One the of the most frequent questions we get from friends and clients is:
When is the best time to visit Walt Disney World?
For some folks “best” means “cheapest” and for others “best” means “least crowded”. For us the answer has always been a combination of the two along with a few other considerations, including the weather.
Having visited in the fall during prime hurricane season 3 of the last five years, we know a thing or two about dealing with rainy days at Disney!
We’ve heard a ton of chatter about the crowds at Disney over the last months. Check out this post from the Disney Tourist Blog that details 20-minute waits for the PeopleMover in Tommorowland at Magic Kingdom – one of my favorite rides because it’s relaxing and there’s never a wait.
These waits were just last month in January (2018), typically one of the least crowded months at Walt Disney World.
One of the comments on that post even mentioned 40-minute waits for the PeopleMover in January (2018).
While unusual, the current stories about crowds are understandable. We’ve seen a definite uptick in calls and emails about Walt Disney World vacations over the last few months, and a number of other factors are probably influencing the increases:
The economy is doing well in many areas – so travelers may have more money to spend
Disney is advertising heavily – both domestically and around the world
Walt Disney World has a number of new attractions (think Hollywood Studios, Toy Story Land and Star Wars)
Disney has pinpointed times of lower attendance and has given travelers incentives to visit during those times (think “free dining”)
Last year’s weather (2017 hurricanes) resulted in tons of cancellations and re-bookings for this year (2018)
Another thing to consider is the wide availability of information regarding Disney’s peak travel times.
A simple Google search for “best times to visit Disney” comes with with nearly 150,000 results, with dozens from popular Disney bloggers and unofficial guide books and websites. It’s easier now than it has ever been to find out when are the “best times to visit”.
If all those factors are resulting in a year-round Disney busy season, what should we do to try and avoid the crowds? A few things we do and that we advise our clients to consider:
We end each post with the words “Relax…you CAN get there from here!” We really mean it. The first thing to do when planning a Disney trip is to relax. You’re going to have an amazing time. Enjoy the anticipation.
Avoid what we’re now calling the “super peak” times. These include the week of Thanksgiving, the week between Christmas and New Years, Easter, popular spring break weeks, and a few others (drop us a contact and we’ll be happy to provide a few others to avoid).
Avoid weekends (we’ve had great luck with Monday through Friday visits)
Be strategic with Fast Passes (drop us a contact for more information, Fast Passes are a fine art)
Take advantage of Extra Magic Hours and in-park restaurant bookings (again, drop us a contact and we’ll tell you how)
Build in time to wander without a specific agenda (afternoons and evenings among Epcot’s International Pavilions are perfect for this)
Remember, everyone has a different style of traveling to and enjoying Walt Disney World. These are a few of the strategies that work for us and our clients, and they might work for you as well. Please don’t hesitate to call on us to help.
As we said above, the most important thing to remember when planning a trip and visiting Walt Disney World is to:
Relax…you CAN get there from here!