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The Best (+ Worst) Times to Visit Disney World

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Disney World is one of the happiest places on Earth! However, you won’t be too happy if you’re waiting in line for hours, unable to get reservations, or melting in the Florida heat.
The Orlando area is one of the most visited tourist spots in the world. As a Central Florida native, I’m no stranger to the crowds, tourists, chaos, entertainment, and kids. Central Florida is awesome and I love my [coastal] hometown. I’m thrilled that people from all over the world come to visit the beauty of Florida and channel their inner child to experience all of the theme parks. But with millions of people visiting every year, is there ever a good time to visit Disney World?

The Worst Times to Visit Disney World

Updated for 2022-2023 Dates!

Let’s start with the times you absolutely want to avoid unless there’s simply not another option (because even going during the worst times is better than not going at all!)

The last two weeks of December

  • Those weeks are festive, fun, beautiful, and typically feature much cooler temperatures, but Disney is completely over-crowded. It’s not uncommon for Magic Kingdom to reach capacity once or twice during Christmas week.
      • Alternate Option: If possible, visit sometime after Thanksgiving weekend, but before the third weekend of December. Back in college, I would go to Magic Kingdom on Wednesdays in early December and would literally walk right onto rides.
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    Magic Kingdom crowds on a Friday evening in early December.

Summer Months

  • Even more than the holidays, we completely avoid Disney World during the summer. I get it. If you have children in school you’re probably pretty bummed to read this, but not only are the crowds at all-time highs, but it’s HOT. Extreme heat, humidity, long lines, and massive crowds make for irritable tourists and miserable days.
    • Pro-Tip: If you must visit during the summer months, don’t be scared away by rain. Florida experiences afternoon thunderstorms pretty often during the summer and the parks tend to clear out when it pours. Luckily, these storms can disappear pretty quickly. Stick around and wait it out. You’ll be happy you did.

Spring Break + National Holidays

  • Because travelers are coming from all over the world, the Spring Break crowds are typically pretty constant from mid-March to mid-April. If you insist on revolving your vacation dates around the school schedule, Spring Break might be the most enjoyable time as the weather isn’t quite as hot as summer and the crowds aren’t quite as thick.
  • National holidays like Easter, 4th of July, Labor Day, etc. are always packed. Pick a different weekend, if you can.

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The Best Times to Visit Disney World

First of all, always go on a weekday over the weekend, if possible. However, most of us cannot skip around the parks on any given Tuesday, but if you can take the time off from work, go for it!

But guess what? I’m an annual passholder and I live less than 90 minutes from the Happiest Place on Earth, but I simply can’t go on weekdays that often. We go on Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays – a lot. As any good Disney AP, we use our passes as often as possible. I think we visited Disney World close to 30 times (maybe more?!) last year. We’ve been there during the worst crowds and on some of the best days.

 

Month By Month Guide

While this isn’t a specific guide for any particular year, it’s one you can loosely use when planning a Disney vacation any year. See below for our favorite weeks throughout the year!

January:

Avoid the Disney Marathon Weekend and the weekend around Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The end of the month (typically 20th – 31st) are some of the smallest crowds.
TWF FAVORITE: End of January  (ex: January 24-31, 2022 & January 23-31, 2023)

February:

The first two weeks are some of the best weeks to visit, but crowds pick up around President’s Day and the Princess Half Marathon weekend.
TWF FAVORITE: February 1-11, 2022 & February 1-10, 2023

March:

Spring Break begins this month and spreads throughout April. Keep an eye on when Easter weekend is for the year you’re visiting. *Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival is usually March-May. TWF Favorite: March 1-4, 2022 & March 1-8, 2023

April:

Typically between Spring Break and Easter, early in the month is packed. Mid-April and late April might be your best bet. The Star Wars Half Marathon will increase the crowds a little, too.

May:

The beginning to middle of May starts to get much hotter in Central Florida, but it can be a great time to visit with smaller crowds. I think it’s one of the most under-rated months to go because we’ve literally walked onto rides on an early May trip.
TWF FAVORITE: Second week of May : May 9-13, 2022 & May 8-12, 2023

June:

Summer crowds begin, but aren’t at their worst yet.

July:

Summer crowds are at their worst around 4th of July weekend. We avoid the month of July.

August:

Summer crowds start to dissipate towards the end of the month. This is usually the hottest month of the year

September :

After Labor Day weekend, September can be one of the best months to visit!
TWF FAVORITE: Mid-late September: September 12 – 30, 2022  or September 11 – 30, 2023

October:

The very first few days of October are the best of the month. Fall can be a wonderful time in Florida, but Halloween festivities and Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival make the weekends very busy.
2022 Food & Wine Festival: July 14 (early!!) til November 19, 2022

November:

The Wine & Dine Half Marathon is really popular this month. Pick a weekend between the Half Marathon and Thanksgiving, or go the week right after Thanksgiving.
TWF FAVORITE: November 1 – 16, 2022 or November 1 – 17, 2023 (Thanksgiving falls at the very end of the month in 2019).

December:

Crowds at the beginning of the month are never as bad as the two weeks around Christmas. It really is a magical time of year at Disney World, so make sure you get there at least once during the holiday season!
TWF FAVORITE: Beginning of December (ex: December 1 – 9, 2022 or December 4 – 8, 2023) *You’ll still experience moderate crowds, but the holidays are totally worth it!

When do you plan to visit Disney World?!

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Jasmine

Thursday 11th of January 2018

I went last year end of Jan/beginning of Feb DURING the week and it was the best decision ever. I plan to plan future Disney trips to include weekdays only and if not, at least half of the trip to include weekdays.

Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew

Tuesday 9th of January 2018

You're right on the money with these tips! It's so funny how busy February and March can get now that all the Louisianans head to WDW for Mardi Gras! We still make the trip every year though because it's tradition and it's also fun to run into familiar faces all through the parks!

Kirsty Pickering Bott

Monday 8th of January 2018

I live in Australia so reading this makes me envious that you have an annual pass and can visit Disney World anytime you like!!!!! Some great tips here, thank you for sharing.

Dee

Sunday 7th of January 2018

Great tips here. I HATE going to Disney because of the crowds so I have avoided it. But I live in South Florida and feel like my daughter is missing out. I will try during one of these slow seasons you mentioned.

Annette Dattilo

Saturday 6th of January 2018

Such a helpful post. Our family has yet to visit, but the crowd factor stresses me out. Thank you for sharing.

Katherine

Sunday 7th of January 2018

So happy this was helpful! The crowds are one of a kind at Disney lol so it's understandable. :)