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Best times to visit Disney World in 2024

Best times to visit Disney World in 2024

Trying to pick the best days to go to Disney World has always been tricky, but with a little bit of planning, you can find the perfect time of year for your dream Disney World vacation.

If you’re thinking about planning to visit Walt Disney World in 2024, here are some things to keep in mind:

Planning your vacation

Before you get too far into planning your dream vacation, make sure you take a little bit of time reviewing the entire planning process.

Trust us on this: planning a Disney World trip can be confusing, and the best way to ensure that you cover all of your bases is to work through them in a logical order.

When is the best time to visit Walt Disney World?

To find the best time to visit, you’ll have to decide what is most important to you.

For most people, that centers primarily around one of these four main things:

  1. Lowest Crowds: The best times to visit for lower crowd levels are typically during the school year and away from any holidays, which is when families with children aren’t able to travel as freely. Specifically, January through early February, and late August through September are typically a lot less crowded. Keep in mind that the weeks around holidays such as MLK weekend, President’s Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are usually particularly busy.
  2. Best Weather: The weather in Florida can be quite hot and humid in the summer, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Therefore, many people find the winter (December to February) to be the perfect respite from the heat. Just be warned that there can be cold snaps which can require coats, hats and gloves. A close second is spring (March to very early May). The weather during this time of the year is typically warm to hot during the middle of the day, and downright lovely in the evenings and mornings. The rest of the year, you can expect it to be hot and for there to be lots of chances for daily rain.
  3. Special Events: For some people, it is all about the special events so planning around those are a must. There are many annual events such as any one of the 4 festivals at EPCOT, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (select nights in fall), and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (select nights in November and December).
  4. Budget: If budget is a concern, consider visiting during the off-peak times when Disney often offers discounts on hotels and packages. These are usually similar to the times when crowds are lower.

Best times to travel to Disney World in 2024

While we don’t know that any time of the year is perfect, there are definitely some that are better than others.

Here are our top pics for 2024.

January 16-January 31, 2024

Best for:

Lower crowds, cooler temps, Epcot Festival of the Arts

Why we love it:

Disney kicks off January with the very popular WDW Marathon, followed by some cheer competitions and the busy MLK holiday. But, if you can squeeze your trip in after that, you’ll typically be rewarded with cool temps and lower-than-average crowds.

Alice in Wonderland

February 1-8, 2024

Best for:

Lower crowds, cooler temps, Epcot Festival of the Arts

Why we love it:

February is packed with cheer competitions and, of course, Presidents’ Day (which can be an incredibly busy time to visit), but if you are looking to travel in February these dates look like a good option.

Floating gardens

May 6-10 & May 13-17, 2024

Best for:

Moderate crowds, Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Why we love it:

May has gotten increasingly busier over the years, so don’t expect it to be as “slow” as it was 5 years ago, but the crowds during these days should still be lighter than what you’d find earlier or later in the month.

Anna with long sleeves

August 5-30, 2024

Best for:

Lower crowds, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Fall decorations and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom (typically starts around August 9-12).

Why we love it:

Now, to be clear, August will be h-o-t. Very hot. But, as schools go back in session, the crowds in the park really thin out, which means shorter waits at all your favorite attractions.

Mickey head fall

September 3-26, 2024

Best for:

Lower crowds, Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Fall decorations and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom

Why we love it:

Just like in August, September (aside from the days around Labor Day) definitely sees a dip in crowd levels (and hot temps). Now, don’t expect the parks to be “empty”, but there will likely be fewer people around.

November 12-15, 2024

Best for:

Holiday decorations, Epcot Festival of the Holidays, and Christmas party/events like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom

Why we love it:

Want to see the holiday decorations, but you’re trying to avoid the heaviest of crowds? Then the days right before Thanksgiving might be your best option. It will still likely be very busy, but you should avoid most of the Veterans Day and Thanksgiving crowds. This week is likely to still be busy, but if you want to see the holiday decorations, it is one of your best bets.

Cinderella castle christmas

December 10-13 and 16-19

Best for:

Holiday decorations, Epcot Festival of the Holidays, and Christmas party/events like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom

Why we love it:

Want to see the holiday decorations in December, but you’re trying to avoid the heaviest of crowds? Try to stick to the weekdays whenever possible.

2024 crowd calendar graphic

When does Disney World have the lowest crowds?

If traveling with the lowest crowds is your primary concern, definitely stick to the first couple months of the year.

Aside from the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and the days around Presidents’ Day and Mardi Gras, January and February are our top picks for the lowest crowds.

If you prefer the fall, September will likely remain a good choice, too. Especially in the weeks after Labor Day.

There are a few downsides to traveling during those months, though.

Disney typically schedules routine refurbishments (like those for Kali River Rapids) during the first part of the year.

And although September is typically less crowded, the weather during this time of the year is hot and muggy (and in the middle of hurricane season).

What time of year has the best weather?

If good weather (and by “good” we mean cool temps and fewer days with rain) is your top concern, January, February, and December are our top picks.

With average high temps in the low 70’s and an average of around 6 days of rain each, those 3 months are some of our personal favorite times to visit.

As a bonus, all 3 of those times have special things to see and do with the Epcot Festival of the Arts at the first of the year and all the amazing holiday decorations in December.

If you are looking for nice weather and lower crowds, stick to January or February (outside of the holiday weekends).

December is great, too, but it will likely be a lot busier in 2024 than January or February.

Best Chance for Special Events

This one is a bit trickier to pin down right now, but here’s what we think:

If you love special events at Walt Disney World, in 2024 the Fall months will give you the best opportunity for that.

The fall at Walt Disney World is hot, but it is also packed with special events.

First, August usually kicks off the spooky season at Magic Kingdom including one of our favorite special events: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

And following close behind is the very, very popular Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.

And, if you time things just right, it is oftentimes possible to see the last Halloween party and the first Christmas party plus take in the Food and Wine Festival…all on 1 trip!

One caveat, October has also historically been one of the busiest months of the year. We expect that trend to continue in 2024, and, considering October is also in the middle of Hurricane season, the weather can also be a bit iffy.

What About the Spring and Summer?

For many people with school-aged children, summers and holiday breaks are the only time they can travel.

And although we expect the summer to be busy this year (especially compared to the first few months of the year), that doesn’t mean it will be a horrible time to visit.

The water parks (Blizzard Beach and/or Typhoon Lagoon) will be open, which gives visitors something else to do outside the theme parks. 

If your Spring Break falls in early March, that is definitely a good option. And in April, the weeks after Easter are likely to be decent, too.

We do expect that the crowds will grow as you move through late May and June. Dates around the 4th of July are typically busy, but the rest of that month and into early August tend to taper off a bit (too bad the heat and sun don’t do the same).

On the positive, summers also typically see fewer attraction refurbishments and longer park hours.

And, we have often found that summer visitors tend to plan less and “wing it” more.

Meaning, if you do even a minimal amount of planning, you’ll be ahead of the game (and away from the long lines).

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Heather Thomas