Disney World is a magical place to visit at any time of the year. They have so many different celebrations that it feels like no matter when you go you will be there for something special. If you like many others are looking to experience all the magic of the happiest place on earth but don’t want to pay top dollar and be packed in like sardines than you may want to consider visiting during these off- peak weeks. While it may involve pulling children out of school at times, and you may not be always attending the largest and most popular events, I promise you that it is worth it.
As an experienced Disney traveler, I have learned a lot over the years in terms of how to save money and how to make the most out of my Disney vacations. When I’m trying to navigate the parks and experience as many rides and attractions as possible I prefer to do so in a less crowded environment and in more temperate weather. If you have the option to be flexible with dates and being there for major holidays isn’t a priority of yours than you should consider visiting during the some of the off-peak weeks below.
Late February after the Princess Half Marathon:
This has long been my favorite week to visit Disney World. I have been there almost every week of the year at some point and this week seems to be the gold medal of weeks to experience the parks. It is the perfect combination of varying weather where it is hot enough during the day to swim but cool enough in the evening to wear jeans and a t-shirt. This week has traditionally been so empty that we have been able to stay on almost any ride in Magic Kingdom after the fireworks and ride repeatedly without getting off. We also were able to take pictures on Main St with no one else on it in front of the castle before park close. The hotels always have room for last minute bookings and the deals are fabulous if you book just a few weeks ahead of time. Best of all, even if you book just a week or two out almost all of the rides are available for fast pass and there are restaurant reservations aplenty. We even got a front row seat for the parade 5 minutes before it started.
Beginning of January after New Year’s week:
From the week leading up to Christmas to the week that includes and follows New Years the parks are jam packed with people. In fact, they are usually at capacity pretty early on in the day which can make it very difficult to navigate through crowds. It also makes for huge wait times for attractions. However, the few weeks following these holidays the parks are empty and wait times are so short its shocking. Hotel rates drop from the most peak prices of the year to between 20-40% lower than prior weeks. What better way to keep the joy of the holiday season going then to head to Disney? Maybe even book a few weeks ahead of time and give it as a gift to a loved one on the holidays. No one will ever know how much less you paid for them to experience the joy of a Disney vacation.
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First two weeks of December:
This is such a magical time to visit Walt Disney World. While it is still considered off peak, the parks are decorated for Christmas, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is in full swing, and everything is aglow with holiday magic. The Thanksgiving weekend crowds have cleared out and the Christmas crowds are yet to arrive. Yet with all of this hustle and bustle going on you can still get great off- peak rates! You can enjoy the trail of trees at Disney Springs, the gingerbread house at Grand Floridian, the giant tree in Magic Kingdom and so much more. If you and your family can experience all of the festivities of the best time of the year without the crazy crowds or inflated prices than it may be worth pulling the kids out of school. It will truly be a December to remember.
First two weeks of May:
With spring breaks behind us and southern schools not quite out yet the first two weeks of May offer moderate prices and slightly more sparse crowds. While these weeks are a bit more crowded than some of the off- peak weeks in the winter, they are still a far cry from the summer crowds that start to show up at the beginning of June. Guests visiting during this time will enjoy great pool weather and it’s the perfect time to visit Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon.
Whenever you choose to visit Walt Disney World one thing is for sure, you will have an incredibly magical vacation! What are some of your favorite times to visit? Have you experienced any weeks that are less crowded and less expensive that weren’t listed here? If so please share your experience.