It’s the much debated question as old as time, “When is the best time of year to visit Walt Disney World Resort?” I am asked all the time by friends and clients, and see it being asked nearly everyday on social media from people looking for advice on planning the practically perfect Disney vacation. When I met a first time visitor in the pool on my last visit, and noticed how eager she was to hear all my tips and tricks, I knew I had to share this information with our loyal Magical DIStractions readers. The qualifications most people require for the “best time to visit” include low crowds, special events, and the perfect Florida weather. Well friends, on my last trip a couple of weeks ago, I am pretty sure that I unintentionally found the PERFECT time of year to visit Walt Disney World! I discovered the sweet spot right in between the busy times of Spring Break and summer vacations. So according to the qualifications that most people look for when looking for the perfect time to visit, I will outline our experiences with crowd levels, special events, and weather during our visit from May 19-22, 2016.
Being that we live so close to Walt Disney World and are Annual Passholders, I never plan our trips that far in advance. I booked this trip back in February, and I really dragged my feet when making Fastpass+ reservations, so there weren’t any popular options left when making our choices. We would be at the mercy of the crowds, and that made me nervous with 4 and 2 year old daughters, and a husband that refuses to wait in any line longer than 15 minutes. However, we were able to walk right on to several rides at all 4 theme parks! The longest line we waited in during our whole trip was for Test Track at 30 minutes. Believe it or not, I even saw 7 Dwarfs Mine Train at only 45 minutes! Stores were not crowded, and we had no problem navigating our huge double stroller through the parks–even on Main Street in Magic Kingdom and World Showcase during the International Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot.
DIStracted Tip: We take advantage of the morning Extra Magic Hours for Walt Disney World Resort Guests. Being able to enter the parks at 8AM before the general admission crowd REALLY helps cut down on wait time.
As far as special events, Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival is my favorite event of the year at Walt Disney World Resort. (Sorry Food and Wine Festival fans). We go each year to see the beautiful blossoms and topiaries that make Epcot even more beautiful than usual! Seeing the banks of the ponds covered with vibrant colors and intricate patterns takes my breath away every year. Sampling yummy, international specialties from the outdoor kitchens is also a highlight.
My daughters particularly enjoyed playing with Lightning McQueen and Mater on the Cars themed playground set up during the festival, and I enjoyed a rest in the shade while they played.
It is rare that you find a perfect weather day in Florida. It’s either way too hot or can get quite chilly, and then there’s the rain and thunderstorms…. I suggest, especially, in the warmer months, plan to begin your day as soon as the parks open. You will be able to enjoy much of what the park has to offer before it begins to get too warm. Once it gets warm, we head back to the resort for a dip in the pool and a nap in the cool AC before heading back out in the afternoon. Our only inconvenience during our trip were those unpredictable summer thunderstorms that Florida is known for. We got caught in two heavy downpours on Thursday that came out of nowhere. However, in true Florida fashion, they only lasted for 10 minutes and disappeared into blue sky.
I hope that I’m not crazy to share my new found secret with our readers, but this was one of the most enjoyable Disney vacations we have made, and I want to make sure that anyone planning a visit to Walt Disney World Resort has the best experience possible!
Have you found a particular favorite time of year to visit yourself? If you’re willing to share your secret, when is your favorite time to visit the Walt Disney World Resort?
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