By Darlin’ Diva
HA! Gotcha with that title, didn’t I? If you’re as big a Disney fan as I am – there is no “worst” time to visit Disney World since a Disney vacation is better than anytime, any place else! So let’s put it this way…are there better times to visit than others? Absolutely! Personal preference plays a part, certainly. Most people with children travel around school schedules, extracurricular activites, summer sports – you name it. Most of us are limited to traveling at certain times over others. No matter when you go, Disney World will always be magically fun and exciting – some times of the year just take a bit more planning and patience than others. So let’s look month by month – I’ll point out different events, crowd levels, and weather considerations for you.
January and February –
Two great months for runDisney fans and also a great time to take advantage of lower crowd levels and cooler, drier weather. Average high temperatures are in the low 70′s, average lows are around 50-degrees and rainfall averages are around 2.5″ a month (compared to over 7″ per month in the summer).
The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is in early January and offers participants the opportunity to run a 5k, 10k, and both a half and full marathon! In early February, crowd levels are extremely low – a great time to visit without children. Later in the month runners flock to the Disney Princess Half Marathon and Princess 10k – President’s Day week and weekend bring a big boost in crowd levels.
Planning Note: Unless you’re going to cheer on your loved one(s), non-runners may want to avoid those race weekends or be prepared with a plan for maneuvering around race crowds.
Spring’s arrival brings the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Children and adults will be delighted by the many magical touches and pixie-dusted details that abound in Epcot during this special time. A Cars – themed play area provides little ones with an excellent opportunity to burn off excess energy. The Flower Power Concert Series is part of the Festival and you would not BELIEVE the awesomeness of the bands in 2014′s lineup! (The Guess Who, Herman’s Hermits and The Lovin’ Spoonful – need I say more?) New in 2014 – Kermit and Piggy have their festival debut! – immortalized in all the topiary glory those Epcot wizards of horticulture have become famous for. Also, if you’re there, don’t miss out on Tinker Bell’s Butterfly exhibit – something visitors of all ages will enjoy. There are also seminars and presentations available throughout this event – some starring your favorite stars from HGTV!
As Flower and Garden wraps up in Epcot (ends May 18th), over at Disney Hollywood Studios, Star Wars Weekends are just getting started (weekends, May 16-June 8). While I’m not a Star Wars geek, I’m enough of a fan to get a big kick out of all the Stars Wars-goings-on during this summer-long event. Your little Jedi (under 12) can attend the Jedi Training Academy and you can meet (and get autographs from) some of the most famous Star Wars superstars in the world. The Storm Troopers on top of the Studios’ entrance are SO cool – and not above providing a little fun photo op if you can get their attention.
School’s out for summer and June’s a great time to visit Disney World! The last Star Wars Weekend is June 8-10 then the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series at Epcot runs from about the second week of June to the last week of July. This musical gathering of tribute bands offers guests some fantastic opportunities to have a rocking good time – included in Epcot park admission.
Expect afternoon thunderstorms and be prepared with rain ponchos (a good attitude doesn’t hurt either). There are plenty of fun activities you can still enjoy even if the weather isn’t perfect. At least those summer showers are usually short in duration and you can get right back out into the action.
It’s HOT, it’s crowded (with a ton of tour groups from our South American neighbors), but, with a little extra planning, you can still have an awesome Disney vacation. Especially if you’re patriotic! As with all holidays, Disney does Independence Day right! One thing is certain – The Magic Kingdom fireworks will be spectacular! Guaranteed to bring a tear to any red-white-and-blue-blooded American lucky enough to find a viewing spot on Main Street! For anytime patriotic pleasure – go see the Voices of Liberty at the American Adventure in Epcot. This a capella group is simply amazing and the acoustics in the rotunda are perfect! Goose bumps guaranteed.
As all the kiddos head back into the classroom – it’s still hot and sunny in Florida! The second week in August is an ideal time to head to the World. Crowds are much lower and one of the very best events in Disney World begins – Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival.
September and October –
What a fantastic time to visit with and without children. The parks get all decked out for Halloween and the Magic Kingdom presents Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party on select dates through the first week of November. Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is in full swing offering guests the chance to sample culinary treats (and special beverages) from around the world.
RunDisney Event Alert!
- October 4-5 is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler Weekend
- November 8-9 is the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend
Over at the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party helps you get into the holiday spirit on select dates beginning around the second week of November. Spectacular holiday decorations are everywhere. All the parks and every resort show off their seasonal best for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations. Epcot presents Christmas Around the World as well as the Candlelight Processional (select dates). For a fun break from the parks, hop on the monorail and check out the resort decorations at the different stops along the way.
Crowds are at their absolute extremes during these two months. If you avoid Thanksgiving week and the Christmas to New Year’s Day period, you can find some less crowded days to enjoy. If you go during school breaks, expect Capacity crowds – careful planning is a must but you can still make a visit during this wonderfully crazy time a very magical vacation indeed.
When is your most favorite time to visit Disney World?
Until next time…Darlin’ Diva