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The Best Time to Visit Disney World

The Best Time to Visit Disney World

There are people all over the world who have dreamed about going to Disney World at least once in their lifetime. The parks filled with roller coasters, 3D animations, characters, restaurants, shows, and of course, magic, attract not only the little ones but dreamers of all ages!

There are a variety of reasons why people visit Disney. They could have grown up watching the movies, have seen the parks online, or simply want to experience the magic. Nevertheless, all of them want the best experience they can get when visiting the parks.

With more than 7.5 Billion people in the world, it is not a surprise that the parks get packed year-round, but as an annual pass holder, who used to visit the parks almost every other week, I’ve been able to visit during different times of the year and can share a few tips with you!

In this article, you’ll be able to learn which time is the best to visit the parks, according to crowds and weather, and I will also share a few tips to make your trip as magical as it gets!

Best time to go to Disney World

As mentioned, Disney World will always be somewhat packed, but there are a few seasons where the lines might be shorter.

During covid restrictions that was a different reality, with guests having to book their trips weeks to months in advance to make sure they could get it. The number of guests allowed in the parks were also restricted, but since the restrictions have been lifted, Disney has allowed more and more guests to visit.

The busiest time to visit is during peak summer, which is in July. During that month, you’ll notice a lot of excursions from other countries as it is vacation time for them.

The best time to visit Disney world is during the off-season, the months of April and May and in between holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. During that time it is somewhat inconvenient for locals to visit helping the lines stay shorter and the crowds smaller.

Below, I have explained the busiest time to visit, when you’d experience big crowds, super-long lines, and the reason why that happens. I’ll also tell you the wonders of visiting Disney World during off-season, in which you get to experience the entire park without missing any magic.

Busiest Time

Even though Disney is busy year-round, there is a particular month that I’ve always had to wait the longest in line. It is understandable for the parks to be filled up during holidays, such as Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and during spring break season (throughout the month of March). But to me, there’s still one particular month that stands out the most.

The summertime (end of June – beginning of September) is when most people visit the parks, but the busiest month of them all is July. From personal experience, I’ve noticed that in July there are a lot excursions from other countries. For example, it is a “tradition” in Brazil that when someone turns 15 years old, they either get a big party or go on a trip to Disney.

Those excursions are planned and provided by travel agencies that take big groups during the month of July, which is considered winter break for them. If you ever go during that time frame, you’ll notice groups of 15-20 people in each ride with matching shirts.

July is also one of the hottest months to travel to Florida, with temperatures hitting 100F throughout the entire day, with plenty of humidity and random showers in the middle of the afternoon.

Truth be told, those random showers of rain do help keep you sane by cooling you off, and dispersing the crowds, if you’d like to walk through the park and don’t mind getting wet. The parks and adjacent stores also offer rain ponchos that I consider to be a great addition to your trip.

It will help to keep you dry during the rain showers and during the wet rides. But it is still a hard time to go; not only will it be packed, but you will also be sweating and sticky the entire trip. My advice would be to go off-season.

Best Time to Visit Disney World

Disney Off-season

When planning your Disney trip, think about the time that is “inconvenient” for people to go. Normally that would be in the middle of the school year, in particular, in the middle of the week. For a more generalized answer, the months of April-May, and in between winter holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas).

I’ve always loved to go to the parks during those time frames because the lines weren’t hours long and the weather is actually exceptional. During April-May, Orlando’s sun is warm but not burning you up in between rides. It also does not rain as often as it does during the peak of the summer. During those months, you don’t have as many excursions from other countries, nor a lot of locals since most are in school or working.

In between holidays, it is also a great time to visit since a lot of people tend to go *during* the time off they get for the holidays. In between Thanksgiving and Christmas, you get to experience colder weather, but nothing a good jacket can’t help with. The weather also “helps” disperse the crowds, specifically at Magic Kingdom.

If you want to watch the last show in the castle before leaving, this time of the year is the best to do so, because most parents will take their kids home earlier because of the cold weather. That way you can watch the projection and fireworks without having a toddler on someone’s shoulder in front of you.

Another thing you can also do, is as you’re leaving the park, you have very short lines for pictures with the characters.

Unique Experience

If you don’t mind a bit of a crowd and want to visit during a unique experience, you should go during Halloween-Thanksgiving, specifically, from October 31st to November 1st.

In October, you’ll be able to experience the Halloween decorations throughout the day, with different atmospheres, foods, and costumes. And if you go back to the parks that day after, you will experience their Winter decorations.

Even though it is not considered an off-season, you could still see both magical decorations in one trip.

Not So Scary Mickey

Tips for Visiting Disney World

Get a Map

One thing I used to do when I started going to the parks, was to get a map and list out all the places I wanted to see, and rollercoaster rides I wanted to go on. It is very common for people to get those maps and start from the “beginning”, which means the crowds start by going to the right side of the park.

You should do the opposite. If you turn left when you get to any park, you will notice smaller crowds and shorter lines. You won’t be doing what most people are doing and will be able to hit more spots quicker.

Avoid Big Restaurants

I’d also suggest avoiding big restaurants, as it is really hard to find tables with available seating, and you’d have to wait a long time to get your food.

What I have always done is either get a Subway sandwich or a Publix sandwich, snacks, and a few water bottles, put it all in a backpack, and bring it to the park. That way I could have lunch, dinner, and snacks throughout the day without having to stop my itinerary to do so.

In the same line of thought, take advantage of mealtime to go on as many rides as you can! Between 12pm-2pm and 5pm-7pm, most visitors stop their itinerary to have a meal. If you bring your own food, you don’t need to stop during that time to enjoy the rides, since the lines will be shorter.

Stay at Hotels Inside the Park

Another tip I can share with you, is if you can stay at their hotels inside the park, you’ll have extra hours to explore without the other crowds.

Some good options are:

Now, I understand not everyone can stay in those hotels (even though I have been going for years, I’ve only stayed at their hotel once!), but if you can save up and stay in one of their resorts, you will definitely experience a lot more magical encounters, with no worries about parking and extra magical hours.

Or Stay at Hotels Near the Park!

If you can’t stay at their resorts, I suggest a hotel outside of the park that would be 10-15 minutes away. Here are a few good options:

Classy & Mid-range Hotels near Disney

Budget-Friendly Hotels near Disney

If the park opens at 9 am, I also suggest arriving at their gate by 8:45, that way you’ll be one of the first ones to enter the parking lot, park closer, and enter the park before the big crowds.

Using Fast Pass is also a great way to avoid the really long lines and wait times, and any Disney work member would definitely help you with setting those up.

Plan to stay in Orlando for a few more days

Orlando has a lot more to offer beyond Disney. So while you’re planning your trip here, plan on staying a few more days to explore things to do in Orlando beyond Disney and some free things to do in Orlando, Florida.

Growing up going to Disney World remains one of the best memories I have. As time went by I learned these tricks to make my experience more enjoyable and make the most out of my visits. I hope these tips help you with planning your magical experience at Disney World!

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