So you’ve decided to go on vacation to Walt Disney World this year, but aren’t sure exactly when to go.
Well you’re in the right place! In this blog post, I’ll outline the best time to visit Disney World, as well as the worst, broken down by month, week, and weekends.
So put on your favorite pair of Minnie ears and grab a notebook and pen so you can take notes to help you decide when to go to the most magical place on earth this year.
Best time to visit Disney World & the worst!
The number one thing I love about Disney World is that there is so much to do that you can easily make your vacation whatever you want it to be!
So with that in mind, there really isn’t ever a best or worst time to visit Disney World. Plus, best and worst are very subjective – what’s one’s person’s nightmare might be another person’s dream!
All that said, one of the biggest things that guests have in common is they love it when the parks have lower crowds and wait times.
In the graphic above, you can get a quick view of my prediction of the least crowded to most crowded days throughout all of 2024.
This comes from my wealth of knowledge about Disney World, as well as examining Thrill Data’s wait time stats from the past few years.
Overall September looks to be the best time to visit Disney World, while December is the worst.
For more info on the rest of the year, let’s take a look at the best and worst months, weeks, and weekends to visit Walt Disney World throughout 2024.
Plus, at the end of the post, if you sign up for my e-mail newsletter, you can get a free downloadable, printable crowd calendar with one page per month so you have plenty of space for notes!
Best month to go to Disney World in 2024
There are five months that I feel are the best time to visit Disney World overall, each for different reasons.
When it comes to lower than average wait times, I predict the best month to go to Disney World in 2024 will be September.
Schools are back in session, but if you have kids under 5, it’s a great time to go, as wait times are lower for the little kid rides and hotel rooms deals are abundant.
In addition, if you’re looking for an adults-only Disney World vacation, this is also a great time to go, as the families that will be in the parks are mostly younger kids, going on rides you won’t be interested in, leaving lower wait times for the fun stuff like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and other roller coasters.
August & May
Aside from September, August and May also look pretty decent for the same reasons. Most schools start the school year in mid-to-late August, plus May is right between Spring Break and the end of the school year.
I will note that August and September are in the middle of hurricane season. While it’s rare for hurricanes to hit central Florida, it can certainly cause heavy rain and make for a miserable day.
When this happens, Disney and airlines are pretty good about allowing guests to reschedule or cancel without penalty – often without travel insurance getting involved.
May, on the other hand, has a better chance for good weather, as it’s right before hurricane season starts.
January & February
Speaking of good weather, I love the weather at Disney World during January and February.
It’s not sweltering hot, there’s low chance of rain (historically, anyway), crowds are low (save for a few holiday weekends), and you can usually find good prices for the hotels.
If you can’t pick a time between these months, have a look at my sections about the best weeks and weekends to see if there’s a particular set of dates that work best for you!
Worst month to go to Disney World in 2024
Is there ever really a worst month to go to Disney World? I mean, not really… With the right attitude and some planning, you’re bound to have fun and make life-long memories.
With that said, there are a few months that are far more busy than others and therefore might not be the best time to go – especially if you don’t get to visit often.
December is the busiest month of the year at Walt Disney World, especially the last two weeks of the year, as many guests visit for Christmas or winter vacation.
And being that it’s in such high demand, it’s also one of the most expensive times of the year for flights and hotels.
That said, it is also one of the prettiest, most exciting times of year at Walt Disney World, and I’m willing to bet the majority of Disney fans have visiting Disney World during Christmas on their vacation bucket list.
So if you’re planning to go this year, go the week after Thanksgiving, as it’ll have the lowest wait times out of all the weeks in December.
June & July
June and July are also up there as one of the worst times to visit Disney World, in my opinion.
Schools are out for the summer, so many families head down to the parks for a week or two – even some from outside the US!
Wait times are above average, sometimes by a lot, the weather is sweltering hot and humid, and it’s harder to find deals on flights and hotels.
It’s also during hurricane season, so there tends to be downpours in the afternoons, and occasionally entire days filled with rain.
But, if you have kids, sometimes school vacations are the only time you have to travel, so you have to make do with what you have. I totally get that!
If you’re stuck traveling this time of year, I recommend building in lots of breaks for pool time and naps in air conditioning to help cool down.
Plus, to get away from the crowds for a bit, consider doing activities outside of the parks, such as seeing the Cirque du Soleil show, Drawn to Life, in Disney Springs, or hitting up a water park or golf course (mini golf included!).
Best weeks to go to Disney World in 2024
The majority of out of town guests will visit for a week, usually Saturday to Saturday. So for this exercise, I looked at each Saturday-Saturday week to find ones with the lowest crowds anticipated.
January 20-27, 2024
January 20th to the 27th is fabulous for a week-long trip to Disney World! You’ll likely experience lower than average wait times and cooler weather, plus you can catch the Epcot Festival of the Arts.
February 3-10, 2024
If you’re looking for a romantic Disney vacation, the week before Valentine’s Day looks great in terms of wait-times and weather.
Plus, if you’re able to add on an extra day, you might be able to catch some Lunar New Year celebrations, too! It’s not as big a holiday as at Disneyland, but still quite fun to experience.
May 4-11, 2024
I love this week for the wait times, warmer (but not too drastically hot) weather, and the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival. May 4th is also The Park Pixie’s birthday!
August 24-31, 2024
In my opinion, this is the best week of the year crowd-wise, plus you can likely add an extra day or two due to the tail end being Labor Day.
That said, it’s in the middle of the hurricane season, so it will be hot and humid. Plus, it will likely rain for a short bit every afternoon.
August 31-September 7, 2024
Start you vacation off strong with Labor Day weekend, which hopefully means you have that Monday off and won’t have to use a vacation day!
Crowds should also be on the low side this week, as schools are back in session for a new year and therefore, less families are visiting around this time.
September 7-14, 2024 & September 14-21, 2024
Some of the lowest wait times anticipated this year happen during these two weeks. So if that is a major concern of yours, this is a great time to go.
September 21-28, 2024
Another great week in September is this one, although you might experience more average wait times on the tail end, with some schools having fall break in late September and early October.
As with the other two weeks I recommend this year, be sure to snag tickets for MNSSHP and make time for the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.
November 30-December 7, 2024
This week will have average to slightly above average wait times. However, you can’t deny that Christmas at Disney World is extra magical!
First up, all the resorts and parks get decked out for Christmas. Then there’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, Epcot Festival of the Holidays, and Jollywood Nights (assuming Disney brings it back next year!).
So if you have it on your bucket list to visit during this special time of year, this is the best week to do it this year for slightly lower wait times than the rest of December.
Worst weeks to go to Disney World in 2024
You can usually count on the week of Christmas and New Year’s to be the absolute busiest weeks of the year at Disney World. This often crosses over into January.
Here are the weeks to avoid if you can’t deal with crowds:
- December 30, 2023 – January 6, 2024
- December 21-28, 2024
- December 28, 2024 – January 4, 2025
In addition, this year, Easter falls on the last weekend of March. Add on the fact that many schools plan their Spring Break around Easter weekend, and you’ll have two extra busy weeks in late March to early April.
- March 23-30, 2024
- March 30 – April 6, 2024
Outside of Easter and Christmas, here are a few more weeks with higher than average wait times and crowds.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, sometimes you’re stuck with traveling during certain weeks due to school and work schedules or policies. But if you have a choice, I’d also avoid these weeks:
- December 14-21, 2024
- December 7-14, 2024
- November 23-30, 2024
- March 9-16, 2024
- March 16-23, 2024
- June 22-29, 2024
- June 29-July 6, 2024
- July 6-13, 2024
- July 13-20, 2024
- July 20-27, 2024
Best weekends to go to Disney World in 2024
Lately I’ve been visiting Disney in 2-3 night stays instead of for a full week. I find that I’m not as exhausted and sore, plus I get to experience the different events throughout the year!
Plus if you don’t mind putting up with crowds, traveling on a holiday weekend often means you can get away without using a vacation day (or only one, if you choose to leave Friday morning).
Labor Day weekend
Speaking of holiday weekends, this year the best holiday weekend to visiting Disney World in 2024 is Labor Day Weekend. It has the lowest anticipated wait times compared to most other holiday weekends.
The trade off is that it’s in the middle of hurricane season, so the chance of rain is high, as are the hot and humid days. But you’ll also get to hang out at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival and see the Halloween decor.
Last year, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party ran on Friday and Monday of Labor Day weekend.
You might be able to swing Friday if you fly out in the morning and don’t run into any delays. But to be on the safe side, I recommend adding an extra day and flying out Thursday after work or on Tuesday, the day after Labor Day.
More good weekends to visit Disney World
If you have vacation days to spare, here are a few weekend dates, other than Labor Day weekend, with lower than average anticipated wait times.
- January 19-22, 2024
- January 26-29, 2024
- February 2-5, 2024
- May 3-6, 2024
- August 23-26, 2024
- September 6-9, 2024
- September 13-16, 2024
- September 20-23, 2024
Worst weekends to go to Disney World in 2024
Just like the worst, or busiest, weeks of the year, the worst weekends to go to Disney World fall at the same time:
- Easter Weekend: March 29-April 1, 2024
- Weekend before Christmas: December 20-23, 2024
- Weekend before New Year’s: December 27-30, 2024
So if you’re looking to visit on a holiday weekend to take advantage of a “free” vacation day, stick to Labor Day weekend.
Download my FREE Disney World crowd calendar for 2024!
For easier planning, I recommend signing up for my email list to get access to my FREE library filled with planning documents, including a Disney World crowd calendar for 2024.
The crowd calendar includes an annual view with crowd level predictions and monthly view with holidays and crowd level predictions, as well as space for notes and links to relevant posts to help with your Disney vacation planning.
You can also visit my monthly planning guides for insight on each month:
When are you planning to visit Disney World this year?
Congratulations, you have now become an expert on the optimal times to visit the most magical place on Earth, as well as which times to avoid.
While any time at Disney World is a good time, the best times to visit this year happen in January, February, May, August, and September.
Meanwhile, the busiest times to visit are June, July, and December.
I hope the insight I’ve provided has helped you plan the perfect Disney World vacation with wonderful weather, shorter lines and more time for fun!
So when will you embark on your Disney adventure? Will you brave the crowds on a holiday weekend or take advantage of the slow weeks? Or will you try to work out several shorter trips throughout the year to experience more of the seasonal offerings?
Whichever option you choose, keep in mind that you can’t do all the things, so take your time and focus more on creating long-lasting memories with your family and friends and having fun!
Until then, happy planning and may your Disney World vacation be full of pixie dust, short lines, sunny days, and churros from Animal Kingdom’s Nomad Lounge.
See you at the parks!
About the author
Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.
She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.