back in session, and crowds are typically less. Also, resort prices drop somewhat. Watch out, though, for earlier park closings!
-Check prices for resorts near Disney World, at Kayak.com
-Check flights and car rentals
Buy Direct: purchase your theme park tickets in advance at Kijubi.com
* Always check destination websites for updates!