So you want to go to Disney World but not sure of when to ask for your vacation days? Here is how I pick our Disney World Vacation Dates when we visit Disney World in Florida!
This post is NOT sponsored, we just love Disney and I love to plan our trips. ?
This is a part of a Disney Vacation Planning Series here on BigBearsWife.com – This series is a work in progress and I’m going to be constantly adding to it. To see all of the parts, visit the Disney Section of my blog!
I’ve been to Disney World in Florida at different times during the year and to be honest there are some months I love at Disney World and there are some months that I HATE Disney. Ok…I don’t hate Disney, but there are just some months that I like better when it comes to visiting the “happiest place on Earth” and there are some months that make me crinkle my nose when it comes to planning.
Like I talked about in the main post of “How To Plan A Trip To Walt Disney World”, I like to go to Disney World during cooler months unless we’re going for a Festival or a Holiday party (like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party).
My preferred Disney vacation takes place in February , March, May or October (for Halloween!). I like those time because it’s cooler (well as cool as Florida can get) and the Florida summer heat is not beating you to the ground and making you awful. We did go to Disney World in October one year for Halloween festivities and while it was starting to cool off here in Virginia, Florida was still hot, muggy and full of nice heatwaves haha.
When we were younger, my parents always took us in the summer. SUMMER IN FLORIDA, y’all….haha
We always went in July or August and we roasted the whole time we were there. Not to mention the parks are pretty packed in the summer. Just think about it, EVERYONE is on vacation in the summer, schools are out, people are taking summer vacation from work, it’s a lot going on in the summer.
Don’t get me wrong, we still LOVED Disney when we were younger, but it was indeed hot, hot, HOT. I like to enjoy my parks with a little less heat and sweat. 😉 That’s why I like to go in the cooler months.
Even if you go in February or March, it’s still warm enough in Florida to enjoy the water rides. You just might need a light jacket in the early, EARLY morning hours and at night.
We went to Disney in February one year and I wore a jacket and pants the first day because it was a tad chilly in the morning for me and the rest of the week we were in shorts, t-shirts and tank tops.
When I’m picking our dates for trips, I love to stay with in my “cool months” and I like to use crowd calendars like this one, Disney crowd calendars like this year one at UnderCoverTourist.com.
Calendars like this predict when the parks will be busy based on years past, holidays and Disney events/festivals.
What I want to avoid:
I also check the Disney website to see if there are any festivals or events going on during the vacation days I want.
Some of the festivals like Epcots Food and Wine or the Garden Festival are totally ok with me and I love going to those so I’m willing to deal with the crowds for them.
However, I’m NOT willing to deal with giant groups when the UCA National Cheerleading Championships are at Disney. It’s not that I don’t like cheerleaders, I was a cheerleader in college. What I don’t care for are the hotel rates going up and being stuck behind or in front of a group of 30 hyped up cheerleaders in a line for a ride that insist on screaming cheers at the top of their lungs for the entire 45 minute wait and end up being EVERYWHERE ALL OVER THE PARKS haha. 🙂 It’s a personal preference.
Also, a lot of school spring breaks start around the middle/end of March and extend into April
Pick your ideal month:
So let’s say that I want to book a spring trip for Thomas, Jackson and I. I’m thinking May! (hypothetical trip here haha)
Check for events and Festivals:
First I’m going google “Disney World Events or Festivals in May” and I’m going to take a look at the events page and see if Disney has any festivals going on that we might be interested in.
It looks like Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival is going on from February 28th – May 28th of this year. I love the Flower & Garden Festival so that’s a plus in my book!
I just think the topiaries and gardens are so pretty.
Crowd Checking and Holidays:
Alright, so May is when we want to go and I’m excited that the International Flower & Garden Festival goes on until the end of May.
So I’m going to check out a Disney crowd calendar and make mental notes of Holidays that might fall in my vacation month.
- May 5th – Cinco De Mayo (it’s going to be busy in Epcot! Think Mexican pavilion of the World Showcase and there is also alcohol served in Epcot)
- May 13th – Mother’s Day – it’s a holiday weekend at the parks!
- May 28th – Memorial Day – Memorial Day Holiday Weekend at the parks = busy
For this example I’m using the Disney crowd calendar at UnderCoverTourist.com and while I love them, there are tons on the internet.
This is the year view:
They also have a detailed month view:
So based on my searches and from taking a look at the crowd calendar, for this hypothetical trip I would probably go with a trip sometime between May 6th and May 11th (or 13th if you really wanted a whole week).
I can enjoy the Flower and Garden festival in Epcot, the crowds will be normal and it’s not the middle of summer. 🙂
Short version — When I’m picking our dates, I look at the calendars, the Holidays, festivals and the amount of days we want to stay. We can afford to stay longer if we go during no peak times, but if we want to go during a high traffic festival we might need to be ok with a 3 day – 4 day trip instead of a week.
After I pick our dates and we make sure our calendar is clear for us to take off, it’s time to check out the resorts and figure out where we’re going to stay!
Next in the series………
To read more about how I pick our resort for our Disney vacation, check out this post, “Disney Vacation Planning Series: Picking Your Disney World Resort”.