The Worst Times to Visit Walt Disney World

Is there a bad time to visit Walt Disney World? For some, the quick answer is no. We’ve all heard (or uttered) the refrain that even a bad day at Disney World is better than a good day in the real world.

Magic Kingdom

Depending on your point of view and your park touring preferences, there may actually be less ideal times to visit Disney World. Some people may be more concerned about the weather than crowds while others can’t stomach an abundance of construction walls. 

Let’s go over all the “worst” times to visit Disney World including factors like crowds, weather, construction, and more!

Weather

The unpredictable nature of Florida weather can throw a wrench in anyone’s plans. If you don’t enjoy rain or heat, consider avoiding these seasons.

Hurricane Season

Hurricane season in Florida takes place from June through November, and it often means lots and lots of rain — even if the named storms don’t make a direct hit. Tropical depressions and tropical storms can drop buckets of rain on central Florida, and the outer bands of a hurricane can wreak havoc in terms of wind and rain as well.

It can get pretty rainy in Disney World if there’s severe weather coming!

If you’re not a fan of rain and/or don’t want to risk being in the path of a potentially dangerous storm, you might want to skip out on hurricane season in Disney World. Disney World has protocols for handling actual hurricanes, but think carefully about visiting during hurricane season if you don’t want to end up stuck in your hotel room.

Florida Heat

Most people know that summer in Florida is no joke. Temperatures can reach the 90s and feel 10 or more degrees warmer when humidity levels are high. 

©AccuWeather

If you don’t like extreme heat, you probably want avoid Disney World in the summer. There are ways to fight the heat, like taking advantage of attractions that have AC and drinking plenty of water, but you’ll have to be your own judge of how hot is too hot.

Crowds

Crowds vary at Disney World depending on the day, the week, the month, and sometimes the year. But there are a few particular times of the year you can count on huge crowds. You might want to plan your vacation around these times.

Summer Break

Summer is a very busy time at Disney World. A lot of kids are on summer break, and families take advantage of the time off. And when you also factor in the summer Florida heat, it’s not always magical in Disney World.

Crowds at EPCOT entrance

Summer carries the double whammy of heat and crowds, and if you have the option to vacation at a different time of year, you might want to consider skipping summertime in Disney World.

School Breaks

Speaking of school breaks, there are a few other break times throughout the year that you should factor in. Spring Break is a big one for causing massive crowds, and it differs from the U.S. to the U.K. In the U.S., Spring Break is usually sometime from March to April, and across the pond their version of Spring Break is usually in February.

Rope drop crowds

There is also something called “Jersey Week” (actually more like a four-day weekend) which takes place at the beginning of November when New Jersey schools give students an extra couple days off. This can add a surge of crowds to an otherwise more quiet time at Disney World.

Holidays and Long Weekends

Any time people have a day off, you can expect more crowds at Disney World. Some holidays are even known for hitting park capacity, like New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July, Halloween, and Christmas — especially when people want to celebrate the holiday with fireworks.

Crowds can get big on holidays

Any holidays that give people a three day weekend is another time to avoid if you hate crowds. A lot of people visit Disney World when they have an extra day or two free. For example, Veterans’ Day weekend is often busier than the immediate weeks before and after the holiday.

Sports Season

From January to May is cheerleading and youth sports season, which means a surge in young athletes visiting Disney World. These large groups also tend to stay at the Value Resorts, so it could impact availability and crowds at your hotel, too.

Cheerleaders at Disney

And during the first or second week of December, the Pop Warner Super Bowl and National Cheer and Dance Championships take place in Orlando. Though early December can often be a less busy time at Disney World, these groups can increase visiting crowds.

runDisney

runDisney events take place throughout the year and will soon return to Disney World. If you don’t like crowds and don’t plan to run in one of these events, you probably don’t want to visit during a runDisney weekend.

©runDisney

After the races in the morning, runners tend to visit the parks in huge numbers, and the crowds can be overwhelming. Check the runDisney calendar before scheduling your vacation.

Festivals

Disney World hosts festivals throughout the year, and you can generally count on festival time to be busier than other times. EPCOT holds the Festival of the Arts in January and February, the Flower and Garden Festival in March to July, the Food and Wine Festival from July to November, and the Festival of the Holidays from November to December.

2020 EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival

Especially toward the beginning of a festival, you can count on more packed crowds eager to try new foods and drinks. If you want to experience a festival, you can aim to visit somewhere in the middle of it for the smallest of big crowds. Or, if you want to avoid festival crowds, don’t go to EPCOT during them.

Local Events

Anytime there is a big local event in Orlando, you can count on many of the folks in the crowd making plans to visit Disney World afterward. Whether they’re local or planned a trip for this event, they likely have Disney plans.

Mickey Mouse at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida ©Disney, Matt Stroshane

It doesn’t hurt to double check Orlando calendars for major events that would draw large crowds if you don’t want to accidentally end up among everyone who just left the big basketball game or convention.

Construction

Ride Refurbishments

Disney World will occasionally close temporarily close attractions to provide regular maintenance, fixes, or upgrades. It is so disappointing to arrive in Disney World only to find one of your favorite rides is closed for your entire visit.

Kali River Rapids is usually closed for refurbishment in the winter

You can check the Disney World ride refurbishment schedule imbedded in the Disney World calendar before booking so that you know your favorite rides aren’t going to be closed, otherwise you’ll be might be unable to ride what you want.

Park Construction

Big construction projects can make it difficult to get around a park, like EPCOT’s major construction does right now. While we can generally understand that Disney World needs regular maintenance, it’s not always fun when half the park has walls around it.

Construction at EPCOT

If you’re not a fan of a park-in-progress, you might want to avoid that park during your visit or schedule your vacation for another time.

Major Park Events

Disney World’s 50th Anniversary

Disney World’s 50th anniversary begins on October 1st, and as you can probably guess, it will likely mean overwhelming crowds. We’ve already seen some Park Passes max out, and Disney resort hotels are already fairly limited.

Cinderella Castle

Not only will it mark more crowds, shows will change, characters will have new costumes, and reservations may be hard to get. While this is exciting for some people, others might just want a classic Disney World experience without the special anniversary overlays. Consider carefully whether you want to experience a major park event like the 50th. And note that the 50th celebration is scheduled for 18 months from its October 1 start date.

New [Insert Here] to Disney World

New ANYTHING in Disney World — new rides, restaurants, fireworks shows, parades, or even merchandise — generally means more people. Anytime there’s something new opening, you can expect the park to be busy and bustling and hotel prices to surge.

NEW Desert Suede Ears

It can be tempting to want to be among the first at Disney World to experience something new, but if you struggle with increased crowds and intensity, it’s not a good time for you to visit.

Learn how to save money on your Disney trip here!

Do you like visiting Disney World during times like these? Tell us in the comments!

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3 Replies to “The Worst Times to Visit Walt Disney World”

  1. Best I can tell from all the bad times to visit Disney World I would like to know is there a good time to travel to the happiest place on earth?