I don’t claim to have been to Disney every month of the year. Though I have been a number of times – in February, March, April, June, July, August, September, October, and December (okay, so almost every month!). And even when a month has been promising in years past doesn’t always mean that it will that year. But I see this question asked a lot, so I figured I’d list some of the pros and cons of visiting each month, based on both research and personal experience. In my opinion, there are three major things to consider when deciding when to visit – crowds, weather, and price. This list is not comprehensive of every single thing, but it’s some good things to consider for people new to visiting Disney.
January – After New Year’s, the parks are very empty. This is a good time to go if you really want to avoid crowds. On the downside, a lot of rides close around this time for refurbishment, so if there’s something you absolutely must ride be aware of this – Splash Mountain is almost always closed in January, for instance. The weather tends to be mild, though it can get a bit cold or hot. The only crowded times to look out for are marathon weekend (usually the resorts are much more crowded than the parks), and MLK weekend. Prices are cheap for January due to the low crowds.
February – Similar to January in many ways, though it gets a little bit busier. One weekend to absolutely avoid is President’s Day weekend. I went last year during that time and it was crazy busy, not to mention that the prices for hotels and buffet meals go up. The rest of February isn’t too bad. The weekend of the Princess Half marathon can get busy as well. Weather wise, February can be all over the place. I’ve been when it’s 40 degrees and when it’s 85!
March – The beginning of March is better than the rest of the month, because you start getting into spring break season and that’s when it starts getting crowded. I went once during the first week of March and it wasn’t too bad yet. The weather usually tends to be a little warmer than February but pleasant – usually in the 70’s or so.
April – April can get very busy because it’s the end of spring break season as well as Easter. However, be aware of when Easter is. If it’s early in the year then the end of April can be quite nice. We went this past year during the last week of April because Easter was in March. The crowds were low and the weather was very good – warm, with only one or two days that really felt hot. This year Disney has some discounts running for April-June that are pretty nice too. In addition, you can visit Epcot’s Flower and Garden festival if you visit during April.
May – May is also a mid-crowd level month, getting worse toward the end of the month as some schools start finishing. The weather is getting warmer too, but usually not unbearably hot. Epcot’s Flower and Garden festival is going on, which I really enjoy. If you’re a Star Wars fan, Star Wars weekends happen most weekends in May. And if you’re not interested in that, make sure to plan your trip so that you avoid Hollywood Studios on the weekends!
June – Now you’re starting to really get into the summer, which is when the crowds go up and so does the temperature. Early June is slightly better than the end of the month, but it will still be pretty crowded.
July – This is peak time for Disney, and you’ll be facing packed parks. The busiest it will be this month is around the 4th of July. However, the positive side to this is that the Magic Kingdom does some truly amazing fireworks for the 4th of July. Just make sure you prepare adequately for the heat and the crowds.
August – Very similar to July, though the last week of August isn’t as bad because many schools are back in session by then.
September – This is our favorite time of year to go because the parks are so empty. We hardly had to wait for anything the entire week we were there for our honeymoon. The only downside is that September is still incredibly hot, so you do have to deal with the temperatures. Usually around the second week of September Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party starts. You might also be able to catch the beginning of the Food and Wine festival if you go in late September. Finally, because the parks are so empty Disney likes to offer discounts during time. Historically, September has been when Disney offers the extremely popular free dining promotion.
October – There’s plenty going on in October, and it’s usually not too crowded, though busier than September. There’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party, as well as Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. Food and Wine is a do not miss, but if you can try to visit it during the week instead of the weekends, which is when a lot of locals come out and it gets really crowded.
November – Crowds tend to be rather low for most of November, and the weather pleasant. Thanksgiving week is peak crowd time though, so it will get busy. In the beginning of the month you can catch Mickey’s No So Scary Halloween Party, and then for the rest of it you can do Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (or, if you time your trip just right, you might be able to do both!). The Food and Wine Festival is also finishing up at that point.
December – The beginning of December isn’t too crowded, but it will get more and more busy as the month goes on, culminating in the busiest week of the year – the week between Christmas and New Year’s. The weather is similar to January and February, where it can be chilly some days and warm others. Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is going on, as well as the Osborne Lights and Candlelight Processional. And if you do chose to brave the crowds for New Year’s Eve, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios all have big parties and fireworks displays.
What’s your favorite month to go to Disney?