Worst Time to Visit Disney World According To Experts

Disney World, located in Orlando, Florida, is a world-famous resort that welcomes guests of all ages and interests. There are four fantastic theme parks and two water parks in one massive complex. In addition, this 250-acre complex offers a wide range of entertainment and dining alternatives to please any palate.

Planning a trip to this enchanted realm requires awareness of potential trip-compromising events. Without further ado, let’s examine when it’s the worst time to go to Disney World.

The Worst Time to Visit Disney World 2023

The worst times to visit Disney World are weekends, public holidays, and the highest point of summer. In terms of months, the worst months to visit Disney World are the months of December, January, March, and April. Avoiding these peak seasons is recommended due to several reasons such as notoriously long lines, overcrowded walkways, and bustling attractions that characterize this time of year.

Disney World Crowded
Disney World Crowded

You can further use this Disney World Crowd Calendar to plan your trip to Disney World better!

Spring Break

Since many Americans take vacations during the springtime (March and April), Disney World and other theme parks see an increase in attendance. The week leading up to and following Easter sees a particularly large increase in tourists, making the already busy environment even more intense.

Moreover, springtime weather is often unpredictable. A severe thunderstorm warning, for instance, was issued by the National Weather Service for the Walt Disney World theme park areas on April 25, 2023. Hail damage to roofs, siding, windows, and automobiles, as well as wind damage to buildings and trees, were all mentioned in the warning.

On April 29, 2023, local Orlando news stations like WESH 2 News reported that East Central Florida was under a tornado watch due to the weather. The Disney World theme parks and resorts are located in Orange and Osceola Counties, which were included in the ten counties under this monitoring.

Tornado watches caused further anxiety, adding stress for tourists. Disneyland should be avoided during this time of year due to the high probability of bad weather and the large number of guests.

Tornado Warning at Walt Disney World
Tornado Warning at Walt Disney World

School Breaks

Visiting Disney World during school holidays is not recommended as it can lead to a less enjoyable experience. These vacations are usually two weeks long, with parents often taking an extra week to spend time with their children. Increased visitor numbers can lead to several challenges, making the overall experience less enjoyable:

  • Increased crowds: More people lead to long lines and long wait times.
  • Difficult stroll: The park became crowded making it difficult to move around.
  • Limited availability: Restaurants are busier and dining options can be limited.
  • Peak tourist period: Accommodation rates are higher and availability is limited.

In Florida, school holidays vary by geographical area. However, you may expect Disney World to be busier with families during the following school holiday periods.

  • Winter break: February to March
  • Spring break: March (one week break)
  • Summer Vacation: May To August
Disney Part Vacation
Disney World Vacation

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Extreme Summer

The sweltering heat of Central Florida’s summer, which peaks in June, July, and August, presents serious obstacles for Disneyland guests. The persistent heat can make the experience uncomfortable, especially when the temperature rises to the 70s, 90s, or even 100 degrees. Even with access to cool places like pools and air conditioning, enduring the summer heat can be challenging.

Disney World Florida Climate
Disney World Florida Climate

Visitors may find it difficult to appreciate the sights and activities available because of the high temperatures and muggy conditions that they may endure. Humidity levels are already high, and the summer season brings frequent midday rain showers. These quick but heavy showers can make the already sticky air even more unpleasant.

In June 2023, Disney World Weather Advisory issued a warning of strong gusts, frequent lightning, heavy rain, and even the possibility of some flooding. Visitors already had it rough, but the weather made things even worse, necessitating extra caution and planning.

At the same time as the weather is at its worst, the park is overrun with tourists trying to make the most of their trips. If you still intend to visit during the summer, you must arrive prepared by carrying lightweight, breathable clothing.

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New Grand Openings

The grand openings can make your visit worse. Anticipation and excitement surrounding these events often result in a significant increase in crowds which can make it more challenging to navigate and enjoy the park.

When major attractions like TRON Lightcycle / Run open in Magic Kingdom or Roundup Rodeo BBQ starts serving guests in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the parks are bound to attract large numbers of visitors. The grand openings become focal points for enthusiasts and fans, leading to a surge in attendance and creating crowded conditions throughout the park.

Tron Lightcycle Run Disney World
Tron Lightcycle / Run Disney World

Additionally, as the EPCOT transformation reaches completion, including the introduction of Journey of Water — Inspired by Moana, CommuniCore Hall, CommuniCore Plaza, and other additions in the middle of the park, the anticipation surrounding these new offerings will draw even more guests.

The excitement generated by these new attractions can lead to heightened congestion, extended wait times, and limited availability for dining and other park amenities. To navigate these circumstances successfully, it is advisable to keep an eye on announcements and updates from the park. So, you can plan your trip accordingly.

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Hurricane Season

When considering a visit to Disneyland, it’s crucial to take into account the impact of hurricane season, which runs from about April to October in Central Florida. This period brings frequent rainfall, but the fall months, in particular, pose a higher risk of hurricanes affecting Disney World.

Recent years have witnessed the impact of hurricanes such as Matthew, Irma, Dorian, and Ian, resulting in park closures and delays. Further, Hurricane Ian prompted a two-day closure of Disney World starting on September 28, 2022, as stated by The National Hurricane Center.

The updated 2022 Atlantic hurricane season probability and number of named storms
Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook in 2022

Additionally, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict another above-average tropical season in the Atlantic Ocean, with expectations of 16 to 20 tropical storms, 6 to 8 hurricanes, and 3 to 5 major hurricanes during the 2022 season.

When a storm looms, Disney World adjusts its operating hours and updates cancellation policies to accommodate guests who need to alter their vacation plans. However, dealing with an incoming storm can be stressful, as guests may face long wait times on hold while trying to make modifications to their reservations. All of these factors make this time one of the worst times to visit Disney World.

If you have the flexibility to travel outside of hurricane season, it would be advisable to do so to ensure peace of mind.

Seasonal Events

No doubt! Holiday celebrations, especially Halloween and Christmas, can add a magical touch to your trip. While it’s great that so many people are interested in attending, you should be aware that the resulting masses of people can make it difficult to enjoy the rides and other things you came for:

Christmas Festival

One of the worst times to visit Disney World is Christmas Day, in particular, which is renowned as the busiest day at any park anywhere. Estimates suggest that over 120,000 people attempt to squeeze into the Magic Kingdom on this day, with some unofficial estimates reaching up to 150,000. The park’s popularity during the holiday season makes it an incredibly crowded and bustling environment, which can diminish the overall enjoyment for some visitors.

Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort. Mickey's Most Merriest Celebration during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort. Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

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Halloween Festival

Halloween brings a significant influx of visitors, particularly to Magic Kingdom, where the highly anticipated Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place. Magic Kingdom becomes particularly crowded on nights when the Halloween party is scheduled.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

The popularity of the event is such that tickets often sell out by the end of October, showcasing the high demand for this festive celebration. As a result, if you plan to visit Disney World during Halloween, it is crucial to anticipate larger crowds and plan accordingly.

When is Disney World Expensive?

When considering a visit to Disney World, it’s important to be aware that the expenses can vary depending on the time of year. One period when Disney World tends to be more expensive is in December, particularly during the weeks leading up to Christmas and extending until New Year’s Eve. These dates are known to attract a large number of visitors, resulting in higher average ticket prices. Therefore, this becomes one of the worst time to visit Disney World.

Disney World Expensive
Disney World Expensive

However, it’s worth noting that the first two weeks of December generally experience less crowding compared to the last two weeks. This means that if you are still keen on experiencing Disney World during this festive season but wish to avoid the busiest periods, opting for a visit during the first two weeks could be a more suitable choice.

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Month-by-Month Analysis: Worst Month to Visit Disney World

Using the following monthly analysis, you can plan your trip to Disney World at the most appropriate month.

Worst time to go to Disney World
Disney World Night View

January

  • Temperatures: Average high of 71°F (22°C) and average low of 49°F (9°C)
  • Weather: Generally mild and dry, but occasional cooler spells and rare rainfall.
  • Activities: Enjoy lower crowds and shorter wait times for attractions. Explore the parks comfortably without the intense heat.
  • Special Events: Epcot International Festival of the Arts, a celebration of visual, culinary, and performing arts.
  • Crowd Level: Moderate to low crowd levels, except during New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekends.

February

  • Temperatures: Average high of 73°F (23°C) and average low of 52°F (11°C)
  • Weather: Mild temperatures with occasional cooler days. Some rainfall may occur.
  • Activities: Experience shorter lines and less crowded parks. Take advantage of Valentine’s Day-themed events and decorations.
  • Special Events: None specific to Disney World.
  • Crowd Level: Moderate crowd levels, particularly during Presidents Day weekend.

March

  • Temperatures: Average high of 78°F (26°C) and average low of 56°F (13°C)
  • Weather: Mild and pleasant, with occasional rainfall. Spring blossoms begin to appear.
  • Activities: Enjoy the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, showcasing stunning gardens, topiaries, and outdoor kitchens.
  • Special Events: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
  • Crowd Level: Moderate crowd levels, especially during spring break weeks.

April

  • Temperatures: Average high of 83°F (28°C) and average low of 61°F (16°C)
  • Weather: Warm and mostly dry. Spring blooms are in full swing.
  • Activities: Take part in Easter-themed activities and entertainment. Enjoy outdoor experiences and longer park hours.
  • Special Events: Easter events and entertainment.
  • Crowd Level: Moderate to high crowd levels due to spring break and Easter holidays.

May

  • Temperatures: Average high of 88°F (31°C) and average low of 68°F (20°C)\
  • Weather: Warm and occasionally humid, with some rainfall. Summer weather starts to kick in.
  • Activities: Celebrate Star Wars at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends. Enjoy water parks and pools to beat the heat.
  • Special Events: Star Wars Weekends.
  • Crowd Level: Moderate crowd levels, except during Memorial Day weekend.

June

  • Temperatures: Average high of 91°F (33°C) and average low of 73°F (23°C)
  • Weather: Hot and humid, with afternoon thunderstorms. Summer vacation season begins.
  • Activities: Make a splash at the water parks, visit indoor attractions, and catch nighttime shows. Prepare for longer wait times.
  • Special Events: None specific to Disney World.
  • Crowd Level: High crowd levels due to summer vacations.

July

  • Temperatures: Average high of 92°F (33°C) and average low of 74°F (23°C)
  • Weather: Hot and humid, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Prepare for high humidity levels.
  • Activities: Enjoy summer-themed events, fireworks, and nighttime spectaculars. Stay cool with water attractions and indoor shows.
  • Special Events: None specific to Disney World.
  • Crowd Level: Very high crowd levels due to summer vacations and Independence Day.

August

  • Temperatures: Average high of 92°F (33°C) and average low of 74°F (23°C)
  • Weather: Hot and humid, with afternoon thunderstorms. Prepare for high humidity levels.
  • Activities: Take advantage of extended park hours and experience thrilling attractions. Enjoy water parks and indoor shows.
  • Special Events: None specific to Disney World.
  • Crowd Level: High crowd levels, particularly during the first half of the month.

September

  • Temperatures: Average high of 89°F (32°C) and average low of 73°F (23°C)
  • Weather: Warm with occasional rainfall. Humidity levels start to decrease.
  • Activities: Enjoy lower crowds and shorter wait times. Experience the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • Special Events: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
  • Crowd Level: Moderate to low crowd levels, except during Labor Day weekend.

October

  • Temperatures: Average high of 84°F (29°C) and average low of 66°F (19°C)
  • Weather: Mild temperatures with lower humidity levels. Occasional rainfall may occur.
  • Activities: Embrace the Halloween spirit with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. Enjoy fall-themed decorations and treats.
  • Special Events: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
  • Crowd Level: Moderate crowd levels, with higher attendance during Halloween festivities.

November

  • Temperatures: Average high of 78°F (26°C) and average low of 59°F (15°C)
  • Weather: Mild and pleasant, with occasional cooler days. Dry conditions prevail.
  • Activities: Celebrate the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, explore Christmas decorations, and experience special holiday entertainment.
  • Special Events: Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, holiday-themed events.
  • Crowd Level: Moderate crowd levels, except during Thanksgiving week.

December

  • Temperatures: Average high of 73°F (23°C) and average low of 53°F (12°C)
  • Weather: Mild temperatures with occasional cooler spells. Dry conditions prevail.
  • Activities: Immerse in the holiday season with festive decorations, parades, and fireworks. Enjoy special holiday shows and events.
  • Special Events: Christmas-themed events, Candlelight Processional.
  • Crowd Level: Moderate crowd levels, with higher attendance during Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Disney World Night View

Conclusion

Disney World is truly one of the best fun places you would want to visit, but there are certain times when it is considered the worst time to visit Disney World… We hope that our detailed guide will help you choose the right month for your visit to Disney World. With the mentioned tips, you will be able to enjoy your trip even more than those that are unaware of these significant points.

Worst Time to Visit Disney World - FAQs

When is the worst time to visit Disney World in terms of crowds?

The busiest times at Disney World are typically during the summer months (June to August), major holidays (such as Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter), and school vacation periods.

What are the least crowded times to visit Disney World?

Generally, the least crowded times to visit Disney World are during January (excluding holidays and weekends), early February, September (excluding Labor Day weekend), and early December (excluding the week of Thanksgiving).

Is there a time of year when Disney World experiences more ride closures or refurbishments?

Disney World periodically conducts ride refurbishments and maintenance throughout the year. While closures can occur at any time, historically, they are more common during the quieter periods with lower attendance. These periods tend to be in January and early February, as well as late August and September.

Asjad Sheikh
Asjad Sheikh is a travel enthusiast who shares invaluable travel tips and insights to help you create unforgettable journeys of your own. Asjad is also an ethical hacker by profession, he explores the intersection of technology and travel, sharing captivating tales of exploration while offering valuable insights on cybersecurity during his journeys.

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