When I was growing up and visiting Disney World all the time, there was such thing as a “slow season.” I know, I know, it sounds too good to be true by today’s standards. If you’ve been to the parks at any point during the summer or the winter months, you’re probably convinced there’s no such thing as a slow season at Disney World. Luckily, there are still the cheapest times of year to visit Disney World.
While the slow season has definitely evolved in recent years, it’s not completely extinct by any means.
In fact, we can even predict when the cheapest times of year to visit Walt Disney World will be. There’s a magic formula, so to speak.
- Avoid holidays
- Pay attention to when schools are on break
- Look at airfare trends
- Weekdays are generally less crowded
- Did I mention to avoid holidays?
This is a fail-proof system. As I local, I see the off season in action all of the time. Sometimes it even feels like I have parts of the parks to myself. And you know what fewer crowds mean?
Yep, you guessed it. A more affordable trip to Disney World.
What a dream, right? That’s why I’ve made this list of the cheapest times of year to visit Disney World. While it’s not always possible to plan your trip around these times if life gets in the way, it could save you major cash if it works with your schedule. You’ll also spend less time wading through crowds of families, and that’s always a win.
Cheapest Times of Year to Visit Disney World
To start, let’s talk about the golden times to visit. These are the tried and true best times to visit Orlando whether you’re coming for your first trip or your hundredth. Remember, the key is to avoid holidays, special events, and school breaks.
September – The best time of the year to visit Disney World is in September. This is a great time to visit Florida. It’s not as horribly hot, kids are back in school, and the special events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party are just getting started. (NOTE: September is peak hurricane season and rainy season in Florida, so be prepared for that.)
October – Like September, October is an inexpensive time to visit Disney World. The kids are solidly in school across the country, and there are no major holidays. Weekends might start to pick up in crowds, so visit during the week if possible. However, steer clear of special events which gain popularity in late October.
February through March – Finally, February is another month that isn’t home to very many special events or crowd attractors. These low crowds continue until “Spring Break Season” in mid-March. Then, prices (and crowds!) pick up in preparation for summer.
Affordable Times of the Year to Visit Disney World
Alright, now up for the next tier. I get it. Sometimes you can only take certain days or weeks off of work/school. September, October, and Spring just might not be an option depending on your travel calendar. If you can’t make it to the parks during the most inexpensive times above, try one of these solid contenders.
Mid-January – If you’re able to miss the winter crowds, January is a great time to visit Disney World. Beware of a few key dates, however, to make the most of your trip. The Disney World Marathon Weekend is the first weekend of 2019, so steer clear during that week and weekend to miss the sold-out rooms. Next, avoid President’s Day Weekend which is a long weekend from January 18 – January 22.
November – While not quite as inexpensive as October, November still experiences relatively low crowds outside of Thanksgiving week. Once again, try to plan your trip on weekdays if possible when crowds are low.
Early December – Finally, last but not least, early December is a good alternative to the busy Christmas season. Whatever you do, steer clear of the parks during the week of Christmas and New Years since places like the Magic Kingdom will likely reach capacity. Otherwise, you can enjoy the holiday decorations without the holiday prices if you visit early and during the week.
Avoid the Most Expensive Times to Visit Disney World
This list wouldn’t be complete without listing a few times you should ABSOLUTELY AVOID visiting the parks. Of course, the best time to visit Disney is any time, but these times will be significantly more challenging and expensive.
Early January – As I said, this is when the marathon events are held which bring in record crowds. If you can even make a reservation at an on-property resort, expect it to be sold out.
Mid-March – April – Spring Break season is also a popular time for crowds to swarm the parks. While there is no specific week for Spring Break, just assume this will be a time when it’s hard to escape the swarms of kids at Disney World.
June – August – While the end of August might not be so crowded, you can count on the rest of the summer being a no-go. The kids are out of school, and this is when most families choose to travel. As a Floridian, I can also testify to the fact that the weather is not ideal in the summer. We’re talking killer heat and thunderstorms every day. Nope!
Christmas – I see the appeal of visiting the parks on Christmas day. There is a magic to it! But it’s also exorbitantly expensive and crowded, so avoid at all costs. Remember you can still enjoy the magical decorations outside of Christmas day. In Fact, the fall decor starts as early as September and the holiday decor is in full swing by November.
Cheapest Times of Year to Visit Disney World
You don’t have to break the bank to travel to Disney World. In fact, with the right planning, it’s possible to save money during your stay. Visiting during one of these cheapest times of year will guarantee you’re getting the best price, best discount, and making the most of your stay.
Plus, you won’t have to deal with so many crowds and crazy wait times. Win/win all around! What are your favorite times of the year to visit Disney World?