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When Is the Best Time of Year to Visit Walt Disney World?

The Vacationeer is the exclusive travel partner of WDWNT. Visit wdwnt.travel to enlist their help in planning your next Disney vacation!

The first step to planning a Walt Disney World vacation is deciding the best time to visit. Work, school, and other family obligations will influence your decision, but there are other important factors to consider. These include the crowds, the cost (promotions), weather, seasonal events, park hours, and so forth. 

With the pandemic, choosing the best week to go to Walt Disney World in 2021 is no easy task. But let’s take a look at what we know about these factors from before the pandemic.

Crowds at Walt Disney World

Crowds are an inevitable part of the Disney experience. That said, some times of the year are less crowded than others.

Generally speaking, crowds are lower during non-vacation weekdays (i.e., when school is in session) and when the operating hours of Disney’s theme parks are shorter. Conversely, crowd levels tend to be at their highest on weekends, holiday weeks, when school is out of session (Spring Break, Summer Break, Fall Break, Christmas/New Year’s), and when the operating hours at Disney’s theme parks are longer. Checking a crowd calendar that estimates crowds each day at each park can also be helpful.

Based on these factors historically, we expect that the best times to visit Walt Disney World in 2021 will be:

  • January 25 – February 11
  • February 22 – March 5
  • April 19 – 29
  • Weekdays in May
  • Last 2 weeks in August – End of September (minus Labor Day weekend)
  • Weekdays in October and November (minus Thanksgiving week/weekends)
  • Weekdays in December (minus the weeks near Christmas and New Year’s)

We expect the worst times to visit Walt Disney World in 2021 will be:

  • January 1 -11; January 18 – 20
  • February 12 – 21
  • March 6 – April 11
  • Weekends in May
  • June, July, and the first 2 weeks in August
  • Thanksgiving week and weekends
  • The last two weeks in December (Christmas and New Year’s)

Disney has changed its ticket pricing to incentivize attendance with lower prices during less crowded times. While crowds have evened out more as a result, the trend remains intact for the most part. September and October are among the best times to visit, and holiday weeks, weekends, school breaks, and summer remain the most crowded times of the year.

Do you have questions, or are you ready to book your 2021 trip? Contact The Vacationeer today for a free quote and start planning the magical Disney family vacation you’ve always wanted.

Least Expensive Time to Visit Walt Disney World

In a typical year, the least expensive time to visit Walt Disney World is when demand is low. Walt Disney World runs special promotions throughout the year. These often include the free Disney Dining Plan offer and discounted vacation packages on hotel stays, theme park tickets, or a combination of the two. Disney’s promotions act as an incentive to entice more visitors during the slower times of the year.

The most expensive time of year to visit Disney World is when the demand is greatest. In addition to the timeframes noted above when the parks are most crowded, demand (and prices) tend to be higher when Disney hosts a special event or festival.

Month-by-Month Weather and Events

The central Florida region is prone to hot, humid, and stormy weather during the summer months and mild to cool temperatures during the winter months. Most people prefer Florida’s spring and fall weather, but the winter weather is still quite nice.

Here’s a rundown of what you can expect for each month:

festival of the arts stock photo

January

  • Average high: 71°
  • Average low: 52°
  • Days of precipitation: 5

January is Disney’s coldest month, but that’s not saying much. Once the New Year’s Eve crowds have cleared out, January is a nice time to visit Walt Disney World. The crowds are light and the temps aren’t bad (if you don’t mind wearing layers). It does get dark earlier and the operating hours are shorter. Epcot’s newest festival, the Festival of the Arts, begins in January and has quickly become a fan favorite during the winter months.

February

  • Average high: 73°
  • Average low: 54°
  • Days of precipitation: 5

Early February isn’t crowded but, by the middle of the month, there’s a huge swell as schools are off for February break. Like January, the daylight hours and theme park operating hours are reduced.

March

  • Average high: 78°
  • Average low: 56°
  • Days of precipitation: 5

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival begins in March and the park experiences some of the best weather Florida sees all year. As long as you avoid the Spring Break crowd, March is a nice month to head to the park.

Mr & Mrs Easter Bunny are visiting the Magic Kingdom!

April

  • Average high: 82°
  • Average low: 63°
  • Days of precipitation: 3

April brings beautiful flowers to the parks and the weather is generally pleasant. Disney gets crowded around Easter break as the parks fill up with vacationing families and college students. Kids can meet the Easter Bunny and Magic Kingdom hosts the Easter Parade on Easter Sunday.

May

  • Average high: 87°
  • Average low: 69°
  • Days of precipitation: 7

Disney starts to really heat up in May. With the exception of Memorial Day weekend – which is infamous for its heavy crowds – May isn’t usually too crowded. If you like it warm (but not scorching hot) then this is a good month to come.

June

  • Average high: 89°
  • Average low: 73°
  • Days of precipitation: 11

Crowds are moderate to heavy in June, and rain is fairly common. The parks are open longer so you may want to get an early start, then take a swim back at your hotel’s pool at lunchtime, and go back to the parks later in the afternoon.

July

  • Average high: 90°
  • Average low: 75°
  • Days of precipitation: 13

July is characterized by sunny, humid weather and plenty of rain. The park gets crowded for Magic Kingdom’s Fourth of July Fireworks display, but they are really spectacular and worth the trip. If you don’t like crowds and hot weather, July is probably a good month to avoid.

August

  • Average high: 91°
  • Average low: 75°
  • Days of precipitation: 13

August is all about air conditioning and the pool. Don’t forget that Walt Disney World has two amazing water parks. Crowds are heavy during the first half of the month but then start to taper off as kids get ready to go back to school.

September

  • Average high: 89°
  • Average low: 74°
  • Days of precipitation: 9

Central Florida remains hot and humid in September, but it’s still a great month to head to Walt Disney World. The park is much less crowded because the kids have gone back to school.  Two beloved events, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, usually start in August and run through all of September and October.

October

  • Average high: 84°
  • Average low: 68°
  • Days of precipitation: 5

October is quite possibly the best month of the year to visit Disney World. The temperatures and humidity ease, the crowds are light to moderate, and the weather is just gorgeous. In addition, the Food and Wine Festival is still going on at Epcot, and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is hitting its stride.

November

  • Average high: 77°
  • Average low: 60°
  • Days of precipitation: 4

The weather is fantastic during the month of November. Crowds tend to be fairly low during the first half of the month and you should be able to get on the rides without a long wait. However, Thanksgiving week is extremely crowded because schools are out on break. You’ll be able to check out Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party towards the end of the month. As long as you avoid Thanksgiving week, November is a great month to plan a Disney vacation.

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December

  • Average high: 74°
  • Average low: 56°
  • Days of precipitation: 4

December starts off with light to moderate crowds and a festive atmosphere. The beautiful decorations and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party make the first two weeks among the best times to be at Disney World. But the crowds swell around Christmas and New Year’s, making it hard to stay in a cheery holiday mood with so many people around.

Which Month is Best?

The best month to visit Walt Disney World will depend on your vacation goals and what fits into your busy schedule. But if you can choose your days carefully, you’ll be able to take advantage of shorter lines, better weather, and some of the seasonal events.

All things being equal, the best months for Disney World are September, October, November (minus Thanksgiving week), and early December.

The autumn months typically experience lighter crowds, comfortable weather, festive holiday decorations, and magical holiday events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas. It’s really a perfect combination!

Tree of life

Visiting Walt Disney World in 2021

2020 has proven to be a very difficult year for the travel industry, and Disney World is no exception.

Starting March 15, Disney shut down the park as the coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the country. The resort began a phased reopening on July 11 with a series of safety precautions that are still in place. These include reduced capacity, mask requirements, social distancing, hand sanitizing stations, scaled back entertainment and character options, and delayed restaurant and resort reopenings.

This “new normal” will likely be in effect for much of 2021. However, Walt Disney World is still very much open for business. It’s up to you to decide if it’s the right time for you and your family.

If you’re still on the fence about traveling in 2021, reach out to the Authorized Disney Vacation planners at The Vacationeer. They can give you the latest resort information and help you think about planning your trip, even if you’re not quite sure how to proceed at this point. Disney’s new reservation system actually allows you to book a last-minute trip, so that gives you some flexibility in 2021.

The Vacationeer will set you up with a vacation package specifically tailored to your family. They will get you the best promotional rates, re-book your trip in the event you decide to reschedule to a later date, and even set up a payment plan so you won’t have to pay upfront. And maybe best of all – the services of The Vacationeer are 100% commission-free!

Enjoy your trip!

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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Karen
Karen
9 months ago

Can we please stop calling it the new normal?? This is a temporary abnormal. There is nothing normal about how we have lived in 2020.

Courtney
Courtney
9 months ago

Our trip to Disney World the first week of February 2020 was extremely crowded. We thought we would be there during a low crowd time and were shocked how crowded the parks were. We’ve also had trips in September and November and would definitely prefer those months!

Izzo
Izzo
9 months ago

Thanks for this resource. I’ll still probably be emailing the vacationeer soon but this is great for planning on your own too.