When is the Best Time to Go To Walt Disney World?

Cinderella Castle christmas photo, Disney Christmas photos, snow at Disney World, Disney Christmas photography,

I’ve spent a lot of time planning out my Disney vacations. Do you go at Christmas when the entire world is there, when the decorations are just stunning and Cinderella Castle is twinkling? Do you go in the summer when the kids are out of school but you might melt in the Florida sun?  Is there a  perfect time to visit Walt Disney World? The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, who also run the popular touringplans.com, offer specific times to make your trek to see the Mouse more enjoyable, and since I’ve read their 854 page book twice, I’ll pass on their suggestions.  This doesn’t mean I always follow these dates, but I do think they offer a good set of guidelines.

The LEAST busy time to visit Walt Disney World is the week after Thanksgiving until the week before Christmas. Things start to get a little crazy at this point, so it’s probably not wise to over-extend your stay.

The next best times, or slowest weeks, are as follows:

  • The second full week of November through the weekend preceding Thanksgiving
  • After Labor Day in September
  • The month of October
  • January 4 through the first week of February. (Except Martin Luther King holiday weekend)
  • The last week of April through early June.

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World points out that late February, March, and early April are “dicey.” Crowds will come and go because of spring break and Presidents Day weekend. Also, because Disney has done promotions aimed at the local residents and the international markets, crowds have grown in September and October. But as far as touring the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios, the Unofficial Guide suggests you go during the week and save your weekend visits for Epcot.

Now the fact remains, if everybody is passing out relatively the same advice for when to visit, attendance should rise during these certain times. But not everyone can take time off work the first of November and lots of families opt to go during holidays because they have family obligations.

Is there really a perfect time to go to Disney? No, but you can definitely plan ahead and choose smarter times to visit, if you can vacation during the less crowded times of year.

The general rule is that if kids are in school, it’s a better time to visit The Mouse House.

Now if you were thinking about going to Disney right after Christmas, here’s an article you need to read. Planning a Disney Christmas Vacation? Here’s the “Crowded” Facts You Need to Know. The pictures alone might have you thinking twice.

Thanks for coming along for a photographical Disney ride, and we’ll see you on a monorail headed over to the Magic Kingdom. Hopefully, there will be enough room to have a seat!


Love Disney World photography? For a virtual Disney vacation in pictures, visit Mouze Kateerz on Facebook and Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest.  If you have some fabulous Disney photographs you’d like to share, send an email of your favorite Disney location to mouzekateerz@chipandco.com.

See ya soon!



  1. I am going to be evil for a moment. I don’t like Christmas at Disney. I’m not so hip to the decor or the crowds. I enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving more- a nice Thanksgiving dionner at Artists Point with a day at Animal Kingdom is my favorite time to go.

    • No evil there- eveybody has their favorite times. I teach school, so I can’t seem to get there for Halloween or Thanksgiving, which is a shame, because the decorations then look really nice. AP and AK sound fabulous though…thanks for stopping by! Amanda

      • Being a teacher, when do you go to Disney? My husband is also a teacher and we’re having a hard time choosing a date. Thanks!

  2. Stunning castle shot. Whoa.

  3. Rebecca Guerrero says:

    I was thinking the same thing about September, the crowds are growing because of the promotions. I even moved my own dates for the free dining plan. I just hope it’s not a super large crowd during that time 🙂

    • Because I am a teacher, I never make it during the free dining. I would imagine when you can eat free, people will come, but not like Christmas. We were there last week for Spring break, and even that was nothing compared to Dec 26th. Hope you have fun!!!

  4. 4loveswdw says:

    Free Dining is great whenever you can get it especially in October! Any time in October and the first week in December are my favorite times. The crowds are well, there are not any crowds and the weather is great. We sometimes even get to stay on rides because they will have no one waiting behind us!! Love it so much and we will miss it as we are going in June this time around 😦

    • Ohhh, 4loveswdw, you are up LATE tonight. Thought about you this week, wondering if you were planning articles in your windowless office. You let me know if you need photos- I took 2,000 in 4.5 days. I sure wish we could go in October, but ya know, it’s football season. I am envious of you free diners..
      Later gater, A.

  5. When are the Christmas decorations usually up? 🙂

  6. Shelley Ridgeway says:

    We are planning our holiday trip this year, December 22, thru December 26. We will be in the cabins in Fort Wilderness, and plan on spending Christmas day in Rocky. Is this week going to be as bad as the week after? And is our Christmas day going to be crazy?
    Thanks for the enlightening article….lol

  7. Shelley says:

    If you could suggest 2-3 must have souvenirs…what would they be?

    • What age is it for?! Love answering these type questions!!

    • what age are you looking for?

      • My husband and I are in our 30’s, and our boys are 16 and 2 🙂

      • Teens like t-shirts ($25 and up) and I would say key chains (I LOVE keychains, and they are cheap by WDW standards. $6,.95 to $8.95) Cool on book bags. Lots of cups/mugs that would be neat at home- starts around $9.95

        2 year old…Mickey doll (keychain size starts at $7.95 and they go up to $35.00 for a big one). Small kid’s t-shirte are great ($20 and up) bt they do outgrow those fast. There are tons of stuff small kids would like. Be sure to go by the Emporium on Main Street or the World of Disney at Downtown Disney.

        You? Key chains all the way. I hand them off everything. Men like t-shirts- also in store on same size as Emporium and every gift shop on property. Good quality too. AND make sure you go by Crystal Arts – across from Emporium by Main Street Bakery – to look at their jewelry. Nice earrings and necklaces under $40. Some are in their $20s.

        I see $2000 worth of stuff I want every time I go and somehow restrict myself to under $100. Disney merchandise is just fabulous- and give yourselves time to look around in stores without a rush. (Think 12 to 6 each day is great shopping time in the air conditioning.

        Hope this helps!

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