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When is the best time to visit Walt Disney World?

When I first visited Walt Disney World, I didn’t ask this question. Not once. I started visiting Walt Disney World nearly 12 years ago, I  booked my first trip a during random week of annual leave from work. No research was done as to events, festivals, time of year or even weather.

But now, as I am a self proclaimed Disney Pro! And have visited Walt Disney World many times of the year, I know my favourite and preferred time of year to visit.

In my Walt Disney World overview post I listed when to stay at Walt Disney World, this is a more in depth look at the best and worst times to visit.

America’s public holidays

There are plenty of public holidays in USA, even though these are one day events, residents will get an extended weekend off, Friday through Monday and it is a perfect time for them to visit.

  • Martin Luther King Day (also known as MLK Day) falls on the third Monday in January
  • Presidents Day falls on the third Monday in February
  • Memorial Day falls on the third Monday in May
  • 4th July, Independence Day
  • Labour Day falls on the first Monday of September
  • Columbus Day falls on the second Monday in October
  • 11th November, Veterans Day (similar to Armistice Day in the UK)
  • Thanksgiving falls on fourth Thursday of November

I would avoid a trip during these holidays, however, the least crowded in my opinion are Labour Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day.

Marathon Weekends

Disney hosts Marathons in, around and through the Disney Parks. These usually last Friday through Monday’s and over 100,000 extra guests visit Walt Disney World to attend the marathons.

  • Walt Disney World Marathon is the first marathon of the year, it usually falls on the first full weekend of the January
  • Princess Marathon weekend falls on the third weekend in February
  • Star Wars Marathon falls on the first full weekend of April
  • Wine and Dine Marathon falls on the first week of November

I would personally avoid all these weekends if I could help it.

Cheerleading Summits

Walt Disney World hosts competitive cheerleading world championships and summits at Disney’s World Wide Sport Centre over the last 2 weekends in April and first two weekends in May. Whilst I would not say avoid visiting Walt Disney World during this time, I would not be booking a stay at Allstar Sports during these weekends as this is the base resort for all the cheerleading competitors.

Weather

The weather in Orlando Florida for the most part of the year is hot. When it is not hot, it is mildly hot or raining.

  • January/ February/ November/ December – The coolest months
  • March/ April/ May -Ranging between 20-25oc daily
  • June – Reaches around 27oc daily
  • July/ August – The hottest months reaching over 30oc
  • September – Hot but also hurricane season and can have sporadic rainy spells
  • October – Mild to hot

School holidays

I would always and intentionally avoid visiting during UK school holidays, Spring Break and Jersey Week.

I know this is a lot of information to take in and probably looks like there is never a good time to visit, this is not the case and whilst there are no ‘low seasons’ or ‘down time’ anymore in Walt Disney World, (the opening of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge has seen to that) there are still some great times to visit.

My favourite times and hidden gems of time to visit are

  • Anytime in January avoiding New Years Day, MLK Day and Marathon weekend
  • Anytime in February avoiding Presidents Day and Marathon weekend
  • Anytime in May
  • Anytime in September and October
  • The first two weeks of November
  • The week between Thanksgiving and the beginning of December
  • The first two weeks of December

What are your thoughts? When are your favourite times to visit Walt Disney World? When are your least favourite times to visit? Do you visit the same season every year? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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