Disney World’s a pretty hip-happenin’ place, y’all. If you’ve been, you’re probably familiar with shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, loooooong wait times for popular rides, and all your favorite restaurants being booked up several months in advance.
But we’ve been to Disney World when the crowds were way more manageable. And we’re about to share when the BEST times to visit Disney World really are.
After New Year/Remainder of January
Once the ringing in of the New Year has died down and everyone has returned to school and work after their winter vacations, Disney World tends to get quieter.
Disney World uses this downtime to refurbish its water rides and attractions. So if riding Splash Mountain over in Magic Kingdom or Kali River Rapids over in Animal Kingdom are on the top of your Must-Do list, you may want to reschedule for a warmer time.
This goes the same for the Disney water parks — Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach. Although both water parks keep their water heated to a comfortable 81 degrees during the colder months, Disney does take advantage of the lighter crowds and closes one water park down at a time to do refurbs. So you probably wouldn’t be able to visit both water parks during January.
Festival of the Arts Time (Jan-Feb)
This is our personal favorite time to visit. The end of January leading into February brings with it milder temperatures, lighter crowds, and EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts.
The Festival of the Arts features artsy-fartsy activities and unique foods that are both creative and flavorful.
The only catch? Valentine’s Day weekend can still get pretty packed with couples looking for a romantic getaway.
If you want to celebrate V-Day with your honey, then by all means fight those crowds! But if you want to wait it out, pick a February weekend before or after Valentine’s Day to avoid park congestion.
After Spring Break (Beginning of April)
Just like the post-New Year’s crowd, the post-spring break crowd is pretty tame. This is a great opportunity for you to check out EPCOT’s springtime event, the Flower and Garden Festival, featuring fresh foods and flowers galore!
If you go to Magic Kingdom at the end of April, however, you may run into Dapper Days — where Disney fans come together dressed head-to-toe in their finest vintage garb to strut down Main Street, U.S.A,. and pose for pictures on the Liberty Square Riverboat.
(Along with various other locations, but it’s really the only time we see Liberty Square Riverboat with a BUNCH of people on it, so we had to say something.)
The crowds in Magic Kingdom will be on the heavier side that day — but honestly, it’s such a unique event that doesn’t summon too much of an overwhelming crowd that we can’t recommend NOT going.
End of August/September
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to school kids go! The end of August and throughout September are probably the lightest crowds Disney experiences during the year.
If you’re interested in attending any Halloween festivities, we’ve found early September to be a great time for visiting the former after-hours event in Magic Kingdom — Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
HOWEVER, the event is different this year.
Instead of Not-So-Scary, Magic Kingdom will be toning down the event to become the After Hours Boo Bash instead. Make sure to read up on the changes before you go to see if you still want to spend the extra moolah!
Weekdays in November
Want to see Christmas in Disney World instead of Halloween? Then try visiting Disney World during the week in November!
Around Christmastime, Disney has a ton of special events — such as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in Magic Kingdom, EPCOT’s International Festival of the Holidays, Sunset Seasons Greetings at Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom’s Merry Menagerie puppets.
The weekends and December crowds can get pretty hectic, but we’ve found the weekdays in November to be manageable. Even if the crowds randomly spike during the week, you can always escape to Disney Springs and enjoy the free Christmas Tree Stroll!
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When’s your favorite time to visit Disney World? Let us know in the comments below!