The first answer to that statement is Anytime! No matter when you go you will have fun but there is more to it than that. When you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World it helps to know the best time to visit. The best time to go can be different for each family, but usually means the least crowded time period or the most moderate temperatures, or even a combination of both.
This article will give information on both crowd levels and weather conditions for each month with a summary and more information below. It will even tell you the days of the week each park is busiest! So sit back, relax and let me help you decide what the perfect time of year for YOUR Walt Disney World trip will be. Please keep in mind while reading that all temperatures and humidity levels are averages. They do not guarantee that you will see that particular weather when you visit Walt Disney World.
January has comfortable temperatures with an average low of 49 and an average high of just 72 degrees. Humidity stays around 74%, and rainfall is minimal with about two inches over six days throughout the month. Aside from the Martin Luther King holiday and the annual Marathon Weekend the crowds are historically low. If you dare to go around the 7th there will be at least 20 thousand additional visitors that will also impact the Disney World Transportation System with closures and delays. If you are there, just be prepared for some changes due to the Marathon.
February maintains the mild weather and crowds. Temperatures range from 50 to 74 degrees and the humidity usually drops even closer to 70%. While there are more days with rain in February (7), this month averages just under an inch of rain for the whole month. Presidents week will throw a hitch into the otherwise very low crowds so it is best to avoid that time period.
March weather is similar to February's but with more rain and a high temperature of 79 degrees. Not the wettest month by any means but March will usually bring in just over three inches of rain. The beginning of the month will have low crowds, but as the number on the calendar rises, so do the crowds. You will have shorter wait times if you go to Walt Disney World during the first two weeks of March. After that time you will run into kids and their families on Spring Break vacations which have a huge impact on Disney World crowd levels.
April showers are not so frequent at Walt Disney World. With an average of just over two inches of rain and six days during the month with liquid precipitation. Even the humidity drops down to just 69%. Temperatures are again mild with lows around 60 degrees and highs in the low 80's. In fact, with this weather April would be a perfect time to go to Disney World. The reason it is not a great time to go is because of Spring Break and Easter which combine to heavily impact crowd levels until the last week of the month.
Everything goes up when May weather hits Walt Disney World, but not severely. Average temperatures in the mid 60's to upper 80's is perfect on paper. Humidity is still relatively low at just 72%. Rainfall days and totals pick up in May with approximately nine days of rain and close to four inches to hit the ground. Crowds in May are slow until Memorial Day Weekend. Mothers Day is also historically a crowded time to visit. Star Wars Weekends begin mid May and on those weekends you would do well to stay away from Disney's Hollywood Studios. Unless of course you want to participate in the Star Wars festivities!
June is warmer and wetter. The average temperatures are low 70's to low 90's. Humidity takes a large jump to reach 77% It follows that rain totals also increase with over seven inches of rain and about 14 days during the month when you will want an umbrella. Crowds are pretty slow until the third week of June. Again remember to stay away from Disney's Hollywood Studios on the weekends until mid June. Gay Days will also occur in the first week of June. This brings an immense number of people but in the grand scheme of things the impact on crowd levels is very minimal. The third week of June will take a big leap in crowd sizes as Summer at Disney World officially begins.
July and August carry on with very similar weather to June. With low 70's to low 90's and humidity just reaching 80% you will have a slight increase in rain during July and a slight decrease in August. The summer month are wet and humid in Florida, so be sure to bring an umbrella. The already heavy crowds will increase further over the Independence Day holiday on July 4th. When schools begin around the last week of August crowd levels, and your wait times drop back down as it becomes very slow at Disney World.
September carries on the rainy tradition of summer, but if you don't melt then this is a great month to visit Walt Disney World. Temperatures are mild with low 70's to low 90's. Humidity remains on or near 80%. Over about 14 days in September you will see about 5 1/2 inches of rain. This month as a whole is considered one of the slowest months at Disney World. Be sure to wait skip the Labor Day holiday for the lower crowds. There will be an impact on crowds at the Magic Kingdom on days of Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, and at Epcot once the International Food and Wine Festival begin (the last week of the month).
The Food and Wine Festival continues through the first week in November so it will impact crowds at Epcot throughout the month of October. The same is true for the Halloween Party which runs through the month at the Magic Kingdom. Since the party is not held every night you can simply look at that schedule to plan your Magic Kingdom days. Even with these additional crowds, Disney still considers October to be one of the slowest months. Weather brings a cool change with temps ranging between 65 and 85 degrees. Humidity will drop back down to the upper 70's and rainfall totals follow suit with just under three inches of rain during the month.
Like October, November is also cooler and more mild. Temperatures drop even more to an average of high 50's to high 70's. There are less than two inches of rain throughout the month. Crowds will diminish the second week of November until Thanksgiving week and the following weekend. After this time the crowds quickly drop down again.
December is one of the most beautiful times to visit Walt Disney World. Temperatures are very mild and average low 50's to low 70's. You might want a light jacket. Like November, the humidity stays in the mid 70's. Again there are less than two inches of rain over six days. For the first two weeks of December crowds are tremendously low. The weekends before Christmas will see an influx of visitors as Disney World gets its highest crowds of the year from here on until the 3rd or 4th of January. All Christmas decorations will be out earlier in the month so don't hesitate to visit during that time period.
In a nutshell, May, September and October are practically perfect in every way. Because they are slow, Disney often offers tremendous specials for these time periods, such as free dining or heavily discounted room rates.
The busiest times at Walt Disney World (avoid these times):
1. Marathon Weekend - January 7 - 9, 2010. This affects both vehicular and foot traffic.
2. The week before and the week after Easter.
3. The third week in March through the third week in April for Spring Break around the country.
4. Presidents Day - the whole week is busy and includes the three day weekend.
5. Summer - the third week in June until the third week in August.
6. Thanksgiving weekend
7. December 25th through January 1st. Usually crowds remain until about the 4th of January.
The slowest and most relax times at Disney World:
1. January 4th through February (if you skip Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day).
2. Week after Easter through early June (skipping Mother's Day and Memorial Day weekend).
3. September (except for Labor Day Weekend) through October.
4. The second week of November until the weekend before Thanksgiving.
5. The week after Thanksgiving until the week of Christmas.
In addition to bigger crowds over Holidays, Disney has higher prices for hotels over Holidays. There used to be just three 'seasons' for hotel prices with Off-season or Value, regular season and peak season. In recent years Disney has added Holiday season and Summer seasons, and higher rates for both.
Most Expensive Time Periods at Walt Disney World:
1. Peak Season: approximately February 15th through March 27 (dates may vary a few days by hotel category).
2. Holiday Season: December 18th to January 4th.
3. Weekends - especially Holiday Weekends
4. Summer Season: June 15th to August 15th.
Least Expensive Time Periods and Possible Great Deals:
1. January and early February, with the exception of Marathon Weekend and Martin Luther King Day. You can often get free hotel nights with a minimum stay during this time period.
2. September - after Labor Day. You can often get the Dining Plan Free in September when you book a package in the Spring.
3. The week after Thanksgiving until approximately December 18th. During this time you get lower prices but all of the Holiday decorations. Prices will sky rocket around the 18th for that same privilege.
If you are at Disney World over a holiday, historically Epcot is the least crowded park on holidays.
High crowds do not need to mean less fun. If you do go during a busy time be sure to use the fastpass system. Don't forget to simply look and enjoy your surroundings. Going during a busy time you will have more entertainment. Use those times to ride, or enjoy the show.
For those that go during the slow times, remember that the park hours are shorter so almost everyone is up and read to enter the parks at opening, and they are prepared to stay all day. There will probably be a decrease in entertainment due to shorter park hours as well.
The busiest days of the week for each park:
The park that has morning Extra Magic Hours is always busier than the other parks from morning until late afternoon.
Magic Kingdom is busiest on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Animal Kingdom is busiest on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
Epcot is most crowded on Wednesday and Friday.
Disney's Hollywood Studios has their largest attendance on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Since holidays are time to avoid at Walt Disney World here below is a list holidays that will impact attendance.
Remaining 2009 Holidays -
Labor Day 9/7
Columbus Day 10/12
Veterans Day 11/11
2010 Holidays by Month:
New Years Day 1/1
Martin Luther King Day 1/18
Presidents Day 2/15
Mothers Day 5/9