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Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation - When To Visit

  • Aug 22, 2010

Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation: When To Visit


Since the Walt Disney World Resort is not your ordinary theme park, you need to take a different approach when planning to visit. Even if you are not a planner by nature, you can greatly enhance your visit by planning some key elements of your trip.

A  Walt Disney World Vacation is not cheap by any means, so you want to make sure that you invest some time up front in order to help make your vacation more enjoyable and relaxing. So let me take you through a few of the key steps to get you well on your way.

When to Travel To Disney World?
Let me start off by saying that you can have a very successful, enjoyable, visit to Disney World at any time of the year. The key is being informed in order to plan your trip appropriately for the times that you visit.

If you don’t care for crowds then choosing the time of year to travel will greatly impact your trip. Walt Disney World can be very crowded during the summer months and during major holidays (Easter / Spring Break, Christmas, & Thanksgiving).

 If those are the times that you are planning to visit, please be aware that you will have to share the "World" with other people. These are also some of the times that have the most impressive decorations and events, so don’t just rule them out because of the crowds.

My favorite slower times are September, October, and the first part of November. The weather is still very pleasant and crowds are lower because most of the children have returned to school. Usually some of the best rates are available during these times as well.

Disney World Special Events
There are a number of special events that occur during the year that may also influence the timing of your trip:
  • Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival – March 2 – May 15, 2011
  • Star Wars Weekends – 4 Weekends starting in May and June , 2011 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival – October 1 – November 14, 2010
  • MNSSHP – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom – Select evenings in September and October, 2010.
  • MVMCP – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom– Select evenings in November and December 2010
Each of these special events provide extra activities and events beyond all of the normal Disney World attractions.

Disney Resort Hotels Rate Seasons
The Walt Disney World Resort Hotels divide the year up into 5 different rate seasons (dates shown are 2010 for Moderate resorts):
  • Value: 1/3- 1-14, 1/18 - 1/21, 8/15 – 9/30,11/28-12/16
  • Regular: 4/11-6/3,10/1-11/23
  • Summer: 6/4-7/1, 7/5-8/14
  • Peak: 2/14-3/27, 11/24-11/27
  • Holiday: 1/1-1/2, 2/12-2/14, 3/28-4/10, 7/2-7/4, 12/17-1/1
The other Disney Resorts have similar dates for their rate seasons. Christmas time is the most expensive, followed by Spring Break, and then Summer.  Remember that the Value and Regular Seasons not only start out with lower Hotel and Resort Rates, they are the times that Disney World offers the biggest discounts and Disney World Vacation Package Discounts.

Plan Ahead
You should make your decision about your upcoming trip as far ahead of time as possible. I would recommend making your travel reservations at least 6 months in advance if you are able. This will give you the opportunity to take full advantage of reserving other activities for your stay before they fill up.

Make Your Decision
So make your decision and choose the time of year for your trip. As I mentioned earlier a great vacation can be had during any time of the year at Disney World. 

Making your final decision comes down to:
  • Time of the year that you and your family is able to travel.
  • Avoiding Crowds if possible.
  • Timing your Vacation to coincide with a Disney World Special Event.
  • Picking a season that will help keep your costs lower.
Next Step For Disney Vacation Planning
Once this decision has been made you can move on to the next step: How Long Should I Stay?

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