Walt Disney World is a favorite quick trip for my husband and me, and over the past five years we’ve experienced the parks in nine out of the twelve months.  We’ve learned, unfortunately sometimes through clenched teeth and bemoaned bank accounts, that not all seasons are created equally in terms of those spent vacation days.  With the new summer specials now being advertised, I thought I’d write a quick summary of the times we like to avoid, which include some summer months.  While we think it’s possible to make your fun, these trips are significant investments, and if you have the flexibility in your plans, here are the times we have learned to avoid when traveling to the parks:

(1)  July and August:  Ask anyone from Florida about their weather, and the months July and August fall from their mouths with the same groans as winter-sick Northerners facing a Noreaster in March.  (Not again!)  Forget about tourists on summer vacation… the oppressive heat and humidity will have you huddled around air conditioners and pools.  We made our mistake a few years ago in August.  The crowds were intense, room rates were high, and the heat and humidity made the Grand Floridian pool the best thing about the trip and only source of relief.  Disney does try to accommodate the challenges with additional, and later, extra Magic Hours, however I’d generally recommend spending your summer months away from the parks.  If you want to go during peak vacation time, try June or the early days of July.

(2) Just after New Years Eve:  A hangover without the preceding fun.  You may have some lingering crowds from the holidays, but the depression you feel in the park is tangible.  This is the only time, too, at which I have ever encountered less than hospitable attitudes from the Disney staff.  Yes, the room rates drop drastically to some of the lowest in the year, but my advice is to let the parks air out, the staff wind down, and the crowds dissipate.

(3) Christmas Day through New Years Day:  Insanity reigns during this period, with park closures or capacity limitations common as the New Year’s holiday approaches.  If you have an aversion to crowds or want to get on rides, this is not the time for you and your family. If you are willing to skip the rides and want to enjoy a resort, party atmosphere (with options for all age-levels), it may be worth a try… once.  We stayed at the Yacht Club and had easy access into Epcot for the Midnight festivities, enjoying beverages much as on New Year’s Eves from long ago.  For a break the Boardwalk had a dance party for all ages, and with music constant around the parks and Boardwalk, the atmosphere was upbeat.

Do you have a season you avoid?  Let us know!  


Welcome to Discover the Mouse – a blog dedicated to tips and thoughts on how to make the most of your Walt Disney World vacation.

Walt Disney World has become a go-to location for quick, fun and relaxing vacations for my family.  This May will bring our 10th trip in the past four years; 8 of which have been since 2010 alone.  My husband and I were even married there last year!

I’ve consulted many websites along the way to help decide where to stay, when to go, and how best to plan, and while I am no expert would like to share my experience to the communal offerings.  Welcome!