One of the most common statements made when planning a trip to Walt Disney World is, “I want to go when there are no crowds.” I mean, who doesn’t? You want access to all of our favorite rides and shows with minimal wait so we can do as much as possible. You want to spend our time “doing” not “waiting.” You want to know when the least crowded time to visit Walt Disney World is.
Walt Disney World Magic Brings Crowds
If you were lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World in those days when it wasn’t crowded, it’s hard to wrap your brain around 3 hour wait times for the most popular attractions, or the having to book your dining experiences 180 days prior to check-in, to the minute! The truth is though, Walt Disney World is sometimes less crowded than other times, but it’s never not crowded anymore. Across the globe, the popularity and magic of this vacation destination continues to grow. Guests are visiting for the first, fifth and fiftieth time everyday.
Most Crowded Times to Visit
There are some obvious times that guests should avoid visiting if possible, but sometimes that’s just not possible. Major holidays will always bring an uptick of visitors to the Walt Disney World Resort, followed by school vacations. This is fluid as not every school district in the country has the same breaks, but there’s the overlapping summer and Christmas breaks. “Spring Break” looks very different for everyone. Time off varies by education level – elementary versus high school versus higher education and then of course regional differences. Spring break can be two separate weeks off like in the Northeast (a week in February and a week in April), it can be one or two weeks in March, but generally when planning travel, spring break means mid-February through mid-April. There are fall breaks that many schools in the South and Midwest also have.
So basic rules of thumb are that any time children aren’t in school, you can find many of them at Walt Disney World. This is both due to required attendance as well as many parents who teach and who’s schedules are not flexible during the school year. Long weekends are great for this reason, but again, you’ll find it more crowded. While it’ll be hot, summertime is really a good compromise between the crowds and taking time off from school. If you are in part of the country where you school system doesn’t start until closer to Labor Day, mid/late August is a fantastic time to visit. Besides lower crowds, there are often great promotions for these travel dates to get guests to book.
Special Events and Celebrations at Walt Disney World
Of course, there are other reasons to select specific dates or times of year to visit Walt Disney World. You may be looking to celebrate a special occasion and want to be there at this time. There are also many festivals (Epcot hosts Festival of the Arts, Flower & Garden, Food & Wine, Festival of the Holidays) and holiday celebrations (Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party) that you may want to attend. runDisney also hosts four different race weekends which does bring thousands of runners – wait times for attractions may not be as affected as resort hotel availability and dining reservations.
Recommended Times to Visit
Back to the question, when is it the least crowded time to Visit Walt Disney World? If you have a wide-open calendar and flexibility to travel any month, mid-August through September is going to be a great time, followed by June and July (except 4th of July) and most of January. If you have limited availability in your work/home schedule, be sure to reach out to one of the great agents at The Magic for Less Travel to help you find the best deal and time for you to visit!