The best (and worst) times to visit Walt Disney World
As a Floridian and part-time Orlando resident, I’m often asked, “When is the best time to visit Disney World?” Or, “When’s the slow time at Disney World?”
Well, the short “dad” answer is when other people can’t. There you go. You’re welcome. Have a nice day and get off my lawn!
I guess I could give a little more detail.
Best Time to Visit Disney World: Just After a Holiday
Have the kids been out of school for an extended period of time? You’re pulling your hair out, anxiously awaiting their return to the classroom? Well, get ready for some more fun! Pull them out of the classroom right after they get back and go to Disney World.
That’s right, January and September are the best times to visit Disney World. You will marvel at the short lines, open walkways, and quick service in January (after about January 4th) and September (after Labor Day).
Watch out for Disney Marathon weekend, though. This will be an extra crowded time at the parks. The marathon typically occurs on the first weekend in January.
January and September are also the best times to save money at Disney World. It’s what they call the “Value” season. I know dads everywhere are always looking for a value. During this season, you can get upwards of 50% the standard rates at resorts. Not just Disney resorts, either. Resorts all over Orlando.
Best Time to Visit Disney World: Shoulder Season
Next up on the best time to visit Disney World list? Shoulder season. These are the one to two week periods between or “on the shoulder” of busy seasons. Think between Spring Break season and the summer rush. Between Halloween season and Thanksgiving season. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
These non-busy, moderately inexpensive times can be tough to hit, just right. The one between Thanksgiving and Christmas seems to get shorter, every year. You can find historical crowd levels online to help you predict the right week to schedule your trip to the House of the Mouse.
Worst Time to Visit Disney World
So, now you know the best time to visit Disney World, what’s the worst?
I mention this, only because we have several friends that think they’re clever and are the first to come up with this radical idea: we’ll visit Disney World on a major family holiday. Everyone will be at home, with family, not at a theme park! You could not be more wrong.
Christmas Day is the single busiest day of the year at Disney World. Magic Kingdom frequently closes due to capacity issues BEFORE NOON! New Year’s Day/Eve, Thanksgiving, and Halloween all fall right in line with that trend. Just. Don’t.