The best time to visit Disney World: 12 months, ranked

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Disney fans consider several factors when planning their vacation. Most folks want to visit when the crowds are at their lightest. Lighter crowds make it easier to get dining reservations and experience shorter wait times on popular rides and attractions. 

Consulting a Disney World crowd calendar can be super helpful. A few years back, Disney made some changes to its ticketing prices.

Prices on tickets increase or decrease depending on how crowded the Walt Disney World Resort is expected to be for any given date range.

Prices increase on days that are expected to be more popular and crowded. On less crowded dates, Disney offers slightly lower ticket prices. 

If you’re booking a vacation package, you’ll find that Disney posts special offers on its website with specific date ranges. This encourages guests to visit on less popular days in exchange for a discounted hotel and ticket package. 

Crowds at Disney World Orlando in front of Cinderellas castle
Crowds line the streets at Disney World in Orlando in July (photo by Daniel Munson/HeyOrlando.com)

What time of year is Disney World the least crowded? 

Disney World is the least crowded when school is in session. Since the vast majority of guests visiting Disney World have kids, there is a major connection between school calendars, crowd calendars and pricing on both tickets and hotel bookings.

In general, weekdays are also less crowded than weekends. 

Disney World has peak times in June and July during summer break and the weeks in late December and early January when kids are out for the winter holidays. 

The week of Presidents Day in February is also very busy. Crowds surge in November around Thanksgiving. October, April and March can have moderate crowds because of fall and spring breaks.  

Magic Kingdom Guide Map
Disney offers special deals during the less popular times of the year when fewer people are visiting the most popular parks (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

What month is the cheapest for Disney World?

Over the years, the Walt Disney Company has become pretty savvy in designing special offers to attract guests during the less popular times of the year. 

As a result, if your dates are flexible, you can find a discounted vacation package during select dates when Disney knows their crowds will be lighter.  

Most months have some days or weeks that are more popular and some that are less popular.

What is the best time to visit Disney World?

There are different factors to consider when deciding the best time to visit. So which months are the best for visiting Walt Disney World if you want favorable pricing, lower crowds and nice weather?

Here are the best months to visit Disney World, ranked:

a boy puts his hand out to catch a butterfly at epcot
Kids will love watching the butterflies at EPCOT during the Flower and Garden Festival (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

1. May

I think May is the best month for visiting Walt Disney World. Almost everybody is in school until the last week or so, and the spring breakers have come and gone. 

The weather is warm enough for swimming and water rides, but you’re not quite into the dog days of summer. EPCOT’s Flower & Garden Festival usually continues into the month of May, too. 

Keep in mind that at the very end of the month, you can expect a bump in park attendance due to Memorial Day weekend. 

Splash Mountain Sign Disney World
Water rides are still open in September, but keep an eye on the weather when planning a trip (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

2. September

September is another low-crowd month at Disney World. After Labor Day, the kids are back in school and it’s a bit early for most fall breaks.

September still feels like summer in Orlando, so swimming and water rides are open for business. However, all of the fall and Halloween decorations are out, making the Magic Kingdom feel especially festive. 

You can often find special offers with dates in September. However, since hurricane season begins this month, travel insurance is a smart idea in the event of inclement weather. 

EPCOT Food and Wine Fest 2022
In November, you can catch a food festival and Christmas decor at Disney (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

3. November

Although the week of Thanksgiving can be busy and is often excluded from special offer pricing this time of year, November can be an excellent month for a Disney vacation.

All of the Christmas decorations go up at the beginning of the month, so you’ll feel in the holiday spirit on your trip. 

Although the Florida weather can be rather mild in November, it’s also possible to enjoy a chill in the morning or evening air.

The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival runs through the middle of November. Then, the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays begins the week of Thanksgiving. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to experience one of these festivals if you visit in November. 

At the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins in early November. 

Magic Kingdom Fall with Pumpkins
Disney World typically displays Halloween decor from August through October (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

4. August

Back in the days when kids didn’t return to school until after Labor Day, August was part of summer break. While this is still the case in some states, a lot of kids go back to school in August. 

Where I live, the first day of school is usually on or around August first. This makes late August a good time to visit Disney World if you’re trying to avoid crowds. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party typically begins in mid-August. 

And also, if you don’t mind celebrating Halloween a bit early, August can be a great month to experience this special event and lighter crowds.

Disney World Marathon Medal
Walt Disney World hosts a marathon and other racing events in January (photo by GSPhotography/shutterstock.com)

5. January

The first week in January can be very crowded following the New Years holiday. Disney hosts a marathon weekend in early January, too.

This weekend includes several racing events, including a 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. 

Later in the month, the theme parks have pretty light crowds. While January is one of the coolest months of the year, the weather can also be mild and very appealing to visitors from cold climates. 

pink fromage in front of epcot ball
During the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival presented by CORKCICLE at Walt Disney World Resort, more than 25 festival food and wine marketplaces celebrate the best in global food and drink (media photo courtesy of Disney World/Harrison Cooney)

6. April 

April is one of my favorite months for a Walt Disney World vacation. Crowds can be moderate since it’s a popular time for spring break and Easter holidays.

However, EPCOT is at its most spectacular with its Flower & Garden Festival in full swing. 

Read Also: A guide to Magic Kingdom at night: Shows, rides and things to do

7. March

March can have moderate crowds due to spring breaks and Easter holidays like April.

The EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival usually begins this month, so it’s a great time to see the whimsical topiaries.

March can also mean cooler weather, at least in the mornings and evenings. 

Animal Kingdom Entrance
You may find fewer crowds in the late winter and early spring months (photo by James Overholt/HeyOlrando.com)

8. February

Lots of schools have breaks in February, so crowds can swell around Presidents Day. However, February is a good month to visit, especially if you’re trying to avoid high temperatures. 

That being said, popular water rides like Splash Mountain are often closed this time of year for annual maintenance. 

boo to you sign at disney for halloween parade
Ghosts and ghouls line a fall-decorated Main Street during “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade” during the first night of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World Resort (media photo courtesy of Disney World/Courtney Keifer)

9. October

October is a popular month at Disney World, especially with Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

These special events require hard theme park tickets for select dates at the Magic Kingdom. Several popular attractions remain open late into the evening and attendance is limited so that the crowds remain light. 

Read Also: What countries are in EPCOT? What you can do in the 11 countries

mickey and minnie mouse on a christmas parade float at disney
Guests can enjoy a sleigh-full of entertainment as part of holiday festivities across Walt Disney World Resort in December (media photo courtesy of Disney World)

10. December 

Early December can be an ideal time to visit Walt Disney World. The crowds hit peaks later in the month during school holidays, but in the first couple of weeks after Thanksgiving, Disney typically offers discounts on vacation packages.

Plus, Mickey’s Merry Christmas Party is available on select nights at the Magic Kingdom throughout the month of December. 

The EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays typically runs throughout the month of December. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom also have special holiday decorations this month. 

Magic Kingdom Walt Disney Statue
June is a very popular month for visiting Walt Disney World (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

11. June

June is a popular month for visiting Walt Disney World. The crowds can be heavy, but it’s a great time to plan for a day at one of Disney’s two water parks: Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. 

12. July

July might be even more popular than June at Walt Disney World. The Independence Day holiday can draw some of the biggest crowds of the year. 

This year, the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival began in the middle of July, too. Between these two popular events and almost all schools being out for summer break in July, this is the most popular and crowded month to visit Disney World. 

Is it cold at Disney World in December? 

It can be cold in Central Florida from December through February. The weather can actually be rather unpredictable this time of year. It’s best to pack layers so you’ll be comfortable on chilly mornings and warm afternoons. 

What is your favorite month to visit Disney World? Let us know in the comments.

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