The Walt Disney World Railroad in Disney's Magic Kingdom has been closed now since December…
There is no doubt that a trip to Walt Disney World is expensive, but some times of the year are cheaper than others. What is the cheapest time to go to Disney World?
The price of a Disney World vacation fluctuates greatly throughout the year. Going in one season could cost twice as much as another time of the year. Knowing these trends will help you to choose your vacation during the cheapest times to visit Disney and can save you some serious money.
In this post, we are going to explain what the cheapest times of the year to go to Disney World are, both in general and in 2021, and 2022. We also are going to show you the cheapest time for park tickets and hotel rooms so you don’t miss the discounts.
There are even some days of the week at Disney World that are more expensive than others and we’ll share those with you, along with some important tips you can use to save money.
The cheapest time to go to Disney World is from early January until President’s weekend in February. This is when you will find the lowest prices on tickets and hotels throughout the year.
The second least expensive time is in late August through September when there is always a lower demand. You can also find some low prices in early November and December, though to a lesser extent.
There are more details to consider, but if you understand that those seasons are the least expensive, you are already off to a good start. Now, let’s see which are the most and least expensive dates in the next couple of years.
Before we get started, make sure to read our full 2021 Disney World Trip Planning Guide where you can find out all the answers to your vacation planning needs.
Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you the latest updates at Disney World as well as vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter
Most Expensive Time of the Year at Disney World in 2021
As we went over in our post on “How much does is cost to go to Disney World?” a trip to the most magical place on Earth is an expensive proposition. Read that post for a detailed breakdown of all the costs.
However, even though Disney World is expensive, you can still do it on a budget and make the trip manageable financially. The way to do that is avoid going during the most expensive seasons. What is the most expensive time to visit?
Here is a list of the Most Expensive Dates at Disney World in 2021:
- 1/1 – 1/2 (New Year’s)
- 2/11 – 2/20 (President’s Day & Marathon)
- 3/5 – 4/17 (Easter & Spring Break)
- 5/28 – 5/30 (Memorial Day)
- 10/8 – 10/10 (Columbus Day)
- 11/4 – 11/6 (Veterans Day)
- 11/20 – 11/28 (Thanksgiving Week)
- 12/18 – 12/31 (Christmas)
Christmas & New Year’s: Historically, between the Christmas holiday and New Year’s is the most expensive time to visit Walt Disney World. Starting with the week before Christmas, these dates always have the highest prices for tickets and hotels when compared with any other season of the year.
Easter, Thanksgiving, & Other Holidays: After Christmas, the next most expensive times at Disney World are any of the other national holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day.
Spring Break: With schools and colleges out around the country, Spring Break is always super expensive at Disney. This year that encompasses almost the entire months of March and April.
Special Circumstances: In 2021, some months which are usually some of the cheapest times to visit, are now grouped as some of the most expensive. For example, late September and October will be more expensive this year due to high demand to be there for The Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary event.
Also make sure to avoid the marathon weekends which are in mid-February and mid-April.
Cheapest Time of the Year at Disney World in 2021
Just like there are more expensive times, there are also times of the year when it is cheaper to go to Disney World.
As a rule, January, February, August and September are the cheapest seasons, as long as you avoid any holidays in those months. November and December are also good, though the discounts are not quite as deep.
Here is a list of the Cheapest Dates at Disney World in 2021:
- 1/3 – 1/6; 1/10 – 1/14; 1/18 – 2/10 (Winter Value Season)
- 2/21 – 3/4 (Before Spring Break)
- 4/18 – 5/27 (After Spring Break)
- 8/8 – 8/21 (Summer Slow Season)
- 8/22 – 9/30 (Summer/Fall Value Season)
- 10/27 – 11/3, 11/7 – 11/19 (Fall Value Season)
- 11/27 – 12/9 (Winter Value Season)
January & February: This is always the cheapest season of the year and offers lows in tickets and hotel prices. As long as you don’t go during the Martin Luther King Jr. or Presidents Day holidays you will save money.
August & September: By mid-August, kids across the country start getting ready to go back to school which means they are not going to Disney World. The fact that the weather is scorching hot and hurricane season being in full swing also means that Disney cuts prices to attract guests.
Before the Holidays in November & December: November and December are usually very expensive times to go to Disney World, but if you pick the right weeks you will save a bundle. Go early in November before Veterans Day and Thanksgiving and go in early December before the Christmas crowds get there for the cheapest rates.
Cheapest Time of the Year at Disney World in 2022
Follow the same seasonal rules in 2022 as 2021 when figuring out the cheapest dates.
- 1/3 – 1/7, 1/9 – 1/13, 1/16 – 2/9 (Winter Value Season)
- 2/20 – 3/10 (Before Spring Break)
- 4/24 – 5/26 (After Spring Break)
- 8/7 – 8/20 (Summer Slow Season)
- 8/21 – 9/30 (Summer/Fall Value Season)
- 10/26 – 11/2, 11/6 – 11/18 (Fall Value Season)
- 11/27 – 12/8 (Winter Value Season)
How to Figure Out the Cheapest Time at Disney World?
We all want to go to Disney World when it’s less expensive, but figuring when prices are lowest can be quite tricky. Disney has a complex system and prices are determined by a variety fo factors including holidays, festivals, special events, school breaks, and even days of the week.
Here are a few ways to figure out the cheapest times to go…
Disney World is Cheapest When Crowds are Low
For some guests, saving money is an even bigger objective when going to Disney World than avoiding the crowds. Thankfully, the two are connected and the cheapest time to go is also when crowds are lowest.
Crowds in Disney World are always highest when kids are not in school. That means holidays, and breaks from school in the Spring and Summer are when the parks are most crowded. This is also when the parks are the most expensive.
Weather also plays a part since fewer people want to go during the absolute hottest periods of the year. Crowds are also low when its hurricane season at Walt Disney World since rain and storms can really put a damper on your trip.
If you are concerned about saving money on your trip, make sure to go when the crowds are at their lowest. Before you chose your dates, make sure to consult a Disney World Crowd Calendar so you know the busiest and least busy days of the year.
Using the Ticket Calendar
Disney World uses date-based ticket prices which change depending on the days you want to go. One way to understand if the dates you are interested in are expensive is to look at ticket prices in Disney’s ticket calendar online.
When you look at the calendar it will show you prices for every date compared to each other. By studying the date-based ticket system, you will have a good idea when the cheapest time to go to Disney World is.
Prices Go Up Each Year
Though some months are definitely cheaper than others in the same year, keep in mind that prices do go up every year and those same bargains aren’t as good if you compare with the previous year.
January and February may be the cheapest months of the year, but they aren’t necessarily that much cheaper than the prior year in August, September or December. That means putting off your trip may not save you all that much money.
Let’s look at the Animal Kingdom Lodge as an example. Here are the lowest hotel rack rates for 2021 and the prior year so you understand:
- August 2020 – $426
- September 2020 – $426
- December 2020 – $440
- January 2021 $434
Looking at the prices is quite enlightening. If you were trying to decide between a trip to Disney in August 2020 or January 2021, the August prices from the previous year are actually cheaper than the following January.
If you waited until January 2021 to take your trip because you heard it was the cheapest month of the year, in this case you’d be making a mistake and actually paying more. Instead of putting off your trip for 5 months, you could have taken it in August if you preferred.
Yes, January is the cheapest month of the year, when comparing it to the other months in that same year. However, since Disney is always raising prices from year to year, sometimes it’s just better to go sooner instead of waiting.
Cheapest Time for Hotels
Going to Disney World during a cheaper time will give you the biggest savings on your hotel room. The price can vary greatly when comparing value season and peak season, where hotel rooms can cost twice as much as the normal price.
- The cheapest time to book a hotel at Disney World is in January, February, and September. This is always when prices are the lowest and it’s considered “Value Season.”
The cheapest dates for hotel rooms at Disney World in 2021 are:
- January 3 – January 14
- January 18 – February 10
- August 20 – September 16
- November 7 – November 22
- November 27 – December 2
Here are some examples of prices for Walt Disney World Resort hotels during the different seasons:
- Disney’s Pop Century – Value Season: $162 per night
- Disney’s Pop Century – Summer Season: $225 per night
- Disney’s Pop Century – Peak Season: $330 per night
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – Value Season: $240 per night
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – Summer Season: $297 per night
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – Peak Season: $432 per night
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Value Season: $434 per night
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Summer Season: $506 per night
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Peak Season: $759 per night
Going to Pop Century during value season over peak season will save you $168 per night, going to the Caribbean Beach Resort during value season will save you $192 per night, and you can save $325 per night at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Hotels always cost more during the weekends at Disney World than during the week. Monday – Wednesday are the cheapest rates, followed by Thursday and Sunday, while Friday and Saturday are the most expensive.
Hotels are Each Priced Differently
Even though Disney World Resort hotels are generally cheaper in the value season, not all the hotels follow exactly the same pricing patterns. Disney is constantly offering special deals on rooms for certain hotels which can give a bigger discount than normal.
Some hotels don’t fluctuate prices as much as others do or during different seasons. For example, the All-Star Resorts prices increase during the Summer season, while other resorts decrease. This is because those are the cheapest hotels and popular with families, who are more likely to go during Summer break.
Cheapest Time for Tickets
Disney World uses a surge pricing model for their theme park tickets, much like they do with resort hotel room prices. The busier the season, the more expensive park tickets are. During the seasons when people are less likely to come to the parks, ticket prices drop.
- The cheapest times for Disney World theme park tickets are in January, February, and September. This is always when prices are the lowest and it’s considered “Value Season.”
- The most expensive time for tickets is during the holidays, especially the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays.
Some months can have big fluctuation in prices with part of the month in a value season while other dates are holidays. The same month can have 3-4 price points for tickets depending on what days you go.
July for example only ranges between $126 – $132 for a 1-Day ticket. Prices in August on the other hand are between $109 – $132 depending on the day.
Pricing is the same for all 4 theme parks so it doesn’t matter if you are going to the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios or the Animal Kingdom. All prices are the same.
Here are some ranges between the lowest and highest prices for Disney World Base Tickets: in 2021:
- 1-Day Tickets: $109-$159
- 2-Day Tickets: $214-$310
- 3-Day Tickets: $315-$447
- 4-Day Tickets: $412-$564
- 5-Day Tickets: $440-$600
A family of 4 can save up to $200 on 1-Day tickets by going in the off-season instead of peak season. The same family can save up to $640 on 5-Day tickets by going in the value season instead. That’s enough to pay for a few dinners during your trip!
Cheapest Way to Buy Tickets
Buying park tickets directly from Disney is always the most expensive option. Thankfully, there are a few authorized discount sellers who can save you a pretty penny on tickets.
Depending on the type of ticket you are buying, these sellers can save you anywhere from $50 – $70 per person. That means a family of four can potentially save $200 – $300 on tickets.
Make sure whoever you buy your tickets from is an authorized Disney reseller. We recommend companies such as Undercover Tourist or Get Away Today. They are trusted sellers, we’ve used them many times and you don’t have to worry about the tickets being fake like other places.
Cheapest Days of the Week
Not only does the season you go to Disney World affect the price, but so does the day of the week you decide to visit. The biggest rule is to always avoid going to Disney World on the weekend if you are trying to save money.
Monday through Wednesday nights are the cheapest days to stay in a Disney resort hotel room. Friday and Saturday nights always cost the most. Thursday and Sunday nights are less expensive than Friday and Saturday, but sometimes slightly more expensive than Monday – Wednesday.
Disney World park ticket are cheapest from Monday to Thursday during most seasons. Tickets on the weekend are always more expensive than during the week unless there is a holiday.
Tips to Staying Cheap at Disney World
Here are some quick tips to staying cheap at Disney World:
- Don’t Buy Park Hoppers – This is an added cost you don’t need. Do one park per day and save the extra $60 per ticket.
- Skip the Disney Dining Plan – Most people won’t eat as much food as the dining plan gives you. Yes, it’s convenient, but you will most likely be paying for food you otherwise would never eat.
- Don’t Buy Water – There is no need to buy bottled water at Disney World when you can get water for free. You can go to any quick service restaurant in the parks and ask them for a cup of ice water, free.
Look for Current Deals
Besides following the normal seasonal pricing, from time to time Disney will offer big discounts on hotel rooms and vacation packages. Sometimes these deals can be as much as 35 – 40% off the regular prices.
In fact, in 2021, Disney is offering a bunch of deals on hotel rooms to try and get people to come back to Walt Disney World. Some of the offers include adding extra days of park tickets for free.
The only problem with these deals is that they there is limited availability and they go fast. You need to keep checking the Disney website for their latest promotions if you want to take advantage of them.
That’s just another reason to follow our next tip…
Use an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
Finding the best prices and the cheapest time to visit Disney World is complicated and can be very stressful. That’s why we say the best way to get the cheapest price to stay at Walt Disney World is to use an authorized Disney Vacation Planner to book your trip.
They will compare rates for you and make sure you get the best price for your trip possible. As Disney releases those new deals for guests, a Disney Vacation Planner will make sure your offer is updated and you have the most cost-effective one for your family.
They are absolutely FREE to use and in the long run they will end up saving you a ton of money on your trip. We recommend René at Show You the World Travel for all your trip planning needs. We use them multiple times per year and they give you the best service and savings combination out there!
The cheapest month to go to Disney World is January, followed by February and September.
If you are on a budget, don’t go to Disney World on a holiday. The Christmas holiday is the most expensive time to visit.
Go during the value season and look for special offers on hotel rooms and vacation packages from Disney.
The off-season is when kids are in school. Usually, January, February and September are considered the off-season.
Finding the cheapest time of the year is only one deciding factor in planning when to visit. Read our post on The Best Times to Go to Disney World for all the other factors you should take into consideration.
I want to know what you think about the our list of the cheapest times to visit Disney…
- When do you think is the cheapest time to go?
- How much does price weigh on your decision?
Let us know in the comments section below!
If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media. I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂