Best Time to Visit Disney World with Kids
As a travel planner I’m often asked when the best time is to visit Walt Disney World. Common sense is to avoid times of the year when schools are out of session. Although this is good advice to avoid crowds, it is not realistic for families with school aged kids.
Due to having family members who work in or attend schools we accustomed to planning vacations around school schedules. Summer, Spring, Fall, and the holidays are the times to visit Disney World with school aged children.
The end of May or the beginning of June are some of my favorite times to visit the parks. We live in the Midwest and schools typically end at the end of May. Many schools are out before Memorial Day. Although Memorial Day can draw some crowds, this is a good time to visit with crowds and weather.
Epcot in recent years has extended the Flower and Garden Festival through the beginning of July. Guests who visit during the end of May and early June can enjoy the festival but also do not have to miss school.
Prices are often typically reasonable this time of year as well. Disney will oftentimes release room promotions during this time. Summer can be hot but with the lower pricing and crowd size this is a great time of year to visit.
July and August tend to be some of the hottest months of the year in Florida. Because of this, the parks tend to be less crowded. We oftentimes visit during July because of the crowd level.
We visited on July 4th this summer and expected the crowds to be as bad as Christmas or Thanksgiving, but it was not. I would recommend avoiding Magic Kingdom on the 4th due to the crowds. We actually went to Hollywood Studios in the evening and had only a 15-minute wait at Rise of the Resistance towards the end of the night.
Due to the heat, it is important to build in breaks during this month. Our family always enjoys the mornings in the parks and then retreat to the resorts and the amazing pools in the afternoon.
Summer in Florida often includes afternoon thunderstorms so it can also be a great time to take a nap in the room. The evenings tend to cool down and the parks are often open late. We oftentimes enjoy a relaxing afternoon and then stay up late in the evening enjoying the parks at night.
Late summer can be a great time to enjoy Disney’s two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Your park ticket can be upgraded to include the water parks at a nominal price.
Again, because of the heat you can usually find good prices this time of year. In 2022, Disney offered some great hotel promotions for guests willing to endure the heat.
Spring Break in Florida (March and April) is usually some of the best weather. It can be cool at the beginning of the month but often warms towards the end of March and April. Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival also begins. You can enjoy the food booths and the gardens with milder weather
The negative aspect of Spring Break are the crowds. We have visited Spring Break several times in recent years, and it is very crowded. I personally prefer a Disney Cruise or resort only stay during Spring Break. But you can definitely manage the crowds with Genie Plus, extended evening hours for Deluxe guests, and early park entry.
This year we visited Disney World during fall break for the first time. Our fall break, like many districts across the country, falls near Columbus Day. Fall Break is popular because usually the weather is cooler and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is in full swing. Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is also really popular during this time of year.
The negative with Fall Break is the weather can still be hot and it is very crowded. The crowds felt comparable to when we visited during Thanksgiving Break. Again, you can definitely still enjoy your visit by take advantage of Genie+, extended evening hours for deluxe guests, and early park entry. We maximized these benefits and never waited more than 20 minutes for a ride.
Christmas is one of my favorite times to visit the parks. The decorations and seasonal offerings are magical. I love visiting each of the resorts to enjoy the holiday decorations. Disney decorates every single resort. Each resort has unique themed decorations.
Magic Kingdom offers Holiday Castle Projections and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party unique to this time of year. Epcot has the International Festival of the Holidays and Candlelight Processional which are highly popular events. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom both have unique decorations and entertainment unique to the holidays.
December is very mild weather in Orlando. We often wore short sleeves during the day time and hoodies in the evening. It is perfect weather for many guests.
Christmas can be very crowded. Typically the week between Christmas and New Years is the most crowded time of year. I suggest avoiding visiting this week.
My favorite time to visit for the holidays when kids are still out of school is typically December 17-23. The crowds tend to be less before Christmas than after. Most school districts around the country have two weeks off for Christmas.
Summer, Spring Break, Fall Break, and Christmas Break are the best time to visit Disney World with Kids
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