Many of my readers read my article on Disney World hitting capacity on Dec 28, 2011 and began to have a mini-meltdown of your own.
“Honey,” you say as you look nervously at your significant other “what if we have lines like this on our trip?!”
Well don’t let the panic keep you from booking YOUR Disney Vacation for 2012! Listen to the Disney Diva and just realize… there are GREAT times to go to Disney World when crowds are lower, and there are CRAZY times to go to Disney World where parks look like this, but ANY day at Disney World is a good one!
In today’s article I’m going to tell you about what I consider to be the best times (because crowds are low) and what I consider to be worst times (because crowds are crazy high). I personally am miserable when I’m in large crowds. I’m also extremely impatient and get cranky when I have to wait for things (which may be why they call me a Diva… I dunno) AND ngI don’t like to have to pay more to stay and play at Disney! Chances are you DON’T want to be stuck in this craziness, especially if its your first trip, which is why you are reading this page right right now! (you clever, clever thing!)
Here’s a tip: If kids have been let out of school or there is a RunDisney race event going on you don’t want to go. Yes, I know, I know, you’re OFF of WORK on holidays, but EARTH TO YOU… SO IS EVERYBODY ELSE!!! Also, don’t beat me, but it may be worth it to pull your kids out of school for a few days and bring the homework with you.
January – Beginning the SECOND week of January its smooth sailing all the way to the end of the month with extremely low lines, except for the weekend prior to Martin Luther King Day. Lines are low and Florida temperatures for those of you shoveling out in the frozen north. I find that a LOT of Canadians favor January and February at Disney World Parks. Disney often offers travel specials this month and February like FREE DINING when you stay at Disney resorts.
What is the downside to traveling in January/ February? Its when Disney does ride refurbishments, so you may have to “miss” a ride. However it is easy to see when rides are scheduled to refurb far in advance at great sites like AllEars.net
February – February is the mecca of low line Disney lovers. Except for that pesky Presidents day weekend which is out of control AND the Princess Half Marathon is happening the following weekend which slightly elevates crowds.
March – The first week of March is pretty good, but after that March goes downhill. See below.
April – After you get over the Easter “hump” April slows down significantly and you’re likely to have very nice weather, though the deals may not be as good as in the REALLY slow months.
May – We have taken multiple trips to Disney World during the first two weeks of May and it is usually GREAT! Moderate crowds on the weekends, but the weather is not too hot yet and Spring at Disney World is enjoyable. These two weeks are honestly two of my favorites!
June – If you just HAVE to go during the “summer” then pick the first two weeks of June. They’re busy, but no where close to what it will be like the rest of the summer. And it will be hot already. Just go ahead and plan on sweating.
LAST WEEK OF AUGUST into first week of September – a glimmer of hope shines in the last week of August where crowds become significantly lighter as kids go back to school, but its still hot as all get-out!
SEPTEMBER (#1 month to go in) Crowds are extremely low the entire month of September. Even Labor day barely gets a blip on the radar *SO IF YOU HAVE TO USE A HOLIDAY LABOR DAY IS THE ONE YOU WANT TO USE!!!* Be warned though, the air can still be a little muggy in September.
October in Disney World is fun! Magic Kingdom is all decorated for Halloween and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is my FAVORITE event of the year. Weekends get a little busier, and you should avoid Columbus Day, but even Halloween and the days leading up to it have more than manageable crowds. AND the temperature is finally cooling off some! r If your school takes a “Fall Break” you should book THAT time for Disney World and plan you Spring Break somewhere less crowded.
November – With the exception of the weekend before Veteran’s Day and the week of thanksgiving, Walt Disney World is very manageable. Occasional higher crowds on the weekends when locals come to the park, but all in all its good and the weather is DEFINITELY better.
December – The first two and a half weeks of December are GREAT. You get to enjoy all the beautiful Christmas holiday decorations, and the Osborne Family lights, but you don’t have crowds to deal with. This is a GREAT time to book if you really want to go “during the holidays”.
February – President’s Day Weekend. Don’t go then, just… just don’t.
March & April – Second week of March to the second week of April is not a good choice. Why? Because schools around the country start letting out for “Spring Break”. And remember, if the kids are out, then Disney is out. The second week of March is particularly horrible are the weekends when Orlando locals help fill up the parks.
Easter weekend and actually the entire week surrounding it on both sides are very busy also and should be avoided if at all possible!!
May (Memorial Day Weekend) – Avoid Memorial Day weekend and the two days on either side of it like the plague. People have been cooped up all winter, they’re willing to let their kids miss the last few crazy days of the Spring semester and they pack up the mini-van and head to Disney World. Skip the drama, go in early May instead.
June – third and fourth week = oppressive heat and lines. Its also one of the most expensive times of the year to go.
July (4th of July Weekend) – unless you are a glutton for punishment DO NOT GO TO WALT DISNEY WORLD DURING THE FOURTH OF JULY OR THE DAYS SURROUNDING IT. This is one of the two busiest times of the year. DO NOT GO!!! Parks have been known to hit capacity early in the day and close their doors to entering guests. Also, just stay away from WDW in July. When you sit on the sidewalk it will fry your butt. You’ll be hot and miserable, swimming through extremely humid Florida air, and likely melting down at least once an hour. Oh yeah and you’ll be paying more to be there AND have long waits for attractions. Say it with me, JULY IS NOT MY FRIEND!
August – You thought July was bad, just wait till you get into the hottest month in the South… August. It also hurricane season! August = no go.
October (Columbus Day Weekend) – People flock to Disney to take in the fun of Halloween during this weekend and take advantage of the holiday on Monday, which makes parks FAR more crowded for you. (the weekend prior is actually worse than the day itself)
November (THANKSGIVING) – Stay away from Disney World on Thanksgiving and the days leading up to it. People are all out on holiday, which means they all head to Disney World. That week is pretty busy.
December (last two weeks of December, including Christmas) – Big Holiday, Big Crowds. Stay away and soak up the holiday magic the FIRST two weeks of December instead!
WEEK BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS – Remember that picture up there? The one with the one hour wait just to get through the turnstiles? Look at this photo below! Remember the article about Disney having to halt admissions in THREE of the four parks. It’s insane! Santa can bring something else, like a TICKET to enjoy Disney in January or September! Don’t have him load everybody up and put them in misery for a week forcing you to all scream “We will never come back here!”
So now you have the Disney Diva’s assessment of the Best and Worst times to go to Walt Disney World. It doesn’t matter if you are a family, a couple, honeymooners, or a group of friends. Pick a time when you can really enjoy ALL of the magic Disney has to offer and not just stand around in lines all day.
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