Being a busy mom and trying to make the most out of a trip to Disney with the kids can be stressful. If you’re taking time off to travel, you want it to go as seamlessly as possible and to get the most bang for your buck, right? If you’re trying to plan a family vacation to Disney World, but you’re not quite sure when would be the most optimal time to avoid the overcrowded days, then continue reading so you can learn what times of the year the busiest at Disney.
It is important to note that because of any number of factors, like weather, events, and holidays, that Disney’s attendance is unpredictable. So with that being said, keep that in mind as we proceed.
Summer used to be the busiest time but now it’s not that bad. While it is much better than it used to be it can still get crowded especially around the 4th of July Holiday. If it turns out that the summer is the only time you can find to book a trip to Disney then I would suggest trying to make a plan to go for a few days. Trying to fit more than one park in one day is not going to be worth it (I speak from experience). The only way it may be worth it is if you get fast passes. But really if you’re planning a trip to Disney during the summer and want to hit more than one park, just make the plans to stay for a few days so each park you want to see can get its own day.
The second half of August can be a less crowded time as parents prepare for the back-to-school season, but it can also be more crowded for parents trying to get that last vacation in before fall. It’s kind of a gamble. Florida is notoriously rainy during this season, with clouds hanging overhead around 3-6pm. This is why it’s crucial to get an early start on your day. If you arrive 30 minutes before the park opens and get all of the essential preparation in (potty time, applying sunblock, mapping out your day) then you can enjoy all your favorite rides and attractions before lunch time.
The afternoon is going to be the busiest time at Disney hands down every time. One of the stories you may have heard me tell over and over actually took place when my family went to Walt Disney World for Christmas. I had created an itinerary to make the most of our park time, my brother (who was in college and hadn’t seen a single digit on his morning alarm in years) took one look at it and asked: “Why does 7 am exist?”
We arrived 30 minutes prior to Magic Kingdom opening, rode all of our favorite attractions, watched the parade at noon, used our Fast passes for the day, and went to Be Our Guest for our lunch reservation. As we were leaving the park around 2 pm we had done everything we wanted to and more. As we walked out we walked by Pirates of the Caribbean which we enjoyed without any wait that morning and it had an 80-minute wait. It was at that moment that I never had to argue to get my brother out the door in the morning, he knew why 7 am existed.
The months where Easter and Spring Break take place are undoubtedly going to be a busy time. The beginning of March however is an incredible time to go to Disney for Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival. The weather is going to be at its best this time of year as well. If you can make the arrangements to go to Disney in the beginning of March, you should definitely do so. But note that the end of March is the Spring Break for the local school district Orange County and many Florida residents will probably plan to go to Disney then.
With events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom and Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival it’s no surprise October is going to be busy. However don’t write off the Halloween season entirely because many Orlando parks will be competing for visitors from SeaWorld’s Spooktacular and Howl-O-Scream events to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. Halloween may be a more crowded time than a non holiday week, but it is a worthwhile experience for wholesome family fall fun. You can also expect the week of Thanksgiving to be busy but the beginning of November won’t be as crowded.
Yes Christmas at Disney can be done, but know that it will be busy! That being said, it is most definitely worth going for the magical experience. If you plan accordingly you can still enjoy your time there. If you’ve never been to Disney this may not be the best time to go if you’re looking forward to going on a lot of rides. But if you’re going for the attractions and shows like the parade at Magic Kingdom and the Candlelight choir at Epcot then you may have the time of your life. Again, an early start is key to getting the most out of your day. The first week or so of January is also going to be busy because it’s still winter break. Just be sure to book your hotels and dining reservations way in advance.
Like I said, the attendance at Disney is not always predictable. Neither is the weather in Florida. The best idea to avoid crowds is to go right before or right after these busy times. But if you have to go during your Winter or Summer break then plan in advance and get to the parks early!
Planning a family vacation to Disney World can be overwhelming! I understand how you’re feeling, I know all too well how easy it can be at the beginning to start researching online, just to find yourself 3 hours down the line more confused than when you started. But don’t panic! I can help you plan your dream Disney vacation without any of the stress of hassle – starting with the ‘A Disney Trip without Overwhelm, 5 Easy Steps’ Guide. These 5 steps will help keep you focused on organizing the best trip ever while giving you peace of mind that everything will be done, and nothing will be left out.
Christina Vieira, a Traveler, a Planner, and a Mom. She is also the owner of Showcase the World Travel, a modern travel agency that helps busy Moms take the vacation they deserve without adding “planning it all” to their to-do lists. After all, Mom should get to enjoy their vacation too.
She specializes in Disney, Caribbean, Europe and has helped dozens of families have magical vacations that they will always remember. She loves traveling with her four-year-old daughter, Annabelle. Her favorite destinations include Walt Disney World, Wyoming, and Prague.
If you are ready to have the family vacation you’ve been dreaming of, without spending time researching, planning, and making it happen, schedule a call today. I’m here to help busy working Moms plan, organize and book the perfect family vacation. With me, all you have to worry about is enjoying your well-earned time away with your family. If you are ready to stop trying to do everything on your own and see how I can help you schedule a complimentary trip planning session now.
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