Answer: ALL THE TIME!
But really, when is the perfect time of year to go to Disney World? Is there a best time to go to Disney World? What makes one time of year better than another time? Those are the questions we are here to answer!
What to Consider
Did you know that Disney prices vary all year long? Disney has a few levers to pull on price:
- Ticket Price
- Hotel Price
- Food Price
The first two vary literally month-to-month, week-to-week, and day-to-day. Food prices can be affected by promotions like the Free Dining Plan.
Will you be satisfied if you can’t ride every ride in every park? Do you like it better when you’re enjoying the parks with as many people as possible?
Everyone is different, and everyone definitely has different levels of crowd tolerance. Consider what you can handle when determining when to go.
You know it gets HOT in Florida right? If you haven’t walked 5 miles in 95 degree heat in a while, then you might not want to go to Disney World in July.
It also gets chilly in Florida. If you expect to spend a lot of time in the hotel pool in January then you might end up disappointed.
The Perfect Price
We will start this section off by saying that great team over at MouseSavers has a detailed list of the expected rack rates for every Walt Disney World Resort. Check that out for specifics on your preferred resort.
From there we can calculate the range as a percentage of the average price that can be applied to any resort hotel:
- Peak Price: 125+% of average
- Week before Christmas
- Week after Christmas
- Average: ~100% of average
- Early Spring, before Spring Break
- Week of Thanksgiving
- Value: 71% of average
- January except the Marathon
Ticket prices are more difficult to distill than the resort prices. Disney World discontinued the standard Magic Your Way pricing scheme in 2018. The new pricing scheme is now variable on both start date and number of park days. Regular ticket price increases for Park Hopper and Park Hopper Plus options also apply.
As an example, a single 3-day Park Hopper ticket starting this Monday, October 7, would run you $403.38 for an average of $134.46 per day. A 6-day Park Hopper ticket on the same day would cost $530.21, only $126.83 more than the 3-day ticket at an average of $88.37 per day!
By paying less than the price of another park day at the 3-day rate, you end up with two extra park days! To figure out the right time for you, your best bet is to check out Disney World’s ticket selector or contact your Disney Travel Agent!
Below is an example of the October 2019 ticket selector with some of the options mentioned above.
The Perfect Crowds
Starting with Undercover Tourist’s Crowd Calendar is the best way to determine how your trip will be affected by crowds. I also love that they provide weather data from Dark Sky, which I will mention in the next section. The crowd levels tend to follow the resort hotel pricing levels I mentioned in the last section. Fewer people tends to mean lower prices.
- Peak Crowds: 9/10 or 10/10
- Most of December, especially Christmas and New Years
- All summer when kids are out of school
- Weekends near major holidays
- Average: 4/10 to 6/10
- Early Spring, before Spring Break
- Late August and September, when kids go back to school
- Low: 3/10 or less
- Mid-late January except the Marathon
- February except the Marathon
The Perfect Weather
First off, get yourself a good weather app for daily use. Dark Sky is our weather app of choice due to their unsurpassed accuracy. For $3.99 on iOS you will not regret this app. Go get it. I’ll wait.
Now that you have something better than the default weather app, it comes down to what you want out of your vacation. The US Climate Data site provides this handy chart of precipitation and temperatures in Orlando.
Keep in mind that it rains every day in Orlando in the summer and fall. The rain usually only lasts an hour, but it’s worth remembering as you are planning your trip.
The Perfect Combination
So what’s the perfect combination of price, crowds, and weather? Here are Big Castle Travel’s Top 3 Best times to go to Walt Disney World:
- Early September – Enjoy both Epcot Food & Wine and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party right after most kids go back to school.
- Price: ~78% of average cost
- Crowds: The 9th and 10th might be some of the lightest days all year long!
- Weather: It will rain, and it will be humid
- Early May – Catch the height of Epcot Flower & Garden after Spring Break is over but before summer starts.
- Price: ~90% of average
- Crowds: Mother’s Day weekend is the highest at 7
- Weather: It’s heating up to the highs 80s, but little rain
- Early February – Cool weather will be your best friend, and the Epcot Festival of the Arts is incredible too.
- Price: ~71% before Presidents’ Day
- Crowds: Never higher than a 6!
- Weather: Little rain with temps in the 60s most of the day