A little about me, I am a Travel Agent that specializes in Disney Destinations, more specifically to this post, Walt Disney World Resort. Because I have personally experienced Walt Disney World every month of the year over the span of the last few years, there are specific months/weeks that I have found (in my opinion) are best when deciding when to travel to Walt Disney World.
There are several factors that go into my absolute favorite times of the year to visit Walt Disney World such as crowd levels, weather, as well as festivals and activities. Post covid, crowds have remained fairly steady and have only shown slight fluctuations especially in comparison to pre-covid times which is why my recommendations are not solely based on "crowd calendar" data that largely tend to be based off of pre-covid statistics.
Three of my personal absolute FAVORITE times of the year to go to Walt Disney World:
Third Favorite: Mid January - Mid February (Avoiding runDisney dates):
Crowds tend to be lighter overall and the weather is my favorite! Average highs are in the low/mid 70s and the average lows are in the low/mid 50s - it also tends to rain significantly less in January/February compared to spring/summer months. If you or your kiddos tend to run hot like my son, this is a great time to go! If you run cooler, layering or keeping a light jacket with you makes things perfect so you can adjust to the temperature changes through the day/evening.
EPCOT International Festival of the Arts typically runs from Mid January - Mid February and offers delicious international food and beverage selections, as well as special entertainment and activities. Along with daily sidewalk chalk art, the artist booths throughout World Showcase are a definite must see - featuring well know and lesser known artists alike. One of my favorite activities is the mural group painting that changes every few days. Become an artist and join in this large scale "paint by numbers" type activity. This is fun for the entire family and the best part is, it's free! You also get a bookmark showing what the finished painting will look like. This is one of my favorite lesser known free souvenirs to collect. EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is included with admission to the park, but there may be separately ticketed events within the festival itself if you are looking for additional experiences such as culinary classes or art workshops.
Second Favorite: September - Mid October:
September crowds tend to be lightest overall as school is back in session and the weather is not as warm as August. For September average highs are in the high 80s (which still can feel pretty hot in the sun on warmer days - neck fans and cooling towels are a great idea to have on hand) average lows are in the low to mid 70s. October is even cooler with average high temps in the mid 80s and low temps in the high 60s. I usually bring a light jacket for the kiddos just in case we need them in the evenings.
One of the main reasons this is one of my favorite times to go is that the Theme Parks and Resorts will be decorated in amazing fall/Halloween décor and offer special seasonal treats during this time.
EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival usually runs mid July - Mid November and offers amazing international food and beverage selections at over 25 international marketplace kiosks, entertainment and special activities. The "Eat to the Beat! Concert series is one of my favorites. EPCOT festivals are included in regular theme park admission.
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party -
Best of ALL, you can attend Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party which offers event dates on select nights that begin late August and run through October 31! This is a separately ticketed event located at Disney's Magic Kingdom and is a must do (if your budget allows it). Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party gives guests the opportunity to stay after normal park hours (until Midnight) in their costumes to enjoy unique rare characters dressed in their favorite costumes, attraction overlays, trick-or-treat stops, photo opportunities and specialty food and drink. Enjoy exclusive entertainment like Mickey’s Boo-To-You parade, Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show and Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular fireworks.
Number ONE Favorite: November - Mid December (avoiding Thanksgiving week):
During this time, crowds tend to be lighter overall and the weather awesome! For November, average highs are in the mid to high 70s and the average lows are in the high 50s - statistically November has the least amount of rain days of any other month. For December, average highs are in the low to mid 70s and the average lows are in the mid 50s. This month has a statistically significantly lower number of rain days as well compared to spring/summer.
Just like my love of visiting in September/October - visiting in November/December the Theme Parks and Resorts will be decorated in spectacular Holiday themes! There are also special seasonal treats offered at the Theme Parks, Resorts and Disney Springs during this time!
Special Holiday Lighting -
Every evening special lighting effects are added the Walt Disney World Park Icons at Disney's Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Magic Kingdom - Castle Projections –
Watch in awe as Cinderella Castle is transformed with cheerful holiday projections—which rotate with the Beacon of Magic projections (presented on nights when Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is not offered).
Hollywood Studios - Sunset Seasons Greetings –
Gaze in wonder as the Hollywood Tower Hotel is transformed nightly by holiday projections, alternating with the Beacon of Magic.
Disney's Animal Kingdom - Tree of Life Awakenings – Holiday Edition,
The Tree of Life shimmers and sparkles each evening, accompanied by a heartwarming musical score.
EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays typically runs Mid/Late November - Late December and offers delectable food and beverage selections, specialized Holiday entertainment and special Holiday activities. Behold heartwarming performances around World Showcase, including Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, Las Posadas with Mariachi Cobre, the Chinese Lion Dance and holiday storytellers from many of the countries, such as La Befana at the Italy pavilion, recount holiday customs from their respective countries. Santa Claus even makes special appearances too! The Candlelight Processional tells the story of Christmas with a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir. The Candlelight Processional is typically performed three times nightly. Much like other EPCOT festivals, the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays is included with regular admission to EPCOT!
Holiday Celebrations at Disney's Animal Kingdom usually run Mid November - December. Guests can wave at favorite characters in their holiday best, as well as Santa, in Festive Flotillas along Discovery River. The Merry Menagerie, life-size animal puppets of penguins, foxes, polar bears and more, create a winter wonderland at Discovery Island. At night, guests could check out the Tree of Life Awakenings — Holiday Edition, during which the tree shimmers and sparkles along to a musical score.
Holiday Celebrations at Disney's Hollywood Studios usually run Mid November - December. Share a meal with Santa Goofy, Minnie Mouse and friends at Hollywood & Vine for a Christmas feast. Sunset Season's Greetings lights up Tinseltown as snow falls and dazzling projections light up the Hollywood Tower Hotel to tell special holiday tales from your favorite characters. Enjoy a special holiday finale to the Frozen Sing Along, featuring our favorite snowman, Olaf. Plus guests can catch Santa driving by in a special seasonal motorcade!
Holiday Celebrations at Disney's Magic Kingdom usually run early November - December. Explore festive trimmings and theming throughout Main Street, U.S.A. Sample holiday-inspired food and beverages available at select locations. Enjoy the beautiful cheerful Holiday projects and Beacon of Magic projections that rotate every 10 minutes. Attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party on one of the select evenings it is offered!
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party -
Best of all, you can attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party which offers event dates on select nights that begin mid November and run through late December! This is a separately ticketed event located at Disney's Magic Kingdom and is a must do (if your budget allows it). Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party starts at 7pm (entry begins at 4pm) and gives guests the opportunity to stay after normal park hours (until Midnight). The party features rare characters, special entertainment, jolly-good treats, ride overlays and more! There is even “snowfall” on Main Street intermittently throughout the night. Enjoy party exclusive entertainment like Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration castle stage show and Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks. There are also plenty of opportunities to meet your favorite Disney characters, some of whom are decked out in their holiday finest.
In closing, although I have my personal favorite times I like to visit Walt Disney world, my honest answer to the age old question...When is the best time of year to visit Walt Disney World??? ANY TIME is the PERFECT time to visit Walt Disney World.
Whenever works best for YOUR family! I will help you create a MAGICAL trip that works best for YOU and YOUR loved ones based on your unique needs and desires. I have planned very successful trips during Spring Break, Thanksgiving Week and Christmas/New Years Weeks (some of Walt Disney Worlds busiest times of the year) which required a bit more planning and patience but were very successful and just as magical! I will tailor YOUR trip based on YOUR unique needs.
Are you ready to start planning?