As was announced last week, brand new Star Wars experiences are coming to Hollywood Studios…
Planning a vacation is difficult enough as it is, and perhaps you are wondering “When is the best time to visit Disney World?” To figure out when you should go to WDW there are many factors you need to take into consideration and in this guide, we’ll explain when the best time to go to Disney World is in 2021 & 2022 including the best and worst months ranked.
Even though there is never really a bad time to go to Disney World, picking the right time can make the experience all the more magical. We’ve visited in every season of the year for as long as we can remember and though we always have fun, there are definitely certain times of the year when Disney World is better.
Most people say that the best times to go to Disney World are when the crowds are lowest. While that is a big factor, there are so many more things to consider besides that. We think a Disney World Crowd Calendar is very important, but it’s only the first step in deciding when to go.
What is the best time in Disney World for the weather, the cheapest time, the best events, etc? What about the park hours, special events, and festivals? A combination of all of these things should weigh heavily on deciding the best time of the year to visit and not just when the crowds are the busiest.
In this post, we’ll talk about the best times to go to Disney World in 2021 & 2022, though the majority of the information can be applied to planning your Disney trip in most years. We rank each month from best to worst and break down some of our favorite weeks and days, and which ones to avoid.
If you are undecided about which year to visit Disney World, we wrote a post explaining if you should visit Disney World in 2021 vs 2022 and all the pros and cons of each year.
Also, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. There we bring you the latest Disney vacation planning tips and news so you’ll know the best and worst times to go to Disney World. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter
Before we get started, we want to tell you there isn’t one best time to visit Disney World for everyone. People will have different opinions with certain things being more important than others.
We want you to look at all the factors and make the decision that is going to best fit your needs and then choose when to go. Let’s dive in!
Update After Disney World Reopening
Take about a crazy situation that we are living in right now. Trying to figure out when to go to Disney World is always hard, but the last couple of years have been the hardest ones in the history of Walt Disney World. Since Disney World closed in March 2020, everything has completely changed when trying to plan your vacation.
If you are reading this post you fall into one of two categories:
- Comfortable traveling and want to visit Disney World ASAP
- Still on the cautious side and waiting to see what happens
No matter which category you are in, I don’t blame you and understand how you feel. Either way, there are multiple factors making this hard to do at the moment. Potential travel restrictions, unemployment, and the economic situation all play a role.
Walt Disney World reopened in July 2020, but I have to say from my own experience there in the many times since they have really done an excellent job in making it the safest environment you could hope for, considering the situation.
Even though there are many changes that factor into your vacation right now, we’ve really had a great time this past year and have found the Disney Cast Members going above and beyond to try to make the best guest experience possible right now.
In some ways when Disney World reopened, it was the best time to visit in a long time because of the much lower crowds than in normal years. That has come to a screeching halt and crowds are back almost to normal levels.
Also, with all the new restrictions and limited entertainment, it can be confusing and hard to know if you are getting a good value for your trip. Some people might decide it’s not worth it right now and avoid going altogether.
Our post on the Disney World reopening goes more in detail about all the changes since the parks have opened back up and how they are different.
If you want to know more about when everything shut down in 2020, our Disney World Closure Guide is an interesting read looking back.
Right now many of the safety restrictions have been lifted in 2021, and things like social distancing are no longer enforced in the parks. Face masks are still required by all guests indoors and on attractions which may be aggravating to some. Our recent post “Is it Still Safe to Visit Disney World Now?” answers most of the questions you may be considering.
Even though restrictions are loosened, some of these changes will be around for the whole year, and potentially into 2022. You also won’t see empty parks this year as you did in Summer 2020 and there should be more normality in the parks.
Towards the end of this post, we’ve updated our rankings of the Best Months to Visit Disney World, taking into consideration the park closure up to this point. We’ll keep you updated on all this as we find out more info.
Best Times to Go to Disney World in 2021 & 2022
Figuring out the best time to go to Disney World is often closely connected with the school calendar. It only makes sense that if kids are in school, the parks tend to be less crowded, if they are out of school the crowds will be heavier.
This is no different in 2021 or 2022 and the first step is to look at a calendar and determine when children are least likely to be in school.
As much though as people want to look to crowd calendars to figure out when to visit, they are often unpredictable and require a closer look at what’s happening throughout the year. Now that Disney World is back open again, let’s look at the recent past.
One important consideration is the construction and debuts of new attractions. Whenever new lands like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge or new attractions open, there is always an immediate influx of guests to the parks, no matter what season it is.
For example, when Rise of the Resistance opened it would have normally been the “off-season” at Disney World. Instead, it turned into a planning nightmare with people waiting in line at Hollywood Studios for hours before the park opening every day.
This repeated itself with the opening of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios.
That is why you need to take a balanced approach when deciding the best time of the year to go to Disney and consider the weather, park hours, crowds, special events, and entertainment all together.
Choosing when you’ll visit based on a mix of weather, special events, seasonal entertainment, and crowds is a more pragmatic and balanced approach.
In general, we find that January and September are the best months to visit Disney World.
These have the best balance of crowds, cost, and weather. Kids are very likely to be in school during both of these periods and therefore the crowds will be low and Disney will have some nice offers on vacation packages.
The best times to visit Disney World in 2021 are:
- Jan 5-14, Jan 25 – Feb 11
- Feb 16-25
- March 1-12
- April 19-30
- May 3-14 (Weekdays only)
- August 9-31
- September (the whole month)
- Most Weekdays in October (WDW 50th Anniversary begins)
- Nov 1-21 (avoid Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Week)
- Weekdays in December 1-17 (avoid Christmas and New Year’s)
As you can see, we avoided all major holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and also Spring break when the crowds are very high.
The Fall is usually an ideal time to go as parents don’t like to take their kids out of school in the first couple of months of school. This makes for a great opportunity to go.
Don’t expect 2021 to be a normal year though because when the 50th Anniversary starts you will see larger than usual crowds. Just how much is hard depends on many factors, but we’ll keep an eye on this the closer we get to October 1.
The best times to visit Disney World in 2022 are:
- Jan 3-14, Jan 24 – Feb 10
- Feb 21 – March 4
- April 18-29
- May 2-13 (Weekdays only)
- August 15-31
- September (the whole month)
- Most Weekdays in October
- Nov. 1-18 (avoid Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Week)
- Weekdays in December 1-17 (avoid Christmas and New Year’s)
Again in 2022, we follow the same pattern for the best dates to go to Disney World, avoiding all major holidays and the majority of the Summer.
The Disney World 50th Anniversary will carry on through all of 2022, so there will be plenty of festivities to join in on, and plenty of new rides and attractions to enjoy!
Worst Times to Go to Disney World in 2021 & 2022
The worst times to go to Disney World are when the parks are the most crowded and when the weather is the hottest. You’ll see in the dates below that we skipped all major holidays since that’s the most likely time families will go with kids since they are off from school.
We also skipped most of the Summer, because Central Florida is just too hot and even though you’ll still have a good time, it can be very draining and unpleasant most days.
The worst times to visit Disney World in 2021 are:
- January 1-3, January 16-20
- February 13-21 (President’s Day)
- March 19 – April 11 (Spring Break & Easter)
- May 29 – August 22
- November 20-28 (Avoid Thanksgiving Week)
- December 18 -31 (Avoid Christmas and New Year’s Weeks)
The 5 holidays of Easter, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are always the worst times to visit Disney World.
The worst times to visit Disney World in 2022 are:
- January 1-2, January 16-19
- February 13-21 (President’s Day)
- March 18 – April 17 (Spring Break & Easter)
- May 27 – August 14
- November 18-27 (Avoid Thanksgiving Week)
- December 19 -31 (Avoid Christmas and New Year’s Weeks)
We follow the same pattern in 2022 as 2022 and avoid all major holidays and the Summer.
Now again, I don’t want you to think that if you go during any of these times of the year, you will have a bad trip. It’s all about expectations and your personality. A lot of people like going during the holidays, but they realized there will be longer waits than usual.
Usually, if you have a good itinerary, you can still make the most of these “worst days.”
Crowds and Disney World go hand in hand like Mickey and Minnie, and there isn’t any time of the year when the parks are not busy. Walt Disney World is after all the most-visited vacation resort destination in the world with over 52 million guests annually.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing anymore as a Disney “off-season” and guests have caught on to the times of the year when you used to actually have short wait times for the rides.
Usually, the whole year is busy in Disney World and there are small lulls when the crowds are slightly less, but they are still there. At this point, the only time you can really have walk-on wait times for any decent ride is when there are hurricanes or similar disasters.
Of course, there are outliers like when the parks first were reopened, and when the country is in the middle of a national health crisis. But in a “normal” year there aren’t too many windows without crowds.
However, this doesn’t mean that crowds don’t matter. Finding those times to visit when there are fewer people than normal is still important. It can be helpful because instead of waiting 2 hours for an attraction on the really busy days, you might only have to wait 1 hour during the non-peak times of the year.
It also is helpful when making your dining reservations and it will be a lot easier to score a table at Be Our Guest or Oga’s Cantina if there are fewer people competing with you for one.
Busiest Times of the Year
So when are the busiest times of year in Disney World? Again, follow the kids.
The busiest time to visit is when kids are out of school during holidays or Spring and Summer breaks. Parents are generally more hesitant to have their kids skip school, and therefore have no choice but to schedule a trip during that time.
The busiest holidays in Disney World are Easter, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. The crowds usually start coming in 3-4 days before those holidays begin, and stay for 2-3 days after, or at least through the weekend, before returning home Sunday or Monday.
Of these, the absolute busiest you will see the Magic Kingdom and the other theme parks are the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. Those should be avoided at all costs in our opinion as there are always wall-to-wall people and the parks often fill to capacity.
In 2021, the busiest day of the year could be October 1st, which is the official day of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary.
Lastly, if you go to the parks on the day a new attraction is opening, that also will be extremely busy and we recommend skipping that park and coming back the next day instead.
Least Crowded Times
The least bust times in Disney World are always when kids are in school. From the end of August through September tends to be one of the best months to visit because kids have just gone back to school.
January also is one of the least crowded months since kids go back to school after New Year’s. It doesn’t get too crowded again until President’s week (the 3rd Monday in February).
Thankfully my parents always took us to Disney World in September, and though the teachers were not always happy about it, very rarely were the parks too busy.
It’s also important to know the least crowded Days to go to Disney World. As a general rule, weekdays are less crowded than weekends. This is especially true in Epcot if one of the festivals is going on.
Cheapest Time to Visit Disney World
Finding the cheapest time to go to Disney World can be an even bigger motivator than basing your decision on the crowds. Thankfully, these two are also connected and the cheapest time to go is also when the crowds are the lowest. Disney knows this which is why there are always offers to try and entice guests to visit during those times.
Going to Disney World when the cost is lowest will save you money on hotel rooms, theme park tickets, airfare, and even food. You could potentially be saving thousands of dollars just by changing the dates.
- The cheapest times of the year to visit Disney World are August, September, and January after New Year’s is over into early February.
Since crowds have slowly been shifting from the Summer months into October/November, we’ve also noticed good deals on certain dates in June and July so that’s worth considering.
Our guide to the Cheapest Time to Go to Disney World is invaluable in helping you pick dates if you are on a budget.
Also, read our post “How Much Does a Disney World Vacation Cost?” for the average price of a Disney Vacation.
Going at a cheaper time is going to save you the most money on your hotel room. Prices can vary greatly between the Low Season and the Peak Season, and some rooms can cost as much as 2 or 3x the normal price.
Here are some examples of Disney World hotel prices and the differences when comparing the Low Season with Peak Season. We’ve separated these into examples from the Value, Moderate, and Deluxe Resorts of some potential prices.
- Value Resorts (Low Season) around $100-120 per night
- Value Resort (Peak Season) up to $300+ per night
- Moderate Resorts (Low Season) around $200-250 per night
- Moderate Resort (Peak Season) up to $400+ per night
- Deluxe Resorts (Low Season) around $300-$400 per night
- Deluxe Resort (Peak Season) up to $700+ per night
Those are huge savings and can’t be ignored!
Hotel rooms always cost more on the weekend, so if you are going for more than 7 days, try to only include Friday and Saturday once and this will save you money.
In the last few years, Disney World has introduced a surge pricing model for their theme park tickets, much like they already do with hotel room prices. As the crowds get bigger, park tickets get more expensive. When there are slower periods for crowds, Disney drops the ticket prices.
This means if you come in January or September, you will find the cheapest prices, whereas coming during the holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas will have the most expensive tickets.
Pricing is done from day to day, which means a Saturday ticket in a “slower” month like September can still be higher than a weekday in a busier month like July. The same month can have 3-4 different prices for tickets depending on which day you go.
Prices for all 4 Walt Disney World Theme Parks are the same so it doesn’t matter if you go to the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, or the Animal Kingdom, the price is 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. They can save up to $640 on 5-Day tickets by going in the value season!
One way you’ll save money on food by not going to Disney World during peak season is taking advantage of special promotions like Disney Free Dining. This is an offer Disney releases multiple times a year to draw people to the resort when crowd levels are projected to be lower and can save you money overall.
During this promotion, you get the Disney Dining Plan included in your package without having to pay extra. In our guide to Disney Free Dining, we post the latest offers and the pros and cons of using it.
By going to Disney World at the right time, you can also score some great deals on airfare to Orlando International Airport. Just as with the crowds, the best deals are usually found in September or in January after New Year’s and into February.
We like to use Skyscanner or Southwest to search for the best deals, and it will depend on which airport you have near your home.
An underrated factor for deciding when to visit Walt Disney World is the park hours. While the parks may be less crowded during the off-season, park hours are going to be much shorter which means you have less overall time to spend in the parks each day.
Disney World park hours are the shortest after New Year’s Day in January and stay short until Spring Break starts in mid-March.
Park hours are extended in March through mid-August when they start shortening again. They stay short in September and October and then get longer around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
In July the Magic Kingdom closes between 10:00-1:00 depending on the day, while the other parks close between 9:00-10:00 pm.
So while going during the busy season will definitely have more people, Disney makes up for it somewhat by giving people more time in the parks. If you like to stay out late, this can be an advantage that you can use.
However, if you typically go to bed on the early side and won’t take advantage of the late park hours, then a time like January or September is definitely better.
When is the Best Weather in Disney World?
Disney World has great weather for most of the year with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures almost year-round. The Florida sunshine is definitely positive, but the extreme heat and humidity that comes with it, not so much. That’s why finding out when the weather is best in Disney World can make your trip infinitely better.
The weather in Disney World can be extremely unpredictable, with temperatures in the 90’s and a blazing sun one minute, followed by severe thunderstorms and lightning the next, only to see the sun come back out 30 minutes later. On rare occasions, you can even get hurricanes in Walt Disney World. The only thing you won’t find is snow!
Packing for the weather is key when visiting and depending on when you go, you could need clothes for the heat, rain, and even at times a sweater or jacket. Here is an overview of the weather in Disney World for each season.
Weather in Disney World by the Season
Winter – The majority of the year is t-shirt and shorts weather, but in the winter months, it can be chilly some days, and definitely at night. At that time of year, a jacket and sweater are both good ideas, yet bringing lighter clothes in case the temperatures are mild.
The average daytime high temperature in Dec, Jan, Feb, and March is in the low 70’s. This is actually good news and we prefer to visit the parks when the weather isn’t as hot as in the Summer. The negatives are that it isn’t great pool weather so not as much to do around the hotels. The Resort’s flowers and trees aren’t as beautiful in the Winter and this has the least daylight of any season.
Spring – This is another great time to visit Walt Disney World and if you visit in March/April the average daytime high temperature is in the low 80’s. This is good pool weather and good for the parks. Temperatures in May get significantly higher and reach close to 90 degrees.
Another good thing about Spring is it’s not an overly humid time of year with moderately low rainfall. There is also more sunlight in the Spring, which allows for longer hours in the parks every day.
Summer – This is the worst season for weather in Central Florida with extreme heat and humidity on a daily basis. This outweighs most benefits of longer daylight, longer park hours, and more entertainment options than other seasons. Summer lasts from May to September with average high temperatures over 90 degrees, even reaching 100+ degrees on some days.
Humidity is off the charts in the Summer months with an average of 60% or more. Disney World has 13 rainy days per month on average in the Summer, and 6.4 inches of rain.
Fall – Autumn is a beautiful time in Walt Disney World, and though daytime temperatures are still quite high in October, things cool down some in the second half of the month and get even better in November and December. Average daily high temperatures are in the 70’s, again great for going to the parks.
Daylight is still good in early Fall, just remember to bring a light jacket or sweater at night as temperatures drop significantly compared to the daytime.
After considering all the various factors, the best weather in Disney World is in the Fall and Spring seasons. This is when you will find a good amount of daylight, lower rain totals, and warm temperatures, but not the extreme heat you find in the Summer.
Out of these seasons, our favorite months for the weather in Disney World are November and March. They are warm enough where you can still go in the pool most of the time, and perfect park weather in the mid to upper 70’s.
It should be no surprise that the worst season for weather in Disney World is the Summer.
Unless you live in Florida or have visited Disney in June, July, or August, you will have a hard time understanding just how oppressive the heat can be during this time. Nearly every time you are outdoors during the Summer, you will be sweating profusely, even if you aren’t doing any activity whatsoever.
If you are going to the Disney parks in Summer, we suggest you get an early start to the day by rope-dropping the parks, then go back to your hotel after lunch for a pool break/nap, then make your way back to the parks in the evening. This will help you avoid the excruciating mid-day heat which is unbearable.
Special Events, Festivals and Holidays
Now that we’ve figured out the cheapest times, the least crowded times, and the best weather, you definitely want to look at the calendar for any holidays, special events, or festivals that might be going on in Walt Disney World each month.
There are so many cool events happening each year that you and your family might want to plan your trip around.
Many families plan their trip to Walt Disney World around the holidays, even if it means the crowds are going to be bigger than other times of the year. Easter, the 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are the most popular ones guests are likely to plan for.
Here is a list of dates for Holidays in 2021 & 2022:
- New Year’s Day – Jan. 1
- Martin Luther King Jr – Jan 18, 2021, and Jan 17, 2022
- Valentine’s Day – Feb 14
- President’s Day – Feb 15, 2021; Feb 21, 2022
- St. Patrick’s Day – March 17
- Easter – April 4, 2021, and April 17, 2021
- Memorial Day – May 31, 2021, and May 30, 2022
- July 4th
- Labor Day – Sep 6, 2021, and Sep 5, 2022
- Columbus Day – Oct 11, 2021, and Oct 10, 2022
- Veteran’s Day – Nov 11, 2021, and Nov 11, 2022
- Halloween – Oct. 31
- Thanksgiving – Nov. 25, 2021, and Nov. 24, 2021
- Christmas – Dec. 25
- New Year’s Eve – Dec. 31
Keep in mind, if you visit the Disney parks on the exact days of these holidays, you are going to find the biggest crowds all year long. The parks will be overcrowded and they will likely reach full capacity for the day. You have been warned.
A better alternative is to make the days the holidays fall on a pool day or do one of the many other non-park activities during those days, and go to the parks on other days during your trip.
If you have to go to Disney World on a holiday, here are the least crowded holidays for 2021 & 2022:
- Valentine’s Day – Feb 14
- St. Patrick’s Day – March 17
- Labor Day – Sep 6, 2021, and Sep 5, 2022
Special Events and Festivals
Besides the holidays, there are plenty of special events and festivals to keep track of when planning your visit.
Here is a list of all 2021 Disney World Special Events to consider:
- Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Canceled in 2021
- Epcot® International Festival of the Arts: Jan 8 – Feb 22, 2021
- Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival: March 3 – July 5, 2021
- Disney After Hours Boo Bash: Aug 10 – Oct 31
- Epcot International Food and Wine Festival: July 15 – Nov 20
- Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary: Oct 1, 2021 – March 2023
- Epcot International Festival of the Holidays: Nov 26 – Dec 30
- Disney Very Merriest After Hours: Nov 8 – Dec 21
If you are going from August – December, Disney’s Magic Kingdom runs 2 special hard-ticketed events, Disney After Hours Boo Bash (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party) and Disney Very Merry After Hours (Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party) that are very popular with guests.
- TIP: If you are not going to either of these events, then we suggest you avoid the Magic Kingdom those days as park hours for regular guests will be much shorter than normal.
If it always seems like there is a festival going on in EPCOT, that’s because there basically is. There are 4 yearly EPCOT Festivals, Food and Wine, Flower and Garden, Festival of the Arts and Festival of the Holidays that run pretty much straight from the end of August through May.
In 2021, the festivals are also in June, July, and August, which means there isn’t a month without one of them going on all year.
In 2021 and 2022, the biggest event is going to be the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. This will be a celebration lasting 18 months and includes big upgrades to some rides as well as completely new attractions.
Overall these events can be really fun and definitely worth planning into your Disney World trip, just realize that many will also have higher crowds, so make sure you know going into it. If you want to go to any of the Epcot Festivals, to on a weekday, it will be much less crowded.
Refurbishments & New Rides
One thing that might not come to mind when trying to find the best time to visit Disney World is the attraction refurbishment schedule. This is important because there are certain times of the year where Disney likes to do extended maintenance on the rides, which means your favorite could be closed.
The last thing you want to do is show up at Disney and find that Space Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean in down for refurbishment. How can you do this if you are planning your trip many months in advance?
- The most popular time for big Disney World attraction refurbishments is in January or February.
Disney wants all the big rides open in the busiest periods of the year, which definitely includes the Summer and the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays. After New Year’s, crowds lessen which is a good time for Disney to work on any rides that need a tune-up. In this case, going to Disney World when the crowds are the heaviest ensures the majority of attractions will be open.
The water parks are also likely to be closed in parts of January and February, so don’t expect to go to Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach during that time.
You also will definitely want to check what’s new in Disney World and all upcoming attractions to see if you can plan your trip around a new ride you’ve been waiting to go on.
Is the Disney World Reopening Phase a Good Time to Visit?
Of course, 2021 is a quite different year for planning a trip to Walt Disney World and all the changes make it even more difficult. You may be wondering if it’s worth it to visit Disney World during the reopening phase?
Here are a few things to consider:
Pros: Right now, the only benefit of visiting Disney World is potentially lower crowds. Disney is actually restricting the number of people that can visit the parks each day, so at times there are lower waits than normal. I say “at times” because the longer this phase goes on, the more that advantage is disappearing.
Cons: On the other hand, there are a ton of reasons why NOT to visit during the reopening phase:
- Face Masks – Guests have to wear face masks in the Disney Parks in all indoor locations including on attractions and in common areas of the hotels. You don’t have to wear one outdoors or when you are dining in a restaurant. Thankfully you no longer have to wear a face mask in 95+ degree heat, as that wasn’t fun.
- Limited Experiences and Attractions – Not all attractions, entertainment, or experiences are available right now, but many of them are. A big one is fireworks shows are now back. With all the money it costs to go to Disney World, it wouldn’t be worth it without them.
- Getting Into the Parks is More Difficult – In order to get entry into the parks, you’ll need a reservation and not all guests are guaranteed to get one. There is usually availability for at least one of the 4 theme parks, you just might not be able to go to the park you want on the day you want. Read more in our post about Disney World Park Reservations.
- Other Safety Guidelines and Restrictions – Face masks are not the only thing you’ll have to deal with on your trip, though some of the new restrictions like temperature screening and queue spacing are no longer an issue. Read our post on the new changes and guidelines in Disney World for more info.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of things to take into consideration if you are planning on visiting Disney World during the reopening phase. That’s not to say that it won’t be fun, but you should be aware of what to expect before you go.
Best Months in Disney World – Ranked
This is my favorite part, ranking each month in Disney World in 2021 from Worst to Best.
We want to give you a look at each month compared with the others, and taking into consideration all the various aspects we’ve already gone over in this guide. These rankings tend to be similar each year but can change slightly depending on how some holidays fall and other events going on.
As a disclaimer, this list looks much different in 2021 than in some years. With all the new safety guidelines, capacity restrictions, events on hold, and the 50th Anniversary coming up, at least a few of these months find themselves either higher or lower than they normally might.
It’s also worth noting that the further into 2021 we go, the more likely things get back to “normal” in the parks. That means safety guidelines loosening and entertainment coming back like shows and fireworks. Those factors weighed into our rankings.
This list will look a lot different in 2022 if everything is back up and running normally by then. We’ll update this list later in 2021 to reflect any changes on the schedule.
Ok, now on to the best months at Disney World in 2021…
Normally July is either the worst or second-worst month to visit Disney World, and that’s where it comes in again in 2021.
Just like in June and August, July is a terrible month for weather in Disney World, with temperatures rarely under 90 degrees and unbearable humidity. This becomes even harder when wearing a face mask.
It’s also one of the rainiest months of the year with over 10 inches annually. Ponchos become your best friends in Disney World in July, and you need plenty of extra socks.
The 4th of July is always one of the busiest days of the year for the parks, and heavy crowds carry on throughout the whole month. This could be different in 2021, but we think many people will be willing to travel again, and July might be their first opportunity.
At least fireworks made their way back to the parks in July!
- Pros: Long Park Hours, Lots of Daylight, Potentially Good Deals
- Cons: Extreme Weather, Higher Crowds
See our guide to Disney World in July for more details.
What’s different about August from July? Not much in 2021, nor any year for that matter. August has the hottest temperatures of the year in Disney World with just slightly less rain than July, though thunderstorms are still a daily occurrence. You’ll for sure want to spend a good amount of time in the resort pool.
Crowds are usually heavy in early August and then decrease drastically as Labor Day nears. This leads to low wait times on attractions and wonderful hotel discounts.
In 2021 I think this will be the same and even with the Epcot Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary both running in August, you’ll see very few people in the parks compared to how many will come in September and October.
- Pros: Low Crowds in Second Half, Potentially Low Prices, Long Park Hours, Lots of Daylight
- Cons: Extreme Weather, High Crowds in First Half
See our guide to Disney World in August for more details.
June hasn’t changed at all from our original list and is always one of the worst months to visit Disney World.
The weather is excruciatingly hot and humid so make sure to bring sunscreen and a towel to dry yourself off. The rain also picks up in June with approximately 5 inches annually. That means you’re likely to get caught in quite a few thunderstorms on your trip.
Crowds are light in the first half of the month and then pick up when kids start getting out of school. On the plus side, June benefits from long hours of sunshine and extended park hours, and entertainment offerings.
In 2021, we were anxious to see if some of the new protocols will have lightened up by June, which they were. We saw capacity increased significantly, and more entertainment and dining options returned to the parks.
- Pros: Lots of Daylight, Possibly Loosened Restrictions and Returned Entertainment
- Cons: Extremely Hot Weather, High Crowd Levels, Thunderstorms
See our guide to Disney World in June for more details.
In theory, October should be one of the best times of the year as temperatures are lowering and kids should be in school. It used to be one of our favorite months, which now has been dropping lower and lower on our list due to the rising crowd levels. It’s not as bad as during the major holidays, but ride wait times are still very long.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (Disney After Hours Boo Bash this year) and the Epcot Food and Wine Festival have a lot to do with October’s popularity with many guests coming to Disney World specifically for those events. Weekdays are your best bests here.
On the plus side, the temperature is still hot during the day, but much cooler at night than in September.
The BIG one is that the 50th Anniversary celebration will be underway in October, so you can expect crowd levels to be much higher than normal in 2021. Even though the park capacity is still limited, it will still be greatly increased over early 2021, and feel tighter with slower ride loading times.
If being at Disney World for the 50th is important to you it could be higher on the list. For now, it lands at #9.
- Pros: Hot but not too hot, Popular Events
- Cons: Rising Crowd Levels and potentially higher in 2021, Limited Discounts
See our guide to Disney World in October for more details.
April in Walt Disney World usually falls somewhere in the middle of the pack for us. The most important factor when deciding to go in April is finding out when Easter occurs that year.
If Easter is in March, April turns into one of the best months, with very low spring break crowds. If Easter is in April, that becomes less attractive, especially in the first half of the month.
It just so happens however that from now through 2024 Easter happens in April, so you want to avoid the weeks around that as much as possible.
If Easter is early in April though, the second half of the month can be a joy to visit Disney World with warm temperatures and moderate to light crowds. The gardens and flowers are at their best as well, with Walt Disney World perhaps at its most beautiful.
In 2021 Easter falls on April 4, so if you go after the 13th, this could be a great month to visit.
- Pros: Great Park Weather, Beautiful Landscaping, Lots of Daylight
- Cons: Heavy Crowds depending on the year
See our guide to Disney World in April for more details.
March is a good to mediocre month to visit Disney World depending on how Easter falls. If Easter happens in late March, then avoid that time at all costs. If Easter is in April, the first half of March can be a wonderful time to go with spring break crowds hitting in the second half of the month.
The weather in March might be the best you will find all year long. Temperatures are usually in the upper 70’s to low 80’s and good for any activity you want to do. It also rains very rarely in March in Orlando, which means you don’t have to worry about getting wet.
The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival also begins in March, one of our favorite events of the year.
Overall, March 2021 should be a great time to visit with great weather and low crowds in the first half of the month.
- Pros: One of the Best Months for Weather, Beautiful Landscaping, Low Crowds in first half
- Cons: High Crowds in the second half
See our guide to Disney World in March for more tips and info.
September is usually much higher on our list and even finished #2 last year. September always has some of the lowest crowds all year in Disney World since kids have just gone back to school and parents are reluctant to take them out at the start of the school year.
Disney always has incredible deals in September, with hotel rooms being close to the cheapest you’ll find all year and good promotions like Disney Free Dining.
There are plenty of popular entertainment offerings like the Epcot Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (Disney After Hours Boo Bash) both in full swing throughout the whole month.
The only negative is September is still a very hot month, with temperatures often reaching into the 90’s and high humidity. The later you go in the month, the less oppressive this is.
September has lots of rain, though usually just a passing storm from 4-5 pm, and then it clears back up. It’s also one of those months where it’s possible to see a hurricane, like our experience when Hurricane Irma hit Disney World in 2017. That is a rare occurrence though, and most years you are fine.
We also think the crowds are going to be much higher in 2021. The 50th Anniversary means fewer deals and longer wait times than normal!
Even though there are some negatives with the weather and higher crowds in 2021, September is almost always one of the best months to visit Disney World. It should still make for a good time to visit Disney World, just not as great as usual.
- Pros: Very Light Crowds (Higher in 2021), Historically Great Discounts, Good Daylight, Seasonal Entertainment Options
- Cons: Very Hot weather, Rainy weather, Chance of Hurricanes
See our guide to Disney World in September for more tips and info.
We usually have May in the middle of the pack, as the spring break crowds are gone and there is a slight dip in attendance before school is out and the Summer crowds start pouring in.
The weather gets significantly hotter in May, often reaching into the 90’s, though not usually at the “melt-your-skin-off” levels in the Summer. There is tons of daylight in May, and thunderstorms are quite common. Overall as long as you don’t go on the weekends, it’s normally a wonderful time to visit due to the lower crowd levels.
Unfortunately, all of the new projects we were expecting to be open by May 2021, never opened and you’ll have to wait until the 50th for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and the Space 220 restaurant.
- Pros: Low Crowds on Weekdays, Parks are Beautiful, Lots of Daylight
- Cons: Hot and Humid Temperatures
See our guide to Disney World in May for more tips and info.
February is a great choice for visiting Disney, especially in the first half of the month. February has some of the lowest crowds all year, and you just need to avoid President’s Day week, which is very busy.
The weather is nice and perfect for visiting the theme parks. Some weeks it’s even warm enough to go in the pool. You also benefit from off-season pricing, again as long as you avoid going around President’s Day.
The only downside is the water parks are often closed for most of the month, and some attractions may be under refurbishment. Overall, February is one of our favorite months as long as you pick the right week.
- Pros: Great Park Weather, Good Discount, Low Crowds in first-half.
- Cons: High Crowds around President’s Day, Water Parks Closed, Attraction Refurbishment likely
See our guide to Disney World in February for more tips and info.
January is one of our favorite months to visit Disney World because of the light crowds and low prices for the majority of the month. Crowds disappear after New Year’s week which means excellent deals on vacation packages, hotels and park tickets. It also might have the lowest attraction wait times of the year which means you’ll get more done in less time.
The weather is mixed and temperatures are beautiful and great for touring the parks during the day with an average high of 72 degrees. Nighttime can get cold, however, even into the 40’s so you will need to dress heavier than normal. We’ll take this any day of the week over the heat in July and August though! Also, very little rain means plenty of sunshine and blue skies.
Don’t expect to do much swimming in the pools, and the water parks are closed. Also, look ahead to Disney’s refurbishment schedule as it’s possible some attractions are down for maintenance.
In our opinion, January might be the best month to visit Walt Disney World with its outstanding combination of low prices, low crowd levels, and mild temperatures. Give it strong consideration when planning your trip.
- Pros: Low Crowds, Low Prices, Great Park Weather
- Cons: Chance of E-Ticket Attractions being closed for refurbishment, Not Pool-Weather/Water Parks Close
See our guide to Disney World in January for more details.
December is certainly one of the most popular times to visit Disney World, with holiday decorations up and plenty of holiday-themed events happening. However, you will get two completely different experiences depending on the week you choose to go, and it’s subjective to how much you enjoy the holidays.
This year due to a combination of factors including new attractions open and potentially fewer restrictions when compared to earlier months in the year, we moved it all the way up to the #2 spot!
The beginning of the month has very low crowds once Thanksgiving week is over. It might not be as quiet as it once was because of Disney manipulating blackout dates and trying to fill in the lower-attended weeks of the year. The first couple of weeks is still one of our favorite times and doesn’t have bad crowds.
Once you get close to Christmas week, however, things change dramatically where it quickly becomes the busiest time of the year in Disney World. We would definitely recommend you avoid this week all the way through New Year’s week unless you like to stand in line 3 hours for Space Mountain.
The cost is equally as different with lower prices in early December, and the highest price-gouging all year in Disney World happening from Christmas to New Year’s.
- Pros: Low Crowds (Early December), Seasonal Entertainment, Low Prices (Early December), Long Park Hours (Late Dec)
- Cons: Extremely Heavy Crowds (Late Dec), Exorbitant Prices (Late Dec), Little Daylight
In 2021, November is the best month to visit Disney World. The reasons why this is our favorite include a combination of crowds, weather, cost, and seasonal entertainment offerings.
The first half of November is extremely light for crowds, especially during the week. This means low wait times and room to breathe in the parks. In 2021, November should be a bit higher due to the 50th celebration, but not overwhelming.
Because crowds are low, Disney usually has some great vacation deals, including the Free Dining promotion.
November also can’t be beaten for its weather. It has the lowest precipitation numbers in Disney World all year, with less than one inch of rain on avg. Temperatures are fantastic, still warm enough to go swimming most years, yet not too hot to be uncomfortable in the parks.
The seasonal entertainment options are extremely popular as the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is still going on in the first half of the month, as well as the popular Christmas festivities such as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (Disney Very Merriest After Hours in 2021) which lasts all month long.
Christmas decorations go up throughout the parks and hotels early on in November which many people come to see.
The only bad time to go to Disney World in November is during Thanksgiving Week and the few days surrounding it. If Thanksgiving happens earlier than normal like the 22 or 23, the last few days of November are also great times to go once the crowds go home. It’s also best to avoid Veteran’s Day weekend.
Overall November is our #1 Month for Disney World in 2021 for its unbeatable combo of Price, Crowds, Entertainment, and Weather. Don’t miss it!
- Pros: Perfect Temperatures, No Rain, Seasonal Entertainment Offerings, Long Park Hours (Near Thanksgiving) Low Crowds (First Half of Month), Low Prices (First Half of Month)
- Cons: High Crowds (Near Thanksgiving), High Prices (Near Thanksgiving)
Favorite Weeks to Visit Disney World in 2021 & 2022
Last but not least, we wanted to share with you what we feel are the best weeks to visit Disney World in 2021 and 2022. If we were planning a trip right now, these are the weeks we would choose above all others.
- Week #3 – Last Week in September/First Week in October – Common sense says not to include this week in 2021 because of Disney World’s 50th Anniversary arriving on October 1. Even though prices won’t be cheap and we expect crowd levels to be huge, we just can’t skip being there for the biggest celebration in Walt Disney World history. Not for first-timers, but huge WDW fans won’t want to miss this!
- Week #2: First Week in March – One of the most beautiful times of the year to visit the Disney parks as the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival starts. Mild yet warm temperatures and low rain are fantastic, as well as low crowds.
- Week #1: Last Days of November/First Week in December – This is always our favorite week for Disney World and it doesn’t change in 2021. We expect it to be busier than normal, but there will also be some new attractions by this time giving you lots more to explore.
- Week #3: 1st Week in November – Great combo of perfect weather, low crowds, and good prices that should be back to normal in 2022.
- Week #2: Last Week in September/First Week in October – Always one of the best weeks as temperatures cool off slightly, and it has low crowds and low prices. You can choose from Mickey’s Not So Scary and Epcot Food and Wine, so plenty to keep you busy and a great time to visit.
- Week #1: Last Days of November/First Week in December – This week has it all. Popular entertainment, low crowds, low prices, and a beautiful time to visit Disney World.
While there are many great times to visit Disney World, there is no one “Best” time that stands out way above the others. It comes down to your personal preferences and what you are looking for on your trip.
We personally prefer to go to the parks when the temperature is milder, even giving up our pool time if need be. Our preference is always toward cost and what time of the year will save us money. And we also would rather go when the crowds are lower, even if that means there might be fewer entertainment choices and shorter park hours.
We think one week is a good length of time to schedule also as it gives you at least one day per park and allows you to be flexible if you happen to hit a holiday on one of those days. You can do it in 4-5 days, but you’ll be running like crazy and probably won’t enjoy it nearly as much.
Ultimately there is no bad time to visit Disney World and you will have a great trip no matter when you go. Decide which aspect is most important for you and start planning in the month that suits your needs. I hope this helped, and most importantly, have a very magical vacation!
Jan 5-14, Jan 25 – Feb 11
May 3-14 (Weekdays only)
September (the whole month)
Most Weekdays in October (WDW 50th Anniversary begins)
Nov 1-21 (avoid Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Week)
Weekdays in December 1-17 (avoid Christmas and New Year’s)
January 1-3, January 16-20
February 13-21 (President’s Day)
March 19 – April 11 (Spring Break & Easter)
May 29 – August 22
November 20-28 (Avoid Thanksgiving Week)
December 18 -31 (Avoid Christmas and New Year’s Weeks)
The best weather in Disney World is usually in the Spring (March and April) and in the Fall (October and November). Temperatures are warm but not too hot and there is little rain and plenty of sunshine.
I want to know what you think about our choices for the best times to visit Disney World…
- What is your favorite time to go to Disney?
- Which Months or Weeks are your favorites?
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 🙂