Planning a Disney trip can be overwhelming, and it starts with deciding the best time of year to go. The good news is, your Pixie Dust/LBAC Dream Vacation maker services are included in the cost of your room and tickets, and we can help you plan and take the overwhelming stress away. We just need you to tell us when you’d like to travel. Here is a breakdown that explains the best time of year to go based on your personality and family needs – making it even easier to plan your Disney vacation! Contact me, Jennifer Lynn Wood, here with any questions!
Crowd Avoider Sometimes do you look around a room and think “It’s too people-y in here?” If so, there are certain times of year you’ll want to avoid visiting Disney parks. While the parks will never be empty, here is a breakdown of the times during the year that you can travel and what to expect.
- January 10 – February 15: The park starts to slow down a little after the holiday hustle and bustle. The Disney Marathon tends to be held the first week in January, which tends to bring additional crowds, so that is why we suggest waiting until the second week of January to travel.
- Easter – Mid-May: Try to time this one to AVOID spring break, you may get lucky and experience Walt Disney World at one of the most beautiful times of the year!
- September 15 – November 15: Once kids are back in school and before Thanksgiving break is another time the park tends to be less crowded. As a Disney Planner, I can help you plan around Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party which runs from August-October.
- December 1 – December 15: After Thanksgiving, but before holiday break, the park is not only not as crowded, it is decorated for Christmas. Disney is such a magical place during the holidays, so why not enjoy it with a few less people.
Did you decide to have kids and send them to school? Did you choose teaching as a profession? Did you marry a teacher? At the time, did you realize it would limit the times of year you could travel? Me neither! Not to worry, we still go to Disney constantly – even with limited travel times. Here is a breakdown of the times during the year you can travel and what to expect:
Summer – Obviously summers in Florida are hot, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. Try to rope drop to enjoy cooler mornings in the park. (Rope drop means getting to the park a little bit before it opens so you can walk right in when it does.) Midday go to indoor air conditioned shows, eat lunch in an indoor restaurant or go back to your hotel for a bit to enjoy the pool and cool off. Then get back out to enjoy all the rides once the sun starts to go down. Bring portable fans, sunblock, hats, misters and lots of water to stay hydrated. It will be a lot of fun if you know what to expect and come prepared!
Spring Break – As you can imagine, spring break is a popular time to visit Disney parks, so expect crowds. Take advantage of early entry if you are staying on-site and rope drop to ensure you get on the most popular rides before lines get too long. Make sure to get Genie+ to help you maximize your rides (pro tip – set your alarm for every two hours after the park opens to ensure you maximize your Genie+) and let your family help pick the next ride so you don’t feel guilty for being on your phone. Midday when lines are longest, go to shows, lunch or head back to the hotel for pool time. I grew up going to Disney during Spring Break and we always had an amazing time because we expected crowds, typically left midday to enjoy the pool and then stayed until the park closed riding all of the rides. The upside is Disney is open later during this time of year to give you more time to enjoy all that the parks have to offer.
Christmas – If you are traveling to Disney between December 20-31, you can expect a magical experience – but also crowds. The busiest time of day is mid-day, so rope dropping, Genie+ and late nights are a great way to experience more of the magic. The good news is, it isn’t typically very hot in December, so waiting in line won’t make you melt.
Long Weekend – Unless you go to Disney regularly or plan to go again. I wouldn’t recommend you try to check Disney off your bucket list over a long weekend. There is so much to see and do! However, if you like to travel to Disney often and just need a Disney fix, a long weekend is worth the trip. Consider getting Park Hoppers if you want to tackle more than one park in a day. You can spend your morning in one park getting on all of your favorite rides and then spend late afternoon into the evening at another park. Again, this is option is more for the Disney obsessed, overachievers out there.
When your spouse asks, “Where do you want to go to dinner?”, do you typically choose a chef owned delicious restaurant over the chain restaurant down the street? Do you appreciate good food and do you appreciate it even more when it is paired with the perfect wine? I know that right now you might be thinking, “Yes, but what does that have to do with Disney?” Well, my friends, Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is what. You can eat your way around Epcot and savor delicious food and beverages from around the world. It typically runs from July until mid-November, though the dates have extended into July in recent years. If you are a foodie, you won’t want to miss it!
Nature and Arts have your heart
If you love nature and its beauty than the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is a can’t-miss experience. The Festival runs March through July and while the gardens in Disney are already beautiful, this takes them to the next level. As you walk into the park, you are greeted by your favorite topiary characters. It is so fun to walk through the park and see all of the creative and bright-colored topiary everywhere you look. There is also a Garden Rocks Concert series featuring live music and concerts throughout the Festival dates. Also, for our foodie friends, there are outdoor kitchens featuring international dishes, desserts and beverages. It is hard to explain how beautiful Epcot is during the International Flower & Garden Festival. You definitely will want to experience it if nature and art have your heart. The Epcot International Festival of the Arts (which runs from January – February) is also a great experience for you art lovers (and even has food/drink booths similar to Food & Wine Festival, on a smaller scale!)
Running is your idea of a vacation
Do you run, even when someone isn’t chasing you? Have you experienced a runner’s high? Do you pack your running shoes wherever you go? If so, then the first weekend in January is the perfect time for you to visit Walt Disney World for their annual marathon. The Walt Disney World Marathon offers a 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. You’ll want to register between April-September because there is typically an early registration discount! Not only will you get to run through the Magic Kingdom and have characters cheer you on, but you’ll get a marathon medal, personalized bib and participant shirt!
Your favorite holiday is:
Do you cover your house with cobwebs on October 1? Do you plan out your Halloween costumes in July? Do you feel the Dancing Pumpkin Man gif is the appropriate response to everything? If your answers are yes, yes and yes then you are not going to want to miss Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Dates range from late August until October 31 and require a special ticket to attend. Be sure to pack your costumes and trick or treat throughout Magic Kingdom with some of your favorite Disney characters. There are Halloween themed parades and shows and not to worry because it’s “Not So Scary” which means it is appropriate for all ages!
Are you the type of person that drags your family into Christmas shops at the beach – in July? Do you decorate your house for Christmas before Thanksgiving? Are you fairly certain you were one of Santa’s elves in a former life? If so, you’ll want to experience the true magic of the Magic Kingdom in early November to December 31 and you will be in awe as the park is magically transformed into a Christmas wonderland. If you love Christmas, there is no better place to be than Disney during the holidays. The decorations are so breathtaking that you sometimes forget you are in warm, sunny Florida. There are hundreds of trees and wreaths covering the parks – so many decorations that they have a warehouse and teams dedicated to holiday decorations year-round! Trust me when I say, there is no place like Disney for the holidays.
You can even take your trip to the next level and get special tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! This is an after-hours event from 7-midnight, though ticket holders can begin to enter the park at 4 pm. There are special holiday fireworks, a parade with snow, a holiday show and more. Even better, because tickets are limited it also means shorter wait times on rides!
While I personally think any time is the perfect time for a Disney trip, I hope this helps you decide the perfect time for your next magical Disney vacation. Don’t forget to reach out to a Pixie Dust/LBAC Travel Dream Vacation Maker to help you book your trip. The cost of our services are rolled into the price of hotels and tickets whether you use us or not. So, why not take some of the hassle out of planning and let us help you create your dream vacation, at the perfect time for YOU! Contact Jennifer today!