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When is the best time to go to Disney World?

I’ll give you my answer right away: late January and early February.

Why? Temperatures are coolest and crowd levels are relatively low. These are two factors that are most important for MY family. However, park hours are shortest so this isn’t a good time to visit if you’re a night owl and want to stay out late in the parks. A few rides are typically closed for routine maintenance during this time as well and while we love Epcot’s Festival of the Arts, other festivals held in the spring and fall are more popular.

So, you can see that everyone will have different reasons for choosing a “best time to visit Disney World.” I’m not going to tell you the best time for your family, but I WILL give you the information you need to choose for yourself!

Maybe your best time to go to Disney World is when crowds are lowest. Maybe it’s the cheapest time of the year. Maybe it’s when the weather is cool or the park hours are longest or there are special events happening … We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of every month at Disney World, addressing crowd levels, price, weather, park hours, festival and holidays, and closures.

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Crowd level

Crowds are typically the worst when American kids are out of school. This includes Thanksgiving weekend in November, Christmas break through New Years in December, Spring Break, Independence Day in July, and other national holidays like Labor Day and Memorial Day that create 3-day weekends. Even during slower times of the year, weekends will be busier than weekdays. If you want to avoid crowds, the best times to visit Disney World are in winter from late January to early February and September after Labor Day.

Park Hours

Park hours are longest in the summer and shortest in the winter. Epcot hours don’t budge much throughout the year, but the other parks will typically be open until 9:00 to 11:00 PM on summer nights while they usually close at 8:00 PM in the winter. Evening Extra Magic Hours in the summer can even push closing times in the wee hours of the next morning. If you want to stay up late in the parks, winter might not be the best time for you.

Price

Prices follow the crowd levels. Hotel prices vary drastically depending on the time of year and day of the week. Ticket prices vary slightly as well. Simply avoiding weekends and staying Sunday through Thursday evenings can even greatly reduce your on-site hotel rates. If cost is a significant determining factor, look for dates in winter other than the RunDisney weekends and 3-day holiday weekends, and September after Labor Day.

Heat and Humidity

Temperatures are hot from April through October and can be very unpredictable day to day in other seasons. Summer will be hot while you can expect winter to be much more comfortable, even cold. Spring and Fall can fluctuate between warm and blazing hot. If you want to avoid the worst Florida heat and humidity, visit in winter.

Precipitation

Rain is very common in the summer when you can expect a brief downpour almost every afternoon. Winter can bring more unpredictable, but lighter all-day rains. Hurricane season is June through November with Florida historically seeing the most action in August or September, but hurricanes are rare and unpredictable so don’t plan your vacation around hurricane season. You won’t avoid rain any time of year, but you will typically avoid the drenching downpours outside of summer.

Festivals and Parties

Festivals at Epcot are held almost all year long except for summer. Magic Kingdom has Halloween and Christmas parties running August through December that require an additional ticket. These parties close Magic Kingdom early at 6:00 PM to day guests which can make non-party evenings at Magic Kingdom very crowded. New Year’s Eve and Independence Day are big celebrations at Disney World. Consider these special events and if you want to take advantage of them … or avoid them!

Closures

Routine maintenance closures can close individual rides during low crowd times. If riding everything is important, you might want to avoid January and February.

Water park closures alternate from fall through spring. If you want to visit both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, make sure they’re both open before booking your trip – sometime in April through Labor Day.

What’s in my Disney World Park bag

View everything in my Disney park bag

Epcot Festival of the Art

Now, let’s take a look at Disney World month by month (historical temperature and rain figures are from U.S. Climate Data):

Disney World in January

Crowds in January // The month starts off busy with New Year’s Day and heavy crowds continue into Disney World marathon weekend which is usually the second weekend of the month. Martin Luther King, Jr. day weekend creates a three-day weekend so it draws heavier local crowds. After a busy start, the end of January is typically one of the slowest times of the year.

Prices in January // With prices following crowd levels, late January sees some of the lowest hotel rates of the year.

Temperature // High: 71 // Low: 50 // Obviously, January is one of the coolest times of the year in Florida. Still, even if the winter days get cold, those cold spells usually don’t last long. If you’re planning a week-long trip, it will be rare for the weather to remain cold for your entire trip so plan on packing layers and being flexible.

Precipitation // 2.76” // Winter rains in Florida are less frequent than the summer thunderstorms, but usually longer-lasting. This time of year, it’s more common to experience light rain for most of the day rather than a half hour downpour.

Holidays and Events // Marathon weekend is the biggest RunDisney race of the year in early January. However, if you’re not running, don’t expect Disney races to have a huge impact on your trip other than increased crowd levels since they are over by the time the parks open. Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts begins mid-January with unique food offerings, special events, and daily shows by Broadway performers.

Closures // One of Disney World’s two water parks will be closed for annual refurbishment. This is also a popular time of year for rides to be closed for routine maintenance. Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom and Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom are frequently closed this time of year.

Disney World in February

Crowds in February // February has historically low attendance levels, with the exception of Presidents Day weekend. Crowds will grow slightly towards the end of the month with the Princess Half Marathon and spring approaching.

Prices in February // The low hotel rates that started in late January continue through mid-February, outside of those busy holiday and race weekends.

Temperature // High: 73 // Low: 53 // Temperatures are very unpredictable. We once visited with morning temperatures in the 30’s for several days followed by record daytime highs in the 90s just a week later! Pack for all seasons!

Precipitation // 2.83” // Like January, rain is usually not an issue in February.

Holidays and Events // Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts continues through mid-February. The Princess Half Marathon is held in late February.

Closures // One water park will still be closed for annual refurbishment. Ride maintenance closures will likely continue from January as well.

Favorite Park Day Shirts

Tomorrow's Child
Tomorrow’s Child
Wilderness Explorer shirt
Wilderness Explorer
Wall-E Directive shirt
Wall-E Directive
Bright Suns shirt
Bright Suns
Big Thunder Mountain RailroadEpcot Flower and Garden Festival

Disney World in March

Crowds in March // Crowds build in March as temperatures warm and Spring Break begins. Visit earlier in the month for lighter crowds.

Prices in March // Hotel rates begin increasing with the crowd levels.

Temperature // High: 77 // Low: 57 // Cold spells are rare by March. Expect warm days.

Precipitation // 3.78” // It can rain anytime in Florida, but those rains are still not predictable in March.

Holidays and Events // Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival begins.

Closures // One water park will still be closed for annual refurbishment.

Disney World in April

Crowds in April // Spring Break crowds continue in April and taper off by the end of the month. Depending on when Easter falls during the year, the weeks immediately before and after Easter can draw larger crowds with more kids out of school.

Prices in April // Hotel rates continue to be moderate.

Temperature // High: 82 // Low: 62 // Warm to hot days should be expected. The kids will probably want that daily afternoon pool break by April!

Precipitation // 2.48” // The summer storms still haven’t arrived, but it can rain anytime in Florida.

Holidays and Events // Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival continues through the month. The Star Wars Half Marathon is run in mid-April.

Closures // Both water parks will be open and planned maintenance closures are rare by this time of year.

Disney World in May

Crowds in May // Between Spring Break and summer, May enjoys light to moderate crowd levels outside of the busy Memorial Day weekend.

Prices in May // Hotel rates continue to be moderate.

Temperature // High: 88 // Low: 68 // It may not be summer yet, but it sure feels like it! Plan on pool or water park breaks daily now!

Precipitation // 3.31” // The summer storms still haven’t arrived, but it can rain anytime in Florida.

Holidays and Events // Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival is still going strong!

Closures // Both water parks will be open and planned maintenance closures are rare by this time of year.

Rain at Disney WorldAmple Hills Creamery

Disney World in June

Crowds in June // Summer crowds start to build as schools let out for the year.

Prices in June // Hotel rates continue to be moderate.

Temperature // High: 91 // Low: 73 // Pack the fans and keep the water bottles full! Summertime heat has arrived in Orlando!

Precipitation // 8.74” // Summer storms are becoming more common. Don’t be surprised by brief afternoon downpours.

Holidays and Events // Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival has ended and the park begins it’s brief festival-less time. June is extremely light on special events.

Closures // Planned closures are rare. Both water parks are open.

Disney World in July

Crowds in July // Summer isn’t the busiest time of year anymore, but crowds are still higher with most kids around the country out of school. The Fourth of July and any nearby weekend days will be extremely crowded.

Prices in July // Decent hotel deals can usually be found to entice guests to visit.

Temperature // High: 92 // Low: 76 // Heat. Humidity. July in Florida has it all!

Precipitation // 7.09” // Summer storms should be expected. Brief afternoon downpours happen almost daily, but will only affect a very small portion of the day.

Holidays and Events // Disney World does Independence Day BIG with special fireworks displays at Magic Kingdom.

Closures // Planned closures are rare. Both water parks are open.

Disney World in August

Crowds in August // Kids start going back to school, so crowd levels drop off as the month goes on.

Prices in August // Decent hotel deals can usually be found to encourage visitors during this hot and humid time of year.

Temperature // High: 92 // Low: 76 // It’s just blazing hot and humid.

Precipitation // 7.83” // Plan on daily afternoon downpours.

Holidays and Events // Fall starts early at Disney World. The first Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will begin around mid-August and Magic Kingdom will be decorated for fall then as well. No other parks decorate for fall. Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival will begin towards the end of the month.

Closures // Planned closures are rare. Both water parks are open.

Screen Free Disney Road Trip Activities

View all of my Screen Free Disney Road Trip Activities for Kids

Stormalong BayCrowds at Disney World

Disney World in September

Crowds in September // With kids back in school, September is one of the slowest months after Labor Day.

Prices in September // Along with late January/early February, September has the lowest hotel rates of the year.

Temperature // High: 89 // Low: 74 // Don’t be fooled by the fall decorations, it’s still VERY much summer all month long!

Precipitation // 6.02” // Rain is still common. Hurricane season is at its peak.

Holidays and Events // Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party continues throughout the month. Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA and castle hub is decorated for fall. Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival continues all month long.

Closures // One of the two water parks will close for annual maintenance.

Disney World in October

Crowds in October // This has turned into one of the busiest months in recent years with fall breaks becoming more common. Crowds begin to ease off towards the end of the month.

Prices in October // Prices follow the crowds with better deals usually available near the end of the month.

Temperature // High: 84 // Low: 74 // Temperatures may have decreased a little, but it’s still ridiculously hot!

Precipitation // 3.31” // Daily rain is far less common, but hurricane season is at its peak.

Holidays and Events // Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party continues throughout the month. Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA and castle hub is decorated for fall. Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is still underway.

Closures // One of the two water parks will be closed for maintenance.

Disney World in November

Crowds in November // Outside of the long Thanksgiving weekend and Veterans Day, crowd levels are quite endurable compared to earlier in the fall.

Prices in November // Prices increase through the month.

Temperature // High: 78 // Low: 60 // Temperatures can fluctuate with the changing seasons. Expect warm days, but don’t be surprised by some cool mornings.

Precipitation // 2.4” // Rain has returned to its winter schedule with fewer downpours.

Holidays and Events // The Wine & Dine Half Marathon is held the first weekend in November. Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival will end before Thanksgiving. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party will begin around the second week of the month. Expect Christmas decorations and special nighttime holiday shows park-wide by mid-November with resorts becoming festive as well. Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays will begin after Thanksgiving.

Closures // One of the two water parks will be closed for maintenance.

Disney World in December

Crowds in December // The beginning of the month can be delightfully sparse before Christmas breaks begin. Expect the heaviest crowds of the year during the last two weeks of December.

Prices in December // Record high hotel rates are seen in late December, but remain rather low during the first half of the month.

Temperature // High: 72 // Low: 54 // Any day in Florida can be warm, but expect cool days, even COLD ones occasionally!

Precipitation // 2.64” // Rain isn’t nearly as common this time of year. Hurricane season is over.

Holidays and Events // Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party continues until several days before Christmas. The parks and resorts are full of festive decorations, food, and events. Christmas and New Year’s Eve being huge celebrations. Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays continues through Christmas until the end of December.

Closures // One of the two water parks will be closed for maintenance.

Christmas at Disney World

So, what month sounds best for your family? What is your best time to visit Disney World?

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The best time to go to Disney World
Pros and cons of every month at Disney World
Disney World month by month
The best time to visit Disney World