Wondering when to visit Walt Disney World? Meticulous planning might be key to a successful trip, but we’ve made it easy for you with this handy guide.

Whether you’re on a strict budget and are looking for the cheapest room rates or want to attend one of Disney’s fun festivals, these are the main things to consider before booking your trip...

Best Time to Go to Disney World: What to Consider

Season and Crowd Levels

magic kingdom at walt disney world
Crowds after Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom.

Walt Disney World is rarely quiet, though there are some periods throughout the year when the parks see lower crowd levels. If you want to avoid waiting in long lines for the top rides, restaurants, and Disney transport, we recommend skipping the peak times.

The busiest times of year at Walt Disney World are as follows:

  • The week around Presidents Day
  • Easter and Spring Break
  • During cheerleading and dance competitions throughout the year
  • In summer (especially around July 4th) though the parks tend to get quieter in August
  • The period between Christmas and New Year

Not only do busier times mean ride wait times are longer, but restaurant reservations will sell out months in advance. Plus, Disney raises theme park admission and hotel prices during this time, so unless you really want to visit when it’s busy, we advise against it.

Budget and Costs

We know that Walt Disney World is very expensive. But there are ways to ensure your trip is as budget-friendly as possible.

Generally, the cheapest time to visit Walt Disney World is January and February (minus President’s Day weekend) after the festive season ends and crowds begin to thin.

To give you an idea of the price difference – as of 2024, the rack rate of an All Star Resort hotel room starts at $133 in January, while in December it increases to $239 per night. If you want to stay at a Deluxe Resort such as Animal Kingdom Lodge, this is the difference between paying $487 and $631 per night.

The downside to visiting during the cheapest time of the year is that this is when ride maintenance often takes place, so you might miss out on some of your favourite attractions. If this is a deal-breaker, it might be worth visiting in May or September. Prices in these months are still fairly low, though crowds will be higher.

Before choosing when to visit, make sure you consider both park tickets and hotel rates as these vary wildly throughout the year. We recommend you check the Disney World offers page as this can help you find great deals during more expensive seasons like summer and Christmas. Disney often runs promotions that give you extra park tickets for no extra cost.

Festivals and Events

epcot festival of the arts
EPCOT International Festival of the Arts is one of Disney's many annual events. Disney.

Another major thing to consider before booking your Disney trip is whether you want to experience a specific festival or event. Frustratingly, Disney sometimes only reveals the exact festival dates weeks before they kick off. However, you can make a solid estimate as to when Disney’s most popular recurring festivals will take place.

For example, EPCOT’s International Food and Wine Festival usually runs between mid-July and November, so booking a trip in September would land you smack-bang in the middle of these dates. 

The same applies to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. This spooktacular event runs annually between the end of August and the first couple of days in November. Again, booking a trip in September would be a solid way to ensure you don’t miss this fan-favorite.

Here’s a general guide to some of the top festivals and events at Walt Disney World, though bear in mind that this can vary each year:

  • EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, January and February
  • EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, end of February to June
  • EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival, mid-July to November
  • Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, end of August to November
  • EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays, November and December
  • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, November and December


seven dwarf mine train
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Disney.

Florida is known for its unpredictable weather and, while most of the year is extremely hot, it can get cold in the winter. July is usually the hottest month with an average temperature of 28°C (82°F) and January is the coldest at 15°C (59°F).

Another thing to note is that the Atlantic hurricane season occurs between June and November. This brings plenty of rain and hurricanes to Florida and Walt Disney World will occasionally close for a day to let these hurricanes pass.

However, this shouldn’t put you off visiting in September as it’s very rare the park closes. Disney World is well equipped to deal with adverse weather and, in most cases, storms only last around an hour before the bright Florida sunshine resumes.

So… When Should You Visit?

While you can opt to visit year-round and still have fun, we think that the best time to visit Walt Disney World is between August and November.

Though this is during hurricane season, the weather is otherwise great and the crowds are lower than in June and July. We might be biased, but we also think some of the best festivals and events take place during this period, too.

If your budget is tight, visiting in January or February can be a good option – but be aware that the weather will be cooler and a couple of the major attractions are likely to be down for maintenance.